Precor EFX 5.21i Elliptical – Club-Quality Crosstraining
The Precor EFX 5.21i elliptical is part
of a series that begins with the entry-level EFX 5.17i and is capped by commercial elliptical trainers such as the 5.76i. Each machine in the EFX series, being a Precor, can be expected to provide unsurpassed value in its price class. The EFX 5.21i has a fluid 18” stride, a steep adjustable incline and industry-leading craftsmanship. It does not have movable workout arms.
Compared with other Precors, the EFX 5.21i has a small footprint. It can be moved through standard-sized doorways without requiring disassembly. Still, it’s very heavy (more than 200 pounds) and isn’t the sort of equipment you’d frequently move from room to room.
This trainer originally sold for $3799. Now discontinued, it’s available online for $1600 or less.
Features of the Precor EFX 5.21i (A Discontinued Elliptical Trainer)
The 5.21i elliptical console displays a constant stream of exercise data in a scrolling window. You’ll see calories burned, incline, resistance level, strides per minute and other data. Other features include:
- 18” stride
- 13-30° incline
- 20 resistance levels
- Ergonomic handlebars
- 6 preset programs
- Accessory holder
- Fixed handlebars
- Wireless heart rate monitor (optional)
- Warranty: 10 years parts, 1 year labor
The accessory holder lends a club feel and can accommodate magazines, an MP3 player and a water bottle. People get excellent lower body workouts thanks to the Precor combination of an ergonomic stride and multiple incline options. However, this trainer doesn’t provide upper body exercise support. The six preset lower body workouts are named Cross Training, Gluteals, Heart Rate, Interval, Manual and Weight Loss. The Heart Rate program requires integration with a wireless heart rate monitor, which is sold separately.
Compared with less expensive Precors, this fitness machine has a more advanced display, more programming and steeper incline options. On the other hand, top-of-the-line Precors have movable handlebars, more programming, heart rate control and other special features.
Our Thoughts about This Precor Crosstrainer
The only drawback to buying any Precor is its high MSRP. That’s why discontinued Precors like this one can be especially good buys. Even when purchased at full price, these machines pay for themselves over time. That is, they can help to significantly improve your health and you won’t need to replace them by this time next year. Cheap elliptical trainers (e.g., those with MSRPs of about $800 or less) typically need to be replaced within a year or two.
We like this particular crosstrainer because it’s commercial quality yet small enough to move through a standard doorway. Made of heavy gauge steel, it’s guaranteed to be wobble-free for users of any weight and won’t squeak like most cheap ellipticals do. It provides lower body workouts that are superior to any treadmill or ellipticals by other brands; Precor initiated the elliptical industry and holds more than 200 patents. Still, we think it makes more sense for most customers to get a trainer with movable handlebars. Moving handlebars can double your calorie expenditure while toning your arms and torso. That’s the main reason we’ve given the Precor EFX 5.21i elliptical a rating of four stars instead of five.