Tony Little’s HealthRider Hybrid Trainer

Tony Little’s Pride & Joy, but Not Recommended

Tony Little describes the Hybrid Trainer by HealthRider as the exercise equipment he’s most proud to represent. That’s not such a surprise. Usually he represents gadgets that cost around $199 and with this model he’s up to a $799 MSRP. The HealthRider is the most legitimate exercise machine that Tony Little has ever touted but it is nonetheless rather low quality.

The HealthRider Hybrid Trainer combines two popular workout machines: the elliptical and the stationary bike. Elliptical exercise and bike training are known for being easy on joints — but that’s when the machine fits your body properly. The 15” stride on this machine will let you take short steps and raise your heart rate, but a healthy elliptical stride is longer.

We’re disappointed by the ergonomics and overall cheapness of this trainer. Keep looking! You can find better products for the same price from Horizon, NordicTrack and several other fitness equipment companies.

Specs for the Tony Little Hybrid Trainer

Here’s the features list from the manufacturer:

  • 14 Digital Resistance Levels
  • 10-Pound Flywheel
  • 14 Workout Apps
  • Dual-Grip Heart Rate Monitor
  • Upper-Body Workout Arms
  • Large LCD Window
  • SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance
  • Water Bottle Holder
  • 10-year frame warranty
  • 90-day parts & labor warranty

Obviously, you need to take a manufacturer’s description with some skepticism. The “large” LCD window is rather small, and the “silent” resistance doesn’t mean that the overall machine is a quiet operator. It isn’t.

The 14 workout apps include seven for bike mode and seven for elliptical mode.

Reviews for the Tony Little Hybrid Elliptical

Reviews of this product come from sorely disappointed and moderately pleased customers. Some people think the machine is fun and effective, but they probably haven’t spent much time in clubs with better-quality fitness equipment. Those who know how an elliptical trainer ought to feel point out that the 15” stride is very short. Besides that, the flywheel or drive weighs only ten pounds! This is responsible for the

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machine’s noticeably light resistance and not-so-smooth stride. Although there are 14 resistance levels, the range in wattage isn’t so great and the machine could quickly be mastered – if it doesn’t break down first.

People note that the Hybrid Trainer is noisy and requires frequent tightening and greasing. The warranty is very short, just 90 days for parts and labor. You’d probably rather spend time working out, not maintaining or paying to repair a machine you spent $800 on.

We recommend saving up for a better elliptical trainer or shopping around some more. Other ellipticals with the HealthRider name, such as the H50E, get much better reviews. The H50E sells for about $799 too, plus it has iFit readiness and a year of parts coverage. Its one-year warranty is still skimpy, but it sure beats the 90-day warranty of the Tony Little Hybrid Trainer.

HealthRider H50E Elliptical Trainer

An Affordable Cross Trainer that Targets Trouble Spots

The HealthRider H50E is a sub-$1000 elliptical trainer. Highlights include a 20° ramp, 18 workout apps and iFit compatibility. When you activate iFit, the elliptical’s automatic resistance control simulates the rise and fall of terrain across actual routes that you chart with Google Maps.

Elliptical Hits: Best Features of the HealthRider H50E

  • Workout apps – The H50E’s collection of 18 built-in apps is impressive for an elliptical in this price category. There are enough workouts to keep you entertained and fit without needing to add on the iFit. Still, iFit will be a temptation! We recommend figuring it into the sale price of this HealthRider.
  • iFit technology – iFit can be used in any wireless-equipped space once you add on an iFit module and sign up for iFit membership. The modules usually sell for $99 and sometimes include an annual subscription. iFit Live will download new workouts that are based on your exercise data. You can also virtually work out with the famous personal trainer Jillian Michaels.
  • Incline The motorized ramp lets you target different muscle groups by working out at 10°, 20° and 30° inclines. Incline training helps you burn fat calories more quickly and also stimulates more muscle fibers compared with exercise at a 0° incline.
  • Adjustable stride This model’s 18”-20” stride makes it just right for multi-user households. The stride also adds even more variability in terms of how you can isolate specific muscles.
  • Console – The console features ICON’s popular RaceTrackl display, which helps you visualize progress along a quarter-mile track.
  • 275 pound capacity
  • Free shipping

