Spirit Fitness has been one of the little-known companies in the fitness industry for over 20 years now (Spirit entered the fitness industry in 1986 but the company itself almost 30 years old). Not only have they produced their own equipment but they’ve also produced equipment for a number of other fitness companies as well — Smooth, SportsArt and Sole being the the most prominant that pop in to my head.
In 2005 Spirit was purchased by a Taiwanese company called Dyaco International, one of the larger fitness manufacturers in the industry. Unfortunately, Dyaco also has a Chinese manufacturing plant which a lot of the lower end Spirit and Sole products come out of. As those of us in the industry know, Chinese manufacturing is much lower quality than that of the Taiwanese and this lower quality has affected a number of products by units produced by Dyaco for Spirit and Sole. The reduced quality control has led to the recall of one unit (the Spirit XE125) and major problems with a second one (the Spirit Z88).
Spirit remains one of the lesser known brands but is gaining ground due to sites like this one, which extolls the quality of the majority of their products.
This year, Spirit has done a very smart thing by repainting and re-releasing the older model Sole ellipticals and treadmills. In order to keep them from the stigma of the current Spirit X Series equipment, which has been plagued with problems and customer complaints, they have released the fantastic older Sole models under the Esprit brand. This is an excellent decision and the Esprit models have been some very solid new/old ellipticals and treadmills launched this year.
- Esprit ET2 Treadmill – 2007-2008 model and poor performer at 1.5 buddahs.
- Esprit ET4 Treadmill – 2008 model with 3.5 buddahs
- Spirit XT10 Treadmill – Ichi-Ban Award winner for $1000-$1500.
- Spirit XT175 Treadmill – A low quality unit for 2007-2008 at 2 buddahs.
- Spirit XT600 Treadmill – 4 buddahs and a decent buy under $2000.
- Spirit Z8 Treadmill – An uninspiring treadmill at 2.5 buddahs.
- Spirit Z9 Treadmill / AKA Inspire IN400 – A great but, sadly, discontinued treadmill.
- Spirit Z88 Treadmill – Experiences a high number of Quality Control and wiring issues.
- Spirit Z300 Treadmill – 4.5 buddahs, now only available as the Sole F83.
- Esprit EL3 Elliptical – the re-branded best buy award winning 2006 Sole E35 of years past.
- Esprit EL5 Elliptical – a repainted version of the 2006 Sole E55 elliptical
- Spirit XE100 Elliptical – an average elliptical in the Spirit 2007/2008 line with 2.5 buddahs.
- Spirit XE125 – 0 buddahs, now under recall by Spirit.
- Spirit XE150 Elliptical – 3.5 Buddahs. From 2006/2007.
- Spirit XE200 Elliptical – another dud in the Spirit 2007-2008 line with 3 buddahs.
- Spirit XE300 Elliptical – 2.5 buddahs may have been a bit too generous for this under-performer.
- Spirit XE350 – 4 buddahs and a runner up in the $1000-$1500
- Spirit XE550 – Spirit’s best feeling elliptical, coming in at 4.5 buddahs out of 5 in the $1700 price range. From 2006/2007.
- Spirit XE700 Elliptical – 2007/2008 Elliptical with 3 buddahs.
- Spirit XE850 – Over-priced and not a great buy. From 2006/2007.
- Spirit ZE110 Elliptical – A solid 3.5 out of 5 Buddahs. From 2006/2007.
- Spirit ZE120 Elliptical – An excellent elliptical for just under $1100. From 2006/2007.
-The Treadmill Sensei