Gazelle Edge Elliptical Trainer Review

The Gazelle Edge elliptical trainer is an extremely modern looking, expertly designed glider created to give you a full body workout without little to no negative physical impact.

This low price, sleek, compact machine has six different exercise options, extra wide non-skid platforms, extra thick foam covered handlebars and the most impressive feature of all; the option to fold it away when you’ve finished using it.

It may look a little less sturdy than other machines but appearances can be deceptive and this futuristic piece of equipment is not only incredibly sturdy, but incredibly effective as a robust training machine.

 

Dimensions & Technical Specifications

  • 29.25 (width) x 53.75 (height) x 43 (length) inches unfolded dimensions
  • 29.2 (width) x 8.5 (height) x 66 (length) inches folded dimensions
  • 250 pounds (113.3 kg) maximum user capacity
  • 45 pounds (20.4 kg) assembled weight
  • 46.8 pounds (21.2 kg) shipping weight

 

Key Features

  • 1.5″ diameter sturdy steel construction
  • Extra-wide, non skid foot platforms for added stability
  • High-density foam handlebars for extra comfort
  • Easy-to-use, five-function workout computer (delivering immediate feedback on speed, distance, time, and calories burned)
  • Folds flat for easy storage
  • Included workout DVD (optional)

 

Comfort

The Gazelle Edge may look flimsy at first glance but it certainly doesn’t feel it once it’s been assembled and you’ve gotten used to the gliding motion. The machine itself has non-skid platforms which contribute somewhat towards the overall feeling of stability and comfort. The frame actually feels incredibly sturdy and robust once it’s been assembled and unfolded, and you will forget any safety concerns after your first workout session.

“The motion is very smooth, zero impact, and easy on my bad back.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

It’s safe to say that the glide motion is certainly a new experience for users who haven’t experienced this type of movement before, but it’s definitely not an uncomfortable feeling. It feels similar to walking on a rope bridge and once you’ve spent a fair amount of time achieving a good level of balance and control, you’ll never look back.

If you struggle with balance or movement you may want to consider this purchase carefully as the entire premise of the machine is based on balance and supported gliding, therefore those unsteady on their feet may find the machine a little more difficult to get used to.

 

Performance

The unique thing about the Gazelle Edge trainer is that you are in control of how much the machine pushes you as it is built to support a range of movements, not increase resistance or speed. This means that if you do find the machine and its movement comfortable, you’ll find you feel the same during all your workouts because the physical support from the machine remains the same.

“This is a very motivating machine as you are in complete control of at every moment” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

You control how much work you put in with the Gazelle Edge, therefore you are in charge of how much you put into a workout. The manufacturer does sell an exercise DVD to go alongside the machine, which does go some way to provide examples of varying workout positions. However, you should remember that you are in charge of how much you want to push your body on this machine. The movement and frame provides the opportunity to workout and stretch every single muscle group while providing an excellent platform for cardio work at the same time.

It is also important to note that the Gazelle is actually very fun to use! Something you don’t hear very often in the world of exercise machines. The fact it adds a little novelty to your workout means you’re a little more likely to forget that you’re exercising (until you feel the stretch on your calf muscles!).

The fact the machine has no program options doesn’t mean you are left unable to track your progress, the compact, five-function workout computer gives you instant feedback on speed, distance, time, and calories burned. So you’ll still be able to control and manage your workout whilst monitoring your progress throughout.

 

Ease Of Use & Convenience

gazelle-edge-elliptical-trainer-folded

In the way of assembly, it doesn’t really get any easier than the Gazelle Edge unless the equipment is delivered to you already set up. The assembly lacks any really fiddly parts which you’d expect from such a basic trainer.

“It folds up easily, out of the way resting against a bookcase when I’m not using it.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

The convenience of the foldaway facility really is incredible, especially for those who don’t have a specific exercise area or need to put the trainer away once it’s been used. Even when the machine is set up it doesn’t take up much space (although you should leave room for stride and arm motion) which is pretty incredible considering the amount of usage you get out of it.

The only downside to the storage is the fact that the pedals don’t have any clips or attachments to connect them to the frame once it’s been folded which can be a little awkward in terms of storage.

 

Entertainment

“You just turn your TV on, start gliding and before you know it 20, 30 even 40 minutes have flown by!” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

The entertainment factor of this machine is purely down to the style and enjoyment of the glide motion. You’re unlikely to get any entertainment from the feedback computer and any additional bulky console would detract from the compact, sleek nature of the product.

Sure, it’s a pretty basic machine and lacks any modern entertainment options such as an in-built sound system but once you start using the Gazelle, you’re unlikely to get bored of it as the fun and easy stride motion is quite addictive and doesn’t really get repetitive.

Plus, the fact that the machine is so lightweight and portable means that you can easily position it in front of the TV every time you want to use it; something that wouldn’t be possible with most bulky elliptical trainers.

 

Warranty

  • 12 month warranty

 

The Final Verdict

“Don’t hesitate any longer and buy yourself one.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

Unless you were expecting a hard hitting, full strength elliptical trainer, you’d be hard pushed to find any fault with the Gazelle Edge. It’s fun to use and definitely provides enough workout capacity and entertainment with the movement alone, to be used as more than a novelty training item again and again.

For under $130 dollars it is engaging, fun, effective and overall; fantastic value for money. You really couldn’t get a better elliptical trainer for anywhere close to this figure. We love it.

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AFG 3.1 AE Elliptical Trainer Review

The AFG 3.1 AE Elliptical trainer is a SixStar Certified ™, mid-range high value machine designed to keep your body in prime position for optimum workout results. The biomechanical research involved in the creation of the trainer means the design provides you with a super smooth, super strong foundation for your fitness program.

It’s also a feature-packed elliptical with a lot of customisation options. Although it’s a great all-round machine, there is the odd small feature that lets it down which we’ll be highlighting in this review.

 

Technical Specifications

  • 76 x 24 x 67 inches
  • 325 pounds (147 kg) Maximum weight limit
  • 216lbs (98.5kg) Packed weight
  • 198lbs (90kg) assembled weight

 

Key Features

  • SixStar Certified ™ Frame ensuring a smooth and comfortable ride
  • 20 levels of power incline (5% increments)
  • Advanced workout tracking
  • 13.5-inch step-on height
  • 20-inch stride length
  • In-built speaker system (with iPod/MP3 pocket and headphone input jack)
  • 10 different workout programs
  • Premium Pedal Cushioning
  • 23lbs flywheel (extremely heavy-duty and smooth)

 

Comfort

You should expect a high-level of comfort with the AFG 3.1 as it has all the engineering kudos behind it to keep your body in the best position for workout while also providing you with a smooth and fluid range of motion. These boasted features mean you shouldn’t really have to question the feel of the machine at any point, and you don’t.

“It is high quality. It looks and feels solid and has all of the options that you would expect from a much higher end elliptical.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

It’s safe to say that the research really has paid off and you can’t fail to enjoy the smooth elliptical motion you’re provided with. The pedal grip is also incredibly solid which helps to create a secure feeling when enjoying the faster motions (i.e. you don’t feel as though the machine is about to fall over when you really get stuck-in to your workout).

One small issue is the lack of gel on the pedals meaning that the pads of your feet remain unsupported; this isn’t a workout obstruction but can be an issue if you’re working out for a relatively lengthy amount of time (i.e. over 45 minutes).

 

Performance

The customized workout feature on the AFG 3.1 AE elliptical trainer means that you get to choose exactly how hard you want to push yourself. The inbuilt programs available are considerably more difficult than those on a standard gym machine meaning you could see better physical results outside of the gym, in your own home, if you you’re willing to put the work in. With 20 levels of power incline at 5% increments and 20 different levels of resistance, you’re well set up to push yourself.

