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Xterra Review

Sunday, April 18th

2021 Elliptical Machine Reviews

Xterra Review 4.5 Star Rating

Xterra

4.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: $299.99 to $699.99

When it comes to home gym equipment that somehow manages to be durable and affordable, no one can beat Xterra. Across a wide range of machines - ellipticals, treadmills, rowers and more - the company regularly gets high praise from customers for making it possible for people on a budget to get an excellent workout at home.

Equipment Overview:

  • Stride Motion: Flywheel
  • Price Range: $299.99 to $699.99
  • Different Models: 6
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Resistance Levels: 8-24 (varies by model)
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Warranty: 1-5 years for frame (varies by model), 1 year for parts, none for labor
  • Shipping: Free

Helpful In-stock Availability Feature

In a time where purchases of home fitness equipment are at an all-time high, finding elliptical machines that are actually in stock can be challenging. We appreciate that Xterra makes it easy to see what's available for immediate purchase, without having to click through each item to figure it out: just look for a link at the top of the site that lets you search strictly for in-stock equipment. At the time of this evaluation, we were able to quickly determine that 4 out of Xterra's 6 elliptical models were ready to order.

Hybrid And Traditional Designs

You'll find two basic styles of elliptical machines with this retailer: the traditional single-function design, as well as a hybrid design that meshes an elliptical with an upright cycle. You might think you'd pay more for the latter, but the hybrid machines are actually Xterra's two least expensive units at $299.99 and $399.99.

Entry-level Option For Under $300

At that lower end of the price spectrum, don't be expecting any bells and whistles. You'll only get a few levels of resistance, and you'll have to change it manually with a tension knob: no push-button, on-the-go changes with these entry-level ellipticals. The stride length is also much shorter than average, at just 13", and the LCD console gives you the most bare-bones data with time, speed, distance, calories, pulse (if gripping the hand sensors) and odometer.

Best Elliptical Machines

Slightly More Tech For Under $700

Even on the opposite end of the price range, represented by Xterra's FS3.5 elliptical, you shouldn't expect bleeding-edge tech or fancy features. There's an audio jack and speakers but no Bluetooth connectivity, and you'll have to use the device holder and your own tablet or phone if you want to stream and follow a workout. On the other hand, this model gives you 24 levels of resistance that can be changed at the push of a button, 28 preset workout programs plus manual option, and heart rate monitoring either through the hand grips or heart rate monitor sensor (but the monitor isn't included). The stride length is longer too at 17" - but that could still be too short for taller users. But, at a list price of $699.99, this machine is hard to beat in terms of the overall workout provided for most people.

Not For Users Over 250-300 Pounds

Be aware that Xterra ellipticals tend to be less bulky than most competitor machines. That's a plus if you need to be able to move it around easily on your own, but you might feel a little wobbly compared with a sturdier piece of equipment. That can also factor in if user weight is an issue: most Xterra machines have a limit ranging from 250-300 pounds.

Reasonable Return Policy

If you get your elliptical machine and decide to return it, you'll have 30 days from the delivery date to request a Return Authorization number. You'll be responsible for return shipping costs, and Xterra will help you make those arrangements. Your equipment needs to be sent back in its original packaging and in good condition, and the company reserves the right to charge a 10% restocking fee if those terms aren't met.

Surprisingly Durable

Fortunately, most customers have no need to send back their elliptical machines (or any other Xterra equipment, for that matter). Across the board, we found plenty of compliments on how durable the equipment is, how well it delivers a workout, and how surprising it is given Xterra's low price points.

Great Options On A Budget

For all of these reasons, Xterra gets one of our highest recommendations among retailers of elliptical machines. Anyone who needs a decent elliptical trainer on a shoestring budget will find something to fit the bill here - as long as they keep the somewhat lower weight limits and shorter available stride paths in mind as they shop among the machines Xterra has to offer.

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?

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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.
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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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