Elliptical Errors: What’s Not so Hot

  • Short warranty – The H50E gets a lifetime frame warranty and one year of parts and labor coverage. Two or three years of parts coverage would be more appropriate, considering that this machine will cost anywhere from $699 to $999.
  • Heart rate monitor – Pulse sensors are built into the handlebars, but customers say that these are inaccurate. It’s a good idea to exercise within your optimal heart rate range; it helps make the most of each session, and tracking your recovery rate is one way to assess progress over the long term. Be sure to track your heart rate manually if it can’t be accomplished with your elliptical machine.
  • Assembly – Assembly is not a smooth process. Many components need to be greased and some steps in assembly require two people to get alignment correct.
  • Noise – The incline can be heard whirring.

Overall Rating for the HealthRider H50E Elliptical

The H50E is a modest attempt at making an affordable yet good-quality elliptical trainer. It’s lacking in some areas as noted above, yet it’s better than many competitors in the sub-$1000 category. We think you’ll be satisfied with this purchase if you aren’t expecting luxury yet expect a challenging workout. Take the manufacturer’s claim of a 275-pound warranty with a grain of salt. The H50E isn’t among the most durable ellipticals, and it would get more stars in our review if it were sold with a longer warranty.

HealthRider Ellipticals

Find elliptical trainers on sale now at HealthRider

HealthRider elliptical trainers are manufactured by ICON Health and Fitness, the world’s largest manufacturer of fitness equipment. In addition to owning the HealthRider brand, the Utah-based corporation owns NordicTrack, ProForm, Weslo, and other elliptical brands. ICON also owns the patent for iFit, a personal training option that’s built into many of its exercise machines.

HealthRider ellipticals are priced for budget-minded consumers and the middle market. They generally receive positive ratings.

Brand Features of HealthRider Ellipticals

Some typical features of HealthRider elliptical machines include:

  • Rear flywheels – HealthRider ellipticals have their flywheels in back, which helps the machines use energy more efficiently and reduces the likelihood of equipment breaking down.
  • Higher weight capacity – HealthRiders tend to have higher weight capacities than other low-cost equipment. The H70e has a 300 pound capacity, and the 140e can carry 350 pounds. A high weight capacity also means that the machine should be especially sturdy for lightweight users.
  • Upper body exercise – Upper-body workout handles help people to exercise their arms and legs at the same time.
  • Extras – Some HealthRiders include extras such as built-in fans, heart rate monitors, and “personal trainer workouts” that adjust to the individual exerciser’s progress.
  • Separate warranties – Healthrider equipment is sold with optional warranties. All customers are permitted 30 days to return an unwanted item, but they are responsible for the return freight. ICON might also charge a 10% restocking fee. Warranties for one, two, and three years are sold separately.

Find elliptical trainers on sale now at HealthRider

Overall Rating for HealthRider Ellipticals

HealthRider offers many models of elliptical trainers, and some are better than others. HealthRider equipment is generally recommended to people who require fewer frills. That said, the H90e and some other models have some well-appreciated extras such as motorized inclines and iFit personal training.

Several brands compete at HealthRider prices, and some may offer better warranties and equipment options. In particular, people considering HealthRider should make comparisons with NordicTrack equipment. NordicTrack and HealthRider are manufactured by the same company and are made from many of the same components.

