Fitness Quest Ellipticals

Sunny elliptical trainers are very low-budget fitness machines made in China and Taiwan. Sunny’s combination elliptical trainer/upright bike is a convenient way to get low-impact workouts when other options aren’t available. Its light flywheel and instability make it unsuitable for regular heavy use.

Elliptical Hits: Best Features of the Sunny 2-in-1 Bike/Elliptical

  • Versatility – The 2-in-1 design lets people sit or stand to get a cardiovascular workout. The bike and elliptical can be used in forward and reverse directions.
  • Oversized pedals – The anti-slip pedals on Sunny trainers protect the user in both bike and elliptical modes.
  • Compact size – This machine is a convenient way to fit “two” home exercise machines into a small space. It’s just 49” long.
  • Data readouts – Feedback is provided in the following categories: scan, time, speed, distance, total distance, and calories burned.

Elliptical Misses: Why the Sunny Upright Bike and Elliptical Isn’t so Hot

  • Manual resistance Tension is adjusted with a knob instead of electronically.
  • No programming – Elliptical machines costing just a few hundred dollars more include personal training programs and other programming to guide workouts and keep them interesting.
  • Short stride – The 17” stride fails to provide a long, smooth glide.

Overall Rating for the Sunny Bike Elliptical Trainer

Sunny cross trainers compare very poorly against ellipticals that cost just a few hundred dollars more. Their short strides are especially disappointing because they inhibit full elliptical

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motion, and the machines’ light weights and few resistance levels are red flags that they can barely provide a challenge. Furthermore, since Sunny ellipticals are sold without standard warranties, customers are left vulnerable to costly repairs and replacement parts.

For better alternatives, see discount brands such as Nautilus and Schwinn. Sole and Yowza also offer some good ellipticals at low prices.

Gazelle FreeStyle with Thumbpulse

The Gazelle FreeStyle elliptical trainer is a small home exercise machine that’s often advertised on TV. It’s designed for all ages and fitness levels and folds up for easy storage.

Although cheap ellipticals usually disappoint, Gazelle owners are typically pleased with their purchase. The FreeStyle doesn’t offer the versatility or resistance of a traditional full-size elliptical trainer, but it’s relatively durable and provides good value for the money.

The Gazelle is usually available online from Dick’s Sporting Goods for about $250. The manufacturer (Fitness Quest) and eBay members sometimes offer even lower prices.

Elliptical Hits: Best Features of the Gazelle FreeStyle Elliptical Trainer

  • Oversized pedals – The anti-slip pedals on Gazelle trainers are oversized to promote comfort. People can place their feet on different parts of the pedals to get a custom glide.
  • Compact size – The Gazelle FreeStyles folds for easy storage.
  • Heart rate monitor – The thumb pulse heart rate monitor helps users keep track of cardiovascular progress.
  • Long range of motion This machine is designed to let people of all sizes use a full range of motion. However, doing so requires people to make a propelling motion forward. Traditional elliptical machines make it easier to attain a specific stride.
  • Data readouts – Users get immediate feedback about their speed, distance, time, approximate calories burned, and heart rate.

Elliptical Misses: Drawbacks of the Gazelle FreeStyle

  • No preset programs or resistance The Gazelle’s resistance depends on the effort that a user exerts. It’s difficult to keep track of progress when there aren’t resistance levels and programs to use as benchmarks.
  • Lack of entertainment – Entertainment isn’t a necessity, but engaging features such as iPod ports and interactive training are becoming common on full-size home ellipticals. On the other hand, this gadget is small enough to move from room to room and park in front of a TV set.

Overall Rating for the Gazelle FreeStyle Elliptical Trainer

Very cheap ellipticals, the FreeStyle included, compare poorly with ellipticals that cost just a few hundred dollars more. Still, the FreeStyle can’t fairly be compared with such machines; it costs much less and doesn’t try to compete with more complex gym equipment. This is a fine option to keep around for rainy days – but on its own, the Gazelle FreeStyle doesn’t offer the ergonomics, resistance, or programming to support a serious fitness regime.

For a better home elliptical, see discount brands such as NordicTrack and Schwinn.

Gazelle Edge Elliptical

The Gazelle Edge elliptical trainer is promoted on TV by exercise personality Tony Little. While it’s Little’s cheapest machine, it’s capable enough to help people improve their cardiovascular fitness. This is a fun gadget to keep around for rainy days. On its own, the Gazelle Edge doesn’t offer the ergonomics, resistance, or programming to support a serious fitness regime.

The Edge elliptical is usually available online from Dick’s Sporting Goods for about $120. The manufacturer (Fitness Quest) and Amazon sometimes offer even lower prices.

Elliptical Hits: Best Features of the Gazelle Edge Elliptical Trainer

    • Oversized pedals – The anti-slip pedals on Gazelle trainers are oversized to promote comfort. People can place their feet on different parts of the pedals to get a custom glide.

 

    • Compact size – The Gazelle Edges folds for easy storage.

 

    • Versatile range of motion This machine is designed to let people of all sizes use a full range of motion, from a short step to a long glide.

 

    • Data readouts – Users get immediate feedback about their speed, distance, time, and approximate calories burned.

 

Elliptical Misses: Drawbacks of the Gazelle Edge

    • No preset programs or resistance The Gazelle’s resistance depends on the effort that a user exerts. It’s difficult to keep track of progress when there aren’t resistance levels and programs to use as benchmarks.

 

  • Lack of entertainment – Engaging features such as iPod ports and interactive training are becoming common on full-size cross trainers. On the other hand, this gadget isn’t trying to compete with typical cross trainers.

Overall Rating for the Gazelle Edge Elliptical Trainer

Very cheap ellipticals, the Edge included, compare poorly with ellipticals that cost just a few hundred dollars more. Still, this Gazelle product can’t fairly be compared with such machines; it costs much less and doesn’t try to compete with more complex gym equipment. This is fine for a vacation home or a rainy day, but a serious fitness program would require a more serious cross trainer. For a better home elliptical, see discount brands such as NordicTrack and Schwinn.