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Today we are going to show you what you can get for around $1000. As you can imagine, these models are easily among the best ellipticals available, but are still considered to be a good bang for the buck value.
Afterward, we are going to talk a little about what makes a good mid range elliptical and which features you can expect to see. Lets get started right away.
Kettler has long been one of the best names in the business when it comes to fitness machine. Needless to say, they are quite well represented in the upper segment of the market. Kettler ELYX 1 is easily one of the most impressive ellipticals you can get for what is still a relatively decent price. Even so, Kettler has stuck to the proven design.
The frame is pretty simple but extremely durable. There is nothing left to chance, especially when it comes to your stability during a workout. With a forward positioned flywheel, Kettler ELYX 1 is one of the smoother machines currently out there. The flywheel itself is a 40lb piece that features impressive machining, great balance and overall silky smooth operation. On top of that, the length of stride for this bad boy is 20 inches, meaning that just about anyone should be able to use it no matter your height.
The built in console is simplified for easy use, but very capable. You get a large back lit display which is great for navigating various workout presets, stats and diagnostics tools. Speaking of which, Kettler ELYX 1 elliptical comes with a very accurate heart rate monitoring setup.
Even though it is by all means a higher end machine, AFG Sport 5.9AE Elliptical tends to come across as pretty basic. Fortunately for all of us, that impression is only skin deep. Once you come a bit closer and take a proper look at this thing, it becomes apparent that there is so much more going on.
To start things off, AFG Sport has used a good quality frame design that not only delivers plenty of support to the entire system, but is also fairly lightweight. The design itself makes it rather easy to move the machine around should you need to. The flywheel is a 23lb unit that features a very precisely machined exterior and well balanced mass distribution. When you get it up to speed, you will notice no noise and no friction.
The control module is a bit basic but that is only because AFG Sport offers an app with this machine. Using this app, you can control the elliptical using your tablet. This also explains the media shelf. With that said, you do get a smaller display unit that allows you to track your core stats and navigate all of the built in presets.
If you are into fitness, you have probably heard of Schwinn. This brand is known for their functional budget models and competitive higher end equipment. Schwinn 470 belongs to the latter category and represents one of the best offers on the market at the moment.
When it comes to bang for the buck value, this one is hard to beat. No matter where you look on this machine, you will see quality materials, functional designs and plenty of proper engineering. The frame itself is a rock solid piece that prevents any kind of unwanted movement from happening during your workout. Pedals and the whole drive assembly inspire confidence, which can be said about the entire package. The flywheel is a massive, perimeter weighted unit that runs smooth and runs silent.
Looking up, we see one of Schwinn’s higher end control modules which features two back lit displays, easy to use controls and an intuitive layout. You have 29 preset workout programs to choose from as well as a number of goal oriented presets. On top of all that, Schwinn 470 pairs up with their Trainer App aswell as RunSocial app that lets you run through 19 different locations in total.
Higher end machines are often time thought to be super advanced in all aspects of their design. However, there are some things that you simply don’t need to change, but rather scale up. That is exactly what Harison E1160did. The frame on this model is a standard H pattern frame that has been beefed up to match the size and weight of the machine.
The end result is an elliptical that sits perfectly still no matter how hard you go at it. That kind of stability is definitely appreciated. However, the hardware and the rest of the components aren’t too far behind either. E1160 comes with a massive, precision machined flywheel which is connected to a three piece crank setup. The built in control module offer a lot in terms of preset workouts and manual resistance control. Navigating and using the module is very easy thanks to its two displays.
By far the most impressive thing about Harison E1160 is the performance. This machine runs very smooth and produces almost no noise while doing so. Sure, it isn’t one of those loaded models, but you will easily forgive the lack of unnecessary features when you first start using it.
Even though the current market for elliptical trainers is highly saturated, there are still quite a few surprises to be found if you look hard enough. One that easily comes to mind is Horizon Fitness EX-59-02. This machine offers so much and comes at such a competitive price that it is simply too hard to ignore. For starters, you have a robust frame which is more or less standard for front flywheel designs.
In other words a proven design that has been beefed up some more. Then there is the 14.3lb precision machined flywheel that spools up quite easily and offers loads of inertia. The stride length for this setup is 18 inches, putting Horizon Fitness EX-59-02 right up there among the best. On top of that, you have a simple but easy to use control module with a variety of workout programs, intuitive controls and more.
To say that this elliptical is a good performer would be an understatement. Sure, it isn’t nearly as flashy as some, but those who appreciate performance of aesthetics will definitely appreciate what this thing has to offer. Especially when it comes at such an good price. Overall, it is a great choice.
In a market chock full of massive and overly cumbersome designs, it is quite refreshing to see something like Sunny Health & Fitness ASUNA 4300. This is about as low profile as it gets unless you are willing to go into folding ellipticals. Sunny Health & Fitness is known for pushing such machines but this one is special.
It uses a very interesting H patter frame with a curved main beam that runs all the way through the machine. That gives you the utmost stability and reduces any risks of thing starting to squeak over time. The flywheel is mounted in the back and uses a somewhat complex belt drive system to run. With that said, the performance and subjective feel during workout is on par with the more standard direct drive designs. The computer module on this model is a simple one but also pretty functional.
You have two back lit displays, one inside the other, which show you all your stats and allow you to navigate different features. Speaking of which, there are no standard workout presets but rather five different workout modes. You’ve the Beginner, Advanced, Sporty, Cardio and lastly Watt. Overall, this elliptical is a great for beginners
Whether or not you are a fan of larger machines, Nautilus E614 comes up as a very tempting package. Nautilus is no stranger to quality fitness equipment. They have a wide range of fitness gear to offer and almost everything in that offer is good. E614 is no different in this regard.
