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ProForm 510E Elliptical Review

Elliptical Rating: ★★☆☆☆

For Smoother Workouts on a Budget

The ProForm 510E elliptical is made for the beginning cardio trainer on a budget. Its 18” to 20” stride fits almost any user’s natural gait. Handlebars move to provide a full-body workout and a stationary set provides support during lower-body workouts. There’s also an incline, which is excellent for developing muscles and burning fat calories. However, exercising with the incline might feel too choppy for taller users. This affordable elliptical trainer is smoother and quieter than others in its price category thanks to an inertia-enhanced flywheel and magnetic resistance.

The 510E sells for less than $600 online. As this review indicates, a $600 elliptical is usually a dud – and the ProForm 510E is no exception. We recommend spending a bit more or at least trying a different discount brand such as Horizon. NordicTrack also makes better-quality elliptical trainers for this model’s price category.

What’s Included

A 5″ backlit display shows speed, time, distance, resistance, heart rate and calories burned. A RaceTrack™ graphic shows your progress around a quarter mile track. Here’s the specs list:

  • Front drive
  • 18 – 20″ stride
  • 20° incline
  • 18 resistance levels
  • 18 workout programs
  • iFit Live compatible (adaptor needed)
  • Music port & 2” speakers
  • Grip heart rate monitor
  • Oversized pedals
  • 275-lb. capacity
  • Shipping weight: 250 pounds
  • Warranty: lifetime frame, one year parts and labor

Customer Opinions of the ProForm 510E

The 510E wouldn’t be mistaken for a fitness club machine. Perhaps the first sign is that it’s sold with lots and lots of lubricant. Excessive maintenance is required to keep this machine squeak-free. It takes a handy person up to an hour to assemble because parts don’t align as easily as they should.

Most importantly, customers report that the 510E can’t handle its advertised max capacity or otherwise just isn’t durable. People weighing less than 200 pounds have quickly snapped the frame or pedals. In some cases the machine has stopped working within ten minutes of the first start-up. Sometimes the elliptical even arrives damaged and isn’t replaced for weeks, according to customer reviews.

One woman wrote that her ProForm elliptical arrived broken, but that now she’s enjoying the calorie-targeted workouts. Overall she gave this product four stars out of five. With all due respect, we think she’s not expecting enough! There are too many instances of customers waiting weeks to work out, and that just isn’t right.

Our Overall Review

The idea of the 2012 ProForm 510E elliptical is attractive: a discount elliptical full of perks like oversized pedals, iFit and a ramp. But ProForm didn’t pull it off. These machines break down too quickly to justify their low price. The one-year warranty is of little value when customer service is so slow.

If you like the basic features of this model, check out NordicTrack’s ellipticals for similar products. The ProForm 510E has been compared to the NordicTrack E8.0. These two brands are owned by the same parent company, but NordicTrack has a better reputation in terms of product quality and customer service. Also check out Horizon elliptical trainers before making a decision.