One of the most crucial features to consider when purchasing an elliptical trainer is the warranty. The extent of the warranty speaks volumes as to the quality and the durability of the machine.
There is a relative new player in the elliptical trainer industry, Sole Fitness. They are defining their niche by offering one of the most extensive warranties available at any price range. This includes 5 year coverage on parts and electronics, and 2 year labor. (Excludes the E25)
Why is the warranty so important when purchasing fitness equipment? First, it reduces your liability if the machine breaks down. Replacing parts and hiring someone to service your elliptical trainer can be very costly. Second, the warranty generally reflects the quality of the machine.
When you think about it, a warranty is based on simple economics. If an elliptical trainer is built to last then the manufacturer can offer a generous warranty. On the other hand, if the machine is of questionable quality, it would be cost prohibitive to support it with a lengthy warranty. The company would go broke with service costs.
Why do you think cheap elliptical trainers come with a 90 day parts and labor warranty? Its because the manufacturers do not have much faith the machine will last much longer than that.
Beyond their warranty coverage, Sole Fitness is building some excellent elliptical trainers. In a recent test I very impressed with the smooth elliptical motion, and how quiet it was, even when I cranked up the resistance. I also liked the 20 stride. Most ellipticals are built with a 16-18 stride. With a smaller stride you often feel like your workout is constrained, and the elliptical motion bouncy. For someone who is over 6 the longer stride is a must, but even for people of average height the 20 stride feels natural and comfortable.
Sole has an excellent reputation. Their treadmills have won several Best Buy awards. TreadmillDoctor.com calls their folding treadmills, One of the best fold-ups on the planet.
In addition, their treadmills are used by the Hilton chain for in-room fitness. Having been proven in a commercial environment, this is a statement on the durability of their machines. This same quality can be found in their elliptical trainers.