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Editor’s Note: The Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef is no longer in production. We suggest viewing the NordicTrack Airglide 14i elliptical as the best alternative, or view our list of the best ellipticals for home for more options.

Did visions of Chili’s baby back ribs commercial pop in my head when I was initially slated to write this review? Why yes, yes it did. Clearly word play is always at the forefront of my mind, but what should be is the Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef. 

In this Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef review, I’ll run you through everything you need to know about this mid-range cardio machine: the warranty, workout experience, assembly process, and variety of features. Don’t worry––I won’t spare a single detail (I knew being a grade-A blabbermouth would come in handy one day). 

We’re Diamonds Who Have Your Back

Let me tell you something about myself: If I like you, I’ll do anything for you. No, really. I’m what the kids call “a ride or die”. In this case, I like to think of you, the reader, as a friend. This means that I’ll have your back and always give you my honest, in-depth take on whatever fitness equipment I’m talking about. No fluff or packing peanuts in our midst (but maybe a bad joke or two). 

The rest of the GGR squad is the same. We consider our readers friends, and want to give you our honest take on the equipment you’re interested in. And we’re not just talking out of our butts; we know a thing or two about the fitness industry. After all, we’re a team of certified personal trainers, nutrition coaches, and former college soccer players. Fitness is what we know best.

Looking for an Alternative to the Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef?

The Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef is no longer in production but luckily there are many great alternative ellipticals on the market. We really like the NordicTrack AirGlide 14i as an alternative. 

The NordicTrack AirGlide 14i is number one on our best ellipticals guide because of all its great features. This elliptical costs nearly $2,000 but we think the cost is worth it. 

This elliptical offers both incline and decline settings as well as a 14” touchscreen display, iFIT interactive programming, and other smart features. It definitely offers more bells and whistles than many of the other ellipticals on the market. 

One feature of this elliptical that our tester Linsay Scheele loves was the hill climb ability. She took the iFIT “climbing pyramid” class and enjoyed 25 minutes of work. This elliptical allows you to easily increase incline and resistance for smooth and challenging workouts. 

While this elliptical is not the lightest on the market the attached transport wheels make it easy to move around. That being said, this machine is best for people who have ample space for their cardio equipment because it has a fairly large footprint. 

Some other great features of the NordicTrack AirGlide 14i are the built-in workout fan, water bottle holder, digitally-amplified speakers, bluetooth connectivity capabilities, and oversized cushioned pedals. You can also customize the stride length and there are dual handlebar options.

Best Alternative to Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef

NordicTrack AirGlide 14i Elliptical

GGR Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Elliptical machine with incline and decline settings
  • 14” touchscreen display
  • iFIT interactive programming
  • Adjustable stride length
  • Built-in fan and speakers

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Automatic trainer control with iFIT
  • 30-day iFIT trial included
  • Large, cushioned pedals
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Quiet drive system

Cons

  • Expensive price tag
  • iFIT trial requires your credit card
  • iFIT requires monthly membership fees

Bottom Line

The NordicTrack AirGlide 14i Elliptical offers both incline and decline training, an adjustable stride length, and a 14-inch touchscreen display for iFIT interactive programming. You’ll enjoy the AirGlide if you want to break a sweat with expert instruction and motivation from iFIT trainers and coaches.

A Quick Look at the Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef

Diamondback Fitness currently offers two different elliptical trainers: The 1060ef and the 1280ef. (The 1280ef is the new version of the Diamondback 1260ef).The 1060ef is the less-expensive elliptical of the two, clocking in at $1,000. Besides these two machines, Diamondback also offers indoor cycles, upright bikes, recumbent bikes, fitness accessories, and apparel. 

Before You Buy:

  • Check to see if you qualify for financing through Affirm.
  • You can add additional warranty coverage (five years) for an extra $200.

Is the Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef Worth It?

Trying to decide if this elliptical is worth your hard-earned cheddar? Here’s who I think will fall hard for the Diamondback 1280ef and who should see other people (er, ellipticals):

Great for:

  • Heavier folks
  • People who want a sturdy machine
  • Someone with a dedicated home gym
  • People who want a low-impact workout

Not recommended for:

  • People who want a long warranty
  • Exceptionally tall individuals
  • Small spaces

Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef Specs

PriceAround $1,200
Weight187 lbs
Weight capacity350 lbs
Stride lengths17” or 22”
Type of resistanceMagnetic resistance
Levels of magnetic resistance16 resistance levels
Display10” touchscreen display
Pre-programmed workouts12 workout programs 
Dimensions50″ L x 36″ W x 66″ H
Compatible withPolar wireless heart rate receiver (sold separately)
Hand pulse sensorsYes
USB charging portYes
Warranty5-year frame and brakes, 3-year parts and electronic components, 1-year labor warranty

Using the Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef

Although I fancy myself a cardio queen, GGR’s OG founder, Cooper Mitchell, actually tested this machine and it’s safe to say he was pretty impressed.

