Horizon EX 76 Elliptical

Horizon EX 76 Elliptical – Great Value for Less than $1000

Horizon’s EX 76 elliptical is a solid, affordable incline trainer for home use. Features like a steep incline, a high capacity and an adjustable stride length aren’t often found together in the sub-$1000 price category. Nonetheless, the EX 76 (a 2008 model) has been discontinued. You can still find it online with a one-year parts warranty and a lifetime frame warranty.

This trainer is better than the average low-priced option for beginners and moderate-level trainees of most sizes. We’d give it an even higher rating if it had a longer parts warranty. If you’re deciding between the EX 75 and this option, we recommend the EX 76 without reservations. It’s a significant upgrade for little price difference.

Features of the Horizon EX 76 (A Discontinued Elliptical Trainer)

The sleek EX 76 console has an easy-to-read LED matrix that provides four simultaneous readouts. It includes 16 workout programs with manual, incline, interval, weight loss, random and custom modes. The console also features an MP3 port, two speakers, a headphone jack and a pocket for an MP3 player. Other specs include:

  • Front Drive
  • 14.5-Lb. Flywheel
  • 16 Resistance Levels
  • 18”-19″ Variable Stride
  • Cushioned Foot Pads
  • Pivoting Pedals
  • 16 Workout Modes
  • Power Incline to 16°
  • Contact Heart Rate Grips
  • Wireless Heart Rate Monitor
  • Contoured Handlebars
  • 300-Lb. Capacity
  • One Year Parts & Labor Warranty
  • One Year Frame & Brake Warranty

Customer Comments about the Horizon EX 76

Customers are very happy with this machine’s stability. It weighs 220 pounds and is quiet during operation. After spending about 30 minutes on assembly, most owners don’t need to spend much time tightening bolts or otherwise fiddling with the machine to keep it quiet. It’s probably not worth paying for professional assembly.

Some people have complained about this unit’s pedal angle in their elliptical reviews. If a person’s feet slide forward, their toes get squished. Customers can remedy this problem by adding traction to the pedal surface; this keeps their feet from sliding forward. Using the incline also helps.

Our Overall Review of the Horizon EX 76 Crosstrainer

You’ve happened upon a pretty good elliptical trainer. While other sub-$1000 trainers are made of cheap plastic, this model is made of heavy steel and won’t wobble under strenuous use. It can easily compete with rear-drive models that cost a few hundred dollars more. The 16° incline is especially attractive because of how it helps sculpt muscles and increase the rate of calorie burn during elliptical training.

Still, the EX 76 isn’t for everyone. Some trainees will need a longer stride or heavier resistance. Also, people who are willing to spend more can take advantage of technological advances that have been made since this crosstrainer’s debut. For example, elliptical trainers with touch screens and iFit personal training have become more affordable.

Horizon E701 Elliptical

The Horizon E701 elliptical machine is no longer being produced but is widely available online. Dick’s Sporting Goods and Amazon seem to have acquired the largest collections of this discount model. The E701 is best suited to lighter-weight beginners. It has an 18” stride and remains stable for trainees weighing about 200 pounds or less.

Originally retailing for about $800, this Horizon elliptical trainer never found its market. Customers generally preferred to either spend much less on other Horizon crosstrainers or spend about $1000 to get more solid machines. You can now find the E701 for about $700 or less online.

Features of the Horizon E701

The E701 is inexpensive yet has a few better-than-basic features. Highlights include an MP3 player port, a cooling fan and pivoting footplates.  The full specs list includes:

  • Front Drive
  • 14 lb. Flywheel
  • 275-Lb. Capacity
  • 18” Stride
  • Pivoting Pedals
  • 10 Resistance Levels
  • Magnetic Resistance
  • 14 Programs
  • Contact Heart Rate Monitor
  • Bottle Holder
  • Cooling Fan
  • MP3 Port
  • Lifetime Frame & Brake Warranty
  • One Year Parts & Labor Warranty

The Specs Interpreted

On paper the Horizon E701 looks best for beginners. The 14-pound flywheel provides relatively light resistance and doesn’t create an ultra-smooth feel.

The specs also make this unit best for people who aren’t very tall or heavy. The 18” stride is adequate for adults of shorter to average heights. As with most low-cost ellipticals, this unit doesn’t quite meet its advertised weight capacity.  If you weigh about 200 pounds or more, you might want a sturdier machine.

The E701 elliptical includes a few perks: a bottle holder, a fan and an MP3 port. The contact heart rate monitor is a convenient touch but isn’t as accurate as the wireless monitors on more expensive trainers.

The one-year parts warranty is disappointing for an $800 investment. This model isn’t so durable and buyers have advised getting an extended warranty.

