Reader Mailbag: The SportsArt E83, a perfect elliptical for tall users

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Before I get to the reader mailbag I want to confess to something…and I’m only able to do this because I know Mrs. Sensei doesn’t ever read this website. Today the Treadmill Sensei encountered something that has completely ruined his finely regimented and regulated diet (regimented and regulated by Mrs. Sensei, of course). Today the Treadmill Sensei was at Costco with Hikaru, making a quick trip to refill the lunchroom here at the DOJO with juice, soda and snacks for the other Senseis. It was there in the bakery aisle that I saw what was to be my downfall…a banana and chocolate cream pie.

When we arrived back at the DOJO, I decided to pop open the pie and have a small taste before going back to work. Sure, my wife would disapprove, but it was just going to be a tiny bite and no one would ever know. Unfortunately, one small bite led to a small piece which led to a medium sized piece which led to the Treadmill Sensei eating almost half of the pie before Hikaru burst in to my office to save me from myself.

Now, I’m feeling tired from the huge carb and sugar intake, I’ve got a cream stain on my shirt and all I can think of is having to kill Hikaru to get my pie back. So, if you’re in Costco and see the beautiful banana and chocolate cream pie, please do yourself and your sanity a favor and walk away. Just walk away.

Ok, let’s get back to today’s Reader Mailbag before your Treadmill Sensei goes and runs for an hour to work off some of that delicious pie…and tries to figure out how to “Shout” the new stain out of his shirt! Today we have an email from Matt C. who is looking for a sturdy elliptical for himself and his wife, both of whom are very tall.

Take it away, Matt!

This is a great website. I really appreciate the reviews and advice.

My wife and I are both tall. She is 6 feet and I am 6′ 6 and weigh about 295. I have bad joints and need a low impact type of exercise which is why I have chosen an elliptical. My problem is that I really feel like most machines I will run into the ground. The residental machines seem too weak for my frame. I know I need an adjustable stride of at least 25 inches. Can you tell me the best “sturdy” machine that is going to take my abusive workouts for the the next few years that won’t give me problems that have a longer stride?. I am willing to spending between $2,000-$2900.

Thanks for your advice, Matt


Thanks for your note. It’s nice to hear from a taller reader because it lets me talk about something besides “which is better, Sole or Smooth.” To start off, you could probably make due with a 20″ or 21″ elliptical stride and be ok. That being said, a good 25″ stride will definitely feel a lot better for you. If you did decide to go down to a shorter stride, I would avoid Octane and Bodyguard ellipticals like the plague. You’d wind up bumping your knees or thighs on those machines, which don’t have the best designs for taller users (I’d recommend them only for those under 6′ in height).

Now, if you’re looking for a very stable, sturdy and long lasting elliptical with an adjustable stride, there is really only one brand to look at: SportsArt Fitness. SportsArt puts together what I consider to be the best designed, best supported ellipticals on the market today, and probably of all time.

In particular, you want to take a look at the best buy award winning SportsArt E83 Elliptical.

The SportsArt E83 is the top rated best buy elliptical under $3000
2008 Ichi-Ban Best Buy Award Winner.

You can check out my full review of the SportsArt E83 Elliptical HERE. If you’ve got the budget for it, which you mention you did, the SportsArt E83 Elliptical is really and truly one of the finest ellipticals out there. It completely blows away lower priced ellipticals, and even higher priced units from Precor or Life Fitness can’t really compete with its design or rock-solid frame. There is absolutely no better elliptical especially in the $2000-$3000 price range.

The three key points to focus on after the steel-welded frame are: the use of ball bearing joints instead of the cheaper bushings used in lower end ellipticals from Spirit or Nordic Track (for example). The use of bearings will give you a much smoother, more maintenance free, quieter and longer life elliptical.

The second point to look at is the manual adjustable stride. This may sound a bit counter-intuitive, but the manual stride adjustment is a lot more reliable than an electronic or computer controlled one. Those automatic stride adjustments are a lot more complex in their design which causes them to be far less reliable than the SportsArt E83.

The last point to think about is, and this won’t affect your elliptical workout, there is a man who works at SportsArt named Scott Logan. The reason you should know that name is because he has what we here at consider to be one of the finest groomed beards to ever come out of the Pacific Northwest. Like I said, it doesn’t affect the fantastic workout provided by the Sports Art E83, but proper grooming should be a matter of principal.

But seriously, if I had to choose a “best of the best” elliptical it would probably be the SportsArt E83 Elliptical trainer. The level of engineering and thought behind its creation are mind-blowing. You can get more information on it online HERE.

Thanks again for your note, Matt. Good luck with your elliptical quest!

Get more information on the incredible SportsArt E83 Elliptical and find the lowest price online.

SportsArt E83 Elliptical Specifications
Stride: 17″-25.5″ manufally adjustable
Flywheel: approximately 22lbs
Display: Dot Matrix LED
Readouts: Workout Level, Calories, Time, Stride Length, Distance, Cal/Hr, Strides/Min, Total Strides, Heart Rate, Heart Rate Target
Programs: 8
Resistance: 14 Levels
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Heart Rate Control: Yes
Max User Weight: 350lbs
Unit Weight: 282lbs
Grade: Residential
Price: Under $2600

-The Treadmill Sensei

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About Treadmill Sensei

Treadmill SenseiThe Treadmill Sensei has been in the fitness industry for several years. He is familiar with several brands of fitness equipment and has written several reviews of many different treadmills and elliptical machines. You can see what he thinks are the best treadmills or you can get help choosing a treadmill.

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About My Treadmill Reviews

TreadmillMy treadmill reviews are both subjective and objective. They are objective in the sense that I will provide you with information about each machine, such as motor, weight capacity and other features. But they are subjective in the sense that I am really giving my opinion of each treadmill. You may agree or disagree with my opinion, but my hope is that my elliptical and treadmill reviews can be helpful to you in making a decision on what to buy. Remember that each review is just what I think. You can always check out Treadmill Doctor, Treadmill Review Guru or these other treadmill reviews if you want another opinion.