Customer Reviews: Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical Trainer
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on January 13, 2011
This is totally worth buying! The quality is very good and it's easy to put together. I put it together mostly by myself and I'm a 21yr old female with average strength and it wasn't too hard. I did have trouble tightening a couple of bolts, but that was the hardest part, and mostly just because of the position of the bolt. Most of the pieces are together already, the pieces that need greasing were already greased. It comes with the tools you need to put it together, and the hardware is separated into what you need for each step, so there's no digging around looking for the right part.

As far as the elliptical itself, it's awesome.
*It has an audio input jack and comes with a cord for it, and you can either listen to music on its speakers or plug your headphones into the elliptical itself.
*There's a spot were you can set your ipod or mp3 player and it also has a little book stand at the bottom of the console display.
*There's a water bottle holder and it has two smaller side holders where you can set other things like a cell phone or something, which is nice.
*It has a power cord, it doesn't take batteries like some do.
*It has a fan that has 3 different settings and an option for changing what you're looking at on the screen, calories burned or distance and time or heart rate. It has a spot that tells you your rate in MPH and also your resistance setting.
*It measures the distance in miles and starts at 0.00 goes up by .01 miles at a time.
*It has some preset programs, but I haven't used them, I've just done it as manual.
*It has 2 options for changing the resistance level: it has + and - buttons, but it also has numbers 1-10 on the sides so you can change resistance quickly.
*It has a really smooth motion, you don't feel like you're bouncing that much when you run on it and it's super quiet! It's not wobbly and feels really stable and sturdy. The foot pad is pretty big too, which is nice because you have room to find which spot is most comfortable.

The only thing I don't love about it is that when you start using it, it beeps pretty loudly. It also beeps when it's shutting off, and I think when you press the buttons. It's not a big problem, but it can get annoying when you're trying to be quiet.

I think that about sums it up, and if I come across any problems, I'll update this later.
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on October 25, 2011
I don't review many products on Amazon, but I felt the need to do so for this product. I've been very happy with my purchase, and I feel I can answer a lot of the questions I had when I was looking for what to buy. I've had this just over a month, and if anything changes in the next 6 months to a year I'll update this review to reflect that.

My overall experience with this purchase was excellent. It shipped the second day after I purchased it and arrived a couple of days later. A note on the shipping method; this came by drop truck(that's the smaller delivery trucks with the elevator thing on the back), and the delivery guy was nice enough to cart the box into my house. It is VERY heavy if you're not used to lifting things, and the weight is not evenly distributed. Have some help ready or do what I did and open the box in one room and carry the pieces to the room you are assembling in.

Moving this thing around after assembly is aided by built in 'wheels' on the front stabilizer.(those black round bits are the wheels) However, the assembled unit is roughly 28 to 30 inches wide. That's wider than the average interior door. Add in the length, and turning corners could be very tricky. I built mine in my exercise room without any space issues.

The unit comes with all of the hardware on a clearly labeled sheet of cardboard and each page of the book corresponds to a section on that board. I cut mine into separate sections so I would only need to carry what I needed for each stage into the room. This cut down on clutter, and the instructions cut down on confusion. They also include the screwdriver and wrenches you'll need, so you don't even need to bring any tools.

There are still a couple of tricky stages which would more easily be completed with a second set of hands, but it is doable alone if you take your time and have patience. Running the wires for the console was a bit tricky, as was assembling the end caps on the arms. All of the other parts went on without any problems.

Once it's all together it's time to try it out! I kept my first few sessions short to make sure no bolts went flying and so I wouldn't get dumped onto the floor if I missed a step. The console worked great, and the 3 speed fan(4 if you include 'off') was a nice addition. My only gripe is that the console is VERY primitive. It does have built in speakers and a supplied cord to connect to the headphone out on your MP3 player of choice. That's nice, but I would pass on those in exchange for some more programming options.

This thing has 10 resistance levels, and level 10 is almost too tight to turn. Level 1 was good enough for me even though I've used ones at my local gym for years. Once you get used to the motion and what muscles are getting the most work you can easily up the resistance a few stages for a nice sweaty workout.

