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Looking for a quick, effective, and low-impact way to get a cardio workout in? The Horizon Fitness EX-59 elliptical is here to help! In fact, we the EX-59 is our top pick for the best budget elliptical for home gyms. Our Horizon Fitness EX-59 elliptical reviews detail the warranty, useability, and our overall thoughts on this under-$500 machine.

At Garage Gym Reviews, we’ve tried some of the hottest elliptical machines on the market in the quest to find the best of the best. Whether you’re looking for budget-friendly, tech-y, or compact, we have you covered with quality recommendations you can trust.

We Sweat the Small Stuff So You Don’t Have To!

At Garage Gym Reviews, we’re obsessed with fitness—and I mean obsessed. We analyze every little detail so we can give you the most in-depth information possible. Plus, we really know our stuff. Our team of expert product testers and reviewers are certified personal trainers, CrossFit L-1 trainers, and nutrition coaches. 

For this Horizon Fitness EX-59 elliptical review, both Coop Mitchell (GGR founder and OG product tester) and Lindsay Scheele (cardio expert and lead reviewer for Garage Gym Reviews Everything) put the budget-friendly cross-trainer to the test.

Horizon EX-59 Elliptical

Horizon EX-59 Elliptical

GGR Score: 3.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Elliptical with Bluetooth connectivity
  • 18-inch stride length
  • 14-pound flywheel
  • 10 levels of magnetic resistance 
  • 300-pound max user weight capacity 
  • Has a built-in device holder and USB port 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Price
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 18-inch stride length
  • Lifetime frame warranty
  • 5 preset programs
  • Textured foot pedals
  • 10 resistance levels
  • Bluetooth speakers

Cons

  • Lighter flywheel
  • User weight capacity is on the lighter side
  • No touchscreen display
  • 10-inch step-up is high
  • No incline options
  • No flywheel warranty

Bottom Line

The Horizon EX-59 is a budget-friendly elliptical with an 18-inch stride length and five preset programs to choose from. What it lacks in tech capabilities (mostly just the Bluetooth speakers) it makes up for in stability. This elliptical has a locked-down feel for a budget price-point.

A Quick Look at the Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical

Horizon Fitness has seen some recent changes to the product lineup and at the moment, the Horizon EX-59 is the only cross trainer machine ready to purchase from the brand’s website. The brand has previously carried other models like the Horizon 70. AE, Evolve 3, and Evolve 5, but they are in the process of phasing these out. 

My Tips:

  • Active military? Save 7% on your new Horizon Fitness cardio machine by verifying your military identification
  • Don’t want to spend $500 all at one time? Take advantage of the financing options Horizon offers to break your payments up.

Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical Trainer Video Review

Is the Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical Trainer Worth It?

Trying to figure out if the EX-59 elliptical machine will make your heart skip a beat?

For starters, the EX-59 is priced around $600 and can be financed if you’d rather break up that payment. It’s worth noting that the EX-59 has an MSRP of $999, but brands like Horizon Fitness and Sole Fitness have perpetual sale prices and markdowns, which I’m convinced are just a marketing tactic.

RELATED: Sole Elliptical Reviews

But for $600, you’ll get a solid elliptical. Expert tester, Lindsay Scheele notes, “It’s a basic machine without any exceptional features, but it’s a really good price point for what you get.”

Both Lindsay and Coop, founder of GGR, agree that the Horizon EX-59 earns a 4-out-of-5-star rating for overall value. While it’s does not have the heaviest flywheel our testers have used, it’s kept the machine stable and there was no shaking or rocking. For reference, budget cross-trainers are notoriously shaky and it’s one of the first thing we critique for budget machines.

Great for:

  • Someone on a budget
  • The casual exerciser
  • A beginner

Not recommended for:

  • A person who needs a foldable elliptical
  • Someone who wants a touchscreen
  • Individuals with mobility issues

Horizon EX-59 Elliptical Trainer Specs

Footprint74″ L x 25″ W x 64.5″ H
Weight145 lbs
User weight capacity300 lbs
PriceAround $600
Step on height10.75”
Levels of resistance10 levels of magnetic resistance
Flywheel14 lbs
Stride length18”
WarrantyLifetime frame, 1-year brake, parts and labor (No warranty on flywheel) 
DisplayYellow-green LCD

Gliding and Striding on the Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical

Between myself and expert testers Coop,and Lindsay we’ve been on dozens of the best ellipticals. In fact, our testers have used almost 30 different elliptical machines.

After stepping onto the EX-59 for the first time, Coop was pleased with just how sturdy this machine is, especially for the $600 price point.

This is especially surprising considering the machine has a 14.3-pound flywheel. It’s also worth noting that we use a standardized fitness equipment testing methodology for everything we test and review. That said, the 14.3-pound flywheel falls below what we prefer to see in a elliptical for home gyms. We use categories like durability, value, ergonomics, and tech capabilities. Within each category, testers rate the equipment from a 1-to-5-star scale.

In durability category for ellipticals, to score over 3-star rating an elliptical needs to have at least a 16-pound flywheel at minimum. Although this machine was rock-solid during our testing experience, the lighter flywheel earns a 3-out-of-5-star rating in the durability category.

