Before investing in an elliptical machine, or any new piece of gym equipment, you’ll likely want to know how heavy it’s going to be. Weight often means the difference between being able to wheel your kit from room to room as your mood dictates, to having to get a team of professional movers to haul it upstairs and install it, never to be moved again!
Elliptical machines come in all shapes and sizes, and their weight can vary tremendously. But how much does an elliptical weigh? As a ballpark figure, most models weigh anywhere between 80 lbs to 250 lbs. Yep, that’s a huge spread!
So what determines how heavy an elliptical is and what sorts of features should you be looking out for when considering the overall weight of your cross trainer? Today, we’re going to be breaking down a few different models on the market to see how and why they can differ so much in weight. We’ll also be taking a look at how price, weight, and quality of build are often closely linked.
What Affects The Weight of an Elliptical Machine?
Before looking at a few different models, let’s have a think about how one piece of equipment can vary so wildly in how much it weighs. Especially when you compare it to other gym equipment like the air bike. There are numerous factors affecting the heaviness of an elliptical, most of which will be closely linked to the functionality and overall quality of your cross trainer.
The single biggest factor affecting the weight of your elliptical is going to be, perhaps unsurprisingly, the material it’s made out of.
Cheaper models aimed at limited budgets are going to be made from budget materials. That often means plastic. The lightest machines on the market are likely to be the lightest on your wallet as well, the main reason being that the majority of their parts will be built from lightweight, cheap-to-manufacture plastic material.
Better quality machines are going to prioritise heavier-grade metals. Some mid-range models may go for aluminium components, but these are always more liable to warp, bend, or buckle than heavier duty steel. The most expensive models on the market pride themselves on durability, so expect durable, heavy materials to go into the build.
The flywheel is a key component of your elliptical machine and arguably the one that makes the biggest difference in terms of how smooth and enjoyable your workouts are going to be. In brief, the flywheel is the circular component driven by and connected to the moving pedals and handles. It is also often the component upon which resistance is imposed, allowing you to vary the intensity of your workouts.
We won’t go into too much granular detail here as to how and why a flywheel operates, but as a general rule the larger and heavier the wheel, the smoother the workout you’re going to experience. It’s also likely that heavier flywheel’s will provide a quieter exercise experience, another feature that premium-grade cross trainers aim for.
When you consider that flywheels can range from 10 lbs up to 35 lbs or more, you can see how this single piece of the cross trainer can make a big proportional difference to the overall weight.
It might sound obvious, but a bigger machine is going to weigh more than a smaller machine constructed from the same material. Build material is still likely to influence weight more than mere dimensions, especially when we consider the difference in weight between steel and cheap plastic.
Nevertheless, every inch comes with its own weight, another reason why more expensive machines tend to weigh more than their budget counterparts. Cheaper builds will require less material and will often aim to be as compact and as budget-friendly as possible. Premium-grade models are likely to aim for greater stability, have larger, more comfortable foot pedals, and invest in sturdier, broader, or longer frames to cope with a wider range of user weights and sizes.
Ellipticals can come equipped with a whole raft of additional features, or they can be stripped back to their bare essentials. The higher-end models will often come with large, LCD displays and digital processors. They may have drinks holders, additional support structures, audio speakers, and other functions.
A large display and accompanying circuity are likely to add a few pounds to any machine, as well as the additional material needed to support and secure these items.
How Much Does An Elliptical Exercise Machine Weigh?
Okay, so we’ve considered a number of factors that will affect how heavy a cross trainer is. Now let’s look at numbers. We’ve already said that elliptical machines are likely to weigh between 80 lbs and 250 lbs, but let’s break it down further than that according to levels of functionality and budget.
As we’ll see, the cost of a machine will often rise in proportion to its weight. Although this is not always a direct correlation, the overall pattern is a clear and relatively consistent one. The more expensive the machine, the more features, the higher quality the material, the heavier-duty the build – all this means a cross trainer that weighs more.
Remember, if you’re calculating the overall weight of your machine, you’re going to need to factor in the weight of the person using it as well. The calculations below are assuming a fully assembled model without anyone standing on it!
Let’s start at the bottom of the ladder. The no-bells-and-whistles, budget-friendly kit that’s going to prioritise cheaper materials. Remember, lighter materials can and do often mean less durability. Don’t hold out hope that a budget kit will last you a lifetime, especially if it’s getting a lot of intense use.
It’s also going to forego any additional features that you might find on more expensive models, which will cut down on weight considerably.
These kits are also likely to take up less physical space than their more upmarket cousins.
You might expect an elliptical machine in this range to weigh anywhere between50 lbs and 80 lbs.
Moving up the range, these kits could cost you anywhere between $250 and $500. They’re likely to include a few additional features and may be slightly more hard-wearing than their extreme budget brothers. However, don’t expect particularly heavy, or heavy-duty, materials.
You might expect an elliptical machine of this sort to weigh between 80 lbs and 120 lbs.
This is a broad category and includes a large number of elliptical machines out there on the market. Generally speaking, although functionality and build quality will still vary, you can start to expect heavier, sturdier machines with more than just basic features. You’re probably going to be looking at some form of digital display, with internal computing and electronics.
We’re also going to have moved beyond cheap plastic components at this stage. You’d certainly hope so, for the price!
Midrange cross trainers could weigh anything between 125 lbs and 210 lbs.
By this point you’re expecting extremely high quality build materials, sturdy and hard-wearing machines, and a wealth of additional features and specs. These are the sorts of ellipticals that you expect to come with lengthy warranties, top-notch flywheels, extremely durable components, and the ability to manage a greater spread of human weights.
These machines could weigh between 180 lbs and 250 lbs.
We’ve included this category for comparison’s sake. Though most people are less likely to consider professional gym-grade models for their own home set-ups, this gives you an idea of how heavy elliptical machines can get.
These are cross trainers built to last years, with multiple users pounding out sessions that span multiple hours each day. They’re also more likely to be installed and kept in one place for the majority of their lifespans, as part of a considered professional gym set-up. As such, you expect large, heavy, and difficult to move pieces of kit.
You might have noticed from the models above that there’s also some variation in size between different elliptical machines. However, the differences in floor space taken up by ellipticals, especially models designed for home set-ups, varies less dramatically than weight.
As a general rule, elliptical machines are likely to range between 50 inches and 75 inches long.
Width tends to vary even less than length, with most elliptical machines being between 20 and 30 inches wide.
Machine heights can vary depending on their design and how high their greatest step height is. As a general rule, most manufacturers will recommend adding at least 2 feet (24 inches) to the tallest person likely to use the machine when calculating adequate ceiling clearance. Many home gym designers will say that an overall 8 foot ceiling is a decent starting point. In reality, you may need less than this, as many elliptical machines have a high step height between 10 and 14 inches.
When choosing a position for your elliptical, we’d recommend giving yourself at least 2 feet of space on each side. At the very minimum, you’ll need room on one side and either at the front or back for ease of access.
Remember, always take care when trying to move heavy equipment, whether assembled or not. If you’re ever unsure as to whether you’re going to be able to safely move a new piece of kit yourself, get help from a friend or neighbour. Even better, if what you’re moving is particularly awkward or weighty, consider investing in professional movers.
This way you can ensure you get your elliptical machine into position without risking an injury before you’ve even enjoyed your first workout! If ordering direct from manufacturers, see if they offer free installation or, at the very least, carrying of the item to its intended spot. This could save you a headache, and a back-ache, later!