I am a BIG fan of ellipticals! When I go to the gym, they're one of the first machines I head for, and I really enjoy my time on them, which makes working out much less of a chore and more of a pleasure. In fact, the only part that feels like a chore is having to drive to the gym.
I decided to take a look at different options for an at-home elliptical. The first thing I did was check the model used by my gym and look it up online. The machines were nearly $3000 -- WAY out of my price range!
I found this machine on the Wal Mart website and knew it wouldn't be ANYWHERE near the quality of the gym machines. But I figured it would at least provide me with some rudimentary cardio on the days when I either didn't want to go to the gym or didn't have time.
I purchased the Instride Elliptical for $75, with an additional service contract that made the total $99. Putting together the machine was not particularly easy, but I managed to get it done in about an hour and a half of consisten work.
I was EXTREMELY disappointed when I went to use the machine. It's hard to get the pedals moving with any "flow." They are not smooth at all -- they tend to swing very quickly to the halfway point of the circle and then pause, so instead of pedalling in a continuous motion, you are pedalling in a rough, stunted fashion.
The machine also wobbled to and fro as I pedalled, which was very disconcerting! I don't expect to feel like I'm riding a cloud, but it would be nice not to feel like I'm about to get bucked off!
Worst of all was that the angle of the machine makes your toes point down. Your feet are NOT level as pedal and there is no way to adjust the incline. This made it very hard to balance on the machine without leaning heavily on the hand bars.
I do not recommend this machine. I found it very unenjoyable to use, and impossible to get into the groove motion-wise that makes working out on the elliptical so much fun!