Lindsay notes, “If the flywheel was heavier I would rate this higher. It was pretty solid during use.”

Coop added to Lindsay’s statement by saying, “It certainly is not as sturdy as a commercial model, but I was really happy with the stability for the price and size. When the resistance is turned up, it really only shakes if you’re trying to make it shake.”

RELATED: How to Use an Elliptical

I’m not incredibly shocked that the EX-59 is stable. After all, it does weigh 145 pounds, which is heavier than any of the other budget ellipticals we have tried in the past. Although it can make moving the elliptical a pain, a heavily weighted cardio machine usually means more stability and less play in the frame.

RELATED: How To Move An Elliptical

Coop also mentioned that the stride length was more than suitable for someone of his height or taller, which is another anomaly when it comes to budget ellipticals. Usually we find that inexpensive ellipticals have a shorter stride length, which can make the machine feel more like a stepper. In this case, the EX-59 has an 18-inch stride length, which hits the industry standard of between 18 to 20 inches. 

For this reason, we give the EX-59 a 4-out-of-5-star rating for adjustability and ergonomics. It meets our requirements for stride length (between 18 to 20 inches) and offers two sets handlebars (one moving pair and one fixed, which is ideal for safety getting on and off the machine). It also features a slight cushioning to the pedals, which is a nice ergonomic feature found on some of the best commercial ellipticals.

Portability

When it comes to the portability of the EX-59, it earns a 4-out-of-5-star rating. The main thing we look for in portability is if it can be moved with one or two people. The EX-59 is definitely a one-person job and features transport wheels.

“While the EX-59 has wheels on the front, they don’t work great on high-pile carpet or going over power cords and the like,” explains Coop, GGR founder.

Expert product tester, Lindsay Scheele, agrees saying, “The wheels make it doable for me to move alone. It felt smaller and easier than a commercial machine,” she says about the 145-pound machine that measures just over 6 feet long and two feet wide.

Technology Benefits and Conveniences

Although the EX-59 doesn’t have a touchscreen, it does have Bluetooth connectivity, which is a big plus. Whether you want to hear your favorite Netflix show or one of the best iFIT workouts, the EX-59 has you covered with integrated speakers. Obviously, you’ll have to use your own smartphone or tablet, but there is a handy device holder right above the display.

The 4.5-inch LCD display itself is underwhelming, but not bad at all. I think it is user-friendly and there are five different preset programs to choose from—manual mode, weight loss, intervals, distance, and calorie burn. These are nice options when you want to get started quickly with a little direction. 

For an elliptical to earn a middle-of-the-road 3-star rating from our testers, the machine needs to display the basic metrics (like calories burned, distance traveled, speed, time elapsed, watts, and program level), some sort of animation on the display, and heart rate monitoring through pulse grip sensors.

While display doesn’t offer animation (like a bar graph, or race track) the EX-59 still earns a 3-out-of-star rating because it features all the basic metrics, pulse grip sensors, and Bluetooth audio capabilities.

Tester, Lindsay notes the EX-59 would earn a higher score if the Bluetooth capabilities allowed you to connect and read data from apps like Strava or Peloton. You can certainly use those apps, but it won’t be able to record your data, speed, or heart rate from the machine.

RELATED: Peloton vs iFIT

There are also quick-jump resistance buttons from 1 to 10 on either side of the display for easy access.

There is a single water bottle holder planted firmly between two smaller accessories holders. You’ll likely be able to fit a smaller plastic water bottle in the slot, but not a huge Yeti tumbler. The accessories holders are small, but could likely fit tinier items like keys and a wallet.

For conveniences, the EX-59 earns a 4-out-of-5-star rating because it features more than one water bottle holder and the media shelf does not obstruct the view of your workout metrics.

Comparison to ProForm Carbon EL

ProForm Carbon EL

ProForm Carbon EL Elliptical

GGR Score: 3.8 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 18 levels of silent magnetic resistance 
  • 0 to 20 degrees of manually adjustable incline 
  • 5” high-contrast multi-color display 
  • Tablet holder 
  • iFIT-compatible with SmartAdjust technology 
  • Steel frame 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 18 levels of silent magnetic resistance
  • 0-20 degrees of incline
  • SmartAdjust technology allows iFIT trainer to adjust resistance
  • Free 30-day iFIT membership
  • Free shipping

Cons

  • Incline adjusted manually
  • 275-lb user weight capacity
  • Long assembly process

Bottom Line

The ProForm Carbon EL elliptical is an affordable machine with both resistance and incline abilities if you’re looking for guided workouts. If you don’t think you’ll use iFIT, there’s probably a better machine for you.

Horizon and ProForm are often comparable brands. In this case, the ProForm Carbon EL compares the most to the Horizon EX-59. While there is a lot to like about the ProForm Carbon EL (including iFIT capabilities via Bluetooth), keep in mind the fact the weight capacity is 275 pounds, which is under industry standards and may not work everyone. The warranty for the Carbon EL only offers 10 years on the frame while Horizon offers a lifetime warranty on the frame.