“This is a very well built machine and I would recommend it for those looking for a good workout” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

It’s important to note that although the inbuilt programs don’t utilize the incline facility, the customized feature can, so you can make your own program easier if you’re new to ellipticals (and the inbuilt programs are too much of a push) or harder if you really want to progress quickly. You can also add inclines on the inbuilt workouts if you like the program but need it to be more challenging.

Essentially, the AFG 3.1 AE performs exceptionally well. It’s highly customisable but also offers a range of in-built workout programs including programs for weight loss, interval training, muscle toning and many others. It has something for everyone.

 

Ease of use

Once set up, the AFG 3.1 AE is super easy to use. The user interface is well laid out and set up to allow you begin your workout almost immediately. The machine has been designed with simplicity in mind which means you’re straight into exercise mode without any messing around on complex set-up procedures.

The workouts are easy to choose from and offer manual intervals, weight loss, constant watts, muscle toner, reverse train, oregon trail, THR zone and customer 1 & 2, all which can easily be set up with just the push of a button. The machine gives a moderate 20-inch stride length which can’t be adjusted; this is suitable for most people with average stride, but wouldn’t be comfortable for those with extra short/ long strides (i.e. those who are on the extra tall/short side).

The LED console has three different windows allowing you to track the progress of your workout. This includes information like calories burnt, distance travelled and time spent working out. The heart rate monitor comes into play when you place your hands on the handlebar sensors and although this isn’t always super accurate, it does offer a rough estimate.  It is possible to purchase additional extras with the machine, one of which happens to be a chest strap to provide a more accurate heart-rate reading.

“The assembly instructions were easy to follow and the required tools were provided.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

There are one or two small issues you should be aware of if you’re considering buying the AFG 3.1 AE elliptical trainer though. Firstly, the machine is pretty bulky, heavy and doesn’t have wheels. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it makes for a sturdy machine when set up, it simply means you should set the machine up where you intend to use it.

Secondly, some users have also reported various noise issues with the machine, predominantly a squeaking noise in the movement, which can be slightly off putting when working out. It’s nothing serious though and likely nothing a bit of TLC can’t fix if the issue does happen to arise.

 

Entertainment

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“The built in iPod speakers are a nice touch and help pass the time.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

The IPod/ MP3 speakers are very easy to use and allow you to connect your IPod/ MP3 player using a simple speaker jack system. The sound quality is relatively good but may not satisfy those wanting a crisp, bass heavy soundtrack during your workout. However, there is a nifty pocket for your iPod on the front of the machine if you prefer to use headphones.

Unfortunately, there isn’t really much of a ledge on which to rest a book, e-reader of tablet PC, which can be a pain for technology lovers.

 

Warranty

  • Frame: Lifetime
  • Parts: 3 years
  • Labor: 1 year

 

Final verdict

If you’re looking for a moderately priced, high-quality elliptical, the AFG 3.1 AE elliptical trainer is definitely one to consider. Sure, you may not get all the additional features a higher end model offers, but you do get enough to give you an entertaining and well rounded workout. Aside from a few potential noise issues, the SixStar Certified ™ frame is extremely solid, reliable and easy to set up.

“As compared to elliptical I have used at the gym; it works as well if not better.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

Despite the IPod/ MP3 speakers being of moderate quality, the AFG 3.1 AE still offers more in terms of entertainment than some higher priced elliptical trainers and certainly isn’t a facility to discount, especially if you like to wear headphones during your workout. Plus, with 20 levels of incline, 20 levels of resistance, additional customized workout options, advanced workout tracking and premium pedal cushioning just to name a few features, the AFG 3.1 AE offers just about everything you could ever need to ensure a customised and enjoyable workout.

Overall, the AFG 3.1 AE elliptical trainer really doesn’t lack in any area because the features it does have are so well-designed and work extremely well. At roughly $500 dollars below the average elliptical price tag of $1,500, it’s well designed, well structured, well priced and ultimately, worth every penny (or cent if you happen to be in the U.S./Canada).

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Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Trainer Review

The Sole E95 elliptical trainer is pretty-much the flagship machine in the Sole Fitness range of elliptical trainers and as you’d expect, it has a premium price tag to match. It’s a good few hundred dollars more expensive than the Sole Fitness E35 (a machine we also rated extremely highly) but for the extra money, you do get one or two unique features that you won’t find on many other non-commercial elliptical machines in this price range, if any.

It’s equipped with a larger flywheel than the Sole E35 and offers one of the steepest incline angles you’re likely to find on any elliptical currently on the market. It features a great design, a beautiful blue-backlit 9-inch LCD display and a number of different workout programs (including a couple of customisable programs).

Much like the Sole E35 however, there are a few small issues that let the E95 elliptical trainer down. Although minor, it’s important to be aware of them before you commit to buy.

 

Dimensions

  • 32 (width) x 62 (height) x 83 (depth) inches.
  • 400 pound (181kg) maximum weight limit.
  • 215 pounds (97.5kg) unpacked weight.

 

Key Features

  • 34-pound heavy-duty flywheel (extremely sturdy and smooth)
  • Quiet drive system (exceptionally quiet)
  • 20 – 22 inch adjustable stride length
  • 15-inch pedals
  • 9 inch LCD display console
  • Six standard programs
  • Two customisable programs
  • Two heart-rate programs
  • Built-in fan
  • ECB resistance
  • Built-in sound system (with optional headphone jack)
  • Water bottle holder
  • Includes chest strap heart rate monitor (very accurate)
  • Power adjustable incline (up to 40 degrees)
  • Pulse sensors on handlebars
  • Multi-grip handlebars

 

Comfort (9.5/10)

The Sole E95 elliptical trainer is by far one of the most comfortable elliptical machines on the market, especially considering the price. It features an extremely heavy-duty 34-pound flywheel (5 pounds heavier than the Sole E35) which provides a smooth, sturdy, fluid and natural motion when in use. The four rear wheels on heavy-duty rails also add to the stability of the trainer and reduce side-to-side foot pedal motion; a common issue on many elliptical machines, even those in a higher price bracket than the Sole E95.

“It has auto incline adjustments and level adjustments that are smooth between adjustments..” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

The foot pedals are large (15 inches) and articulate to match your stride.  This helps to reduce stress on Achilles tendons and also helps to reduce the common “numb toe effect” that anyone accustomed to elliptical usage will likely be familiar with. Not only this, but the pedals were also designed in collaboration with leading physical therapists and feature a two-degree inward slope. This helps to reduce ankle and knee stress that once again is a common problem with many elliptical machines.

As with the Sole E35, the handlebars on the Sole E95 allow for multiple grip options and they also feature buttons to alter the incline (power adjustable up to 40 degrees) and resistance. This helps to improve both comfort and safety. The stride length is also adjustable between 20 and 22 inches, making the Sole E95 elliptical perfect for both tall and short users alike (i.e. anyone over 5’3″).

 

Performance (9/10)

In terms of performance, it doesn’t really get much better than the Sole E95 elliptical trainer. Although it’s essentially a mid-range elliptical, it certainly performs as well (if not better) than most commercial trainers costing more than double what the Sole E95 costs.

It’s a sturdy, heavy machine (thanks to the heavy-duty 34 pound flywheel) that oozes of quality, offering a smooth ride that simply glides. Even if you’re relatively heavy, the 400-pound maximum weight load ensures that the trainer won’t struggle one bit.

“It is big, heavy, and QUIET.”Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

What’s more, it’s definitely one of the quietest elliptical trainers you’re ever going to come across. Even during relatively vigorous use, the Sole E95 creates barely any noise at all. This, in part, is thanks to the quiet drive system and because of this, it’s perfect for use while others are in the room. They’ll barely know you’re there.

