The Xterra FreeStyle 5.4e is an entry to mid range elliptical by Xterra Fitness. It provides quite a step up from their lower model (4.0e). The main thing is the powered incline which I always like to see. This provides a full workout to the lower body when used effectively.
There is a good 18" stride length and the distance between the pedals is 2.4". The distance between the pedals make a lot of difference to how biomechanically correct the elliptical is for your body. It's good that Xterra has thought about this for the 5.4e.
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For more info go to Xterra/5.4e
Xterra FreeStyle 5.4e Elliptical
The console is far better than the 4.0e, it didn't have enough space to put the workout information on the screen. This 5.4e console is still only a backlit 6.5" but the area is used a lot more effectively. More details are shown on the screen at once to show you how your workout is going. There are still speakers and an mp3 compatible audio jack.
The 5.4e console has fewer buttons that the 4.0e. This is because the 5.4e is more feature packed when it comes to programs. To choose a program you scroll through them and press enter when you see one you want. The incline and resistance level is handled in the same way. Personally I would have liked the start and stop buttons to be on each end but that's a minor criticism.
The 5.4e has heart rate programs unlike the 4.0e. You would need a heart rate chest strap to use them. There isn't one provided and any elliptical's pulse grips are never accurate and it's the same here. However the heart rate pulse sensors are on separate handles from the handlebars used to exercise and I like that as they're more stable.
The manual gives you a full explanation as how to work out your maximum heart rate in quite a detailed way. As you get older your maximum heart rate goes down and this is taken into account. The first heart rate program has you exercising at 60% of maximum and the second 80%. For weight loss I recommend 60% for at least 30 minutes a day and use the 80% sparingly for variety.
One of my favorite programs is the glute blast. Glutes are your buttock muscles and this workout exercises them. Instead of the incline and resistance being a predictable pattern they widely vary. This gives your lower body a fantastic workout which will burn fat and tone the buttock and lower leg areaa. Do give it a go, it's not something I've seen on other ellipticals.
The pedals have a 2 degree inversion on them. This means they slope inward very slightly. This mimics what we do when we walk or run so it's very beneficial to have it an an elliptical. It gives you a natural movement so the exercise will not stress your joints as much. They pedals are also padded giving you even more comfort as you ride.
I haven't assembled it, I've only tested a working model. But if you have a look at the manual you will see that assembly is very straight forward. A lot of the elliptical arrives pre assembled. I would always recommend you still have 2 people do the assembly. This way you know you'll get it right. Also check you have all the parts there before you start.
Many people think a manual program and quick start are the same and they're not. With the manual program you are required to type in your age and weight, you then input the time you exercise for and you can change the settings as you go. When you've finished a workout summary is displayed at the end. With quick start you press start and the time starts and you change settings, it's much quicker.
The maximum user weight is 325 lbs or 147 kg. This is still a cheaper elliptical so this isn't bad. You can do better though but you'd have to pay for it. This is the same as the 4.0e which costs less but is not as substantial a machine. The 4.0e elliptical weighs 155 lbs whereas this 5.4e weighs 170 lbs. If I weighed close to 325 lbs I would trust this elliptical more.
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The warranty is lifetime for the frame and brake, 3 years parts and 1 year labor. This is ok for the cost. If you're looking at a $1,000 elliptical then this is usually what you get and sometimes a lot worse. I've seen 180 day labor warranties. Xterra ellipticals all have 1 years labor but their most expensive one is only $1,299.99 whereas this is $949.99.
At the time of writing the FreeStyle 5.4e is $949.99. Xterra Fitness make 4 ellipticals and this is the 2nd cheapest. The next one is only $50 more and it has a better maximum user weight otherwise I think they are very similar. This is good value and that's why it gets 4 stars. I recommend that this is the least to spend on an elliptical.
I like this elliptical, it's a lot better than the model below it by Xterra (the 4.0e 60%). There are really not any major drawbacks if you only have just less than a $1,000 to spend. 73% is one of the highest marks I've given to an elliptical in this price range. The marks above compare well to other ellipticals I've reviewed here.
The 5.4e will allow every member of the family to get a workout. It has many workout programs and can take the weight of a large person very happily. The manufacturers have thought about what a home elliptical needs. Apart from a few omissions which would only have driven up the price and you don't necessarily need. They have included everything in the 5.4e.
Click here for the Xterra FreeStyle 5.4e Elliptical at the best price we've seen!
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