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Horizon Fitness Review

Sunday, April 18th

2021 Elliptical Machine Reviews

Horizon Fitness Review 2 Star Rating

Horizon Fitness

2 Star Rating
  • Cost: $699 to $1,399

Horizon Fitness is a well-known name when it comes to exercise equipment. From rowers to indoor cycles and beyond, they make in-home fitness machines for every experience level. Unfortunately, this retailer has dropped significantly in our rankings since our last review. Why? Keep reading and see for yourself.

Equipment Overview:

  • Stride Motion: Magnetic resistance
  • Price Range: $699 to $1,399
  • Different Models: 4
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Resistance Levels: 10-20 (varies by model)
  • Return Policy: 30 days, 20% restocking fee if not returned in like-new condition with all original packaging
  • Warranty: Lifetime on frame, 1-3 years on parts, 1 year on labor
  • Shipping: Free

Some Models Available In-store Only

Horizon makes four models of elliptical machines: the EX-59, Evolve 3, Evolve 5, and the 7.0 AE. We were disappointed to see that only the EX-59 and 7.0 AE were available for purchase online: both Evolve models had to be purchased in-store from a brick-and-mortar retailer. That definitely dropped Horizon in our rankings, especially during a time when so many customers aren't willing (or able) to shop in person.

Immediate Shipment On Two Models

However, on a more positive note, both of the ellipticals available for online purchase appeared to be in stock for immediate shipment at the time of our review. Given that many of Horizon's rivals had estimated delivery times as far out as three months from the date of purchase, this store might be worth considering if you want an elliptical machine sooner rather than later.

Good Set Of Features, Tech

The 7.0 AE is the higher-end of the two available-online ellipticals offered through Horizon, and it retails for $999. You'll get 20 levels of resistance and also 20 settings for the incline, easily changed during your workout with one-touch keys and handlebar controls. It also includes a complimentary app for controlling your workout and sending data to your preferred fitness apps, for ease in tracking your workouts and keeping an eye on your fitness goals. Surprisingly, the AE has fewer pre-programmed workouts than the less-advanced model: you'll only get options for a 5K, Calorie Goal, Fat Burn, Distance Goal, Max Heart Rate, and Manual. Out of more than 150 customer reviews posted to the Horizon site, this elliptical machine had a great 4.7 out of 5-stars average.

Best Elliptical Machines

Lower-end Model: No Incline, More Programs

With the EX-59, priced at $699, you lose a few of the features offered in the higher-end elliptical: there are no incline settings, and you'll only have 10 levels of resistance to use in your workout. The LCD display is fairly low-tech too, with no options for the training app, but you get more onboard workout programs: Calorie Goal, Constant Watts, Intervals, Intervals Plus, Manual, Random, Reverse Train, Rolling Hills, Weight Loss, and Weight Loss Plus. The EX-59 does have Bluetooth-enabled speakers - just no USB port for keeping your tablet or phone charging while you work out. This elliptical also had an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, with more than 400 customers providing feedback.

Less-than-generous Return Policy

Horizon advertises a 100% guarantee on their elliptical machines, but the fine print gave us pause. Yes, you'll have 30 days to try yours out and decide if you want to return it, but you're on the hook for the shipping costs both ways. In other words, even though your elliptical came with free shipping, your refund will have a fee deducted for what they spent to deliver it to you - plus whatever it costs to send it back. You can imagine that would add up! Also, unless you return the elliptical machine in like-new condition with all original packaging, you may be hit with a 20% restocking fee. That doesn't really feel like a "100% guarantee" to us.

Hard To Reach Customer Service

We also discovered that Horizon Fitness' parent company, Johnson Health Tech North America, has a less-than-impressive "B+" rating from the Better Business Bureau. There are many complaints registered with the BBB that describe problems getting any help from Horizon's customer service team, even after several weeks of trying. If your elliptical is damaged in transit or inoperable right out of the box, you could be facing a lot of aggravation trying to get the problem fixed.

Limited Selection, Mediocre Reputation

At the end of the day, you want an elliptical trainer that works well and that has ample support from a company that cares about its customers. Horizon Fitness only gives you two ellipticals to choose from - and while those get compliments from users, that only holds true if you don't have any problems that need fixing. If that happens, customer feedback indicates you could wind up being extremely unhappy with Horizon's buying experience. We recommend that you choose an elliptical machine from a retailer with a stronger track record for shopper satisfaction.

Where Can You Buy the Best Elliptical Machines?

