The Horizon EX76 Elliptical Review – Best Buy Elliptical with Incline under $1000

The Treadmill Sensei fears fads in just about all forms. The thought of fads brings up memories of bad perm-afros in the late 70s (I don’t know why my parents let me get one because it is not a good look for a Japanese man), pet screws, parachute pants (see the above remark about not knowing why I was allowed to get them) and Billy Ray Cyrus. That brings up the latest fad in the fitness industry, home ellipticals with inclines. Up until now home incline ellipticals have been truly frightening and of exceptionally poor quality thanks to the fine folks at Icon Fitness. Thankfully, Horizon Fitness out of Wisconsin has decided to get in on the action and has produced a very solid incline elliptical in their Horizon EX76 elliptical.

Horizon is the perfect company to be producing the standard for home incline trainers because they have been at the top of the mountain for manufacturing high quality treadmills and ellipticals for those on a budget. Not only do they put our their own lines of equipment but they also make units for Schwinn in the Schwinn 438 elliptical. They’ve also got quite a bit of experience in the incline world as they manufacture units and components for Precor as well. As any regular reader of this website knows, Precor is one of the top end, commercial brands which has been producing incline ellipticals for more than 10 years and owns the patent on the incline ramp. Johnson Tech (Horizon’s parent company) and its relationship with Precor has given it the insight to design an incredibly feature packed and solid elliptical this year in the EX76.

The first thing we noticed when unpacking our Horizon EX76 was the great new look Horizon has gone with for the 2007/2008 season. They’ve done away with the boxier look of the old EX75 and gone with something much slicker looking. They’ve also slimmed down the plastic on the front shrouds and added more weight to further stabilize the EX76. As soon as we had assembled the elliptical (which took about 30 minutes for us and would take around an hour for those of average mechanical ability), my son mounted up and immediately noticed that the EX76 felt solid even with his 250+ pounds rocking it back and forth.

The next thing we noticed was that the Horizon EX76 had a huge number of upgrades over the elliptical it replaces, the EX75. They have the same 14.5 pound flywheel and pulse grip heart rate monitoring, but the similarities end there. The biggest two new upgrades on the EX76 are the fantastic 16% incline and the adjustable stride which allows users to vary their stride length from 18″ to 19,” two things rarely found individually in an elliptical under $1000 and never found together. The elliptical features a very buff incline motor similar to the ones found in Horizon treadmills. It’s great to have a budget elliptical now available with these two features.

Horizon has also upgraded the number of progams on the Horizon EX76 elliptical to 16 over the 10 programs last year and, along with that, upgraded the console to a commercial style LED console.

The only downgrade in the new unit seems to be the number of resistance levels dropping from 20 on the EX75 to 16 on the EX76. That is a very minor nitpick because the amount of resistance has remained the same, only the incremental adjustments have changed.

My son and I both tested the Horizon EX76 elliptical over the course of about 8 days. We found it to be one of the sturdiest ellipticals priced at under $1000 and it really held up to ellipticals in the $1300-$1500 range very well. Factoring in the great new incline and adjustable stride makes the Horizon EX76 a top rated and best buy elliptical in the $1000 range. For being a solid new addition to the Horizon line of ellipticals, the Treadmill Sensei gives the Horizon EX76 Incline Elliptical 4.5 out of 5 golden buddahs.

A near perfect new machine from Horizon gets a near perfect 4.5 golden buddahs for its efforts and quality.


**UPDATE** The Horizon EX76 is no longer available for sale, so if you’re interested in a Horizon Fitness elliptical machine you can visit the official Horizon Fitness site and get free shipping on new models or glance at some of the older models still for sale here.

Horizon EX76 Elliptical Specifications
Stride: Variable – 18″-19″
Flywheel: 14.5lbs
Incline: 16%
Display: LED
Programs: 16
Resistance: 16 levels
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Heart Rate Control: Yes
Max User Weight: 300lbs
Unit Weight: 180lbs
Price: Under $1000