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$600 Elliptical trainer recommendation?



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 10th 03, 04:56 AM
GRL
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Posts: n/a
Default $600 Elliptical trainer recommendation?

I bike 20 miles a day at 17-20 mph (pretty quick) during/summer/fall for
exercise. Love it. However, winter is coming and that means snow and slush
and that makes riding the bike a little tough. So I'm looking for an
alternative for winter use.

I've tried elliptical trainers (bikes) and they seem like something that
will give a good workout and not be too boring. Plus my wife could use it
when she can't walk because of the weather.

There are three options:

NordicTrack CX920 at Sears for $570 with a 1 year warranty. (Gold card
doubles that to 2 years). Made in China. Demo unit felt a little wobbly and
creaked. My boss has one since early this year and likes it except for creep
factor (it sets on a plush rug) when in use.

Reebok 525 at Dick's for $499 less 3.3% rebate with a 90 day warranty that I
can take out to 2 years for $60. Three years for $80. Has a built-in fan
that I like. No height adjust. Reebok web site says made in USA. Seemed the
most sturdy.

ProForm C830 at Sam's for $568 with 90 day warranty and no easy way to
increase that. This one has a power incline adjust and is obviously a clone
of the NordicTrack other than that. (Not surprising, both are part of Icon.
The power incline screw seems a bit thin to me. Needless complication? Made
in China. Could not try it as it was up on a stand.

Construction quality seems comparable across the three. However, I've heard
that durability on these things can be a problem and that is my main
concern. I was going to get the Reebok, but then I tried the Reebok at
Dick's and actually like its feel a bit more. The lack of a height
adjustment does not appear to be an issue to me since the resistance can be
set electronically.

My main concern is durability. Which of these units would be best in that
regard and which have people experienced trouble with?

Thanks.


--

- GRL

"It's good to want things."

Steve Barr (philosopher, poet, humorist, chemist,
Visual Basic programmer)


  #2  
Old October 10th 03, 05:21 AM
KennyCrox
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Posts: n/a
Default $600 Elliptical trainer recommendation?


I bike 20 miles a day at 17-20 mph (pretty quick) during/summer/fall for
exercise. Love it. However, winter is coming and that means snow and slush
and that makes riding the bike a little tough. So I'm looking for an
alternative for winter use.

I've tried elliptical trainers (bikes) and they seem like something that
will give a good workout and not be too boring. Plus my wife could use it
when she can't walk because of the weather.

There are three options:

NordicTrack CX920 at Sears for $570 with a 1 year warranty. (Gold card
doubles that to 2 years). Made in China. Demo unit felt a little wobbly and
creaked. My boss has one since early this year and likes it except for creep
factor (it sets on a plush rug) when in use.

Reebok 525 at Dick's for $499 less 3.3% rebate with a 90 day warranty that I
can take out to 2 years for $60. Three years for $80. Has a built-in fan
that I like. No height adjust. Reebok web site says made in USA. Seemed the
most sturdy.

ProForm C830 at Sam's for $568 with 90 day warranty and no easy way to
increase that. This one has a power incline adjust and is obviously a clone
of the NordicTrack other than that. (Not surprising, both are part of Icon.
The power incline screw seems a bit thin to me. Needless complication? Made
in China. Could not try it as it was up on a stand.

Construction quality seems comparable across the three. However, I've heard
that durability on these things can be a problem and that is my main
concern. I was going to get the Reebok, but then I tried the Reebok at
Dick's and actually like its feel a bit more. The lack of a height
adjustment does not appear to be an issue to me since the resistance can be
set electronically.

My main concern is durability. Which of these units would be best in that
regard and which have people experienced trouble with?


The Nordic Track, Reebok, and Proform area all made by ICON. ICON is noted for
making junk.

Products with a 90 day warranty on parts and labor are a red flag. If you
purchase one with a 90 day warranty...your going to need the extended warranty
unless you hang clothes on it.

My recommendation is make a forth selection, the Vision X6000 for about $1000
or the X6200 for about $1300. They have a two year parts/1 year labor warranty
and will last.

Kenny Croxdale
  #3  
Old October 10th 03, 07:54 PM
ksoze
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default $600 Elliptical trainer recommendation?

(KennyCrox) wrote in
:


I've tried elliptical trainers (bikes) and they seem like something
that will give a good workout and not be too boring. Plus my wife
could use it when she can't walk because of the weather.

There are three options:

(snip)

My main concern is durability. Which of these units would be best in
that regard and which have people experienced trouble with?


