5 Best Budget Elliptical Trainers: Cheap yet Durable!

An Elliptical machine helps in cardio workouts that result in boosting stamina, burns calories, and tones your muscles. Besides, the equipment enables you to maintain fitness while nursing injury. Pre-programmed routines in Elliptical machines mimic workouts such as hill climbing and walking.

To find an Elliptical machine that best meets your workout objectives, you must evaluate numerous factors. Otherwise, you will not only get confused but also end up purchasing gym equipment that ends up in disappointment. Besides, a wide range of options exists in the market.

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How Did This Elliptical Machine Review Arise?

To help you choose equipment that aligns with your budget, we have compiled a review of the top five best budget Elliptical machines. You need to read this review as we have invested heavily in user experiences. Before sharing our compilation, we have gone ahead to ask people to share their experiences on Facebook and other forums.

Users are the best people to rate a product as they are the ones that interact with the equipment directly. Their feedback is what informed our review. We use these experiences to compile the best budget elliptical machines. We will also give our verdict and explain what you need to look out for when buying this gym equipment.

Best Budget Ellipticals

Top 5 Cheap Elliptical Machines in The Market

From our research and user feedback, we have narrowed down to the following five machines:

  •   Nautilus E616
  •   NordicTrack C 7.5
  •   Octane Fitness ZR7 Zero Runner
  •   Precor EFX 222 Energy
  •   Solo Fitness E35

#1. Nautilus E616

Nautilus E616

Find out more on Amazon

The Nautilus E616 features Bluetooth connectivity, plus an app for syncing to your workouts. You can save the exercises you love while also tracking your progress. Besides, the Elliptical machine comes with 29 workout programs and 25 intensity levels. Moreover, the app allows you to sync workouts with those of other people pursuing similar objectives.

At $999.00 on Amazon, this elliptical machine is worth the cost, considering the features it packs.

Nautilus E616
  •   Bluetooth connectivity
  •   It has an LCD screen
  •   25 workout intensity levels
  •   29 workout programs
  •   In-built speakers
  •   It is a pricey equipment

Last update on 2020-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

#2. NordicTrack C 7.5

NordicTrack C 7.5

Find out more on Amazon

Nordic Track C 7.5 features 26 in-built workouts giving you a wide choice. More so, it can establish your calorie count. With 22 resistance levels, the Elliptical machine gives you a leeway to choose the intensity of your desire. At the same time, the equipment has one-touch controls that respond very fast to the touch. Despite being a piece of pricey cardio equipment, its features speak for themselves and provide value for money.

NordicTrack C 7.5
  •   26 built-in workout levels
  •   22 resistance levels
  •   One-touch controls
  •  It has a maximum load bearing capacity of 325 pounds
  •   It is a bulky equipment
  •   Requires a large space
NordicTrack E 7.5 Z Elliptical
  • Bring Home Interactive Personal Training powered by iFit; A 30-day iFit membership gives you access to interactive training sessions, on-demand studio & global workouts, and connected fitness tracking
  • 5” High-Contrast Display; Track all your important workout stats on this convenient display; An Integrated Tablet Holder secures your smart device so you can stream interactive iFit workouts at home
  • 20 Digital Resistance Levels; With iFit, your trainer auto-adjusts your elliptical; Adjustable Power Ramp allows you to train at an incline; Adjustable stride is perfect for multiple users
  • 15-pound Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel; Soft Touch Upper Body Grips offer a total-body workout; SMR Silent Magnetic Resistance keeps each stride quiet and smooth; Enjoy oversized cushioned pedals
  • 300-pound user weight capacity; Protected with a 10-year frame warranty and a 1-year parts and labor warranty; 67.7” H x 25” W x 68.4” L

Last update on 2020-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

#3. Octane Fitness ZR7 Zero Runner

Octane Fitness ZR7 Zero Runner

Find out more on Amazon

The Octane Fitness ZR7 Zero Runner features Bluetooth connectivity, and app syncing. It has space where you can put a water bottle, tablet, or laptop. Besides, it is a piece of cordless equipment that does not need a connection to electricity while in use. Moreover, it features 35 workout programs. This equipment is versatile for use not only as an elliptical machine but also as a treadmill or stair climber.