Below are my pros and cons, followed by some notes I think are important.

- VERY quiet - this thing makes almost no noise at all. I can easily hear my television without turning the sound up from the normal setting.
- Space Efficient - this doesn't take up near the room of almost every other model I looked at in stores(check the specs in the description, it's tiny)
- Easy Assembly - add in the excellent instructions and well designed packaging, and this was easier to put together than some of those shelves you get at Walmart
- Built in Speakers - the speakers work great, they are basically headphones and use the MP3 player's built in volume control
- No Batteries - A lot of at home machines require batteries for the console. This uses a real electrical plug.

- Primitive Console - it gets the job done, but there are NO settings besides resistance and a few simple programs. If you're used to a gym level machine with weights, age, etc then this might not be for you. The speed indicator also only shows speed in half mph increments. For example, I'm going 5.6 but if I slow up some it stays on 5.6 and then may flicker down to 5.1(or up to 6.1 if I speed up a little)
- No On/Off switch - you have to plug this in each time you want to use it and unplug when done. It does eventually go to sleep, but having a physical on/off would be great
- Need Grease - This needs lithium grease every month(at least) to keep it from squeaking too much. Not too terrible, but would've been nice to know ahead of time.
- Stability - This is a small unit, which is great. However, since it has a slim profile it can get to wobbling if you're really rocking the speed. All of the weight is at the bottom so it won't fall, but you will need some extra room just in case. Also, make sure to have a level base to set it on.

- Get a Mat - If you plan to have this in a carpeted room, get one of the exercise mats. They aren't overly expensive, and they'll soak up any sweat that falls off. A small towel can do the same job, but there isn't a ton of space.
- Motion Differences - If you use a big gym quality machine a lot, the motion on this is different enough to be noticeable on your first use. I really felt this in my quadriceps the first week despite using my gym's machine all the time. This goes away, but don't be shocked if you have to attune your muscles to this
- Lean Forward Design - I did a lot of reading on elliptical design, and the experts were dead on about this type of elliptical 'forcing' you to lean forward. It's hard to explain, but you feel as if you're leaning into the machine as you exercise instead of standing straight up. This can cause some folks discomfort, so please be aware.
- Assembly tips - there are several parts that need grease on assembly. These parts are pre-greased and bagged for shipment. I suggest turning those 'bags' inside out and wiping the grease back onto the parts before assembly. This helps cut down on squeaking.
- 2 headphone jacks - there are 2 headphone plug spots. The one on top is harder to see while on the machine, but it is where you plug your MP3 player into to use the speakers. The second one on the bottom is for plugging headphones into. This bypasses the speakers without the need to unplug your MP3 player.(took me a minute to realize why the sound didn't work my first go around ;-
- Height in Use - I'm 6'1 and have standard ceilings around 7.5 feet high. I also have a dome lighting fixture right over this thing and I don't come close to hitting my head. However, I'm probably at the upper limit on height. Much more and the stride would be too short and middle handles(for heart rate) would be too far away.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments, and I'll try to answer!
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on August 29, 2011
I'm sitting here with sore arms and legs, and a tired butt. I've had this wonderful, horrible thing for one day shy of two weeks, and it's been amazing. I've only missed two days of workouts. I find myself looking forward to getting home from work so I can use the damn thing. I've been burning over 600 calories per session, because I am awesome and amazing at everything. In less than two weeks, I have gone from unforgivable couch potato to a titan of exercise. I am like Zeus on this thing. A Lady Zeus. There is a long line of available and handsome bachelors outside my door at this moment. (That last part is untrue.)

So, like I said, I have used the EX-59 about a dozen times, compared to my husband who has used it zero times and prefers burritos. He is impossible to impress, and even he thinks it's a great machine - from what he has been able to observe. It's whisper quiet, has a decent stride for someone of my height (5'5") and feels pretty sturdy. The user interface is basic, but user friendly. It's clearly not a gym quality machine, but it's close.

