The ProForm Smart Strider 695 is appealing because it utilizes patented features found on the more expensive commercial elliptical trainers. It incorporates a rear drive design, which many feel is superior to the front drive design. With a rear drive the elliptical path of the pedals create a ergonomically ideal stride that feels more natural and comfortable.
The Smart Strider 695 CSE is the newest version of this machine with several updated features over the older model – Smart Strider 735.
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As we mentioned, the Smart Strider 695 CSE is the newest version of the Smart Strider 735. Right now, the price is an obvious difference between the two machines, but the 695 will likely drop in price as the older models are phased out. Other differences include:
Power Incline Adjustment — Like a treadmill you can incline the stride on the ProFormSmart Strider 735. I’m personally addicted to the incline feature on my elliptical and use it religiously. It serves two purposes. First, it allows you to get a heart pounding cardio workout. Crank it up and you will be sweating bullets in no time. In addition, when you adjust the incline you are able to target different muscle groups, like glutes, quads and calves. On the other hand, with a fixed stride you are limited on what lower body muscles you tone.
The incline feature is based on a patent from Precor. There are a number of ellipticals with the ability to incline, but what makes this design unique is when you raise the incline you maintain a true elliptical motion. Other brands, in order to get around the patent, end up distorting the elliptical motion. This results in a less efficient workout that can cause strain to your joints. (Note: Many ellipticals at this price have manual incline adjustment.)
iFit Live — I could write a lengthy review just on iFit Live. In a nutshell, it’s the most innovative motivational technology found on an exercise equipment – period. It’s available for both ellipticals and treadmills. What it does is allow your elliptical to communicate with the Internet.
There are primarily two features. First, you can go to iFit.com and create a personal account that defines your fitness goals like losing weight or toning up. iFit Live then downloads personal training programs geared towards your fitness goals. The program includes audio coaching from professional fitness trainers like Jillian Michaels. Your progress is tracked on your personal ifitlive.com account, so you can monitor your progress.
In addition, you can map routes on Google Maps and the elliptical will simulate the incline by adjusting the resistance. There are slots on the console for a laptop, which then allows you to view your progress on Google Maps. I’ve used this feature and traveled down my local streets, viewing familiar sites in my neighborhood. There is an additional charge for iFit Live.
Easy Assembly — Often when you read customer reviews of ellipticals they discuss how complicated and time consuming the assembly was. ProForm has addressed this issue with the ProForm Smart Strider 735 and designed it so you can assemble it in 4 easy steps. Having assembled my share of fitness equipment, I can tell you this is a real bonus.
Folding Mechanism — You can fold the ProForm Smart Strider 735 into an upright position thus freeing up space when not in use.
18 Lbs. Flywheel — The weight of the ProForm Smart Strider 735 flywheel is heavy enough that you get a smooth elliptical motion.
Oversized, Cushioned & Adjustable Foot Pedals — Being oversized you can better position your foot to your comfort zone. Being cushioned the pedal better absorbs impact. Being adjustable you can angle the pedal to reduce foot lift.
18″ Stride Length — A comfortable stride length for average height individual.
Cooling Fan — This is a popular feature on elliptical trainers. The breeze won’t blow you away, but the advantage is that it’s targeted at your core.
Speakers and MP3 Input — The sound system is average, but better than some ellipticals I’ve been on.
Workout Programs — If you don’t want to opt for iFit Live there are 22 pre-installed workout programs that adjust the resistance and focus on different fitness goals.
Warranty — You get 2 years parts and 1 year labor, which is standard at this price range.
Realize that $800 is not a lot for an elliptical and at this price range there are some compromises in comparison to more costly crosstrainers. However, ProForm is known for giving you the most for your money, which is evident with all the features on the ProForm Smart Strider 735 and Smart Strider 695 CSE. The patented designed from Precor is one example of great quality for the buck.
As I mentioned, I wouldn’t recommend these for aggressive exercising. I also believe the 300 lbs. user weight limit is extreme. I’d place the upper level at around 230 lbs. And the 18″ stride length would best serve individuals under 5’10”. That said, for only $800 you’re getting a reasonably stable elliptical with power incline, and the most innovative technology in the industry, which makes the ProForm Smart Strider 735 and the Smart Strider 695 CSE both an exceptional value.
Go to www.proform.com/treadmills to learn more.*