Folks looking for a commercial grade elliptical machine that won’t completely break the bank should certainly take a close look at Spirit’s CE800.
With a 30 lb flywheel, 40 resistance levels, and a heavy-duty frame that can handle users weighing up to 450 lb, the CE800 is designed to perform.
And with a 20″ stride length and dual-roller system, folks can expect a comfortable pedaling motion for years to come.
And if you’re a stickler for warranties like myself, you’ll appreciate how generous Spirit’s guarantee is for this elliptical trainer.
All things considered, there’s not much to complain about when it comes to the CE800, but at roughly $3k, it does have quite a bit of competition.
Is Spirit’s CE800 really worth the investment?
Well, that’s what we’re here to figure out.
In this review, I’ll go over all the specs and features this elliptical machine has to offer; I’ll also compare it to a few of the other top models in this price range so you can see how it stacks up.
After reading, you’ll know whether or not the CE800 is the right elliptical for your home gym.
The Spirit CE800 Elliptical
If you’re not familiar with the Spirit brand, I’ll start by saying they’re one of my favorite home brands because their equipment is heavy-duty and backed by great warranties.
You aren’t going to find many hi-tech features on Spirit machines, certainly no HD touchscreens or streaming capabilities, but when it comes to performance, few can compare.
You might notice Spirit has a lot in common with Sole Fitness and that’s not really a coincidence – the 2 brands are owned by the same parent company (Dyaco).
Both brands are the legit if you ask me, but Spirit tends to be just a little more expensive, although they do come with longer warranties (more on that later).
Spirit has a pretty extensive lineup of cardio machines to choose from, including several ellipticals for home and commercial use.
The CE800 we’re here to talk about now is technically listed as a light commercial duty model (non-dues paying facilities), although it’s still priced effectively for home use.
Let’s start this review by going over the key performance specs this elliptical has to offer.
- 20″ stride length
- 30 lb flywheel
- 40 levels of magnetic resistance
- Heavy-duty frame
- 450 lb weight limit
- Self-generating power system
- Cushioned pedals
- 10 workout programs
- USB charging port
- Heart rate strap compatible
- Cooling fan
- TV mount compatible
- Amazing warranty
- No adjustable incline settings
- Chest strap heart rate monitor not included
The stride length is an important spec to consider when considering any elliptical because this simple number tells us how far apart how legs will be able to move while using the machine.
The stride length is measured in inches (here in the States anyway) and most self-respecting ellipticals come with a stride length somewhere in the 18 – 22″ range.
The appropriate stride length for you depends most on your height and whether you’re trying to mimic the feel of running or jogging.
(Longer strides feel more like running, shorter strides more like jogging or walking).
With all of this in mind, the CE800 comes with a 20″ stride length.
Twenty inches has become the gold standard for most home ellipticals because folks of most heights can comfortably use a machine with a stride of this length.
That said, shorter people may find a 20″ fixed stride too long; and if you’re especially tall (like over 6’4″), you might find it too short.
But again, most of us will be pretty comfortable with a 20″ stride.
(If you’re worried about the stride length, check out my guide on finding the right stride length based on your height).
There are also some ellipticals out there with adjustable stride lengths, allowing you to switch it up either manually or with the push of a button.
These come in handy for homes where there are multiple users at varying heights.
But generally speaking, the stride length on the CE800 is pretty standard for a higher-end home model, so let’s check out the frame itself.
The CE800 takes up a footprint of 78″ x 24″, which isn’t compact by any means, but is still pretty average for a front-drive elliptical.
What isn’t typical at all though, is how robust this machine is.
It’s hard to compare how “heavy-duty” different ellipticals are because that’s such a generic, meaningless term – so, I started comparing assembled weights and weight capacities.
Because to me, this is what “heavy-duty” really means in the first place.
And a heavier machine is going to be less likely to wiggle or wobble during use, making for a more secure, stable feel.
With this in mind, the CE800 comes with an assembled weight of 244 lb.
This alone might not mean much, so let’s compare this weight to some of the other top ellipticals around.
The similarly priced Life Fitness E1, which is a very nice elliptical in its own right, comes with an assembled weight of 211 lb and Precor’s slightly more expensive EFX 225 comes with an assembled weight of 214 lb.
The only comparable model that immediately comes to mind that weighs more is Sole’s E98, which weighs in at an astounding 249 lb.
My point is, the CE800 is very heavy-duty.
It also comes with a very high weight limit of 450 lb, allowing folks of all sizes the ability to use it safely.
Overall, I think the CE800 scores highly when it comes to the stride length and frame – this is about as heavy-duty an elliptical as you’re gonna find in this price range.
Something else I like about this elliptical is that it comes with a no-BS resistance system.
I know that isn’t exactly the most technical description, so I should probably elaborate.
Most home ellipticals use resistance systems that are very similar to those used by most exercise bikes.
This means they use weighted flywheels and magnetic resistance mechanisms to create the resistance you work against every time you hop on.
Well, like most exercise bikes, most ellipticals also benefit from having heavier flywheels – and for the same reasons.
A heavier flywheel builds more momentum as it spins, which in turn helps keep the flywheel (and pedals) moving.
This momentum makes for a smoother pedaling motion because it eliminates any lag between your pedal strokes.
That’s my long-winded way of saying that having a heavier flywheel is a good thing for an elliptical.
