Fuel Fitness’s FE46 is inexpensive, but it’s durable if used by lightweight exercisers. It has a longer stride and a heavier drive than do other budget ellipticals. It’s also the more advanced of Fuel’s two cross trainers. Unlike the FE44, this model includes heart rate controlled workouts. It also has a longer stride.
The FE46 has an MSRP of $1199, but the manufacturer has been known to offer an online price of $899.99 with shipping included.
Elliptical Hits: Nice Features of the Fuel FE46 Elliptical Trainer
- Long stride – The FE46 has a 20” stride. This lets people use a longer range of motion than if they had a budget elliptical with an 18” or even 14” stride.
- Good program variety – This machine features 14 preset workouts. Programs can be used with a heart rate control program, which adjusts the
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elliptical’s resistance to keep the user exercising within a set heart rate range.
- iPod compatible – The FE46 has speakers and a port for iPods and other MP3 players.
- Heart rate monitor – Fuel ellipticals have hand pulse heart rate monitors.
- Water bottle holder – An integrated bottle holder makes it convenient to stay hydrated.
Elliptical Misses: Where Fuel Could Improve
- Footplates – The footplates on Fuel ellipticals are superior for their articulation, or rotation, but they aren’t padded. Most other elliptical brands cushion their footplates to promote a more comfortable workout. Another strike against these footplates is their spacing. At more than 4” apart, they’re too wide-set to support optimal hip placement.
- Acceptable warranty – These machines have lifetime warranties on the frames and brakes. There’s just a year of coverage for other parts and labor, but labor is in-home.
Overall Rating for the Fuel FE46 Elliptical Trainer
Fuel ellipticals provide good value when bought on sale. Otherwise, their relatively short one-year parts warranty hints at a gamble not worth taking. Customers are generally pleased with the FE46 ellipticals, although many people complain that the machines squeak if they aren’t frequently lubricated.
The Schwinn 460 with Variable Stride is a nice alternative. It sells for $999 at Dick’s Sporting Goods and other retailers. For about the same price as the Fuel FE46, the Schwinn 460 includes a 2”-28” variable stride, wireless heart rate monitoring, and 16 preset programs.