HealthRider HR2 Elliptical Trainer

The HealthRider HR2 is a mid-level elliptical trainer. This machine is packed with special features such as a convenient SpaceSpacer design, highly targeted workouts, a motorized power ramp, and iFit technology.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get with the HealthRider HR2

  • Incline The motorized incline lets users target their glutes, quads, and calves by working out at 10 degree, 20 degree, and 30 degree inclines respectively. Incline training is associated with more rapid calorie expenditure than is traditional elliptical training.
  • Adjustable stride The Healthrider HR2 has an 18”-20” adjustable stride. This makes the machine practical for people of different heights and also lets the individual user target different muscle groups.
  • Heart rate monitor – Sensors built into the handlebars help users exercise within an optimal heart rate zone.
  • Foldable design – The HR2’s pedals and base fold up quickly to reveal three feet of floor space.
  • 325 pound user weight capacity

Elliptical Errors: What’s Missing on the HR2

  • Hidden extras – The iFit Live module may be sold separately.
  • Short warranty – HealthRider once had notoriously short warranties, but the HR2 gets a lifetime frame warranty and one year of parts and labor.

Overall Rating for the HealthRider HR2 Elliptical

The HR2 is a significant upgrade to its predecessors and may be a worthwhile investment: the heart rate monitor can help people make the most of workouts; the incline and adjustable stride enable the targeting of different muscle groups; and the many iFit options help keep exercise interesting. The fact that HealthRider has lengthened its warranty for this model is encouraging. Still, ellipticals with better warranties are offered by Reebok, Sole, and NordicTrack.

HealthRider H95e Rear Drive

The HealthRider H95e is a mid-level elliptical trainer. This machine is packed with special features such as a convenient SpaceSpacer design, highly targeted workouts, a motorized power ramp, and iFit technology.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get with the HealthRider H95e

  • iFit technology – In wireless-equipped households, the elliptical’s iFit Live feature automatically downloads new workouts and uploads users’ workout data. Additioanlly, interactive 8-week workout cards featuring famous personal trainers can be loaded into the console. Google Maps compatibility is another exciting iFit feature: it lets users virtually walk, jog, or run through the many miles of terrain that Google has mapped – from one’s own neighborhood to famous national parks.
  • Incline The motorized incline lets users target their glutes, quads, and calves by working out at 10 degree, 20 degree, and 30 degree inclines respectively. Incline training is associated with more rapid calorie expenditure than is traditional elliptical training.
  • Adjustable stride The Healthrider H95e has an 18”-20” adjustable stride. This makes the machine practical for people of different heights and also lets the individual user target different muscle groups.
  • Heart rate monitor – Sensors built into the handlebars help users exercise within an optimal heart rate zone.
  • Foldable design – The H95e’s pedals and base fold up quickly to reveal three feet of floor space.
  • 325 pound user weight capacity

Elliptical Errors: What’s Missing

  • Hidden extras – The iFit Live module may be sold separately.
  • Short warranty – HealthRider once had notoriously short warranties, but the H95e gets a lifetime frame warranty and one year of parts and labor.

Overall Rating for the HealthRider H95e Elliptical

The H95e is a significant upgrade to its predecessors and may be a worthwhile investment: the heart rate monitor can help people make the most of workouts; the incline and adjustable stride enable the targeting of different muscle groups; and the many iFit options help keep exercise interesting. The fact that HealthRider has lengthened its warranty for this model is encouraging. Still, ellipticals with better warranties are offered by Reebok, Sole, and NordicTrack.

HealthRider C515e Elliptical

HealthRider’s C515e is an entry-level, budget-priced elliptical trainer. In terms of quality and design, it’s very similar to other budget machines by parent company ICON, such as NordicTrack, ProForm, and Weslo. If your goal is to save on entry-level fitness equipment, then compare these brands to get an elliptical with the best combination of features, price, and warranty.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get with the HealthRider C515e Elliptical

  • Upper body exercise – The elliptical’s upper body grips help users get a better cardio workout and add muscle tone to their arms.
  • Heart rate monitor Hand pulse monitors help people to exercise within target heart rate ranges.
  • Fan — A built-in fan helps keep users cool, encouraging them to exercise for a longer time.
  • A long stride – The C515e elliptical’s 18” stride is suitable for many short to average height adults.

