We decided to try to do this the right way. Before we made a decision on buying something, we put a list of important considerations together. The Free Style 5.6e ended up doing quite well across the board, which was :
1. Sturdy construction. No reason to pick up something like this if it's cheap and ready to fall apart, right? Once we got it all set up and put together, there hasn't been a problem. And the frame has a lifetime warranty on it.
2. Easy to use. Too many times in the past, we fell in to the trap of buying complicated gear and then never touching it once it was in the house. If you can't understand the basics of getting it to do what you want, you won't ever use it. The controls here are really easy to figure out, and I really liked the second set of controls on the handlebars themselves.
3. Comfortable. If it beats you up, you won't use it. That's another lesson learned in the past. The pedals are nice and big and cushioned, so you don't get that stress in the joints you sometimes feel when you work out. We also liked that the whole piece was designed to be mechanically sound. Natural movement means healthy weight loss.
Q-factor isn't something a lot of people are familiar with, but you absolutely should be if you're looking at any sort of cycling equipment. Basically, it's the distance between the pedal attachment points, and the pedals themselves. Everything needs to line up so that your feet, ankles, knees and hips are aligned. That way, you avoid any sort of stress and strain and an eventual pull or strain from having your body out of alignment while you're pushing. This Elliptical has the pedals arranged in the correct Q-factor for good health and a good workout. And not every Elliptical, or bike, out there does.
My wife really wanted a good elliptical to use at home, so we started researching and narrowed the choice down to a few possibilities. One of them was this Free Style 5.6e. We ended up going with it because she liked the display, and I was impressed with it, too. Really bright, high quality LCD with backlighting. It makes everything really easy to read. She loves it. And I sure loved the price we got it for.
I needed to get my physical fitness back up to snuff. Tried going running a couple of times, but I put on too much weight and it hurt my back and knees too bad. I talked to my doctor, and he was the one who suggested an eliptical. The benefits of going for a jog without smashing your feet in to the ground and hurting the joints sounded good to me. He suggested what to look for and I started looking.
The Free Style 5.6e had the major stuff I was looking out for. The cushioned pedals are oversized so I don't worry about my foot slipping off when I get going. Everything feels real comfy, and my legs and my back feel great when I'm done. I'm losing weight, too.