AFG’s Sport 5.9AE is a budget friendly elliptical that’s packing some pretty impressive stats. It’s rare to see an elliptical in this price range that comes with a heavy flywheel, large stride length, and bluetooth capabilities- but it’s even rarer (is that a word?) to see one that does all that plus come with bluetooth, power incline, and a great warranty.
Ok, that was a bit of a mouthful.
Long-story-short: the Sport 5.9AE is a legit home elliptical and easily one of the best in it’s price range.
But in case you’re interested in the long-story, this review will walk you through all the in’s and out’s of the Sport 5.9AE. After reading this, you should have a great understanding of everything this elliptical has to offer.
In case you’re wondering who AFG is, we’ll start with a quick introduction.
Who Is AFG?
If you aren’t familiar with the AFG brand, I doubt you’re alone. The brand doesn’t have the same name recognition as NordicTrack or ProForm, but their products are on the same level.
AFG stands for “Advanced Fitness Group” and they are part of the Johnson Health Tech family. Based out of Taiwan, this group also owns more well known brands like LIVESTRONG and Horizon.
AFG specializes in budget and moderately priced home treadmills, ellipticals, and exercise bikes.
What I like most about this company is that they concentrate on the stuff that actually matters. Their goal is to make your workout experience as positive as possible.
And they do that by paying attention to the details that actually effect your workout. Instead of wasting time on fancy screens and consoles, they put the effort in producing products with stronger frames and tougher motors.
They also load their cardio equipment with preprogrammed workouts and design their stuff with features you wouldn’t usually see on equipment this affordable (like bluetooth).
They also usually back their products with great warranties- an obvious sign of a quality company.
Overall, AFG creates quality equipment that is affordable and designed to last.
Ok, now that you’ve been properly introduced, let’s get to the elliptical we’re here to discuss:
The AFG Sport 5.9AE Elliptical
The AFG Sport 5.9AE (which I’ll refer to as simply the 5.9AE from now on, for the sake of my fingers) is one of the most affordable ellipticals in their lineup.
AFG’s elliptical lineup is actually pretty extensive, they offer around 12 different models last time I checked. I think the 5.9AE is one of their best buys personally- with this model you get a great combination of features for the price.
- Long, 20″ stride length
- Heavy, 23 lb flywheel
- 20 levels of power incline
- 20 resistance levels
- 43 workout programs
- Bluetooth speakers
- Compatible with fitness apps
- Chest strap heart rate monitor included
- Quick-touch incline and resistance buttons
- USB charging port
- Multi-position handlebars
- Built-in media rack
- 325 lb weight capacity
- Great warranty
- Some complaints about customer service
Let’s start with the stride length because I think it’s one of the most important things to check right off the bat. That’s because an elliptical’s stride length is the most important feature in terms of comfort during use.
If the stride length is too short, you’re going to feel like you’re marching in place. And that’s no good.
The 5.9AE comes with a 20″ stride length, which is the gold standard for quality home ellipticals. Some higher-end ellipticals may come with 21″-22″ stride lengths, but at 20″ most users can exercise comfortably.
Some ellipticals have adjustable stride lengths, where you can change the length to fit users of different heights comfortably. This is a nice feature, but it’s rare on budget ellipticals.
This elliptical is built with a heavy-duty frame that is capable of handling users that weigh up to 325 lb. A lot of ellipticals in this price range max out at around 300 lb.
The fact that the 5.9AE can handle this extra weight is due to the quality of frame construction.
Overall, this elliptical scores high with a long stride length and high weight capacity.
The flywheel is another important feature you should consider when comparing ellipticals. Just like on spin bikes, the flywheel is what spins as you pedal, creating your resistance.
When it comes to the weight of flywheels on ellipticals (and spin bikes), heavier is considered better.
That’s because heavier flywheels create more momentum as they spin, which in turn creates a more fluid, smooth feel during use.
The 5.9AE comes with a 23 lb flywheel, which is very heavy for a budget elliptical. For comparison’s sake, there are plenty of ellipticals in this price range that come with flywheels in the 14-18 lb range.
