Gold’s Gym StrideTrainer 680 (Space Saver)

The StrideTrainer 680 is one of the latest elliptical machines from Gold’s Gym. It’s sold exclusively at Wal-Mart.com for about $600. The Gold’s Gym 680 is actually the Proform One-Step Spacesaver 500 Elliptical with a different name.

Elliptical Hits: Best Features of the Gold’s Gym 680 StrideTrainer Elliptical

  • Preset workouts – Six preset workouts, including two heart rate control workouts and four weight loss programs, are included. It also has an iFit card reader. Owners can purchase 8-week personal training programs to load onto the machine.
  • Three-position stride – A three-position adjustable stride helps people target different muscle groups. However, the maximum stride of this machine, 18”, is too short for most users. The three positions don’t offer a true elliptical stride for taller people and make the machine feel more like a stairclimber.
  • Heart rate monitor – Grip pulse sensors are built into the handlebars.
  • Free shipping to store – The machine is not delivered to residences, but customers can get free shipping by ordering the machine online and then picking it up at the nearest Wal-Mart store.

Elliptical Misses: Why to Think Twice about the StrideTrainer 680 SpaceSaver

Overall Rating for the Gold’s Gym StrideTrainer 680

The StrideTrainer 680 features the basics for starting a home exercise program. It has a long enough stride for shorter adults, plus it can mimic a stairclimber with its incline option. But at full price, why take a chance on a squeaky product with a short warranty? NordicTrack, Schwinn, and ProForm offer better deals with at least a year of parts coverage on their cheapest elliptical trainers.

Gold’s Gym Maxx Rear Drive Elliptical

The Maxx Rear Drive Elliptical is one of the better cross trainers bearing the Gold’s Gym brand name. It’s a folding elliptical with a manual incline, 8 workouts, and a sound system. It’s sold exclusively at Wal-Mart.com and by overstock vendors for about $800. This Gold’s Gym fitness machine is also sold as the ProForm SpaceSaver DX Elliptical.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get with the Maxx Rear Drive Elliptical

  • Space saving design – This elliptical can be folded vertically for easy storage. The pedals and base fold upward.
  • Workout variety – The Gold’s Gym Maxx Elliptical has six cross trainer workouts plus an iFit card reader. With each iFit card purchased, customers get 8 weeks of customized training.
  • Adjustable stride – The adjustable stride lets people move from an elliptical movement to a steeper climbing motion.
  • Cross training – Movable handlebars help speed up calorie burn and tone the upper body.
  • Speaker – An iPod-compatible port lets people play their favorite music or Podcasts through the console.
  • Workout fan – A convenient console fan helps exercisers keep cool.

Elliptical Misses: Why the Gold’s Gym Machine is Sub-Par

  • Warranty – This machine has a poor warranty: just 90 days on parts and labor. Customers also get seven years of protection on the frame.

Overall Rating for the Maxx Rear Drive Elliptical

Gold’s Gym’s space-saving Maxx Rear Drive Elliptical is a lower quality elliptical, but it’s not so bad for folding equipment. It improves over other folding models by devoting resources to important basics instead of flashy extras. Still, this machine isn’t intended for frequent or heavy use.

If you need a more durable yet affordable cross trainer, consider buying the Horizon CE6.0 or an elliptical from Lifecore or NordicTrack.

Gold’s Gym Maxx GameFit Elliptical

The Gold’s Gym Maxx GameFit Elliptical machine stands out for offering GameFit workout programs. It’s a feature-rich machine with audio, built-in personal training workouts, and interactive Game & Train programming. This budget elliptical sells for about $775 online.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get with the Gold’s Gym Maxx GameFit

  • 18” stride – This machine’s 18” fixed stride is adequate for shorter adults. However, machines with longer, adjustable strides are preferable because they can target more muscle groups and be used by taller users.
  • Interactive video games — Two video games add interactive fun to exercise.
  • Personal trainer workouts – Twelve personal trainer workouts with audio help trainees make the most of cardio workouts.
  • MP3 player – The speaker system can be used to play MP3s from the user’s iPod or other USB-compatible music player.
  • Heart rate monitor – A dual grip pulse reader is built into the handlebars for convenience.
  • Warranty – This unit carries one of Gold’s Gym’s better warranties:  10 years on the resistance, one year on labor, and lifetime protection on the frame.

Elliptical Misses: Why to Think Twice

  • Few resistance levels – This machine only has 12 resistance levels.
  • Lower capacity – The Maxx GameFit is marked with a 275 pound weight capacity but is wobbly even for lighter users.

Overall Rating for the ProForm Gold’s Gym Maxx GameFit Elliptical

This machine is suitable for beginners who could use the extra motivation of games and audio. However, more resources may have gone into the electronics than the physical components. This machine is recommended for lighter weight users but it will likely wear out quickly when pushed by heavier people. To see more durable options, look to ProForm’s 890E or brands such as Sole and Schwinn.