One of the Sole E95 elliptical trainer’s unique features is the power adjustable 0 – 40 degree incline. Very few elliptical machines offer anywhere near this range (most go no higher than 30 degrees, much like the Sole E35) and it performs extremely well, giving you the ability to target lower body muscle groups at the touch of a button. Incline and resistance buttons featured on the handlebars also boost performance and ensure you’re in full control at all times.

In regards to the workout programs on offer, the Sole E95 has six standard programs, two heart rate programs and two custom programs to choose from (for a total of ten programs). The workout programs are virtually identical to those on offer from the slightly cheaper Sole E35 elliptical trainer, although they’re presented on a slightly larger LCD display (9-inches).

The fan is the only thing preventing us from awarding the Sole E95 elliptical trainer full marks for performance rating as it really doesn’t perform that well. It does very little to actually cool you down and is also considerably noisy.

 

Ease Of Use & Convenience (8.5/10)

sole-e95-elliptical-trainer-lcd

The Sole E95 elliptical trainer is extremely easy to use and for the most part, extremely convenient. The 9-inch blue-backlit LCD display features a relatively simplistic user-interface that is easy to get to grips with, even if you’re a bit of a technophobe. It displays your time, distance, pace, chosen workout program and heart rate. It’s clean, simple and easy to understand, allowing you to focus on your workout, not the technology.

The multi-grip handlebars complete with incline and resistance buttons are another convenient design feature.

“The display is easy to read and very user friendly.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

As you’d expect from a mid-range elliptical trainer, the Sole E95 has a water bottle holder and features a small ledge. This is perfect for resting your iPod, Smartphone, book or tablet PC. One small design flaw is the fact that when using the ledge, your item will actually end up covering part of the LCD display. It’s not a major problem, but it’s something that could be improved upon for sure.

The Sole E95 is also extremely heavy (215 pounds) and it’ll take a good few hours to complete the initial setup of the machine. Once this has been completed however, it’s an extremely convenient machine that works like a charm every time. Plus, if you prefer not to handle the setup yourself, you do have the option of choosing a professional home installation for a small fee during the checkout process.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that this is a relatively large elliptical trainer so make sure you have enough room before you commit to buy.

 

Entertainment (8/10)

Entertainment-wise, the Sole Fitness E95 elliptical trainer is virtually identical to its fractionally cheaper sibling, the Sole E35. It features a built-in sound system that can be connected to your MP3 player via a standard 3.5mm cable (included). If you prefer to listen to your tunes on headphones, you do have the option to plug them directly into the elliptical machine itself.

“Some people complained about the speakers – they aren’t Bose, but we didn’t want to pay for Bose.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

As with the Sole E35 and E25, the sound system is nothing special so if you’re a die-hard audiophile, you’ll probably want to use your own headphones instead. For light listening, the sound system will be perfectly adequate for most people. At the end of the day, you’re paying for a state-of-the-art elliptical trainer, not a state-of-the-art sound system.

 

Warranty

  • Frame: Lifetime
  • Electronic components & other parts: Five years
  • Labor (in-home): Two years

 

The Final Verdict

The Sole Fitness E95 elliptical trainer is a well-built, sturdy, smooth and impeccably quiet machine that is leaps and bounds above most other elliptical machines in the mid-range category (or even the high-end category for that matter). If you’re in the market for an elliptical machine, we’d highly recommend the Sole E95.

“I think this machine offers great value for the price and I believe it will continue to perform well for years to come.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

Having said that, the Sole E95 is extremely similar to the Sole E35 in terms of both its design and feature-set. It does have a few extra features though including the unique 0 – 40 degree power adjustable incline (the E35 only goes to 30 degrees), the 400-pound maximum weight, the large 9-inch LCD display (compared to the 7.5-inch display on the E35) and the addition of articulating and custom foot pedals (designed to reduce knee and ankle stress, along with the “numb toe effect”). The ride is also slightly smoother and more sturdy thanks to the heavy-duty 34-pound flywheel (compared to the 29-pound flywheel on the E35).

For some users, these features will be more than enough to justify the extra cost for the E95 elliptical trainer but for others, it might be difficult to justify the extra cost considering the similarities between the two machines. The Sole E25 is another even cheaper option if you’re looking for something around the $1,000 mark.

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Sole Fitness E25 Elliptical Trainer Review

The Sole E25 is a mid-range elliptical trainer from Sole Fitness, a well-respected fitness manufacturer based in North America. It’s a sub-$1,000 elliptical and for the price, it’s definitely one of the better mid-range elliptical machines on the market.

It has a number of pre-programmed and custom workout programs, a 25-pound heavy-duty flywheel (which ensures a smooth and sturdy ride), a built-in sound system and a host of other features that you wouldn’t typically find on an elliptical trainer in this price range. It also has a built-in fan, a power adjustable incline and is extremely quiet thanks to its built-in quiet drive system.

There’s very little (if anything) to complain about when it comes to the Sole Fitness E25 elliptical machine, but we did discover one or two (extremely) minor problems.

 

Dimensions

  • 27 (width) x 58 (height) x 71 (depth) inches.
  • 350 pound (159kg) maximum weight limit.
  • 189 pounds (86kg) unpacked weight.

 

Key Features

  • 25-pound heavy-duty flywheel (sturdy and smooth)
  • Quiet drive system (exceptionally quiet)
  • 20 – 22 inch adjustable stride length
  • 15-inch pedals
  • 6.5-inch LCD display console
  • Six standard programs
  • Two customisable programs
  • Two heart-rate programs
  • Built-in fan
  • ECB resistance
  • Built-in sound system (with optional headphone jack)
  • Water bottle holder
  • Includes chest strap heart rate monitor (very accurate)
  • Power adjustable incline (up to 30 degrees)
  • Pulse sensors on handlebars

 

Comfort (9/10)

The Sole E25 elliptical trainer is an extremely comfortable machine thanks to a variety of factors. It features an adjustable stride length (20 – 22-inches) making it perfect for a variety of different heights (almost anyone over 5’3″ will find this elliptical trainer comfortable to use). The stride length is completely power adjustable too, so you won’t have to mess around tightening/loosening bolts; it’s all very straight-forward.

“The heart rate belt is comfortable and consistent.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon

The E25 elliptical trainer also features custom foot pedals, designed in collaboration with an industry-leading physical therapist. They feature a subtle two-degree inward slope which helps to reduce ankle pain and knee stress; both extremely common problems for those who regularly workout using elliptical trainers. You can also adjust the foot beds for extra comfort.

The 25-pound flywheel combined with a high ratio gear system ensures a smooth and sturdy ride in both forwards and reverse modes. The unique design of the elliptical machine features four rear wheels on heavy-duty rails which further add to the comfort of the ride by ensuring a smooth, safer experience that also significantly reduces side-to-side foot pedal motion (which can be uncomfortable).

As with the slightly more expensive Sole E35 and E95 models, incline and resistance buttons feature on the handlebars of the Sole E25. This significantly increases comfort when adjusting the machine as you don’t have to let go of the handlebars to do so.

 

Performance (9/10)

Performance-wise, the Sole E25 elliptical trainer stacks up well, especially considering the fact that this is essentially a sub-$1,000 elliptical machine. It comes with many of the performance-enhancing features that are also present on the mid-range E35 and E95 models such as the quiet drive system, power include and advanced sensor systems.

The quiet drive system is a particularly notable feature as the E25 really is whisper quiet. It barely makes any noise whatsoever when in use thanks to its heavy-duty flywheel, high gear ratio and unique four-wheel system. In fact, the built-in fan is more noisy than the elliptical trainer itself most of the time.

