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      September 25, 2020

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Horizon vs Life Fitness

Best Elliptical Machines

To help you find the Best Elliptical Machines, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Horizon and Life Fitness.

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Elliptical machines merge the features of a stair-climber with a ski machine for a good, low impact workout. What makes an elliptical machine different than other cardiovascular equipment is the combined upper and lower body workout. You stand on pedals that move on an a track, and move your arms back and forth, opposite your legs.

With an elliptical machine, you get a solid workout that utilizes several muscle groups including the quadriceps, hamstrings, butt, chest, back, triceps, biceps and core. The obvious benefit from exercising more muscles is that you tone more of your body with no additional time required. Furthermore, you also optimize your calorie expenditure.

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Best Reviews

2020

Elliptical Machine Reviews

4 stars
Horizon

HORIZON

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Cost:

$699 - $4,599

Horizon Fitness is a home exercise equipment company that has a big selection of exercise bicycles, treadmills, rowing machines and elliptical machines. This review will focus on their line of elliptical machines.

The Horizon Fitness website is attractive, modern looking and easy to navigate. The main page offers a quick navigation bar that allows simple browsing of their exercise equipment categories including pictures of the equipment and brief summaries of each item. There are links to all the popular social media sites, a notice of their 30 day money back guarantee and free shipping policies, and toll free numbers for both customer support and sales.

Another feature we really liked was the section with links to Horizon's exclusive technologies. Here one can find information on some of the features of Horizon's equipment like the Johnson drive system, feather-light folding feature, the infinity belt system, as well as some of their modern connectivity programs like ViaFit and the Horizon passport system. These last two features allow the athlete to record and track workout results online at the ViaFit website, and to experience virtual active technology that can synch workouts to a display of high definition video "adventure" footage. This is pretty advanced technology for exercise equipment and could provide a unique experience for any athlete looking for this sort of thing.

Horizon offers 12 different models in their elliptical machine line, ranging from $699 to a whopping $4,599. All models come with a heavy flywheel stride system and Horizon's patented Six Star ergonomic frame. As the price goes up more features are added, including the ViaFit and Passport technologies mentioned above. Other features include the Cardio Compass display that provides clear and easy to read feedback during the workout, power incline systems, Sprint 8 which is a customizable workout programming tool, and a patented trackless "Perfect Stride" system that provides a smoother more natural walking motion.

Equipment overview:

  • Stride Motion: Flywheel
  • Price Range: $799-$4,599
  • Different Models: 12
  • Financing Available: No
  • Stride Width: 18-20 inches
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Guarantee: Only for defective parts
  • Shipping: Free

We didn't see any accolades or reviews linked to the Horizon website. There are a few positive testimonials scrolling across the bottom of the website, but no links to any news articles, awards or a Better Business Bureau rating. The warrantee was not as good as some others we have seen in this category either. Only original parts that are faulty are covered, unlike some other exercise equipment companies that provide a few years of free repair resulting from normal wear and tear on the equipment. Still, with a wide selection of products we can recommend Horizon Fitness to anyone in the market for a home elliptical machine.

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3.5 stars
Life Fitness

LIFE FITNESS

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Cost:

From $1,799 to $11,199

LifeFitness is a popular brand of fitness equipment, both for fitness centers and home users alike. They carry a wide spectrum of cardio and strength machines, and their selection of ellipticals is one of the biggest on the market with 11 different base models to choose from.

Whether you’re looking for a basic elliptical or all of the latest bells and whistles, you’ll find it on the LifeFitness website. On the lower end of the spectrum are the X5 and X1 models, though the X5 was sold out at the time of our review. If you’re looking for a health club-quality console with all the latest technology for Bluetooth connectivity and TV/app compatibility in your elliptical, the Platinum Club Series and Club Series models are what you’ll find at your local gym and are available for purchase to use in your home gym too.

Equipment overview:

  • Stride Motion: Uses Whisperstride technology with maintenance-free ball bearings
  • Price Range: $1,799 - $11,199
  • Different Models: 11
  • Financing Available: No
  • Stride Width: 20 inches
  • Return Policy: 30-day trial period on all products. A 25% restocking fee (up to a maximum of $500) is also charged on all returned merchandise.
  • Guarantee: Most products have coverage of 3 years for consoles and parts, lifetime for the frame, and a 1-year labor warranty. You'll see the option to add extended coverage during your checkout process, which we recommend
  • Shipping: Free

LifeFitness ellipticals are, across the board, more expensive than most of the other manufacturers on the market. Why? Consider the technology available even on the lowest-end models. For instance, the entry-level Track+ Console is compatible with both Android and Apple devices, includes 14 pre-programmed and 12 custom workouts, and allows users to establish up to four different user profiles on the machine. LifeFitness’ most advanced console, the Discover SE3, has up to 50 different workouts, including 8 custom ones, limitless user profiles, all packaged in a familiar tablet-style screen. Warranty coverage is decent as well, particularly the three-year coverage for the console itself.

Unfortunately, the high prices of LifeFitness ellipticals may be out of range for shoppers looking for a basic entry-level model—once you factor in sales taxes, you’ll be spending over $2,000 for the lowest-end machine. In addition, if you decide you don’t like your LifeFitness elliptical and want to return it within the first 30 days after purchase, expect a 25% restocking fee.

On the other hand, if you need a machine that makes less noise than most ellipticals, LifeFitness uses their proprietary Whisperstride Technology: maintenance-free ball bearings that reduce friction and make it almost silent to use (unless, of course, you start singing along with your iPod or other device while working out!). Along with the ability to change the resistance and stride length during a workout, this feature is a perk not seen in most ellipticals. Also, LifeFitness is one of the few retailers we found that offers certified used home exercise equipment, which can make it more affordable to add an elliptical to your home gym.

We did find some reviews from customers who had issues with consoles and connectivity. For those using Apple devices, you may need to purchase an additional adapter to connect to the elliptical, since LifeFitness still uses 30-pin docking instead of the newer versions. Also, there have been instances where the console shipped is incompatible with the machine, requiring an extra part to be sent by LifeFitness.

We give LifeFitness a good rating for overall quality and reputation, while recognizing that many customers may not be able to afford the higher price tag on their elliptical machines.

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Continued from above

Elliptical machines can use either flywheel or magnetic resistance to help move the components. While some quality flywheel construction exists, magnetic resistance is said to deliver a smoother, more consistent workout. This is the result of how inertia is used and generated. Another important aspect of elliptical construction is the stride width. A small stride width makes for a challenging and sometimes uncomfortable workout for taller individuals. Quality elliptical machines provide a longer stride width along with features that allow you to adjust the width for the best fit.

Several different brands of elliptical machines exist today that range greatly in cost and quality. Before you make the move to purchase an elliptical machine, consider the following:

  • Cost.  What is the price range for the products offered, compared with other brands?
  • Flywheel or Magnetic Resistance.  It's good to know how each model is constructed to meet your needs.
  • Stride Width.  How wide is the stride width? A larger width is preferred by taller people.
  • Return Policy.  Does the company enable you to return an elliptical machine for a full refund?
  • Guarantee.  Should a piece or part of the elliptical machine break, does the company offer any guarantee for repair or replacement?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best elliptical machines available today. We hope these reviews help you find the best elliptical machine that meets your needs!

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