The lifespan of this Xterra FS 3.5 is going to be determined by a few things. Namely a little luck, how well you assemble it, the size of the user, and how well you take care of your stuff. Now the FS 3.5 comes with a five-year frame and one-year parts warranty. This should give you a good idea of what the actuary's at Xterra Fitness think about their product. This elliptical is designed for below-average height and weight users. A heavier or taller individual is going to tear this machine up. Xterra claims that the weight capacity to be 300 LBS but we at Treadmill Doctor feel that is a bit misleading. First off, most 300 LB users wouldn't fit comfortably on this elliptical’s narrow pedal width nor would they be able to see a lot of years because of the FS 3.5’s quality.
The FS 3.5 is also a plugin elliptical which in this price range is common. So, if you do wish to keep your investment longer than the prescribed warranty period it might be a good idea to leave it unplugged when not in use. As with any elliptical in this price range, you get what you pay for and it's always a bit of a gamble. We believe if you’re the right sized person and you build this elliptical correctly, you have a good chance of having this Xterra around for a number of years.
Reviewing cheap machines is like comparing the different dollar store items. None of them are really great but they all have at least one redeemable feature. The Xterra FS 3.5 fits into this with a longer stride than its lower-numbered cousins in Xterra's rear-drive elliptical lineup. This model also has the most resistance levels among our top four, but an average build and a lighter flywheel. Taking all of this into consideration, we have ranked the Xterra FS 3.5 our Second Place 2021 Best Buy for the $400 to $699 dollar range.
Let’s start with the aspects that helped land this elliptical a higher place on our list. The overall quality of this Xterra FS 3.5 is going to be better than its rear-drive cheaper family members and is certainly going to be better built than most ellipticals in its price range. It comes with twenty-four resistance levels which most users will find challenging. Among our top four for this price point, this Xterra actually has the most resistance levels. The FS 3.5 also comes with twelve preset programs which is above average for ellipticals in this price range. The foot trays on the foot pedals are oversized, built decently, and should be able to accommodate most of the users in its intended market. The quality and readability of the LCD console is a step up but don’t expect consoles like the ones you see on TV.
But, of course, we have our aspects that we aren’t thrilled about. The Xterra FS 3.5 comes in weighing at about 110 LBS, so this elliptical has definitely got more guts to it than her cheaper rear-drive cousins in the Xterra lineup. However, this is by no means a commercial elliptical, and compared to one it is cheaply built and small. The FS 3.5's build is simply not going to last that long because it does not have high-quality components. We also do not love that the flywheel is a little on the light side. Furthermore, the stride is too short for taller individuals, and the width of the pedals are a little too narrow for most wide users. The folks at Xterra throw in speakers that work with most smartphones or MP3 players but you'll likely see more quality out of your headphones. With each of these, we can see how the FS 3.5's price tag hinders it from really being a quality elliptical.
|Number of Programs||12|
|Flywheel Weight||15 lbs|
|Foot Print||57.1 x 20.5 x 63|
|Weight of Unit||110 lbs|
|Warranty||5-Year Frame Warrenty, 1-Year Parts|
|Weight Capacity||300 lbs|
In previous reviews, we have stated that the FS 3.5 is fine for budget shoppers but we never expected this Xterra elliptical to last too long.
In closing, the Xterra FS 3.5 is an entry-level total body front-drive elliptical. This Xterra is designed for below-average height and weight individuals with relatively small hips. The FS 3.5 has a nice range of resistance levels and a decent number of programs for you to work thru. The magnetic brake should challenge most users who are realistic about the resistance they expect from an elliptical in this price range. We wish this elliptical had a larger flywheel but it's above par when compared to most of its competition. This Xterra is both affordable and relatively good looking. We wish this FS 3.5 had a better warranty but feel if you are the right sized user and you build this elliptical well there should be some quality years ahead. And while certainly not the best elliptical, the Xterra FS 3.5 is better than virtually all of its competition in this price range. With all of this, we have awarded the Xterra FS 3.5 our Second Place 2021 Best Buy for the $400 to $699 dollar range.