“The machine it self runs like a dream. It’s so quiet and smooth, and and has challenging programs”Click here to read the full review on Amazon

Much like the E35 model, the Sole E25 features a power adjustable 0 – 30 degree incline. This allows you to target specific lower-body muscle groups with ease and because it’s power adjustable, there’s no messing around with screws or bolts; it can all be altered at the touch of a button. Sure, it doesn’t feature the same steep 0 – 40 degree power adjustable incline offered by the Sole Fitness E95 elliptical trainer but for a sub-$1,000 machine, this is a great feature to have.

The E25 also features a number of workout programs including six standard programs, two customisable programs and two heart rate programs. The elliptical comes with a chest strap heart rate monitor which performs very accurately.

The Sole E25 does feature an in-built fan but to be perfectly honest, it’s pretty useless and doesn’t create much of a draft. This is one area that could definitely be improved upon.

 

Ease Of Use & Convenience (9/10)

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The Sole E25 is an easy-to-use elliptical machine with a number of highly convenient design features. For example, there are incline and resistance buttons located not only on the main dashboard of the elliptical trainer, but also on the handlebars. This allows the user (you) to adjust incline and resistance accordingly without ever having to take your hands off the handlebars.

“Another perk about this machine is that it will hold my kindle fire perfectly while I work out. I also like that I can have my water bottle right by me.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon

The 6.5-inch blue-backlit LCD display is another convenient design feature that makes choosing and monitoring your workout extremely simple. It features a cool-looking blue-backlit display with a simple user interface displaying a range of information including time, pace, distance and of course, an overview of your chosen workout program (whether custom or pre-programmed).

The Sole E25 has a conveniently located water bottle holder (located directly in-front of you) and a book holder/ledge. If you prefer, you can use this ledge to hold your Kindle, iPad, MP3 player or any other item of your choice. If you do utilise the book holder however, you’ll notice that the item placed on the book holder will block the view of the LCD display. It’s a small design error but it can be annoying when you’re trying to multitask.

Initial setup of the machine is quite straight-forward but it will take an hour or two. It’s possible to pay a small fee for professional installation if you prefer.

 

Entertainment (8/10)

When it comes to entertainment, the Sole E25 elliptical trainer’s main offering is its built-in sound system. This can be connected via a standard 3.5mm cable to your iPod or MP3 player. To be honest, it’s nothing to write home about and for most users, you’ll probably be better off simply plugging your headphones directly into your MP3 player and listening to your music that way.

“I love the audio input and output jacks “ – Click here to read the full review on Amazon

Still, it’s a nice addition to the machine and if you’re just looking to do some ‘light listening’, it may be perfectly adequate.

 

Warranty

  • Frame: Lifetime
  • Electronic components & other parts: Three years
  • Labor (in-home): One year

 

The Final Verdict

The Sole E25 elliptical trainer has a lot to offer, especially considering the fact that it’s on sale for less than $1,000. It has an impressive set of features and the build quality is excellent. It’s quiet, sturdy and highly customisable thanks to its power adjustable incline, adjustable stride length and customisable workout programs.

“It has a nice long stride, it’s SUPER quiet!, and nice and stable. “ – Click here to read the full review on Amazon

However, there are one or two small flaws that let it down. For example, the sound system leaves a lot to be desired (this is also the case on the more expensive E35 and E95 machines though) and the small design flaw where the book holder is concerned may be a minor nuisance. But, for a sub-$1,000 machine, it’s doubtful that you’re going to find a better elliptical trainer. Even some of the machines with double the price tag don’t perform as well as the Sole E25.

If you can stretch your budget slightly and you’re looking for an elliptical trainer with a steeper incline, larger LCD screen, heavier-duty flywheel and other workout maximising features, check out the Sole E35 or E95.

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Proform Hybrid Trainer Review

The Proform Hybrid Trainer is an elliptical and recumbent bike hybrid machine, bringing the benefits of each into just one machine. It offers full-body elliptical training thanks to its adjustable oversized pedals and elliptical handlebars. However, it also features a comfortable seat allowing you to use the machine as an exercise bike. The pedals and seat are easily adjustable to accommodate either an elliptical or bike position; it’s your choice.

It’s a comfortable and clever hybrid machine featuring a console that adjusts accordingly to either an elliptical or exercise bike set-up. You can use the Proform Hybrid Trainer to lose weight, tone muscle or get a full-body workout. The possibilities are endless.

There are also a number of in-built workout apps, various resistance levels and many other features to ensure that the Proform Hybrid Trainer stands out from the crowd; and for all the right reasons too.

 

Dimensions

  • 26 (width) x 76 (height) x 76 (depth) inches.
  • 350 pound (159kg) maximum weight limit.
  • 149 pounds (67.5kg) packed weight.

 

Key Features

  • 2 in 1 – Elliptical and Recumbent Bike Hybrid
  • 14 Built-In Workout Apps
  • 14 Digital Resistance Levels
  • Dual Grip EKG Heart Rate Monitor
  • LCD Console
  • Water Bottle Holder
  • Transport Wheels
  • 350-pound Weight Capacity

 

Comfort (4/5)

You might imagine that a hybrid machine such as the Proform Hybrid Trainer would be feature severe compromises when it comes to comfort. After all, the machine isn’t constructed for one sole purpose but instead, for dual purposes.

Surprisingly however, the Proform Hybrid Trainer not only exceeds initial expectations (based on the concept and price tag) but is surprisingly comfortable in both setups, even when compared to much more expensive standalone elliptical trainers and exercise bikes.

“The comfort level compares to one I had tried in the $2,000 range.”Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

Whether you choose to use the Proform Hybrid Trainer as an elliptical or exercise bike, the comfort level is extremely high. When the machine is set-up as an exercise bike, the chair is extremely comfortable and unlike many standalone exercise bikes, it also has a backrest. This helps to ensure better posture throughout your workout and ultimately, improves comfort.

It’s also an extremely comfortable machine when used as an elliptical trainer. The range of motion feels natural and the large foot pedals allow for a great level of stability during your workout. The handlebars work in the same way as regular elliptical machine handlebars and thus, improve comfort and stability during training.

It’s certainly not perfect though, as there are some comfort issues. The main issue is that the short 15-inch stride length is likely to feel particularly uncomfortable if you’re over the 5’7″ mark (or perhaps even shorter). Typically, most standalone elliptical trainers offer a stride length of between 18 – 22-inches, so 15-inches is a little short. If you’re on the smaller side however, you might actually find this beneficial and more comfortable than a traditional elliptical machine.

Amazon review: The comfort level compares to one I had tried in the $2,000 range.

 

Performance (4.5/5)

The Proform Hybrid Trainer can only score well in terms of performance as after all, it essentially offers two-machines-in-one for a relatively low price tag of just under $400. Even if you take the dual-use of the machine out of the equation, the trainer still offers a lot when it comes to performance, both as an exercise bike and elliptical trainer.

Whether you’re using the Proform Hybrid Trainer in exercise bike or elliptical trainer mode, you’ll be able to choose from fourteen resistance levels giving you a huge amount of control over the intensity of your workout. Plus, the trainer uses something called SMR (Silent Magnetic Resistance) to ensure that each resistance adjustment is smooth, comfortable and natural. It does a good job too.

“The elliptical strider function works very smoothly.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

When using the trainer in exercise bike mode, you’ll be able to target your glutes, hamstrings and calves with ease. Simply increase the resistance level to vary the intensity. When using the trainer in elliptical mode, the stride feels natural, smooth and very low-impact; quite a feat for a hybrid machine. Plus, by using the handlebars (like with any standalone elliptical trainer), you’ll be able to get an upper-body workout, tone muscle and burn more calories.

There are also a total of fourteen built-in workout apps (or programs) to choose from, so there’s quite a lot of flexibility in terms of the workout programs on offer. The built-in target pacer also allows you to create a customised workout, which is a nice touch for a sub-$400 machine.

