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      July 11, 2020

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Precor vs NordicTrack

Best Elliptical Machines

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

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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

3 stars
Precor

PRECOR

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Cost:

From $1,599 to $7,495

With a history spanning three decades, Precor provides equipment for home and commercial users alike - from home gyms to fitness centers and more. Their focus on constant innovation and attention to high-quality engineering is evident in their treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes, and strength equipment.

Precor offers 9 models of ellipticals for use in home gyms. Starting on the lowest end, the EFX 221 Energy series has stationary handlebars to focus your workout on the lower body for cardio and toning. On the other end of Precor’s spectrum, the EFX 835 Experience series features moving handlebars for a total body workout, along with a converging stride path that mimics a natural footpath similar to walking or running.

Equipment Overview:

  • Stride Motion: CrossRamp technology, which allows users to change the height of the elliptical path their feet travel while working out; magnetic resistance
  • Price Range: $2,345 to $4,299
  • Different Models: 9
  • Financing Available: No
  • Weight Capacity: Up to 350 lbs.
  • Return Policy: Precor does not accept returns after products have been delivered
  • Guarantee: All products have a lifetime warranty on the frame, 3 years on the Console, 5-10 years on parts and “wear items” (depending on the model), and 1 year for labor
  • Shipping: $199 for delivery + installation

The Precor website makes it challenging to compare differences between models. You can click “compare” to add any model to a list, and then click on the next “compare” button on the right-hand side of the page. But, the results page doesn’t lay out the models in a way that helps you compare side-by-side. For instance, when we compared the EFX 221 with the EFX 835, the sections describing the preset workouts aren’t in the same place in the table, so you’ll have to scroll back and forth on the page to try and determine if the differences between the two are important to your workout goals.

One feature shared by all of the elliptical models sold by Precor is the CrossRamp technology used mimic natural movement and reduce stress on the joints. You may be interested to read about the evolution of the technology and its most recent design, the Converging CrossRamp design, located by clicking on the “Precor EFX CrossRamp Technology” link on the right-hand side of the main Ellipticals page.

When looking at all of the available ellipticals on the market, Precor failed to measure up in a few key areas. First, even on the highest-end models, Precor’s consoles provide just the basics of time, heart rate, and exercise tracking - competitor models typically include compatibility with smartphones, even TV screens and other up-to-date technology with the more expensive ellipticals. Also, Precor does not offer free shipping: ellipticals have a flat-rate delivery and installation fee of $199. However, the most significant drawback with buying any fitness equipment from Precor is the absence of any return policy. Simply put, once you buy a Precor machine, it’s yours - even if you get it home and realize that the elliptical motion hurts your knees or the machine itself doesn’t fit in your home gym like you expected. Most retailers of ellipticals do allow for returns - usually with restocking fees - exactly because they recognize that not every customer will have the chance to try out a Precor elliptical prior to purchase, to make sure it’s a good fit for their goals, physical health, and so on.

Precor has a great reputation; most customer reviews give their elliptical machines high marks for an excellent workout and good durability. However, for some people looking for an elliptical for their home gym, they may feel that the lack of high-tech features and no return policy make Precor’s steep price tag too risky an investment.

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2 stars
NordicTrack

NORDICTRACK

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Cost:

$799 - $1,999

NordicTrack was founded as PSI NordicTrack, Inc. in 1975 by Edward Pauls who studied mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and was a designer of ski boots and bindings for the Minnesota based Rosemount, Inc. NordicTrack is best known for its cross-country ski simulator which ruled the home fitness equipment market in the late 80's. Since that time the company has manufactured several different pieces of fitness equipment including elliptical machines, strength trainers, exercise bikes, treadmills and more.

NordicTrack elliptical machines have some great features including workout programs, heart rate monitor, interactive video games, iPod speakers, fan, decent display and decent stride widths. To the average consumer NordicTrack hits all of the hot buttons. But when you look a little closer you might not be as impressed.

Equipment overview:

  • Stride Motion: Magnetic resistance and flywheel dependant on the model.
  • Price Range. $799 - $1,999
  • Different Models. 9
  • Financing Available. Yes
  • Stride Width. 18 - 30 inches
  • Return Policy. None stated
  • Guarantee. Lifetime guarantee on the motor and frame, with 1 year of parts and in-home service guarantee
  • Shipping. Free

Like most NordicTrack equipment there are a lot of models to choose from, but the differences are generally with the features and not upgrades in durability or performance. We found numerous reports of durability and quality issues that leave a lot to be desired. Some of the models are also light weight and not geared to the serious athlete.

Despite the lower cost on some models and the nice features, we recommend you look at the big picture and choose a higher ranked product that you can depend on. If you still need a NordicTrack, we highly recommend you purchase an extended warranty to protect your investment.

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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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