The Best Rear Drive Elliptical For Home Use | Top 6 in 2022

A rear-drive elliptical is often preferred over other cross-trainers as they have a natural walking feel and don’t strain the back and knees.

But with various brands offering rear-drive ellipticals, it becomes challenging to select the right one.

I have done extensive research on the best brands available in the market and made an exhaustive list for you to choose from. These trainers have been evaluated on features, performance, warranty, user reviews, and cost, amongst many other factors.

While the best rear-wheel elliptical trainer is the Nordictrack Spacesaver SE7i, I’ve also curated the top options across 6 main categories. This can help you choose the correct product as per your needs.

 

Best Rear drive Elliptical: Overall

Nordictrack Spacesaver SE71
Best Rear drive Elliptical: Budget
Sunny Pre-programmed Elliptical SF-E3912
Best Rear drive Elliptical: Hybrid
ProForm Hybrid Trainer XT
Best Rear drive Elliptical: Recumbent
XTERRA Fitness RSX1500 Seated Recumbent Elliptical
Best Rear drive Elliptical: Hi-tech
Nordictrack Spacesaver SE9i
Best Rear drive Elliptical: Heavy Duty
Niceday Elliptical

 

Top 6 Rear Drive Ellipticals Reviewed

All the options mentioned below are great. However, always consult a physician if you have any medical conditions.

 

1. Nordictrack Spacesaver SE7I – Best Rear Drive Elliptical (Overall)

Nordictrack Spacesaver SE7I

 

  • Stride length: 18 inches, adjustable
  • Resistance: 22 resistance levels
  • Incline: 10% incline, power-adjustable
  • Product dimensions: ‎80″L x 32″W x 67″H
  • Maximum user weight capacity: 325 lbs (147 kgs)
  • Warranty: 10 years on frame, 2 years on parts, and 1 year on labor

The Nordictrack Spacesaver SE7I is the best rear-drive elliptical as it offers a featured-packed design with a great warranty at a reasonable price. It also has a space-saving design which helps in convenient storage in your home gym.

The SE7I includes 24 built-in workouts – 12 calories and 12 performance workouts and is enabled with iFit technology. This includes on-demand workout sessions and trainer interaction. Thus ensuring you have enough workout options without getting bored.

Additionally, it offers 22 digital resistance levels and a power incline, ensuring you are progressing along your fitness journey.

The elliptical has dual handlebars to have a comfortable grip during your workout session.
The oversized cushioned pedals and a heavy flywheel help deliver a smoother ride than the traditional compact ellipticals.

The 18-inch adjustable stride length provides a personalized workout for a broad audience.

It has a 5-inch backlit LCD screen to view essential statistics of the workout. It is Bluetooth-enabled and also comes with a CoolAire workout fan to stay cool and motivated during the training.

All these features and a 10-year warranty on the frame make it the best elliptical in the rear-drive category.

 

Why do we love it

Pros
  • iFit with Google Maps and automatic trainer control
  • Folding SpaceSaver design
  • Warranty
  • Workout Fan
  • Bluetooth enable
Cons
  • Heavy to move

 

Summary of customer reviews

The Nordictrack elliptical is easy to set up compact elliptical. Users like the console as it has a friendly interface. However, it is slightly big and bulky. Some customers have also faced problems with the pulse rate monitor. Also, you need to set up the iFit account to use this machine, which requires updating your credit card details.

 

2. Sunny Pre-programmed Elliptical SF-E3912 – Best Rear Drive Elliptical (Budget)

Sunny Pre-programmed Elliptical SF-E3912

 

  • Stride length: 15.5 inches
  • Resistance: 16 resistance levels
  • Incline: N/A
  • Product dimensions: ‎55″L x 23″W x 64.5″H
  • Maximum user weight capacity: 330 lbs (150 kgs)
  • Warranty: 3 years for structural frame and 180 days for other parts and components

The Sunny SF-E3912 is a pre-programmed elliptical designed for challenging workouts. It offers 24 built-in programs, which gives you a variety of workouts to choose from.

It also has an electromagnetic resistance system which reduces the noise of the machine, allowing you to do other activities like watching TV or catching up on work.

The elliptical has full motion handlebars that simultaneously engage muscles in your upper and lower body. In addition, the pulse sensors present on the handlebar help to monitor the heart rate while exercising, giving you a better understanding of your health and fitness status.

