AFG 3.1 AE Elliptical

An Affordable Trainer with Great Ergonomics

The front drive AFG 3.1AE elliptical is a noticeable upgrade over the AFG 3.0AE. Most importantly, it has a SixStar Certified frame. Elliptical frames with SixStar certification are designed with more than the usual input from biomechanics research. Thus you get zero spacing between pedals, smart handlebar width, a healthy stride length, and other features that minimize physical stress and promote endurance. Besides that, the AFG 31.AE has a power incline, twenty levels of resistance, and a good variety of built-in workout routines.

What You Get

When you begin using the AFG 3.1AE, you’ll be greeted with an alphanumeric display. As you work out, your exercise data will be shown in two LED feedback windows. A progress window charts your overall workout.

The specs for the AFG 3.1AE include:

  • 20″ smooth elliptical stride
  • Seven built-in exercise programs plus manual mode and room to save two user-designed programs. The presets include interval training, weight loss, constant watts, muscle toning, the Oregon Trail, reverse training and target heart rate zone training.
  • 20 intensity levels for each program
  • 21 incline levels
  • Pivoting pedals to allow for natural motion
  • Heart rate sensors on the handlebars plus a wireless receiver (wireless chest strap sold separately)
  • iPod input jack and speakers
  • 325-lb. user weight capacity

The unit weight of 198 pounds is an indicator of better-quality (i.e., not plastic) parts. The assembled dimensions are 76” L x 24” W x 67” H.

The warranty includes lifetime protection on the frame, three years on parts and one year of labor. Since this elliptical trainer sells for just under $1000, that works out to a pretty good deal.

The Word on the Street

The AFG 3.1AE elliptical is a crowd pleaser. It’s sized for almost any adult trainee and is truly designed with smart attention to biomechanics. People appreciate the smooth 20″ stride length, articulating foot pedals, and 21 incline levels. The preset programs can help people meet any exercise goal, whether it’s muscle toning, endurance or weight loss. Some users would like to have more workouts, but most are sufficiently motivated when they plug in their MP3 players.

Our Thoughts

This elliptical trainer model is a good bargain. It sells for about $1000, which is relatively cheap for an elliptical machine, yet it’s built of durable parts and is sold with a fair warranty. We’d expect this trainer to last for several years or more when used regularly by people weighing in under the maximum weight capacity of 325 pounds.

If you’re deciding amongst AFG elliptical models, here’s some info about how the AFG 3.1AE compares to two models above and below it:

  • The AFG 3.0AE costs a few hundred less than this unit, but
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    it’s not a good value in our review. The flywheel weighs just 17 pounds (versus 23 pounds on the 3.1 AE), which means that it’s not as smooth-moving, and it lacks Six-Star certification. Also, unlike the 3.1 AE, it lacks an MP3 player port.

  • The AFG 4.1AE is a nice step up for customers seeking more workout programs, a more advanced console, and a greater weight capacity. This model sells for about $350 more but might be worth the difference. A wireless chest strap is included and the parts and labor warranties are longer.