Gold's Gym StrideTrainer 380 Review

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Think Twice

This is an entry-level elliptical trainer with a relatively short stride that many users say is good enough but hard to assemble and sometimes a bit shaky. It's the only model we researched that runs on batteries; an AC adapter is available.

Walmart has close to a lock on sales of the Gold's Gym StrideTrainer 380 (starting at $277), and reviews there are above average. The price is right, say Gold's Gym StrideTrainer 380 reviews, and the machine is sturdy and quiet -- at least at first. Users like the fluid movement and smooth transitions from one resistance level to the next, so you get a workout that impacts different muscle groups. And yet, quite a few reviews report odd little noises (a rubbing sound in the flywheel, for example, or something like a stiff piece of paper hitting the spokes), electronic malfunctions (try using pennies to hold the batteries in place, suggests one user), and component failures (e.g., a frame that cracks, screws that don't stay tight) that soon mar the experience. A few users also say the lightweight machine wobbles and caution that serious exercisers will be disappointed. The largest share of complaints, though, is reserved for the assembly process. Reviews grumble about missing parts, pieces that don't fit together properly, and poor instructions -- some units come packed with instructions in Spanish or French; in all, users assert that assembly is quite a chore. Customer service also is dinged in a few reviews for inadequately responding to calls for help or requests for new parts.

The StrideTrainer 380 features a short 14-inch stride length, which is a no-go for anyone taller than average and/or who is relatively fit; several users claim that the footpath stresses their knees. The weight capacity for users is 250 pounds, but an expert Gold's Gym StrideTrainer 380 review on Treadmill Sensei suggests you steer clear if you're anywhere near that limit. This model features six preset workout program, adjustable resistance (number of levels is unspecified), a console with a small display for the usual readouts, and a water-bottle holder. The StrideTrainer 380 is one of few elliptical trainers that runs on batteries (four D cells required) and in reviews on Workout Warehouseusers grouse that the alarming frequency of replacing them drives up the overall cost.

The Gold's Gym StrideTrainer 380 is cheap enough, and many people seem to get what they need from it. But reviews also suggest that this model is designed for casual users who are aren't very tall, have a tolerance for loud noises, and are undeterred by a challenging assembly process.

Elizabeth Sheer

Elizabeth Sheer is a Brooklyn-based writer and researcher. In addition to researching and writing about household appliances and other consumer items, Elizabeth draws on her history of preparing cooking-related articles to conduct taste tests on all things delicious.

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