A rear drive elliptical machine

The 5 Best Rear Drive Ellipticals


Front drive vs rear drive elliptical

The flywheel is the part of the elliptical that creates resistance as you pedal. Ellipticals are often classified into two categories depending on the location of the flywheel or the drive mechanism. That is rear-drive ellipticals or front drive. On a front-drive elliptical, the flywheel is located at the front. As you pedal on this elliptical it feels like you’re walking uphill or climbing a hill. Many users tend to lean forward when using a front-drive elliptical. These ellipticals include lots of moving parts. This increases the chance of breaking down and require regular maintenance. A major benefit of front-drive ellipticals is that they’re compact. If you’re working with a small space, they’re a great option.


With a rear-drive elliptical, the flywheel is located at the back, behind the user. The first elliptical ever created was by the brand, Precor, and included a rear-drive system. The design was patented and many brands that wanted to use it had to pay to include it in their designs. Because of this positioning, pedaling on a rear-drive elliptical feels like walking on flat/level ground. Because of this positioning, the incline setting is not as intense as that of a front-drive elliptical. Many users prefer to use rear-drive ellipticals as they put less stress on your back. They also require less maintenance as they come with fewer moving parts. However, these ellipticals tend to be expensive and take up more space. In this post, we share with you the best rear drive ellipticals. These are the best ellipticals  to use;


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Top 5 Best rear drive ellipticals



NordicTrack Spacesaver SE7i Elliptical

  • Rear-drive frame.
  • Silent magnetic resistance (SMR).
  • 18-inch stride.
  • 5-inch backlit display.
  • 22-levels of resistance.
  • 24+ preset workouts.
  • Interactive personal training.
  • 30-Day Free iFit membership.
  • CoolAire Fan.
  • Foldable space-saving design.
  • 325 lbs max user weight capacity.

NordicTrack has positioned itself as a brand that offers commercial-quality fitness equipment. With its Spacesaver SE7i rear drive elliptical, that’s what you get, a high-quality cardio machine for easy home workouts. This particular model is one of the best ellipticals under $1000. With this machine, you get a 10-year warranty on frame, 2-year warranty on parts. A true testament to the quality of its engineering. Its frame is made of heavy-duty steel that supports user weights of up to 325 lbs. The Assembly of this machine is as easy as can be. You will have it put together in 15-minutes or less. The only thing you might struggle with is getting it out of the box, it’s quite heavy at 215 lbs.


It comes with 22-levels of adjustable resistance. Silent magnetic resistance that allows you to exercise any time of the day. An 18-inch stride that allows taller users to experience a full range of motion when using this machine.  CoolAire fan keeps you cool as you exercise automatically adjusting to match the intensity of your workout. The space-saver SE7i also comes with a 5-inch display. It’s not a high-definition console but it does a good job at keeping track of your workout metrics. If you prefer to use your iPad, connect it for better access to your iFit membership. This machine also comes with free 30-day iFit membership. This subscription allows you to access thousands of on-demand training by elite trainers.


Exercise as you explore the most breathtaking terrains around the world. This type of interactive training has been a game-changer when it comes to at-home fitness. If you find yourself easily bored, this might just be the solution you need. You can also skip on the iFit subscription and save on the annual membership costs. Besides, you do get 24+ preset workouts to use to vary your workouts and challenge yourself. With its smart response, resistance and incline are automatically adjusted to match your workout. Another standout feature is its foldable design. This elliptical folds up well and can be stored vertically to save up on space.



  • Does not include a wireless chest strap.
  • The display is only 5-inches.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3912 Elliptical

  • Rear-drive frame.
  • 15.5-inch stride.
  • 16-levels of adjustable resistance.
  • Backlit display.
  • Device holder.
  • Pulse sensors.
  • 24 plus preset workouts.
  • Transportation wheels.
  • 330 lbs max user weight capacity.

