Pro Ellitpical Rater logo and heading Author Simon GouldAbout the author
Simon Gould has been involved in
the exercise and fitness equipment
industry for over 12 years.
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Lifecore LC985VG Elliptical Review

The Lifecore LC985VG is the classic sub $1,000 elliptical that every manufacturer makes. It has received best buy awards from various publications when it was first released.

The LC985VG is a little older now so does the once popular elliptical stand the test of time? There are some aspects that I liked which included the number of workout programs and their variety I thought was impressive. Otherwise I would consider this a very average elliptical but the ones that cost only a $1,000 usually are.

Console3 stars
Programs5 stars
Features3 stars
Max User Weight3 stars
Warranty2 stars
Value3 stars
Overall63%

Lifecore LC985VG Elliptical
Lifecore LC985VG Elliptical
Console3 stars
The console is simple and straightforward. It just tells you the readings you need like distance, speed, calories and more. On the screen there are colored bars which reflect the resistance level on the elliptical. These rise and fall as the resistance does so when you've chosen a program you can see the hills or valleys you can expect as you go. You see this on many consoles.

The programs themselves are visually represented in pictures beside the selector dial. This dial is useful because you can make big changes to the resistance without having to press a button numerous times. The start and stop button is nice and big and close to you. Like I've said it's an ok console so it get's 3 stars. For the price you're not going to get a fan and ipod station and you don't.

Programs5 stars
The LC985VG has a total of 25 programs which is very impressive. That's the amount you would normally find on a high end elliptical. The first 12 are quit straight forward and are pictured on the console so you know what to expect. The higher the bars means that for the particular part of the program the resistance is higher. As you can see many have you going from low to high to low which gives a nice variation for you to choose from.

There are 4 heart rate control programs. For these I would recommend getting a heart rate chest strap which cost around $50 and up. These enable you to workout at a percentage of your maximum heart rate which is calculated by taking 220 minus your age. You have 55%, 75% and 90%, it's best to start with something gentle if you're a beginner. You could also select the percentage yourself. What happens is the computer checks your heart rate every 30 seconds and adjusts the resistance accordingly.

One program I particularly like is called recovery. This tells you how fit you are base on how your heart rate recovers after a workout. What you do is press stop and then recovery to finish your workout and begin the program. The computer analyzes the readings for approximately one minute and will tell you that you are either; super fit, very fit, fit, fair, unfit or very unfit. This is great for motivation. All details of the programs and how they work are in the manual.

Features3 stars
One feature of the LC985VG is how compact it is. If you only have limited space for where you want to put the elliptical then this is the smallest one I've reviewed. At only a 52 inch length it is very short. As you can see by the picture the flywheel is quite close to the front and the pedals. It's easily transportable weighing only 125 pounds when fully assembled and it has wheels at the front so you lift the back and move it where you want.

The pedals have been specially designed to suit every individual stride. Whether you prefer long or short strides and however tall or short you are you can adjust the non slip foot pedals to suit you. These can shorten or lengthen the stride so everyone in the family can get a good workout. The manual will show you techniques on how to workout different areas of the legs and buttocks so every part of the body gets a workout.

Lifecore are very proud of the materials and techniques they've used in the manufacturer of the LC985VG. For an elliptical that's less than a $1,000 they've taken care to make sure the components used will help it last. For instance they've used bearings instead of bushings and this provides a more smoother ride. There is also a nicely named Poly-V Flexonic drive belt that's guaranteed never to stretch.

Max user weight3 stars
The maximum user weight is 300 lbs or 136 kg. Although this only gets 3 stars I was quite pleased with this. When you consider the LC985VG weighs only 125 lbs when assembled then that user weight capacity is very good. Also at the price you're never going to get a very substantial elliptical. You'd have to pay quite a bit more for that.

Warranty2 stars
The warranty for home use is 2 years parts. This is below average even for a sub thousand dollar elliptical. I would always look for 1 years in home labor and maybe a year extra for the parts. It gets 2 stars because 2 years while being below average is not too bad. I've seen ellipticals that have 90 days so for 2 years you'll get the part sent to you for you to fit.

Value3 stars
At the time of writing the LC985VG is $999.00. This represents ok value for this elliptical which is why it gets 3 stars. Ellipticals at this price are always reasonable value unless there's an aspect which really let's it down. The warranty is obviously a disappointment but other features improve it's value, overall score and rating.

Overall 63%
The LC985VG is a distinctly average elliptical. Other ellipticals I've reviewed have done better than 63%. See this site's home page for a list of all the overall scores together with the cost of each elliptical to see where they rank. This machine isn't necessarily a bad elliptical you can just do a little better especially important aspects like the warranty.

If you're thinking of buying the LC985VG you can do better even for the same price. But the company is reputable and has been around for a long time. It has good reviews on the web together with the Lifecore website. People seem happy with it. It will certainly give you a good workout and if you like programs then this is the best for variety and choice I've seen in reviewing all ellipticals on this site.

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Side view

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Lifecore Fitness


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