The Matrix A50 Ascent Trainer - Ramp up the Incline

The A50 is the top level Ascent Trainer in Matrix's new residential lineup, offering up to a 54% incline, power adjustable stride up to 24 inches,  and three console options to choose from.  With groundbreaking technology, rock-solid construction and ergonomic design, it offers a gym quality workout right in your own home.

What You Get

The Matrix A50 is a solidly built elliptical with the look and feel of a commercial model.  You can choose either a basic LCD display or one of two touch screen displays with internet access and various applications.

Let's take a closer look at the specs...

Matrix A50 Ascent Trainer
  • ExactForce induction brakes
  • 20" to 24" variable stride length
  • 24% to 54% power incline
  • Multi position handlebars
  • 30 resistance levels
  • Suspension elliptical technology
  • Contact and wireless heart rate
  • 350-lb. User Capacity
  • Unit Weight/Dimensions — 322 lbs; 75"L x 29.5"W x 65"H
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame, 7 years parts, 2 years labor

The Word on the Street

The experts have long awaited Matrix's foray into the home market, and the reviews so far have been very positive.  This is Johnson Health & Fitness' high-end brand (Horizon is their entry level, Vision is their mid level) and was previously only found in health clubs, hotels and spas across the world.

Matrix now competes with other brands that have successfully transitioned into the residential arena, including Life Fitness and Precor.

The A50 Ascent Trainer features Exact Force induction brake technology (not found on the A30 model)  which makes resistance changes seamless and smooth.  You can choose from 30 different levels, which really opens up your workout options.

Speaking of options, unique to the Matrix lineup is the ability to choose your own console based on your needs.  You have the base XR, an 8.5" LCD display showing your workout metrics on a clear blue screen.  Stepping up you have the XER, a 10" touch screen with Bluetooth technology and various apps. Then there is the the XIR, a 16" HD touch screen, with expanded Bluetooth capability. At the top of the line is an XUR 22" premium console.

Regardless of which console you choose, you'll get a 20-24" adjustable stride, up to a 54% incline, oversized pedals, multi-position, dual action handlebars, water bottle holder and accessory tray.  

But your console choice will determine what additional features you'll get, which is why it is important to choose wisely.

The base XR console comes with 5 built in workouts, Bluetooth, HIIT programs with Sprint 8 and all of the important workout metrics.

The XER console comes with all of those features plus 7 additional workouts, Bluetooth, speakers, apps, USB port and a Polar wireless chest strap included.

The XIR and XUR consoles add 8 additional workouts and enhanced speakers on top of their larger HD display.

So you can see that you are getting a lot more with the three touch screens, although they are a little pricier. So it's a matter of figuring out what features most appeal to you.

Regardless of which A50 Ascent Trainer console you choose, you are getting a rock-solid machine with the latest technology and a smooth, natural motion that you won't find anywhere else.

How Does the A50 Compare to the Other Matrix Elliptical Trainers?

The A50 is currently the top of the line Matrix elliptical, and has more features and capabilities than the other three in the lineup.

The A50 vs the A30

When you compare the A50 vs the A30, the two Ascent Trainers are very similar.  They look the same, they both have a 20"-24" power adjustable stride, and they both incline from 24% to 54%.  They also both come with the same three console choices, like all of the Matrix ellipticals do.

Where they differ is in the resistance levels, the handlebars, the braking system and the warranty.

The Matrix A50, and the compact E50, have 30 resistance levels as opposed to 20 on the A30 and E30.  The A50 and E50 also have multi-position handlebars, as opposed to straight ones on the others.

The A50 and E50 also have the more advanced Exact Force Induction brake technology, which makes transitions from one resistance level to the next even more seamless than it is on the A30 and E30 ellipticals.

Finally, the A50 and E50 give you 7 years on parts, as opposed to 5 years on the others.

Both Ascent Trainers are great choices, it's a matter of deciding if you need the additional resistance levels, multi position handlebars and the advanced breaking system.

The A50 vs the Compact Series

If you're comparing the Matrix A50 to the Compact Series, that's where you are going to see a bigger difference.  The Ascent Trainers are about the size of you typical elliptical machines, whereas the E30 and E50 are compact and space-friendly.  So if you don't have a ton of room in your home gym, the E30 and E50 might be better choices for you.

Outside of the size, however, and the price to some extent, the A50 and A30 have the Matrix Compact series beat in most other categories.  The E30 and E50 have a fixed stride of 20", not an adjustable stride.  They also do not have incline capability, which is a deal breaker for some people.

The A50 and A30 also have a higher max weight capacity (350 lbs.), Perfect Stride motion technology and are heavier and sturdier than the E50 and E30.

Which one should you choose?

If you have limited space in your gym, or you're just looking for something with a small footprint, definitely opt for one of the Compact Matrix Ellipticals over the Ascent Trainers.  They are also a bit less expensive so that might be a determining factor.

If however your space is more open, and you can accommodate a full size machine, the A30 and A50 give you much more room to stretch out, with adjustable strides as well as incline capability that you don't get on the Compact models.

Our Thoughts on the A50 Elliptical

We're excited about these new Matrix home ellipticals, and it will be interesting to see how well they do against some of the more popular brands that currently dominate the space.

If you have the budget for it, the A50 Ascent Trainer is an awesome choice, with three console options, up to 54% incline, 30 resistance levels and loads of other features and capabilities.

You can save a little money with the A30, which has many of the same just has fewer resistance levels and a less advanced resistance system...but nothing that you will really notice.

If space is very tight, the E30 or E50 are also incredible ellipticals, and they will take up much less space in your home gym.

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