Is the Body Rider Dual Trainer A Good Elliptical Machine?

Recently we were asked to do a Body Rider Dual Trainer review, as this machine has become quite popular. As soon as we saw the price tag we were of course very skeptical….an elliptical trainer and a recumbent bike together for under $200? Yikes.

But in fairness, we took a look and gave it a test drive. We’ve been impressed with some of the lower priced models lately, so we went into this review a little less skeptical than usual.body-rider-dual-trainer-elliptical

So here goes…

The Body Rider is a budget hybrid exercise machine…half elliptical, half bike, currently sold at Sears, Target, various other retailers as well as Amazon, manufactured by a company called Body Max. They also make inversion tables, pullup/dip apparatus, recumbent bikes and various other types of fitness equipment.

We couldn’t find too much information about the manufacturer, which is never a good sign, but we did take a close look at the machine itself to see what it’s all about.

It certainly isn’t much to look at, but what exercise machine under $200 ever is? In order to get really solid construction you have to pay at least $700 or $800, and even then you sometimes find shoddy construction. So if you’re looking for something solid that will last you for years with very little to no maintenance issues, the Body Rider is not for you.

Looking at the specs, there is a 250 lb. max weight capacity, so if you are heavier this might not work for you. There is also a paltry 13″ stride on the elliptical, which is very low. If you are tall this will feel very choppy. As a frame of reference we recommend at least a 20″ stride for taller users.

It has the typical turning knob to change the resistance, which isn’t as much fun as pushing a button but it’s fine for a basic workout. The readout is a super-simple digital interface and you can see the different stats while you work out by pushing the mode button.

The Guru Test Drive

OK…so now you’re asking…how is the workout? We jumped on (carefully) to the machine, starting off with the elliptical, to see what the work out was all about. All in all, it was exactly what we expected it would be. As we mentioned, the stride was very short, so we found it very choppy. We’re used to the machines in the gym where the stride is generous and comfortable. So that was definitely an issue. A few of our shorter testers were OK with the stride.

Turning the resistance knob up did add some resistance to the workout, and after 5 minutes or so we got used to the short stride. We worked up a good sweat. Onto the bike. We enjoyed the recumbent bike portion of the workout a bit more. Perhaps it was because we were sitting down? 🙂 Although the stride was the same it felt a little more natural in the sitting position. The adjustable seat was also helpful to accommodate all of us.

We each put in about a half an hour on the elliptical and a half an hour on the bike, which allowed us to get a good feel and give a reliable Body Rider Dual Trainer review. We did find it to be a little bit shaky, especially for those of us who are a little taller/heavier. You definitely don’t feel like you are at the gym, but keep in mind those machines are typically $2000 and up. This is not even 1/10th of the price, so you really can’t expect to be using the most amazing piece of exercise equipment on the planet.

Taking a look at the Body Rider Dual Trainer reviews on Amazon, it fares pretty well. It’s overall rating with 445 reviews is 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. Only 85 people rated it 2 or 1 star, meaning 80% of those who weighed in gave it at least 3 stars. That’s about as good as it gets.

Some of the positive reviews focused on the fact that people were able to get a good workout, and appreciated the ability to use it as an elliptical or as a bike. Other positives were the price (obviously), the fact that you can vary the intensity, ease of assembly, the adjustable seat and the ability to track calories, speed, distance and time.

As far as negatives for the Body Rider Dual Trainer, some were to be expected given the low price…sub-par construction, the machine makes noise when you use it, not a lot of programs or capabilities. Other complaints involved the short stride (something you almost always find on cheaper ellipticals) being a problem for taller users, some parts breaking after several uses, hard to read the monitor while you are working out, and level changes not really adding to the intensity.

Overall however, users seem to be very happy with the Dual Trainer. As long as you don’t go in with high expectations you should be OK with this hybrid trainer.

What’s the Bottom Line?

As with most equipment at this price level, if you go in thinking you’re going to absolutely love working out on it, you’ll probably be a little disappointed. It certainly does not have all of the bells and whistles you’ll find on the more expensive elliptical machines.

However, if you’re just looking for a budget exercise machine offering a low impact workout with both elliptical and bike capability, it’s not such a bad choice. We thought it was passable and users on Amazon and other sites seem to be happy with the Dual Trainer for the most part.

If you do decide to buy one of these machines make sure you look at the warranty. We were not able to find that information so make sure you inquire. Chances are with an elliptical hybrid at this price level, you may encounter some issues so having that info handy will be helpful.