Elliptical Oversights: What you Miss

  • Workout programs – The C515e includes only 8 workout programs.
  • A good warranty – This elliptical is covered for just 90 days unless the customer buys an extended warranty. Other fitness brands offer standard warranties of a year or more.
  • Silence – The HealthRider C515e is a rather noisy machine. If you plan to watch TV while working out, expect to crank up the volume.

Overall Rating for the HealthRider C515e Elliptical

The C515e is definitely a beginner’s elliptical. Rather than invest in this lower-quality machine, spend a bit more on another HealthRider elliptical such as the H140e, or check out other brands. Some brands with better reviews include NordicTrack, Smooth, and Sole.

HealthRider 8.5 EX Elliptical Cross Trainer

HealthRider’s 8.5 EX is a mid-priced elliptical trainer. With a built-in television, it’s especially appealing to people who need an extra incentive to exercise. The machine’s main features are its color TV, 20 built-in workout programs, and a relatively good warranty.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get

  • Color television – The 7” color TV screen can connect to cable TV, a VCR, or a DVD player.
  • Workout programs – HealthRider’s 8.5 EX includes 20 pre-set workout programs. Two heart rate programs automatically adjust the machine’s resistance to suit the particular user.

  • Heart rate monitor A handgrip pulse sensor helps users to exercise at their target heart rates.
  • Upper body exercise – The 8.5 EX is called a cross trainer because of its upper body grips. These help elliptical users get a better cardio workout and add muscle tone to their arms.
  • 18” stride The 18” stride will suit many adults of short to average height.

  • Bottle holder – A drink holder is conveniently built into the console.
  • Warranty Customers get a lifetime warranty on the frame, a seven-year warranty on the brakes, and a year’s protection on other parts. A year of labor is also included.

Overall Rating for the HealthRider 8.5 EX Elliptical

The 8.5 EX elliptical isn’t terribly impressive, but it makes sense for some customers. For instance, it would probably be more cost-effective to purchase a television and an elliptical trainer separately, but some people might not be able to have an elliptical parked in front of a TV.

Taller people should definitely invest in a machine with a longer stride: basics such as a full range of motion and a smooth glide are more important than built-in entertainment.

Some other elliptical brands offering built-in TVs are ProForm and Ironman.

HealthRider C550e Elliptical

HealthRider’s C550e is a budget-priced elliptical trainer. In terms of quality and design, it’s very similar to budget machines by NordicTrack, ProForm, Reebok, and Weslo. If your goal is to save on entry-level equipment, then compare these brands to get an elliptical with the best combination of features, price, and warranty.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get with the HealthRider C550e Elliptical

  • Upper body exercise – The elliptical’s upper body grips help users get a better cardio workout and add muscle tone to their arms.
  • Heart rate monitor A grip pulse sensor on the C550e causes a red light to turn on when it’s time to pick up the pace.
  • Fan — A built-in fan helps keep users cool, letting them exercise for a longer time.

Elliptical Oversights: What you Miss

  • Workout programs – The C550e includes just 10 workout programs. Five are for weight loss and five are personal trainer programs that work in tandem with the heart rate monitor.
  • A long stride – The C550e elliptical’s 16” stride is too short for most adult exercisers, preventing them from using a full range of motion.
  • A good warranty – Buyers get 7 years of coverage on the elliptical’s frame, but the other parts are covered for just 90 days. The short warranty suggests that the HealthRider C550e is made of substandard parts.
  • A rear flywheel – Ideally, an elliptical trainer’s flywheel is located toward the back of the machine. The C550e has its flywheel in front, which makes the machine work harder and prevents the user from making a true elliptical motion with the pedals.