The pedals of this elliptical are textured, and its grip ensures firm footing during extensive workouts. It is also very wide, accommodating all foot sizes.

The console has a backlit LCD that tracks various metrics of your workout to see your progress over time.
All these features, with a reasonable cost, make this the best budget rear drive elliptical.

Why do we love it

Pros
  • Value for money
  • Easily movable
  • Aesthetic design
Cons
  • Short warranty

 

Summary of customer reviews

With a 4.1 rating out of 5 on Amazon, the Sunny Pre-programmed Elliptical provides excellent value for money. However, few customers face challenges with assembling the product, and some users believe it is better suited for people with short height due to its stride length.

 

3. ProForm Hybrid Trainer XT – Best Rear Drive Elliptical (Hybrid)

ProForm Hybrid Trainer XT

 

  • Stride length: 15 inches
  • Resistance: 16 levels
  • Incline: N/A
  • Product dimensions: ‎70.5″ L x 24.5″W x 70.5″H
  • Maximum user weight capacity: 250 lbs (113.4 kgs)
  • Warranty: 5 years on frame and 1 year on parts & labor

The ProForm Hybrid Trainer XT is versatile 2-in-1 equipment that offers the benefits of a recumbent exercise bike and a rear-drive elliptical.

The inertia-enhanced flywheel gives smooth and steady pedal strokes resulting in a natural stride. The adjustable pedals help you find a comfortable position for your feet for both the elliptical and bike functions. They also offer ample foot space, making them suitable for various foot sizes.

The elliptical has a moving set of handlebars with integrated pulse sensors, which helps monitor your heart rate on a real-time basis.

The 16 levels of magnetic resistance help make your workout sessions more challenging and allow progression as per your fitness.

This cross-trainer bike also comes with a 30-day iFIT membership where you can stream live workout sessions, take studio classes, and track your progress to provide future suggestions. And with the integrated sound system, you can enjoy interactive training sessions or music while you workout.

The LCD display helps you keep track of cadence, distance, and calories burned during the session.

Why do we love it

Pros
  • Recumbent bike and elliptical in 1 machine
  • 250 lbs user weight capacity
  • Ergonomic design
  • Inertia enhanced flywheel
Cons

     

    Summary of customer reviews

    The elliptical is easy to assemble and switch from a recumbent elliptical to a rear-drive elliptical. However, few customers have faced issues with the backlit LCD screen and iFit subscription.

     

    4. Xterra Fitness RSX1500 Seated Stepper Recumbent Elliptical – Best Rear drive Elliptical (Recumbent)

    Xterra Fitness RSX1500 Seated Stepper Recumbent Elliptical

     

    • Stride length: 13 inches
    • Resistance: 24 levels
    • Incline: N/A
    • Product dimensions: ‎52.1″L x 14.7″W x 50″H
    • Maximum user weight capacity: 300 lbs (136 kgs)
    • Warranty: Lifetime on frame and brakes, 3 years on parts and 1 year on labor

    The Xterra Fitness RSX1500 Seated Stepper offers a full-body coordinated leg and arm motion with minimal impact on joints. This makes it an excellent option for obese and senior users.

    It has a comfortable and adjustable seat, letting you sit for extended periods, making it perfect for everyone regardless of age or ability.

    The elliptical has an easy-to-read 5.6-inch blue and yellow backlit LCD screen, which clearly displays all the relevant information, letting you track the workout. In addition, it offers 13 workout programs to get you going. It also has built-in speakers with an auxiliary audio port to connect your phone/tablet.

    It has 360° padded handlebars, which can be adjusted as per your suitability for a smooth and comfortable workout experience. They come with pulse sensors so you can monitor and stay in your targeted heart rate zone.

    This rear-wheel cross trainer offers self-balancing pedals, ensuring they are always oriented in the correct position even when you are not using the equipment. The ratchet-style straps secure the feet during a workout.
    The 13-inch linear pedal motion puts less stress on the joints and makes your workout more comfortable.

