Most helpful critical review
71 of 71 people found the following review helpful
Cheap "Power Pistons" detract from overall value!
on September 17, 2005
My wife bought the Gazelle Freestyle Evolution a year or so ago, and we had it setup in our livingroom for daily exercising. When takedown and setup became such a chore, it was put away in the bedroom to make space in the livingroom. It stayed unused for about 6 months.
When I decided that I needed to loose about 50 pounds, I was looking for something that I could do to exercise without having to leave the house. The stored Gazelle fit the bill nicely.
Only problem was, the space requirements to set it back up. I finally decided on the garage because there was space out there, and the south Texas heat and humidity provided for a nice "sweat factor."
Since late June 05, I have been able to lose 45+ pounds with the help of the G.I. Diet and the Tony Little Gazelle Freestyle Evolution. I wouldn't have been able to do it in such a short amount of time (just over two months) without these two.
So, why do I rate the Gazelle Series at only 3 stars?
The big problem with the Gazelle series of exercisers (at least in my case) are the "power pistons." These are the shock-absorber looking items that provide the resistance. The original pistons lasted for about a year. Over time, they seem to loose their resistance generating capability.
About a month ago, I was using the Gazelle with the original power pistons, when one of them went totally out on me ... by that, I mean no resistance ... zip, zero, nada! Needless to say, it's impossible to get any kind of cardiovascular rhythm going when one leg has resistance and the other doesn't.
At that time, I decided to order two new pistons (though I only needed one) from FitnessQuest. Total cost for two new pistons, plus shipping, was a just under $70. The replacements came, and I used one to replace the inoperable original piston. That worked for a few weeks, when the other original piston went out. No problem ... I had another replacement, so I installed that one too.
The two new replacement pistons worked together for only a couple of weeks, when one of those went out on me too. Since we had just purchased the replacements, we wrote the company and they sent another replacement piston at no charge. Cool!
However, since that time, both replacements have now gone inoperable, and I am left with only one good power piston. I am now relegated to swapping this good piston from one leg to the other every week, and using whichever of the other four pistons is working best at that time, for the other leg.
I am of the opinion that these pistons are cheaply made and costly to replace. I will seek to get additional replacements free of charge from FitnessQuest, but suspect that I will likely encounter problems.
I'm not saying don't buy the Gazelle, just beware that the pistons may not last as long as you need them to, and you may have to replace them frequently. Otherwise, I am slimmer and trimmer due in part to the Tony Little Gazelle.