The Spirit XE100 Elliptical Review – Another lesson in mediocrity
The Treadmill Sensei has mentioned a few times about how he attended the Health & Fitness Business Expo in Denver this past August 2007. Going to these shows helps me get on equipment that I haven’t had a chance to look at back at the DOJO, and I get to test out and review a lot more treadmills and elliptical for you, my loyal readers. One of the exhibits I was able to visit and spend quite a bit of time with was the one belonging to Spirit Fitness. I was anxious to see Spirit’s new X series of treadmills and ellipticals as well as their “budget line” which they call Esprit.
As I entered Spirit’s booth at the Denver trade show this year, I was a little worried when I saw what was being called the Spirit XE100 Elliptical because of how many problems their Spirit XE125 had last year…to the point of it even having to be recalled back to the manufacturing plant in China due to issues with the entire line. Thankfully, based on what I saw the new unit looks to be more than just a repackaged and repainted version of that recalled unit.
Let’s start with the “upgrades” on the new XE100 elliptical over the problem elliptical of last year. First off, the specs list the unit as having a 20 inch stride. As I mentioned in my review of the Spirit XE200 elliptical, if I had gotten on the unit with no prewarning of a long stride, I would have guessed the stride to be at 18.5 or so inches in length and not the 20 inches listed. This could just be an issue with the elliptical motion due to the shorter frame.
From there the number of resistance levels have been upped from 16 to 20. This is a nice upgrade to get for those of you who like to tweak your workout more — it doesn’t increase the amount of resistance on the machine, it is just increasing the increments you can tweak your workouts by.
The next upgrade seems to be the newly adjustable pedals on the Spirit XE100. Believe it or not, I really like this feature. Having the ability to further customize your workout and make it more comfortable is a great feature. Cudos to Spirit on this one.
The final “upgrade” if you can call it that is a $100 increase in pricing over the XE125. The street price on the Spirit XE100 is going to be about $1099, which is about $100 more than it should be. Spirit should have taken a cue from Sole on its E25 elliptical unit (almost identical with a 20″ stride but without the problems of the XE125). At $999 it would have been a unit to take a look at, but with a price tag of basically $1100 it is most definitely a “pass” in my book.
The last thing I want to mention is the flywheel on the Spirit XE100 elliptical. This is a similar, but smaller, version of the plastic flywheels in the larger Spirit Ellipticals. I’m not exactly sure where Spirit gets its 30 pound weight for the thing but my guess is that they are weighing the entire front drive assembly instead of just the plastic flywheel. If I were to guess a weight on the XE100′s flywheel I would say 10-12 pounds at the max. If I can find an exact weight I will post it here, but I can’t imagine the plastic to weigh much more than that on the XE100 elliptical trainer.
To be honest, the Spirit XE100 isn’t a terrible elliptical, I think it is just a bit overpriced at $1099. If it were priced at under $1000 it would be a very nice budget elliptical. I will post updates as I hear from readers who have purchased the Spirit XE100 elliptical. I would recommend my readers check out the Sole E25 Elliptical instead. It has a better price and better quality control record.
For not being a terrible elliptical, the Treadmill Sensei gives the Spirit XE100 Elliptical 2.5 out of 5 Golden Buddahs.
The Spirit XE100 gets a tentative 2.5 gold buddahs.
Flywheel: 12lbs (listed as 24lbs)
Resistance: 20 levels
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Heart Rate Control: Yes
Max User Weight: 300lbs
Unit Weight: approximately 190lbs
-The Treadmill Sensei