Elliptical Machine Buying Guide

Elliptical Machine Buying Guide: In this purchase guide, we will focus on indoor elliptical, which are used by the vast majority of users. However, we must inform you that there is also the possibility of using an outdoor elliptical bike and that you can learn more about them through the previous link.

Elliptical Machine Buying Guide

You must answer these questions for once informed, know what model you should choose and cover your needs:

  • How many are we going to use it?
  • How many hours of weekly use will it have?
  • What goals do we want to achieve?
  • Do we want some special feature?
  • Do we want it fold able? If so, you can see the best folding elliptical in the previous link.
  • Do we want a good brand? You can see in the following link the best elliptical machine brands.

Consider Before Buying a Elliptical Machine

Elliptical Machine

Elliptical Machine

Wheel or Steering Wheel

Basically, it is an iron disk with a defined weight that ensures a lower number of revolutions in the output than the input, so it will always be rotating at a higher speed than the pedal itself. This can be seen reflected in the specifications of many bicycles since it is shown as “1/7”, “1/8”, meaning that for each rotation of the pedals, the disc will rotate 7 or 8 times, indicating this relationship that the higher it is, the smoother the pedaling will be. But you should not only look at this data since there are other factors such as the weight of the wheel that is a fundamental element and that we must take into account, as it will give us quality and resistance when pedaling. Another factor that we should also look at is the quality of the bearings.

Regarding the resistance, there is a lot of difference between a low weight flyer and one of considerable weight, the higher weight ratio being greater resistance, which will also be reflected in the quality of the pedaling, which in turn will be transmitted to the joints, what must also be analyzed this factor.

The location of the wheel of inertia can be placed in the front part or in the rear part of the elliptical machine, providing this ( rear- wheel drive ) a more comfortable pedaling , with more smoothness and achieving an increase in inertia than, on the contrary, a elliptical bike with front traction, which will have a more linear movement with a wider stride that can offer more demanding workouts .

In summary, if you are a person who has some kind of problem in some joint, it is more successful to focus the purchase on the elliptical machine whose inertial wheel is higher than the standard measure that is usually 6 kg, in addition to a high quality the bearings in which the price directly influences, since in the cheap bicycles it will be difficult to find an acceptable quality in these.

Resistance System

We are going to see the main resistance systems that we can find today:


This is the system that was initially used on the elliptical machine.

They work with a knob that you must use to regulate the resistance, which will be generated by friction. A shoe will exert more or less pressure on the steering wheel, and its resistance will increase or decrease.

It is the simplest, least reliable resistance type and also requires more maintenance than other systems. However, although today the vast majority of models use magnetic resistance, there are still models with this type of resistance and also, of very high quality, so they should not be discarded just by the mere fact of using this system.


As we have indicated in the introduction of the section, the magnetic resistance system works using magnets that will be in charge of generating the resistance. These magnets have a lot of power and will generate more or less resistance depending on the distance you have to the steering wheel so that as you get closer to the steering wheel, the amount of energy generated will increase, which will create greater resistance.

Within this type of resistance, we can also include the Electromagnetic Resistance, whose operation is carried out through an electromagnet, responsible for generating a resistance force as the current passes through it. One of the main benefits of this resistance system is that it can be adjusted and controlled in a simple and very efficient way.

SMR (Silent Magnetic Resistance)

The great majority of elliptical machines for the home, already of a certain quality, have this kind of resistance.

This type of resistance works through a magnetic field that generates eddy currents and can produce friction when pushing against the steering wheel. This magnetic field becomes more powerful with the increase in the level of resistance, requiring more energy to perform the pedaling.

One of the main advantages of this system is that it is very silent, as it has no friction and hardly maintenance.

We must also take into account the quality of the magnets because although there is no friction, they must be able to withstand the temperature reached during their use so that they do not stop working.

Electromagnetic Induction

This type of resistance is the most sophisticated and best there is currently. The magnets are fixed in their position, unlike the Magnetic, whose magnets are in motion, so in this case, they have no moving parts.

When the user raises the resistance, a greater electrical current is generated to the magnets, making the steering wheel difficult.

Another point in favor of this system is that by not having moving parts, it has a greater guarantee of future against possible failures.

Also, it has another difference to emphasize and is that the changes made by the action of the user to the resistance, will be applied instantaneously in opposition to the magnetic ones, in which you will have to wait up to 25 seconds for the modification of the resistance to be applied. , time that is due to the movement of the magnet to the wheel.

Transmitter Belt

It is in charge of putting the movement produced by the pedals in contact with the flywheel of inertia, in which the quality of this will play a fundamental role since if it is of poor quality, it can eventually skate.

Because of the way of operation, and especially the overheating that can occur, we must take into account the time we can use the machine so that it does not break. If the overall quality of the bicycle is low, of the cheap ones, they will be recommended for maximum use of about 30 minutes a day, which can be translated into the training of a single person. If you plan to give more use or you are several people who will exercise with the elliptical bike, you must ensure minimum levels of quality, the price of these bikes being 400 euros and up.

Length of Zancada

The length of stride is another important factor that you must take into account when buying your best elliptical machine for home, and that this plays a key role in the comfort of the user who will use it. A user who is too tall with too short a stride will not feel good about the elliptical, and will not be able to get the most out of it.

Keep in mind that the ratio of user height/stride length is important, but there is no exact measure for it, since two users of the same height, may not have the same length from the hip to the feet.

Each elliptical machine is designed in a different way, so two ellipticals with the same length of stride can give you totally different sensations due to the bio mechanical design of the same, the articulation of the pedals, the flywheel of inertia and axes that it carries, the type and location of the resistance system, or the range of movement, among other factors.


The structure of the elliptical bike is a point to take into account because depending on how the elliptical is designed, the bicycle frame will have a direct impact on the sensations it gives you while you are doing a workout. When you are doing a workout at a high intensity, you will be emitting high levels of energy that the frame must absorb in the best way so that you feel safe on the bike.

You can analyze small details to see the emphasis that the manufacturer has placed on the construction of the elliptical. When you see a union of two of the pieces, it is not the same union using bolts, that a union realized using welding. A weld will be much better, stronger and will not get loose with use as it will with the bolts.

Another point to consider is the construction material since not all steels are the same. There are some manufacturers that use carbon steel structures without performing an adequate heat treatment to strengthen it, obtaining a Rockwell hardness too low, being also, carbon steel very susceptible to oxidation, so you should be careful with sweat electrolytes and perform preventive maintenance.

Ellipticals of higher quality will use high-speed steels (HSS) strengthened by various treatments and also avoid oxidation.

A final point to keep in mind is the weight of the machine. The weight will go directly in proportion to the quality of the machine. The higher this is, the better the stability and the more robust it will be.

The cheaper machines, which are very light and compact, are designed to minimize costs so that their quality in many cases leaves much to be desired.

Console in Elliptical Machines

With the rise of technology, we find some models fully compatible with many of the widgets that we have today, in addition to providing us, thanks to its software, a variety of programmed workouts.

Also, we will have a good manual control of a large number of statistics in which you can establish several levels of difficulty and endurance imitating everyday situations to maintain a heart rate similar to climbing a slope, a sprint on a flat surface, or less every day like a cross-country skiing session that is the sport that most resembles the movement.

The software is also able to track the distance traveled, resistance levels and the time the session lasted, so it is also a factor to consider, and that can modify the price of the elliptical bike depending on the benefits that you can provide us.

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