I'm trying to lose weight and keep it off. An important part of my strategy is daily walks. With winter approaching, I have been looking for a way to keep in shape when it's too nasty out to walk. Driving to the gym is something that takes extra time so I decided to get an elliptical trainer. I've also considered Nordictrack, Sole and Precor models. The sales person at Dunhams in Royal Oak was very helpful in pointing out features that were important to me. One such feature is the wheels that ride on top of tubes instead of in little troughs that can collect debris and make the elliptical less smooth to use. At first, I ordered a Nordictrack online because it cost about $200 less than the EX-59 and I cancelled my order when I saw how smooth the EX-59 is and how well it's made. I managed to find the EX-59 on clearance so I got a very good price that was not much more than the Nordictrack I had ordered earlier.
Assembly was not as easy as some reviewers here have reported. Holding 2 teflon washers in place while inserting a bolt through was not something I found to be that easy, but overall I'd say assembly was well thought out and it's obvious this thing well built.
The console is a bit basic but that doesn't bother me. It is very handy to be able to simply tap one of the resistance levels around the perimeter of the console to get the brake engaged at that resistance. The EX-59 heart rate monitor seems as accurate as the ones on the $5000 Precor and Life Fitness ellipticals at the gym. The EX-59 has no power switch so I've dedicated a power strip next to the elliptical to shut it off when I'm done.
Natural "flat ellipse" motion
Smoothness - as smooth as those $5000 commercial ellipticals at the gym
15 minutes on the elliptical can equal 45 minutes of walking
No power switch
Loud console beeps
Only 10 resistance levels