The Smooth CE2.1 Elliptical Review


Today may be one of the best days of the Treadmill Sensei’s life…or at least the best in a very long time. The reason for this great day being my wife’s family has finally vacated our house! We dropped them off at LAX this morning at 6am and, for the first time in almost a month, I can look forward to a hot shower tomorrow morning. The good times are here again!

Let’s talk about some fitness equipment!

Smooth Fitness is one of the fastest growing fitness companies in the USA and produces some of the finest equipment on the market. They started out a few years ago, much like Sole Fitness, as a repackaging company for Spirit manufactured equipment. Since then they’ve moved on to produce their units overseas. After a bumpy year or two, they’ve really nailed high quality equipment for a great price. Smooth has very quickly become the #1 manufacturer of high quality fitness equipment in the $1000-$2000 price range because of that high quality and spectacular customer service.

Here at the DOJO we get a lot of Smooth units here to take out and install at customer homes. We very rarely get units in to do repairs on. These machines are built to hold up to pretty heavy duty workouts and are low, low maintenance. I would be more than fine giving one of their units to my mother-in-law without fear of being nagged to death with problems from it!

Last year we reviewed the old Smooth CE2.1 and it was a bit of an under performer. The unit itself was very solidly constructed, but its all-too-short 16″ stride was a deal breaker for us. For an upper end elliptical to have less than an 18″ stride was, I thought, a bit of a let down. Luckily, Smooth has listened to the rumblings and, with the release of the 2008 Smooth CE2.1 Elliptical, have increased the stride length to an excellent 18″. Finally, the Smooth CE2.1 feels as comfortable and as “smooth” as its name. The new stride design features one of the most natural feeling elliptical motions on a unit and Smooth’s rollerless technology is still one of the quietest designs on the market. The silent drive on the Smooth CE2.1 is very cool for those who live in apartments or hate the loud noises some lower quality ellipticals made during workouts.

Their ellipticals in general are good machines with a great feel. The crossbrace system they use for the front of their units helps to produce a very sturdy workout platform. Add to that the pivoting foot pedals and proper pedal distance and you have an incredibly comfortable elliptical on your hands…and your feet. The Smooth units are some of the only rear drive ellipticals in this price range which will not cause your feet to fall asleep during longer workouts. The addition of the longer stride to that mix makes the Smooth CE2.1 and obvious choice for anyone looking for a best buy elliptical for under $1500 with the unit coming in at just under $1300.

The Smooth CE 2.1 Elliptical features a nice stride length, 9 programs, pulse grip heart rate monitoring, and supports reverse motion workouts, a feature not often found in non-commercial ellipticals. Their 3:1 upper body resistance is a nice added feature for those who want to get a little additional upper body workout during their elliptical exercise.

It is great to see a manufacturer actually upgrading a unit with needed features and without increasing its price. The new 18″ stride Smooth CE2.1 is set to become one of the top rated ellipticals in its price range. For that reason the Treadmill Sensei gives the Smooth CE2.1 Elliptical 4.5 out of 5 golden buddahs.


Compare the Smooth CE2.1 Elliptical and save by going factory direct.

Smooth CE2.1 Elliptical Specifications
Stride: 18″

Articulating Foot Pedals: Yes
Dual Action: Yes
Maximum Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.
Resistance Type: Magnetic
Resistance Levels: 16
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Heart Rate Control: Yes
Programs: 9
Display Type: LCD
Readouts: Course, profile, speed, time, distance, heart rate, calories and resistance level
Grade: Residential
Price: Under $1300

**2015 UPDATE** The Smooth CE2.1 elliptical is no longer being sold. If you are interested in a Smooth elliptical trainer you can check out all of the latest models here.