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Is a less-expensive elliptical machine worth it?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm looking on CL for an elliptical, and the ProForms, etc., are all over the place.  My knees are beginning to hurt when I run daily on my treadmill & I'm wondering if an elliptical might be better.


When I read the online reviews, most of them are "meh!" about the lower-price ones and say to spend the money on the more expensive ones --- but they invariably link to purchasing sites, so I'm not sure if their motivation is financial in this case.


Does anyone here have any insight into this?  :)

post #2 of 6

I can tell you I have owned a very cheap elliptical (I forget the brand) and a more expensive one (Nordictrak). They both collect dust the same in my basement. winky.gif


In all seriousness, I feel like the more expensive version is a "smoother" workout, but I don't really use any of the fancy programs or settings (or the iPod input). The only things I use on my more expensive model are the fan and the timer, both of which could be accomplished with a watch and a desk fan. It's also a lot easier to adjust the resistance.


I am larger busted (34J) and my knees bother me too much with a high impact workout. I bought the cheap elliptical, and it definitely helped me to be more comfortable during a workout (and I felt like I could go longer since I wasn't in pain). I decided to trade el cheapo in for a "better" model when Sears was having a major sale.


If your options are lower-price or nothing, definitely get the lower-priced. If you have a little more money to spend, maybe check out some models at a store and see if you would use any of the features or not, and that can help you make your decision.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks!  That is encouraging.  I appreciate your input.

post #4 of 6

We got our Schwinn elliptical from Sears, about a year ago, on a 50% off sale. Before buying, I tried many different models in stores. If you have a chance, try them out. Go to some high end fitness stores, and then try them at Sears. You will see the difference. If you can, don't buy without trying, as they all feel differently. For DH the differences were very pronounced, while for me, most felt more or less comfortable.


One very important factor is the length of the stride. If you are tall, you'd want the longest stride available. I'm okay with the 18" that I got, but on most machines 18" felt too choppy. If I could afford a better one, I'd go with 20", for sure.


I love my elliptical! I do dream of a fancier version, one day. I work out almost daily--though I did take a several months break this fall.



post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm looking at some Sears floor models at 50% off - thanks!  I will go over there and try them.

post #6 of 6

I just bought a not-so-expensive one. It is a proform with a 18" stride. I figured that I would start off on this and if I used it so much and needed to upgrade, then I would do so at some point.

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