Life Fitness E1 Elliptical Review

Everyone wants to find themselves a professional elliptical for home use and wants to get one that they can afford. Life Fitness often offers the former, but the affordable part can be harder to accomplish. However, with the Life Fitness E1 elliptical, they might have found the right combination.

Today we’re going to look at E1, the basic version of the Life Fitness E3 and the Life Fitness E5, and see if the lower cost of the elliptical comes with any significant drawbacks in terms of the features. We’ll check out the resistance, technical specs, monitors and so on before comparing it to the pricing and the warranties that it comes with. Finally, we’ll give our thoughts and verdict before calling it a day. So, with all of that out of the way, let’s hop right into our review of the Life Fitness E1 cross-trainer!

Life Fitness E1 Cross Trainer Review:

E1 Elliptical Machine Specifications:

It makes sense that we start with the specifications of the Life Fitness E1 elliptical. These will tell you how large the machine is, how much it weighs and we’ll cover any colour options that might come with it as well. This way you will have a pretty clear picture of what the E1 brings to the home.

The E1 is a fairly sizable machine, like all the other ellipticals in the E-series that Life Fitness produces. Similarly, it is equally as immobile, with only a single pair of wheels on the rear to help with movement. The Life Fitness E1 elliptical measures out to be 82 inches (209 cm) long, 30 inches (77 cm) wide and 59 inches (150 cm) tall. It’s a large machine, fair to say.

As for the weight of the E1, it is the lightest of the E-series. However, that doesn’t mean that it is a light elliptical that can be moved around at will. The Life Fitness E1 cross-trainer weighs right around 211 lbs (96 kg). This doesn’t stop it from being able to hold the standard 400 lbs (181.4 kg) that all Life Fitness ellipticals are able to. Generally there aren’t any sort of issues with the weight, which is always a positive.

If you were hoping for any sort of colour options, prepare to be disappointed. Unfortunately, you will have to deal with the same gray and black colour scheme at all times. Admittedly, it isn’t that much different compared to the silver, white and black highlights that you can find otherwise on Life Fitness machines. But it would still be nice to see some options in this regard. You won’t find too many complaints about the technical specs of the E1 elliptical. It does the job, even if it is rather large and decently heavy.

Life Fitness E1 Elliptical Monitor:

Where there are not multiple options of the colour of the Life Fitness E1 cross-trainer, there are multiple options in regards to the monitor. On one side, you have the Go Console, which is the cheaper and more straightforward option. The more expensive option is the Track Connect Console, which adds a lot more features to the monitor experience, as well as adding about $400 to the end price.

Both of these consoles come with a “CoachZone” feature, which looks to work individual muscle groups throughout the workout. They also both monitor the same selection of statistics. It will display your time, distance, level of resistance, heart rate, calories and the speed (in both imperial and metric measurements). It’s nothing special or out of the ordinary, but it isn’t lacking anything either.

The Go Console offers a fairly simple blue LCD screen that displays the aforementioned statistics. There are 12 preset workouts available on the Go Console, with the ability to create 2 additional custom workouts. If you have 2 users of the elliptical in the home, both can set up their own user profile on the Go Console as well. That’s pretty much it for the features of the Go Console.

The Track Console, on the other hand, seeks to offer a lot more. There are 16 preset workouts already onboard, with the ability to create 12 custom workouts. That is six times the amount available on the Go Console.

You also have the ability to set up 4 user profiles this time. But the real highlights come in the form of Bluetooth connections to different mobile devices. It can connect to phones and tablets, with apps like Jawbone, FitBit and RunSocial being just some of the options. The top half of the monitor is devoted to entertainment functions, with a holder to keep mobile devices in place. The lower half is devoted to displaying the statistics that we mentioned earlier.

Whichever console you decide to go with, you won’t be getting a bad deal either way. Both offer the essentials of what you need to get a good workout in while onboard. The Track Console just offers a few extra bells and whistles to entertain you while you do so.

Life Fitness E1 Drive and Resistance:

Up next we’re going to look at the elements that actually provide a challenge to all users of the Life Fitness E1 elliptical. The resistance settings and drivetrain can absolutely make or break the experience of working out on one of these machines. Fortunately, the E1 does a pretty good job of handling the resistance in a smooth way.

There are 20 different resistance levels on the E1, which can be controlled via the outer pair of handlebars. The reason that they put them here is to make switching resistance levels mid-workout much less intrusive. While there might not be as many options as some other ellipticals (even in the E-series of ellipticals), the higher level of resistance should still prove a challenge for all elliptical users.

The drivetrain that is used on the E1 cross-trainer is most certainly a belt, although Life Fitness chooses to continue using the name of the “WhisperStride” technology. Whatever they choose to call it, the E1 does still do a good job of working quietly and requiring very little maintenance, which is always praiseworthy.

We can’t complain about the resistance and drivetrain of the Life Fitness E1. Both work well. It might be nice to have more options for the resistance, but that’s more of a nitpick than anything that’s actually wrong with the elliptical.

Handlebars, Stride Length and Pedals:

It’s time to cover the elements that you’ll be interacting with the most on the Life Fitness E1 elliptical. The handlebars, pedals and stride length are all crucial in how comfortable you are when exercising onboard this machine. Therefore, it’s important to know if they all work as intended and can do the job.

