AFG 18.1 AXT Elliptical Trainer

Variable Stride & Innovative Design

The AFG 18.1AXT elliptical is a great-looking silvery machine that delivers remarkably smooth workouts. Our positive review reflects this unit’s variable 19”-21” stride, narrow pedal spacing, heavy flywheel and dramatic incline options. A unique frame makes the motions of walking, running and stair climbing feel less effortless than ever, but you’ll actually be burning calories and toning muscles at a much faster-than-usual pace. After using the AFG 18.1AXT, some owners (especially those in cold climates) claim to be off outdoor walking and running for good!

What You Get with the AFG 4.1.AE Elliptical

The AFG 18.1AXT console features a “brickyard” display that provides constant feedback about your overall workout. You’ll also get five LED windows showing calories burned, your heart rate, and other data. This machine also includes iPod controls on the console to let you easily access music or link your elliptical trainer with a Nike fitness tracking program available through iTunes.

The specs for the AFG 18.1AXT include:

  • 19″-21” smooth elliptical stride
  • Ten preset exercise programs plus manual mode and space to save two customized programs. The presets include interval training, muscle toning, reverse training, weight loss, constant watts, the Oregon Trail, heart rate intervals, target heart rate zone training, mountain climb and cardio boost. Progress can be tracked with an iPod program linked to nikerunning.com and/or AFG’s built-in proFILE program.
  • 20 resistance levels for each preset workout
  • 21 incline levels from 0 to 100% in 5% increments
  • Contact heart rate grips and a full wireless telemetry system
  • iPod input jack and speakers with console controls
  • 325-lb. weight capacity

The assembled dimensions are 62” L x 32” W x 65” H.

The warranty includes lifetime protection on the frame, three years on parts and one year of labor.

The Word on the Street

The AFG 18.1AXT elliptical gets enthusiastic customer reviews. The machine is experienced as very low-impact and as making cardiovascular workouts more enjoyable than running outdoors. Customers say that the unique frame is very sturdy during intense climbs.

Our Thoughts

We give the 18.1AXT a four-star review. Why not five stars? Nothing is “wrong” with this cross trainer, but it doesn’t necessarily provide the best value. Great competition is available from AFG itself. Since sale prices change frequently, we recommend comparing prices for this unit and the AFG 4.1AE.  Both have heavy flywheels, great ergonomics and a fantastic workout collection. Some areas of difference:

  • The 18.1 AXT has a more compact design, so it might make more sense for a smaller home gym.
  • The 3.1AE has a longer warranty.
  • The 3.1 AE has SixStar certification, which means that it’s scientifically designed to suit all but the very tallest and shortest adults. While the 18.1AXT isn’t SixStar certified, it has variable stride and a heavy flywheel. Customers rave about the smooth elliptical feel.

It’s six of one and a half a dozen of the other. We give good reviews to AFG ellipticals overall, but we recommend comparing current prices for the top models to make sure you get the best deal.

AFG 4.1 AE Elliptical

SixStar Certification and the Steepest Incline

The AFG 4.1AE elliptical is the highest quality AFG elliptical before one moves into the next price class, which is quite a jump. We give this model an enthusiastic review primarily for its SixStar Certified frame. SixStar certification indicates the following qualities: minimal pedal spacing, optimal upright positioning for your body, smart handlebar width, an elliptical path that mimics your natural gait, a low step-on height and a high-quality pulley system.

What else has the 3.1AE got? The power incline actually moves up to 100%! Other highlights include a hefty 30-pound drive, a complete wireless heart rate monitoring system and ten preset workouts with 20 levels of intensity each.

If you’re choosing between AFG elliptical models, here’s some information about how the AFG 4.1AE elliptical compares with two closely-named models:

  • The AFG 4.0AE costs significantly less than this unit, but it’s not a good value in our review. It lacks Six-Star certification. Why choose a machine that doesn’t have great ergonomics? Also, it doesn’t have a sound system for MP3s.
  • The AFG 3.1AE is a good value, but it’s a step down from the 4.1AE. It has fewer workout programs, a more basic console and a lower weight capacity. It lacks a complete wireless heart rate monitoring system and has a shorter warranty.

What You Get with the AFG 4.1.AE

The AFG 4.1AE console keeps you constantly informed about your exertion level and workout results with five LED feedback windows and an overall progress window.

