The Gazelle FreeStyle elliptical trainer is a small home exercise machine that’s often advertised on TV. It’s designed for all ages and fitness levels and folds up for easy storage.
Although cheap ellipticals usually disappoint, Gazelle owners are typically pleased with their purchase. The FreeStyle doesn’t offer the versatility or resistance of a traditional full-size elliptical trainer, but it’s relatively durable and provides good value for the money.
The Gazelle is usually available online from Dick’s Sporting Goods for about $250. The manufacturer (Fitness Quest) and eBay members sometimes offer even lower prices.
Elliptical Hits: Best Features of the Gazelle FreeStyle Elliptical Trainer
- Oversized pedals – The anti-slip pedals on Gazelle trainers are oversized to promote comfort. People can place their feet on different parts of the pedals to get a custom glide.
- Compact size – The Gazelle FreeStyles folds for easy storage.
- Heart rate monitor – The thumb pulse heart rate monitor helps users keep track of cardiovascular progress.
- Long range of motion – This machine is designed to let people of all sizes use a full range of motion. However, doing so requires people to make a propelling motion forward. Traditional elliptical machines make it easier to attain a specific stride.
- Data readouts – Users get immediate feedback about their speed, distance, time, approximate calories burned, and heart rate.
Elliptical Misses: Drawbacks of the Gazelle FreeStyle
- No preset programs or resistance – The Gazelle’s resistance depends on the effort that a user exerts. It’s difficult to keep track of progress when there aren’t resistance levels and programs to use as benchmarks.
- Lack of entertainment – Entertainment isn’t a necessity, but engaging features such as iPod ports and interactive training are becoming common on full-size home ellipticals. On the other hand, this gadget is small enough to move from room to room and park in front of a TV set.
Overall Rating for the Gazelle FreeStyle Elliptical Trainer
Very cheap ellipticals, the FreeStyle included, compare poorly with ellipticals that cost just a few hundred dollars more. Still, the FreeStyle can’t fairly be compared with such machines; it costs much less and doesn’t try to compete with more complex gym equipment. This is a fine option to keep around for rainy days – but on its own, the Gazelle FreeStyle doesn’t offer the ergonomics, resistance, or programming to support a serious fitness regime.
For a better home elliptical, see discount brands such as NordicTrack and Schwinn.