ST Fitness Elliptical Reviews
Launched in 2008, ST Fitness elliptical trainers first debuted in the specialty market, but the company quickly decided to make the products more easily available to consumers who shop in discount stores such as Wal-Mart and Sears, as well as from online retailers such as Amazon.
ST Fitness elliptical trainers are designed in the USA and distributed by Star Trac® Fitness. Headquartered in Irvine, California, and highly regarded for its commercial line, Star Trac launched ST Fitness as an affordable brand for the consumer market. Star Trac also makes high-end elliptical trainers, treadmills, steppers, and bikes for health clubs, hotels, and corporate fitness center, and it partners with Mad Dogg Athletics as the manufacturer for Spinner® bikes.
UPDATE: It looks like Star Trac is no longer distributing the ST Fitness brand ellipticals.
To date, there are around a half a dozen ST Fitness ellipticals in the line. These are front-drive elliptical trainers marketed as TBTs or Total Body Trainers. While they share quite a bit of the same design and appeal of their elite Star Trac elliptical cousins, the quality and manufacturing of these units is not up to par with the commercial club models.
The budget TBTs, such as the 4805 ($895) and the 4815 ($1,095), can be found on sale online for about $200 less than the MSRP. The sturdy 8810 TBT and the 8820 TBT, which are the most expensive units, retail for $2,395 and $2,795 respectively.
All of the elliptical trainers have either an internal or external power supply. For example, the ST Fitness 8820 has a self-contained power supply while the 8810 comes with an A/C adapter. Otherwise, the two are basically the same machine.
ST Fitness is backing the elliptical trainers with generous residential warranties — frame (U.S. & Canada): 50 years (limited); mechanical & electronic parts: 3 to 10 years; labor: 1 year. The standard features on the TBTs include 18" to 19" stride lengths, low step-in heights, multi-color LCD displays, contact heart rate monitoring, and 300+ pound weight capacities.
A few more positive points: ST Fitness elliptical trainers are generally built with good components and have the same design as the commercial Star Tracs. Despite the fact that ST Fitness is a new company, since it is able to piggy-back on the good reputation of Star Trac club trainers, most industry experts believe that ST machines will be around a long time and will be backed with excellent customer support.
The residential elliptical market is highly competitive and dominated by brands such as Precor, True, Octane, and Life Fitness. While the warranty and reputation is sound, ST Fitness elliptical trainers offer only average results in terms of ergonomics, adjustability, and quality. If you can buy one on sale, you will likely get decent value for your money; otherwise, these machines will have a tough battle taking customers away from Precor and the rest.
ST Fitness 4810 Total Body Trainer - a basic, entry-level model for $899 that comes with some decent features.
ST Fitness 4820 Total Body Trainer - Large 19.5" stride length, telemetric and contact heart rate system, articulating foot pedals and a self-contained power supply.
ST Fitness 4830 Total Body Trainer - Extra-wide articulating footplates, aluminum extruded rails with dual rollers, front transport wheels, and an AC adapter.
ST Fitness 8810 Total Body Trainer -Telemetric and contact heart rate system offers convenient heart rate monitoring during challenging hill and interval training workouts.
ST Fitness 8820 Total Body Trainer - Nearly identical to the 8810 but with self-contained power supply.
Here is your chance to rant or rave about the elliptical you use at home or at the fitness center.