Before we'll check what is the best elliptical under 500, I want you to think hard, how many times this happened to you:
It's your cardio day, and It's rush hour in the gym.
All day long you
All day you ran calculations in your head on how long you'll have to wait in line for an elliptical.
You walk in, and there "she" is, hiding in the corner of the room.
For some reason, no one else besides you noticed her.
That one special elliptical machine that was saving herself just for you all day long to come along and put it to good use.
OK, wake up. That's probably never happened.
The elliptical is quite the popular among gym goers.
You may laugh, (or at least I hope you do) but that's a major reason why a lot of people prefer to have an elliptical in their own home.
However, elliptical machine, even those for home use, are considered expensive fitness equipment.
So, we're going to bust that myth right now.
5 best ellipticals under 500
1. Fitness Reality E5500XL
2. Exerpeutic 5000
4. Schwinn A40
5. ANCHEER Elliptical Machine
What To Expect From An Elliptical Under 500$?
First of all I must start by saying that it wasn't easy finding good ellipticals under 500$.
However, there are few essentials we must look for when searching for an elliptical.
First Being The Stride.
Don't expect to get adjustable stride ability, or a minimum of 20" stride length.
At this price range, the average stride is between 13 to 18".
And although it should be enough for most users, if you know it won't be enough for you, I highly advise against buying an elliptical that can't provide you a sufficient stride length.
Besides the fact the working out on such elliptical will feel unnatural, there's a higher chance you finish your exercise all cramped and sore.
And that's something you just don't want.
I suggest you save for an elliptical with sufficient stride length, check out our best elliptical under 1000 article.
Secondly, Size Matters?
Ellipticals are often quite big machines, however, elliptical's under 500 are smaller in size compared to their expensive alternatives.
This actually could be a good thing, but, it comes with a price.
Because while ellipticals over this price range are larger and massive, they also offer a higher user max weight, and are often more stable and sturdy.
Some can support up to 300 lbs, and others even more than that.
But when we talk about ellipticals under 500, the max user weight ranges between 250 lbs to 275 lbs.
Again, this should be enough for most users, and if you're one of them, well that's great.
Because you're actually getting a fitness equipment that is smaller in size, but can support your weight, and is still quite sturdy.
Third is the number of Resistance Levels.
No point in getting an elliptical under 500 if it can't make you work up a sweat, right?
Thankfully, you don't need to go over budget to get an elliptical that can provide an intense workout.
Since most ellipticals in this price range have between 8 to 24 resistance levels.
The major difference between having an elliptical with 8 levels to one that has 24, is the long term usability a 24 levels elliptical offers.
If you're just looking for a machine that you can exercise on a couple of times a week, going after an elliptical with 8 levels should be enough.
However, if you're planning to use your elliptical more than 3-4 times a week, and you're after achieving a long term fitness level, than you should go after an elliptical that has more resistance levels to offer.
Let's Not Forget The Resistance Type And Flywheel.
The majority of ellipticals use magnetic based resistance system.
And ellipticals under 500 are no different.
However, since usually ellipticals in this price range are smaller, their flywheel is smaller as well.
The flywheels range between 12 to 17 lbs.
And although it may not sound a lot, when combined with magnetic resistance with at least 10 levels of resistance the elliptical is capable to provide intense workout sessions.
Last But Not Least, features.
It used to be that if you wanted to get an in home cardio equipment that has workout stats display, or a console with speakers you had to say goodbye to a lot more than 500$.
However, that's no longer the case.
In the last years we see more and more models that come with LCD display, built-in speakers, MP3 input, fan, workout programs, goal track ability, heart rate sensors, and so on.
Most of these features don't have direct impact on your workout intensity, rather they are meant to sweeten your workout time.
Furthermore, it's helpful and quite motivating to know how many calories you burned, what's your pulse rate, be able to set a goal for the workout, etc.
So when it comes to ellipticals under 500, the standard in this price range is:
- LCD display
- heart rate sensors
- workout programs
- MP3 input
- built-in speakers
That's a general statement, because some have extra few features, and some even less.
Is Elliptical Good For Weight Loss?
Harvard Medical School have a calorie burning chart. (You can check it out here).
From the chart we learn that for every pound of body weight, you'll burn around 2.16 calories on an elliptical.
The math is really simple.
A person weighing 185 pounds, will burn around 400 calories during a 30 minutes elliptical workout.
That's 2.16 calories for every pound of body weight.
So all you have to do is to multiply your weight by 2.16, and you'll get the around number of calories you can burn on an elliptical in just a 30 minutes workout.
How does that stack to other activities?
Well, if you'll go for a 30 minutes jog at a pace of 5 mph, you'll burn 1.92 calories for every pound of body weight.
