Product Review: Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical Trainer
I’ve decided to make a few changes in my life and losing weight was one of them. As a result, I broke down and bought an elliptical, crying silent tears as I watched part of my tax refund check bite the dust. For those of you in the market for an elliptical, I figured I’d share my experiences with this particular one so far.
I have a feeling that we’re going to have a love / hate relationship.
Purchase & Delivery:
I bought the Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical Trainer from Amazon, link below. There was an option for free delivery which I took advantage of, otherwise shipping would have cost over a hundred dollars. I placed the order mid-week and received it the following Monday, not bad for free delivery. When placing the order, you can select an appointment / time & date range from a drop down box. One thing I missed in the fine print in the product description was that the delivery company, Pilot, would not bring it into my house. The customer is apparently responsible for taking it from the truck into the house. The package weighed 175 lbs so make sure you have help. The package was long and semi-thin…I recommend you have at least two people, one for either end.
We took the box apart in the foyer and brought the pieces down into the basement separately. All of the big parts were in their own bags and the screws, nuts, bolts, and etc were in their own compartments, separated out by the installation steps found in the manual. This made installation pretty easy as we didn’t have to hunt for the right parts in one big bag. Step 1 had all the washers and things we needed in one bag, Step 2 had all the washers and things we needed in another bag, and so on and so forth. They also provided a thin wrench, two L Keys, and a long metal thingy with a handle on one end and a star like pattern tip on the other…I was told it was a screwdriver…whatever.
For the record, I’m by no means handy. I’m down right ignorant of even the most basic of stuff when it comes to fixing or building things. I’m easily frustrated by things I don’t get. Nevertheless, I made do by making up names for all of the parts. Flat washers became full washers since there was no break in the circle, wavy washers became half washers because there was a break in the circle, L Keys were called LN (sp?) keys for some reason so I dubbed them Ellen DeGeneres keys… you get the idea. Despite my shortcomings, I managed to hold my own and my sense of humor.
For your viewing pleasure, I included some pictures of…well…me trying to put this thing together…giving up…then delegating the work to junior high and high school students.
“Screwdriver…I think I’ve seen that once before somewhere…”
“I’m telling you what it says…put the round thingy that’s broken there and the plastic donut thingy there!”
Ellen DeGeneres keys fit well behind the ear.
“It’s not going…make it go!”
It is broooken…can you make it go?
Overall, installation took about an hour. Child labor, I admit, helped considerably.
“This is resistance one? I’m so screwed.”
Usage & Features:
One thing I liked immediately was the large LCD. I’m blind as a bat without my glasses on and I could still partially make out the numbers on the LCD while I was exercising. If you knew how blind I was without my glasses, you’d know this says a lot.
Another thing I like is the onboard fan which has three settings. It helps to keep me cool while I’m exercising.
There are a few preset options you can customize before you workout. You can set a distance, time, or calorie goal as well as choose between a few different programs. For the last three days I have been using the calorie goal option, set it for 500 calories, and picked the weight loss program. It takes me about 65 minutes on average to reach my goal. My distance at the end of it is about 3.8 miles. One gripe I do have is that if you stop for fifteen or twenty seconds, the whole thing resets and doesn’t save your progress.
Another nice feature are the speakers near the LCD. I can plug my MP3 player into the machine and it will play through the speakers. The package also includes the correct cord / plug / connector thingy…basically two male end jacks plug thingys…(whatever these things are called, told you I’m bad with this stuff)…that plugs into your mp3 headphone jack and the other into the top of your LCD panel. There is a groove in the LCD panel to hold your MP3 player.
It’s design and color scheme stood out among the rest.
There are ten levels of resistance and I have to say, level one is pretty rough. I am not sure if it is me and I’m just THAT out of shape, but if I don’t take it slow I become tired very quickly. I remember my time with ellipticals at the gym a few years back and I don’t remember the resistance on those being this high. Food for thought.
There are two sets of handle bars. One set lets you move with the machine and the other is closer to the middle, is in a fixed position, and takes your heart rate. I’ve noticed the heart rate sensor is a bit touchy and sometimes fluctuates, but I just take a mental average of ten numbers back to back and use that…easy peasy for an accountant.
Power is provided via an AC adapter that plugs into your wall, no batteries needed.
The pedals / footrests are pretty big too. I found it odd when I started to slide forward a little as I was working out to where my toes were crunched against the front of the footrests, but every ten minutes I manually lift and bring my feet back to the edges and I’m fine again. I am on the shorter side (5’6-5’7), maybe that has something to do with it?
It’s also surprisingly quiet. I bought a rubber floor mat for it to rest on and grease in a can just in case it starts to squeak.
At the $600.00 price tag (and free shipping), I think it’s great bang for your buck. The cheap ones I saw at Kmart won’t hold my capacity and have overall negative reviews. This is one of the cheapest ones I could find with a very high review rating. I’ll post an update after I spend more time with this beast to report on its durability.