A Low-End Machine
Brought to you by the company that sells the Tony Little Gazelle, the Eclipse 1100 HR elliptical trainer is a low-end machine sold through various mass merchants. In general, I do not review cheap machines like the 1100 HR, but considering how popular it is, I felt it necessary to mention the pros and cons.
What are the pros? Primarily the price. Like Proform, Weslo, Image and other low-end brands, the Eclipse elliptical trainer appeals to a growing market of overweight and out of shape Americans. They want to change, but lack the funds to buy quality fitness equipment. Many feel it is too risky to spend too much, since there is a good chance the machine will end up being a clothes hanger.
I can appreciate their concern, but the question is, “Do you want an elliptical trainer that will last and contribute to your overall well-being?”
Elliptical Stride – The 1100 HR has a 15″ stride. By industry standards that is very small. Rather than a long elliptical stride, you get more of a restricting and bouncy stride. For taller individuals this will be particularly noticeable and uncomfortable.
Machine Weight – The Eclipse 1100 HR weighs in at a mere 90 lbs. That does not provide considerable weight for overall stability, particularly to individuals who are overweight. There are moderate price ellipticals that weigh 190 lbs. If you plan to do rigorous workouts you want a machine that is solid and stable.
Compact Size – This goes hand in hand with the short elliptical stride. The Eclipse 1100 HR is very compact, which is nice if you want to store it in your closet. But the size contributes to a restrictive motion for both the lower and upper body. One customer mentioned that the upper bars were too short for his size.
Warranty – If you go to the Fitness Quest site, all they state is that the 1100 HR comes with a limited 1 year warranty. I could not find any details, and that always makes me leary. I did find another site that broke down the warranty. Surprise, there is no service warranty. It is an additional purchase. In comparison to ProForm, the 1 year parts warranty is generous, but ProForm at least gives a 90 day service warranty.
I checked out a number of customer reviews at various web sites, including SportsAuthority.com, Epinions.com and Amazon.com. In general there were complaints about the Eclipse ellipticals being noisy.
Considering how cheap the Eclipse is, many customers were satisfied with the overall performance and quality. There were several comments about the limited stride and upper body workout. And it is apparent that with rigorous use you will need to maintain this machine.
One customer complained about the foot pedals cutting off his circulation, but he was 250 lbs. working out on a 90 lb. machine.
I would recommend as an alternative the Schwinn 420 Elliptical Trainer.