Customer Reviews of the E701 Elliptical

The E701 didn’t sell well because it fell into murky territory. Many potential buyers opted for ultra-cheap Horizon elliptical trainers instead or spent a few hundred dollars more elsewhere to get better value. Those who bought the E701 haven’t given it great reviews. Here are some key points:

  • This machine is very imperfect and sometimes requires clever duct taping and other home remedies to keep its noise level down.
  • Complaints mentioned in customers’ elliptical reviews usually involve missing or damaged parts. Brides-to-be and others with specific fitness deadlines have been especially disappointed by slow customer service when replacement parts are needed.
  • When all parts are included with the original shipment, customers generally report easy assembly.
  • Some reviewers have mentioned that the stride feels awkward compared with those of rear-drive trainers.

Our Overall Review of the E701 Crosstrainer

The discontinued Horizon E701 has plenty of strong competitors. These might cost a bit more but they tend to woo away potential buyers. Given its shortcomings, this trainer is only recommended when it’s sold for $700 or less.

It really is worth spending about $1000 on a better unit. Most elliptical trainers at the $1000 level are more durable. You’ll get a smoother, quieter ride and more effective workouts. You can easily find elliptical trainers in various price categories by consulting our comparison charts.

Horizon EX79 Elliptical

The EX79 is a top-level trainer in the budget elliptical category. Highlights of this front drive machine include exclusive SixStar Certification for ergonomics, a power incline, and a 20” stride. This unit sells online for about $999.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get with the Horizon EX79 Cross Trainer

    • Healthy stride The machine’s 20” stride lets even tall users exercise with a full range of motion.
    • Power incline – The pedals’ incline can be automatically adjusted to emphasize different muscle groups.
    • Upper body exercise – The handlebars move to help provide a full-body workout.
    • Adequate programming – Eleven programs and an Advanced Goal Center help exercisers reach new heights of fitness. Sixteen resistance levels from a 17-pound flywheel offer an adequate challenge for a beginning or mid-level trainer.
    • Heart rate monitor – Pulse is monitored via contact grips in the handlebars.
    • Audio system – Integrated speakers accept input from the user’s MP3 player. The console also has a headphone outlet.
  • Good warranty – The Horizon EX-79 is sold with a lifetime warranty on the frame and brake plus a year of coverage for other parts and labor, which isn’t bad for a budget model. It has a 300-pound user weight capacity.

Overall Rating for the Horizon EX79 Elliptical

The EX79 is a great option for people seeking a relatively good yet inexpensive cross-trainer. It has a long stride and it promotes highly efficient workouts with its power incline. Furthermore, extras such as a fan, a bottle holder, an audio system, and a heart rate monitor usually aren’t included on low-priced trainers. This machine isn’t ideal for high-use households because of its short warranty, but it’s just right for a number of customers.

Horizon EX69 Elliptical

The EX69 is a mid-level trainer from Horizon Fitness; it falls between the EX59 and the EX79. Highlights of this front drive machine include exclusive SixStar Certification for ergonomics, 11 built-in programs, and a 20” stride. Additionally, it has a slightly heavier flywheel than does the EX59. This unit sells online for just $799.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get with the Horizon EX69 Cross Trainer

    • Healthy stride The machine’s 20” stride lets even tall users exercise with a full range of motion.
    • Upper body exercise – The handlebars move to help provide a full-body workout.
    • Adequate programming – Eleven programs and an Advanced Goal Center help exercisers reach new heights of fitness. Sixteen resistance levels from a 17-pound flywheel offer an adequate challenge for a beginning or mid-level trainer.
    • Heart rate monitor – Pulse is monitored via contact grips in the handlebars.
    • Audio system – Integrated speakers accept input from the user’s MP3 player. The console also has a headphone outlet.
  • Good warranty – The Horizon EX69 is sold with a lifetime warranty on the frame and brake plus a year of coverage for other parts and labor, which isn’t bad for a budget model. It has a 300-pound user weight capacity.

Overall Rating for the Horizon EX69 Elliptical

This is a fine option for people seeking a relatively good yet inexpensive cross-trainer. It has a long stride and extras such as a fan, a bottle holder, an audio system, and a heart rate monitor. The next step up, the EX79, is essentially the same unit plus a power incline.

Horizon EX59 Elliptical

The EX59 is an entry-level trainer from Horizon Fitness. Highlights of the EX59 include SurroundSound speakers, 10 built-in programs, and an 18” stride.  This unit has an MSRP of $799, but it sells for as low as $599 online.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get with the Horizon EX59 Cross Trainer

    • Healthy stride The machine’s 18” stride is relatively long for a budget elliptical. This is the minimum acceptable stride length and is ideal for petite exercisers.
    • Upper body exercise – The machine’s handlebars move to help provide a full-body workout.
    • Adequate programming – Ten programs and an Advanced Goal Center help exercisers reach new heights of fitness. Ten resistance levels offer an adequate challenge for a beginner or lightweight exerciser.
    • MP3 sound system – Integrated speakers accept input from the user’s MP3 player. The EX59 also has a headphone outlet.
  • Good warranty – The Horizon EX59 is sold with a lifetime warranty on the frame and brake plus a year of coverage for other parts and labor. That’s not so bad for budget fitness equipment, but heavy users will be taking a gamble.

