Merit Fitness Elliptical Reviews
For budget-minded consumers, the appeal of Merit elliptical trainers is the company’s persistent focus on building cardio machines that are beautifully designed yet affordable as well as comfortable.
Merit Fitness is part of a global conglomerate of fitness equipment brands owned by Johnson Health Tech.
In addition to the budget lines offered by Merit and Tempo Fitness, Johnson also manufactures the mid-range brands AFG, Horizon, and Livestrong (discontinued), and two premiere commercial brands, Matrix and Vision.
In 2006, Johnson opened a state-of-the-art research and development center in Madison, Wis., which is also the headquarters for both Horizon and Merit. Manufacturing is done in China in a sophisticated plant that uses both robotic and skilled workers to make the ellipticals.
The company says that 10 percent of Merit elliptical trainers are quality inspected, a process that includes complete breakdown and reassembly, ensuring all parts fit together as designed.
Merit Fitness offers two elliptical trainers, the 715E and the 725E. These are small, lightweight models weighing under 115 pounds that feature 16-inch stride lengths, pivoting footpads, Poly-V drive belts, and 10-lb flywheels. Priced at $349 and $399, they are some of the most feature-rich budget machines on the market.
UPDATE: It looks like Merit Fitness no longer makes new elliptical machines. If you are looking for a good budget elliptical check out Exerpeutic, Stamina and others here:
The two ellipticals have limited 90 days parts and labor warranties, with 3 years on the brake, and 5 years covering the frame.
Reviews by consumers have been a mix of surprising delight as well as disappointment.
These budget elliptical trainers are good looking and affordably priced — which is the biggest attraction of the Merit Fitness brand — but unfortunately, they are built with cheap components. Consumers also mention that the outer packaging is flimsy which means the machine can be damaged in shipment.
While $400 is a lot to spend for even a low cost trainer, people have a right to have expectations that the equipment will hold up at least for 3 to 4 years.
Lightweight users who use the machines moderately have reported the best luck with them, while heavier and more aggressive fitness nuts often break them within months.
Overall, the quality of Merit elliptical trainers continues to improve and we hope they can dominate the under $400 elliptical market – a price class that is overlooked by many other manufacturers.
Merit 715E Elliptical - The Merit 715E is about as sturdy a unit as you’ll find for under $350; one of the better choices in low-cost ellipticals.
Merit 725E Elliptical - Same as the 715E, but with power pack instead of a battery-operated console, powered resistance changes vs. manual adjustment, and a 5% incline.
UPDATE: Early Black Friday/Cyber Monday Elliptical Sales are on!
Here is your chance to rant or rave about the elliptical you use at home or at the fitness center.