 

Ease Of Use & Convenience (4.5/5)

proform-hybrid-elliptical-trainer-lcd

Considering the fact that the Proform Hybrid Trainer is a 2-in-1 machine, it’s surprisingly convenient and easy to use. Switching between exercise bike and elliptical trainer takes just a few adjustments and can be done in a matter of seconds.

“The position of the pedals can be easily adjusted to accommodate different strides.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

It also features everything you might expect from a modern-day elliptical/exercise bike including a water bottle holder and optimally placed dual-grip EKG’s (allowing you to monitor your heart rate with ease). The fact that the trainer is on wheels gives you the added convenience of being able to move the machine with ease; simply wheel it across to your desired location.

The LCD display is easy to understand and displays/monitors everything you’d expect from a modern day fitness machine including your heart rate (if gripping the EKG’s), time and speed. The interface is easy to use too and it’s pretty easy to select any of the fourteen workout apps, even if you happen to be a bit of a technophobe.

It’s worth noting that the Proform Hybrid Trainer does take a bit of time and effort to put together. It’ll probably take a good two or three hours to complete the assembly but once it’s done, you’ll never have to worry about it again. You can opt for a professional installation (for a small additional fee) during the checkout process if you so desire.

 

Entertainment (1/5)

Unfortunately, the Proform Hybrid Trainer has virtually nothing to offer in the way of entertainment. It has no built-in sound system and even if you wish to listen to music on your headphones, there’s literally nowhere to rest your iPod/MP3 player unless you make use of the water bottle holder (which may not be convenient).

There’s also nowhere to put a book, e-reader or tablet computer either.

If you do opt for this machine and like entertainment while you workout, it might be best to assemble the machine in-front of the TV.

 

Warranty

  • Frame: Five Years
  • Electronic components & other parts: 90-days
  • Labor (in-home): 90-days

 

The Final Verdict

Overall, the Proform Hybrid Trainer is a great machine that delivers the benefits of an elliptical trainer and exercise bike in one low-priced machine. If you like to vary your workouts between an elliptical trainer and exercise bike but don’t have the space for two machines (or the budget), then the Proform Hybrid Trainer is a great option for you.

“This is definitely a 5-star device, especially when you factor in the price.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

Sure, there are a couple of features missing from the machine such as a sound system and book holder but typically, it’s only the more expensive mid-range machines that have these features anyway.

Perhaps the only small issue with this machine is the relatively short stride length. For those taller than average height, this may make using the trainer relatively uncomfortable, especially during long workout sessions.

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Precor EFX 5.33 Premium Series Elliptical Trainer Review

The Precor EFX 5.33 Premium Series Elliptical Trainer is a high-end machine manufactured by Precor; a premium fitness equipment manufacturer specialising in high-end fitness products. Their range of fitness products (including elliptical trainers) are often chosen by health clubs, universities, spas and other professional establishments around the world thanks to their exceptional level of quality.

The Precor EFX 5.33 is part of the companies premium home series and is definitely more suited to customers who are serious about quality fitness equipment. With a retail price in excess of $4,000, the Precor EFX 5.33 Premium Series is an elliptical trainer focussing on highly personalised workouts and other customisation options.

It’s packed with innovative features and technology to create a world-class experience including patented CrossRamp technology, electromagnetic resistance and an intuitive display console. It also features a variable stride length and a power adjustable ramp along with many other technologically advanced features.

 

Dimensions

  • 34 (width) x 63 (height) x 84 (depth) inches.
  • 350 pound (159kg) maximum weight limit.
  • 240 pounds (109kg) unpacked weight.

 

Key Features

  • 20 Resistance levels
  • CrossRamp: 15 to 30 degrees
  • 21 – 23-inch Adjustable Stride Length
  • Upper body range of motion: 12 to 19 inches
  • 15-inch Pedals
  • 3 inches Pedal spacing
  • 10 Workout Programs (including 1 aerobic, 1 cross training, 1 gluteals, 2 heart rate, 1 hill climb, 1 interval, 1 manual and 2 weight loss)
  • Ergonomic Handlebars
  • Electromagnetic Resistance
  • Touch Sensitive Display Console
  • Two User ID’s
  • Storage Shelf
  • QuickStart Technology

 

Comfort (9/10)

As you would expect from such a high-end machine, the Precor 5.33 Premium Series elliptical trainer excels when it comes to comfort. It’s obvious that the elliptical trainer has been designed with comfort as a top-priority and because of this, it has a range of features and technologies to ensure that the desired comfort level is (more than) achieved.

“The machine is easy to program, has a variety of levels, and it is a great overall workout!” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

Almost everything on the Precor EFX 5.33 Premium Series elliptical trainer is customisable as and you can imagine, this makes for an extremely comfortable experience. The stride length is adjustable between 21 and 23-inches which makes the machine perfect for users of almost any height, especially taller users that usually struggle in terms of limited stride lengths that many other ellipticals offer.

It also features ergonomic handlebars which are designed to help you tone and condition not only your upper-body, but your entire body. The upper body range of motion is 12 – 19-inches and thus, you can give your upper-body quite a workout if you so desire, you just have to adjust the machine accordingly.

Just about every other aspect of the machine has been designed for comfort too. The water bottle is in an optimum location directly in front of you; the handlebars feature heart-rate monitoring sensors; there are twenty different levels of resistance and the CrossRamp is automatically adjustable between 15 – 30 degrees.

 

Performance (9.5/10)

As far as performance is concerned, the Precor EFX 5.33 Premium Series elliptical trainer certainly delivers.

The use of CrossRamp technology makes targeting key muscle groups as simple as it’s ever going to get. The ramp is power-adjustable from 15 – 30 degrees and moves up and down at the push of a button. You can literally feel the engagement and disengagement of various muscle groups as you move the ramp up and down; plus, the variable stride length helps to add even more diversity to your workout.

“The programs are nice, and I love the variable incline of the track. It’s a great, sturdy machine.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

The electromagnetic resistance also adds to the performance of the EFX 5.33 as you can easily choose from twenty consistent resistance levels at the touch of a button. This gives you unprecedented control over the intensity of your workout as most other elliptical trainers typically offer less than half the number of resistance levels that the EFX 5.33 offers.

The Precor EFX 5.33 also features optimized biometrics which essentially help to create a natural smooth motion with low-impact. Because of this, using the EFX 5.33 feels smooth, sturdy and safe; it is also easy on your joints and muscles, helping to eliminate common aches that users of less-advanced elliptical trainers are likely to be all-too-familiar with.

The Precor EFX 5.33 Premium series offers a total of ten workout programs to choose from including aerobic, cross training, heart rate (x2), hill climb, interval, manual, weight loss (x2) and gluteals.

 

Ease Of Use & Convenience (9/10)

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The Precor EFX 5.33 is an extremely easy to use elliptical trainer, thanks in part to the use of patented QuickStart technology. This allows the user to begin his/her workout with just the touch of a button and eliminates the need for a complex set-up.

“The display is easy to work and gives a lot of good data on my workout.”Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

It also features an extremely intuitive user-interface and so choosing a quick cardiovascular workout can be achieved in just a few seconds. It’s also pretty straight-forward to choose a more in-depth or customised workout program if you so-desire.

In terms of general convenience, virtually everything has been taken care of. The water bottle holder is right in front of you, everything is fully adjustable via power-adjustable controls and the machine allows two user ID’s to be stored. This allows you to save your workouts and other information (e.g. height, weight) so that next time you come to use the machine, the initial lengthy set-up process is eliminated. This makes the Precor EFX 5.3 elliptical trainer perfect for couples.

The only minor criticism is the rather obscure choice of location for the on/off button. It is located at the back of the machine near the power plug. Depending on your chosen location for your Precor EFX 5.33 elliptical machine, this may make accessing the power switch a bit of a hassle.