Sunny Health and Fitness is best known for its high-quality yet affordable fitness equipment. With its SF-E3912 rear drive Elliptical, you get all the features of a high-end elliptical at a pocket-friendly price. Even though this elliptical is a newer model from the SHF team, it is currently one of the best budget ellipticals. Assembly is easy as the mainframe of this elliptical comes already assembled. Most of your time will be spent adding on the different attachments such as console, handlebars, etc. This shouldn’t take you more than 1-hour. Weighing about 105 lbs, you’re assured of a smooth and steady experience on this elliptical thanks to its high-quality steel frame. Even though this model is not foldable, it has a  very compact design. It an easy choice for those with smaller spaces as it measures only about 55” L x 23” W.


It also comes with a 15 lbs lightweight flywheel that provides a smooth and quiet experience. 16-levels of adjustable resistance to make your workout challenging. While the first few levels are light, the other levels will have you sweating in no time. The 15.5-inch stride is a bit shorter than the standard 18- 20 inches. The LCD display is a mid-range console that keeps track of your metrics as you exercise.  It’s divided into subsections that allow you to view all your metrics at once. The console also comes with 24+ preset workouts. Choose between manual, heart-based, or user-specific workout programs. This library of preset workouts is a nice addition to make up for the fact that this elliptical doesn’t have any online connectivity. The large pedals are designed to accommodate all users with different shoe sizes.



  • No Bluetooth connectivity.
  • A short 15.5-inch stride is not suitable for taller users.



ProForm Hybrid Trainer

  • 2-in-1 bike and elliptical trainer.
  • Rear-drive frame.
  • 16-levels of resistance.
  • Silent magnetic resistance.
  • 15-inch long stride.
  • Magnetic resistance.
  • 30-day free iFit membership.
  • Adjustable pedals.
  • Integrated speakers.
  • Vertical and horizontal adjustments.
  • Transportation wheels.
  • Assembled dimensions (60.5” H x 24.5” W x 70.5” D )
  • 350 lbs max user weight capacity.

Proform hybrid trainer is a low-impact 2-in-1 fitness machine that offers the combined benefits of an elliptical machine and recumbent exercise bike. This elliptical has consistently been featured as one of the best 2 in 1 elliptical and bikesIn just 5-seconds, you can transform it from a recumbent exercise bike to an elliptical and vice versa. All parts arrive well-packed and labeled making it very easy to assemble. It shouldn’t take you more than 2-hours to put it together. If you can get an extra pair of hands to help you out, you should have it ready for use in a much shorter time. It also comes with an impressive 5-year warranty and a 90-day warranty on parts.


Silent magnetic resistance ensures a whisper-quiet operation when in use. To help you get the most out of your workouts, you get 16-levels of resistance. Increase or decrease it to maximize your workout sessions. The seat can be adjusted both horizontally and vertically for maximum comfort as you pedal. A simple LCD display helps keep track of your time, distance, and calories as you work out. Besides, the console is also iFit-enabled. You get a free 30-day membership trial. With this subscription, explore the most beautiful terrains around the world, as you exercise with world-class trainers. A well-placed tablet holder allows you to access iFit from your iPad for a better viewing experience. Or better yet, stream some music for your entertainment with the dual 2-inch integrated speakers.



  • The console is small for the price point.
  • The stride is very short at only 15-inches and very limiting for taller users.




NICEDAY Elliptical

  • Rear-drive frame.
  • 16-resistance levels.
  • 16 lbs flywheel.
  • 15.5-inch stride length.
  • HD LCD.
  • Pulse monitor.
  • Anti-slip pedals.
  • Transportation wheels.
  • Recommended user heights of 4″9 to 6″2.
  • 400 lbs max user weight capacity.

