The entry-level Proform StrideSelect 825 elliptical trainer looks to be ideal for small users on a small budget. Small users will even find the machine has a solid feel and offers a smooth workout. And we want to emphasize “small users”: large adults over 6’ and 200 pounds just might run the machine into the ground after six months.
The stride of the Proform StrideSelect 825 elliptical feels rather short but users under 5’10” should have no problem with it. The display readout shows resistance, time, elapsed time, distance, calories burned, and heart rate. The machine also has a dual action design including handlebars for an upper body workout, and six programs including 4 presets, manual and pulse. The stride can be adjusted too; pull on a knob and change the length from 12 to 18 inches. More features of the Proform StrideSelect 825 include:
The machine requires four D batteries to operate the display, fan and pulse measuring. You can also purchase extended warranties for the Proform StrideSelect 825 elliptical, starting at $80 for one year and going up to $199 to cover four years.
UPDATE: The StrideSelect 825 is no longer being sold and has been replaced with the new Smart Strider ellipticals. You can check out the new series here:
The Word on the Street
As most Proform elliptical reviews will attest to, you can’t beat the price ($399) on this little rear-flywheel machine. The two positions on the stride are unique -- but only if you are one to believe that a short, choppy 12" stride can give you much of a workout. We prefer the full smooth 18" length, but can see how this option can be a selling point for small users.
One tip about buying a lower-end elliptical such as the Proform StrideSelect 825: don’t trust the “user weight capacity limit.” Size does matter. Just because it says a 250-lb person can use the machine doesn’t necessarily make it so. The machine will suffer vibrations, metal fatigue, develop squeaks, and have balance issues over time depending on the user’s weight and amount of time used. If the user’s guide says 250, plan on no more than 200. Heavier users should step up in quality and look at models in the $600 to $1000 range, if not higher.
For just $399, the price is attractive but we aren’t sold on the Proform StrideSelect 825 elliptical trainer, although a lightweight user with light workouts may get years of use out of this machine without experiencing a single problem. But if you are going to spend $199 to get the extended warranty, why not spend your $599 on the best-selling elliptical in its class, the Schwinn 430? That machine will cost you $599, but comes with better warranties, better electronics, and free shipping to boot.
Here is your chance to rant or rave about the elliptical you use at home or at the fitness center.