 

Entertainment (7.5/10)

Unlike many other elliptical trainers on the market (some of which are significantly cheaper), the Precor EFX 5.33 Premium Series elliptical trainer doesn’t have an in-built sound system. Nor does it have any iPod/MP3 connectivity options.

The reason for this is likely pretty simple; usually the in-built sound systems on elliptical trainers offer nothing more than quality-frankly abysmal sound quality.

The Precor EFX 5.33 takes a much more “grown-up” approach to entertainment. Instead of a lousy in-built sound system, it simply features an integrated storage shelf giving you space for your water bottle and MP3 player or Smartphone. There is also a ledge that is perfectly suitable for holding a book, iPad, Kindle or other electronic tablet PC/e-reader device and a magazine storage rack below it.

 

Warranty

  • Frame & welds: Lifetime
  • Parts and wear items: Ten years
  • Labor (in-home): One year

 

The Final Verdict

The Precor EFX 5.33 Premium Series Elliptical Trainer might be one of the more expensive elliptical trainers on the market but quite simply, you get what you pay for. If you’re looking for a top-of-the-range feature-rich elliptical with highly customisable workout programs, a build-quality that’s second-to-none and a generous warranty, the Precor EFX 5.33 is the machine for you.

It is great to be able to go upstairs and workout and not have to drive to the gym. – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

Aside from the lack of an in-built sound system, there are virtually no areas that the Precor EFX 5.33 falls short (unless you want a tacky in-built sound system). It has a power-adjustable stride length and ramp, ergonomic handlebars, twenty levels of electromagnetic resistance, ten preset workout programs, an intuitive LCD display, a heart rate monitor and much more.

It also has a lifetime warranty of the frame and welds, along with a generous ten year warranty on parts and wear items. Basically, the Precor EFX 5.33 will last years, if not decades.

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Precor EFX 5.23 Elliptical Trainer Review

The Precor EFX 5.23 elliptical trainer is a mid-range/high-end machine that has been designed to offer a full-body workout. It’s absolutely packed with features including eight preset workout programs (including weight loss, interval and fat burner etc), ergonomic handlebars, sixteen resistance levels, Smart Rate technology (for monitoring your heart rate) and oozes quality.

It’s definitely one of the more costly elliptical trainers on the market coming in at around the $2,300 – $2,800 mark but for this price, you get an ergonomic, low-impact machine that performs smoothly and naturally. The overall design of the machine may be a little understated (at least we think it is) but don’t be fooled, it’s one of the most well-designed elliptical trainers on the market and the build-quality is second-to-none.

There’s very little to complain about with the Precor EFX 5.23 elliptical trainer, but it might not be suited to everyone.

 

Dimensions

  • 29 (width) x 62 (height) x 76 (depth) inches.
  • 183 pounds (97.5kg) unpacked weight.

 

Key Features

  • CrossRamp® Technology: Manual
  • Ramp Angle: 3 positions, 15°
  • Resistance Levels: 16
  • Console Type: LCD
  • QuickStart: Yes
  • Preset Programs: Cross Trainer, Fat Burner, Gluteals, Heart Rate, Hill Climb, Interval, Manual, Weight Loss
  • Number of Programs: 8
  • Electronic Readouts: Calories, Distance, Heart rate, Program profile, Resistance level, SmartRate®, Strides per minute, Time
  • Heart Rate Monitoring Touch: Yes
  • Telemetry: Yes, chest strap transmitter required
  • SmartRate®: Yes
  • Chest Strap Transmitter: Works with any Polar® compatible 5 KHz chest strap transmitter
  • 15-inch foot pedals (7-inches wide)

 

Comfort (9/10)

The Precor EFX 5.23 elliptical trainer excels when it comes to comfort. It has a patented low-impact EFX motion (hence the name) which is designed to ensure a smooth, natural, ergonomic motion throughout your workout. Not only this, but it has also been designed to ensure a low rate of perceived exertion which makes your workouts feel much more comfortable than they’re likely to feel with other elliptical machines, even if you happen to be working out quite vigorously. It also allows your heels to remain in contact with the foot pedals during use which helps to eliminate muscle and tendon stress.

“It works beautifully, quiet and smooth and just so comfortable to use.”Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

Precor’s passion for ergonomic design is continued throughout the design of the elliptical. For example, the moving handlebars have been designed not only to offer an ergonomic range of motion but also, to deliver a full body workout. They allow you to tone and condition your body while maintaining a natural range of motion, comfortable posture and a proper technique. This is an area that many elliptical trainers fall short, so it’s good to see Precor taking the opportunity to stand out from the crowd here.

The Precor EFX 5.23’s large 15-inch foot pedals are also extremely comfortable, even for those with large feet. However, one thing that does let the Precor EFX 5.23 elliptical trainer down slightly is the relatively short stride length. It’s only 18-inches which means that if you’re over the 5’7″ – 5’8″ mark, you might find this particular elliptical trainer a little uncomfortable to use.

 

Performance (9/10)

Performance is yet another area the Precor EFX 5.23 excels. It’s a quiet, ergonomic machine that feels extremely sturdy and high-quality when in use.

For those looking for an elliptical with a lot of versatility in terms of the workout programs on offer, look no further than the Precor EFX 5.23. It features eight preset programs including cross trainer, fat burner, heart rate, gluteals, interval, hill climb, weight loss and manual. There are also sixteen levels of resistance which gives you a great amount of control over the intensity of your workouts; it also allows you to tailor your workouts to your own unique fitness goals with ease.

“SmartRate gives you clear indication when you are exceeding your heart’s safety threshold.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

The Precor EFX 5.23 also features CrossRamp technology. This allows you to adjust the height of the elliptical and you can choose from three positions: high, medium and low. By altering the height of the CrossRamp, you can target specific lower-body muscle groups to further customise your workout routine. Essentially, the CrossRamp technology makes height adjustment easier and more straight-forward than on many other elliptical machines as there are only three options to choose from.

It should be noted that this is a manual process rather than an electronic one; this could definitely be improved upon but typically, this is what you’d expect for a machine in this price range.

Another useful addition to the Precor EFX 5.23 elliptical trainer is the companies patented Smart Rate technology. Essentially, this analyses your heart rate and takes into account your weight and age to help you to stay within your fat burn, cardio or peak-target zone. This is particularly useful for those looking to lose weight as it helps to ensure a more efficient workout driven by your individual fitness goals.

 

 

Ease Of Use & Convenience (8.5/10)

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The Precor EFX 5.23 is, on the whole, an easy and convenient elliptical trainer to use. Even the initial set-up of the machine should only take a couple of hours at the most. If you compare this with elliptical trainers such as the Sole E35, you’ll notice that the Precor EFX 5.23 can be put-together in around half the time.

“The display is clear. The handlebars are comfortable. In short, once you are up on this elliptical, time absolutely flies.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

The Precor EFX 5.23 remains convenient once it is set-up too. It has an easily accessible water bottle holder and book rest. The book rest is also suitable for holding your Smartphone, e-reader or tablet PC although it should be noted that when in use, any contents placed on the book rest will actually cover up the majority of the LCD screen. It’s not a big problem, but it is a small design flaw. Many elliptical trainers (even ones in the same price range as the EFX 5.23) have the same problem.

However, by far the most inconvenient thing about the Precor EFX 5.23 elliptical trainer is the obscure location of the on/off switch. For whatever reason, it’s located near the bottom of the machine at the rear. If you plan on placing your elliptical trainer against the wall, this could make switching the machine on/off a minor annoyance.

Making use of the SmartRate technology is easy and straight-forward too. You can either use the in-built sensors located on the ergonomic handlebars or for a slightly more accurate reading, a chest strap (not included).

