Look for 'Best Elliptical Trainers' in Google's search engine and you will return some 350,000 results, giving you access to thousands of review websites or video reviews like the one shown below:
Unlike in review videos, you will find that more often than not that review websites will use star ratings to for you to easily identify the best elliptical machines on the market and their potential suitability for your fitness aims. The information you don't so easily discover is which are the 'not so good', or 'bad' choices of elliptical trainers on the market. Which manufacturers are offering the poorest rated elliptical machines on the market? Here we attempt to identify some of those lesser rated machines, some of which are produced by otherwise well-known and highly rated companies.
One company that has received surprisingly low rating scores is Nordic Track. This company is a well-known and successful brand and indeed its products do tend to rank highly for the features that it designs into its products. However for many reviewers it falls down in the elliptical trainer ratings for its quality of construction. This is surprising when compared with the very good machines it has previously produced. Nordic appear to have decided to focus their marketing on features and cost of acquisition which appeals to many people. In doing this however, it looks as though they lost their way in terms of quality of manufacture which has caused some bad reviews in respect of poor mechanics, build quality and ongoing repair costs. The net result here is that reviewers who rate machines based on marketing information will award a high star rating, whereas a review based on a reviewers actual use of the machine, or based on consumers feedback after purchase, may well result in a very low star rating.
Another company you would expect to have high ratings is Proform. In most cases, particularly with the current EFX series, they do, but older models such as the 900 model elliptical trainer received particularly poor review ratings. This was based on a perceived lack of all-round quality of the product. Some particularly bad reviews included phrases such as 'worthless'. Now Proform is so big and established in the elliptical market, that you simply wouldn't expect that to happen. Yet the 900 for example, exhibited a wobbly action in use and was not suitable for heavy users. This then countered any good rating it may have had for its good qualities such as price and low noise. Coupled with only a limited warranty of 90 days, the overall elliptical trainer rating is the diminished to a poor star rating.
Horizon is yet another company you would expect to always achieve a high star rating for its product. Like some others, a concentration on some marketing aspects (price, features etc.) seems to mean a lack of focus in other areas. In this case the basic design appears not to cater for larger sized people. Tall people find the small stride length does not suit them making the machine uncomfortable in use and there has been a question over general quality levels not reflecting the higher asking price of their machines compared to competitors. Again the overall elliptical trainers' rating therefore drops, not least because you are often able to buy a better competitors machine at less than the Horizon asking price.
These observations are not meant to infer that any of the three elliptical trainer manufacturers mentioned are in any way 'bad' companies or that they produce shabby products. What it does do, is show that even the most well established and highly regarded companies will almost inevitably take their eye off the ball occasionally in repect of specific aspects of any of their range of products. It does however emphasize the need as potential consumer, to take the poorest star ratings into account when search through elliptical trainer reviews. The awards of poor ratings are given for a reason and you should avoid any machine that might be given this less than welcome accolade. This does not mean they are 'bad' machines, but it does mean that manufacturers need to focus more on the identified deficiencies in order to subsequently gain a higher rating.
One website where you will find only the best elliptical trainers is bestellipticaltrainers.net.
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