As an affordable piece of low-impact cardio equipment, an elliptical in your home can motivate you to exercise more often. Until recently, having an elliptical at home meant permanently designating a large chunk of space for the equipment. Today, new space-saving models have made it easier for people to bring the gym to their living rooms.
The Elliptical was first introduced in 1995. They broke the mold for cardio equipment by combining the total body conditioning of running with the low-impact benefit of cycling. After popping up in health clubs everywhere, the elliptical was also quickly marketed to the home audience. However, where the treadmill had been easily converted to a fold-up and the indoor bike already exhibited a small footprint, the elliptical originally proved to be a much larger challenge when it came to creating a space-saving model. Today many companies have finally started to offer fold up, narrower, or side flywheel versions specifically designed for home use.
When purchasing an elliptical, whether a space-saving model or not, it is important to look at quality, cost, warranty and performance. It is important to think about where you will put the machine, in what way and how often you will use the machine, and how comfortable you are with making repairs if necessary. Weighing all of these aspects and determining what will best suite your situation will assist you in finding the best space-saving elliptical for your money.
A decrease in size of an elliptical’s foot-print has generally been associated with a decrease in quality. The reason for this is that with a decrease in size comes a decrease in stride length as well as the weight of the machine which decreases stability. Despite this, there is one machine in particular on the market that stands out from the rest of the space-saving models. The Best Fitness BFE1 Elliptical is compact in foot-print while being solid in frame and high in quality and performance. Best Fitness offers a warranty of 15 years for the frame, 2 years parts and electronics, 6 months wear on parts and 1 year of labor with this model.
Innovation always carry a heavy price tag. However if you are willing to take give a little wiggle room on the warranty you can still find some high-quality space-saving ellipticals for under $1000. The Schwinn A40 and 430 at $400 and $650 respectively, are both great performing small foot-print ellipticals for their price. Displaying a compact design, these models are more reliable than folding ellipticals, which tend to sacrifice quality when trying to lower their cost.
Best Space-Saving Design
There have been some great adaptations to the original ellipticals, but only one modification can be deemed the best when it comes to true space saving prowess. Stamina's InMotion mini-elliptical is by far the biggest space saver. Weighing in at only 30 lbs. and standing 2 feet wide by 1 foot long, this tiny machine packs a big punch for such a small foot-print. Sacrifices are made on stride length and stability as is common with most space-saving models, but this one gets the job done at under $150 while giving a whole new meaning to keep-it-simple design.
Taking all things into consideration, the best space-saving elliptical is the foldable Vision Fitness X6200. At $2000 this model offers high quality construction, smooth ride, great stability, and a nice 1 year labor and 3 year parts warranty to top things off. It is important to bear in mind however, that for about $500 less you can buy a much higher rated mid-line elliptical with a better warranty, such as the Sole E35, if you determine that space-saving is no longer a high priority for you.