The Lifecore LC-990 Elliptical Review — Above Average at $1100

The readers on here really surprise the Treadmill Sensei sometimes, and not in a bad way at all. I recently had a reader in the area ask if he could bring by the elliptical he just purchased for me to review. The request was a bit unusual and even tho the week was more than a little hectic, I told the reader to bring it down and I’d give it the full review as soon as I could. However, I mentioned that I had no idea how long it would take me to get around to it and that the review process would take 1-2 weeks beyond that. The reader (a pleasant man by the name of Greg W.) was so in love with this machine and wanted to share it with my readers that he agreed to give up his Lifecore LC990 Elliptical for God only knew how long…and, knowing me, if was probably going to take a while.

**UPDATE** The LifeCore LC-990 elliptical machine is no longer available. You can check out all of the latest models here: LifeCore Ellipticals

Surprisingly, it only took me 2 weeks to clear up enough time to do the review, so Greg was able to reclaim his Lifecore LC990 after about 3 weeks. Greg said he missed his work out but that having me review his machine was worth it, and that he just knew I’d absolutely love it.

Well, Greg wasn’t completely right. I didn’t absolutely love the LC990 elliptical, but it wasn’t a bad machine by any means and was a bit better than average.

The Lifecore LC990 is a very solid rear-drive elliptical very much in the mold of the older style Tunturi machines. I tend to be a bit hard on those style of rear-drive ellipticals for a couple of reasons:

First, they tend to be a bit less sturdy up front, especially for a larger user. When you work out on an elliptical you are generally throwing all of your weight forward and on a machine like the Lifecore LC990, there isn’t quite enough there to balance you out. So what you get is a slightly wobbly feel to it. That feeling wasn’t as bad on the LC990, but it was still there. If this unit was a bit heavier duty it might have recovered from that, but 150 lbs just wasn’t enough.

Second, the stride length just isn’t what it should be at thie $1100 price point of the Lifecore LC990. 17.5 inches was fine for the 5’5″ Greg, but for average sized users it is going to feel a bit short and stunted.

Everyting else on the machine performed well during my week long of 1-hour work outs. I’m not a big guy by any means, but I rode the Lifecore LC990 hard and put it away wet…and it kept up with me the entire time. The flywheel is a decent sized and ran very smooth. It also had a solid number of programs and resistance levels — I prefer the 16 levels on this machine to the 20 you’ll see on others. The reason for that is because when you’re actually working with 20 levels it seems a little more like micromanaging than I like to deal with during a workout.

All-in-all, the Lifecore LC990 was a decent performing machine with a couple of major problems. For being better than a Tunturi, the Treadmill Sensei gives the Lifecore LC-990 Elliptical 3.5 out of 5 golden buddahs.

The LC990 Elliptical by LifeCore Fitness gets 3.5 gold buddahs out of 5.

Lifecore LC990 Elliptical Specifications
Stride: 17.5″
Flywheel: 17lbs
Programs: 12
Resistance: 16 levels
Heart Rate Monitor: Pulse grip
Heart Rate Control: Yes
Display: LCD
Readouts: Distance, speed, calories, time, heart rate, watts and RPM
Max User Weight: 350lbs
Elliptical Weight: 150lbs