It's been a little over a month, and my love affair with the EX-59 continues. My husband was sure it was "a future expensive coat rack," but I am victorious and shout "IN YO' *FACE*" whenever I use the elliptical, whether he is home or not. I have not had the police called on me yet. Since I refuse to weigh myself, I can only estimate that in the one month + four days I've been using this machine I have probably dropped between 7 and 12 pounds. The speaker, while a bit "meh" (it's a speaker attached to an entry level piece of cardio equipment, right?) is a huge bonus even if most audiophiles will be like, "AUGH MY EARS." When you're a 33 year old woman sweating it out to Ke$ha, you really have no cred to stand on.

Here's what I don't get. Why is there a headphone jack on this thing? There's a male headphone plug so you can use the speakers with your ipod, but a separate female headphone plug so you can... listen with headphones? Why not just plug directly in to your ipod? That's like a gorilla wearing a gorilla suit. Maybe I just don't get it.
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on October 19, 2011
I am 6'3", and this machine is truly made for a person around 5'6" or shorter. The unit assembled easily in one hour which was great, and is not very big which is nice, but it is so darn short (height) and now only after 20 uses, it is squeeking terribly. I just noticed that people who purchased this machine have also purchased Lithium grease... now I know why. I have to adjust my stride to try and make the noise go away but it's painfully loud and will need to tighten every bolt again to try and make it go away. Also, the center grips to check your heart rate are bent at a strange angle, and it makes it even more difficult to check mine, being so tall. Lastly, this unit does not have the pre-set programs that I am used to. I had a Proform unit on loan from a family member before this one, and they took it back so I needed to buy one. This unit simply does not compare. The stride is only 18", so again, it's made for a smaller framed person. I would recommend that if you are in the market for a unit like this, go to the store first to check them all out, and only buy one that you personally rode yourself. I enjoy reading the comments of others, as we do learn a lot about the items, but unfortunately it did not work out this time for me. I will be buying a different machine soon. Hope this helps others.
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on December 7, 2010
Tried this machine along with a similarly priced Proform and a used LifeStride. This model definitely offered smoother motion, more realistic action; on the Proform it felt like I was constantly bouncing. Has the right amount of bells/whistles for a model this price. Compared to the next Horizon model up, this one has a shorter stride at 18"; but if you are average height/stride this wont be a problem. It is large, does not fold, but it is super quiet so I can even read while I exercise.
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on October 16, 2010
UPDATE! Months later I still love this machine. I am 100% pleased with my purchase. :-)

I have only had this a few days, but I wanted to write a quick review. This is an upgrade of the EX-57 and so far I love it. It was very easy to put together (1.5 hours) and it is very quiet. I am an active exerciser (walking/exercise DVD's), but I wanted something I could put in front of my television and this fits the bill. And after 30 minutes I am exhausted and feel great, so this is doing the job (cardio).

There are also speakers for your music and a fan which works great!

