So you’ve found a cheap elliptical trainer and you’re happy. After all, why pay more for an elliptical when you can get one under $ 600 cheap. It will do the job right?
While getting a bargain is great (and there are some excellent elliptical discounts online if you know where to look) most people don’t realize that cheap elliptical trainers can end up costing them much more money – and problems – in the long run.
What you buy is up to you – but you may not be getting the whole picture when looking at price alone.
I’ve bought several ‘cheap’ ellipticals over the years – and heard sob stories from many more buyers who thought they were getting a great deal. With that in mind, here’s a few things you should know when buying a cheap elliptical:
#1 You’re Probably Burning Less Calories
Cheaper machines are often not properly ergonomically designed. So you’ll notice that you’re leaning on the arm bars more or your elliptical stride feels a bit short.
These design shortcomings can result in you burning less calories per workout – which means you have to work harder and longer to get the same results as you would for a properly designed mid-priced unit.
#2 You May Get Injured More Easily
Again because of the limits of design, you may find that you get injured more easily on a cheap machine. For example, many cheaper models come with fixed footpedals (vs articulating footpedals that follow the natural motion of your ankle and keep it in a neutral position).
These may be ok for shorter workouts. But if you workout on these ellipticals for a long period of time, you may find you’re starting to get the toe numbness and pain after your workouts due to the stress that your ankle is repetitively going through.
There’s also little things that might be annoying over time. For example, most cheaper machines don’t offer a backlit console – so it can be very hard to read your workout stats. This is a little thing but definitely will become an aggravation when you’re straining to see your time, calories burned and intensity level on your console.
#3 You May End Up Spending More Money on a Cheap Elliptical Machine in the Long Run
There are a number of extra costs associated with buying an elliptical. For example, most stores will charge you shipping costs of about $ 150 whereas most online sellers will offer free shipping. So even if you find a cheap elliptical in a store, remember to tack on $ 150 to the price for shipping.
Also, don’t forget to add in sales tax – which again you won’t pay at most online elliptical stores. Also, most cheaper machines come with a very short warranty – meaning you either have to pay extra to get an added warranty, or you can take your chances with a 90 day coverage.
If your machine breaks after 90 days (even if the parts are covered for longer), you may end up paying hefty labor costs. Or you may just opt to do what I and many other buyers do – throw out your elliptical and buy a newer, higher quality one. When you add it up, you may find that you’re actually spending MORE to buy a cheap machine than if you just went with a mid-priced high quality brand, built to last.
So what do I mean when I talk about cheap machines?
While some experts differ on this, personally I don’t think any elliptical under $ 800 will last you a very long time. There are definitely some decent ellipticals out there in the $ 599-$ 799 range. However if they are well built at this price range, they probably will still be fairly ‘bare bones’ and not include many of the extras that will make your workout more comfortable (pivoting foot pedals, proper ergonomics, iPod docks, built-in workouts, etc.)
On the other hand, you don’t have to spend a fortune on your elliptical to get a high quality machine.
There are a lot of excellent elliptical trainers under $ 1600 that are built to last, with proper ergonomic design, incline, long stride lengths, pivoting footplates and more.
There are also machines that offer adjustable strides and multiple user profiles so that your whole family can use the elliptical (and you save on multiple gym memberships),
Bottom line? The problems with buying a cheap elliptical machine really occur because most buyers don’t know what to look for when shopping. Educate yourself, review different brands so you know what kind of machines they make. That way you’ll be able to choose a much better elliptical for your needs.
Vienna Miller writes for http://www.EllipticalTrainerReview.com a site offering the latest elliptical trainer ratings, reviews and savings tips.
To research elliptical trainers by brand, price and consumer rating visit Elliptical Reviews