We already reviewed the best ellipticals regardless of price, but for this article we are going to focus only on units that sell for less than $1000.
In these cheaper elliptical trainers the construction quality is typically poorer, the feature sets are reduced, and the warranties are not as long. If you have a household where there will be multiple users, or larger people – typically over six feet or 225 pounds – then we recommend spending more money to get a higher quality model. However, for single users or smaller people then some of these cheaper machines can make a good value buy.
Below we review our picks for the best elliptical machines under $1000.
Our choice for the best elliptical machine under $1000 is the AFG 3.1 AE which sells for $999. It was named as a Best Buy by the leading consumer magazine. For this price range, the parts are the amongst the best quality you can get and the machine is pretty quiet although some users have complained of a squeaking sound that develops over time. It features 20 resistance settings, 20 positions of incline, 10 programs, and a fixed 20 inch stride length.
The best elliptical under $800 is the Horizon Fitness EX-59-02 which sells for $799. The EX-59-02 won’t blow you away, but offers decent construction and smooth operation at a more affordable price. It features 10 programs, 16 levels of resistance, mp3 input on the console, speakers, and a headphone output. It has a fixed 18-inch stride length that might be too short for taller people, especially those of you over six feet tall.
The A.C.T. series is designed to save space, thus the $999 NordicTrack A.C.T. Commercial Elliptical is a good choice for those of you who don’t have a lot of room since it takes up a smaller 54 x 31.5 x 64.25 inch footprint. Some features include one-touch controls, 32 workout apps, 24 resistance levels, heart rate monitor in handlebars, adjustable stride from 18 to 22 inches, and adjustable cushioned pedals.
The Sole Fitness E25 provides one of the heavier flywheels, 25 pounds, in a unit costing $999. That means a smoother, consistent motion for you. It also is pretty well built and reliable for that price. It features a 20-22 inch adjustable stride length, pulse grip and chest strap heart rate monitors, 20 resistance levels, and 20 incline positions from 0-30 degrees. We would recommend this unit for anyone who needs an elliptical with some adjustability for under $1000.
One of the nice features of the $700 NordicTrack E 7.7 Elliptical is that it has a fold-up design that takes up the smallest footprint possible when not in use. It also has a 0-20 degree power adjustable incline ramp that changes your stride length, 24 workout apps, heart rate monitor through hand grips, and cushioned over sized pedals. The construction quality is decent and gives you a good value for your money.
The ProForm 510 E sells for about $600. It has an adjustable incline up to 20 degrees and an adjustable stride length of 18-20 inches. Also features a dual grip heart rate monitor, sound system, and 18 preset workouts. The warranty is not quite as good for this model with only 1 year coverage on parts, but for someone on a budget this is a decent elliptical machine.
The Nautilus E616 sells for about $900, although we have seen it as low as $750 at times on Amazon. It comes with a lot of features including 29 different workout programs, 2 LCD displays, 20-inch stride path, 0-11% motorized incline adjustment, 25 resistance levels, fan, and speakers. It seems to have an OK build quality, although it probably would not withstand the abuse of multiple large users in one home. One other negative is that the heart rate monitor doesn’t usually work quite right.
Although machines in the lower price range typically do not last as long and are of a poor build quality, if you really do not want to spend a lot of money then we would recommend the $399 Schwinn A40 Elliptical Machine as the best under $500. The construction of this model saves money, but it is a poorer design that often ends up in premature failure. It features 8 resistance levels, 7 different workout programs, console with reading rack and water bottle holder, grip heart rate monitors, articulating foot plates, and a fixed 17.5-inch stride length.
The A40 would be OK for a single user who does not weigh too much, but we would not recommend this model for multiple users or anyone over 200 pounds.
Another lower cost machine is the Gold’s Gym Stridetrainer 410 which sells for about $400. Much like other lower priced models, its reliability and construction quality is not the greatest. It does feature 12 workouts, 12 digital resistance settings, iFit Workout Card compatible, music port, speakers, 3-position pedals, dual-grip heart rate monitor, and fixed 18-inch stride length.
Again we would not recommend the 410 for a larger person or multiple users, but for a single small user under six foot tall and under 200 pounds then it would be OK.
The cheapest elliptical machine on our list is the Gold’s Gym StrideTrainer 310 at $250. We agree with one reviewer who said, “they are not bad machines for what they are – which is essentially disposable machines.” If you buy a 310 don’t expect to get more that a few years worth of use and even less if used more consistently. Having said that, users on Amazon still rate it at 3.3 stars which is actually not too bad. It does feature 6 workouts, 10 digital resistance levels, dual-grip heart rate monitor, water bottle holder, and a fixed 14-inch stride length.
Some people actually seem to really like the 310, but if you are a larger person, stay away from this unit and look for something better.
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