The Reebok RL545 Elliptical – Not good, not good at all


I would like everyone to know that the Treadmill Sensei is a gentleman and a humanitarian. You see, for some reason I’ve received 10 or 15 requests for me to review and rate a low end elliptical from Icon Fitness over the past month or so. I can’t figure out why but the Reebok RL545 Elliptical has received more requests as of late than any other single piece of equipment. I’m guessing it’s because of a huge price drop for the elliptical on Amazon.

Unfortunately, I had never actually seen one of these ellipticals before and I very much doubt one would ever come in to my shop, althought I was surprised recently with the appearance of a Motus treadmill so anything is possible. But, I decided to go the distance for you guys: I love my readers so much I sent Hikaru out to purchase a Reebok RL545 from a local chain store just so I could try it out. After 2 days of searching he decided to pick one up from Amazon instead and, 10 days later the RL545 arrived.

We unboxed the surprisingly heavy-for-the-price unit and wentto work setting it up. Once it was together, I decided to workout on it myself because Hikaru’s rather copious frame would have snapped the elliptical as if it were an origami crane.

Here’s the short version of my review: Don’t buy it. Save your money, go to the store and buy yourself something pretty instead. A Kate Spade handbag or LAMB purse will do more for your appearance and health than the Reebok RL545 elliptical. If I were a superhero and had an arch enemy (say, an evil Treadmill Professor of some kind), I would not wish this elliptical on him.

I dread doing a longer review for fear of somehow unintentionally encouraging some poor, dimwitted fool to go out and purchase one. I just couldn’t have that crime on my conscience. Sadly, as a treadmill and elliptical reviewer, it is my job to bear the burden of spreading the truth on bad fitness equipment. So….here we go!

The first thing I want to talk about is the problems we had putting the Reebok RL545 together. Now, I realize not every unit will have this same problem, but the fact that we had it on a random machine is not a good sign. You see a number of the bolt holes were either drilled to the wrong size or we were sent incorrect bolts. A number of them were too large for the holes and other seemed to be too long for the space they were intended. This is a major, major problem.

From there we noticed how flimsy and thin the plastic parts of the machine, in particular on the pedas and shroud…and that’s not even mentioning how the machine groaned under even my light weight (I currently weigh in at a comfortable 175 pounds…although Mrs. Sensei thinks I should be 160 pounds). The bushings for the crosstraining bars loosened over the course of my 45 minute workout in spite of initial tightening. And,even though I don’t have a laser level at the shop to confirm, I believe the lower bars bent under my weight.

There is really nothing in the Reebok RL545 elliptical that is worth mentioning…well, except for the receipt Hikaru remembered to keep that lets us return it for our money back.

For living down to the Icon Fitness reputation, the Treadmill Sensei gives the Reebok RL 545 Elliptical a magnificant 1 out of 5 golden buddahs.

We’re returning our Reebok RL545 and buying the complete 7 season boxed set of the Friends TV show instead. My hope for Ross and Rachel getting together in the end far exceeds the hope I had for the RL545 not sucking.

Reebok RL 545 Elliptical Specifications
Stride: 18″
Reverse Motion: Yes
Resistance Levels: 10
Heart Rate Monitor: Pulse grip
Heart Rate Control: Yes
Display: LCD
Programs: 8
Readouts: Resistance Readout, time, calories burned, calories/minute, heart rate, distance
Max User Weight: 250 lbs
Weight: 180 lbs
Price: $479.99