The Fuel FE44 Elliptical Review – Big Quality for a Little Price

Today’s review has bummed the Treadmill Sensei out a bit. It’s bound to happen, but every so often a treadmill or elliptical is released just after we post our awards and misses out being included in them. Unfortunately, in this case, it is very likely the Fuel FE44 Elliptical would have won the best buy elliptical under $1000 Award with little effort.

Word of the Fuel ellipticals and treadmills started filtering in to us here at the DOJO a month and a half or so ago. A lot of you, my loyal readers, wrote in asking about these great feeling new ellipticals found primarily at Dick’s Sporting Goods and online. As I mentioned in the Fuel FE46 Elliptical Review, everyone in the industry had been hearing rumors of Dick’s getting their own line of budget treadmills and ellipticals, but I hadn’t heard they were going to be out for this season. And, just like it’s big brother, the Fuel FE44 Elliptical shows all the signs of being one of the best ellipticals under $1000 produced in a very, very long time.

When our Fuel FE44 Elliptical arrived here at the DOJO, my first thought was “Yup, that looks almost exactly like last year’s Sole or Spirit equipment.” The resemblence is remarkable and, if rumors proove to be true, the Fuel equipment can actually be found in Sole’s warehouse here in southern California. It looks like Dick’s has turned to one of the best sources for quality equipment for help in Sole Fitness out of Utah. Excellent choice on the part of Dick’s.

The best way to describe the Fuel FE44 Elliptical is as a very slightly toned down version of the Fuel FE46 or Sole E25 or Spirit XE100/XE200 Ellipticals. Without having the Sole or Spirit to compare side by side, I’d say the Fuel FE44 has the exact same flywheel as the higher priced models. It may be a touch smaller, but I’m betting they are the same except for on paper.

The only real or significant different between all the units is in the stride length. The Fuel FE44 is listed as having an 18″ stride. However, we’ve received numerous emails from readers saying they tried a Sole E25 side by side with a Fuel FE44 at a local Dick’s and found them to feel almost identical in stride and elliptical motion. From my own tests here at the DOJO I’d say the Fuel FE44 Elliptical feels like it has closer to a 19″ stride and is incredibly smooth and comfortable. It has the same articulating pedal design as the Sole equipment, which gives it one of the most natural elliptical feels around.

Fuel has produced the single best elliptical you can buy for under $700 in the Fuel FE44. I’d even go as far as to say that this is the best possible value for your money in an elliptical under $1000. For the price, the Fuel FE44 delivers the best workout you can find and is the most solid, sturdy and stable ellipticals in the budget price range under $1000. Through the force of its size and market strength, Dick’s has taken what should have been an elliptical priced at $999 or more and dropped it down to a mind-blowing $699. This finally gives those of us on a budget the chance to own a high end elliptical without having to break the bank…or steal from our children’s college funds!

For being nearly perfect, the Treadmill Sensei gives the Fuel FE44 Elliptical 5 out of 5 Golden Buddahs.

The Treadmill Sensei wishes the Fuel FE44 Elliptical had been available a few months earlier in time for the Ichi-Ban Best Buy Awards for Ellipticals because it would have blown away the competition.

***2015 UPDATE*** The Fuel FE44, still sold exclusively through Dick’s, is currently being offered for $599.

Fuel FE44 Elliptical Specifications
Stride: 18″
Articulating Pedals: Yes
Flywheel: 15lbs
Display: LCD
Programs: 14
Resistance: 20 Levels
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Heart Rate Control: Yes
Max User Weight: 325lbs
Product Weight: 146lbs
Price: Under $600