The handlebars, as we previously mentioned, are the region that you control the resistance from. At least, the outer handlebars that move with the pedals are. There are also an inner pair of stationary handlebars that contain sensors on them for the pulse reading. You can also connect via a chest strap, but those are not included with the elliptical. With these handlebar sensors you can at least get a general approximation of your pulse without needing to purchase extra equipment.

The stride length is another element that is fine, but could be better. We always praise ellipticals that offer the ability to change the stride length. The Life Fitness E1 elliptical has a fixed stride length of 20 inches. While this should be fine for most people, it would be nice if this had like 4 inches of adjustability.

The pedals do absolutely nothing special. They are oversized and non-slip, allowing for most people to fit with no problem. Otherwise there isn’t much to say about the pedals.

You won’t find too many problems with the stride length and pedals. We just wish that they offered a bit more. The handlebars face no such criticism, as they do just about everything that you would expect them to.

Life Fitness E1 Price and Warranty:

Now we get to the part that might make or break someone’s decision to purchase the Life Fitness E1 elliptical. The pricing and the warranties can determine whether or not this is a solid recommend or a skip. Fortunately, the value of the E1 seems to match up with what it offers, which is always a positive.

The cost of the E1 with Go Console comes out to be just around $2,350, while the cost of the E1 with the Track Connect Console increases to around $2,800. Both of these evaluations are actually pretty fair, considering the commercial build that you are getting, as well as all the bonus tech that you’d get with the Track Connect Console. Would we like it to be cheaper so that everyone could get one? Sure thing. But the values here do not deceive.

Life Fitness have offered some pretty horrid warranties for other ellipticals in the past, so we wanted to make sure that wasn’t the case here. Fortunately, they seemed to have backed up the E1 with a decent warranty package. You get a lifetime warranty on the frame, 5 years on the parts, 3 years on the console and 1 year on the labour. While the labour warranty could be better, this is a pretty good package for the price and we can’t complain too much.

Life Fitness Assembly and Shipping:

The assembly process of the Life Fitness ellipticals has been something that we consistently praise, and the E1 is no different. Even if you are someone who has little skill in assembling these types of machines, the manual that comes with the E1 allows for a straightforward assembly process. This is, of course, assuming that one does not order it preassembled.

The shipping process is somewhat out of our (or Life Fitness’) hands. Life Fitness is based out of the United States, so it will generally take 1-2 weeks to arrive. But this can be affected by a myriad of factors. Human error, global pandemics and clogged shipping can all play a part in slowing the transport of the E1.

Life Fitness E1 Elliptical Machine Pros:

Quality Monitor Choices:

The monitor choices that you have for the Life Fitness E1 elliptical definitely offer value, regardless of which one you pick. You can get more preset workouts (and therefore more variety) from the Track Console, although the Go Console serves as a very good budget option. Regardless of which one you pick, you will most certainly be pleased when using it.

Good Value For Price:

Considering how expensive some of the other Life Fitness ellipticals can be, this is a fairly cheap and affordable machine. You get a similar amount of features to some of the higher tier E-series ellipticals for a lower price.

Commercial Build:

The Life Fitness E1 might be a cheaper machine, but it doesn’t lack the standard commercial quality that often comes with Life Fitness machines. You won’t feel like you are riding a rickety piece of junk. It looks slick and maintains that clean feel throughout the workout.

Life Fitness E1 Elliptical Machine Cons:

The E1 Is Large And Immobile:

One of the features that the Life Fitness E1 shares with its companions in the E-series is the size and immobility. The wheels are absolutely tiny and the machine absolutely large. You’ll want to keep these factors in mind when thinking of a place to put the E1 in your home.

Lacks Additional Features:

While it shouldn’t be surprising for the lowest of the E-series elliptical, it would still be nice to see some additional features thrown in. Perhaps a cooling fan or some sort of audio device attached, just to add some more value to the machine as a whole.

Our Final Verdict

The Life Fitness E1 cross-trainer offers a commercial-level elliptical for a reasonable budget. You still get to choose from two very good consoles, depending on what you are looking for. The resistance levels will offer a challenge to veterans and newcomers alike, while the warranties will keep the machine guaranteed for a good few years. If you are looking for a high-quality, affordable machine, the Life Fitness E1 elliptical might be your choice.

Sayed Hamed Hosseiny
Sayed Hamed Hosseiny

Hi, my name is Sayed Hamed Hosseiny. I am a professional health and fitness trainer with nearly 20 years of experience using ellipticals, rowing machines, and spin bikes. I also have my own EU-based Rock Fitness Pro fitness brand where I design, import and sell exercise equipment such as rowing machines and spin bikes. I and writers on my team also often receive fitness equipment to review and evaluate their functionalities and performance from tens of different exercise machines manufacturers. Fitness equipment tips, guides, reviews, and comparisons on this website are my opinion (and opinions of my fitness expert colleagues) based on tens of criteria. I never accept payment to write reviews of products or say positive things about fitness equipment products. If brands are interested to have me review their rowers, ellipticals, or spin bikes, they can get in touch with me via email provided on the contact page and send a sample of their product.