Purchasing your own elliptical machine or trainer for home use is a great idea for those who want the convenience of being able to exercise any time they want to. However, because of their features and the build quality required for this kind of equipment, it’s a challenge to find elliptical trainers that cost less than $500. Fortunately, there are a few models that combine affordability and decent quality.
Best Option For 2017
ProForm Hybrid Trainer
Our reasons for loving it:
- Super mobile: It has transport wheels
- Larger weight capacity: Able to accommodate 350 lbs.
- It has a 5-Year frame Warranty, 90-Day parts + Labor Warranty
Here’s a guide on what to look for in an elliptical trainer, plus the top products that are best for a $500 budget.
What design do you prefer?
There are in general, three different types of elliptical trainers, based on the location of the flywheel. Front-drive elliptical trainers have the flywheel in front, center-drive trainers have the flywheel in the center of the machine and rear-drive trainers have the flywheel at the back of the machine.
Do you have enough space at home?
Be sure to check that you have enough space at your home for this kind of equipment. Visualize where you will be using the elliptical trainer and when it’s not in use, where you will store it. If you don’t have sufficient space, you might want to consider a more compact design or an elliptical that’s foldable.
What resistance system does it use?
Most models utilize an adjustable resistance system. Lower resistance settings are best for novices and those who require gentler exercise. Higher resistance means a more intense workout. Whenever you’re adjusting your resistance, make sure you do it a little at a time, and not make sudden or drastic changes to avoid over-straining yourself. In some trainers, the angle or incline may also be adjusted, either electronically or manually.
What is the weight of the flywheel?
The weight of the flywheel contributes significantly to the smoothness of each stride you make on the elliptical. Most mid-range flywheels are usually about 15 pounds, and higher class trainers have flywheels weighing more, around 17 pounds or so. These heavier flywheels are often best and feel more natural.
What features does the console have?
Consoles can have different programs, entertainment features, and accessories. Some can even offer heart rate monitoring as well as compatibility with your devices, plus a connectivity option for the Internet. Accessories can include bottle holders and a shelf for your items. The console’s display, meanwhile, can range in size from 6 inches to about 10. Expect consoles at the $500 price range to have more basic features. Choose the elliptical trainer with features you really need and workout program settings that you’re more likely to use.
What safety features does it provide?
Safety features are very important in any exercise equipment, not just for yourself but especially if you have children at home. Make sure the parts and gears of the machine are enclosed. It’s also better if your elliptical has handrails to support you if you ever lose your balance. In addition to safety, you might also want to check the noise level of the machine.
Top 6 Elliptical Trainers Under $500
|Brand/Model||Best Features||User Feedback||Price Level||Our Rate|
|ProForm Hybrid Trainer||Performs as an elliptical trainer & indoor exercise bike; 14 different resistance settings + magnetic resistance system; provides 14 varied workout programs; carries 350 lbs maximum||Outstanding||Moderate||4.5 / 5|
|Gazelle Supreme||No-flywheel 300-lb capacity trainer but features hydraulic resistance system; adjustable to any skill level 10 exercise modes + foldable feature||Good||Moderate||4.0 / 5|
|Best Fitness Cross Trainer Elliptical Trainer||Exceptionally sturdy with standard features; provides 8 resistance levels + magnetic resistance system; carries up to 225 lbs with available heart rate monitor & comes with transport wheels||Good||Moderate||3.7 / 5|
|XTERRA FS1.5 Elliptical Trainer||Features 13 exercise programs + LCD display; 16 resistance levels + heavy-duty flywheel weighing 17 lbs.; maximum user weight 250 lbs.||Good||Moderate||3.8 / 5|
|Schwinn A40 Elliptical Machine||Provides 8 resistance levels + 7 workout routines; monitors heart rate via handlebars; weighted flywheel & trainer hold up to 275 lbs.||Good||Moderate||3.6 / 5|
|Exerpeutic 5000 Magnetic Elliptical Trainer||Equipped with 24 resistance levels & console with 12 built-in workout programs; compact size – easy to move around & store isn’t a problem, either; LCD screen + maximum user weight of 270 lbs.||Good||Expensive||3.8 / 5|
1. ProForm Hybrid Trainer
The ProForm Hybrid Trainer is both an elliptical trainer and an indoor exercise bike. It offers 14 different resistance settings and employs a magnetic resistance system. This trainer also provides 14 workout programs for more variety. It’s quite sturdy as well since it can bear a maximum user weight of 350 lbs. When paired with a chest strap sensor, it can track your heart rate, and–to make it easier to move around and store, the base is fitted with wheels. It doesn’t have an incline, however.
2. Gazelle Supreme
With the Gazelle Supreme, you have an elliptical trainer that doesn’t utilize a flywheel but a hydraulic resistance system instead. This resistance system is also adjustable so this elliptical trainer can be used by almost any skill level. It provides 10 exercise modes to choose from and one of its best features is that it can be conveniently folded. The maximum user weight it can carry is around 300 lbs. It’s also capable of monitoring your pulse rate using the grips on the machine.
3. Best Fitness Cross Trainer Elliptical Trainer
For those looking for something durable, the Best Fitness Cross Trainer Elliptical Trainer is exceptionally sturdy and offers standard features without unnecessary frills. It provides 8 levels of resistance and makes use of a magnetic resistance system. It can also safely carry users with a weight up to 225 lbs. A heart rate monitor is available as well when paired with a chest strap sensor. Aside from that, this product doesn’t take up too much room and it comes with transport wheels at the bottom for easier storage.
4. XTERRA FS1.5 Elliptical Trainer
The XTERRA FS1.5 Elliptical Trainer has 13 exercise programs; it’s one of the products which has the most comprehensive line of programs offered and which you can view clearly on the LCD display. In addition to that, it has 16 resistance levels. It’s also equipped with a heavy-duty flywheel weighing 17 lbs. for nonstop exercise and guaranteed stability. Through the grip bars, you can monitor your pulse rate as well. The maximum user weight for this machine is estimated to be 250 lbs.
5. Schwinn A40 Elliptical Machine
Known for their topnotch exercise equipment, Schwinn has produced plenty of bestsellers including their Schwinn A40 Elliptical Machine. This worthy machine provides 8 resistance levels with 7 workout routines for maximum results. It does a good job of monitoring the heart rate by tracking the pulse via the handlebars. The flywheel is also weighted for increased durability and stable exercise. It can easily hold up to 275 lbs. of user weight.
6. Exerpeutic 5000 Magnetic Elliptical Trainer
Another budget-friendly but efficient elliptical machine is the Exerpeutic 5000 Magnetic Elliptical Trainer. It has 24 resistance levels and the console has 12 built-in workout programs. This trainer’s compact size, together with the wheels at the base, makes it easy to move around and storage isn’t a problem, either. The LCD screen lets you see your progress clearly as you work out. Maximum user weight for this machine is 270 lbs., giving this product satisfactory mid-range performance compared to other similar models.
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