On the market for more than two decades, these versatile pieces of workout equipment are some of the most popular in fitness centers and home gyms alike. Why? First of all, many people prefer the motion of an elliptical trainer over treadmills because of the decreased impact on joints. Not everyone can hop on a treadmill and run a 5K with painful knees and ankles; using an elliptical machine gives you a high level of cardiovascular exercise without as much strain.

Another advantage of using an elliptical trainer is the ability to get a full-body workout. Although using the handles is optional, most exercisers like to use the push-pull motion to strengthen muscles in the arms, abs and back at the same time as the lower body. Who wouldn't benefit from the efficiency of working out multiple muscle groups at once?

The Best Elliptical Machines Compare Elliptical Machines Compare Elliptical Machine Reviews What are the best Elliptical Machines Best Elliptical Machine Reviews

Elliptical Machine FAQ

An elliptical machine is a low-impact stationary cardio trainer that combines an upper and lower body workout. The user stands on the pedals, holding onto the handles with both arms outstretched, and moves his or her feet along the track in an oval-like (or "elliptical" ) path.
Some ellipticals are more expensive than others depending on their features - such as whether or not they include a touch screen, workout programs or tracking capabilities - and how long they are built to last. The most inexpensive ellipticals out there are priced around $350, but for a quality trainer that will last you for years, expect to pay at least $500-$1,000.
Ellipticals are predominantly cardio machines. Increasing the resistance and using the handlebars of your elliptical will engage, strengthen and tone nearly every muscle group, but if you're looking to build real bulk, you should probably look elsewhere.
Scientists have debunked spot-reduction weight loss. Only by creating a caloric deficit can you lose weight, and that weight loss will be distributed across your entire body. That being said, elliptical workouts are a fantastic way to create a caloric deficit and tone up at the same time.
In flywheel ellipticals, resistance is created by friction. The heavier the flywheel, the stronger the resistance and the smoother the movement. Magnetic resistance ellipticals are able to increase resistance levels with more accuracy and require less maintenance than their friction-dependent flywheel counterparts. Magnetic resistance ellipticals are quieter than flywheel ellipticals, but they are also typically more expensive.
Elliptical training cannot improve your running form or posture, but it can help you prepare to transition to running outdoors or on a treadmill. When done regularly and with enough intensity, elliptical training can increase your strength and stamina.
When compared to a high impact exercise like running, yes, elliptical training is much gentler on knees and joints. However, many elliptical users still report feeling pain or discomfort in their knees and feet as a result of pushing themselves too hard or having poor form.
As with any piece of fitness machinery, regular maintenance is necessary to prevent injury and to keep your machine functioning properly. Depending on how frequently your elliptical is used, you should have your elliptical serviced every 3-6 months. Check your user manual for more information.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Plus, many elliptical machines can be used in different ways: some combine a traditional elliptical system with a recumbent or upright bike, while others let you change the stride motion to more closely resemble a stair stepping machine or even a treadmill. This flexibility makes it likely that you'll use your elliptical trainer for a long time, because you can change the workout to match your mood, your physical capabilities at the moment, your fitness goals, or the other users in your household.

And, if you think that elliptical machines have been left out of the live streaming workout craze, think again! Some of the most advanced models offer large touch screens that can deliver real-time coached workout sessions - and may even allow a trainer access to change your resistance levels or incline during the workout! Even if your elliptical doesn't come with that built-in feature, almost all brands and models have a tablet holder, allowing you to choose your own workout platform and go for it (or just binge a few episodes of your favorite TV show: your choice!).

When choosing the right elliptical machine for your home gym, how can you tell which retailer should get your business? Here are several factors to keep in mind as you shop:

  • Selection. How many elliptical trainers does the store carry? The broader the selection, the more likely you'll be able to get exactly what you want without paying for features you don't need.
  • Price. Speaking of features, how much will you spend for an elliptical machine at the retailer you're browsing? Is shipping included? Will you have to pay extra to get a more up-to-date console or a different frame color?
  • Availability. Home fitness equipment is more popular than ever, and many businesses are feeling the strain of keeping up with demand. Are the ellipticals the retailer advertises actually in stock? Be sure to check delivery timeframes: some stores show that certain models are available for purchase, but when you add one to your cart you might spot some fine print that says that delivery may take up to three months!
  • Return Policy. What happens if your elliptical machine is delivered and it doesn't fit where you planned to put it? Or your significant other is too tall (or too short) for the stride length? Not every retailer will allow you to send it back for a refund.
  • Reputation. What do other people say about their experience, both with the elliptical machines themselves and with the company overall? Customer reviews and a rating from the Better Business Bureau are two reliable ways of determining how well a retailer is living up to shoppers' expectations.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best retailers of elliptical machines available today. We hope this information helps you pick the right equipment for your home gym!

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