The Spirit XE550 Elliptical Review — Smooth like butter


One of the main things the Treadmill Sensei hates about bad ellipticals is their foot pads/pedals. The worst thing that can happen to you is your feet falling asleep during your workout. I hate that more than anything. The sad part of the problem is that it doesn’t have to be happening anymore. Elliptical manufacturers know about the problem and they know about how to fix it.

One company which has gone out of its way to address the problem of numb feet, and uncomfortable workouts in general, is Spirit Fitness. This is especially true in their XE550 Elliptical. You see, I am convinced the the engineers and designers at Spirit have a bit of a foot fetish. Not only did they give the Spirit XE550 Elliptical some of the best articulating food pads around, but they placed them closer together and gave them a 2% tilt to make them feel as close to natural as possible. The XE550 takes the elliptical comfort one step further by adding on an adjustable feature, allowing every different user to set the pedal angle to what feels best to them. Very few other ellipticals, at any price range, come close to the incredible feeling you can get from working out on an XE550 elliptical.

Moving out past the pedals, Spirit has taken the frame from their XE350 and extended out, adding on plastic rail coverings for the back of the unit. The extended length flattens out the elliptical path of the XE550’s 20″ stride and makes it move like butter. Or, for those of you who are watching your cholesterol, like “I can’t believe it’s not butter.”

We work on a few Spirit XE550 Ellipticals every week here at the DOJO and I have to say it is one of my all time favorite machines to service or install. They are solid and sturdy, they don’t give you that awful bouncy feel of lesser ellipticals (Proform, I’m talking to you). If you can afford the price tag of just under $1700 then I wholeheartedly recomment the Spirit XE550. I like it so much I helped one of the girls in the DOJO’s front office get one for her workout room at home.

Just so I can’t be accused of being completely in love with the XE550, I do have a tiny nitpick. The plastic shroud on the back of the machine isn’t durable enough to stand on. It looks solid, and is well made, but the plastic will not hold up to someone attempting to stand on it. I’d love to see the plastic replaced by metal, but that is a minor complaint in an incredible machine.

If you’re looking for a decent feeling workout in the $1700 range then try out the smooth and comfortable Spirit XE550 Elliptical…the Treadmill Sensei gives the thing 4.5 out of 5 golden buddahs.

UPDATE: The Spirit XE550 is now discontinued and out of stock.

It has Spirit, yes it does! The Spirit XE550 is an excellent buy for under $1700 and gets 4.5 gold buddahs out of 5.

Spirit XE550 Elliptical Specifications
Stride Length: 20″
Flywheel: 30lbs
Programs: 10
Resistance Levels: 20
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Heart Rate Control: Yes
Display: LED
Readouts: Time, weight, speed, RPM, distance, calories, level, laps, heart rate, and age
Max User Weight: 400lbs
Product Weight: 203lbs