Top positive review
Gym Quality - Quiet - Easy to Assemble
June 10, 2010
This is an excellent machine! Better than the LifeFitness machines at the gym.
Easy to assemble - comes with all required tools - though use of a ratchet is recommended for speed. The only "hiccup" with assembly is attaching the pole that holds the display to the main unit - requires a little bit of a wrestling match (a helper would be a good idea here - I was solo). There are only 4 steps in the assembly and the bolts are separated by step. If you have basic "toolbox skills" this is a very easy assembly.
Have them leave it in your garage or by the door if you don't have any stairs to negotiate. You can cut the box at the bottom and lift up - then move all the parts to the assembly area. This makes for an easy clean-up. The only heavy part is the flywheel - but it is easy to move as it has wheels.
Also, the feet are heavy duty cushioned rubber. It is not necessary to order a Mat. In fact, if you are planning on moving it into position for a workout a Mat would be a waste of money. We have nice hardwoods and I am confident this machine is not going to harm them.
Ordered from Amazon on Friday night for $999 with free shipping. It was delivered on Wednesday. I live in Metro Atlanta and it was shipped from Arkansas. ABF shipping is great. First ring pick-up to a human being to arrange delivery...awesome experience.
The machine is attractive, movable, silent, and heavy duty. It has a great back-lit display panel with an ample rack capable of accommodating a large book (it is positioned so that you can comfortably read while exercising). A storage cubby for MP3 etc. and a nice, properly sized water bottle holder on the pole. There are several workout modes or you can use manual and just go. Resistance is 1-20. 20 is very hard as this is a substantial machine. It tracks calories, speed, and seems to accurately read a pulse. Provides a nice summary at the end of the workout.
It also comes with an MP3 input, a cable that will fit any MP3 player via the headphone jack, and a fairly nice set of speakers. You control the music from the player - there is no complicated interface.
I weigh 210 pounds and my wife is 5'6" and the machine accommodates either of us perfectly.
A Spirit machine is number 2 on the list of Consumer Reports latest ratings (out of 29). Based upon my exhaustive research and testing, all of the Spirit Machines are basically the same. The number one machine on Consumer Reports retails for $2,600 and this machine is comparable in quality.
If you want to get a feel for the machine...find a local specialty store that sells Spirit (Or Esprit by Spirit - they are the same-it doesn't matter which model except for the display and the flywheel weight) and check it out. They will not be able to match the deal from Amazon and they have to have it delivered too...so what's the harm in ordering from Amazon?
I ordered the 455 for the heavier flywheel. Which I recommend.
In summary, I agonized for weeks over this decision. Trust me...this is a great machine and an incredible value. We are going to cancel our gym membership and save $$$. You can't go wrong.