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Is The Spirit Fitness XE195 Elliptical A Good Buy? [A Review]

spirit fitness xe195 elliptical review

The XE195 is Spirit’s entry level elliptical trainer, although it’s hard to tell based on the performance specs this model comes with.

Only Spirit would pack their most affordable elliptical with a 24 lb flywheel, 20 levels of resistance, and a heavy-duty frame with a 350 lb weight limit.

And since this is Spirit Fitness we’re talking about here, of course the XE195 is backed by one of the best residential warranties in the biz.

So, if you’re looking for a moderately priced elliptical that is designed to perform, the XE195 could be a good fit – but if you ask me, it’s missing a few key features I’d expect in this price range.

But more on that below.

In this review, I’ll go over everything that makes the XE195 what it is – we’re talking specs, features, assembly, and more.

After reading, you’ll know whether or not this is the right elliptical for your home gym.

The Spirit Fitness XE195 Elliptical

Spirit XE195 Elliptical - SPTXE195

I think Spirit is easily one of the best home fitness brands around at the moment. Basically, they build high-end, no-nonsense machines that are designed for performance first and foremost.

It doesn’t hurt that they are really generous with their warranties either (they actually provide the longest warranties I’ve come across- many of their higher-end models come with 10 year parts guarantees…crazy!)

They offer an extensive lineup of both residential and commercial grade equipment to choose from and generally speaking, all of their machines are priced fairly.

The only real complaint I have about them as a brand is that there isn’t always that much difference between their models. Well, not enough to always justify the extra cost anyway (In my humble opinion).

You’ll also notice that they don’t really offer any budget equipment- all of their equipment is priced over $1000.

But when it comes to quality, they’re about as good as it gets for home equipment.

When it comes to ellipticals, the XE195 is the most affordable option they offer. The suggested retail price is about $1400, but you can usually find it on sale at sites like Fitness Factory.

Pros

  • 20″ stride length
  • 24 lb flywheel
  • 20 levels of magnetic resistance
  • 350 lb weight capacity
  • 7.5″ LCD console
  • Handlebar controls
  • Great warranty

Cons

  • No adjustable incline
  • Only 6 workout programs
  • No bluetooth
  • No telemetry heart rate monitoring
  • Assembly manual hard to read

Stride Length

An elliptical’s stride length is easily one of the most important specs you can consider. If you ask me, no other spec will correlate with the machine’s comfort level more than this one.

And just to make sure we’re all on the same page here- the stride length is how far apart the pedals move from each other during use.

The XE195 comes with a stride length of 20″, which is perfect for a home elliptical.

With a stride this long, the XE195 will be able to comfortably accommodate most folks out there. I say “most” because if you are really tall or height challenged, it might not, but most folks between 5’3″ and 6’1″ should be ok.

By the way, if you’re interested, I have a guide on finding your proper stride length– if you fall outside of that height range I just mentioned you might want to check it out.

Anyway, the stride length on this model is what we should expect from a high-end elliptical in this price range (more affordable models tend to come with smaller stride’s, which I think is their biggest flaw).

The XE195 also comes with a pretty heavy-duty frame, which is always a plus.

Regardless of how big you are, having a bigger, heavier machine is beneficial because it means it’ll be less likely to wobble or shake during use.

In other words, heavier machines feel more stable.

The best way to get an idea of how heavy-duty an elliptical is without taking it for a test spin is to look at 2 specs: the weight capacity and the assembled weight.

Seeing higher numbers in both categories indicates a bigger, heavier-duty machine.

The XE195 comes with a max weight capacity of 350 lb, which is good for this price range. Most comparable models will come with weight limits somewhere between 300 – 350 lb.

You can expect more expensive ellipticals to go as high as 400 lb.

This elliptical weighs 170 lb fully assembled, which is actually a little lighter than I would expect for a machine with such a high weight limit.

It’s also lighter than many other models in its price range.

But I think this lighter weight is due to the fact that this elliptical doesn’t have any power incline levels, so the machinery necessary for that feature isn’t adding to the overall weight.

Overall though, the XE195 scores highly with a 20″ stride length and 350 lb weight capacity.

Flywheel

An elliptical’s flywheel is responsible for creating the resistance you pedal against, as well as providing the general “feel” of the machine.

Most home models come with weighted flywheels. In these systems, having more weight is beneficial because the extra weight creates more momentum as the flywheel spins.

This momentum reduces any lag during pedal strokes.