Elliptical Misses: Why It’s an Entry-Level Trainer

The EX59 has a very light 14-pound flywheel. This means that it provides relatively low resistance and less challenging workouts. Furthermore, elliptical trainers with heavier flywheels offer a smoother ride.

Overall Rating for the Horizon EX59 Elliptical

This is an entry-level model that provides relatively light resistance. It’s fine for smaller beginners, but other users will either wear out or quickly master this machine. The EX79 is a more challenging and durable option.

Horizon Ellipticals

Horizon Fitness is a subsidiary of the multinational company Johnson Health Tech.

As the world’s fourth-largest manufacturer and distributor of workout machines, Johnson also owns Advanced Fitness Group and other brands associated with low-budget to mid-budget fitness equipment. Current Horizon ellipticals include the CE6.0, the EX 77, and the popular E-series, which features the E901 and E1201 models.

Brand features of Horizon Ellipticals

  • Upper body exercise – Like the vast majority of elliptical trainers, Horizon models are designed to provide upper body and lower body workouts simultaneously. Horizon’s attention to ergonomics shows up in their comfortable handles too.
  • Tilts your world – The Horizon EX 77 and E1201 include power inclines. Incline training exercises a wider variety of muscle groups than does standard training, and it burns calories more quickly.
  • Provides entertainment – All of the Horizon ellipticals featured on our site include iPod docks and speaker systems.
  • Has comfortable pedals – Horizon’s cushioned, articulating (rotating) footpads help make their ellipticals easy on the body.
  • Various strides available Horizon gets it right with a range of healthy strides. The E901 and E1201 have 19” strides, and the EX 77 and CE6.0 have variable strides to accommodate people from 5’ to 6’ tall or more.

  • Has good resistance – Horizon elliptical trainers have 16-20 resistance levels each.
  • Low step-up – The exercise surface of Horizon ellipticals is relatively close to the ground.
  • Good warranties – Horizon has better warranties than other budget and mid-level equipment dealers. One of their best warranties accompanies the E1201 elliptical: it includes lifetime coverage on the frame and brakes and four years on most other parts.

Overall Rating for Horizon Ellipticals

Horizon Fitness has built a solid reputation for offering good-quality machines at value prices. They pay attention to both ergonomics and entertainment, providing healthy strides, cushioned pedals, and comfortable handles alongside iPod docks. The power inclines on the E1201 and EX77 make these especially attractive ellipticals for the price.

Horizon LS645E

The LS645E, a budget elliptical trainer from Horizon, isn’t among the brand’s better offerings. It has an 18” stride, ten resistance levels, and nine workouts. For a similar price, the Horizon GS1050E provides better value.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get with the Horizon LS645E Elliptical

  • Ergonomic features – All elliptical trainers are designed for low-impact exercise, but some get it better than others. Some positive aspects of the 645E include narrow pedal spacing, pivoting pedals, and a reasonably long 18” stride.
  • Workouts – Nine “Goal to Go” programs are designed for quick access.
  • Heart rate monitoring – Heart rate data are displayed during workouts.

Elliptical Misses: Down Sides of the Horizon 645E

  • Lighter flywheel – The 14-pound flywheel is advertised as “heavy duty,” but it isn’t. Upgrade to the 1050E for a heavier flywheel and smoother motion.
  • Few resistance levels – The LS645E has either eight or ten resistance levels; Horizon’s advertising isn’t consistent. In either case, that’s not sufficient for the average or serious trainer.
  • Lack of extras – By paying just a bit more, users can get extras such as integrated fans, sound systems, and motorized training ramps.
  • OK warranty – The Horizon LS645E is sold with a lifetime warranty on the frame and brake. The brand’s standard parts and labor warranty is relatively short – just one year – and doesn’t seem worth the gamble on this particular machine.

Overall Rating for the Horizon LS645E Elliptical

With the LS645E, Horizon fails to impress. It might suffice for a lighter-weight beginning exerciser, but many buyers would soon want a replacement for this machine. If you’re considering a low-cost Horizon elliptical, go for the GS1050 instead. Highlights include SIXStar certification for ergonomics, 20 resistance levels, and an iPod-compatible speaker system.

