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unsolicited recommendation: schwinn 431 elliptical trainer

kirk and i have been paying way too much money for bally gym memberships for years and years. when we go, which is sporadically at best, the only machine we really use is the elliptical cross trainer. sometimes some weight machines, but generally just the cross trainer.

we have to go to the gym in the mornings, and because we have to be to work at 8:00, that means leaving the house at 5:30 or so — that’s why we’re rarely at the gym. so, in the interest of both saving money and exercising more regularly, we decided to let our memberships lapse and buy an elliptical cross trainer for our apartment.

after consulting some reviews on amazon and checking out consumer reports, we decided on the schwinn 431 elliptical trainer. it was free shipping and $100 off, making the final cost $699 with no sales tax.

that’s less than one year of gym for one of us.

the item arrived several days ahead of schedule. the assembly instructions were clear and easy to follow, the assembled unit is built like a tank, and there’s very little difference between this machine and the models you find at the gym. it feels solid, is ergonomically comfortable, and is a breeze to use. there are lots of preprogrammed routines, or you can go freestyle. it has a heart monitor (though only on the stationary handlebar, a minor gripe), a fan to keep you cool, forward and reverse motion, and is compactly built.

so far, with the exception of the heart monitor, i have no complaints whatsoever. it’s a product i’d highly recommend.