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Diamondback 1280ef Review

Quick Summary

The 1280ef is the newest addition to Diamondback’s elliptical family, replacing the popular 1260ef. The 1280ef boasts an upgraded space-saving design and other modern features for a cheaper price. Sized at just 50″ by 36″, the 1280ef is compact enough for most home gyms. Although it retails for $2,499, you can often get it on Diamondback’s site for less than $2K. Highlights include an adjustable stride length (17” or 22”) and whisper-quiet magnetic resistance. The trainer’s Android-enabled 10” touchscreen display allows you to connect to a range of apps via WiFi to enjoy interactive training and more. See below for a detailed review of the Diamondback 1280ef including pros and cons. 


Model Diamondback 1280ef

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

Resistance Type

The type of resistance affects the performance of your elliptical. Magnetic and Eddy-Current are the most common types.

Magnetic Resistance
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).

Adjustable (17” or 22”)

Elliptical pedals can be cushioned and adjustable for maximum comfort and minimum impact on joints for injury prevention.


Some elliptical trainers can be set at an incline to increase difficulty and burn more calories.


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


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

User Profiles

For each profile the elliptical allows, you can create a custom user account with saved programs and goal settings.

Heart Rate

Heart Rate programs allow you to track how many times your heart is beating per minute (bpm), and some control the workout for you.

Wireless Heart-Rate Receiver & Hand Pulse Sensors

Elliptical Display refers to the screen you'll look at to monitor workouts. LED and LCD displays are similar to TV screens.

10” Android-enabled Touchscreen
Max. Weight

Max User Weight is the amount of weight, in pounds (lbs), that it can safely support, which can represent durability.

350 lbs.

Dimensions are included to help you figure out if this elliptical will fit properly (Length x Width x Height and Height x Depth).

50" x 36" x 66"
Upper Body

Most ellipticals have handles to hold while you're working out that provide an upper body workout.

Accessory Tray

Some ellipticals include an accessory tray for holding items such as water bottles, wallets, keys, or MP3 players like iPods.


Ellipticals that include a sound system allow you to listen to your MP3 player/iPod through built-in speakers (without headphones).

Cooling Fans

Cooling Fans are designed to help keep you cool during an intense workout on your elliptical.


Some ellipticals are designed to conserve space by folding up. This is a convenient option, but some features might be reduced.

Quick Controls

Quick Controls allow you to select speed, incline and even workout programs with the touch of a button (usually on the handles).


The warranty is an important part of your investment. The longer the warranty, the longer you can get free/discounted repairs.

Frame: 5 years
Brake: 5 years
Parts/Electronics: 3 years
Labor: 1 year
Wear Items: 90 days

Rating: 92.5%

Our Rating

Rating: 92.5/100.

One of the main draws of the Diamondback 1280ef is its WiFi-enabled 10” touchscreen. It gives you access to six pre-installed apps for entertainment and interactive training. These include Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, Chrome, iRoute and Kinomap. It’s worth noting that additional apps are not available for download, so you can’t try a different training app with this model. iRoute and Kinomap are your only options. These apps connect directly to the 1280ef as a controllable trainer, allowing you to see your stats in real time. Both apps will update the resistance when training, making it feel like you’re riding on the route in real time, as you follow the ups and down of the different terrains. If you don’t mind that your connected training will be limited to these two apps, then this pre-installed selection pretty much covers all bases. Entertainment wise, you can stream your workout playlists on Spotify, check your email via Chrome, or catch up on shows via Netflix. While the trainer doesn’t have Bluetooth, it does have a wireless heart-rate receiver for you to use with your own chest strap (not included).


The 1280ef was designed to fit into small spaces without sacrificing on comfort. Weighing 187 lbs. and sized at 50″ x 36″, you won’t have to give up too much floor space. Keep in mind that you will need a space of 70″ long by 48″ wide to cater for the natural pedaling motion of the machine. Even though the trainer is compact, you’ll still get a smooth and quiet riding experience due to the magnetic resistance. There’s also the adjustable stride which is both a comfort and performance feature. You can choose between 17” or 22”. As well as catering to different heights, this allows you to target different muscle groups. Get the pros and cons of the Diamondback 1280ef elliptical below.


