In spite of the Treadmill Sensei’s oft-repeated advice, I still get tons of emails every week from customers looking for the cheapest possible elliptical or treadmill on the market that will magically hold 300 pound users or hold up to 10 mile a day workouts. Unfortunately, there is no such elliptical out there. You will not find an incredibly solid elliptical that will stand up to hours of running a day, every day by 200 plus pound users for a price under $1000 or so.
You can, however, find some decent ellipticals that are good for light workouts by heavy users, or heavier workouts from lighter users for under $1000. For under $300, you really won’t find much for someone looking for a serious workout. Manufacturers just can’t make a high quality machine with the $50-$100 or so an under $300 machine costs them to produce.
Now if you are absolutely in need of an elliptical for under $300 and understand the limitations of that price range, the Stamina Silent Magnetic Resistance Elliptical is a decent choice for just under $250. Luckily incredibly long names on ellipticals don’t cost a manufacturer any extra.
In general, product from Stamina fitness is well manufactured, lower end equipment. They work in a budget price range and do well with what they have to work with. The Stamina Silent Elliptical in particular is a well-crafted budget elliptical priced at about $250. What you get for the price is surprising — you get 8 levels of resistance, 6 programs, heart rate monitoring (but not heart rate control) and a 100 pound unit weight. The Stamina Silent Magnetic Resistance Elliptical is one of the heaviest duty ellipticals under $500.
Again, even being one of the heaviest duty ellipticals for the price, the Stamina elliptical isn’t going to hold up to any serious workouts. I wouldn’t advise more than 30 minutes a day for 3-4 times a week, but that should be more than enough for most casual exercisers.
The only real downside to the elliptical is the 14″ stride length, but even that is competitive with everything else in the price range.
For being a decent solution for a low-budget workout, the Treadmill Sensei gives the Stamina Silent Magnetic Resistance Elliptical 3 out of 5 golden buddahs. He gives it’s far too long name 1 gold buddah for being so bloody annoying to have to type out.
3 gold buddahs isn’t bad for a $250 elliptical. Not bad at all.
Stamina Silent Magnetic Resistance Elliptical Specifications
Readouts: time, speed, distance, calories burned, and heart rate
Resistance: 8 Levels
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Heart Rate Control: No
Max User Weight: 175lbs (approximately)
Unit Weight: 100lbs
Frame Warranty: 3 years
Parts Warranty: 90 days
Price: Under $250
-The Treadmill Sensei