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Best Front Drive Ellipticals of 2016

Front drive ellipticals provide a workout motion that is much different from its competitor -- rear drive ellipticals.

If you are not sure how the operation is different or if you are concerned about which system is the best read our buying guide below.

Our top-rated front drive ellipticals are from a few top rated manufacturers that you may recognize.

Top 5 Best Rated Front Drive Ellipticals

1 2 3 4 5
Model Sole E95 Elliptical Machine

Sole
E95

sole-e95s-elliptical

Sole
E95S

Proform-PRO-9-0-elliptical

ProForm
PRO 9.0 NE

NordicTrack C 9.5 Elliptical Machine

NordicTrack C 9.5

sole-e98-elliptical

Sole
E98

Rating

Our custom rating considers all of the elliptical's features, specs, warranties, and 100's of user & expert reviews, to save you time!

Rating: 94.2 %
Rating: 94.1 %
Rating: 93.4 %
Rating: 93.3 %
Rating: 93.1 %
Resistance

Resistance is what determines calories burned per stride. The more levels, the more precisely you can control the difficulty.

20 levels 15 Levels 22 Levels 24 Levels 20 Levels
Stride Length

Stride Length is important for comfort and smooth strides. A stride length of 18-21 inches is ideal for most heights (5'3 - 6'7).

20" 18" - 24" 20 inches 18" - 20" 20"
Programs

Elliptical Programs allow you to complete a workout with changing speeds and inclines, without changing anything manually.

10 10 28 32 10
Flywheel

The flywheel controls the smoothness and resistance of your workout. In general, the higher the better.

27 lbs 34 lbs 28 Lbs 25 lbs 30 lbs
MSRP

Suggested retail price, typically higher than the price you'll pay with our recommended retailers.

$2,699 $3,299 $1,699 $1,999 $3,499
Pricing

After carefully evaluating each online retailer that offers this Elliptical, this is the website we recommend purchasing from.

See Best Price See Best Price See Best Price See Best Price See Best Price

Front Drive Ellipticals Buying Guide

The first decision you’ll need to make when you begin shopping for a new elliptical is “Do I want a front, center or rear wheel drive?” While there is no true “right” answer, the drive system of your elliptical will impact your performance. Some exercise enthusiasts are absolutely steadfast on only using rear drive systems. Meanwhile, others have changed through the years from rear drive to front drive systems. Again, it’s a personal choice.

In order to understand front drive ellipticals, we should begin with the history of ellipticals. The first elliptical trainers started to emerge in American health clubs in the late 90s. Consequently, the elliptical is still a fairly new innovation. Today, ellipticals have all but replaced Stairmasters as the preferred lower body cardio trainer.

Because ellipticals are still a relatively new invention, manufactures are still finding ways to improve the machine. Front drive ellipticals, also known as shuffle trainers, provide a motion that is similar to the old Stairmasters and feature a stepping motion. Rear drive ellipticals, meanwhile, generally feature a smoother, natural heel-to-toe motion that is often seen on commercial models from Precor and Life Fitness.

However, that is not to say that front drive ellipticals are inferior to rear drive ellipticals. Sole Fitness, for example, features a front drive design and their ellipticals are highly regarded for the home market. On the other hand, NordicTrack offers all three different types of ellipticals for you to choose from.

Some experts will tell you that the front drive elliptical trainers are more linear and thus produce a flatter oval motion. Users may say that this design is not as comfortable or fluid. Others will feel that the front drive ellipticals lack the same stability because you are placing more weight toward the front in order to power the trainer. Consequently, the elliptical might wobble noticeably if the frame is not stable.

Regardless, front and rear drive ellipticals are both enhanced when they are equipped with a heavy-duty flywheel. You’ll find flywheels on more expensive models and they are definitely worth the higher price tag. Flywheels allow a much smoother motion and stride, which can make front drive ellipticals as fluid as rear drive ellipticals.

In the end, the decision to buy a rear drive or front drive elliptical will come down to personal preference. If you’re not sure which design works best, it is a really great idea to test ride BOTH drive designs. Do you notice a major difference? If not, you can probably save a little money and invest in a front drive elliptical.

More Front Drive Ellipticals

The following did not make the Top 5 Front Drive Ellipticals, but are still worth a look:

6 proform-pro-12-9-elliptical-machine

ProForm Pro 12.9

Rating: 93.1%
Price: $1,999 - Best Price: $1,299

The ProForm Pro 12.9 offers 26 digital resistance levels, a 32-pound flywheel and 35 workout apps to help you get the workout you are looking for. Read Review »

7 NordicTrack C 7.5 Elliptical Machine

NordicTrack C 7.5

Rating: 92.8%
Price: $1,299 - Best Price: $799

The NordicTrack C 7.5 is a good entry-level elliptical machine that is quipped with the necessary workout features to give you a good workout. Read Review »

8 NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 Elliptical Trainer

NordicTrack Commercial 14.9

Rating: 92.7%
Price: $2999 - Best Price: $1699

The NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 features a full-color 10" web enabled LCD display with 32 workout apps and all sorts of bells and whistles. Read Review »

9 sole-st600-smart-strider

Sole ST600

Rating: 92.6%
Price: $2,999 - Best Price: $1,999

The Sole ST600 Strider is an adjustable crosstrainer that mimics low-impact elliptical stepping, walking and jogging at an affordable price point compared to alternatives from competitors. Read Review »