Pros & Cons


  • Touchscreen: 10” touchscreen display (Android system) supports immersive interactive training and entertainment apps.
  • Apps: 6 pre-installed apps cover music, TV, browsing the web and interactive training.
  • Dual-Adjustment Stride: The adjustable stride length (17” or 22”) diversifies your training and matches the natural stride of the user.
  • Compact Design: It’s compact enough to work well in most home gyms.
  • Magnetic Resistance: Provides a smooth and quiet ride through 16 resistance levels.
  • Workout Variety: 12 pre-programmed workouts including heart-rate-controlled options provide enough variety to keep you challenged.
  • Low Step Up Height: Caters for easy step-on and off.
  • Oversized Pedals: Ensure a comfortable workout for trainees of most sizes.
  • Transport Wheels: Make it easy to move around after workouts.
  • Wireless Telemetry: Wireless heart-rate receiver for use with your own chest strap.
  • Tablet Holder: For your smartphone/tablet if you want to multitask during workouts.
  • Sturdy: Triangular frame geometry provides sturdy frame strength. The durable steel handlebars offer multiple holding positions for diverse training.
  • Natural Motion: Pedals are spaced 3″ apart for a more natural pedaling motion.
  • USB charging port: For your smartphone/ tablet.
  • Warranty: Five years of coverage for the frame and braking, three years on parts and electronics, and a year of labor is a good enough warranty for the bike’s price point. Wear and tear items are only covered for 90 days.
  • Military Discount: Diamondback offers a 10% military discount.
  • Shipping: Live in the 48 contiguous United States? You’ll get free curbside shipping.


  • Assembly: Although assembly is quick, customers say it takes two people.
  • Tablet Holder Position: The tablet holder is a ledge under the screen, so if you docked a tablet, this would block the screen. We would suggest using a smartphone if you want to multitask (say, check your emails while you’re in a Kinomap ride).
  • Interactive Training: Interactive training is limited to Kinomap and iRoute. You could follow along manually with a fitness app on your tablet, but the ride wouldn’t be connected to your machine to monitor your stats. There is no Bluetooth to connect your trainer to your tablet. 
  • Resistance: We would perhaps like to see the resistance broken down to 32 levels (as seen on other Diamondback models) rather than 16.
  • No Fan: The 1280ef doesn’t have a cooling fan.


The Diamondback 1280ef elliptical is a tech-savvy, compact elliptical trainer that would work well in most home gym spaces. It will also suit most trainees. Even though it’s a compact model, its sturdy frame can stably manage anyone up to 350 lbs. and users from 5’3″ to 6’5″. Ellipticals are fantastic trainers for low-impact workouts in general, and the 1280ef is no exception. Its smooth, natural stride motion helps to eliminate strain on your hips, knees, and joints. It was designed with comfort in mind. The adjustable stride length and quiet magnetic resistance allow for a smooth and comfortable ride. It features a range of other comfort features, from oversized foot pedals that are spaced to allow for a natural pedaling motion, to multi-position handlebars. When it comes to tech, the 1280ef by far outshines the older 1260ef model. From interactive training capability to wireless heart-rate monitoring, the 1280ef brings the popular 1260ef up to date for 2020. Dig deeper into the details of the 1280ef’s workout programs, features and buyer protections below.


Workout Programs

The 1280ef is a connected fitness machine. Its touchscreen comes loaded with 2 interactive training apps: Kinomap and iRoute. As Bluetooth isn’t featured on the 1280ef, you connect to the apps on your touchscreen via WiFi. All apps are added to the console at the factory, so you won’t be able to use any other fitness apps with this machine. You could manually follow along with one on your tablet or on YouTube, but this won’t be integrated with the trainer, so you won’t get your real-time workout stats or automatic resistance adjustment. Both apps connect directly to the 1280ef as a controllable trainer, allowing you to see your stats in the apps. Their main focus is on virtual cycling trails around the world. Both apps can automatically up the resistance during rides. This makes it feel like you’re riding on the virtual route in real time; you will experience the ups and down of the different terrains. If you choose to stick to the free options of these apps, there will be no ongoing monthly subscription costs like there are with many machines that support interactive training. You can upgrade to a paid Kinomap option to access more content, but there are free starter videos for you to enjoy from the get-go. The quality of the workouts isn’t great. But there is a huge selection of running and riding routes that will allow you to virtually travel the world while training. Kinomap also offers a ‘coaching’ section where you can access training videos that coaches have uploaded themselves. In the free version of Kinomap, this currently only includes one free elliptical workout, so sticking to the virtual running and riding trails is probably going to be the most entertaining option.