Octane Fitness ZR7 Zero Runner
  •   Bluetooth connectivity
  •   Cordless
  •   35 workout programs
  •  Quiet operation
  •  Less in-built technology
Octane Fitness ZR7 Zero Runner
  • Replicates a true running experience with zero impact to your body
  • Simulate walking with shorter strides or increase speed to a running motion up to 58 inches
  • Monitor the health of your stride with stride tracing data
  • Self-powered and whisper quiet
  • Console displays all essential workout data

Last update on 2020-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

#4. Precor EFX 222 Energy

Precor EFX 222 Energy

Find out more on Amazon

The Elliptical machine uses a high-quality display to allow you to track your workout progress. Also, you can monitor your heartbeat during workout sessions. It features three workout intensity settings that you can select from the display unit. The patented design of this trainer provides you with a smooth feel. Besides, it keeps your body in perfect posture throughout the workout with three adjustable ramp angles and stride lengths.

Precor EFX 222 Energy
  •   Quality display
  •   Numerous intensity options with three settings
  •  Progress monitoring
  •   It is a bulky equipment
  •  Costly
Precor EFX 222 Energy Series...
  • Precor introduced the very first elliptical in1995 and has been the global leader in elliptical manufacturing for over 20 years
  • Health club quality workout at home
  • Patented design provides a smooth, natural feel and keeps your body in a comfortable, posture-perfect position for the duration of your workouts
  • A true cross-trainer with multiple ways to change the exercise to maximize muscle recruitment while building cardio endurance
  • See chart below for Precor full line of Precor Ellipticals

Last update on 2020-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

#5. Sole Fitness E35

Sole Fitness E35

Find out more on Amazon

The Sole Fitness E35 features a 7.5-inch LCD unit. It also comes with six pre-programmed workouts and two programs for heart rate monitoring. Besides, the equipment features an in-built fan, water bottle holder, and a sound system. For accurate readings, the elliptical machine has a weight capacity of 375 pounds with both adjustable and stationary handlebars.

The Elliptical machine comes loaded with 20 resistance levels, a stride length of 20-22 inches with a ramp angle of up to 30 degrees. With Bluetooth speakers, you can listen to music from your smartphone or other smart devices.

Sole Fitness E35
  •   Quality display unit
  •   Adjustable handlebars
  •   375-pound weight capacity
  •  In-built fan and water bottle holder
  •   The fans have a poor sound quality
  •  Assembling the equipment poses a challenge to some users
Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine
  • Elliptical machine provides challenging cardio workout, supported by blue, backlit LDC display that helps you track essential training data
  • Adjustable pedals and console and power adjustable stride and incline; 20-to-22-inch maximum stride length; six standard programs, two custom programs, and two heart rate programs
  • Pulse grip and chest strap heart rate monitoring; LCD console with 7.5-inch display; front drive system with bBuilt-in fan and 15-inch pedals; includes sound system and water bottle holder
  • Measures 27 by 58 by 83 inches (W x H x D), with 230-pound weight and 375-pound weight limit
  • Includes the following manufacturer's warranties against defects in materials and workmanship: lifetime on frame; five years on electronics and parts; and two years on labor.Kindly refer the user manual attached below for troubleshooting steps and instructions.

Last update on 2020-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Budget Elliptical Buying Guide (What to Look for)

Before purchasing an Elliptical machine, we recommend that you research extensively. Failure to evaluate your options will not only leave you with an expensive tool but one that is too bulky to fit into your room. We have prepared a buying guide with the following things to look for during purchase.