The whole thing sits on a very sturdy and massive frame which offers plenty of support but also allows you to perfectly level the machine during setup. The flywheel is mounted in the front and is linked to the pedals using a 3 piece crank system. Length of stride is pretty comfortable all things considered, while the overall motion of the platforms falls within the more natural category.
The computer module is probably the biggest surprise in this entire story. For such a budget machine, E614 offers so much. You have 9 different user profiles to work with, 22 preset workout programs, 8 heart rate oriented programs and so much more. But wait, there is more. Nautilus has also built in a couple of speakers as well as a USB media charging port for your smart phone or tablet. If you want more for less, this is it.
Function over form is definitely the way to go when shopping for a fitness machine. With that said, you can include aesthetics in your checklist. There are models out there which bring both the form and the function you need. Meet ProForm 520 E, arguably one of the best looking ellipticals on the market. This is a front drive unit with a 15lb flywheel.
The frame is a modified H pattern piece that looks a bit over engineered which can only be a good thing. Here is where ProForm 520 E really stands out. It comes with a 19 inch stride length that you can adjust. One look at the control module reveals that there is plenty of functionality built into it as well. With a massive display unit and simple controls, you won’t have issues trying to navigate different features and options.
Speaking of which, there are 18 built in preset programs, a variety of intensity settings and more to choose from. ProForm took it a step further and included a number of creature comfort features as well. We’re talking about built in speakers as well as iFit compatibility. All things considered, it’s a mighty workout machine to have.
Finding a somewhat compact elliptical without moving into folding designs can be a challenge. However, there are exceptions to the rule such as the XTERRA FS380. It isn’t so much different from the rest of its market segment so much as it is just efficiently designed. The frame is beefy enough to take the everyday use, but not too beefy or overly engineered.
The flywheel is a massive front mounted unit that is linked to the pedals using a 3 piece crank system. Overall, the whole drive assembly works rather smoothly. There is no tangible friction. The only thing you will feel when using this machine is the resistance. The length of stride is also a very pleasant surprise. You are looking at 18 inches which makes this elliptical great for just about anyone.
The pedals are comfortable and offer plenty of grip all around. The control module comes with a large built in display, a media shelf and simple controls that make navigation and data monitoring an easy task. You have 24 levels of resistance to choose from as well as a number of awesome preset programs. Overall, this is one of the better deals in this price range.
We are slowly reaching a point where even the entry level fitness gear is capable of giving an average user a good workout on a daily basis. Because of this, many are wondering whether investing in more expensive equipment even makes sense anymore. Same goes for ellipticals.
As it turns out there are a number of really good reasons why you should go for a more expensive model if you are able to. Contrary to what some people are saying these days, all of these reasons are grounded in tangible data.
With all that in mind, lets talk about specific benefits and how they can improve your experience.
No matter what kind of elliptical you decide to get, the quality and nature of the flywheel is going to dictate how good of a workout you are going to get. This apparently simple component can easily set back an otherwise perfect machine.
With ellipticals in the price range we are interested in, you are looking at high end flywheels which will give you that smooth, linear inertia and hence resistance. Sure, most of these come with magnetic resistance control but the point still stands.
There is a considerable difference between a flywheel found on models from our list and those found on budget ellipticals. This isn’t to say that latter are bad but rather that you get what you pay for.
One of the factors that distinguishes higher end fitness equipment these days are control modules. This is pretty much applicable across all fitness gear. Basic models will have the most rudimentary computers and will mostly rely on manual controls to set resistance and so on.
As you start moving up the ladder, you will find more and more automated and integrated solutions. This abundance of programmed workout routines and resistance presets is also one of the main reasons why so many users go for higher end gear.
We all know that repetitive workout yields reduced results the longer you do it. Switching things up is pretty much the key and what better way to do it than to have dozens of preset programs from the factory?
Another benefit of going for a more expensive package are all the goodies that come with it. On average, you are looking at Bluetooth connectivity, built in speakers and more. You are probably wondering just how much of a factor any of this can be right now?
In all honesty, that depends on your specific taste. Some users are perfectly content with a bare bones model that gets them the exercise and not much more.
On the other hand, some like a balanced model such as the ones found in the $500 segment of the market. Then there are those who need creature comforts.
Although everything we have listed so far is definitely important, there is one benefit to higher end models which isn’t often mentioned. To most people, build quality is something they simply expect to get. The problem is that different types of ellipticals have different standards for acceptable build quality.
In other words the main question the manufacturer has to answer is how often are you going to use this product and how long per session? There are impressive folding ellipticals which are great for casual use, but the moment you give them to someone who is trying to pus their body to the limits, they will start to show their limits.
Models we have listed in this guide are made with high intensity workout in mind. In the general order of things, $1000 ellipticals are just below the commercial grade models which you can find in your local gym. For most users, this balance of price, performance and features is perfect.
One thing to keep in mind regarding these models is that most of them are anything but compact. When you expect a good length of stride, a large flywheel and a decent amount of comfort, you are inherently looking at a pretty sizable device.
Because of that, it is best that you prepare your space before you decide which model to get. The last thing you want is for you to set everything up only to realize that your new elliptical is taking up all of the space in your room.
Day to day life in that situation can be quite tedious. Fortunately for those who are working with limited space, there are some quite decent compact models on the market. You can check them out in our dedicated guide.
When all is said and done, comes on top as an obvious winner. Even though the competition in this particular price range is quite fierce, this piece of equipment has proven to bring a perfect balance of performance, features and price.
With that said, we stand behind every model on our list. These machines are definitely going to give you a challenging workout and help your get your cardio game to a whole new level. All you have to do is find the one that best fits your needs.