Ellipticals, also known as cross trainers, are a great alternative to exercise bikes, rowers, and treadmills. They provide a full-body, non-impact workout that’s good for your heart and lungs, and also burns lots of calories. It’s no wonder that ellipticals are so popular – both with gym and home users.
But, if you want to buy an elliptical, which one should you choose? In this Precor elliptical review, we’re going to weigh up the benefits, drawbacks, pros, and cons of the Precor EFX 835 Commercial Series Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer so you can decide if it’s the right one for you.
While this IS most definitely a commercial-grade workout machine, it’s also suitable for home use. Because it’s a commercial machine, it is more expensive than an elliptical designed for your home. Still, it’s also a whole lot sturdier and more hardwearing, too, making it ideal for home exercisers who want a professional-level workout.
Precor EFX 835 Commercial Series
- Patented adjustable CrossRamp technology allows you to alter the height of the elliptical path
- Patented, low-impact EFX motion is smooth and natural
- Touch and telemetry heart rate monitoring
- Ergonomic moving handlebars let you tone and condition your entire body
- Dimensions: 80 by 32 by 68 inches (L x W x H); weighs 412 pounds
The Precor elliptical has all of the features you’d expect on a top-line workout machine designed for commercial gym use. It really does have every feature and function you are ever likely to need, and probably a few you won’t ever use!
The main features of this elliptical are:
- 10 to 35-degree adjustable ramp (CrossRamp) to target specific muscles and simulate going uphill for a harder workout
- Exceptionally smooth low-impact motion for a comfortable, pain-free workout
- Large, padded, stay-flat pedals so your feet remain in contact at all times, reducing muscle tension and tendon stress
- Ergonomic handlebars that let you tone and condition your upper body and arms
- Reversible pedal action
- Built-in accessories and water bottle holder
- Integrated transport wheels
- 20 resistance levels
- Built-in heart rate monitor handles
- Telemetry for hands-free heart rate monitoring (chest strap not included)
- Muscle monitor to indicate how the incline is affecting your body
- Large streamlined LED display
- Built-in generator – you provide the power
This Precor elliptical trainer is no shrinking violet. Instead, it’s a large, serious piece of exercise equipment that would not look out of place in a gym. Because of its size, make sure that it will fit in your workout space, checking too that the surrounding area is clear for easy mount and dismount. Because the drive unit is at the back, you’ll need to get on this elliptical from the side.
The dimensions are:
- Length – 80 inches
- Height – 68 inches
- Width – 32 inches
- Weight – 412 pounds
- Maximum user weight – 350 pounds
Like any good commercial-grade elliptical, this Precor model has a built-in console/computer so you can monitor and control every aspect of your workout. It’s easy to use and loaded with useful functions and features, including:
- Quick start
- Numeric keypad for easier data entry
- Preset programs including manual, interval, cross-country, gluteal, custom, hill climb, fitness test, cross-training, Navy fitness test, heart rate control, and weight loss
- Resistance level (+/-)
- CrossRamp angle (+/-)
- Strides per minute and total strides
- Calories per minute, hour, and total
- Heart rate, target HR, and average HR
- Time elapsed and time remaining
- Time in heart rate zone
- Segment time remaining
- Current speed and average speed
- Watts and METS
- Percentage of workout complete
- Workout profile
- Workout summary
Ease of Use
The Precor elliptical is very easy to use. Just climb on board, hit quick start, and start peddling. You can either enter your chosen resistance level numerically or adjust the workload using the plus/minus (+/-) buttons.
The CrossRamp incline is adjusted the same way. Then, when you’ve had enough, just hit the stop button and carefully climb off.
Or, if you prefer a more guided workout, choose one of the preset programs and type in the information requested before you begin, i.e., your weight (for calorie burning calculations), age (for heart rate zone calculations), intensity and duration.
Once you’ve entered these details, just hit go and then follow the instructions on the screen. Your elliptical will then adjust the resistance and incline according to the workout you selected and your performance.
The Precor elliptical is shipped in several large pieces and requires some self-assembly. Full instructions are supplied, and it’s a job that can be done solo. Still, it will probably be more manageable and go smoother if you have some assistance. Assembly requires the following tools, which are not supplied:
- 3/16-inch hex wrench
- #2 Phillips screwdriver
- 9/16-inch hex wrench
- 1/2-inch hex wrench
- 7/16-inch open-end wrench
- Electrical tape
While you won’t need to do any assembly for the motor, the movement arms, pedals, and console all need to be attached, as do the plastic covers that bolt onto the frame. Users report that assembling this elliptical will take between 1-2 hours.
Because of the size and weight of this machine, make sure you assemble it close to where you are going to use it. At a little over 400 pounds, it’s not easy to move once assembled even though it’s been fitted with small tilt-and-roll mover’s wheels. It is probably too big to pass through a standard doorway, and you definitely won’t be able to carry it up or down stairs once assembled.
Once put together, keeping your Precor elliptical in good working order is pretty simple. Most of the critical components are sealed and do not require servicing. However, Precor recommends the following to keep your machine in tip-top condition:
- Daily: Visually check for slipping belts, worn power cords, or anything else that indicates a service is required.
- Weekly: Clean the housing and make sure the machine still sits level on the ground.
- Monthly: Remove the rear cover and clean inside, vacuuming up any accumulated dust, checking the tension and alignment of the belts, and lubricating the lift motor screw with Teflon spray.
These actions are required to ensure the machine stays within its warranty.
As you’d expect from a premier company like Precor, this elliptical is backed by a very comprehensive warranty. That’s reassuring news because this model isn’t cheap. However, the guarantee means you can buy with confidence and with future peace of mind.
The warranty details are:
- Frame and Welds: Lifetime
- Parts (mechanical & electronic): 10 years
- Wearable items: 10 years
- Labor: 1 year
Ellipticals provide a great home workout. Unlike treadmills, they are low impact, which not only makes them easier on your joints, they are also much quieter in use too. The Precor EFX 835 Commercial Series Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer is quite a big machine, but if you’ve got the space, it’s perfect for home use and will deliver great workouts for many years to come. Because you generate the power, you don’t need to worry about positioning it close to an electrical outlet, and, providing you use it semi-regularly, the onboard batteries will remain charged.
The main disadvantage of this machine is also its main strength – it’s size and weight. Like most commercial-quality workout machines, it’s designed to withstand years of hard use, and, subsequently, it’s big, durable, and heavy. That means it’s best suited to ground floor and garage gyms. This is not an elliptical that you can tuck in the corner of a spare room and forget about!
But, providing you don’t mind the price-tag, the 835 Commercial Series Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer will last for many years, providing workouts that are not only easy on your joints but effective and enjoyable too. This is a top-quality workout machine, and it’s highly recommended.
Deciding if this is the right cross trainer for you needs should be easy with our detailed review & ratings.