Overall Rating for the HealthRider C550e Elliptical

The C550e is a beginner’s elliptical and is best for smaller people. It has a short stride, and with just a 275-pound capacity, it would only feel sturdy to lightweight users. This budget elliptical may be worth purchasing on sale, but expect to replace it within a few years.

HealthRider Stride Trainer 900 Elliptical

The HealthRider Stride Trainer 900 Elliptical is now on sale at HealthRider

HealthRider’s Stride Trainer 900 is an impressive elliptical. The machine’s main features are its adjustable 18”-20” stride, power incline, program variety, and built-in entertainment.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get

 

  • Adjustable stride The adjustable 18”-20” stride on the Stride Trainer 900 can provide most adult exercisers with an ideal range of motion.

 

  • Workout programs – In addition to being wired for iFit Live, a virtual personal training program, the HealthRider 900 includes 20 built-in exercise programs and 16 resistance levels that can easily be adjusted mid-workout.
  • Power ramp – The 900’s power incline, which tilts the exercise surface by up to 30 degrees, provides a more efficient workout by forcing exercisers to train different muscle groups and burn calories more quickly.
  • Heart rate monitor A dual-grip pulse monitor helps users exercise within target heart rate ranges for maximum cardiovascular benefits.
  • Upper body exercise – The 900’s upper body grips help users get better cardio workouts and add muscle tone to their arms. Plus, one-touch controls are conveniently built into the handles.
  • Entertainment – In addition to featuring iFit Live, HealthRider’s Stride Trainer has an iPod dock and an Intermix Acoustics sound system.
  • Fan — A built-in CoolAire workout fan helps keep users cool, encouraging them to exercise for a longer time.

Elliptical Uncertainties

  • Warranty The Stride Trainer has a better warranty than other HealthRider equipment. Customers get a lifetime warranty on the frame and a year on other parts and labor. However, considering the machine’s motorized ramp and complex electronics, purchasing an extended warranty is recommended.

Overall Rating for the HealthRider 900 Elliptical

 

The HealthRider 900 provides elliptical essentials such as a healthy stride and a smooth ride. Extra features including the power ramp, audio entertainment, and iFit Live help improve the likeliness that buyers will stick with an exercise routine. However, one drawback of the HealthRider 900 Stride Trainer is its MSRP. The machine may be a good deal on sale, but other brands by the same parent company offer the same or similar features for less. Some other brands to consider include NordicTrack and ProForm.

HealthRider 330 Elliptical

HealthRider’s 330 elliptical is a beginner’s trainer. It’s typically purchased by people who are just starting to work out and aren’t ready for a big investment. The machine’s main features are its low price, 18” stride, and adjustable handlebars.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get

  • Heart rate monitor A grip pulse sensor helps users stay within a target heart rate range.
  • Upper body exercise – The 330’s upper body grips help users get a better cardio workout and add muscle tone to their arms.
  • 18” stride The 18” stride on the HealthRider 330 is ideal for many short to average height adults. However, some people find the elliptical motion to be awkward on this machine.
  • Fan — A built-in fan helps keep users cool, letting them exercise for a longer time.
  • Warranty The 1-year warranty isn’t outstanding, but it’s better than the warranties on some other HealthRider models. Extended warranties are available.

Elliptical Oversights: What’s Missing

  • Workout programs – The 330 includes 6 preset workout programs, which isn’t much variety. There are just 12 levels of resistance.
  • A smooth ride – Consumers report that the HealthRider 330 is a noisy piece of machinery. They also complain that its elliptical motion isn’t quite right.

Overall Rating for the HealthRider 330 Elliptical

The HealthRider 330 is an entry model elliptical that’s hardly worth its price. It has few programs or resistance levels, and users complain about fundamentals such as an uncomfortable stride. The combination of discomfort and noisiness make it likely that the 330 will sit unused in a corner for long stretches of time. People usually need to spend a bit more to get a good value. Check the Smooth, Eclipse, and Schwinn brands for better discount ellipticals.