Exercise! - Elliptical advice

View Full Version : Elliptical advice

12-08-2009, 06:01 PM
I am trying to embark on exercising and since I can't join a gym right now I am thinking about getting an ellipitical but man they cost mucho $$$$$$

so insted of throwing my $$ down the drain i am wondering about what I should be looking for in an ellipitical.

Any particular brands?
Whats the differene between stride length? is it important?

I want something sturdy. I am 5'9 and 230lbs and i don't want to break it.

So give me opinions on brands etc.


12-08-2009, 07:10 PM
Well the first thing I'd ask is, what is your budget?

My personal opinion is that if you don't have at least $1,000 to spend, then I'd look at something other than an elliptical.

Stride length is important because a short stride length can mean that an elliptical could actually hurt your knees. For your height, you'll probably want a 20 inch stride length, maybe 22. I have an elliptical that has an adjustable stride length and they each have their benefits and I've used all the lengths at one point. I think even though I have short legs, I like 20 inches.

12-08-2009, 08:09 PM
We got ours from Costco for around $700. I used it at my heaviest without any problems, still loving it by the way.

12-08-2009, 08:21 PM
I've personally never found a decent priced one I like. I always like the gym-quality ones that cost a gajillion dollars! But craigslist is a good place to look for cheap ones

12-08-2009, 10:49 PM
I bought an elliptical last February when I was around 240 pounds. I took a leap of faith and, after much research, I bought a Sole E35. I think it was around $1200, so it definitely wasn't cheap. I had tried the machines at Costco and Sears, but they all felt rickety and squeakly and unstable. The staff at both stores assured me that they were just poorly assembled, but online research showed that people tended to have trouble with some of those units so I went ahead and got the Sole. I haven't regretted it one bit. The only problem with it is that I have to put it in my dining room because there isn't anywhere else in the house it will fit!

It has a 20" stride length, which is great for us tall girls. And it has a weight capacity of 350, so you're well under that and should be fine. It came in several big pieces and was delivered by a big truck into my garage, but my 21-year-old son and I were able to get it in the house and put it together by ourselves.

12-08-2009, 11:08 PM
I have both an elliptical and a treadmill and if I were to only have one piece of equipment, it would be the treadmill. The elliptical does not feel good to me. It's a really nice one, gym quality Life Fitness, but honestly, my feet go to sleep on it after about 20 minutes and my knees start to hurt soon after. I like the range of things I can do on the treadmill (walk, run, hills...) better and I feel like there is more flexibility as far as being able to make good use of it regardless of my fitness level.

12-09-2009, 03:00 AM
Part of me does wish that I had purchased a treadmill. I'm planning to move to a different house in the spring, and I will make sure I have room for a home gym so I can get a treadmill for running when the weather is bad. I think I bought the elliptical because I really felt it gave me a good workout when I had tried it at the gym years ago. And yeah, my feet tend to fall asleep on mine after awhile, too. I can adjust the angle of the footpads but thus far it hasn't really seemed to make a difference.

12-10-2009, 12:50 AM
thanks for the help ladies... i always thought or at least bought into that elliptical would be better than a treadmill.. i guess its a matter of opinions...

i am still researching and seeing whats out there... I would like one that will last if i buy one... so i guess i will keep looking... thanks for the different brand names to help me continue my search...

I know someone who has a Free Spirit ellipitcal and it is used for $175 but i don't know the stride length or anything.. I did get on it for a few minutes but thats about all that i could last.

12-10-2009, 11:19 AM
tricia, do you have a budget? I'm guessing you want something in the low hundreds?

If you do, I'd look at something like a gazelle instead. My mom has a gazelle and it works (although it is squeaking and annoying to me). It just costs a lot of money to make a good elliptical because of the parts involved. The cheapest elliptical recommended by Consumer Reports is about $900.

Another option would be an exercise bike. You can generally buy them for a couple hundred dollars.

I personally spent over $2000 for an elliptical and part of the reasons was I really wanted an elliptical and the ellipticals that cost around $1000 were disappointing and flimsy. I got a LifeFitness and it is a great elliptical. I know a couple people on the forum have the same one and also really like it.

If someone is selling a used elliptical for $175, you could definitely try it but I'd be aware that depending on stride length and also on quality, it could hurt your knees and it could fall apart relatively quick.

Is this the elliptical?

If so it has an 18 inch stride length which is the shortest I'd recommend on an elliptical. It also has 2 reviews, one good, one bad.

12-12-2009, 12:07 AM
my budget is up to $1500. I really want to research and would be willing to spend more but I don't want to through away the money. I want quality and something that will last.

I am thinking of going around to different stores and give them a try out and see them in person...

12-12-2009, 12:09 AM
that elliptical doesn't look like it... i just remember the Free Spirit logo.. He did state they got it from Sears..

They are selling it because my pt can no longer use it d/t physical limitations.

12-13-2009, 10:56 AM
If your budget is up to $1500, I'd recommend looking into a Sole Elliptical. It was the one I was going to buy before I found my LifeFitness heavily discounted.

I'd recommend going to a specialty exercise equipment store, that is where I tried out the Sole and others. Sears, Dick's and other stores had pretty flimsy ellipticals.

12-13-2009, 11:02 AM
I just wanted to mention that I once bought a Precor elliptical....what I thought was the gold standard of elliptical machines. Well, I was VERY wrong. It wasn't the model that you see at they gyms, but it used to be the one that was first seen in gyms. It ended up having SO many problems and I had to spend hundreds of dollars trying to repair it and now, it's just an ugly waste of space that is sooo huge and heavy that I just leave it as is. If I had to do it again and I really didn't want a gym membership, I would ONLY buy at Costco because with Costco, the return policy is the absolute best.

Sorry this post sounds so negative. I'm now very happy with my gym membership. ;)

12-14-2009, 12:35 PM
luckymommy - I'm not surprised about the Precor. I used to love Precors in the gym but when I researched the home machines, I wasn't impressed. Especially after trying them! The home machines for the Precor don't seem to get high ratings for value and definitely don't feel to be as high quality as some of the other Ellipticals.

12-14-2009, 06:20 PM
I'm like you, I really want a gym-quality elliptical at home but can't afford it. Last year about this time, I went online and just started looking at different options and came across the Gazelle. I got one for $90 delivered from Amazon. It is not the same as an elliptical and it doesn't have the same resistance options, but for $90 it has been a great little machine to hop on in the morning for a half hour while I watch my TiVo.

About 10 years ago I bought an Orbitrek-a cheap alternative to real ellipticals. There were lots of infomercials for it, and I think it cost about $250. It SUCKED. So I was reluctant to spend even $90 on the Gazelle but it had awesome reviews on Amazon and everywhere else I looked online, and I am glad I went for it. It will have to tide me over until I get thousands of dollars to spend on the real thing. :)

Here's a link to the Gazelle Edge at Amazon, looks like they're running the same deal I got last year.

01-06-2010, 08:32 PM
Feb 2010 Consumer Reports Magazine did an article on which is the best one to buy. I just got the magazine in the mail today.