 

Entertainment (5/10)

“There are not as many bells and whistles, but the machine itself is meant for business.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

For a relatively high-priced elliptical trainer, the Precor EFX 5.23 is slightly let-down by its lack of any entertainment features whatsoever. Unlike many other mid-range elliptical trainers. the Precor EFX 5.23 has no sound system to speak of, and no iPod/MP3 player connectivity.

If you’re the sort of person that usually listens to their music on headphones, this likely won’t be too much of a problem for you, there’s still a perfectly adequate book rest where your iPod/MP3 player can be placed.

 

Warranty

  • Frame & welds: Lifetime
  • Parts and wear items: Five years
  • Labor (in-home): One year

 

The Final Verdict

The Precor EFX 5.23 elliptical trainer is, for the most part, an excellent machine for anyone serious about fitness looking for a mid-range solution. The build-quality is excellent, it’s quiet and it has more workout programs and customisation options than most other elliptical machines on the market in this price range.

“I wanted a machine that I would have for years, enjoy using, and benefit from – this has fulfilled every expectation.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

Sure, the machine might be lacking a few mod-cons such as a sound system and cooling fan but truthfully, this might be a blessing in disguise. Typically, the sound systems and cooling fans built-in to most elliptical trainers are nothing more than gimmicks. The sound quality is usually terrible and the cooling fans leave a lot to be desired to say the least.

With the Precor EFX 5.23 elliptical trainer, Precor have focussed on what’s important. The ergonomic design of the machine (combined with the use of Precor patented technology) has created an elliptical trainer that puts comfort and performance above everything else. It’s also a lot smaller and more compact than many other elliptical trainers so if you have limited space, this could be the machine for you.

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Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Trainer Review

The Sole E35 elliptical trainer is one of the latest elliptical offerings from Sole Fitness, a well-known and highly regarded fitness equipment manufacturer based in North America (although the Sole E35 is available to purchase in countries around the globe including the USA, UK and Canada).

It’s a sturdy, high-quality machine that’s absolutely packed full of features, many of which you’d typically only usually find on high-end commercial elliptical trainers with (more than) double the price tag of the Sole E35. It’s a mid-level machine, falling within the $1,000 – $2,000 price range, and for this you get a great looking highly adjustable elliptical trainer that provides the end-user (you) with a challenging cardiovascular workout.

Not only does the Sole E35 elliptical trainer have an impressive set of features, but the build quality and adjustability of the machine leave little to be desired. The Sole E35 successfully blurs the line between home-use and commercial elliptical trainers, although there are one or two tiny ‘niggles’ to be aware of.

 

Dimensions & Technical Specifications

  • 27 (width) x 58 (height) x 83 (depth) inches.
  • 375 pound (170kg) maximum weight limit.
  • 215 pounds (97.5kg) unpacked weight.

 

Key Features

  • 29-pound heavy-duty flywheel (extremely sturdy and smooth)
  • Quiet drive system (exceptionally quiet)
  • 20 – 22 inch adjustable stride length
  • 15-inch pedals
  • 7.5 inch LCD display console
  • Six standard programs
  • Two customisable programs
  • Two heart-rate programs
  • Built-in fan
  • Built-in sound system (with optional headphone jack)
  • Water bottle holder
  • Includes chest strap heart rate monitor (very accurate)
  • Power adjustable incline (up to 30 degrees)
  • Pulse sensors on handlebars
  • Multi-grip handlebars

 

Comfort (9/10)

The Sole Fitness E35 elliptical trainer is an extremely comfortable machine thanks to a combination of factors. It’s heavy-duty flywheel combined with the high ratio gear system makes for an exceptionally comfortable and fluid ride whether you opt to use the machine in forward or reverse mode.

“I’d recommend this elliptical for anyone who wants a comfortable, easy workout in their home.”Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

The four wheels running on heavy-duty rails at the rear of the machine further help to create a comfortable, stable and smooth experience and they also help to reduce side-to-side foot pedal motion; this can often cause discomfort on many less sturdy elliptical trainers.

Another big advantage comes thanks to the unique design of the Sole E35’s handlebars. Unlike many elliptical machines, the handlebars allow for a variety of different gripping options which makes the E35 an extremely comfortable and versatile elliptical trainer to use. The Sole E35 also features incline and resistance increase and decrease buttons on the handlebars which not only improves comfort but also safety (as you don’t have to let go of the handlebars in order to alter the incline and/or resistance).

The machine has an adjustable stride length of between 20 and 22 inches; because of this, the Sole E35 elliptical trainer is perfectly suitable for anyone 5’3″ or taller as the stride length is easily adjustable to suit varying heights. Even those freakishly tall fitness fanatics (i.e. 6’0″ and above) will find this machine comfortable thanks to this smart feature.

 

Performance (9/10)

Performance-wise, the Sole E35 elliptical trainer is one of the better performers on the market; particularly within the mid-level price range.

One of the most noticeable aspects (or unnoticeable, perhaps) is the incredibly quiet performance of the machine. To put it simply, the Sole E35 is whisper quiet and if you so desire, you could easily watch TV without having to crank up the volume. This is great if another person happens to be in the same room, as chances are that they won’t even notice you exercising in the background. – Skip to the 10:04 mark in the video above to hear (or perhaps not to hear) the Sole E35 in action.

“The thing is SOLID and it’s so quiet I can use it in the same room as someone else watching TV without cranking the volume” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

In terms of the workout programs on offer, there are a total of ten to choose from. There are six standard programs, two heart rate programs and two custom programs. This gives you a particularly high level of flexibility over your workout and the intuitive 7.5-inch LCD console makes programming the perfect workout straightforward and easy. The incline can be adjusted from 0 – 30 degrees which allows you to individually target lower body muscle groups with ease. Incline and resistance are also easily adjustable via the handlebar buttons.

If you want to keep an eye on your heart/pulse rate with the Sole E35 elliptical machine, we recommend using the included heart rate chest strap as it is impeccably accurate; much more accurate than the readings produced by the sensor systems on the handlebars.

The Sole E35 does have a small fan built-in but as is the case with many elliptical trainers, the performance leaves a lot to be desired. It’s by far the noisiest feature of the machine and is certainly not enough to cool you down during an intense workout session.

Overall, the Sole E35 performs well and is also extremely smooth thanks to its 29-pound flywheel, high gear ratio and front drive system. It simply glides and is an absolute pleasure to use.

 

Ease Of Use & Convenience (9/10)

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As already mentioned, the 7.5-inch LCD console is extremely easy to use and the blue backlit display looks great too. It displays everything you might want to know including your time, distance, heart rate, pace and workout program. It’s features a simple user-interface that’s pretty easy to get to grips with. If you’ve ever used a commercial elliptical trainer in the gym, you’ll likely be somewhat familiar with the layout of the LCD display already.

The 2013 model of the Sole E35 (the one currently being sold on Amazon) also features a couple of well-thought-out redesigns including the addition of incline and resistance buttons on the handlebars and on each side of the LCD display. Because of this, controlling the E35 is much easier and more convenient when compared with the previous model. It’s certainly no deal-breaker, but it’s a nice addition that further emphasises the great design and build quality of the machine.

As you would expect from a mid-range elliptical trainer, the Sole E35 has a water bottle holder conveniently located directly in-front of you. Below the LCD console display, there’s also a small ledge which is perfect for a resting a book, iPad, Kindle or a similar device.

“Assembly took two of us about 2 hours. Overall, it went together quite easily.” – Click here to see the full review on Amazon.

The only slightly difficult and inconvenient aspect is the initial setup of the machine. It’ll probably take a good few hours to setup the elliptical for first use as it consists of well over 100 parts. What’s more, the boxed weight of the machine is around 300lbs (136kg), so you might need the help of a friend or family member to help move it to your desired location.