Twenty pounds is usually considered the cut-off weight where it should be a pretty safe bet that you’re gonna get a smooth ride. With a 23 lb flywheel, AFG has gone above and beyond here.
To help you control that flywheel, the 5.9AE comes with 20 levels of resistance. When it comes to resistance levels, more is better because it gives you more control over the intensity of your workouts- this elliptical gives you a lot of control here.
This elliptical also comes with 20 levels of power incline- another great feature a lot of budget ellipticals skimp on. Having an adjustable incline is great because it adds intensity and variety to your workouts.
It also helps you target specific leg muscles during your workout.
The 5.9AE has quick touch buttons that let you instantly set your resistance and incline level. This is a nice touch because it can become tedious having to manually toggle the up and down buttons when setting your levels (especially if you like to do intervals).
Overall, this elliptical scores highly again with a heavy flywheel and power incline settings.
The AFG Sport 5.9AE Elliptical comes with the following features:
43 workout options- I’m not sure if this is the most workouts I’ve ever seen on an elliptical before, but it’s gotta be close. This is a ton of workouts to choose from, so there’s no excuse for you getting bored with your routine.
Multi-position handlebars- the handles give you several different options for hand placement. This is nice if you want to emphasize certain upper body muscle groups at different times during your workout.
Bluetooth speakers- I love that budget machines are starting to add this feature. With the built-in bluetooth speakers, you can wirelessly listen to music or media from your smart phone or tablet.
Fitness app- you can also use the elliptical’s bluetooth capabilities to connect with AFG’s free fitness app. Through the app, you can track all your fitness data as well as control the settings for the elliptical.
Quick-touch buttons- I already mentioned this above, but with this feature you can instantly set your resistance of incline with the push of a button.
Chest strap heart rate monitor- not only is the 5.9AE compatible with wireless heart rate monitors, but AFG throws one in for free when you purchase.
USB charging port- with this feature, you can charge your smart device while you workout. This is great because it means you don’t have to drain your phone battery listening to music during your workouts.
Built-in fan- the fan will help keep you comfortable during your workouts (nothing too fancy here).
Water bottle holder- this one’s pretty self-explanatory.
Putting the 5.9AE together is pretty straightforward. AFG does a nice job making the assembly manual easy to follow.
I think you’ll appreciate that each step is clearly labeled with what hardware is necessary for that step (especially if you’ve ever tried putting anything together from IKEA).
Each step has a large image as well as written instructions, which is helpful too. All of the necessary wrenches and screwdrivers are included, but you know how small and uncomfortable these little tools can be.
If you have your own toolbox, I’d recommend using the real stuff.
Overall, putting the 5.9AE together will probably take you somewhere between 45 min – 2 hrs depending on your skill level. It would probably be helpful to have a friend available to help as well.
AFG backs the Sport 5.9AE with the following guarantee:
- Lifetime frame
- 3 year parts
- 1 year labor
This is a great warranty for an elliptical in this price range. You can’t beat a lifetime guarantee on the frame and 3 years on parts is about as good as it gets for budget machines.
One year on labor is also standard procedure for quality equipment. More expensive, higher-end models may offer up to 2 years on labor, but that’s about it.
Overall, this is a wonderful warranty. I think it says a lot about the quality of the elliptical when a manufacturer backs it with this type of guarantee.
The AFG Sport 5.9AE is an affordable home elliptical with a lot to offer. It scores highly with its long stride length and heavy flywheel because in this price range, these aren’t a given.
It actually reminds me a little of the also awesome Sole E25 because this elliptical is also designed with performance in mind.
It’s also great that AFG designed this machine with an adjustable power incline. Again, this is something you rarely see in budget ellipticals.
The 5.9 AE is packing a lot of heat in terms of built-in workout programs and bluetooth features as well. I love that AFG throws in a chest strap heart rate monitor too (it’s the little things that count).
Add all this together (and back it by one of the best home warranties you’ll find in this price range) and it’s obvious to me that the Sport 5.9AE is the real deal.
I actually think it’s one of the best budget ellipticals on the market. For the price, it’s nearly impossible to find a better combination of specs and features. Overall, a very smart buy.