     

    Why do we love it

    Pros
    • Self balancing pedals
    • 24 resistance levels
    • Compact size
    • Warranty
    Cons
    • Maximum height of up to 6’2″

    Summary of customer reviews

    This Xterra stepper is well-liked by the consumers, with many mentions about its comfortable seat and noiseless movement. However, a few people find this elliptical cross trainer challenging to assemble. Along with this, a few users said that its twirling handgrip could be difficult to grab onto when in motion and have also pointed out the inaccuracy of its heart rate monitor.

     

    5. Nordictrack Spacesaver SE9i – Best Rear drive Elliptical (Hi-tech)

    Nordictrack Spacesaver SE9i

     

    • Stride length: 18 inches, adjustable
    • Resistance: 24 resistance levels
    • Incline: 10% incline, power-adjustable
    • Product dimensions: ‎‎80″L x 32″W x 67″H
    • Maximum user weight capacity: 325 lbs (147.4kgs)
    • Warranty: 10 years on frame, 2 years on parts and 1 year on labor

    The Nordictrack Spacesaver SE9i is the best hi-tech elliptical in the rear wheel cross trainer category.

    The elliptical has a 14″ Smart HD Touchscreen and comes with a 30-day iFit family membership and integrated Google maps. This allows on-demand workouts 24×7 from the best fitness trainers worldwide and gives daily recommendations. Additionally, it offers automatic real-time trainer control to ensure that the workouts are challenging.

    This elliptical is Bluetooth enabled, and the two amplified speakers help you enjoy the workout while following a trainer or listening to your music.

    It offers 24 digital resistance levels and a power incline, ensuring you are progressing along your fitness journey.

    The handlebars have integrated quick touch controls, which help adjust the ramp and resistance. This makes changes during the workouts very easy. The handlebars are also equipped with built-in sensors to track heart rate.

    The pedals are perfectly cushioned and provide plenty of comfort while working out. It can also be adjusted quickly and provides a firm grip for the foot while striding.
    It also has a fan to keep you cool during your sessions.

     

    Why do we love it

    Pros
    • HiFit with Google Maps and automatic trainer control
    • Folding SpaceSaver design
    • Heavy to move
    • 24 resistance levels
    • Warranty
    • Workout Fan
    Cons
    • Cost

     

    Summary of customer reviews

    The Nordictrack Spacesaver SE9i is a good quality elliptical liked by most user. However, some customers face challenges while assembling and moving the equipment as it weighs over 90kgs.

     

    6. Niceday Elliptical – Best Rear drive Elliptical (Heavy Duty)

    Niceday Elliptical

     

    • Stride length: 15.5 inches
    • Resistance: 16 resistance levels
    • Incline: N/A
    • Product dimensions: 62″L x 25″W x 48″H
    • Maximum user weight capacity: 400 lbs (181.4kgs)
    • Warranty: Lifetime service for parts

    The Niceday Elliptical is a cost-effective rear-drive elliptical equipment.

    With a user weight capacity of 400lbs, this elliptical is suitable for most users. It comes with a Hyper-Quiet Magnetic Drive System, which helps to eliminate noise.

    The 16lbs flywheel and a 15.5″ stride length ensures a smooth workout experience. Whereas the 16 resistance levels ensure you progress along your fitness journey.

    The handlebar is adjustable to provide a comfortable grip to the user while using the elliptical. It has also been equipped with a pulse sensor, which helps in real-time tracking of the heart rate.

    The console has an HD LCD display that keeps track of time, distance, speed, calories, and pulse. The data is well-calibrated using algorithms for accurate data tracking.

    This equipment can also be used without electricity and comes with transport wheels for easy movement around the house.

     

    Why do we love it

    Pros
    • 400 lbs weight capacity
    • Electricity free
    Cons
    • Lifetime service, not warranty

    Summary of customer reviews

    Customers love this elliptical as it can quickly be assembled and is easily moveable. However, some users found it loud, with a squeaky voice.

     

    What is a Rear Drive Elliptical?

    Elliptical training machines mimic the walking/running motion and have a flywheel and flat head pedals. There are three types of ellipticals depending on the flywheel placement – rear, front, and center drive ellipticals.

    The most common is the rear-drive ellipticals, where the flywheel is situated behind the user. It gives a natural and fluid walking motion. There can be a slight incline in rear-drive elliptical trainers.

    The center drive elliptical has a centrally positioned flywheel.

    When the flywheel is located in the front, it is called a front-drive elliptical. Exercising with a front-drive elliptical is not as natural as the rear-drive and feels like an uphill climb.

