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Is Spirit Fitness’ XE295 Elliptical A Smart Buy? [A Review]

spirit fitness xe295 elliptical review

If you’re looking for a high-end home elliptical trainer that’s well-priced and backed by an amazing warranty, Spirit’s XE295 might just be what the doctor ordered.

It’s got all the performance specs you need to get one helluva workout, including a 20″ stride length, a 30 lb flywheel, and 20 levels of magnetic resistance.

The console is no slouch either- it comes with 10 workout programs to choose from and is bluetooth friendly.

I already mentioned the warranty, but considering how awesome it is, I figure it doesn’t hurt to mention it again (it’s a great guarantee).

In case you haven’t noticed, I think the XE295 is a spectacular elliptical for the price (although it’s certainly not perfect).

But I’m not here to sell ya an elliptical- I’m here to present the facts so you can decide for yourself whether or not this is the right option for your home gym.

In this review, I’ll explain all the key specs and features the XE295 has to offer.

After reading, you’ll be well equipped to make your own decision regarding this machine.

Off we go.

The Spirit Fitness XE295 Elliptical

Spirit XE295 Elliptical - SPTXE295

If you’re not familiar with the Spirit brand, allow me to introduce you. Spirit is a moderately priced home fitness brand that provides both residential and commercial grade equipment.

They’ve got a generous selection of cardio machines to choose from, including plenty of treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, and rowers.

They even have a commercial grade (yet affordably priced) seated stepper in their lineup, the CRS800S, which is quite impressive.

When it comes to residential ellipticals, they’ve got several to choose from.

The EX295 is one of their more affordable options. The only less expensive for they have is the XE195, which comes with a lighter flywheel, fewer workouts, lighter frame, and a shorter warranty.

Speaking of price, the suggested retail price of this model is about $1800, but you can find it cheaper if you know where to look (more on this below).

Pros

  • 20″ stride length
  • 30 lb flywheel
  • 20 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Heavy-duty frame
  • 400 lb weight capacity
  • 10 workout programs
  • Bluetooth friendly
  • Chest strap heart rate monitor included
  • Adjustable pedals
  • Handlebar resistance controls
  • Amazing warranty

Cons

  • No incline
  • Assembly manual difficult to read

Stride Length

I think the stride length is the first spec you should check out regardless of what elliptical you’re considering. A quick glance at this spec can instantly tell you whether this elliptical is worth a second look or if it’s time to move on.

This simple spec tells you whether or not the machine is going to be comfortable for you to use.

If the stride length is too small, you’re not gonna be able to stretch out- you can think of this like marching in place instead of running.

I doubt many of us are looking for this in an elliptical.

A rarer occasion is that the stride is actually too long, but this too can make for an uncomfortable workout- nobody wants to feel like they’re stretching too far with each step either.

Most quality home ellipticals come with a 20″ stride length because most folks can comfortably use a machine with this size of stride.

That said, the XE295 comes with a 20″ stride length.

This is exactly where most folks are going to want it (for more info on finding your perfect stride length, check out my guide on the topic).

The XE295 has the stride length to accommodate most folks comfortably, but it also has a heavy-duty frame that’ll be able to provide a stable base for your workouts.

It can be a little harder to get an idea as to how heavy-duty an elliptical is without taking it for a test spin, but the best way to do just that is to look at the machine’s weight capacity and assembled weight.

These 2 specs will give ya an idea as to how stable it’s going to feel during your workouts- and higher is better for both.

The XE295 scores pretty highly in both- with a 400 lb weight capacity and assembled weight of 187 lb, this elliptical is built to hold larger users too.

This model also utilizes a dual-rail design for each pedal, which makes for a more stable system.

Overall, the XE295 scores pretty highly in this category. The stride length and weight capacity this elliptical offers makes it approachable for larger and smaller folks alike.

Flywheel

You’ll hear a lot of talk about flywheel weight when talking spin bikes, but it’s also an important spec to consider for ellipticals.

Like indoor cycles, most home ellipticals utilize a weighted flywheel system to create the resistance you pedal against.

Having a heavier flywheel is advantageous because the extra weight creates more momentum as it spins. This extra momentum helps the flywheel continue rotating throughout your pedal cycle.

This eliminates any unwanted lag or awkwardness between pedal strokes.

This is great, but want counts as a “heavy” flywheel?

Well, if you ask me, (and if you’re still reading this, I’m assuming you are) anything at or above 20 lb can be considered “heavy”.

With that in mind, consider that the XE295 comes with a 30 lb flywheel.

This is easily heavy enough to provide a smooth feel during your workouts. I also want to mention that having a heavy flywheel makes for a more substantial workout.

