Livestrong ellipticals are manufactured in Taiwan and China by Johnson Health Technology, a multinational company that also produces Horizon ellipticals and several other lines of fitness equipment. The Livestrong brand is endorsed by Lance Armstrong, a professional cyclist and Tour de France winner. A percentage of profits from Livestrong cross trainers are donated to the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer research and activism.
NOTE: Johnson recalled about 18,000 Livestrong and Horizon ellipticals in January 2010 in response to many reports of foot pedal disengagements. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled product, but if you’re considering buying a used Livestrong elliptical, then be sure to look for its serial number on this government list.
Brand Features of Livestrong Ellipticals
- High quality frame – Livestrong frames are SixStar Certified. This means that they incorporate knowledge of biomechanics to provide the most natural elliptical motion. For example, the pedals are optimally spaced and the machine supports an upright posture.
- Heavy flywheel – Livestrong’s full elliptical series (including the 7.9, 9.9, and 12.9) features 23-pound flywheels to provide strong resistance and smooth movement.
- Optimally spaced pedals – The pedals are designed to have virtually no gap between them. This helps reduce fatigue in the hips.
- Moderate number of programs – Livestrong ellipticals have 8-10 programs and 16-20 levels of resistance. The LS12.9E also has the Livetrack Fitness Journal, which keeps track of workouts.
- Entertainment – Each Livestrong elliptical has speakers and MP3 player compatibility. However, customers have observed that the sound is less than high fidelity.
- Wobbly – These trainers are labeled with weight capacities from 300 to 350 pounds. Some customer reviews suggest that the machines are unsteady even when used by people who weigh less. The unit weights themselves range from 156 to 190 pounds.
- OK warranties – Customers get lifetime protection on Livestrong frames and brakes. Parts warranties range from one year to five years, and in-home labor is either one or two years.
Overall Rating for Livestrong Elliptical Trainers
These machines look good on paper, but customers’ actual experiences with the machines aren’t as rosy. It’s great to have zero space between pedals – but plenty of space will appear if the pedals break off! Even after the recall, customers complain of cheap parts and wobbly machines. The Livestrong elliptical frame is a great base, but the company needs to top it off with equally decent parts. Even their top-of-the-line model has unfortunately had reports of broken parts that are unrelated to the January 2010 recall.