What to Look For
Before purchasing an elliptical machine experts suggest you try it out to evaluate its sturdiness and quality, according to the Consumer Search website. Make sure it doesn't wobble as you are exercising. Check the pedals for comfort. Pedals that are too wide or too narrow can result in an unnatural stance. Ergonomic handlebars are a plus as well, because they ensure correct posture. Also check that the elliptical machine glides smoothly back and forth.
Less expensive elliptical machines generally don’t have an adjustable incline, according to Consumer Search. Elliptical machines that let you enter your body weight are more accurate at estimating the number of calories burned. According to Consumer Search, some lower-end models have safety issues, including parts that may fall off. Most machines require assembly and some instructions can be confusing.
Where to Buy
Sporting goods stores and fitness specialty stores stock better quality elliptical machines. If you decide to purchase online keep in mind you will be paying for shipping and handling in addition to the purchase price. Some discount stores and department stores carry a limited selection of low end elliptical machines.
According to the website Fitness Equipment Reviews, the NordicTrack AudioStrider 990 Pro, which is priced at $1,000 in 2010, and the Schwinn 420, at $600, are both good values. The Sole Fitness E35, which costs $1,000 in 2010, and the Smooth CE 7.4 are also durable ellipticals rated as best buys. Other good elliptical machines range from the Sole Fitness E55, priced at under $1,500, and the Smooth Agile DMT X2, with a price tag of $1,999, to the Precor EFX 5.25, with an approximate price of $3,000. Fitness Equipment Reviews ranks the Yowza Fitness Captiva, at $1,999, as the best new elliptical for 2010.