I am so glad I decided on this rather than the treadmill. :-)
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on January 16, 2012
If you're thinking about buying one of these machines--buy it! If this machine was made in the USA it would cost $3,000. I'm mechanically gifted and it took approximately 2.5 hours to put together. I say approximately because I was not counting. I had other important things to do besides this, so I took assembly breaks. Some people have said the unit squeeks. In my view this is because of faulty assembly. Don't think that this is a piece of cake to put together "properly" because it isn't! And you don't need to go out to purchase extra grease. Every moving part joint is connected by greased roller bearings and they are not going to squeek--unless the parts were assembled incorrectly. There are steel washers. There are Teflon washers. Most of these washers have to be stacked in a specific order. If you miss this assembly order, guess what, you may have sqeeks. This is a very smooth operating machine and I'm impressed with the quality and design. Before I bought the Horizon I went to a sports store and tried out the Diamondback 510, which was also very smooth and the same size as the Horizon EX-59. They wanted $1,100 for it and would deliver this to me and set it up for $49. I would also have to add 7% state sales tax to this. That would come to $1,229.43. The Horizon was delivered to my door. I put it together. My total cost was $599 and I am happy. I saved $630.43!
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on January 19, 2011
This machine is a great purchase for my entire family. It took me about 2hours to assemble and had no issues. My wife, teenage daughters, and myself have all been using it 3-4times a week for the last month, so we've given it some good use. It's quiet, solid and has good feel to it. I would highly recommend it. The only issue we've had is the speakers are of poor quality, but we just use our ipods with earbuds rather then connecting to the speakers. I didn't use any extra grease, just what came with it and seems to be more than enough, so don't bother with buying the extra grease.
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on May 15, 2012
I had no problem putting this elliptical together. I also used a bit more hi-quality automotive grease for lubrication during assembly. This product seems well built. But after less than four (4) months of use it already developed serious issues with a scraping sound coming from near the magnetic flywheel. This is an area that is not assembled by the end-user and was factory built. I can not recommend this exercise equipment to anyone as I think it has a very short life built into the motor assembly. The frame itself is strong. But for the product to hold up, it must be made durable enough in all areas.
I also want to state that I am 175 pounds, so it is well within design parameters. I would also bet most of these reviews were done when the product was first bought versus a few months later. Or maybe the product is not used much at all. Most people will buy a machine, then use it a couple weeks and let it sit idle for a while. If you used this elliptical an average of 5 times a month, it may last a while.
Further update. The unit is now 7 months ago and the MAIN BEARINGS ARE TOTALLY WORN & DESTROYED. That screams "LOW QUALITY". I wonder if these other people who review this product use it everyday. I highly doubt it.
review image
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on June 11, 2011
This machine is amazing and I'm very pleased all 'round.

1. It arrived in perfect shape, and I met the delivery guys exactly when they said they'd be by, plus they placed the box exactly where I wanted it.
2. The way Horizon packages the pieces is very secure, in lots of Styrofoam. Not a nick or scratch on anything.
3. The method for assembling is very visual, which I thought was helpful, with each group of nuts, bolts, and washers neatly bubble-wrapped to its own piece of cardboard, which comes in one large card. This is brilliant because you can just take your time, going step by step through the book and the card, knowing that you will not have pieces rolling around and getting lost. PLUS, they include the only three tools you will need: One basic wrench, two Allan wrenches (also known as hex wrenches), plus one Phillips head screwdriver.
4. The pillars that need grease are PRE-GREASED with neat little plastic bags over them that you remove when you are ready. NOTE: I detected a slight squeak in one of the arms after I had used the machine and had to take the arm back off to spray some white lithium grease to kill the squeak. So, I would recommend getting the spray grease first and spraying each greased joint as you are going along for some extra insurance on the smooth factor.
5. Make sure to secure the little balance feet under the machine, especially if you are on tile like I am.
6. Total assembly time: Totally on my own, about 1.5 hours.
NOTE: This is a full-sized elliptical, my friends, and weighs about 154 pounds, so wherever you assemble it should be where you will use it! It has front rollers, but it is still quite heavy for hauling around.

1. Having greased and tightened all joints per the instructions, the machine is very smooth and super quiet. All you will hear is a slight "wooshing" sound, which is the flywheel doing its thing.
2. The motion is natural and fluid, with nothing awkward feeling at all. There is NO vibration, shaking, rocking, or any unstable feeling. Very solid. And I'm a 5'5" woman, about 150 right now.
3. The speakers are of decent quality, nothing fancy, but they work fine. You're not paying for the speakers, but for a fine machine, so keep that in mind. They are nice extras.
4. There are three "programs," Rolling, Weight Loss, and Interval. I like all three. There are 10 manual levels as well. The heart rate monitor handles work accurately and quickly.
5. IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO SWEAT AND GET YOUR HEART RATE UP, THIS IS YOUR MACHINE! Sorry for yelling there, but this machine is as effective as it is smooth. It's built so well, you don't have to worry about going fast or pedaling heavy.

Bottom line? This beauty is a BARGAIN at $600. Assembly is as easy as it could possibly be if you follow the instructions exactly. Operation is perfect. Your workout will COUNT.

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