Elliptical flywheels usually top out around 30 lb, but anything 20 lb or higher should be plenty to ensure a smooth acting pedaling motion.
With this in mind, the CE800 is packing a 30 lb flywheel.
Again, this is as heavy a flywheel as I’ve come across in any elliptical.
This is more than heavy enough to provide a smooth feel, but something else to consider is that machines with heavy flywheels can usually provide more overall resistance than those with lighter flywheels.
This rule isn’t written in stone though, because that ultimately depends on the magnetic resistance system itself.
Speaking of resistance, the CE800 comes with 40 levels, giving you a lot of play over the intensity of each workout.
Now having more resistance levels doesn’t necessarily mean more total available resistance, but it does mean you can make smaller adjustments to the available resistance.
Which is a good thing in itself because you can gradually increase or decrease as you like, instead of having to make large jumps.
Overall, the CE800 scores very highly with a heavy flywheel and plenty of resistance levels to work with. Folks looking for an elliptical that can offer a tough workout will appreciate this.
The Spirit CE800 Elliptical comes with the following features:
LED console- the console on this elliptical is pretty straightforward, but it’s brightly lit and large enough to see all your metrics clearly during workouts. It also displays the old school track visualization, which I always though was kinda cool.
Self-generating power system- what’s more cool though, is that the CE800 is self-powered, meaning you don’t have to plug it in. All the power it needs is generated by you as you workout.
10 workout programs- the CE800 comes with 10 workout options, including 5 preset workouts (hill, cardio, interval, strength, and fat burn), a fit test, a custom user workout, a heart rate guided workout, a constant power workout, and manual.
Heart rate monitoring- this model is compatible with bluetooth chest strap heart rate monitors, although one isn’t included with purchase. There are also the built-in grip monitors that we all know never really work correctly.
Cushioned pedals- the pedals are large, cushioned, and designed with a gentle inward tilt for added comfort.
USB charging port- there’s an integrated USB port you can use to charge devices during your workouts.
Cooling fan- there’s also a built-in fan to help keep ya more comfortable during those more strenuous workouts.
Optional TV bracket- finally, this CE800 is designed so that you can attach a tv if you like, including a port on the rear that can be used to power the tv.
At first glance, it might seem that there are only a few steps to putting the CE800 together, but when you dive into the manual you soon notice that each step really contains like 5 steps.
Personally, I think it would be easier to follow if the manual separated the process into more steps, but with less going on in each one.
This would make it easier to follow.
The CE800 does require more assembly than most ellipticals, mostly because the rail assembly doesn’t come pre-attached to the main frame.
This isn’t a particularly complicated process to complete, but it does add more steps for whomever is assembling.
Overall though, if you or a family member is good at following directions and at least a little handy, I doubt you’ll have that much difficulty getting this elliptical put together.
But again, the assembly instructions could be a little easier to follow.
Spirit backs their CE800 Elliptical with the following residential warranty:
- Lifetime frame
- 10 year parts/brake
- 2 years labor
This is seriously as good as any home warranty I’ve ever seen.
You obviously can’t beat a lifetime frame warranty, but it’s the 10 year parts guarantee that sets this elliptical apart from most.
Most great brands (Life, Precor, Sole) max at 5 years on parts, so seeing 2x that is something else.
The 2 years on labor is also 2x as long as the year most others offer (Sole also offers 2 year labor warranties though).
Overall, Spirit offers a great warranty on this machine. I’d even go as far as saying the warranty may be one of the biggest reasons to choose the model over some of its competitors.
Oh, Spirit also offers a light commercial warranty for the CE800:
- Lifetime frame
- 5 year parts
- 2 year labor
As a “home” gym site, I don’t spend much time worrying about commercial warranties, but this is also generous as light commercial warranties go (especially for one in this price range).
So, that about does it for the CE800.
Like I said at the beginning, there’s not much to complain about here with this one.
This elliptical is heavy-duty from top to bottom, it comes with great performance specs, and it’s backed by the best home warranty you’re gonna find.
If I had to complain about something, I guess it would be nice if Spirit included a chest strap heart rate monitor with purchase, but that’s small potatoes.
Oh, there’s also the fact that this elliptical doesn’t come with any adjustable incline settings – I completely forgot about that!
So if you’re looking for an elliptical that comes with steep or simply adjustable inclines, this probably isn’t the best option for ya.
But there’s really no arguing with the fact that this is a nice elliptical, so the real question is it really worth the $3k asking price?
This is a tougher question.
The CE800’s heavy-dutiness and warranty are probably enough to warrant the price, but this model’s got some serious competition at this price point.
We’re talking brands like Life Fitness and Precor here.
Although those brands both specialize in rear-drive ellipticals, so that could also play a part in your decision making.
Life Fitness and Precor are both top of the line brands, especially when it comes to ellipticals, but they both offer products that are quite different (mostly in terms of the way their inclines work).
The elliptical that I think competes most closely with the CE800 is Sole’s E98.
At the time of writing this, the E98 is going for around $2500 and it comes with a 32 lb flywheel, the same 20″ stride length, and it does come with 20 levels of incline.
The warranty on the E98 isn’t quite as impressive, but it’s still really good (lifetime frame, 5 year parts, 2 year labor).
Personally, I think it probably makes more sense to save the $500 and go with the E98, but let’s be real, there are no wrong answers here.
All things considered, I think the CE800 is a fabulous elliptical too.