Matrix E50 Elliptical Review

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Matrix E50 Elliptical Rating

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Pros The Matrix E50 is a uniquely smooth, compact and customizable elliptical trainer. It provides a 20” stride without claiming much floor space, but it’s especially rare for its induction braking, which is superior to the magnetic resistance found elsewhere. The E50 is sold with an enticing selection of consoles for exercise guidance and digital entertainment.
Cons The most exciting Matrix workout programs are the Virtual Active videos, but these aren’t included with the standard Matrix XR console; you’ll need to purchase a Passport Media Player if the XR is your choice. As for performance, the E50 is ultra-smooth but has a fixed stride, and the 20” elliptical path is a bit long for trainees with shorter legs. Another possible drawback for some shoppers is that the elliptical path can’t be adjusted for a different training effect. Matrix’s pricier Ascent Trainer ellipticals, in contrast, have variable 20” to 24” paths along steep incline settings.
Summary The Matrix E50 is a high-end home elliptical that’s backed by a strong warranty. Compared with alternatives it’s remarkably compact for convenient home use, and a patented induction braking system gives riders especially precise control over the challenge. A choice of consoles helps a wide variety of shoppers find a great match. Ideal for all levels of cross training, the E50 is a top recommendation among 20” stride ellipticals in the $2000-and-up price category.

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Matrix E50 Elliptical Detailed Overview

The Matrix E50 elliptical is a high quality low-impact trainer for home use. Key points are a customized console (choose from three), a heavy yet very compact frame, an ergonomic 20” stride, and 30 levels of resistance for a just-right challenge. This elliptical has moving handlebars with multiple grip positions as well. It can be used for lower body training or total body training.

The Matrix E50 is rare among home ellipticals for using induction braking, which has benefits over the dominant technology of eddy current braking: even greater durability, faster response, and better precision. Induction braking also allows for ultra-smooth transitions among resistance levels, helping to make elliptical training even lower impact and more efficient.

A center drive design helps minimize this cross trainer’s need for floor space. More compact than competitors, the E50’s static footprint is just 59.5” long and 29.5” wide. Its active footprint isn’t much larger at 68.9” x 29.5”. At the same time, unlike some lower quality ellipticals the E50 supports a natural-feeling stride for most trainees. The 20” elliptical footpath is the standard for commercial ellipticals and comfortably fits the gaits of most adults and teens (shorter folks excepted).

The choice of high-end consoles contributes to the appeal of Matrix cross trainers. The three options are the basic XR with 8.5” LCD, the upgraded XER with 6” touch screen, and the XIR with 10” touch screen. Included on each console are an integrated reading rack, accessory tray and bottle holder. Here are details about the workout programming and special features:

  • The Matrix XR has the simplest selection of features but includes a wireless heart rate receiver and ViaFit connectivity for wireless data sharing. It’s also Passport-ready for showing Virtual Active video on a big-screen TV via a Passport Media Player (sold separately). This console has five preset workout programs.
  • The XER console is a big jump up in terms of features: It’s outfitted with the same functions as the XR, plus it has a touch screen, built-in video tours (no Passport Player required), high intensity interval training, mobile apps such as Twitter and MyFitnessPal, and iPod-compatible speakers. This console has 10 preset workout programs and three Virtual Active videos.
  • The XIR console is the most advanced. It has the same features as the XER except it’s equipped with 11 preset workout programs, a web browser and a high-definition 10” touch screen.

The high intensity interval training included on the XER and XIR consoles is called Sprint8. The Sprint8 app generates eight-week training courses based on the user’s ability level. These courses require just 20 minutes of elliptical training three or four times per week. Rapid results have been proven in terms of increase in lean muscle mass, reduction in fat, and lower LDL cholesterol readings.

Our Favorite Features

  • Compact for home use
  • 20” stride
  • Exact Force Induction Braking
  • Multiposition handlebars
  • Cushioned pedals
  • Wireless and grip heart rate monitors
  • Wireless data sharing
  • Preset classic workouts
  • Eight-week high intensity interval training (optional)
  • Virtual Active video tours (optional)
  • Speakers (optional)
  • Mobile apps and web browser (optional)
  • Reading rack
  • High weight capacity
  • Competitive warranty

Our Least Favorite Features

  • Above-average price
  • Fixed stride
  • No transport wheels

The Bottom Line

The Matrix E50 has just about everything: smooth ergonomics, excellent durability, a choice of workout programming, optional mobile apps and more. A possible shortcoming though is its fixed stride of 20”, which doesn’t support movement variation or the needs of shorter trainees.

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