This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Elliptical trainers are a great cardio machine but they can be quite pricey. Why are they so expensive? Here’s what you want to know.
Elliptical Trainers are expensive because the construction is relatively heavy duty. Many also have high-tech control panels with large displays. They are built with high-quality materials and are meant to last. Elliptical trainers tend to be more durable than treadmills that cost the same.
An elliptical trainer can be a great way to stay in shape, and the price is worth it to many people. Here are a few reasons why ellipticals are so expensive and why they are one of the most popular exercise machines.
1. Durability and Build Quality
Ellipticals are made with durable materials. An Elliptical is made with steel frames, heavy drives, and sealed bearings. Expensive ellipticals are low maintenance and do not lead to many customer complaints. Ellipticals that are expensive are usually equipped with nice pedals, great quality screens, smooth movements and produce little noise.
Machines that are smaller and only weigh up to 250 pounds do not cost nearly as much as machines that have a weight up to 400 pounds. Most expensive machines will have a weight capacity of 300 pounds, and some may even have a capacity of 400 pounds. The machines that are more heavy-duty can handle more weight and have more high-quality manufacturing done to them.
Ellipticals are great because there are rarely any mechanical issues and these machines have more advantages than most other cardio machines. Unlike a treadmill, there is no impact on the machine from running. This reduces wear and tear, making it last for longer.
There are very few moving parts on an elliptical and they hardly fail. The heavier a machine is, the more sturdy it tends to be. A heavy machine will not rock back in forth. It will stand out because it is made well. However, more materials and higher build quality costs money of course.
That higher build quality is often reflected in good warranty conditions. Most ellipticals priced between $1,500 and $1,999 have a five-year warranty. High-quality manufacturing ensures longer warranties on products that will last longer.
Of course cheaper ellipticals usually don’t offer that kind of warranty conditions and you can draw your own conclusions about their quality.
2. Flywheel Location And Weight
The flywheel of an elliptical is actually an important factor for price. Heavier flywheels cost more but help with smoothness and quietness. Obviously heavier flywheels need more material to make which costs more. However, it also means that the frame and other components have to be heavier to deal with higher stresses.
When the flywheel is in the rear, it increases smoothness and tends to be more durable but this is a more expensive way to build an elliptical. Rear drive models also tend to take up more space.
Rear drive ellipticals also help with creating a better movement pattern that feels more natural and is better for the joints and back. This isn’t only good to reduce injury risk (which is already low on an elliptical), it’s also more comfortable and helps get a better workout.
The flywheel weight on the elliptical is heavy, it increases momentum, and provides stability. The heavier the weight is, the more the elliptical will cost. That means when the flywheel increases in its heaviness, the elliptical will usually end up costing more. The ellipticals that are in the top price range will have a flywheel that is above 30 pounds.
Generally, you’ll find that the heavier the flywheel is, the longer the elliptical will last. They can range from 13 to 35 pounds. More expensive machines will always use more expensive materials. This means that the machines are also more sturdy and have better striding.
3. Shipping and Handling Costs
Elliptical trainers are big and heavy and some of the parts are pretty long. Often, they come in one or more large boxes. The larger and heavier the boxes, the more shipping and handling costs there are throughout the chain. Also, bigger boxes take up more warehouse space which adds cost.
And don’t forget that since there are so many moving parts in an elliptical trainer, all those parts have to be shipped separately as well, adding costs.
You might think that this is not only a problem for elliptical trainers but also other cardio equipment like treadmills. Well, treadmills are actually a bit more expensive if you compare models that are of similar quality and features. Smaller cardio equipment like exercise bikes tend to cost less.
4. Large Displays and Many Features
One thing that makes an elliptical more expensive is the display size. The consoles on the elliptical are large and easy to read. The display is great and it is simple for anyone of any age to use this. It is great to have such a simple machine for people and it is not difficult to figure out.
The high price is caused by the monitor and the different technology features. The ellipticals display monitor is high-end and offers monitoring, feedback, and guidance. It provides a large display and can display a lot of information at once. It is easy to swipe through and view different statistics of the workout someone is doing.
High-end ellipticals offer special training and entertainment features. It is easy to surf the web, watch a favorite TV show, or view different blogs. It is also simple to watch a movie or check an email. This is great motivation and entertainment while someone is working out. It is simple for people to listen to music, and have easy access to their water bottles. The console shows the time elapsed, distance, and the calories burned during an activity. Some ellipticals let you pick your choice of a console.
The more expensive an elliptical is, the more advanced features there are for working out. On the display monitor, there is a headphone jack, beverage holders, accessory traits, cooling fans, and tablet computer holders. An elliptical is compatible with a smartphone or an MP3 player. The display is great and can meet athlete’s needs. The technology features make it worth the price for users.
5. Profit Margin and Branding
Of course there is some profit in ellipticals as well. It adds to the price, however, this is no different than any other product you can buy. Gym equipment tends to have pretty healthy profit margins though.
The brand you pick does have a pretty big impact on the price. But, some brands just make much better stuff than others. Yes, a high-end brand might have a larger profit margin but, in many cases it’s actually worth the extra money.
Cheap elliptical trainers usually don’t feel smooth, sturdy and often wear quickly. A high-end elliptical from a well-known brand can last for many years without problems. Good brands not only tend to build better ellipticals, they also have better warranty conditions and customer service which is worth something.
Recommended High Quality Elliptical Trainers
Here are some of the best elliptical trainers at different price points. These are high quality and provide value for money.
Favorite Cardio Accessories
Check out these accessories that improve a home cardio workout:
- Equipment mat: All cardio equipment should be put on an equipment mat. The Rubber-Cal mat (Amazon) is an affordable yet very high-quality choice.
- Interval timer: To time your intervals and workouts, there is no better choice than the GymNext Flex. It’s super easy to use and set up with a phone app.
- Tablet holder: Cardio can be boring. With this tablet holder (Amazon) you can follow along with on-demand workouts or just watch a movie on any cardio machine.
- Heart rate monitor: Monitoring your heart rate is very important while doing cardio. The Polar H10 (Amazon) connects to almost anything you can imagine and is very accurate.
To find which cardio machines I recommend for home gyms, click here.