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Everything You Need To Know About The Horizon EX-59 Elliptical [A Review]

horizon ex-59 elliptical review

The EX-59 is Horizon’s most affordable, entry-level elliptical machine. At roughly $600, the Ex-59 instantly gets bonus points for being easy on the budget, but it also comes with a few pleasantly surprising features we don’t always see in this price range- like bluetooth capabilities and a USB port.

It also comes with an 18″ stride length, low step-on height, and solid warranty. But more on that below.

This review will walk you through all the specs and features this elliptical has to offer. I’ll also point out the most important specs to consider when searching for a new elliptical. Actually, let’s start there.

Ellipticals 101

When comparing ellipticals, I think it’s a good idea to have a game plan ahead of time so you know what specs are most important. That way, you can compare the same specs from machine to machine and find the one that works best for ya.

Here are the 3 most important specs I use when researching new ellipticals:

Stride Length

Stride length to an elliptical is basically what running surface is to a treadmill- it’s your usable space during your workouts. On an elliptical, it’s how far your legs are moving front to back.

This is really important when it comes to comfort. If the stride length is too short, it’s going to feel like you’re jogging in place. You won’t be able to stretch your legs out comfortably, which will ultimately lead to a less satisfying workout.

You’re also not going to involve your glutes and hamstrings as much during your workout. And when it comes to exercising, using more muscles is always a good thing.

The optimal stride length for home ellipticals is 20″.

With a 20″ stride length, most people can comfortably workout on an elliptical. Quality ellipticals usually have a 20″ stride length, cheaper, lower-quality machines may have stride lengths in the 16-18″ range.

I’ve seen stride lengths as low as 14″ on budget machines (talk about marching in place).

Flywheel

The flywheel is the weighted disc that the pedals (and handles) connect to. It spins as you pedal, creating the elliptical’s resistance.

The flywheel on an elliptical works very similarly to a flywheel on a spin cycle. And just like spin cycles, when it comes to elliptical flywheels, heavier is usually better.

Having a heavier flywheel tends to produce a smoother, more fluent experience.

Most home ellipticals have flywheels that weigh anywhere between 13 – 30 lb.

The flywheel is usually located in the front of home ellipticals (called a front drive elliptical), but some are located in the back (rear drive ellipticals).

Warranty

The warranty is a critical part of any type of home fitness equipment. And I’m a stickler for warranties- I’d rather have a simple machine with a good warranty than a similar machine with 1000 workout programs and a crappy warranty.

But that’s just me.

Elliptical warranties are usually broken down into the following parts:

  • Frame
  • Parts
  • Labor

The frame is the most durable part of the elliptical, so it gets the longest guarantee. Quality ellipticals will come with lifetime frame warranties.

Parts warranties vary greatly, but most quality ellipticals will offer 3-5 years on parts. Labor is always the shortest, with most companies only offering 1-2 years.

Warranty is usually directly related to elliptical price- the more expensive the model, the longer the warranty (again, usually).

Stride length, flywheel weight, and warranty on the most important specs to consider in my book. You’ll also want to check out stuff like workout programs, incline settings, and bluetooth capabilities (depending on what you’re looking for).

Horizon EX-59 Elliptical

Horizon EX-59 Elliptical

Horizon Fitness is a respected home fitness brand that provides budget to moderately priced cardio equipment. They’re known for generous warranties and friendly customer service, as well as providing solid equipment that won’t destroy your budget.

They only offer 4 elliptical machines currently with the EX-59 being their most affordable model. As you move to the more expensive ellipticals, you see heavier flywheels, larger stride lengths, and Passport player compatibility.

Pros

  • Price
  • 18″ stride length
  • 10 levels of resistance
  • 10 built-in workout programs
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • USB charging port
  • Easy assembly
  • Good warranty
  • 300 lb weight capacity

Cons

  • Light flywheel
  • No incline settings

Stride Length

The EX-59 comes with an 18″ stride length. This is a little on the small side, considering 20″ is the gold standard for high quality ellipticals. But for this price range, this is pretty standard.

