The life of any entry-level elliptical is difficult to forecast. A lot of it comes down to who owns the elliptical, how they take care of it, and how well you or whoever assembles it. This elliptical is not going to be right for everyone. In our expert opinion, the Xterra FS 3.0 is designed for a smaller lighter person due to its stride length and build. This elliptical is also not built to withstand years of heavy intense use from an avid workout fanatic. That's not to say that a shorter lighter person couldn’t get years of moderate use out of this Xterra, but that we feel the understated build of this elliptical would likely lead to problems down the road. The folks at Xterra give you a five-year frame and one-year parts warranty so that should give you an idea of what the bean counters over there think about the longevity of their elliptical.
If you are heavier or taller, you are going to most likely have a bad experience with the FS 3.0. The supposed 300LB weight capacity is not scientific and a bit ludicrous in our opinion. If you are this weight and plan on using this machine regularly you will most likely find yourself dealing with customer service and being a bit frustrated sooner than later. With an entry-level elliptical there is a bit of luck to the number of years use you will ultimately get out of an elliptical like the Xterra FS 3.0. We have seen some affordable models last a long time and some that don't in a home setting. So it can be a bit of a gamble.
Purchasing an elliptical in this price range is like choosing between a Big Mac or a Whopper. While both may be cheap and give you a quick fix to a need, neither will provide lasting substance and both will have you regretting your decision in a few hours. With that said, there are some that are a little better than others. The Xterra FS3.0 has a few redeeming qualities with a heavier flywheel, better warranty, and more resistance levels than other ellipticals in this price range. Taking this into account, the Xterra FS 3.0 has landed our Fourth Place 2021 Best Buy spot for the $400 to $699 dollar range.
To start, the Xterra FS3.0 has one of the heavier builds out of the ellipticals in this price range which indicates that it has a greater likelihood of withstanding use. Also, most of the other ellipticals in this price range have 90-day parts and labor warranty. The Xterra FS3.0 has a five-year frame and one-year parts warranty. This is in no way a leading warranty for the market. But, among the other ellipticals in this price range, Xterra's basic warranty warrants a little more value than some of the others.
Xterra has also given more resistance levels to their basic elliptical. Though this elliptical does not have the most built-in workouts, the FS3.0 can allow you to have more of a challenge with twenty different levels. We also like the twenty-two-pound flywheel. Typically, the heavier the flywheel means the smooth the ride. Think of when you spin a quarter on a desk and it keeps going. The quarter keeps spinning even after you stop applying force through something called inertia. When you apply force to the foot pedals on, you create inertia that allows the elliptical to move. The flywheel in the elliptical works to help this inertia to continue between your leg movements so that the motion feels more fluid. When the flywheel has more weight, usually, it translates to a better movement as it can continue with more force. Thus, among other ellipticals with average flywheel weights of about thirteen pounds, the Xterra FS3.0's flywheel isn't too bad.
With that said, we do caution one from thinking that the FS3.0 will be the smoothest working elliptical even among other $500 and under machines. There are many other components like the bearings and frame that contribute to the smooth feel. With a price tag like this one, the FS3.0 will not be able to compete with ellipticals that are made with better quality in all of their components.
Accordingly, it is important to keep in mind the kind of elliptical that we are discussing. We can similarly pick between the best paper plates but in the end, both their cheap quality makes them disposable. The Xterra FS3.0 is the same in that it is a low-quality, disposable elliptical. We do not recommend purchasing an elliptical in this price range simply because the price tag does not warrant good quality.
|Number of Programs||12|
|Front Drive, Center Drive or Rear Drive||Rear|
|Adjustable Stride Length||16"|
|Flywheel Weight||22 lbs|
|Weight Capacity||300 lbs|
|Step Up Height||N/A|
|Unit Dimensions||60 x 24.5|
|Heart Rate Sensor||Yes|
|Weight of Unit||104 lbs|
|Warranty||5 year frame; 1 year brake.|
Xterra FS3.0 has not been the most remarkable elliptical in our past reviews. Even still, a decent build and a notable amount of resistance levels landed the FS 3.0 our Runner-Up slot among our 2019 Best Buys in the $399 and Under price category. We noted the good aspects of the cheap price tag as well as the lack of durability and quality that comes with it.
Between the heavier flywheel, higher number of resistance levels, and heavier build, we could not completely disregard the Xterra FS3.0. Xterra bumped this basic, cheap elliptical's price up but kept a few redeeming features like the overall build. While the FS3.0 is not the worst in this price range, we do not recommend purchasing an elliptical in this price if you are searching for a quality, basic elliptical. But if you are a lighter user, then you may have found a decent elliptical for a lower price. Thus, we have placed the Xterra FS 3.0 in our Fourth Place 2021 Best Buy spot for the $400 to $699 dollar price range.