“It’s very sturdy, weighing nearly 200 pounds,” Cooper said of the 1280ef. “This may make it somewhat difficult to maneuver, but it leads to great stability.”

Cooper went on to say he did not notice any movement or play in the frame as he used the machine. He also mentioned that it was virtually seamless to adjust the stride length, which was definitely a burning question for me.

Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef

“The stride length was very easy to adjust,” Cooper admitted. “There is a knob on each side of the legs that twists to unlock for changing the stride length. It’s not crazy, as it’s only five inches, but depending on the user, five inches can be significant, so I think it’s a worthy addition to the piece.”

I couldn’t agree more, Cooper! We typically expect to see between a 18- to 20-inch stride length on a good elliptical, and this one hits the nail on the head. You can adjust the stride length anywhere between 17 inches to 22 inches, so it is an inclusive option for individuals of various heights. 

I’m also really impressed with the 350-pound user weight capacity on the 1280ef. This is 50 pounds better than the industry standard, which again, makes this a great option for a variety of people. 

Footprint and Portability

Although the 1280ef seems to pride itself (based on the product page) on having a small footprint, I’m not entirely sure that I agree. It does have more compact dimensions than a rear-drive elliptical, but that’s not a hard benchmark to beat. You’ll still need a rather significant amount of space (and decent ceiling height) to accommodate the 1280ef.

It is also worth noting that this machine, like many ellipticals, cannot be compacted or folded in any way. It will have to live out in the open at all times, which is something to keep in mind before purchasing. 

You’ll also need another set of hands to help you move this machine around. Although there are included transport wheels, this machine is almost 200 pounds and quite unwieldy. If you plan to move the 1280ef up or down a flight of stairs, I definitely recommend grabbing a friend or family member to assist. 

Technology Benefits and Conveniences

The Diamondback 1280ef has a 10-inch touchscreen, which is Android-based and simple to use. Instead of having native interactive programming (like iFIT or the Peloton app), Diamondback offers preset programs. If you’re not into the idea of paying a monthly subscription fee, the 12 preset programs can actually be quite useful, especially for beginners.

Here’s what Cooper had to say about the display:

“It has watt output, time, distance, calories, RPM, load, speed, and heart rate,” Cooper said. “It is vibrant and easy to see, however, it does not have programming like iFIT, which for the price, will be upsetting to many.”

Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef touchscreen

Although you may not have interactive programming on the 1280ef, you do have a variety of entertainment and fitness apps to peruse during your workout. You can watch your favorite YouTuber, listen to a new album on Spotify, or even enjoy the latest season of Love is Blind on Netflix (subscription required). 

Although you can track your heart rate on this machine, you’ll need to purchase a compatible Polar heart rate monitor, which isn’t included. I didn’t see any mention of Bluetooth connectivity for other heart rate monitoring devices, so this was slightly disappointing. 

Wondering what extras you’ll find on the 1280ef? Wonder no longer! Here they are:

  • One water bottle holder
  • Pulse sensors
  • Storage spot
  • USB charging port
  • Tablet holder
  • Textured pedals
  • Works with Polar chest strap (not included)
  • Cushioned handlebars
  • Transport wheels
Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef feet on pedals

Customer Experience 

Let’s talk about warranties. We expect to see at least 15 years to life on the frame of a high-quality elliptical. Unfortunately, the Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef only offers a mere five years. The brand does give you the option to purchase an additional five-year warranty, but I wish it was just included standard, not as an extra. 

Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef over the shoulder

Diamondback does offer a 30-day return policy for all of their products. If you’re not satisfied with your purchase, you’ll need to call customer service at 385-255-9025 to get a return authorization number. From there, you’ll need to repackage your item in its original box and send it back to the warehouse. Keep in mind that you’ll be responsible for return shipping costs and a possible 20-percent restocking fee (depending on the condition of your item when it arrives at the facility). 