So, that means a heavier flywheel will provide a smoother feel than a lighter one.

Personally, I consider any flywheel over 20 lb to be “heavy”.

With that in mind, the XE195 comes with a 24 lb flywheel. At this weight, the XE195 has enough muscle under the hood to provide a smooth workout experience.

This heavier flywheel also allows this elliptical the opportunity to provide more challenging workouts.

The extra weight helps the flywheel build momentum, but it also means it takes more energy from you to get it moving in the first place.

Especially when you combine that heavy flywheel with 20 levels of magnetic resistance.

I mentioned earlier that the EX195 doesn’t come with an adjustable incline- I think this is this machine’s biggest flaw.

In this price range, I expect power incline to more or less be a given- but it obviously isn’t, Spirit does things a little differently.

Their next model up, the XE295, doesn’t come with power incline either. You have to upgrade all the way up to their XE395 before power incline joins the party.

If I was shopping for an elliptical for my home, the lack of incline would most likely be a deal breaker. But hey, if you don’t plan on using that feature anyway, it might not be.

Overall, the 24 lb flywheel this elliptical is packing is impressive, but the lack of incline in disappointing.

Features

The Spirit XE195 Elliptical comes with the following features:

7.5″ LCD console- the console on this elliptical is very basic, but the blue backlit LCD screen is easy to read during workouts. You can also adjust the console angle to your preferred viewing position. Its simplicity makes it really easy to use too.

6 workout programs- this elliptical only comes with 6 included workout options. These include: hill, fat burn, cardio, interval, strength, and manual mode.

Handlebar controls- you can increase and decrease your resistance level from the conveniently located handlebar controls- a nice little perk.

Heart rate monitoring- you can grab the grip heart rate monitors located on the stationary handles to get an idea of what your pulse is, but this model isn’t compatible with chest straps.

Swivel fan- the cooling fan can help keep ya a little more comfortable during workouts.

Water bottle holder- this handy feature allows you to store your favorite beverage within easy reach during your workouts (hey, hydration is important people!)

Assembly

The assembly manual for this elliptical could use a little work. Technically, all of Spirit’s elliptical manuals need to be updated.

The biggest problem is that they cram too many tasks into too few steps.

When you look at the assembly procedure, it looks great because there’s only 4 steps to have your elliptical up and running. But when you look at each step, there’s a lot going on in 2 of the 4.

Especially the first one.

If Spirit would break the process up into more steps (with less going on in each), it would make it a lot easier to see what’s going on.

They need to make their images larger too, that would be helpful.

Now that I’ve aired my grievances, I think most folks will be fine assembling this elliptical themselves.

Even though the manual could use some work, the assembly process itself is pretty straightforward.

You’ll have to attach the rear rails, the console, the moving handles, and several covers, but all hardware and necessary tools are included.

Overall, I think most fairly handy folks will be able to assemble the XE195 without too much headache.

Warranty

Spirit backs their XE195 Elliptical up with the following residential warranty:

  • Lifetime frame
  • Lifetime brake
  • 5 year parts
  • 1 year labor

This is  really good warranty.

A lifetime guarantee on the frame/brake is as good as it gets and 5 years on parts is really good compared to what other brands in this price range offer.

Although that said, Spirit offers a 10 year parts guarantee on their higher-end ellipticals.

A year on labor is pretty standard, nothing too special there.

Overall, this is a very generous warranty.

Final Thoughts

Ok, that’s about all there is to say regarding the specs and features the XE195 has to offer.

All things considered, I think this is a very well made, basic elliptical (I’d even go as far as saying it’s a bit boring).

This machine has some very respectable performance specs, I especially like the 24 lb flywheel and 350 lb weight capacity- both are great for this price range.

And the warranty is also quite good.

But the lack of incline is a hard pill to swallow for a $1400 elliptical. Not to mention the console only comes with 6 workouts and is lacking bluetooth and telemetry heart rate monitoring.

As much as I like Spirit as a brand, I don’t think it makes much sense to purchase the XE195, considering how many features it’s missing.

Especially when you can get the Sole E25, which comes with a 20 lb flywheel, 20 levels of incline, is bluetooth friendly, and comes with an included chest strap, for about $1000.

Overall, Spirit is a great brand and their XE195 is a solid elliptical, but I think there are better buys.

If you are interested, you should check the price on Fitness Factory, it’s usually a couple hundred bucks cheaper there.

 

Will

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