It takes more energy to get that heavy flywheel moving, meaning you have to work harder.

So, if you’re looking for an elliptical that can provide an intense workout when you want it, it’s a good idea to go with one that’s packing a heavy flywheel.

Speaking of intensity, Spirit pairs that 30 lb flywheel with 20 levels of magnetic resistance.

This gives you a wide range of intensity levels to choose from. This is great because you can make subtle increases or decreases in your resistance throughout your workout, instead of having to make more sudden changes.

The only thing missing on the XE295 is power incline- there are no incline options on this machine, which is a bit disappointing for an elliptical in this price range.

Overall though, the XE295 scores highly with that heavy flywheel and 20 levels of resistance to work with.

Features

The Spirit XE295 Elliptical comes with the following features:

7.5″ LCD console- the console on this model is pretty standard, nothing too fancy going on here, but it’s large enough and brightly lit enough to see clearly during your workouts. You can also adjust the viewing angle of the console for added comfort.

10 workout programs- there aren’t a ton of workouts to choose from here, but there’s definitely enough to give your routine some variety. These workouts include: hill, fat burn, cardio, strength, interval, as well as 2 custom workouts, 2 heart rate guided workouts, and manual mode.

Bluetooth- this elliptical is bluetooth compatible with Spirit’s Fit app, which allows you to track all your workout metrics.

Heart rate monitoring- you can keep track of your heart rate with the grip monitors on the stationary handles, or you can use the included chest strap monitor for more accurate tracking during workouts.

Adjustable pedals- the pedals are large and cushioned, but you can also adjust the incline of each pedal, choosing between 3 positions for your preferred feel.

Handlebar controls- you can increase/decrease the resistance level from the conveniently located handlebar buttons. You’d think a few inches wouldn’t matter, but I tell ya, once you start using these buttons you won’t know what you would ever do without ’em.

Audio jack- you can plug your mp3 player up to the console and listen to your workout jams through the built-in speakers.

Swivel fan- there’s a built-in cooling fan to help keep ya comfortable during those harder workouts.

Water bottle holder- this handy device allows you to, uh, keep your beverage of choice within reach (hey, hydration is important too).

Assembly

As much as I love Spirit as a brand, they really need to work on their assembly manuals- they kinda suck.

The problem is that they cram like 3 steps worth of procedure into each step.

So, when you look at it and see that there’s only 4 steps, that sounds pretty great. But when you dive in and start assembling, you see that there’s a lot going on in each one.

Especially step 1.

If Spirit would update their manuals, making them with more overall steps, but less going on in each one, it would make it a lot easier to see what’s going on with each task.

That said, the actual procedure for putting this elliptical together is pretty straightforward.

You’ll have to connect the rails to the frame, as well as the handles, console mast, console, and several covers.

As always, take care not to pinch any console cables during assembly- the last thing you want is to get this thing put together only to find the console doesn’t work.

Overall, I think the assembly process here is very doable for most folks, just be prepared to spend some extra time studying that manual to figure out where everything goes.

Warranty

Spirit backs their XE295 Elliptical with the following residential warranty:

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

See, told ya this warranty was special.

In all seriousness, this is the best warranty I’ve come across for any home exercise machine.

I’ve seen a few other brands offer 10 years on parts, but it’s very rare (and off the top of my head, I can’t say where I’ve seen it before).

Spirit backs the majority of their machines with this great warranty.

The lifetime guarantee for the frame and brake is great, but it’s that 10 year parts warranty that really sets Spirit apart from the rest (5 years on parts is considered good for most).

A year for labor is pretty standard for any quality machine.

Overall, this stellar warranty is one of the XE295’s most redeeming qualities.

Final Thoughts

That’s all she wrote for the XE295.

Overall, I like this elliptical.

When you look at the specs, it’s pretty easy to say this is a quality machine- heavy flywheel, 20″ stride length, heavy-duty frame, amazing warranty…

But I could see the lack of power incline being a deal breaker for a lot of folks.

And that’s very understandable.

I also think the XE295 finds itself in an interesting price range.

On sale, you can find this elliptical at Fitness Factory for about $1600 (and I like it a lot better at this price than for the suggested $1800).

I think that price is fair, but considering that for $1500 you can get Sole’s E35 (comes with a slightly lighter flywheel, only 5 year parts warranty, but 20 levels of power incline), you’ve got some thinking to do.

Is the extra long parts warranty worth giving up power incline?

Maybe, maybe not.

If you wanna have your cake and eat it too you could always go for Spirit’s upgraded XE395– it comes with the same great warranty and the extra $300 gets you 20 levels of power incline.

In the end, I think it all boils down to whether or not you want the incline feature.

 

Will

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