Even though NICEDAY is a new fitness brand, it has quickly proven itself with its rear drive elliptical machine. What you get is cost-effective fitness equipment that’s well-designed to serve you long-term. Many users raved about its whisper-quit operation. Exercise late at night or early in the morning without any complaints whatsoever. As one user described, it’s “super-duper quiet.”If you live with roommates or in apartment buildings, this is the rear-drive elliptical for you. This elliptical comes 90% pre-assembled. Add on a few attachments, and it’s ready for use in 30-minutes or less. It’s very heavy, thanks to its extra-thicked commercial steel frame. This solid construction keeps it sturdy, allowing it to support user weight capacities of up to 400 lbs.


This elliptical also comes with a 16 lbs flywheel that does a great job maintaining a near-silent operation with 16-levels of adjustable resistance. It provides enough intensity to get you sweating and burning calories. Well-placed pulse sensors monitor your heart rate as you exercise. A high-definition digital monitor helps keep track of your workout time, distance, and calories.



  • No Bluetooth connectivity.
  • No convenience features such as bottle holders, cooking fans, media holders.
  • Short stride at only 15.5-inches.





XTERRA Fitness FS2.5 Elliptical

  • Rear-drive frame.
  • 16-levels of resistance.
  • Magnetic resistance.
  • 14-inch stride.
  • 22 lbs flywheel.
  • 5-inch LCD Display.
  • 24 plus preset programs.
  • Pulse grips.
  • Oversized foot pedals
  • Compact design
  • Transportation wheels
  • 300 lbs max user weight capacity.

The FS2.5 Elliptical is one of the older models from XTERRA Fitness that works just as well as the new models. It comes with a very compact design making it suitable for those with smaller spaces as it measures about 54.1″L x 24″W. It comes with a 5-year warranty on frame with a 1-year warranty on parts. Assembly shouldn’t take you more than 1-hour as it arrives pre-assembled. Add on the necessary attachments, and it’s ready for use. Despite its compact design, this unit is quite heavy at 103 lbs due to its steel tubing frame that supports user weight capacities of up to 300 lbs. Also included is a 22lbs flywheel for resistance. As it’s not too heavy or light, expect a smooth and steady ride on this elliptical. Besides, the flywheel is bi-directional users can freely pedal in reverse.


With 16-levels of resistance, the FS2.5 Elliptical stands out among competitors at its budget price. Even the most seasoned fitness enthusiasts will find it hard to outgrow this machine.  However, the stride is short at only 14-inch taller users might find it very limiting. Oversized pedals are well-designed to accommodate different shoe sizes. Its texturized surface provides for a firm and secure grip even when pedaling at the highest resistance levels. A 5-inch display is available to keep track of your workout data. Also available on the console are 24 plus preset programs designed by world-class trainers to help you get the most out of your workout session. Choose different programs to match your fitness levels from climbing, interval, or off-road mong others.



  • No incline setting.
  • Not suitable for taller users.
  • No water bottle holder.



Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical

  • Rear-drive.
  • 24 levels of resistance.
  • 21 preset programs.
  • 18-inch stride.
  • Backlit LCD.
  • Hand pulse sensors.
  • Transportation wheels.
  • 300 lbs max user weight capacity.

The Fitness Reality E5500XL is a well-designed home-use elliptical that’s just perfect for the price. At a budget price of under $500, this machine gives you all the features you’d get in high-end ellipticals and much more. The assembly process is easy and straightforward with a well-written manual. It shouldn’t take you more than 1-our to have it ready for use. It also comes with a 1-year limited warranty.


24-levels on this elliptical are a stand-out feature, considering it a budget elliptical costing less than $700. Most ellipticals at this price point have very limited resistance. In addition, it also comes with a standard 18-inch long stride. Taller users can comfortably use this machine. Well-placed pulse sensors allow you to monitor your heart rate as you exercise. Backlit LCD is a nice addition that makes reading and keeping track of metrics very easy. From the console, you can access 21 plus preset workouts. A great variety that allows you to match your fitness level and challenge yourself to make the most out of your workout session.

Best rear drive elliptical