To get the same 2.16 calories ellipticals offer you, you'll have to jog at a steady pace of 5.2 mph.
I'll leave to you do decide which will be better for you.
5 Best Ellipticals Under 500
In our quest after the best elliptical under 500, we've noticed 5 machines that excel over others in this price range.
They have all you should need an elliptical to have, and maybe even some more.
What made these 5 so special that we had to declare them as the best options?
Well, for starters, the price of course. No, no over budget here.
Then, we looked at the exercise experience they provide and how i.e:
- stride length
- resistance type
- number of resistance levels
- workout programs (if available)
Next, we looked at all the fancy stuff that may not affect your exercise intensity, but are sure nice to have.
- user profiles
- mp3 input
- backlight display
- media tray
Obviously we had to prioritize and mix these factors since our main mission was to find the best combination between the exercise experience the bike offers and the features it provides.
So, without any further ado, here are the 5 best ellipticals that less than 500 bucks could buy.
1. Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical Trainer
The Fitness Reality E5500XL excels in two areas.
First, it's got 24 magnetic based resistance levels. Which means there's a lot of room for you to progress on this elliptical.
Secondly, it's got 21 preset workout programs. A rare thing in this price range group.
Furthermore, it's also got 3 goal tracking ability. You can set a distance you want to achieve, the duration of your workout, and the amount of calories you want to burn.
This right here might be the one thing that will help you keep a high level of motivation over time.
Its 18" stride length makes this bike usable by a higher range of users.
It's not 20", but should be enough even if you're over 6 ft tall.
This elliptical is rather sturdy, and can support a max user weight of 270 pounds.
All while not needing much space. It measures at 57" in length and is 24" wide.
The somewhat small size of it is achievable thanks to the fact it has two small flywheels instead of one large flywheel.
Each of the flywheels has its own belt to drive it.
In turn, this helps generate smoother motions.
In addition, this also helps keep the total weight low, this bike weighs 90 pounds.
Finally, the LCD display will show you all the important workout stats you need to know, and it does have a back-light.
So you can workout in dark rooms and still be able to read the screen.
The Good Stuff:
- 24 magnetic resistance levels
- 21 workout programs and 3 goals tracking
- LCD display with back-light
- 18" stride
The Bad Stuff:
- needs Maintenance
- No Speakers
- No Media Tray
2. Exerpeutic 5000 Magnetic Elliptical Trainer
The Exerpeutic 5000 is the most expensive elliptical machine on this list.
Like the Fitness Reality EX5500, It's got 24 magnetic based resistance system.
Having this much resistance levels means there's a lot of room to progress with this bike.
However, this one only has 12 preset workout programs and 7 different training modes.
More than enough for the average home user, and not something you see that often in elliptical at this price range.
But, an even cooler feature is that this bike allows you to have 4 user profiles.
So, your spouse or kids, can also use this elliptical and each will have it's own profile set in the bike.
As for stride, this one offers 18" stride, quite decent and should be enough for you if you're not taller than 6'3.
The 5000 is quite sturdy and stable, and it allows a max user weight of 270 lbs.
It's also quite compact, for an elliptical.
It's 55" long, and 25" wide. Not the smallest out there, but no too bad either.
On the media rack you can put your smart device, so if you can't put this thing in front of a TV, the media rack is actually quite helpful.
But in any case, you can move this elliptical with ease, since it's got transport wheels.
Finally, like the rest of the ellipticals on this list, this one alos has heart rate sensors that will allow you to keep track on your pulse while you exercise.
The Good Stuff:
- 24 magnetic based resistance levels
- 12 preset workout programs
- 18" stirde
- media rack
- 4 user profiles
The Bad Stuff:
- Requires Maintenance
- not that easy to assemble
- no speakers
3. ProForm 150i Elliptical
The ProForm 150i elliptical is the second cheapest bike in our list.
And the extras that it offers are might just be worth coughing up a few extra bills.
First of all, this is a front drive elliptical that offers a 17" stride.
Which, as a general rule, should be enough for you if you're in the range of 5'2 to 6 ft.
Secondly, it's got 12 resistance levels and 12 workout programs.
As for the workout programs, that's something you don't usually see in this price range, so it's nice to see the 150i has 12 of them.
This sturdy elliptical machine has a steel frame which allows it to support a max user weight of 250 lbs.
Which is the standard in this price range, and would be enough for most users.
But, it's not the most compact elliptical trainer, since it's 64" long and 24" wide.
However, it shouldn't be that hard for you to move it around in your house, since it's got transport wheels.
The LCD display is large and clear,
The console has two built in speakers, and together with AUX input you'll be able to exercise to your favorite music.
Finally, this elliptical can connect with iFit, which could help you take your workout sessions to the next level.
