The low-cost elliptical market includes many different models of exercise machines, meant to appeal to casual users or those who are experimenting to find the type of exercise that is best suited to them. Some of these models are poor-quality, while others are plain but well-made.
The Eclipse 1100 HR/A Elliptical Trainer is a compact (for an elliptical machine) and fairly well manufactured piece of workout equipment in the lower end of the price range for such devices, which offsets the flaws of the machine for many people. The Eclipse 1100 has an unfortunate tendency to break down, sometimes irreparably, after several months, but gives a good workout at a low cost to those who are lucky enough to avoid mechanical failure.
The Eclipse 1100 HR/A Elliptical is quite short in length for an elliptical trainer, at only 44 inches long – most trainers are closer to 6 feet in length. The machine’s width is a narrow 26.5 inches, and the height is 61 inches, making it one of the more compact models of elliptical trainer on the market, with a small footprint (although still retaining the usual requirement for plenty of head room). The device weighs only 85 pounds, making it lighter than nearly any other elliptical as well. The machine folds for easier storage.
Warranty and Sturdiness
There is a one-year warranty on the Eclipse 1100, which indicates that the machine is fairly disposable, but engineered to last for some time at least. The low cost means that in the worst scenario where the elliptical lasts only for its warranty period, you will be paying $37.50 per month for a solid, impact-free workout that exercises the whole body and is very easy on the joints and spine.
The machine’s construction is adequate but not astonishingly solid, although the device is stable, and its maximum weight limit of 275 pounds indicates some engineering beyond the minimum (which produces a weight limit of around 250 pounds).
Refreshingly Easy Assembly
The Eclipse Elliptical is easy to assemble, as reported by a user named Sean from Houston, Texas, who stated that “my eight year old and I slapped the thing together with a minimum amount of cussing.” This is a welcome change from most exercise equipment, which gives the customer his or her first workout with the assembly process – a process often made more frustrating by lack of instructions. This is not a problem with the Eclipse and the ease of assembly is a positive mark for the device.
A Good Workout, But Short Stride Length
The workout you get from the Eclipse 1100 Elliptical is provided by magnetic resistance, operating on a centrally-mounted flywheel. The exercise offered is vigorous and robust, as Susan C of Las Vegas, Nevada, comments, “this machine provides an excellent cardio work out.” The foot pedals are extra-large for additional comfort and stability. The stride is only 15 inches long, meaning that it is likely to be most comfortable for smaller people – tall, long-legged exercisers may find it somewhat difficult to use initially, until they become accustomed to it.
A Good Computer Display With Heart Rate
The computer display is competently made and offers more functions than the monitor of an exercise machine at this price point usually does. The information provided for tracking your workout includes time, speed, distance, and calories burned as well as the most crucial measure for many exercisers – heart rate. The heart rate sensors are located in the hand grips, meaning that the measurements are not quite as accurate as a chest strap monitor would provide, but you can still form a good idea of how fast your heart is beating with the provided sensors.
Pre-Programmed Workout Programs
The computer also includes 15 programs – 12 pre-programmed workouts, a manual program, a heart rate control program, and a program that can be customized by the user. The presence of so many different programs is a pleasant surprise in a lower-end machine like the Eclipse 1100, and a major increase of its utility. Programs make workouts more varied, interesting, and thorough, keeping the exerciser’s interest and working out muscles in slightly different ways, and the Eclipse is not short of them.
Water Bottle Holder and Reading Rack
The user’s comfort is catered to with a water bottle holder – important for keeping hydrated, which is crucial both to working out properly and to maintaining overall health, since most people do not drink enough water – and a reading rack for a book or magazine.
The reading rack might appear to be an inconsequential detail, but it actually helps the main function of the machine – to keep you healthy and toned. If you are able to read while working out, you are more likely to keep working out than if you are bored while using your elliptical, so the reading rack has a practical benefit to offer.
Problems with the Eclipse 1100 Elliptical
The biggest flaw of the Eclipse 1100 HR/A Elliptical is that it has a tendency to break down after several months of use. Some of the breakdowns which occur are capable of repair, while others are irreparable, rendering the machine useless. Many people do not experience these breakdowns, while others see their investment stop working within a matter of weeks.
If you buy the Eclipse 1100 HR/A, then you are gambling on the fairly good odds that nothing will happen for several years at least, and that if there is a mechanical failure in that time, it will be a repairable failure.
However, there is a small but real chance that your elliptical machine will break within a few weeks or months, in a way that cannot be repaired, and you should be clearly aware of this before deciding to buy the Eclipse. Counterbalancing this is the fact that many people get several years of problem-free use out of the machine.
Where Can I Get The Best Deal On The Eclipse?
The best price and shipping for the Eclipse 1100 HR/A is to be found on Amazon.