The Spirit ZE110 Elliptical — A Rugged Contender Under $700


Yes, I know it seems like the Treadmill Sensei has been on a run of elliptical reviews lately, but it’s what we have coming through the shop right now! Ellipticals seem to be coming through at a rate of 3 to 1 versus ellipticals. So, for today you can call me the Elliptical Sensei (and this will teach Uncle Chris to mock me for not knowing about the Proform 20.0 Elliptical…not the Elliptical Sensei? I’ll show you, Uncle Chris…I’ll show you!)! But, never fear, I’ll be back tomorrow with a treadmill review.

I’ve reviewed a lot of Spirit Fitness equipment this past year because it was one of the most popular units to come through out shop here in Southern California. This was a huge change from years past when Spirit deliveries were few and far between. Heck, Hikaru still teases me about renaming our shop the “Spirit DOJO.” One of the Spirit units I was surprised not to have seen more of was the rugged little ZE110 Elliptical. I say “surprised” because this machine holds up fairly well to ellipticals from the marketplace juggernauts Horizon and Schwinn. While this unit was priced at an outrageous $899 earlier in the season, Spirit dropped it down to the much more competitive $699 it is currently priced — at $899 it is an average elliptical, but at $699 it becomes a solid unit that performs well against other models in the same range.

The ZE110 itself is a slightly downgraded version of the Spirit ZE120, with the main differences being a shorter 18″ stride, a single rail for each wheel, a slightly lesser console and lesser warranty. However, for being $400 less than its bigger brother, the Spirit ZE110 is an above average by for sure.

With a solid 135 pound frame, comfortable 18″ stride, articulating footpedals and a 24lb flywheel (although, I’d estimate it at being closer to 18 or 20 pounds, but that’s just an old service tech nitpicking), the Spirit ZE110 will give you a ride more often seen in the higher priced Schwinn 438 or Horizon EX75. Factoring in the 13 programs and 16 levels of resistance gives you a great choice in the under $700 range.

Now, I’ve seen mention online of loud squeaks coming out of the ZE110 and ZE120 machines (and Spirit ellipticals in general). This actually isn’t as big of a problem as it might initially seem. What this is caused by is either slightly bent wheel shrouds or non-lubricated rails. Unbending the wheel casings and properly cleaning and lubricating your rails should quite that noise down to almost nothing. Normally Spirit ellipticals are very quiet machines.

The only real downsides to the machine are the single rails for the wheels to run on. Double rails would have given the unit an even smoother ride. That and I really wish the Spirit ZE110 had been given Spirit’s standard warranties of 5 years for parts and 2 years for labor. However, 3 years and 1 year for a budget elliptical isn’t bad.

If you’re looking for an elliptical priced just under $700 and want an alternative to Schwinn, Horizon or Proform, then check out the Spirit ZE110 because it is great for light to medium workouts. For being a slick little machine, the Treadmill Sensei gives the Spirit ZE110 elliptical 3.5 out of 5 golden buddahs.

UPDATE: The Spirit ZE110 has been discontinued by the manufacturer and is no longer available.

The Spirit ZE110 gets a very solid 3.5 gold buddahs out of 5.

Spirit ZE110 Elliptical Specifications
Stride: 18″
Flywheel: 24lbs
Display: LCD
Programs: 13
Resistance: 16 Levels
Heart Rate Monitor: Pulse grip and wireless
Heart Rate Control: Yes
Max User Weight: 300lbs
Elliptical Weight: Approximately 135 lbs