However, in order to use iFit you'll have to pay their monthly subscription fee.
But, it is nice to have the option.
The Good Stuff:
- has 12 resistance levels and 12 workout programs
- sturdy and support up to 250 of user weight
- 17" stride
- connects with iFit to record and track workout stats
- supports the use of heart rate chest strap
The Bad Stuff:
- not so easy to assemble
- large footprint
- no media rack
- to use IFIt you need to subscribe to their monthly plan
4. Schwinn A40 Elliptical Machine
Schwinn knows how to make in-home bikes, and the A40 is no exception.
This rather affordable elliptical machine (In Schwinn standards) comes with 7 preset workout programs.
They might be just enough for you to diversify your workouts from time to time.
The A40 uses a perimeter weighted flywheel.
Which means the weight of the flywheel is distributed on its edges.
This makes it easier for the flywheel to build inertia and to keep a constant and set level of momentum throughout your workout.
This elliptical provides a good resistance, despite the fact it only has 8 levels of magnetic based resistance system.
And Its 17.5" stride length should be enough for you even you're around 6 ft tall.
The max user weight is 275 lbs, and overall this elliptical is very sturdy and stable.
Its footprint is 59" in length and 23" in width, quite decent for an elliptical this bulky.
The A40 weighs 115 pounds, not a light machine.
But, it's rather easy to move around the house thanks to the small transport wheels in the front.
The console of the A40 feature built-in speakers, which will allow you to blast away your favorite tunes while you workout.
And the LCD display is rather large and has easy to read digits.
Unfortunately, no back-light here either.
Finally, the A40 have heart rate sensors that are located at a convenient spot I must say.
The Schwinn A40 console also has a media tray which will allow you to put your phone or tablet on.
So, if you can't place this elliptical machine in front of your TV, this little tray might come in handy.
You can watch Netflix on your tablet, or whatever you want to pass the time.
Because let's say it as it is, exercising on an elliptical machine can get a little boring after a while.
The only downside, that when you have your phone or tablet on the media tray, it's blocking the display.
The Good Stuff:
- sturdy and solid
- 17.5" stride
- magnetic resistance
- perimeter flywheel
- media tray
The Bad Stuff:
- Weighs 115 Pounds
- Your Smart Device Will Block The Display When It's On The Media Tray
- Display Not Having A Back Light
5. ANCHEER Elliptical Machine Trainer
The ANCHEER elliptical machine is the cheapest one on our list.
So if you're on a tight a budget, this is the one I'd recommend considering.
It's got a 12 lbs flywheel, paired with a magnetic based resistance system.
And as such, it doesn't require as much maintenance like a bike that uses a felt pad to apply resistance.
However, it only has 8 resistance levels. Not the highest number out there, but it might do the job if you're not very active.
The stride length is 13", which should be enough for you if your around 5 to 5'8 ft tall.
Taller than that, and this elliptical will make you feel uncomfortable.
The max user weight is 250 lbs, which is nice, and the standard in this price range.
But the really noticeable thing about this elliptical machine is its size.
It's relatively small, measuring at 40" in length and 18" in width.
The small size also help reduce weight, since this one only weighs 79 pounds.
And keep in mind, this is an elliptical, right?
Furthermore, Its transport wheels will make it even easier for you to move this thing around in your house.
The pulse rate sensors will help you know if you're working hard enough, or if you should push harder.
Finally, the LCD display helps you keep track of your workout stats, too bad it doesn't have back-light.
All an all, this one is actually quite compact and affordable elliptical machine.
The Good Stuff:
- Magnetic Resistance
- max user weight of 250 lbs
The Bad Stuff:
- 13' Stride
- Display Not Having Back-Light
- no speakers
- no workout programs
so what is the best elliptical under 500?
The best elliptical under 500 is without a doubt is the Fitness Reality E5500 XL.
After researching all these ellipticals, the choice is quite simple, the E5500 XL has all you need from an elliptical.
This magnetic based elliptical has 24 resistance levels in addition to the 21 preset workout programs.
Furthermore, its goal track ability can help you spice things up even more while also keeping your motivation up.
Let's not forget about the 18" stride, which is quite rare in this price range, and should be enough for most users.
And for an elliptical, even it's dimension are nice, and only the Schwinn A40 can support higher max user weight. But only by 5 lbs.
Bottom line is, it's an elliptical that can offer an intense workout, with decent stride length, and has features to help you keep you on track and diversify your workout so you don't get bored over time.
However, if you're on a real tight budget, you should also check the ANCHEER Elliptical Machine.
It's not as feature rich as the EX5500 XL, but something is better than nothing.
As long as the stride length is enough for you, and you're actually going to use it.