The specs for the AFG 4.1AE include:

  • 20″ smooth elliptical stride
  • Ten preset exercise programs plus manual mode and room to save three user-designed programs. The presets include interval training, muscle toning, reverse training, weight loss, constant watts, the Oregon Trail, heart rate intervals, target heart rate zone training, mountain climb and cardio boost. Progress can be tracked online with a special Nike iPod program.
  • 20 intensity levels for each program
  • 21 incline levels from 0 to 100% in 5% intervals
  • Articulating pedals
  • Contact heart rate grips and a full wireless telemetry system
  • iPod input jack and speakers with console controls
  • 350-lb. weight capacity

The assembled dimensions are 76” L x 29” W x 68” H.

The warranty includes lifetime protection on the frame, five years on parts and two years of labor.

The Word on the Street

The AFG 4.1AE elliptical is a high quality elliptical with a great sales price. It’s a bit larger than the 3.1AE but also has SixStar certification, meaning that almost anyone feels comfortable on the machine. The 30 pound flywheel contributes significantly to this machine’s value, as it promotes an exceptionally smooth stride. The program variety is fantastic too! Most customers admit that they don’t actually use the incline past a few levels though.

Our Thoughts

We give high praise to the 4.1AE! This elliptical has a heavy flywheel, top-notch ergonomics and a fantastic workout library. Furthermore, people who take advantage of the steep incline will be rewarded with extra-speedy calorie burning and incredibly toned bodies. This model makes our short list of best elliptical machines for 2013.

 

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.

AFG 18.0 AXT Ascent Trainer

The 18.0 AXT ascent trainer is the top elliptical from Advanced Fitness Group (AFG). It has fewer programs than the 14.0, but it other ways it’s an upgrade. This dynamic machine has an even longer adjustable stride, an incline, an audio entertainment system, and a wireless heart rate monitor. The weight capacity is 325 pounds.

Elliptical Hits: What’s Right about AFG’s 18.0 AXT

  • Long adjustable stride – The 19”-21” stride lets even tall exercisers use their full range of motion.
  • Incline – The motorized incline helps people burn calories extra quickly while toning different muscle groups. When combined with the moving handlebars, this offers an excellent full-body cardiovascular workout.
  • Wireless monitor – A chest strap is included for convenient wireless heart rate monitoring.
  • Sound system – The 18.0 is compatible with iPods and other MP3 players.
  • Lower pedal height – Compared with other elliptical trainers, AFG machines let users exercise closer to the ground.
  • Pivoting footpads – Unlike fixed pedals, pivoting or articulating footpads let exercisers use a natural range of motion.
  • Good warranty – AFG ellipticals are sold with lifetime warranties on the frames and brakes. The 18.0 AXT also includes a three-year warranty on most parts, two years on the incline motor, and a year of labor. This seems fair considering the unit’s reasonable MSRP.

Elliptical Misses of the 18.0 AXT

It’s odd that Advanced Fitness Group cut programming from 20 to 10 options when designing the 18.0.

Overall Rating for the BH Fitness HiPower Cross Trainer

Advanced Fitness Group has done well with the 18.0 AXT. This elliptical machine is reasonably priced considering its ergonomics and entertainment features, and it’s a great buy when discounted. More programming may be available from comparably priced brands such as Smooth and Sole, but this cross trainer is a good contender – especially if built-in audio helps to keep you motivated.

AFG 14.0 AE Dual Action Elliptical

The AFG 14.0 AE Dual Action Elliptical is now on sale at Amazon

The 14.0 is Advanced Fitness Group’s top-of-the-line elliptical trainer. This dependable machine includes 20 resistance levels, 10 programmable workouts, and a 325-pound user capacity. Unlike the AFG 4.0 elliptical, the 14.0 does not have an incline option.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get

The AFG 14.0 elliptical scores well on the basics listed below. In most cases, these are identical to the AFG 4.0.

  • Heavy flywheel – A 23-pound flywheel with magnetic resistance helps ensure smooth motion.

  • Resistance With 20 resistance levels, the 14.0 can challenge a wide range of users.

  • Long stride The stride length, which is adjustable up to 20”, lets exercisers use their full range of motion.

  • LED display – AFG’s 14.0 elliptical has five windows with red LED displays. These show data such as time, incline, and calories burned.
  • Lower pedal height – Compared with other elliptical trainers, AFG’s machines let users exercise closer to the ground.
  • Pivoting footpads – Pivoting, non-slip footpads on the AFG elliptical 14.0 let exercisers use a natural range of motion.
  • Upper body exercise – The machine’s handlebars give users the option of exercising their arms and legs simultaneously.
  • Warranty – The AFG elliptical 14.0 is sold with lifetime warranties on the frames and brakes, 3-5 years on other parts, and one year of labor. The parts warranty is automatically expanded to 5 years when the customer registers the equipment with Advanced Fitness Group.
  • User capacity – The 325-pound capacity can accommodate most users.

