Buying a new treadmill or elliptical fitness machine is a big decision. You want to make sure, as you do with any significant monetary investment, that you are getting the best value possible from your purchase. Consumer reports, (treadmill and elliptical reports), are there to help you buy smart. Spending too much is obviously not a good idea, but neither is going too cheap and having the machine break down on you. What should you look for in consumer reports on treadmills or ellipticals?
1) Price value. You want to know that you are getting a machine that is considered under priced, rather than over priced, by industry experts. Make sure that the consumer reports reports you or reviews you read are comparing the treadmill or elliptical to another model that is in the same price range. You don’t want to compare a $600 fitness machine to a $4000 one. Decide on your budget ahead of time and search accordingly.
2) Warranty. The terms of the warranty are important, of course, but so is the customer service offered by the company when handling warranty claims. You want to find out from the consumer report, what the person who wrote it had to say about their experience dealing with the company. A warranty is only as good as the company that is backing it. What good is a warranty you can never claim?
3) Performance and durability. How long has the writer of the report owned the machine? How often did they use it and how strenuously did they work out on it? Did the performance live up to the claims being made by the manufacturer or was it a disappointment?
Finding a treadmill for the lowest price possible is not hard to do if you know where to look. Check out Treadmills On Sale for tips and information on how to find the best deals.
For elliptical machines, check out the Elliptical Machine Buyer’s Guide.
Spending a little time to research what experts in the home fitness equipment industry have to say about certain elliptical bikes or trainers before you make a purchase decision, can go a long way in helping you get the best value from your purchase. There are many print and online publications dedicated solely to elliptical ratings that you can review.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to find the best value out of elliptical trainers that retail for less than $2000. Several consumer reports on ellipticals report that the low end models just don’t hold up and cannot compare, in value, to the more expensive models. (Even when taking price into consideration.) In short, quality has to be paid for.
Low impact exercise is one of the biggest benefits of working out on an elliptical machine. One major consumer report rated three models as being the best for relieving stress on the joints during a workout. They were the Proform 900, the Nordictrack CXT 990, and the Precor EFX. The Proform unit was actually named best value out of all the models.
During safety and comfort tests, the highest rated model was the Cardiocross Proform 800. The Stamina Conversion II model came in second. The comparison was close and what put the Proform over the top was it’s lower retail price.