If this is a big problem, you can opt to pay a small fee ($75 – $100) for the professional setup and assembly of your elliptical trainer in your home. This is an optional extra during the checkout process.

 

Entertainment (9/10)

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The Sole E35 elliptical trainer has a built-in sound system which can easily be connected to your iPod or MP3 player of your choice.

“There is a nice little ledge built into the display which is perfect for fitting an iPad and built in speakers that can be utilized.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

The sound quality is certainly nothing special, but it’s not terrible either. At the end of the day, most of us aren’t looking for studio-level sound quality in an elliptical machine, so the sound system will be perfectly adequate for most users.

You do have the option to plug a pair of headphones directly into the machine itself if you prefer, which will likely be the best option for any serious audiophiles out there.

 

Warranty (9/10)

  • Frame: Lifetime
  • Electronic components & other parts: Five years
  • Labor (in-home): Two years

 

The Final Verdict

The Sole E35 elliptical trainer stacks up pretty well and is definitely one of the better mid-range elliptical machines on offer. It’s packed with features (many of which originated in high-end commercial elliptical trainers) and is easily adjustable. It also looks fantastic and the build quality is exceptional to say the least.

“Overall, 5 stars and highly recommended.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

Yes, the fan isn’t the most powerful fan in the world and it tends to be a little on the noisy side; plus the initial set-up might take a good few hours but on the whole, you’ll struggle to find a better elliptical trainer than the Sole E35 in this price range.

Putting the minor issue surrounding the somewhat lengthy initial setup of the machine aside, there is very little that could be improved with the Sole E35 elliptical trainer. So if you’re in the market for a mid-range elliptical machine, we’d highly recommend this machine.

What’s more, considering the Sole E35’s rather generous warranty, it’ll no doubt serve as a great machine for years to come too.

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Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical Trainer Review

The Horizon Fitness EX-59 is one of the latest elliptical trainers to be released by the well-known fitness equipment manufacturer; Horizon Fitness and straight away we can tell you, it’s a seriously impressive (and pretty good-looking) machine.

If you’re familiar with the company and their existing product range, you’ll already know that they are highly respected within the health and fitness industry (having been producing their range of fitness equipment for more than three decades) and their products are often defined by their exceptional build quality along and their affordable/semi-affordable price range.

The EX-59 elliptical trainer is no exception and carries the same quality standards existing users will already be familiar with. However, the machine also comes complete with a series of innovative features that, for an “entry-level” machine, are second-to-none.

 

Dimensions & Technical Specifications

  • 22 (width) x 65 (height) x 73 (depth) inches.
  • 275 pound (125kg) maximum weight limit.
  • 178 pounds (81kg) unpacked weight.

 

Key Features

  • SIXstar Certified™ to ensure a smooth, comfortable and natural operation.
  • 3 LED displays offering extensive workout monitoring capabilities (including heart rate, calories-burned and time).
  • ZEROgap™ overlapping pedal motion technology help to eliminate stress on the back and hips.
  • MP3 port with Sonic Surround™ speakers (plus optional headphone audio jack).
  • In-built COOLfit™ fan with three settings helps to keep you cool.
  • 16 electronic resistance levels giving you control over workout intensity.
  • Heavy-duty 14.3 pound flywheel (very sturdy and smooth).
  • 10 built-in programming options including 3 targets (distance, calorie and time), 3 workout programs (weight loss, hills, reverse train) and 1 custom workout.
  • 18-inch stride length.
  • Space-saving design.
  • Low step-on height.

 

Comfort (8/10)

The Horizon EX-59 excels when it comes to comfort thanks, in part, to its SIXstar Certification™ (read more about SIXStar Certification™ here).

It’s this combination of smart technologies that come together in the final product to provide a smooth, comfortable and exceptionally ergonomic machine. The ZEROgap™ pedal placement does a great job of eliminating back and hip strain making it considerably more comfortable than a lot of other elliptical trainers out there, especially if you’re planning to use it for rather lengthy workouts.

The ComfortFIT™ rubberized footpads are also great for eliminating common discomfort on the soles of your feet (although a good pair of trainers is still recommended).

The stride is moderate, but comfortable for both myself (at 5′ 10″) and my son (6′ 2″). – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

Perhaps the best feature though is the COOLfit™ fan. This is truly a spot of genius as it really does cool you down. What’s more, it’s a feature that most of the elliptical trainers found at top gyms don’t even possess. Not bad for an entry-level machine.

The only thing that might be worth noting is that the EX-59 has a relatively short stride length. So, if you’re well over the six-foot mark, it might be worth considering an elliptical trainer with a slightly longer stride length.

 

Performance (9/10)

As mentioned above, the EX-59 model comes complete with 10 different programs to choose from – three workouts, three targets, one customized program and a few other options for weight loss or maintenance. There’s also the manual program so essentially, there’s something for everyone, no matter what your particular goal is (plus if there isn’t, you can easily create your own customized program).

The flywheel doesn’t need too much power to run, so you benefit from a quick start while the magnetic brakes ensure that you can stop immediately.

Overall, it’s a pretty quiet machine with a smooth motion, decent feature-set and great design. It feels sturdy and solid when you’re using it which is fantastic, especially for such a small and lightweight machine.

 

Ease Of Use & Convenience (9/10)

The console is extremely well-designed and intuitive and the 3 LED displays show important information (such as calories, distance, heart-rate and speed) in a simplistic and clear manner; they can also be customized easily. Stop and start buttons are color-coded (red and green respectively) – very straightforward.

“I put it together mostly by myself and I’m a 21yr old female with average strength and it wasn’t too hard.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

The step-on height is very low which means that you can easy step on-and-off the trainer with little difficulty, no matter how tall or short you happen to be. This goes some way towards eliminating accidents too.

Setting up the machine is likely going to take around an hour (maybe two) but once you’ve got it set up, it’ll sit quietly in the corner (even when it’s in use) and won’t take up too much space either.

horizon-ex-59-elliptical-trainer-components

The EX’59′s built-in MP3 holder, book stand and drinks holders are all convenient additions to the machine too.

 

Entertainment (9/10)

“The speakers are of decent quality, nothing fancy, but they work fine.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

The Horizon EX-59 has in-built Sonic Surround™ speakers along with an audio jack if you prefer headphones. Truthfully, the sound from the speakers is pretty good but it obviously isn’t exceptional. So, if you’re a die-hard audiophile, you might be left somewhat disappointed but for most, the sound will be perfectly acceptable.

It’s possible to plug your headphones directly into the elliptical trainer and there’s also the option to plug in your iPod/MP3 player (the trainer even comes with a lead to do this with).

 

Warranty (9/10)

  • Frame: Lifetime
  • Brakes: 20 years
  • Labor & Parts: One year

 

Drawbacks

For some reason, the EX-59 doesn’t have an on/off button. Instead, you have to plug and unplug the item.

 

The Final Verdict (9/10)

The Horizon Fitness EX-59 elliptical trainer is definitely one of the better entry-level ellipticals on the market. It’s easy to use, offers excellent value for money and the build quality is exceptionally good for such a low-cost, compact machine. What’s more, it looks pretty stylish too.

“This. Thing. Is. Awesome” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

Sure, it doesn’t offer every feature under the sun but considering it’s a relatively low-cost entry-level trainer, why would it? If you want more built-in workout routines, programming options or a larger stride length, it might be worth looking at some of the more mid-level (and therefore more expensive) elliptical trainers.

For the price, it does pack a few surprises such as the built-in heart rate monitor and the three-speed fan, both of which are incredibly useful.

We love this product and most reviewers on Amazon also agree; one reviewer even titled their review “This. Thing. Is. Awesome.”. Read more Amazon reviews here.

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