  •   Spending budget
  •   Size
  •   Features
  •   Add-ons
  •   The option to customize
  •   Easy setup and use
  •   Product warranty

Spending budget

Elliptical machines can be pricey, so you must decide how much you intend to spend in the first place. For example, the cardio machines in our review range from $1,000 to $3,000. Knowing what your ideal equipment costs helps you avoid overspending. You remain confident that the equipment you end up procuring aligns with your fitness goals.

Buying a workout machine is like a business investment. In both instances, you expect returns after a while. Also, you must get value for money, meaning that for every dollar spent, there must be a fitness goal achieved. Decide on the amount you want to spend, set it aside, and step out to find an elliptical machine that is close to your heart.

Size

Start by taking measurements of the space you want to place the machine. You could shoot for a section of your living room, an unused garage, or the basement. Depending on your preference, elliptical machines can be bulky. Some equipment comes with fold-up features, but most are stationary. Having measurements ahead of your purchase is wise.

Space constraints largely determine the size of the equipment you procure. Heavy equipment can be difficult to offload and install. On the other hand, if the machine has no wheels, you will have difficulty moving the item into a corner or storage area. Be sure to put these in mind when shopping for your elliptical machine.

Features

Numerous elliptical machines come with an array of features and designs. Most importantly, you must focus on the resistance system, flywheel, and the brake. These determine how long you will use the equipment before servicing, plus its overall feel. More so, the more parts a cardio kit has, the higher the chances of loud noise during operation.

There are three configurations of elliptical trainers: front-drive, center-drive, and rear-drive. In Front-Drive settings, the flywheel is at the front of the machine. The pedals are located on its wheels making this Elliptical trainer highly prone to vibration and noise.

As for the Center-Drive design, the flywheel is at the center. Also, the pedal mechanism features a crankshaft and rollers. On its part, the Rear-Drive elliptical machine features the wheel on the sides. The pedals are centrally placed, resulting in a smooth and quiet ride.

Add-ons

Bluetooth connectivity, app syncing, built-in speakers, and fans are features of interest. If you love these aspects, then you will do well to go for elliptical machines with such. Moreover, some consoles have an LCD screen with a backlight or none. If you intend to place the equipment in a dimly lit space, choose one with a backlit console.

A built-in fan, bottle holder, device holder, and reading rack are added features on consoles. Check for these fundamental aspects as they help make your workouts more enjoyable. An elliptical trainer where you must stop and pick a bottle from a nearby table or the floor is sure to interrupt your workouts.

Staying with the console, check for heart rate monitoring and workout programs. Heart rate monitoring is essential for athletes and other gym enthusiasts. Finding cardio equipment with this feature is more than a blessing. Our reviewed elliptical machines have a range of 20-35 programs. Keep this in mind while making your purchase decision.

The option to customize

Customization works well where you are not the only one that uses the elliptical machine in your house. Also, you will love customizing if you want to change things or push yourself to achieve individual goals. Modifications you will find include adjustable incline, stride, and pivoting pedals.

In some equipment variants, you will find automatic adjustments while in others, you must do it manually. The incline is a case in point. Long strides work well with tall people, while short strides are for users of similar height.

On the other hand, not all cardio equipment comes with adjustable pedals. Nonetheless, if you buy an elliptical machine that features an adjustable lever, you put less strain on your feet. In some models, you will find pedals that pivot your feet. Despite being less expensive, elliptical equipment with fixed levers provide no customization.

Easy setup and use

Pick an elliptical machine that you can set up quickly and use. Some units will have a foldable feature which provides for ease of storage. More so, you must procure a machine that feels comfortable during workouts. It must best stimulate real conditions such as climbing or walking.

An ideal elliptical trainer is one that comes with clear user instructions backed by user-friendly controls. Also, the LCD screen should be large enough such that you do not strain your eyes while reading or setting configurations.

Spending many hours to set up simple equipment can be frustrating. Also, machines that feature many moving parts are more prone to failure compared to those with few components.