    Choosing a suitable elliptical trainer depends upon the person and their fitness goals.

    Let’s have a more detailed look at the pros and cons of the two most common types of ellipticals – The Rear Drive Elliptical and The Front Drive Elliptical.

     

    What is a better: rear-drive or front-drive elliptical?

    Rear Drive Ellipticals

    Pros:
    Due to the rear positioning of the flywheel, rear-drive ellipticals feel just like walking naturally

    It is an excellent choice for people with joint problems, joint injuries, or senior citizens as they have vertical movement and are highly efficient in avoiding lower back injuries and pain.

    Compared to front-drive ellipticals, these have fewer parts, making them easier to maintain. Also, making them much quieter

    Cons:
    The incline is not a common feature of these ellipticals. The users who want a more demanding workout and who want to involve an inclining factor may face some limitations with this elliptical.

    Rear-drive ellipticals take up more space than the other two types due to the design of the product. For people who want to install an elliptical trainers at home, space will be a big factor to consider.

    These ellipticals are generally costlier when compared with the other two types of elliptical trainers.

    Front Drive Ellipticals

    Pros:
    Front drive ellipticals provide an uphill motion due to the positioning of the flywheel. This climbing effort is great for users who demand a more intense workout.

    Due to their flywheel positioning, front-drive ellipticals require significantly less space, making them an excellent choice for home use.

    Front drive ellipticals tend to be more economical than rear-drive ellipticals. Thus, it’s an excellent choice for people looking for an elliptical trainer on a budget.

    Cons:
    Front Drive Ellipticals tend to have more parts, which means more wear and tear leading to more maintenance costs in the future.

    This also makes them noisier when compared to other ellipticals.

    These are the specific pros and cons of each machine, and will help your decision-making process. However, we highly advisable testing both types of elliptical trainers before deciding.

     

    What to look for while buying a rear drive elliptical?

    Now that you know what types of elliptical trainers are available in the market and their respective pros and cons, let us talk about what characteristics you should keep in mind while buying a read wheel cross trainer.

     

    Stride Length

    The distance covered by one step while walking is called the stride length. The height of the user determines the ideal stride length.

    Rear drive ellipticals generally provide a better stride length than the front drive ellipticals, vary between 15 inches to 20 inches. Some rear wheel elliptical trainers also have adjustable stride length. This is an excellent feature to customize the elliptical as per the user’s height or target different muscles like calves, hamstrings, etc.

    Resistance and Incline

    The elliptical’s resistance and incline are critical as it determines how you progress along your fitness journey.
    Having multiple resistance and adjustable incline makes it ideal for people who like a bit of intensity in their workout. This is another important factor to consider while buying a new rear-drive elliptical trainer.

     

    Space coverage

    Rear-drive ellipticals generally cover a lot more space than the front-drive variants, and hence it is a critical decision-making factor. Therefore, identifying the place in your home where the trainer will be installed is highly advisable while looking at different options.

     

    Weight Capacity

    When buying a trainer for home, it is essential to keep in mind the maximum load capacity to ensure all family members can use it. Rear-drive ellipticals in the market today offer a load capacity of up to 400 lbs. We recommend getting an equipment which has more weight capacity than the heaviest member of the family.

     

    Warranty and Budget

    Budget and warranty are two essential things to keep in mind for any fitness equipment. Today, multiple options are available in the market at varying budgets and warranties. Some options in our top picks list above come with a 3-year warranty, while others come with a lifetime warranty. So, evaluate all the available options as per your requirements and decide accordingly.

     

    Other features

    Rear-drive ellipticals in the market today have many additional features like adjustable handles, Bluetooth connectivity, Smart Consoles, in-built fitness programs, and a lot more. These features play a vital role while choosing the best fit for yourself, especially when you are confused between two options.

     

    Conclusion

    Having researched most of the products available in the market today, I recommend the Nordictrack Spacesaver SE71 to be the best rear-drive elliptical trainer. With a 10-inch smart HD screen, iFit subscription, automatic trainer control, and a foldable design, it offers some of the best features for its price.

    Disclaimer: The information mentioned in the article above is for educational and informational purposes only. It shouldn’t be considered as health or medical advice. Please consult a doctor or a qualified health professional if you have any medical/health conditions questions.

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