How to Buy an Elliptical: What Operators Need to Know

For Gym Operators

How to Buy an Elliptical: What Operators Need to Know

Ellipticals provide a low-impact way to work out, meaning everyone from beginners to Olympic athletes can benefit from using one. With so many models on the market, there are a variety of factors for operators to consider. Here’s what you should take into account to ensure that you purchase the equipment that best suits the needs of your club.

Do Your Research

Start the shopping process by researching different elliptical models and checking out the ratings of each piece of equipment. One handy option is to read reviews from real customers to ensure you're choosing a proven brand. An elliptical should come from a company with a good reputation for providing quality commercial products.

What Are the Exerciser's Needs?

First and foremost, consider what exercisers want from an elliptical. They want a personalized workout experience that is comfortable and enjoyable, and they want the equipment to be safe and sturdy. To provide this experience, it’s important that the elliptical has features like a low step-up height, a smooth and natural motion path, entertainment options, comfortable handlebars, and a place to store their belongings.

A detail that seems small can sometimes drastically diminish the exerciser’s experience, so be sure to compare differences between models at a granular level.

What Are the Club's Needs?

When purchasing new equipment, operators want to consider the reliability of both the manufacturer and the equipment. Does the manufacturer have a reputation for making quality products? Do they have good business practices and excellent support for their customers? Should something break, you want a manufacturer that will help you get your equipment up and running again as quickly and painlessly as possible.

The elliptical itself should be thoughtfully designed for easy serviceability and maintenance. Ask questions that will indicate how well the equipment will hold up over time. Are the components easily accessible to technicians? Does the elliptical have an open ramp or a lot of grooves that will collect debris and be difficult to clean? Is there a mechanism that will alert you if the equipment needs repairs? Features that make cleaning and maintenance easier can go a long way in saving you time and money throughout the lifetime of the equipment.

You also want to plan where the new equipment will fit in your club’s layout. Even though they look different, both front- and rear-drive ellipticals take up the same amount of floor space. Thinking about the equipment's size and weight can help narrow down a list of choices.

Test Each Elliptical

Once you’ve done your research and have the choices narrowed down, try using each elliptical to see how they feel in person. Trade shows are excellent opportunities for hands-on testing and side-by-side comparisons, or you can contact a manufacturer’s sales team to see where you can find their equipment near you.

Compare how each machine feels in terms of motion, sound, and comfort. The elliptical should follow a natural motion and have no hiccups. If there is a hiccup, a person's balance and joints can be negatively affected. An exerciser’s heels should stay on the pedals naturally. Also, try to gauge whether people of different heights and weights would be comfortable using the equipment.

Testing the machines can help you determine if the manufacturers made them with quality in mind. An elliptical should operate quietly, and it would be best to choose a different model if there is any friction, squeaks, or rubbing. Furthermore, there should be no kick or bounce in a person's motion when using the elliptical.

Check Out the Features

It is best to avoid purchasing an overly complicated piece of equipment. With that said, exploring all of the features of each elliptical is still important. Some have features like a quick-start button or an option to program your workouts. These options make it easy to step on the elliptical and go. Other features to consider include the ability to track your heart rate, time, stride, and calories burned. An entertainment console should also not be underestimated in terms of how it can improve an exerciser’s experience.

Purchasing poorly constructed equipment can lead to buyer’s remorse and lost revenue, but the right equipment is an investment that can benefit your club for years to come.

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Bryden McGrath
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Bryden McGrath enjoys everything the Pacific Northwest has to offer, from hiking to its picture-perfect sunsets.

Last seen: 2 years 1 week ago
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