One should certainly not be looking to buy an elliptical in this price range if their main concern is longevity. Expecting this kind of machine to withstand extended use is like expecting a baby to stay awake in the car ride home from a night out- it just won’t happen. The Smart Strider 295 CSE is a little sturdier than the other ellipticals in this category, so it may last a few months longer than one of the others.
Most of us have been in the dollar store looking for kitchen utensils to either get us through college or a weekend trip. We each understand that the utensils are not meant to take home and use for years. But rather they are for a quick, cheap fix to last maybe a year or until they melt after you put them in the dishwasher. Likewise, ellipticals in this price range should be bought with the same understanding: they are cheap, low-quality, and not built to last long. With that said, there are a few that are a little less of a waste of money than others. The Proform Smart Strider 295 CSE, for instance, has more built-in programs, a heavier flywheel, and a stronger build. Taking this into account, we have named the Proform Smart Strider 295 CSE our 2019 First Place Best Buy Winner in the $399 and Under category.
Saying the Proform Smart Strider 295 CSE is First Place among the $399 and Under ellipticals is like saying that it is the best-looking oatmeal raisin cookie out of the other oatmeal raisin cookies. They all are unpleasant cookies that are among the least desirable of the dessert world. We cannot stress enough that these are some of the most basic ellipticals on the market and really anything under $500 dollars is not likely to last more than a few months. Just look at the ninety-day warranty that Proform gave the Smart Strider 295 CSE, even the manufacturers don't predict much value out of the ellipticals in this price range.
Still, the Smart Strider 295 CSE does have a few better qualities. To start, this elliptical has one of the heaviest flywheels and builds out of our top four. Typically, the heavier the machine means better-quality components. It takes a lot more plastic to reach one hundred pounds than it does steal or some kind of metal. Thus, the Smart Strider 295 CSE’s heaviness indicates a sturdier build. Additionally, a heavier flywheel is going to translate to a smoother riding machine. Basically, the flywheel keeps the machine rolling in the gaps when you are not applying force. Kind of like when you let off the gas while pulling up to a stoplight. You keep rolling even though there isn’t any force being applied. Thus, you are likely to experience a tad smoother workout then you would if you purchased one of the other ellipticals in this range.
We also like that Proform held up their reputation of having a higher amount of workout programs. Proform typically leads the market in the amount of programming that they put in their products, though the quality and convenience of their programming is a different story. In the Smart Strider 295 CSE’s case, Proform has found a way to keep this elliptical from being completely stripped down. Though the Smart Strider 295 CSE is still a basic elliptical, at least you can have a few more workouts than the other machines in this price range.
Lastly, the Smart Strider 295 CSE has a rear drive system. Some people may prefer front or center systems because they tend to take up less space and are easier to mount and dismount. But, the rear drive does have a few pros that may out-weigh a front drive in this price range. Since these are basic ellipticals, they are likely to be noisy and shaky. The Smart Strider 295 CSE actually has a slightly better chance of being quieter. Front drive systems tend to be a little louder and since this machine has a rear drive, it will likely be a tad quieter than some of the front drive ellipticals with the same price tag.
|Number of Programs||30|
|Front Drive, Center Drive or Rear Drive||Rear|
|Adjustable Stride Length||18"|
|Flywheel Weight||20 lbs|
|Weight Capacity||325 lbs|
|Unit Dimensions||65" L x 25" W x 74" H|
|Step Up Height||N/A|
|Heart Rate Sensors||Polar ® wireless heart rate monitoring system (there are also EKG sensors in the handle-bars for more traditional heart rate monitoring).|
|Weight of Unit||N/A|
|Warranty||Lifetime frame, 3 years parts, 1 year labor.|
We have yet to write a review on the Smart Strider 295 CSE. But we invite you to read our other reviews on the other ellipticals in this price range as well as the other Proform ellipticals to get a more well-rounded perspective.
We do not recommend purchasing an elliptical in this price range; even if you are wanting a starter machine, you are better off looking in the $500 dollar range. Still, there has to be a winner among the losers. The Smart Strider 295 CSE is the least likely to break on the first day which has helped it to win First Place among the $399 and under 2019 Best Buys. The sturdier build, higher amount of workout programs, and rear drive system that come with this elliptical should provide a slightly better workout experience than other ellipticals in this price category.