The AFG 14.0 AE Dual Action Elliptical is now on sale at Amazon

Elliptical Errors: What’s Missing

  • Few bells and whistles — Unlike NordicTrack, Icon, and some other elliptical brands, the AFG 14.0 doesn’t offer fancy extras such as an iPod dock, sound system, and iFit Live. It’s also a step down from the AFG 4.0, in a sense; it lacks an adjustable incline.

Overall Rating for the AFG Elliptical 14.0

The AFG elliptical 14.0 seems to be a high-quality elliptical. For many users, however, the AFG 4.0 would provide more value. The 4.0 has a slightly lower weight capacity than this model, but it includes a power incline.

Is the AFG brand right for you? It depends on your exercise style. AFG focuses on exercise basics, not entertainment. Some buyers would more likely stick to an exercise routine if they had MP3 players or virtual training programs built into their ellipticals. Extras like these are offered by NordicTrack, Icon, Smooth, and other brands. As for other users, all they want from an exercise machine is healthy exercise – and that’s what AFG delivers.

AFG 4.0 AE Dual Action Elliptical

The AFG 4.0 AE Dual Action Elliptical is now on sale at Amazon

Advanced Fitness Group’s 4.0 elliptical trainer is an attractive and effective cardio machine. It includes 20 resistance levels, a power incline, and 8 programmable workouts.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get

The AFG 4.0 elliptical scores well on the following basics:

  • Heavy flywheel – A 23-pound flywheel with magnetic resistance gives the 4.0 model smooth movement, even on an incline.

 

  • Resistance With 20 resistance levels, the machine can challenge a wide range of users.

 

  • Long stride The stride length, which is adjustable up to 20”, lets exercisers use their full range of motion.

 

  • LED display – The 4.0’s attractive three-color display shows data such as time, incline, and calories burned.
  • Lower pedal height – Compared with other elliptical trainers, AFG’s machines let users exercise closer to the ground.
  • Pivoting footpads – Pivoting, non-slip footpads on the AFG elliptical 4.0 let exercisers use a natural range of motion.
  • Upper body exercise – The machine’s handlebars give users the option of exercising their arms and legs simultaneously.
  • Warranty – The AFG elliptical 4.0 is sold with lifetime warranties on the frames and brakes, 2 years on the incline motor, 3-5 years on other parts, and one year of labor. The parts warranty is automatically expanded to 5 years when the customer registers the equipment with Advanced Fitness Group.
  • User capacity – The 300-pound capacity can accommodate most users.

The AFG 4.0 AE Dual Action Elliptical is now on sale at Amazon

Elliptical Errors: What’s Missing

  • Few bells and whistles — Unlike NordicTrack, Icon, and some other elliptical brands, AFG doesn’t offer fancy extras such as an iPod dock, sound system, and iFit Live. Nonetheless, the 4.0 rivals health club machines in terms of important exercise basics.

Overall Rating for the AFG Elliptical 4.0

 

The 4.0 seems to be a high-quality elliptical. Competition is strong at this price point, and AFG is competing seriously. It builds upon the AFG 3.0 with a heavier flywheel and a power incline. The 4.0 provides an exceptionally smooth workout, a healthy range of motion, and a wide variety of programs and resistance levels. The addition of the power incline can help users to burn calories and tone muscles even more quickly.

Are there drawbacks? AFG focuses on exercise basics, not entertainment. Some buyers would more likely stick to an exercise routine if they used a more interactive, entertainment-based elliptical trainer by NordicTrack, Icon, and other brands. Nowadays, many home exercise machines include stereo systems and iFit Live virtual training.

AFG 3.0 AE Dual Action Elliptical

The AFG 3.0 AE Dual Action Elliptical is now on sale at Amazon

Advanced Fitness Group’s 3.0 elliptical trainer is a noticeable step up from the 2.0. To the AFG 2.0’s smooth ride and sturdy frame, the AFG 3.0 elliptical adds ten resistance levels, greater program variety, and a wireless heart rate receiver.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get

The AFG 3.0 elliptical scores well on the following basics:

  • Heavy flywheel – An 18-pound flywheel with magnetic resistance gives the 3.0 model excellent, fluid motion.

 

  • Resistance With 20 resistance levels, the machine can challenge a wide range of users.

 

  • Long stride The 20” stride length lets exercisers use their full range of motion.
  • Lower pedal height – Compared with other elliptical trainers, AFG’s machines let users exercise closer to the ground.
  • Pivoting footpads – Pivoting, non-slip footpads on the AFG elliptical 3.0 let exercisers use a natural range of motion.
  • Upper body exercise – The machine’s handlebars give users the option of exercising their arms and legs simultaneously.
  • Strong warranty – The AFG elliptical 3.0 is sold with lifetime warranties on the frames and brakes, two years on other parts, and one year of labor.
  • User capacity – The 300-pound capacity can accommodate most users. AFG’s 2.0 elliptical can support 275 pounds.

