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Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars So Far So Good, July 27, 2009
This review is from: Smooth Fitness CE2.1 Elliptical Trainer (Sports)
I really like the 2.1 and have been using it for about seven months. It was easy for me to put together (to my wife's amazement) and it's well-made and of high quality. The stickers did come off, but a little super glue took care of that. It took me a few days to get used to the elliptical movement, but I use it regularly for cross training and to prevent/recover from running overuse injuries. It's been a life saver when I haven't been able to run. The 2.1 is basically the same machine as the 3.2 without the heart rate monitor and the fancier computer. I have a dedicated heart rate monitor which gives me all the information I need, so the additional cost for the 3.2 was unnecessary. The computer on the 2.1 is sketchy, but none of the computers on any of the ellipticals (at least the ones I've tried) are accurate or dependable. I also find the (9) preset programs unnecessary. I start the workout with the time set for ninety minutes and adjust the intensity levels manually with a quick press of a button, and go as long as I like. It's pretty much a seamless operation to change the intensity levels while working out. I can get a heck of a workout, and I can raise my heart rate as high as I like--when I'm doing a long distance run, my HR is usually LOWER on the run than on the elliptical. Although the 2.1 workout is often more intense than many of my runs, it doesn't feel as difficult even though my heart rate is higher than when I'm running. Exercising at 90% of my maximum HR feels easier on the 2.1 (though not easy) than on a run. Basically I use the 2.1 as a manually operated adjustable machine, and for that, I couldn't have chosen a better one. I particularly like that the movement can be forward or backwards. I usually cool down in reverse motion, which probably balances my muscles a bit. I'm about 5'11 and 145 lbs,and my machine is very stable and quiet, but shorter/heavier/more compact people may have a different experience. Initially I wished the stride were a bit longer, but after about a week, it ceased to be an issue. If you need bells and whistles, the 2.1 may not be for you, but if you have a heart monitor (which costs less than the upgrade to the 3.2) and don't need to rely on the computer for more than time and intensity level, it's terrific. The computer does give distance traveled and calories used, but I use that just for comparing workouts. I don't believe they're accurate measures. One other point is that the 2.1 is a rear fly wheel elliptical and so doesn't have rails which need to be cleaned regularly. There are very good front wheel ellipticals on the market, but I wanted something simple that would stand up to strenuous workouts. So far, so good! P.S. Check the prices, as they frequently go on sale.
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Location: Maryland

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