The Nordic Track, Reebok, and Proform area all made by ICON. ICON is
noted for making junk.

Products with a 90 day warranty on parts and labor are a red flag. If
you purchase one with a 90 day warranty...your going to need the
extended warranty unless you hang clothes on it.

My recommendation is make a forth selection, the Vision X6000 for
about $1000 or the X6200 for about $1300. They have a two year
parts/1 year labor warranty and will last.

Kenny Croxdale


I too am in the market for a sub $1000 elliptical and have the same
concerns as you (durability). I have also read comments about ICON built
products being of poor quality, and plenty of complaints about Nordic
Track and Proform. Right now, I am considering either the Fitness Quest
Eclipse 1100HRA for $400 (1 year warranty, although I think its 90 days
labor and 1 year on parts) or the Smooth ME for $899 (German-built,
lifetime frame, 1 year labor, 2 years parts). The reviews on the Smooth
seem pretty good but I'm hesitant to pay that much for a unit I can't
test out. I leaning towards buying the Eclipse, pending any negative
opinions. Also there's a 4% rebate on Target purchases through ebates
and a 10% coupon to balance out the $50 S&H fee. I have a post out
requesting feedback on the Eclipse so hopefully there will be some.
  #4  
Old October 10th 03, 11:32 PM
GRL
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default $600 Elliptical trainer recommendation?

Consumer reports has not tested the current models from Reebok and
Nordictrack. However, in their last available test of models from these
brands, they did hold up well in their durability testing, so I am mildly
confident of those two brands and, I suppose, even of the Proform at Sam's
since it is obviously a NordicTrack-like unit. I don't think I'd trust any
of them with just a 90 day warranty, but with a 2-3 year warranty (Gold card
purchase or service contract), I'm more optimistic.

Realistically, if I can get three years use out of one of these things for
$600, that's a smarter buy than a $1,000+ unit that lasts twice as long.
Given that these things are sure to show up on the used market at huge
discounts (you can get a bullet-proof $600 retail NordicTrack Pro ski
exerciser on eBay for $25 plus shipping now that they have fallen out of
favor - I know, I have one I bought a decade ago for $600, still works
great), replacing one in three years will be cheap.

Just not sure which of the three I mentioned to get.

- GRL

"It's good to want things."

Steve Barr (philosopher, poet, humorist, chemist,
Visual Basic programmer)
"ksoze" wrote in message
...
(KennyCrox) wrote in
:


I've tried elliptical trainers (bikes) and they seem like something
that will give a good workout and not be too boring. Plus my wife
could use it when she can't walk because of the weather.

There are three options:

(snip)

My main concern is durability. Which of these units would be best in
that regard and which have people experienced trouble with?


The Nordic Track, Reebok, and Proform area all made by ICON. ICON is
noted for making junk.

Products with a 90 day warranty on parts and labor are a red flag. If
you purchase one with a 90 day warranty...your going to need the
extended warranty unless you hang clothes on it.

My recommendation is make a forth selection, the Vision X6000 for
about $1000 or the X6200 for about $1300. They have a two year
parts/1 year labor warranty and will last.

Kenny Croxdale


I too am in the market for a sub $1000 elliptical and have the same
concerns as you (durability). I have also read comments about ICON built
products being of poor quality, and plenty of complaints about Nordic
Track and Proform. Right now, I am considering either the Fitness Quest
Eclipse 1100HRA for $400 (1 year warranty, although I think its 90 days
labor and 1 year on parts) or the Smooth ME for $899 (German-built,
lifetime frame, 1 year labor, 2 years parts). The reviews on the Smooth
seem pretty good but I'm hesitant to pay that much for a unit I can't
test out. I leaning towards buying the Eclipse, pending any negative
opinions. Also there's a 4% rebate on Target purchases through ebates
and a 10% coupon to balance out the $50 S&H fee. I have a post out
requesting feedback on the Eclipse so hopefully there will be some.



  #5  
Old October 23rd 03, 03:15 AM
Knack
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default $600 Elliptical trainer recommendation?


"GRL" wrote in message
...
I bike 20 miles a day at 17-20 mph (pretty quick) during/summer/fall for
exercise. Love it. However, winter is coming and that means snow and slush
and that makes riding the bike a little tough. So I'm looking for an
alternative for winter use.

I've tried elliptical trainers (bikes) and they seem like something that
will give a good workout and not be too boring. Plus my wife could use it
when she can't walk because of the weather.

