Making a purchasing decision on an elliptical machine is not always the most straightforward act. It can be hard to make a pick for a number of reasons, one of which is the fact that there are so many options out there. Also, before you can make a well-informed decision, you need to be able to identify the key features of the elliptical trainer and why it would be good for you.

If you’re buying an elliptical such as the Bowflex Max Trainer, for instance, features ranging from flywheel weight and stride length are should influence the decision that you make. They contribute directly to the overall effectiveness of the elliptical trainer and how useful it will be for the purpose/s that you require it for. If you do not know what each feature is useful for, then it is impossible to make a correct decision based on them. For example, if you do not know if a stride length on the high side is a good thing, then you cannot use that information to your advantage when considering elliptical trainers for purchase.

The purpose of this article is to make the job a little easier for you. We have the information that you need, and we have used this information to create eight tips for buying an elliptical trainer. The tips are basically things that you must consider before you splash the cash on one. The information should help you to decide which trainer is best for you and why.

Flywheel Weight

The flywheel weight of an elliptical is an important consideration as it directly impacts the fluidity, comfort, and quality of pedaling. If the flywheel is lightweight (say within a range of seven to ten kilograms), you will experience occasional jerks during pedaling.

For instance, with an elliptical bike, the weight of the flywheel affects the amount of resistance that the elliptical puts up in a situation where there is a change in acceleration or speed. This means that a higher flywheel weight is an indicator of superior quality because it provides more resistance to pedaling, making the workout more effective since you are exerting more effort and energy to reach the desired speed.

Be careful if the elliptical trainer that you’re looking at does not specify the flywheel weight, it is usually not a good sign.

Stride Length

Also, the stride length should be a major influence on your decision. It determines how much leg room you have and the ease of movement that you get. The stride length that you should be targeting should not necessarily be the highest one available because you only really need one that is sufficient for the movement of your legs. This would depend on your height, so you could probably do some testing before you buy.

Some elliptical machines will only offer a stride length of 14”, too short for an average-sized person. You should be targeting trainers that offer a stride length of about 21”. If the machine is going to be used by different people of different heights and sizes, then an adjustable stride length would be a great feature to look out for.


Some people may consider this as a dispensable factor, but we believe that it shouldn’t be. The need for a relatively quiet workout is made even more important if the machine will be used around other people. Sometimes, you want to get a quick workout in early in the morning or late at night, and it would be really insensitive to have your machine making noises so loud that the rest of the family is unable to get to sleep.

Besides this fact, a noisy machine would only serve as a distraction to you too. It may even lead you to try to end your sessions quicker than you would like, simply because you’re trying to get rid of the noise.

Adjustable Incline and Resistance

The good thing about these features is that a lot of elliptical machines offer them. The idea behind adding them to this list is that you should try to avoid the few that do not include these features. Adjustable incline and resistance basically give you the option to set the difficulty of your workout.

The features are especially useful for beginners who are not sure where to start from. You can start slowly with the easiest level of incline and low resistance and work your way slowly up to harder levels as you become more accustomed to using the machine.

Other Bonus features

Some features are not required for elliptical machines to function properly, but still come in handy when they are available. Features such as a tablet holder, bottle holder, a heart rate monitor, fitness tracker app subscription and extra pre-set workout programs all contribute to making your workout more fun and more effective. You should definitely give elliptical machines that have these bonus features an extra look.


This is probably the most important thing to consider for most users. The quality and effectiveness of an elliptical trainer may mean nothing to you if you cannot afford it. The good thing about this is that there are a large variety of options to choose from and you are bound to get a trainer good enough to suit your purposes as long as you are working with a realistic budget.


Regardless of what your budget is, you want to get an elliptical that gives you a good measure of protection for your investment. This makes the idea of looking for an elliptical with a long enough warranty very important.

Apart from protection, the length of warranty offered on a product is sometimes an indicator of the durability of the product. If you see a manufacturer that offers a lengthy warranty on their product, it signifies strong belief in its durability and gives the user peace of mind to some extent.

You should also make sure that the manufacturer has trained staff available to service your equipment if the need arises.

Trial before purchase

Before you pull out your wallet to pay up for the product of your choice, try out that model at various retailers and see how it functions. A machine that looks good on paper is not enough to make a decision, so a practical test should be the final decider.

During the trial, pay attention to how the console functions and make sure that everything is working as it should. Then, you can splash the cash.

This may be too much information to process at once, so it is important to take your time. However, to get you started, we recommend the super-efficient Max Trainer M3. As experts in the fields, we believe that this is one of the better offerings on the market at the moment, so it is definitely worth a shout. Have fun testing!