GREAT ELLIPTICA! Better than expected after reading the reviews!
I have only used my Audio Strider 990 Pro 2012 Model a total of ten times. Keep this in mind.
I purchased the 2012 model with larger fly wheel box (yes, even after reading the user reviews here). The store in Troy MI has this set-up so you can demo it in the store and my wife and I fell in love with its solid feel, smooth movement, whisper quiet, large comfortable foot pedals, and reversible motion. We also liked how many features you get for the money paid (built-in speakers, MP3 compatible, iFit compatible, 15 degree to 40 degree incline, many resistance settings, clear display unit, and adjustable fan).
This is extremely heavy new in the box, so we carried it into our house from the minivan in pieces and then just left the empty box on the curb for garbage man. It took 1.5 to 2 hours to complete the easy assembly and we found the instructions very easy to follow. Everything you need was included except for a Phillips Head Screwdriver and a Rubber Mallet (used to drive the primary axle through the bushings in the upright). I am a mechanical engineer and naturally checked every bolt twice and spent extra time greasing any moving parts, washers, axles, and bushings. My 1st grade daughter helped and could follow the well written instructions - very easy even if you only understand the most basic English. My only recommendation is to install the Console prior to the decorative trim cover because it blocks the lower two button screws.
I found the 2012 Model to be world class with good quality parts and craftmanship. Yes, I can and will complain that the non-critical decorative parts have large gaps and do not mate up as nice as they could. 95% of people would not notice or even care about this, but I used to engineer interior trim for cars and it bothers me to see any kind of a gap. The fit and function of the critical parts is outstanding - roller wheels to track, flywheel to linkage, joints, pedals, and upright are all rock solid.
After only 10 uses, I may need to update my review in a year if I run into any quality problems or breakages. My wife and I trade-off using it every-other day, so it gets regular use. I plan to buy parts on-line and fix the machine myself. There is not a part on this machine that is not accessible or difficult to replace (not that I can see anyway). No way am I getting a technician roaming around in my house. Our only two complaints so far are (1) the 15-degree angle is not flat-enough for just an easy warm-up or cool-down and at 40-degrees it becomes a stepper and not an elliptical but adds to a good workout, and (2) the Fan unit is super loud. It makes more noise than the actual machine in full swing at 40 degrees and 65 RPM. The nice part is that the Fan actually adjusts faster/slower based on your RPM and has an adjustment knob like the air vents in your car. The noise is outrageous, but not worth giving the review less than 5-stars.
My only run-in with customer service so far has been using the Live Chat feature at NordicTrack, and the representative was unable to answer my questions about if the Warranty will transfer with change in ownership because my sister wants to buy a used one now, after seeing ours in operation. They directed me to call Customer Service, but Warranty seems like something the Live Chat people should be able to answer. And I refuse to pay $10 per month for the iFit feature so I cannot rate this feature, sorry.
Bottom Line however is the actual workout. That's where I feel the focus should be, and this machine really packs a punch. You can make it as hard or easy on yourself, any range you want. I like the auto-programs because it beeps between intervals to remind you where you should be keeping the RPM range for optimum calorie burn and you can use the hand grips to monitor your heart rate to keep it in the calorie burning range (chart provided in the same book with instructions). My unit did not come with a chest strap like the book says it should, but the idea of wetting down contacts and having metal rubbing on my skin above my heart sounds like a terrible idea so I just use the hand grips. It also has a stride counter, so same as distance in my book. Great workouts, low impact, and you can put more pressure into your arms to get a bit of upper body mixed in. I love it. I am 5'7" 185 pounds, my wife is 5'3" 105 pounds. We are short and have zero complaints about the range of stride or reach.
I hope this long review helps. I know how hard it is making a $1,000 decision on where to spend your hard earned money, so I felt the need to post a positive review to offset some of the negative reviews. I did like a lower cost Schwinn 420 Model as well, but opted for the bells and whistles that this machine provides and do not have any regrets (so far). I simply can't believe someone broke not 1 but 2 machines in two minutes - somewhere in these reviews. They must either not know how to twist an allen wrench, didn't buy the improved 2012 Model, or must be significantly exceeding the 350-pound weight limit? This machine feels bullet proof to my wife and I, and in our opinion deserves to be on all of the Elliptical "Best Buy" lists! Good Luck!
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Extremely Poor Quality Control
I researched these for a while before deciding on the audiostrider 990. What a mistake! While I probably got a lemon based on the number of positive reviews, what was actually wrong with my product is unacceptable. The front upright is supposed to slide over a post to seat flush against a similar size sleeve. The problem is the sleeve/post unit on the bottom was welded over a 1/4 inch out of position, not allowing the upright sleeve to slide down far enough to lock on. I could fix it if i wanted to take a hacksaw or a set of blowtorches to it, but sorry, I'm not hacking up a $900 unit out of the box. Nordic Track's quality control should have easily caught this defect. I work in manufacturing, and for this type of defect to ship is unbelievable. Welds throughout the machine look like they were made by a 5 year old. Of course, it was made in China so maybe they were??? I am returning this unit and will now search for a unit made in the USA.
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