Elliptical cross trainers are a health investment. But before buying one for your home gym, some questions need to be answered, like how long do ellipticals last? Can they support long-term fitness goals?
Manufacturers estimate ellipticals to last between 10 and 20 years. Several factors affect their lifespan. However, they should work for a long time with regular cleaning and maintenance.
Compared with other cardio machines, like treadmills, ellipticals last longer because of their less complex design and fewer moving parts. See what is the average lifespan of treadmills.
Still, as a piece of cardio equipment, ellipticals breaking down over time are highly likely. Their repair and replacement can also be difficult and expensive.
It is then crucial to choose your elliptical wisely to avoid unnecessary expenses. Applying proper care to keep it in tip-top condition for longer is also a must.
Here’s what you need to know.
Why Do Some Ellipticals Last Longer?
There are several reasons why some ellipticals do not last longer than others.
Cheaper ellipticals often have plastic parts that are not as durable as steel.
Also, most of their smaller components are not of the highest quality, which affects overall machine durability.
On the other hand, high-end ellipticals are less likely to break or deteriorate in a few short years.
They have more durable parts that can withstand pressure and stress better.
Designers likely allocate more care and craftsmanship to expensive machines to ensure an optimum experience for many years.
How heavy your elliptical is and how much user weight it can support are also indicators of machine quality.
Better construction materials are usually heavier and suit large-sized users.
Frequency of Use
How long do ellipticals last if you plan to use them regularly?
Doing daily intense workout routines on a budget elliptical increases the risk of the machine breaking down sooner than expected.
However, this should not be the case for mid-range or high-end ellipticals.
The need for machine repair is even lower for casual elliptical users.
If you are unsure whether the elliptical machine quality matches your exercise intensity, check its warranty.
Usually, an extensive warranty period indicates quality and longevity.
Most ellipticals have lifetime warranties on the frame.
But premium-grade ones have more generous warranty coverages that include parts and labour.
How Can I Increase the Lifespan of My Elliptical?
Here are some tips for finding a long-lasting elliptical and keeping it in mint condition for a long time.
1. Do product research.
Set a budget first, then look for elliptical models within your price category.
Find a machine that matches your body and workout intensity.
Elliptical trainer reviews and buying guides also help when hunting for your lasting exercise equipment.
Don’t forget to check customer reviews and product ratings, too. Make sure to check the warranty as well.
Go for brands that specialise in elliptical machines, have local offices in your country or offer readily available replacement parts.
I also recommend consulting fitness enthusiasts you know.
Ask them about their go-to brand or equipment store, customer service experience or maintenance habits.
2. Find a good workout area.
Choose a spot that will not expose your machine to excessive dust or moisture.
If you have little ones at home, I suggest setting up your elliptical in a room they cannot access.
Playing with a cross trainer is unsafe for kids and can lead to damage due to improper use.
The workout surface is also an important consideration. Make sure it’s rigid and even. Lay a mat or bolt it down if needed.
Using a wobbly elliptical puts you at unnecessary risks. Moreover, it can scratch its parts or damage your flooring.
It’s also best to position it where you can easily unplug your machine.
3. Follow a cleaning schedule.
Cleaning your exercise machine not only keeps it looking presentable and hygienic. It also protects the machine from wear and tear.
Two things can shorten the lifespan of your elliptical: dust and sweat. Dust particles can get inside the machine, build up over time, and ruin its moving parts.
On the other hand, residual sweat and grime can result in off-odours and rusty metal components. These can degrade plastic, leather and painted parts, too.
So, make it a habit to wipe down your cardio equipment after each elliptical workout using lint cloths or paper towels.
Steer clear of abrasive cleansers and harsh chemicals like bleach, ammonia and alcohol-based solutions.
Also, vacuum the surrounding area to reduce dust. My elliptical cleaning guide can help you get started.
4. Maintain your elliptical machine regularly.
Elliptical maintenance is a crucial requirement of machine ownership.
But before you do anything, make sure to read your instruction manual first.
Note the proper maintenance tools and lubricant so as not to void the warranty.
Check if your elliptical manufacturer offers a maintenance kit that you can buy direct from them.
Your manual should have the details on the parts that need lubrication and how often you should do it.
But generally, lubricating your elliptical should be every six months or so.
Then, focus on lubricating its moving parts like the flywheel, rollers and handlebars.
Some models might require you to remove or unscrew outer casings to access and lubricate their internal parts.
Afterwards, hop on the machine and pedal it a few times to distribute the lubricant evenly.
Your maintenance checklist should also include checking and tightening loose bolts and screws.
To make this task easier, check your brand’s website and see if they have instructional videos that you can follow. The NordicTrack Support page is one example.
How long do ellipticals last? We now know that these machines can work for many years.
However, lack of proper use and care can easily cut their lifespan short.
You might pay for repairs and parts replacement earlier than necessary as well.
Exercise machine ownership does not stop from getting the best, heavy-duty elliptical machine.
Make sure you are also committed to its routine cleaning and maintenance needs.
Move your elliptical trainer to a more solid, even surface. You can also place an equipment mat underneath it for better stability. Retightening loose screws or bolting the machine to the floor can prevent unwanted movements, too. Also, choose a model with a reasonable weight, then assemble it correctly.
Ellipticals have several parts to make the foot pedals and handlebars move. However, these moving parts can produce squeaking noises when you do not clean, lubricate or tighten them. Sometimes, squeaks can also come from an old machine that needs replacement parts. It’s best to find the noise source, troubleshoot it and maintain your cross trainer from time to time to avoid irreparable damage.
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