Exercise! - Elliptical purchase impending

View Full Version : Elliptical purchase impending

09-24-2009, 03:15 PM
Ok, so the husband seems serious about getting healthy, losing weight and working out. We're going Saturday to buy an elliptical trainer.

Doing online research (our only area seller of any reputation is Sears), I've found these:

1) Nordic Track Audio Strider 990, regular 1,299.99 on sale for $849.88
A review, however, said max weight load is 240 pounds. Which means my husband couldn't use it UNTIL he loses 35 pounds, which defeats the purpose. Has anyone started heavier than 240 pounds and used one successfully?

2) Nordic Track Audio Strider 800, on sale for $699.88. Review said it's a scaled back version of the 990 but still a good buy.

3) Pro Form Space Saver DX, at Academy, on sale for $799.99. Review said it was GOOD, but had some vibration in the frame.

Any experiences with any of these?

Shannon in ATL
09-24-2009, 03:29 PM
I have the Audio Strider 990 - I'm guessing that you are looking at a new one? They redesigned them in 2009, the newer version has a longer stride length than mine has, mine is 18-20, the new version is 18"-22". It is rated by Nordic Track up to 325 lbs, I think. We haven't tested that. DH has used ours with no trouble, but he also weighs less than 240. It seems pretty sturdy to me, I periodically tighten the screws on it because they loosen over time. I really like it because it has an adjustable incline. Nice feature for an elliptical.

I don't know the difference between the 990 & the 800. Something made me go with the 990 over the 800, if I remember what it was I'll come back and edit. :) ETA - remembered why. The powered ramp on the 990 v. the manual ramp on the 800 and the stride length. The 800 is 18", the current 990 is 18"-22". How tall is DH? If he is 6" or over the 18" will likely be too short for him and hurt his knees. My old ProForm was 18" and DH found it uncomfortable. And the powered ramp is cool as heck - adjusts with a touch of the button as you are exercising. This way I can change the incline on the fly without having to stop, got down, break the flow, change the incline, try to start again.

I had a ProForm before I got my Audio Strider and I will never buy another one of those again. It was a different model - the plastic pieces into which the arms bolted down wore through after three months of use, I bought replacement pieces which didn't fit, could never get the right parts from ProForm. I bought the Audio Strider in a moment of frustration over that situation, actually.

09-24-2009, 03:32 PM
The differences between the 990 and 800, it said, are mainly just that the 800 has manual incline adjustment and fewer bells and whistles...I think the manual adjustment would be a pain....

09-24-2009, 04:09 PM
FWIW, it was a NordicTrack elliptical with adjustable incline that broke and threw me into a wall, resulting in 4 months (and counting) of pretty constant shoulder pain. So they're not my favorite brand at the moment! One of the welds broke.

Shannon in ATL
09-24-2009, 04:31 PM
Amanda - didn't realize it was a NT machine. Hmm. It broke right at the flywheel, right? How long had you been using it? I never fold mine up because I read it can break along those welds if you fold it too much. Haven't thought about the others.

09-24-2009, 04:36 PM
Mine wasn't a folding kind - it was all one, solid piece (and seemingly pretty sturdy). The weld broke where the right pedal arm connected to the wheel on the incline ramp.

09-24-2009, 04:49 PM
I have a Pro Form (don't know the model off the top of my head). My mom has one as well. Neither one of us has ever had a problem, and I quite like it, actually. No vibrations, no weird sounds, very sturdy. One thing I like a lot is that the resistance is great. (At the highest level, I can barely move it!). And it has pre-set programs that are prettty challenging.

09-24-2009, 05:15 PM
Before you buy it new, I would recommend looking for it used- my husband and I bought a bowflex worth over $1000 for $250 on craigslist. :)

09-24-2009, 05:21 PM
I have an objection to the existence of Craigslist....seeing as how it's helping KILL the newspaper industry (which I work for). But I'll give it a look and see anyway. :)

09-24-2009, 05:26 PM
And in buying a used elliptical, how would you be sure it was put together correctly or not misused? Did you have any reservations, Beerab?

09-24-2009, 05:35 PM
we have a nordic track cx 925...it has a plastic sprocket that is broken for the 2nd time...im not fixing it again...gonna dump it...if all nordic tracks are like this one, id stay away

09-25-2009, 01:01 AM
I looked at the Nordic Tracks but all the ones I tried out at Sears and Costco seemed rickety. Both places told me that they were probably just put together wrong, but that rickety feeling plus reviews on repair difficulties kind of put me off on Nordic Track.

I ended up buying a Sole E35. It was a little more than the Nordic Track machine but it got awesome reviews and I like the fact that it's got a longer stride, one-touch incline, preset programs as well as programmable, etc. There are lots of incline levels and lots of resistance levels. I was a little worried about buying something onine without the ability to test it, but I don't have a moment's regret (other than I didn't measure beforehand and didn't realize there wouldn't be enough headroom in my 80 year old basement, so it's currently in my dining room!).

It came packed in a huge box, but my 21 year old son and I managed to wrestle it into the house and put it together over a couple of evenings. The instructions were clear and I haven't had a moment's trouble with it. I recommend it, but realize that the price is a little steep. I bought it because I was desperate for exercise and knew that I would use it if I sprang that much money on it!!!

09-25-2009, 09:00 AM
I just wanted to add, make sure you try it in the store before you buy it. I believe that is very important when it comes to buying something like this.

09-25-2009, 10:35 AM
I'm buying one in Feb and I am finding this thread incredibly helpful! I think I will definitely stay away from a Nordic Track. ;)

09-25-2009, 10:35 AM
Right now we've got a Nordic Track Audio Strider 990 reserved at Sears (they only had one!) but we intend to try them ALL out at the store. Online reviews (from a site a member of 3FC recommended previously) were great, AND it's Consumer Reports recommended. We thought about Craigslist, but don't like the idea of buying something like an elliptical online from someone who may have put it together wrong, let their kids hang off the handles, etc. We want to get one this weekend, but if we're unsure of what we're getting after being on it, we're not buying...

Thanks for the advice!

09-25-2009, 02:47 PM
Just making sure we're covering all bases....has anyone heard of/used a Star Trac Fitness 4830 Total Body Elliptical. I find ZERO reviews online...it's on sale this weekend from $999.99 to $499.99, so it's a good deal if it's a good elliptical, and the other falls through...

Shannon in ATL
09-25-2009, 02:59 PM
I know Nordic Track gets a bad rap, and the flywheel coming off Amanda's and throwing her off was terrible, but I figure that you can have problems no matter what the brand. (In another thread we were talking about Honda's - I love them and have never had trouble out of five of them, another poster had a CRV that was plagued with repair troubles....) My Audio Strider 990 is over a year old now and I haven't had any trouble with it. Make sure it is put together properly, visually inspect it periodically, tighten the screws every week or so and unless you have a catastrophic failure like Amanda's you should be fine. The Audio Strider has less plastic parts than my ProForm did - that was my problem with the PF. A plastic part wore through and then couldn't be replaced. I looked at the major connections before purchase to make sure that none of them were plastic.