An elliptical flywheel is a metal wheel, usually steel, that stores energy from rotation. It’s a key to the comfortable low-impact motion of elliptical machines — and the heavier the flywheel, the better it can spin to support smooth rides.

Flywheel weight contributes to the elliptical machine’s overall price. Do you need a heavy flywheel? A heavy flywheel is especially important when the trainee carries a lot of weight and/or wants the option of especially strong resistance. Most home elliptical machines for the current model year have flywheels weighing from about 12 to 30 pounds.

Exceptions to the heavier-is-better rule come from Precor. Because of Precor’s various innovations in elliptical machine design, their products are among the world’s top performers even when the flywheels aren’t so heavy.

Here are some of our reviewers’ favorite ellipticals with heavy flywheels.