Taller users may not be able to stretch out completely, but at 18″, it won’t feel like you’re marching in place either.

And the fact is, it’s hard to find a treadmill for $600 with a 20″ stride length (although the Nautilus E614 is close).

I didn’t mention it above, because I don’t think it’s a critical spec to consider in most cases (unless you have really low ceilings), but the step on (aka step up) height for the EX-59 is only 10 inches.

Step on height is how high off the ground you are when using an elliptical (at the lowest position). It gives you an idea of how high your head will be when using the machine.

All of Horizon’s ellipticals have the same small step on height of 10 inches. If you have 8′ or taller ceilings, this probably won’t be an issue. But folks with low ceilings (or who are really tall) may appreciate the low step on height this elliptical provides.

This elliptical has a max weight capacity of 300 lb. This is pretty respectable for the price and shows the frame is well built. It also means most people should be able to use this machine safely.

Flywheel

This elliptical machine comes with a 14.3 lb flywheel. In the world of flywheels, this is pretty light. Recall that heavier flywheels are preferred because they provide a smoother feel.

But again, for this price range, 14 lbs isn’t too out of the ordinary. There are similarly priced ellipticals that offer heavier flywheels though.

Although it doesn’t seem like Horizon is too worried about heavy flywheels. Their most expensive elliptical, the Evolve 5, only comes with a 23 lb flywheel.

The EX-59 comes with 10 levels of magnetic resistance. This is pretty standard for the price range and more expensive models usually come with more control over the intensity.

This treadmill doesn’t offer any incline settings, it would be nice if it did.

Features

The Horizon EX-59 comes standard with the following features:

10 built-in workout programs- not a huge selection to choose from here, but definitely enough to add a little variety to your workouts. Workouts include the standard selection, including calorie, intervals, rolling hills, etc.

Bluetooth speakers- the built-in bluetooth speakers are a nice touch. You can wirelessly connect your phone or tablet to the console and hear your favorite tunes from the elliptical’s speakers.

USB charging port- and as you’re listening to your device through the bluetooth speakers, you can charge it up with the USB charging port. Nice to know you won’t drain your battery while you workout.

Device holder- the built-in place to hold your phone or tablet makes listening to your music or watching a movie a little more convenient, especially since it’s located at the top (and won’t block you from viewing your workout stats on the console)

Grip heart rate monitor- grab the stationary handlebars and get a heart rate reading while your workout. Might not be the most accurate reading in the world, but it’s better than nothing.

Assembly

Horizon does a great job designing their products to be easy to assemble. The EX-59 is no exception. This elliptical, like all of their treadmills, is designed so you should be able to get it unpacked and functional within 30 minutes.

The assembly manual is straightforward and easy to follow. There are only 8 steps and each step has a large image as well as written instructions describing what needs to be done.

The necessary wrenches and screwdriver are included.  Overall, assembly on this elliptical should be pretty easy.

Warranty

The EX-59 comes with the following warranty from Horizon:

  • Lifetime frame
  • 1 year parts
  • 1 year labor

For this price range, Horizon offers a pretty generous warranty. Lifetime on the frame is a good sign of a well built elliptical. One year on the parts isn’t bad for a budget elliptical either, and a year on labor is standard protocol.

Overall, this is a pretty impressive warranty on this machine. Especially considering some ellipticals in this same price range are offering 10 year frame warranties.

Final Thoughts

Horizon’s EX-59 is a budget friendly elliptical that is easy to assemble and straightforward to operate. I like that it comes with a 300 lb weight capacity and the built-in bluetooth speakers are a nice bonus feature.

For the price range, the stride length and flywheel weight are within our expected range. It would be nice to see a 20″ stride length and 20 lb flywheel, but that’s just not gonna happen for $600.

I also think Horizon is offering a nice warranty on this machine. This warranty should ease your mind a little if you decide to add this elliptical to your home gym.

Overall, if you’re looking for a solid elliptical in this price range, the Ex-59 is a pretty safe bet. Easily one of the nicer models at this price.

 

 

Will

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