In another traditional New Year rating, Consumers Digest released its so-called "best buys," as well as a lengthy story about what was new and coming in fitness.
Aside from spending months reviewing equipment, freelance writer Roy Wallack discussed trends, including form and function, price, entertainment features and functionality.
His picks, in three price ranges, included:
Premium – Octane q37e
Mid-range – Fitline e100
Economy – Horizon EX-55
Premium – LeMond G-Force RT
Mid-range – Vision R2250 HRT
Economy – Diamondback 460Rb
Premium – Life Fitness T7-0
Mid-range – PaceMaster Platinum Pro VR
Economy – New Balance 1500
Premium – Vectra VFT-100
Mid-range – Body-Solid G4I Iso-Flex
Economy – Precor S3.15
But other brands are also called out for several reasons in the text, including Inspire Fitness, SportsArt, Keys and Woodway.
Consumers Digest defines a "best buy" as a product that offers the most value for a given amount of money. It may not be the best-known brand or the least expensive, the magazine says, and it must be nationally available. It combines performance, ease-of-use, features, durability, warranty, efficiency, styling, and maintenance and service requirements. "Premium" is defined as full-featured and priced accordingly; "mid-range" is called a product that offers many popular features and good performance but is priced below top-of-the-line offerings in the category; an "economy" item denotes one that offers satisfactory performance with basic features only at an advantageous price.
For more on Consumers Digest and how it operates, click here to see our July 25, 2005, SNEWS® story, "Consumer Reports, Consumer Guide and Consumers Digest: Magazine differences explained," that reported how each publication went about its ratings and includes information about how to contact each.