The Bladez 850E Elliptical Trainer Review – Best New Technology in an Elliptical

The Treadmill Sensei loves to check out new treadmills and ellipticals. It is one of my favorite things to do, both here at the DOJO and at fitness tradeshows like the Health & Fitness Business Expo and the IHRSA show. Speaking of the IHRSA show, a few of us from here will be there roaming the floor this week. If you see us, feel free to say “hi!”

Back to new equipment, at the Health & Fitness show a few years back, one of the coolest new technologies we saw for elliptical trainers was the Adjustable Width Technology(AWT) from Bladez/BH Fitness. Their patented new technology allowed users to adjust the spacing between pedals to accomodate different sized users. As a feature found on no other ellipticals, I thought this was a fantastic feature and wished it had come out years ago.


A lot of people are familiar with being able to adjust the angle of an elliptical’s pedals, and tons of ellipticals have that feature. However, one of the biggest issues with elliptical workouts, especially when you have mutliple users of differents sizes, is the distance between the two pedals. For some people a wider spacing is preferred, while others like their pedals tighter together. Poor spacing can cause foot numbness, as well as thigh cramps in extreme cases of bad pedal placement. Thankfully, the Bladez 850E Elliptical trainer has addressed this issue in outstanding fashion.

While we had been walked through the new Bladez 850e Elliptical back at the trade show in Denver, I didn’t get a long enough time on the machine to give it a full testing. Luckily, we were able to order an 850e elliptical trainer from almost a month ago and have been able to put it through its paces.

Out of the box, the Bladez 850e was very similar in size and slightly heavier than the Sole E25 or the Spirit XE100/Spirit XE200/Spirit XE300 ellipticals. In fact, the looks of the machines is very is very similar in design. Even assembly was almost the same and took us around 20 minutes to complete — figure on it taking someone with average mechanical abilities around 45 minutes…or, if you’re like my wife’s Uncle Chris and have no mechanical aptitude, it could take 90 minutes. I prefer the slightly heavier support tubing on the Bladez model but otherwise it is very comparable to the Sole E25 and far exceeds the comparable Spirit ellipticals.

Once Mat and I were able to get to our 10 days or so of testing, we were both highly impressed by the stability and comfort of the Bladez E850e Elliptical. To see a stride of 20″ on an elliptical priced at under $700 was amazing, especially when you consider the ability to adjust pedal width to further customize your workout and your comfort. That adjustment allows the 850e to have easily one of the best elliptical feels on an elliptical priced at under $1500. It raises the bar on what an elliptical should have, how it should perform and what its price should be. If you’re looking at a Spirit XE100, Spirit XE200 or Spirit XE300, then you’re doing yourself an injustice by not taking a look at the Bladez 850e Elliptical as it out-performs them in just about every situation.

In addition to a 20″ stride, adjustable width pedals, heavy duty 24 pound flywheel and solid, steel frame, the 850e Elliptical also has 16 levels of resistance, padded foot pedals, pulse grip heart rate monitoring, 12 fitness programs and a 300 pound user weight limit. The only things missing are wireless heart rate monitoring and heart rate control programs, but for an elliptical priced under $700 these features really aren’t required or even missed.

Bladez has done a stupendous job with the design and engineering of the 850e elliptical trainer and for that the Treadmill Sensei gives it 5 out of 5 golden buddahs.

***UPDATE** The Bladez 850E elliptical machine is no longer available for sale. To check out all of the latest Bladez ellipticals including the E700i, E600, E500 and E300 just follow that link to the merchant site.

Stride: 20″
Flywheel: approximately 24 pounds
Articulating Foot Pedals: Yes
Display: LCD
Readouts: Time, Distance, Speed, RPM, Heart Rate & Calories & Program profile
Resistance Levels: 16
Programs: 12
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Heart Rate Control: No
Max User Weight: 300lbs
Unit Weight: 175lbs
Price: Under $700