Gold’s Gym StrideTrainer 480 Elliptical

The Gold’s Gym StrideTrainer 480 is a very low-cost elliptical machine: it sells for just $399 on the manufacturer’s website. The machine might not be worth even that small investment; it has a very short 16” stride and there are frequent reports of faulty parts. However, it does have better durability than other cheap elliptical trainers and includes an MP3 player.

Elliptical Hits: Best Features of the Gold’s Gym 480 StrideTrainer Elliptical

Elliptical Misses: Why to Think Twice about the StrideTrainer 480

  • Power sold separately – The 480 can run off of batteries, but it quickly wears them out. An AC adaptor can be purchased separately.
  • Few resistance levels – Gold’s Gym Ellipticals have fewer resistance levels than the industry standard of 16 to 20. The Gold’s Gym 480 elliptical has 10 resistance levels.
  • Shorter stride – The Stride Trainer 480 has an unusually short 16” stride. The best option from the Gold’s Gym elliptical brand is the Stride Trainer 595, which has an 18” stride to combine with incline training for better muscle definition.
  • Rocky ride – The machine may rock from side to side even when used by people weighing less than the 275-pound limit.
  • Ineffective fan –The built-in workout fan is weak and is placed too high to cool off shorter users.
  • Short labor warranty – Gold’s Gym ellipticals include just 90-day warranties for parts and labor. That’s one of the poorest offers in the industry, and reports of defective parts are common.

Overall Rating for the Gold’s Gym 480 Elliptical StrideTrainer

Although it’s named after a high-end gym, the Gold’s Gym 480 elliptical trainer isn’t close to commercial quality: it has a short range of motion, few resistance levels, and a very limited warranty. This might be an adequate machine for starting off a weight loss program, but it’s not designed for the long haul.

The Gold’s Gym StrideTrainer 595 features a more natural stride length, more than double the programming, and an incline for targeting different muscle groups. Still… why take a chance on a brand with a short 90-day warranty? Spending a few hundred dollars more up front can pay off in the long run. NordicTrack, Schwinn, and ProForm offer better values with at least a year of parts coverage on their cheapest elliptical trainers.

Gold’s Gym StrideTrainer 595 Elliptical

The StrideTrainer 595 is the top elliptical machine from Gold’s Gym, a discount brand of fitness equipment. Since it has a short stride and lighter resistance, it’s best for smaller beginning exercisers. The 595 has an 18” stride, 14 preset programs, and an incline for targeting specific muscle groups. Its main drawback is squeakiness and a short warranty. Extended warranties are available.

This home elliptical retails for $799, but it’s often available for about half-price at GetGoldsGym.com and Walmart.com.

Elliptical Hits: Best Features of the Gold’s Gym 595 StrideTrainer Elliptical

  • 18” stride – The stride is long enough for shorter adults to use a full range of motion, and they can also take shorter stair-like steps by using the incline.
  • 14 programs – A variety of built-in programs are designed for weight loss, endurance, and other fitness goals. These can be used with the machine’s heart rate monitor to ensure efficient exercise.
  • Full-body exercise – Movable handlebars increase calorie expenditure and help tone the upper body.
  • Heart rate monitorGrip heart rate sensors are integrated with the handlebars for convenient pulse monitoring during exercise.
  • MP3 player – An iPod port and speaker system offer entertainment and can drown out the machine’s squeakiness.
  • Water bottle holder – An attached drink holder helps with hydration during workouts.

Elliptical Misses: Why to Think Twice about the StrideTrainer 595

  • Few resistance levels – This machine has only 12 resistance levels. Most brands offer more variety. On the other hand, smaller users say that the resistance levels are challenging.
  • Weak fan This is a fairly common observation among owners of the 595.                                                           
  • Short labor warranty – Gold’s Gym ellipticals include just 90-day warranties for parts and labor. That’s one of the poorest offers in the industry. If you buy this product, be sure to consider getting an extended warranty.
  • Power not included – The 595 StrideTrainer is powered by D cell batteries. An adaptor is available from the manufacturer for about $90, but a universal adaptor can be purchased elsewhere for under $20.

Overall Rating for the Gold’s Gym StrideTrainer 595

The StrideTrainer 595 features the basics for starting a home exercise program. It has a long enough stride for shorter adults, plus it can mimic a stairclimber with its incline option. But at full price, why take a chance on a squeaky product with a short warranty? NordicTrack, Schwinn, and ProForm offer better deals with at least a year of parts coverage on their cheapest elliptical trainers.

Gold’s Gym StrideTrainer 380 Elliptical

The Gold’s Gym StrideTrainer 380 is a very low-cost elliptical machine for home use. Its suggested web price of $499 is often reduced by almost 50%. However, the machine doesn’t seem to provide good value; many customers report that the Gold’s Gym 380 is just too cheaply made. Additionally, it has a very short 14” stride.