The AFG 3.0 AE Dual Action Elliptical is now on sale at Amazon

Elliptical Errors: What’s Missing

  • Few bells and whistles — Unlike NordicTrack, Icon, and some other elliptical brands, AFG doesn’t offer fancy extras such as an iPod dock, sound system, and iFit Live.

Overall Rating for the AFG Elliptical 3.0

 

The 3.0 seems to be a good buy. AFG’s track record has yet to be determined, but the 3.0 provides a smooth workout, a healthy range of motion, and a wide variety of programs and resistance levels. Some buyers would more likely stick to an exercise routine if they used a more interactive, entertainment-based elliptical trainer by NordicTrack, Icon, and other brands. Nowadays, many home exercise machines include stereo systems and iFit Live virtual training.

AFG 2.0 AE Dual Action Elliptical

The AFG 2.0 AE Dual Action Elliptical is now on sale at Amazon

AFG, or Advanced Fitness Group, has four elliptical machines in its lineup: the 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, and 14.0. The entry-level AFG elliptical 2.0 gets positive consumer reviews for its smooth ride and overall value.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get

The 2.0 scores well on the following basics:

  • Long stride The 20” stride lets exercisers use their full range of motion.
  • Lower pedal height – Compared with other elliptical trainers, the AFG 2.0 lets users exercise closer to the ground.
  • Pivoting footpads – Unlike rigid pedals, pivoting footpads on AFG machines let exercisers use a natural range of motion.
  • Upper body exercise – The machine’s handlebars give users the option of exercising their arms and legs simultaneously.
  • Strong warranty – The AFG elliptical 2.0 is sold with lifetime warranties on the frames and brakes, three years on other parts, and one year of labor.

The AFG 2.0 AE Dual Action Elliptical is now on sale at Amazon

Elliptical Errors: What’s Missing

  • Less customizable — This budget model saves on the flywheel, and consequently it doesn’t offer as many resistance levels as AFG’s 3.0, 4.0, and 14.0 elliptical models.
  • Few bells and whistles — Unlike NordicTrack, Icon, and some other elliptical brands, AFG doesn’t offer fancy extras such as an iPod dock, sound system, and iFit Live.

Overall Rating for the AFG Elliptical 2.0

 

The 2.0 seems to be a good budget buy. AFG’s track record has yet to be determined, but the 2.0 provides a smooth workout with a healthy range of motion. Heavier individuals might want to upgrade to an AFG 3.0 or greater for more resistance. Some buyers would more likely stick to an exercise routine if they used a more interactive, entertainment-based elliptical by NordicTrack or Icon.

Advanced Fitness Group (AFG) Ellipticals

AFG AE Dual Action Ellipticals are now on sale at Amazon

AFG, or Advanced Fitness Group, is a spinoff of Johnson Health Tech’s Horizon Fitness. Johnson Health Tech, which is based in Wisconsin, is a Chinese-owned company and the world’s fourth-largest manufacturer of fitness equipment. The AFG subsidiary builds four elliptical trainers: the 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, and 14.0 models.

Brand Features of AFG Ellipticals

Some features common to all AFG elliptical machines include:

  • Heavy flywheels – An elliptical machine’s degree of smooth motion is determined partly by the weight of its flywheel: the heavier the flywheel, the smoother the machine. Ranging from 14.5 to 23 pounds, AFG flywheels are relatively heavy.
  • Long stride The 20” strides on all AFG elliptical models let exercisers use their full range of motion.
  • Lower pedal height – Compared with other elliptical trainers, the AFG models let users exercise closer to the ground.
  • Pivoting footpads – Unlike rigid pedals, pivoting footpads on AFG machines let exercisers use a natural range of motion.
  • Upper body exercise – The machines’ handlebars give users the option of exercising their arms and legs at the same time.
  • Strong warranty – AFG ellipticals are sold with lifetime warranties on the frames and brakes and one year of labor. Depending on the model, 3-5 years are covered on the incline motor and other parts.

AFG AE Dual Action Ellipticals are now on sale at Amazon

Overall Rating for AFG Ellipticals

Having been launched in 2009, AFG is a young subsidiary company. Its track record has yet to be determined. Fitness experts suggest that Johnson Health Tech established AFG as a replacement for the Horizon line, whose ellipticals received poor reviews. The new machines appear to provide good value at a medium price, but only time will tell.