The Spirit XE125 Elliptical Review – Great elliptical for shorter owners

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Today the Treadmill Sensei is a very happy camper. You see, even tho Mrs. Sensei doesn’t really like it, I play the Lotto every day and today I won almost $600! Very exciting stuff. Not fitness related but still cool. Drinks on the Treadmill Sensei tonight!

We get a lot of email here at the DOJO about a wide variety items. Below you’ll find one I get asked about fairly often — elliptical stride for shorter owners.

Sensei – You’ve got a great blog…very helpful to a new buyer like my wife and me! We are trying to find the perfect elliptical for us, but most of what you rate has a longer stride…but I’m only 5’5″ tall and my wife is 5’1″. We’re looking for something that is good quality but is still comfortable for us. Are we stuck with lower end ellipticals with a shorter stride or is there something good out there for us? Thanks and keep up the good work!!
William in Wisconsin


Thanks for the note and, as a shorter man myself, I know your pain! If you’re on the shorter side there actually is a great machine out there for you — high quality with an 18″ stride. The Spirit XE125 is easily the best elliptical around with an 18″ stride AND it’s got a good, under $1000 price.

The Spirit XE125 is almost exactly the same unit as the slightly higher priced ZE120 but has the shorter 18″ stride, which is perfect for those of us who are vertically challenged. The XE125 has a large sized, 24 pound flywheel (some people rate the ZE120 as a 23 pound wheel, but I think they’re exactly the same) and weighs almost 200 pounds itself! This is a very sturdy unit that far surpasses anything else in its range, especially other ellipticals with 18″ strides.

The rest of the Spirit XE125 features are just as nice — 16 levels of magnetic resistance, 13 programs, heart rate control and monitoring. Over all this is a great unit. Check it out if you’re a small person who is tired of living life by the rules of a tall society!

UPDATE: After an increasing number of problems from this unit it has been recalled by Spirit. As such, the Treadmill Sensei downgrades it to a 0 out of 5. Be careful if you see one of these still for sale online. If you’re looking for a comparable unit without the QC or recall issues, check out the Sole E25 Elliptical.

Now downgraded, the Treadmill Sensei gives the Spirit XE125 elliptical 0 out of 5 golden buddahs.

The Spirit XE125 gets 0 gold buddahs out of 5.

It’s a good thing this one was recalled before they sold too many of them!

Spirit XE125 Elliptical Trainer Specifications
Stride Length:
Flywheel: 24 pounds
Bi-Directional: Yes
Max User Weight: 300 lbs.
Resistance: Magnetic
Resistance Levels: 16
Programs: 13
Display: LCD
Heart Rate Monitor: Pulse grip and wireless
Heart Rate Control: Yes
Features: Fan, water bottle holder
Grade: Residential
Size: 62″ x 23″ x 65″
Weight: 194 lbs.
Cost: Under $1000

-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.