As for presets, the Diamondback 1280ef comes with 12 pre-programmed workouts. You can choose between manual mode, preset programs, heart-rate-controlled programs, or custom programs. As the trainer has a Polar compatible wireless heart-rate receiver, you can use your own wireless chest strap to monitor your heart rate. You can then use this accurate data in the heart-rate-controlled programs. Within these programs, you don’t need to change the resistance. The console does this automatically to help keep your heart rate close to your target heart rate. This works wonders for keeping your training sessions more efficient. The console also features a ‘Pulse Recovery’ feature which measures how quickly you return to a resting heart rate after each session. The goal is that as you progress, your recovery time will decline. This will indicate improved cardio health.


Diamondback 1280ef Features

One of the Diamondback 1280ef’s key features is the adjustable stride length. You can choose between 17” or 22”. This allows you to adjust the machine for different heights, target different muscle groups, and diversify your workout. It features 16 levels of whisper-quiet magnetic resistance. Unlike the older design which featured a weighted flywheel, the 1280ef’s magnetic resistance system allows for more precise resistance control. It also reduces the overall weight of the machine. Weighing 187 lbs. and sized at 50″ x 36″ x 66″, it will fit in most home gym spaces. It’s easy to move the machine from room to room after workouts with the front-mounted transport wheels. 


The 1280ef surpasses the discontinued 1260ef in terms of tech. It features an Android-enabled 10” touchscreen display for you to enjoy interactive training and entertainment apps. There are six pre-installed apps, including Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, Chrome, iRoute and Kinomap. Additional apps are not available for download. While we don’t mind this in terms of entertainment, as most bases are covered with the entertainment apps and Chrome browser, users may feel restricted with the interactive training options. That said, the two options featured (iRoute and Kinomap) don’t demand that users pay a monthly subscription cost like many other fitness apps do. This means you’re only investing in the initial machine cost, and won’t be roped into a hefty monthly bill for immersive training.


The 1280ef’s display can track, display, and save all your essential workout data. This includes WATT output, time, distance, calories, RPM, load, speed, and heart rate. Even though the 1280ef features hand pulse sensors, you can monitor your heart-rate data wirelessly with your own chest strap (not included) for more accurate readings. The 1280ef has a built-in Polar wireless heart-rate receiver for this. This is particularly useful in the heart-rate-controlled workouts where the elliptical controls your resistance to ensure you remain in your target heart-rate zone for more effective training sessions. Other features for comfort and performance include: oversized pedals which fit different sizes and gait and move in forward and reverse motions; low step-up height allowing for easy step-on and off; multi-position handlebars; and pedal spacing 3 inches apart for a natural pedaling motion.


Warranty & Guarantee

The Diamondback 1280ef home-use warranty includes:

– Frame: Lifetime Limited (5 years)

– Braking: Lifetime Limited (5 years)

– Parts: 3 Years

– Electronics: 3 Years

– Labor: 1 Year

– Wear Items: 90 Days

Diamondback also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you live in the 48 contiguous United States you will get free curbside shipping to your driveway. The brand also offers a 10% military discount.


If you’re looking for a low-impact workout but find it hard to stay motivated during training sessions, the Diamondback 1280ef could be your perfect match. While interactive training is limited to two apps, we like that it’s free and still gives you access to a variety of immersive videos and a global fitness community. As for entertainment, the pre-installed app selection pretty much covers all bases for watching shows, streaming workout playlists or surfing the net. The fact that you can use the touchscreen for more than just interactive training does give this elliptical an advantage over other machines at its price point. Most machines would usually only support the interactive training app they work with. This as well as the wireless heart-rate monitoring make the 1280ef an ideal machine for those looking for a more tech-savvy workout, or want a machine that can multitask. It really comes to down to whether you are happy just using those two apps for connected training. It’s also a good option for those looking for comfort. As well as the adjustable stride, there are many comfort features on this machine that will make it a good fit for most trainees. This along with the compact size means it will be a solid option for most home gym spaces.

Other Diamondback Ellipticals