Horizon GS1050E

The GS1050E is a low-priced elliptical trainer from Horizon Fitness. Highlights include SIXStar certification for ergonomics, 20 resistance levels, and an MP3 sound system.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get with the Horizon GS1050E Elliptical

  • Certified ergonomics – SIXStar Certification indicates that the GS1050 elliptical combines six features for ideal low-impact motion. Some qualities include ZEROGap pedals for optimal hip placement, well-placed handlebars, and a smooth 20” stride.
  • Workout variety – With nine programs plus an Advanced Goal Center, this machine doesn’t have outstanding programming but it fares well against others in its price category. The option of using 20 resistance levels adds variety to workouts and isn’t common on cheaper ellipticals.
  • Oversized footplates – Large footplates on the pedals help keep feet comfortable during workouts.
  • Heart rate grips – Pulse readers are built into the handlebars.
  • Heavy flywheel – The 17-pound flywheel is superior to those on other budget ellipticals, and it provides enough fluid motion to earn SIXStar Certification.
  • MP3 sound system – Integrated speakers accept input from the user’s MP3 player.
  • OK warranty – The Horizon GS1050E is sold with a lifetime warranty on the frame and brake. The parts and labor warranty is relatively short – just one year — but this is a discount machine.

Overall Rating for the Horizon GS1050E Elliptical

The Horizon GS1050 elliptical combines a healthy ergonomic design with an iPod-compatible sound system for extra enjoyment. It also has a heavier flywheel and more resistance levels than other ellipticals in the sub-$1000 category. Although some Horizon ellipticals have been criticized for their cheap made-in-China parts, the GS1050 is a winner that offers good value.

Horizon AT1501 Elliptical

The AT1501 is a higher-end elliptical from Horizon Fitness. It’s engineered specifically to provide low-impact incline training; the “AT” stands for Ascent Trainer. In addition to the ergonomic incline training, other highlights include pivoting pedals and an MP3 sound system.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get with the Horizon AT1501 Cross Trainer

  • Adjustable stride length The machine’s stride length adjusts automatically with the incline. The stride is initially a full 20” and becomes shorter as the incline steepens.
  • Reversible stride – The same elliptical motion can be used in two directions to target different muscle groups.
  • Articulating footplates — The footplates pivot with the user’s natural body movement to reduce fatigue.
  • Upper body exercise – The machine’s handlebars move to help provide a full-body workout.
  • Stability – At 200 pounds, this elliptical can support a 300-pound exerciser without wobbling.
  • MP3 sound system – Integrated speakers accept input from the user’s MP3 player.

Elliptical Hits: How the AT1501 Could Climb Higher

  • Short warranty – The Horizon AT1501 is sold with a lifetime warranty on the frame and brake, but only a year of coverage for other parts and labor. A longer warranty should be standard considering this machine’s MSRP. Customers can purchase extended service plans.

Overall Rating for the Horizon AT1501 Elliptical

The Ascent Trainer 1501 can provide great workouts for a year or two. After that, customer complaints of broken parts and electronics become frequent. This machine would be a great deal if were more durable and had a better warranty. It could still be worth buying on sale and with an extended service plan.

Some other elliptical trainers with inclines include the HealthRider H95e, the Precor EFX 5.31, and the Cybex Arc Trainer.

Horizon H Series E5

Horizon touts its E5 elliptical as a commercial-quality machine. While that’s an overly confident assertion, Horizon’s H Series E5 has some laudable features: an 18” stride, articulating footplates, an MP3 player port, and a workout fan to help increase endurance.

Elliptical Hits: What You Get with the Horizon E5

  • Natural stride The machine’s 18” stride with pivoting foot plates promotes a healthy, low-impact elliptical motion. Additionally, the pedals are narrowly spaced to support healthy hip movement.
  • Surround Sound – The E5 has an MP3 player dock. Speakers and a headphone outlet are also included.
  • Upper body exercise – The machine’s handlebars give users the option of exercising their arms and legs simultaneously.
  • Extras – Extra features include a hand grip heart rate monitor and a CoolFit workout fan.
  • Fair warranty – The Horizon E5 is sold with a lifetime warranty on the frame, a fifteen year warranty on the brake, and a year of coverage for other parts and labor. This is a pretty good warranty for a low-priced cross trainer.
  • Adequate programming — Horizon isn’t known for offering extensive programming, but this machine includes 14 workout routines. It has just 10 resistance levels.

Overall Rating for the Horizon H Series E5 Elliptical

The E5 is better than its Horizon predecessors, but it’s still quite basic when compared with other Horizon cross trainers. For example, the 18” stride on this machine is locked, whereas the Horizon CE6.0 has an adjustable stride. The Horizon EX-78 is also appealing for its power incline and 20 resistance levels. Additionally, Schwinn, Smooth, and other brands offer feature-rich elliptical models at competitive prices.