Merit 725E Elliptical
The Merit 725E elliptical is a very low-budget fitness machine for beginners. Although advertisers point out that it has pivoting pedals and a heart rate sensor, this machine is far from your best option. The Merit 725E and its cheaper cousin, the 715E, are substandard even for budget elliptical trainers. Their light resistance and short parts warranty are especially discouraging. Besides that, Merit ellipticals are only sized for people with short strides.
For better options, see recommendations below or check our elliptical trainer comparison charts. The charts display features and warranties of elliptical trainers in five price categories.
Advertised Features of the Merit 725E Crosstrainer
One of the better aspects of the Merit 725E is its workout variety. Eight preset workouts include manual, cardio burn, fat blast, intervals, rolling hills, tempo, weight loss and random. Other ellipticals at this price point might not have any programmed workouts at all. Additionally, a very slight incline can be used to enhance workouts. Two LCD windows show the trainee’s time, distance, speed, and calories burned.
Specs for the Merit 725E elliptical trainer are:
- 16″ Stride Length
- Pivoting Footpads
- Movable Arms for Upper-Body Workouts
- 10 Levels of Magnetic Resistance
- 10-Pound Flywheel
- 8 Preset Programs
- 5% Incline
- 7” Pedal Spacing
- Contact Pulse Rate Sensors
- 275-pound User Capacity
- Weighs 115 pounds
- Dimensions: 59″L x 23.5″W x 66″H
- Warranty: 5 years frame, 3 years brake, 90 days parts & labor
What the Specs Mean
Here are three great reasons to forego the Merit 725E: a meager 10-pound flywheel, a lightweight frame and a short warranty.
Many features that Merit seems to list as perks are disappointing. For example, the 5% incline is a joke compared with standard 15% and advanced 40% inclines on competitors’ crosstrainers. The 7” spacing between pedals is also nothing to brag about. Some people might even find the spacing uncomfortable; a zero-inch gap is best for most trainees. The pivoting pedals aren’t a luxury here either; they’re an absolute must considering this machine’s otherwise poor ergodynamics. Besides all that, the Merit’s heart rate monitor is inconvenient; instead of being integrated with the handlebars it hangs beneath the console.
The claim of a 275-pound user weight capacity is suspect and doesn’t match the experience of larger trainees.
Our Conclusion: Expect Little or Move Along
Unless you’re a light person who has light workouts, don’t expect a Merit bought today to be working in a year. It will probably be a distant memory or a place to hang laundry.
What’s a better option? We don’t recommend buying any crosstrainer in the Merit 725E price category. They’re just too poorly made and don’t include consumer protections. But if you insist on a $400 limit, check out the Horizon EX-57 or the ProForm 6.0ZE. Both models have heavier flywheels, heavier frames and longer strides than the Merit 725E