Of the three current Gold’s Gym ellipticals, the StrideTrainer 595 offers the best combination of price and quality.

Elliptical Hits: Best Features of the Gold’s Gym 380 StrideTrainer Elliptical

  • Cross training Movable handlebars increase calorie expenditure and help tone the upper body.
  • Heart rate monitorGrip heart rate sensors are integrated with the handlebars for convenient pulse monitoring during exercise.
  • Water bottle holder – An attached drink holder helps with hydration during workouts.

Elliptical Misses: Why to Think Twice about the StrideTrainer 380

  • Few programs – The Stride Trainer 380 has only 6 workout programs. People using this machine as their primary source of cardio training could quickly tire of the options. An upgrade, the 595, offers good variety with 14 programs.
  • Few resistance levels – Gold’s Gym Ellipticals have fewer resistance levels than the industry standard of 16 to 20. The top Gold’s Gym elliptical, the Stride Trainer 595, has 12 resistance levels.
  • Shorter strides – The Stride Trainer 380 has an unusually short 14” stride. The best option from the Gold’s Gym elliptical brand is the Stride Trainer 595, which has an 18” stride to combine with incline training for better muscle definition.
  • Short labor warranty – Gold’s Gym ellipticals include just 90-day warranties for parts and labor. That’s one of the poorest offers in the industry.
  • Difficult to assemble Customers consistently complain that the assembly instructions are insufficient. As one man put it, assembly is a “six-beer project.”
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    Other discount ellipticals can easily be assembled by two people within an hour without prompting a trip to the liquor store.

  • Power hungry – This machine does not have a power cord and quickly runs through D cell batteries.

Overall Rating for the Gold’s Gym 380 Elliptical StrideTrainer

Despite their brand name, Gold’s Gym ellipticals aren’t close to professional gym quality – and the StrideTrainer 380 is both noisy and prone to breakdowns. The StrideTrainer 595 offers a number of better options, including a more natural stride length, more than double the programming, and an incline for targeting different muscle groups. Still… why take a chance on a brand with a short 90-day warranty? NordicTrack, Schwinn, and ProForm offer better deals with at least a year of parts coverage on their cheapest elliptical trainers.

Gold’s Gym Ellipticals

With Gold’s Gym elliptical trainers, the world-famous chain of fitness clubs has lent its name for use by ICON Health and Fitness, an international leader in fitness equipment manufacturing. ICON owns a number of elliptical brands, so its cheaper lines – such as Gold’s Gym – sometimes benefit from the research and development conducted for NordicTrack and others.

Current Gold’s Gym ellipticals include the Stride Trainer 380, the Stride Trainer 595, and the Cross Trainer 480. Of these three machines, the Stride Trainer provides the best value.

Features of Gold’s Gym Elliptical Trainers

  • Low prices – Gold’s Gym elliptical trainers, and especially lower-end versions such as the Stride Trainer 380, are among the most inexpensive ellipticals available. However, ellipticals with very low MSRPs often cost more than others in the long run because they need repairs or fall into disuse by disenchanted owners.
  • Movable handlebars – The moving handlebars let people get cardiovascular workouts that exercise the whole body.
  • Incline – On the Gold’s Gym Stride Trainer 595, an incline options lets users target different muscle groups in the legs.
  • Shorter strides – If you’d like a machine with a long and adjustable stride, then Gold’s Gym isn’t your brand. For instance, the Stride Trainer 380 and Cross Trainer 480 have unusually short 14” strides. The best option from this brand is the Stride Trainer 595, which has an acceptable 18” stride to combine with incline training for better muscle definition.
  • Built-in programs – The Stride Trainer 380 has only 6 programs, but the 595 includes 14 well-designed workouts. That’s not bad for a budget elliptical.
  • Few resistance levels – Gold’s Gym Ellipticals have fewer resistance levels than the industry standard of 16 to 20. The top Gold’s Gym elliptical, the Stride Trainer 595, has 12 resistance levels.
  • Extras: Again, the Stride Trainer beats the other Gold’s Gym models by including an iPod-compatible music port and a console fan. All of the models include grip heart rate monitors on the handlebars and a water bottle holder.
  • Short labor warranty – Gold’s Gym ellipticals include just 90-day warranties for parts and labor. That’s one of the poorest offers in the industry.

Overall Rating for Gold’s Gym Ellipticals

Gold’s Gym ellipticals are budget ellipticals. Customer reviews are generally positive for the 595, but the other models are more commonly associated with broken parts. Why take a chance on a brand with a short 90-day warranty? NordicTrack, Schwinn, and ProForm offer better deals with at least a year of parts coverage on their budget ellipticals.