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Old November 15th 03, 06:19 PM
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Default Any comments about the Essential XT4 elliptical?

ksoze wrote in

Finally got to try a few ellipticals at the local stores. Originally,
I thought about the Eclipse 1000HR but the cheap feel and noise made
me feel that it wouldn't be worth the money. I had heard good things
about the Kettlers, but when I tried the Condor, I didn't like the
foot pad pitch -- felt like it would be stressful on the knees in the
long run. Too bad, because I love the small footprint and the solid
build (it was really smooth and quiet too). Then I tried the Essential
XT4 (Lifefitness' consumer line) and found it to be pretty nice.
Although a shorter warranty than the Kettler (probably reflecting its
Taiwan build, at 2 yrs parts vs. 3 yrs. on the Kettler) it had a nice
stride, smooth feel, and relatively flat pitch on the pads. Downsides
were that it seemed a bit noisier than the Kettler, much longer and
heavier, and a few hundred dollars more than the Kettler ($1399 vs.
$1199). I tried the Vision and Horizon ellipticals, and found them to
have more pitch as well; I still want to try the Diamondback 600EL,
but right now I'm leaning towards the Essential. Problem is, there
seems to be no feedback at all on the 'net regarding this machine. Do
any owners out there have any feedback they'd like to offer? Thanks.

Follow-up: I tested the Diamondback 600 at a local Sport Chalet and was
very disappointed in the build quality; for the amount it was selling
for ($1000) I felt it had a very plasticky and cheap feel to it. So I
ended up buying the Essential XT from LA Gym (on sale now at the stores
for $1,395). That was over a month ago, and I don't regret it one bit.
SO and I have each been using it on an almost daily basis, and the thing
is as solid as day 1. Super smooth (in fact smoother than I originally
thought when I posted earlier), no squeaks, no rattles, no problems.
Life Fitness really did a good job in translating their X3/X3i into a
more affordable unit, by having it built in Taiwan. The difference
between this Taiwan-built unit and others (those made by IKON) is like
night and day. Apparently LF oversaw the entire overseas design and
manufacture process and it shows; they cut corners (in a good way) to
get the price down as low as possible without sacrificing quality, such
as getting rid of the stationary handles and simplifying the console. I
also bought the unit with my platinum card, so I now have 2 yrs warranty
on labor and 3 years parts, as good as the Kettler. I honestly feel that
anyone doing a fair cost/benefit trade between the Essential and the
full-up LF X3 would choose the Essential.

In short, I feel anyone considering a $1,000+ elliptical for home would
be doing themselves a disservice if they didn't consider the Essential.
And no, I don't work for Life Fitness or Essential. Happy exercising!