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Today we are going to explore this topic and show you our top 9 picks you can get under $200. As it turns out, there are some models in there which can be labeled as best elliptical machines, period. Afterward we will discuss what to look for in budget ellipticals and much more.
If you are familiar with fitness machines of any kind, you have probably heard of Marcy. They are one of those brands which just know how to balance out a fitness machine in a way that gives you best performance for your money. Same applies to Marcy NS-40501E.
It is one of the best affordable ellipticals you can find on the market. It is comprised of a rather solid frame which features leveling screws. The frame is made of quality metal tubing which makes it rigid enough but also fairly lightweight. The pedals are oversized and feature pronounced ridges everywhere aside from the back. Wha tmakes NS-40501E so great is the fact that it packs a good flywheel. You are looking at smooth, fluid inertia on all resistance levels.
Arm workout levers are foam padded and offer a comfortable yet challenging way of engaging your upper body. There is also a second set of handles which are fixed. They are located next to the simple but effective on board computer module. Speaking of which, the module allows you to track your current stats and plan your workouts accordingly. In simple terms, this Marcy elliptical is rather versatile and very compact.
Exerpeutic, much like Marcy, is known for great budget fitness machines. Their ellipticals are probably among their best offerings. Aero Air we are looking at here brings a number of awesome solutions which you don’t often see in this particular price range. Exerpeutic Aero Air sits on a very sturdy H pattern frame. Compared to most of its direct competition, it almost looks over engineered.
As you could assume from the photos, this elliptical also shows that Exerpeutic has cut a few corners. However, Aero Air was designed to bring good core performance and not much more. That is not so much of a flaw when you consider how cheap this elliptical is. With that said, you do get all of the most important features.
We are looking at a 12″ length of stride, which is about as good as it gets in the budget segment. Then we have the built in tension control which works pretty well. Last but not least, you also get a simple yet effective display unit which shows you all of your most important stats. If you can get by without the latest bells and whistles, chances are that Aero Air will serve you well.
For the most part, Goplus 2 In 1 lives up to its name in the most literal sense of the word. It’s a hybrid elliptical which has plenty to offer especially to those who are looking for a budget solution. Even though it may be affordable, this particular machine is pretty impressive once you take a closer look.
The frame is a robust construct made of quality tubing. We see reinforcements in all the right places, making the Goplus 2 In 1 one of the most stable and rugged ellipticals in this price range. The seat is adjustable and fairly comfortable for what it is. They have used a wide seat design with a modest but sufficient amount of padding. The resistance control is fluid, smooth and pretty tactile.
That makes working out much easier to plan and do on a daily basis. One of the absolute best features about this machine is the fact that it comes with heart rate monitors. They’re located on fixed handles right next to the display unit. Overall, Goplus 2 In 1 has proven to be a very capable and formidable elliptical. If you’re looking for a solid entry level machine, this is it.
Next we have another hybrid elliptical that is very promising to say the least. Compared to the previous models of this type we have shown you so far, Body Rider BRD2000 may seem a bit under equipped, however it offers a set of benefits of its own. Right from the start we see a fairly decent frame design which follows the traditional H pattern we are familiar with.
The fact that this elliptical isn’t too heavy explains why the frame comes across as a bit skinny. Needless to say, the advantage of a lighter weight machines are pretty obvious, especially to those who have to move their fitness equipment in and out of storage. The seat is fully adjustable, which is rather rare in this price range. You can set it up both vertically and horizontally to find that perfect riding position.
Resistance control is easily set and the whole thing feels rather smooth as you use it. Body Rider BRD2000 comes with a built in display unit which allows you to track your progress and even plan your workout regimen with a decent amount of accuracy. Length of stride is standard, making it a pretty good choice for beginners.
The very last hybrid model on our list goes by the name of Plasma Fit Elliptical. In many ways it is very similar to the Goplus model we have shown you above. You get the same robust frame same smooth performance and a very similar set of features, only at a slightly lover price. What Plasma Fit Elliptical has going for it is a more professional look.