There are three options:

NordicTrack CX920 at Sears for $570 with a 1 year warranty. (Gold card
doubles that to 2 years). Made in China. Demo unit felt a little wobbly

and
creaked. My boss has one since early this year and likes it except for

creep
factor (it sets on a plush rug) when in use.

Reebok 525 at Dick's for $499 less 3.3% rebate with a 90 day warranty that

I
can take out to 2 years for $60. Three years for $80. Has a built-in fan
that I like. No height adjust. Reebok web site says made in USA. Seemed

the
most sturdy.

ProForm C830 at Sam's for $568 with 90 day warranty and no easy way to
increase that. This one has a power incline adjust and is obviously a

clone
of the NordicTrack other than that. (Not surprising, both are part of

Icon.
The power incline screw seems a bit thin to me. Needless complication?

Made
in China. Could not try it as it was up on a stand.

Construction quality seems comparable across the three. However, I've

heard
that durability on these things can be a problem and that is my main
concern. I was going to get the Reebok, but then I tried the Reebok at
Dick's and actually like its feel a bit more. The lack of a height
adjustment does not appear to be an issue to me since the resistance can

be
set electronically.

My main concern is durability. Which of these units would be best in that
regard and which have people experienced trouble with?

Thanks.


--

- GRL

"It's good to want things."

Steve Barr (philosopher, poet, humorist, chemist,
Visual Basic programmer)


Hi GL. All of the machines that you mentioned are made by Icon Fitness
http://www.iconfitness.com/

You can download .pdf manuals for these models at
http://www.iconservice.com/manuals.html then compare them.

The ProForm C830 has an 18" stride; a distance equal to club models made by
Life Fitness and Precor. ProForm hasn't had such a large machine (model
485e) since about 2000. All other ellipticals found in retail chain stores
not only have shorter strides, but have pedals mounted closer to the cranks;
making them feel more like stationary bikes.

I've owned a ProForm 485e in the past. I currently own an Evolution EE120
(stride 16"), which I plan to stretch to a whopping 30" stride so that it's
action is more like jogging.

I've tested the ProForm C830 and NordicTrack CX920 at Sears. Don't worry
about flexing of machine joints. Machines are never assembled tight enough
in retail stores for the kind of rough and frequent use that they're exposed
to. They get used by hundreds of people every week. Your machine at home
won't creak, nor walk about on the floor.

The leaf Springs of the current ProForm and NordicTrack models look cool and
seem like a logical idea for low impact exercise machines, but actually that
feature is superfluous. There is already sufficient elasticity in the
column, handle-levers, and pedal-links (if the pedal links are rectangular
tubing). The integral leaf springs in the pedal-links impart an unnatural
bounceyness to the feel that I'm not crazy about. Ellipticals with well
designed motion paths such as machines by Kettler, Smooth, and Life Fitness
are built rigidly, because decelerations are gradual. Actually, the ProForm
models with 18" stride have an excellent geometry and don't need those
springs. My model 485e (18" stride) had amazing low impact without leaf
springs. It's crank length, pedal-link length and handle-lever length were
approximately identicle to the current model C830.

It appears in the manual that the C830 incorporates some much needed
improvements that were lacking in the 485e. It has dual crank bearings now,
instead of one. And it appears that those bearings may now be replaceable.
However, I don't think those bearings have seals or a grease fitting, so
when they dry out, you better be a mechanic. The crank bearing in the old
485e would begin making noise after about a year. If you continued to use
that machine after the bearing became noisy without installing a grease
fitting and applying more grease, then that bearing would fail within 2
weeks and you would have to discard the entire machine! At least now you
have the provision to replace the failed bearings. I would still recommend
installing a grease fitting in the verticle rectangular tubing that houses
the crank assembly. If you relubricate those bearings once a year with a
grease gun, then they should never need replacement.

Having a close proximity fan directed at you while working out is a great
idea, but any fan of diameter less than 12" is ridiculous; even if
positioned only 12" away from your body. I've been using a "commercial
sized" 16" dia pedestal fan for use with my own workout machines for the
past 5 years. I arrange 4 different cardiovascular exercise machines around
it and do a circuit training session on all machines; re-aiming the fan by
swiveling it slightly to point at the front of each adjacent machine. You
can obtain such a fan at Home Depot. They have a nice one by Hampton Bay
that sits on the floor without a pedestal, but which is angled upward; just
right for use with exercise machines.




  #6  
Old October 23rd 03, 02:47 PM
KennyCrox
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Posts: n/a
Default $600 Elliptical trainer recommendation?

Proform is junk. They are made by ICON who makes Reeboc and Nordic Track.

Kenny Croxdale
 




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