We all have our own criteria for selecting ellipticals or any other equipment for that matter, and the most important ones are value for money, efficiency, durability, and manufacturer support. Minor factors that are nonetheless considered by the potential buyer are looks and extra features.
Nordic Track ellipticals
Nordic Track, a trusted manufacturer of fitness equipment, is known for its high-end ellipticals but they have an affordable but outstanding model as well. This is the Nordic Track AutoStrider 990, which combines standard features and extras that you can otherwise only find on more expensive models.
It has a decent 18-inch stride length which is better than the 14- and 16-inch stride lengths offered by other budget ellipticals. Stride length is important as it targets the workout of a full range of muscles and longer lengths burn more calories.
The Nordic Track AutoStrider 990 has an easy-to-read console and is easily folded for easy storage – a convenient feature especially for those living in small apartments or pads.
This model is not a commercial machine and won’t last as long as higher-priced ellipticals, but at $999, it has lots of workout programs and a motorized power ramp, or incline, that lets you work out various muscle groups by increasing your workout slope.
Its Commercial 1300 model is also one of Nordic Tracks’ best ellipticals, and at $699, you’ll only have raves for its design and features. It has a Quick Target Toning feature which allows you to work out those trouble spots while keeping the rest of your body toned. All you need to do is specify the muscle group and the machine will automatically control the Power Incline ramp and the resistance for you.
This brand offers expensive and hi-tech ellipticals which offer all the wonderful features you figure a good elliptical should have. However, they also have low-end models such as the Proform 1280, 1080S, and the 880 – all priced below $1,000. Despite their affordable price, they all have great features such as gel grips, pre-programmed routines, and even video games.
This brand is outsold by Icon - makers of Proform, Reebok, Image, and Weslo products – but Horizon ellipticals are popular with first-time buyers because of their affordability. Even their popular 2.1 Elite model retails for only $900.
The EX Series models use a front-drive design, and keep in mind that many users prefer the rear drive now because of its more natural motion. The best thing to do is to go to the store and try one out so you could see for yourself if you’re okay with the front-drive style.
Many of these models use a power incline similar to that you see on treadmills. This feature helps work out the different muscles of the lower body. Low-end Horizons have short strides that tend to be bouncy and may feel unnatural. Note, too, that the cheaper models may have parts that are not too durable, so if you want a unit that you could use for a longer time or one that can withstand frequent use, you may have to look for higher-priced models.