While we fully understand that aesthetics are not really an important factor when selecting your fitness equipment, some users might like the way this one looks much better than its Goplus counterpart. In terms of comfort, things are looking very decent. The seat is a wide one, with a decent amount of padding applied to reduce fatigue. Pedals are wide, outlined with pronounced ridges and feature very good grip.
The computer module allows you to track your speed, distance, and other metrics while heart rate monitoring is also available. Compared to most other models of this type on the market, Plasma Fit Elliptical is pretty compact despite being a hybrid. If you’re looking for a good entry level machine that brings a range of functionality, Plasma Fit Elliptical is definitely worth looking into.
The fact that Sunny Health & Fitness is one of the most popular brands in the fitness world is known to all who are interested in these devices. Sure, they may not among the elite brands when it comes to higher end models, but their budget segment is easily among the best. Sunny Health & Fitness – SF-E90 proves that point quite easily.
It is proper elliptical which offers a variety of great features at a price that is simply too good to ignore. It is a compact elliptical with a decent length of stride which sits on a rather sturdy frame. They’ve fitted the H patter base with transportation wheels as well as leveling knobs. In other words, setting up or storing this elliptical is about as easy as it gets. Resistance is selected by turning the tension control knob.
One thing worth mentioning about this particular knob is that it comes with numerically labeled values. As silly as this seems, those number make it so easy to plan your workout routine. The computer module is simple but efficient. You get heart rate monitoring, speed, distance and more metrics to work with. Overall, Sunny Health & Fitness – SF-E90 is a true budge elliptical.
Sub compact ellipticals are in a category of their own. These machines are fairly niche in design but still have plenty to offer to their owners. The one we are looking at here is one of the best you can get in this particular price range. JFIT Mini brings you the benefits of a full sized elliptical in a sub compact format.
Despite its small size, you can still use this thing to get a good workout at home. While the whole idea behind JFIT Mini was for it to be used under a desk, they have made it possible for you to use it while standing up as well. Naturally, the length of stride is quite short compared to a full sized model. However, even with such a restricted length of stride, it is very much possible to get your workout in.
JFIT Mini comes with resistance controls which go from easy to rather challenging, while it also features a built in display unit. Pedals can be adjusted for both sitting or standing, while they come with pronounced ridges as well as a texture which allows for plenty of grip. It’s a great model for use on the go.
Due to the influx of affordable mechanical resistance ellipticals, we have almost completely forgot about the old fashioned manual ones. As outdated as they may seem, these ellipticals a are actually very much competitive even today. Gazelle Edge is one such model.
We have a pretty lightweight but robust frame which offers more than enough stability during your workout. As it’s the case with most other machines of this design, resistance is controlled by your movement. Pedals are directly linked to the arm workout bars on one end, while the other end is suspended on a cable. The biggest benefit of Gazelle Edge is its small size. When it us unfolded, it is much smaller than most mechanical ellipticals. However, once you fold it up, it takes almost no space at all.
This makes it perfect for those who travel often or are severely limited in terms of free space. Last but not least, Gazelle has installed a small computer module on the main support bar, which can show you all of your relevant stats. That detail alone makes the Edge an awesome machine to have, especially at this price. If you’re on a tight budget, this is a great solution.
Last model on our list belongs to the sub compact category and comes at a price which is just too good to ignore. Stamina In-Motion brings you the functionality of an elliptical in a format which you can pack in a suitcase. It’s fairly lightweight as well which only adds to its mobile nature.
The frame used for such ellipticals is a variation of the standard H pattern. In other words, you get a half of an H frame paired with a stabilizing plate on the other end. The plate also serves to keep the pedals moving. Stamina In-Motion comes with all the right features as well. You get simple tension control, pedals with extended ridges and high grip texture while there is also a built in computer module which allows you to track your progress with ease.
In-Motion allows you to go both forward and backward while standing or sitting. While it may not be as competitive as a full sized elliptical, machine such as Stamina In-Motion are a perfect solution for those who spend a lot of time in an office. Same goes for users who want to exercise while traveling. At this price, it’s hard to argue.
