I've wanted an eliptical machine for a long time but the decent ones were just too expensive, until I found this one. This has an 18" stride, the action is very smooth, and most important it has a very solid feel similar to high-priced elipticals in workout facilities. Yes, as others have mentioned it is not perfect and that's the reason for my 4-star and not 5-star overall rating. Biggest problem is they try to extract more money from you right out of the box, with a card on top that has a phone number to call to purchase an AC plugin to power the console for some undisclosed price (it's about $90 with shipping). This little swindle doesn't do much to enhance the buying experience and people are understandably upset by this. In any case, you'll more than likely have to make a trip back to the store to pick up 4 D-size batteries to power the console until you decide what to do about the AC adapter (as mentioned below, get a $14 universal adapter from Walmart). The decision to try to force people into spending an additional $90 after purchase for the ac adapter required them to lower the power requirements of the console in the event someone opted to stay with the 4 batteries solution (trust me, you'll want to get the AC adapter or you'll go nuts changing batteries all the time). So they skimped on power by having a regular LCD instead of the more typical backlit LCD (I have to have the room well lit to even see the monitor), a very weak fan (helped somewhat by the AC adapter), and the worst sounding, tin-can speakers I've ever heard. I won't even use them they sound so bad. One last complaint on the console is that it's not tilted upwards enough, forcing you to bend down slightly to read it (unless you're a pretty short person). AC power solution - I bought a $14 Powerline universal AC adapter (3-12 Volts/600ma) from Walmart and it works perfectly. Set it to 6V and be sure to use positive polarity or you will ruin your console. Overall, this machine excels where it matters most - the performance of the machine itself. In my opinion, the problems some are having with loud squeaks or breakage could be due to improper assembly. One issue for me, though was that I could not find the grease for the moving arms that the instructions said were included, so I improvised and used WD-40. Not sure if this hurt or helped but noise is not an issue. I have faint squeaking, nothing major at all. Be very patient putting this together and reading, even re-reading the instructions a few times just to make sure you're doing it correctly. Tightening bolts until they are very snug and following directions will reduce squeaking to a minimum. If assembled properly, I don't think the noise is an issue, although it will never be as whisper quiet as a health club eliptical costing much more. I think in spite of the poor console and lack of AC adapter, this is a super machine for the money. I get a great workout and I love the many resistance and incline levels included. I do hope that Golds Gym will read these reviews and fix the console issues. They could charge a little more, include an AC adapter and this would really be an incredible machine!
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