Ordering and Assembling the Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef 

Ordering the Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef is simple: Just click the giant “add to cart” button located underneath the price on the product page. You’ll then be immediately redirected to your shopping cart, where you’ll have the option to add a five-year warranty boost or professional assembly for an additional fee. 

If you live within the United States, you’re in luck: Diamondback Fitness offers free shipping on the 1280ef. However, I would keep in mind that you’ll still need to drag this heavy machine inside your home if you opt for free shipping, so choose accordingly. If you’re not into the whole picking-up-a 200-pound-elliptical thing, you can pay an extra $299 for professional assembly. 

In terms of financing, Diamondback Fitness offers competitive options through the popular platform Affirm. Provided you qualify, you could pay as little as $100 per month with 0% APR financing. 

Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef being used

At GGR, we like to suffer. Not really, but we’ll gladly assemble a piece of equipment in the name of properly informing our readers. In this case, the man for the job was GGR’s Operations Manager Sam “asSAMbly” Presley. Here’s what he had to say about putting together the 1280ef:

“It took about an hour and a half with two people working on it,” Sam explained. “One nice thing compared to many ellipticals we build is that the arms and feet come pre-attached. You just have to add a single bolt to put them together.”

“Another nice feature is that many of the bolts are pre-installed in the proper spot, which makes it easy when you’re not comparing four different bolts that are close in size,” Sam continued. “I would recommend laying it down on its front once you have unboxed it to attach the feet.”

Customer Reviews

The 1280ef elliptical has 18 reviews with a perfect five-star rating on the Diamondback Fitness website. I was unable to find another retailer that carries this machine (including Amazon), which is worth noting. However, almost all of the customers on the Diamondback Fitness website rave about this machine, including this husband and wife duo:

“The 1280ef elliptical is a quality piece of cardio equipment,” customers Mark and Stephanie explained. “We wish we had found this before buying a different brand off of Amazon. We returned it and ordered this instead based on the reviews. I could tell it was good quality when we set it up. The Diamondback 1280ef is quiet and feels stable and safe.”

In terms of negative reviews, there really weren’t any to speak of (unless you call four stars a bad review). However, I did see a few scathing comments about the lack of a second cup holder on the 1280ef. Truly cuts deep (kidding). 

Final Verdict of Our Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef Review

After thoroughly testing the Diamondback 1280ef, here are our findings:

  • The 350-pound user weight capacity is higher than the industry standard, making this a good option for heavier folks.
  • Assembly isn’t too difficult, but you’ll definitely need another person to assist you in the process.
  • This is an adjustable stride elliptical trainer, which means it can accommodate a variety of people who are different heights. 
  • Although the 1280ef has a 10-inch touchscreen, it doesn’t have interactive programming (just preset workout options and a few entertainment apps).
  • We suggest having a dedicated home gym for the 1280ef––it doesn’t have a small footprint and cannot be compacted for storage purposes.

Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef Rating

Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef

Check out our Diamondback elliptical 1280ef review for the inside scoop on this sturdy cardio machine.

Product Brand: Diamondback

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 1550.00

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
3.95

Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef

Footprint and portability – 3.75
Delivery and setup – 4
Durability – 4.5
Adjustability and ergonomics – 4
Workout experience – 4.5
Tech capabilities – 3
Conveniences – 3.75
Customer reviews – 5
Value – 4
Warranty, financing, and returns – 3

Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef FAQs

Is a 20-inch stride length on an elliptical good?

A 20-inch stride length is within the industry standard for an elliptical, so yes, it is good. 

Generally speaking, you want to see a stride length between 18 to 20 inches on a solid elliptical machine. If you’re especially short, you can get away with a shorter stride length (or if you don’t mind the elliptical feeling like a stepper).

What is an adjustable stride on an elliptical machine?

An adjustable stride on an elliptical is exactly what it sounds like––a stride length that can be adjusted. For example, the Diamondback Elliptical 1280ef has an adjustable stride length of 17 inches to 22 inches. This means you’re able to adjust the stride between these two numbers to suit your preferences. I suggest playing around with the options on your elliptical to see what feels most natural for you.

What is Diamondback Fitness?

According to their About page, Diamondback Fitness has existed within the cycling market for a long time, producing high-quality exercise bikes. However, within the past 15 years or so, the brand has expanded their reach to include a catalog of ellipticals, recumbent bikes, upright bikes, accessories, and apparel.

What are other brands that have some of the best ellipticals?

Besides Diamondback Fitness, there are a variety of brands that sell top-of-the-line ellipticals:

Sole Fitness
NordicTrack
ProForm
Horizon

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