Product warranty

As soon as they spot something they like, many buyers forget about warranties. A warranty indicates the investment product manufacturer has made on quality. Guarantees are proof that the seller has full trust in the product functioning as intended.

Some brands offer lifetime warranties while others set a timeframe for the same. Whether it is on labor or parts replacement, the warranty depends on the product’s cost. Where a lifetime commitment does not exist, shoot for warranties that range from 1-5 years.

Ideally, equipment costing an upwards of $1,000 has a three-year warranty on the product and one-year on maintenance. Less costly machines will have shorter warranties. Enquire about the warranty and understand what it covers.

Our Verdict and What We Found Out

We discovered that the Nautilus takes much space. You must ensure that you have enough room. More so, if you intend to convert your basement space into a gym, check that there is enough overhead clearance. This elliptical machine operates quietly. You can have your TV on, and it will not disrupt activities in other sections of your house.

Concerning the NordicTrack C 7.5, we noted that it also operates quietly. We liked the speakers but observed that the machine has no fan, a design aspect that would come in handy during the summer. Also, the device is bulky and poses a challenge during assembly. Numerous parts and sections can intimidate new users. Also, the more the parts and pieces of equipment, the higher the chances of a breakdown.

In our view, Octane Fitness ZR7 Zero Runner takes effort before you become fully accustomed. The elliptical machine simulates resistance that is too close to the real running or walking. You require one or two sessions for you to get fully acquainted with the motions.

Also, the console does not have features for saving your workouts.  Battery access requires that you crouch underneath the equipment. You also need a tool for removing the bottom plate. We wished that the product had an easy way to allow users to replace batteries.

The Precor EFX 222 Energy, we noted, is bulky and would need a helping hand during delivery. However, the equipment is comfortable to use, plus it is highly adjustable. Also, we noted that the bars on the elliptical trainer have a comfortable grasp. The display has an excellent contrast making it easy to view the readings from different angles.

Switching our attention to the Sole Fitness E35, this Elliptical machine takes about three hours to set up.  It is dead quiet during operation even though we noticed that the fan could, at times, be noisy. Other occupants in the room will not see that you are working out. However, we noted that you require some time to get used to the settings.

Having considered all these aspects, we settled on the Nautilus E616. In making this decision, we liked the fact that the Elliptical machine has an LCD screen, in-built speakers, and Bluetooth connectivity. Besides, it features 22 intensity programs.

Conclusion

Elliptical machines feature a wide variety of designs. Each has its advantages and setbacks. During the evaluation, we were keen to check the product’s effectiveness. During a workout, you need to achieve your objectives with the least discomfort. The best equipment should not add strain to your ligaments, tendons, and joints.

The features packed in an elliptical trainer are perhaps the most critical evaluation aspects. Fitness apps, programs, and Bluetooth connectivity are significant technological innovations a user needs to check. However, if you feel that they make your choice equipment expensive, you can scale down to another option.

Moreover, you should spend more time working out and less if none on setting up the equipment. Also, troubleshooting should not arise unless you cannot avoid it. Equipment with these aspects will provide you with controls that are user-friendly and straightforward instructions.

In compiling this review, we examined user feedback thoroughly. We were keen to establish what aspects consumers desired most. We noticed that most users wanted or liked equipment that did not require them to use too much force while on a workout.

Maintenance was also a significant concern, and we took it seriously. Machines break down when you least expect. On the other hand, you might hit a snag, not knowing what to do. Sending equipment back to the manufacturer is not something that is at the top of your mind. We shared reviews of easy to fix elliptical trainers.

Elliptical machines can be pricey, we noticed that and brought it to your attention. However, if you choose your equipment wisely, there is no cause for alarm. We recommend ticking more boxes where a choice machine has more of what you want and less of what will not suit you.

Either way, the machine you eventually buy can be expensive but provides value for every dollar spent. In that case, you have no reason to worry since you got the best, plus it was within your budget. In the end, you want equipment that will help you achieve your workout goals regardless of the investment.

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