So many ellipticals can be large and pricy, and the ones that are smaller may have a lower price tag, but what they give up to get there makes for a more wobbly ride that’s not as much fun.
The Fitnex E55SG elliptical manages to be rather petite but still can hold its own when a user pushes it hard.
We used the E55SG for a number of months and found the ride smooth and stable, not bouncy and wobbly like many space-saving designs. And the slight built-in incline (7 percent in this case) was just enough to get your workout pumping but not so much to put your toes to sleep or toss you forward on your face. It was a pleasure to hop aboard for a workout that ended up being effective at whatever level you chose. The foot platforms were spacious enough yet not too clunky, and they are set close enough together as to not cause strain in the back, hips or knees of users with a smaller stature.
We also enjoyed the heart-rate feature that allowed the use of a transmitting chest strap, which seemed accurate and effective. However, if you held onto the grips with embedded heart-rate transmitters at the same time as wearing a strap, the signals seemed to get all crossed up causing the heart-rate reading to go a bit catawampus.
The elliptical is self-generating, meaning you don’t have to plug it in so a home user has a lot more flexibility in where it can go – and you eliminate cords that can be a trip hazard.
The console’s blue and green backlit display was easy to see – even in a darker pre-dawn workout room – and its large numbers didn’t make you have to squint or guess. It also manages a 20-inch stride on a piece with only a 54.5-inch overall length and a 25-inch width. Plus the step-up height is low so you don’t need a ladder to climb aboard.
Although it comes with 15 programs – and the ability to design your own and save them – we gravitated toward manual use since, to be honest, one of the drawbacks of the piece is its less-than-intuitive console and an instruction booklet that isn’t a lot of help. Plus, unfortunately, the buttons were so sensitive to the touch that if you tried to adjust the programs or resistance too much, they’d jump up sky high or skip down to nothing in a heartbeat. All that jumping around made trying to use pre-set programming just a tad tedious. Starting it up and climbing aboard, then just adjusting your resistance, however, worked like a dream.
One other thing we found needing work was the lack of cups, hooks or other places to just put things – a TV remote, reading glasses, a magazine, towel, a cell phone or portable phone, … really anything you may want to have along for the ride. There is one bottle rack but it wasn’t the easiest to access and didn’t fit our larger bottles. So we used it to hang things on – but we still had to have a windowsill or table next to us for all that other stuff an exerciser may need or use. Sure, this is nitpicking since it doesn’t conflict with the smooth ride or compact footprint, but it makes a difference for sure.
One other nit is the elliptical’s mileage measurement. We are runners and there is no way in bloody heck that we covered the equivalent number of miles that it said we did. Man, we’d be world champion racers by now. Again, perhaps a nit we are picking since it doesn’t interfere with the great, gliding ride, but accuracy is accuracy.
We didn’t test the maximum user weight limit of 350 pounds – no where close really – so we can’t comment about that. We do know that although we were able to put it together quite easily and quickly when it arrived at our doorstep, we found it developed a few squeaks – noises that we discovered were because we'd simply tightened a couple of screws too tightly.
Nits aside, it’s a great, small piece with a smooth ride that will satisfy beginners or advanced exercisers. And is sturdy enough to take the wear and tear of use in hotels and apartments to boot.
SNEWS® Rating: 4.0 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested Retail: $1,399
For more information:www.fitnexonline.com