Kay M. Elliptical Cross Trainer chief editorLooking through all the elliptical cross trainer reviews I realized I just didn’t have time nor did I care to review “34 popular brands and 200 plus elliptical models”. I just wanted to buy the best cross trainer I could while staying within my budget.

I have experience and preferred the household name brand elliptical machines like Precor, Life Fitness, NordicTrack, etc. But I’ve been training for over 20 years and by way of word of mouth I discovered  companies like Yowza and Smooth Fitness who seemed to offer a lot more ‘elliptical’ for your buck. But like most I’ve been a member at my local YMCA and knew from experience what Precor and Life Fitness ellipticals felt like and I wasn’t quiet ready to leave that comfort zone yet.

Nonetheless, I wanted to objectively review and compare basically the top selling elliptical cross trainers.  Factoring Yowza and Smooth Fitness ellipticals into the equation was a no brainer as both are the top cardio equipment sellers online.

Life Fitness Elliptical cross trainer

#4 Life Fitness

Here’s my little cheat sheet I used to compare and review cross trainers around the $2,500 price point:

#4  Life Fitness X3 cross trainer:

Price: $2,700
Pro’s: Smooth and quiet. Includes heart rate sensors on stationary handle bars. Extremely easy to use.
Con’s: Price. You can payless for more of a rugged elliptical with more options.

Precor Cross trainer

#3 PreCor 5.25

#3  PreCor 5.25 Elliptical crosstrainer:

Price: $3,400
Pros: Adjustable crossramp and variable stride allows the machine to adjust to you.  Moving handlebars are always better than stationary
Con’s: Price. Like the X3 the 5.25 is one step up from its base residential model but still expensive.   But there are credible retailers that sell refurbished or used Precor ellipticals.  They’re about 30-40% less than buying a new Precor.  Stick to a trusted used cross trainer retailer (not eBay) if you go this route.

Smooth Fitness Elliptical Trainers

#2 Smooth Fitness

#2  SmoothFitness Agile DMT Elliptical:

Price: $2,600 (not including 5% coupon)
Pros: Smooth Fitness’ best cross trainer.  Offers 12 adjustable motionl levels, 20 intensity levels and
variable stride lengths that adjust to your step between 19″-24″. Moving handlebars with infrared sensor thumb controls.   Included 5 year warranty.  Factory Direct Pricing makes this price better than most competitors.
Cons: You’ve never test driven one before but the Guarantee pretty much dissolves that as any real concern.

#1  Yowza Captiva Cross Trainer:

Yowza Elliptical Cross trainers

Yowza's "Captiva" (Free Extended Warranty Link)

Price: $1,999. (not including $100 discount plus free shipping)

Pros: The Captiva is Yowza’s best elliptical trainer and besides that…it just looks really cool! Variable Motion Control allows you to touch a button to change the motion of your elliptical stride. What’s new is theadded Core Training arm motion that works both your arms and abs simultaneously.  I found this to be a completely new concept that no other elliptical offers.   Bottom line is you get a better workout overall with Yowza’s latest invention.

Again, factory direct pricing allows this manufacturer to keep costs down.

Cons: You’ve never test driven one before but again their Guarantee pretty much dissolves that as any real concern.

If at this point you’ve been comparing elliptical machines Yowza’s Captiva is now your standard.  Unless
you’re just hell bent on buying a name brand or because it’s what you used at your local health club
you’re going to get a lot more elliptical with Yowza ellipticals.

What’s the catch? Why is Yowza so much less?

I asked that and the reason is mainly due that when you buy through Yowza or SmoothFitness your buying factory direct or wholesale (no middle man). With Precor, LifeFitness, Sole, NordicTrak, etc. you’re paying for a significant retail markup.

Please add your comments or your own cross trainer reviews for the benefit of the community.

Cross trainer and Treadmill Free Extended Warranty from Yowza Fitness

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Kay Masterson editorProForm cross trainer ellipticals are backed by ICON Health and Fitness who is also responsible for manufacturing exercise equipment for Reebok, Weider, Nordic Track, Health RiderWeslo, and Gold’s Gym all from their Factory Direct Warehouse.  (That’s one of the main reasons ProForm under prices their competition).

ProForm cross training equipment makes some of the most budget friendly ellipticals and treadmils under $1,000…and somehow manage to keep good reviews?  Most ellipticals that are  under priced will under perform.  Yet, consumer reports rank Proform very well as of recent.

As a quick summary their latest rear drive powered elliptical offers some of the best specs and features with respect to the bottom line price.  Add to the fact that their quality control and customer support departments have been a primary focus within the past 2 years and you can see why consumer reports generally give overwhelmingly positive reviews for ProForm’s cross trainers and ellipticals.

ProForms 10.0 ZE Cross Trainer is currently their most popular and best selling elliptical. Like health club models it rear driven!  Consumers on ProForms official site as well as on other non-vendor related consumer report sites all consistently give this cross trainer 4 stars or more.

ProForms 10.0 ZE Cross Trainer Spec’s:

ProForms Best Cross Trainer

ProForm Cross Trainer 10.0 ZE (Click for Spec's)

  • Adjustable Stride: 13″, 15″, and 18″ allows different size users to comfortably stride on the elliptical.
  • Resistance Levels: 12 adjustable levels to up or lower the intensity level through out the workout session.
  • Pre-Set Programs: 8 pre-set programs and resistance routines that focus on either fat loss, weight loss, or performance conditioning.
  • Weight and Footprint: 275 pounds, 73.8″ Length x 24.6″ width x 64.2″ height

Proform Cross Trainer Reviews:

My Wife Absolutely loves it! Our machine [ProForm 10.0 ZE Crosstrainer] arrived in time; however, there was shipping damage.  So, I called customer support and were very helpful and shipped the replacement parts.

–P&R from Newburgh, IN

“Awesome Machine!  My machine arrived very fast!!! It took my son about 2 hours to assemble the cross trainer.  We had no problem with understanding the directions.   The workouts are great and I use my ProForm 4x’s a week without any problems.   I also changed my diet along with using the elliptical and have already lost 8 pounds and 1″ off my waist. AWESOME!!!

–Rick from San Antonio, Texas

“Pretty Good!  The ProForm elliptical cross trainer was easy on my wallet and easy to assemble.  It’s really very nice.  I got it in just yesterday.  Pro’s: all the parts are nicely labled with left, right.  I was able to get it inside the house on my own.   Directions are easy to follow.  I haven’t used it yet other than a 1 minute test drive.  But in that one minute I got a workout!  No squeaks or shipping damage.  Con’s: An AC adapter isn’t included as it runs on 4D batteries that are not included. It also went on sale a few days AFTER I bought it but they still gave me the price match.  Great Service!

–BBguy from McHenry, IL

Click Here: Compare ALL of ProForm Cross Trainers along side other competing models that are similarly priced.  To get a look at cross-trainer models up close including the latest features, spec’s and reviews.

Cross trainer and Treadmill Free Extended Warranty from Yowza Fitness

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