10 proform 920e

ProForm Endurance 920 E

Rating: 92.5%
Price: $1,699 - Best Price: $999

The ProForm Endurance 920 E Elliptical is a great budget elliptical under $1,000. It has a 7-inch full-color touchscreen and 32 workout apps. Read Review »

11 octane_xt_one

Octane Fitness XT-One

Rating: 92.3%
Price: $8,500 - Best Price: $8,500

The Octane XT-One is an exceptional fitness machine. Like no other it supports striding, running and climbing along with advanced cross training. It can even be used as just an upper body trainer if side platforms are added. Read Review »

12 sole e55 elliptical

Sole E55

Rating: 92.0%
Price: $2,499 - Best Price: $1,499

The Sole E55 is a premium-grade elliptical slightly smaller than the Sole E95 yet with comparable features. The innovative foot pedal design makes it a favorite among exercise enthusiasts. Read Review »

13 octane q47 elliptical machine

Octane Fitness Q47

Rating: 92.0%
Price: $4,599 - Best Price: $3,299

The Octane Q47 elliptical machine supports exceptional muscle toning with its adjustable stride. It is Equipped with cross training prompts and upper body resistance it’s more than a great elliptical -- it's a whole gym. Read Review »

14 sole-st300-strider

Sole ST300

Rating: 91.9%
Price: $2,699 - Best Price: $1,499

The newly introduced Sole ST300 Strider is a smart, low-impact way to train. It is a flexible cross-trainer for all body sizes that has 16 levels of resistance and 12 pre-set programs. Read Review »

15 octane q 37 elliptical

Octane Fitness Q37

Rating: 91.2%
Price: $2,899 - Best Price: $2,899

The Octane Q37 is a winner for total body training at all ability levels. It stands out from other high-end ellipticals with moving arm bars partly because of its extra support for cross training. Read Review »

16 octane q35 elliptical machine

Octane Fitness Q35

Rating: 91.0%
Price: $2,199 - Best Price: $2,199

The Q35 is a streamlined Octane elliptical machine that offers lots of training possibilities and is easy on the joints. Read Review »

17 NordicTrack Elite 12.9 Elliptical Machine

NordicTrack Elite 12.9

Rating: 90.8%
Price: $1,299 - Best Price: $1,299

The NordicTrack Elite 12.9 is packed with features and functionality that will present a challenge and intense workout to almost any user. Read Review »

18 NordicTrack C 12.9 Elliptical Machine

NordicTrack C 12.9

Rating: 90.4%
Price: $2,299 - Best Price: $1,299

The NordicTrack C 12.9 is full of advanced features to make your workout effective and something you look forward to. Read Review »

19 Horizon Elite E9 elliptical trainer

Horizon Fitness Elite E9

Rating: 89.1%
Price: $2,399.00 - Best Price: $1,599

The Elite E9 is Horizon's top machine in the Evolve Series. It is a solid front drive elliptical machine that has a 10 degree incline, a 20-inch stride length, 44 work out programs and a 7-inch touchscreen. Read Review »

20 ProForm-Pro-16-0-NE-Elliptical

ProForm PRO 16.0 NE

Rating: 89.0%
Price: $2,499 - Best Price: $1,249

The ProForm PRO 16.0 NE features 20 levels of Silent Magnetic resistance, 20 inch stride length, 40 workout programs, iFit and iPod compatibility. Read Review »

21 Horizon Evolve 5 Elliptical Trainer

Horizon Fitness Evolve 5

Rating: 87.7%
Price: $1,799 - Best Price: $1,399

The Evolve 5 is Horizon's best machine in the Evolve Series. It is a solid front drive elliptical machine that has a 20-inch stride length, a 6.25-inch Blue Backlit LCD and 37 work out programs. Read Review »

22 proform-16-9-elliptical

ProForm PRO 16.9 NE

Rating: 87.0%
Price: $2,499 - Best Price: $1,299

The ProForm PRO 16.9 Elliptical is full of options for the workout and entertainment lover. Read Review »

23 Horizon Horizon Elite E7 Elliptical Trainer

Horizon Fitness Elite E7

Rating: 86.8%
Price: $2,099.00 - Best Price: $1,399

The Elite E7 is Horizon's lower model in the Evolve Series. It is a good front drive elliptical machine that has a 10 degree incline, a 20-inch stride length, 42 work out programs and a 8.5-inch extra-wide blue LCD console. Read Review »

24 sole e35 elliptical

Sole E35

Rating: 86.7%
Price: $2,299 - Best Price: $1,399

The Sole E35 is an elliptical that features all the basic specs (20 resistance levels, 20 inch stride, 20 lb flywheel) needed to reach your fitness goals. The elliptical also features cushioned and adjustable pedals as well as iPod/mp3 compatibility and is backed by a quality warranty. Read Review »

25 cardiohiit-trainer-pro-elliptical

ProForm CardioHIIT Trainer Pro

Rating: 86.1%
Price: $1,999 - Best Price: $1,499

The ProForm CardioHIIT Trainer Pro is a high quality trainer because it's gentle on the body, has many challenge levels and uses workout time efficiently. Read Review »