One of the main questions that beginners have regarding entry level ellipticals is whether or not they are worth investing in. To properly answer this question we have to figure out the main purpose of these machines.
Generally speaking, if you approach cheap ellipticals with hopes that you will get the latest and greatest the industry has to offer, you will most likely be disappointed. On the other hand, if you understand what these models were designed for and count that in during your research phase, you will find them to be a great choice in certain situations.
We can classify the benefits of cheap ellipticals in a couple of different categories. Once we lay it all out, chances are you will see just how useful these machines can be. The main benefits of affordable ellipticals are their cheap price, which we can put under low commitment, their compact size and low impact on the body.
You really don’t need a $1000 high end elliptical in order to get that core experience. Instead, one of these affordable models will do just fine.
Investing in a high end fitness machine makes sense when you know exactly what you want. Then you can make a list of all of the features you’d need, size of the machine and so on. However, when you are just starting out and are fairly new to the whole home fitness thing, diving head first into a $500 elliptical trainer may be something you will regret later on.
With affordable ellipticals, you can gauge whether or not these machines are for you without spending too much money. That way, even if you assess that ellipticals aren’t your thing, you aren’t in too deep of a hole.
Additionally, the low price of entry also brings the obvious benefit of allowing budget users to enjoy exercising at home. As we have stated before, cheap ellipticals are perfectly capable of giving you that core experience. Those who simply can’t afford a midrange model will definitely benefit from the budget segment.
One of the byproducts of budget ellipticals is the fact that they are almost always compact by default. If you compare your average budget elliptical with a budget treadmill, latter will feel like a couch in comparison. Sure, there are higher end compact ellipticals out there which offer the same or better space saving benefits, but they often tend to cost a lot of money.
Your only other option are folding ellipticals, which you can read about in our dedicated guide. If you look at our top list, you will find the so called ‘under the desk’ models, or as we like to call them, sub compacts. These machines are tiny and naturally have a very short length of stride.
However, you can put one of these under a desk and use it while sitting down. Those who sit a lot during the day due to work or otherwise, can really benefit from such designs.
Even the most affordable elliptical on the market is going to be healthier for your joints and knees than say a treadmill. Not that treadmills don’t have benefits of their own.
The design of ellipticals simply takes out impact damage out of the equation, no matter how expensive or cheap they are. If you are looking for a healthy exercise that won’t bring back that knee injury from the past, ellipticals are easily one of the best choices you have.
Choosing an entry level elliptical comes down to a couple of factors. If you are interested in specific features, you should realize that this segment of the market isn’t really too diverse in that sense.
Even so, there is a clear set of things you would want to see on your machine of choice. Lets check them out.
There are several designs available in this particular price range. You have the standard elliptical, hybrids, sub compacts and manual ellipticals. All of these have their own benefits and drawbacks.
Figuring out which one works best for you is something you have to do on your own. With that said, this process won’t take too much time nor effort.
Length of stride is one of the most important aspects of any elliptical. Length of stride applies to how much freedom your legs have as you exercise. You can compare this to walking.
Short stride length would be equal to making very small, rapid steps, while longer stride lengths would be like regular walking. With affordable ellipticals, you are looking at up to 12″ of stride length available.
This is far from the ideal 30″, but the limitations are imposed by the inherent design of these machines. Either way, anything over 10″ should be comfortable enough.
Much like it is the case with other fitness machines, ellipticals come with display units most of the time. These simple devices are a great way to track your progress and plan out fitness routines.
Fortunately for us, most of the models on our list and in this price range in general tend to have display units built into them.
At the end of the day Marcy NS-40501E comes across as the best choice for budget minded users. It’s inexpensive, features a classic elliptical design and brings fairly decent performance to the table.
What makes it our favorite is the fact that you can use NS-40501E as a great intro machine which will get you used to how ellipticals operate. Later if you decide to move on to something more serious, you will have the necessary muscle memory.
With that said, any model from our list will give you a good exercise. It all comes down to what you need.