ProForm is a budget-friendly fitness equipment brand that offers connectivity to the iFIT, which has a vast library of workouts. Although you’ll need a membership to access iFIT, it’s a major selling feature if you prefer being led through cardio classes and floor workouts.

If you’re looking for interactive programming ProForm is the way to go. But if that doesn’t matter to you, save the extra two hundred dollars and go with Horizon.

RELATED: ProForm Carbon EL Review

EllipticalHorizon EX-59ProForm Carbon EL
PriceAbout $600$799
WarrantyLifetime frame, 1-year brake, parts and labor (no flywheel warranty)10-year frame warranty, 1-year parts and labor
Resistance levels10 18
Weight capacity300 lbs275 lbs
Flywheel14 lbs15 lbs
Stride length18″19″ adjustable
Weight145 lbs194 lbs
Footprint74″ L x 25″ W x 64.5″ H76″ L x 24″ W x 65.5″ H
BluetoothAudio connectivityiFIT-enabled via Bluetooth

Customer Experience 

There are multiple ways to get in touch with Horizon Fitness including a live chat feature on the website, phone number, and a general inquiry form. Our team hasn’t had issues with Horizon, and rates the brand a 4.5 out of 5 stars for overall customer service. Below I outline other aspect to expect as a customer like warranty policies, financing options, and returns.

Warranty Policy

For the price, the EX-59 has an excellent warranty. You’ll receive a lifetime frame warranty and a year for both parts and labor. However, there isn’t any coverage for the flywheel, which I find intriguing. Because the warranty does not cover the flywheel, our testers rate the EX-59 at 4.5 out of 5 stars when it comes to category encompassing warranty, financing, and returns.

using horizon ex59 elliptical

Financing Options

Speaking of financing, you can take advantage of Horizon’s partnership with Citizens Bank and 0% APR on loan terms ranging from 12 to 36 months for qualified buyers.

Return Policy

If you’re not satisfied with your purchase, you can return the EX-59 within 30 days for a refund. It is worth noting that you’ll have to pay both a 20% restocking fee and return shipping (unless you initially paid for white glove delivery).

Assembling the Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical

Garage Gym Review’s Operations Manager Sam “asSAMbly” Presley is our version of getting professional assembly. Unfortunately, not all of you have a Sam at your disposal, so him describing the process is the best I can offer. However, Horizon offers white glove delivery and assembly for an additional $250.

“The EX-59 comes nicely packaged in one large box,” Sam explains. “In most cases, you will probably want two people to move it. It is a large elliptical, so even though one person can build it on their own, having two people would be a huge help.

“Overall, the EX-59 went together fairly easily and the directions were pretty simple to follow. If you’re doing it by yourself, set aside about two hours for the build,” says Sam.

Customer Reviews

The EX-59 has over 440 reviews on the Horizon website with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5.

Happy customers enjoy the quality of the machine, price, and resistance options. 

“I was looking for an affordable machine that was smooth on my hips,” EX-59 purchaser Dennis explained. “The high-end, store-bought ones always felt jerky. Not like the ones at the gym. I didn’t need any fancy programs. Just a reliable, sturdy, not squeaky, elliptical trainer. My workouts range from 15-60 minutes and I absolutely love the EX-59. Pretty easy to put together also.”

Most of the negative reviews revolved around the elliptical arriving damaged or customer service being slow to respond to issues.

“I ordered this back at the beginning of May and I didn’t see it until mid June,” customer Mason said. “Which I understand due to COVID, but when it did arrive, the box and everything was crushed and destroyed. The delivery people were very nice and said I could request a new one, I did, but I haven’t heard back in over 5 days. Starting to really regret this purchase.”

Final Verdict of Our Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical Reviews

If you’re looking for a sturdy elliptical machine under $500, you’ll likely enjoy the Horizon Fitness EX-59. Here are the main takeaways from this machine:

  • The 18-inch stride length makes this elliptical suitable for most people.
  • The lifetime frame warranty is an excellent added bonus, but it is also worth noting that the flywheel doesn’t have a guarantee at all.
  • The 300-pound weight capacity seems accurate, as this machine feels very durable for the price.

Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical Rating

Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical

Find the best Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical reviews, courtesy of GGR.

Product Brand: Horizon Fitness

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 599.00

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
3.5

Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical

Footprint and Portability – 4
Delivery and Setup – 4
Durability – 3
Customizations – 2.5
Adjustability and Ergonomics – 4
Tech Capabilities – 3
Conveniences – 4
Dynamic programming – 3.5
Customer Reviews – 4.6
Workout experience – 3
Value – 4
Warranty, Financing, Returns – 4.5
Customer Service – 4.5
Buy Now

Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical FAQs

Does Horizon make good ellipticals?

Yes, Horizon makes no-frills ellipticals at reasonable prices. However, everyone is looking for something different, so it is important to consider your wants and needs before purchasing anything.

How do you use the Horizon EX-59 Elliptical?

After you have the Horizon EX-59 assembled, you’ll need to plug the machine into a compatible outlet. You’ll then hit the “on” switch to turn the machine on. From there, you’ll be able to select “quick start” or one of the preset workout programs. Happy striding!

RELATED: Best Elliptical Workout

How do I reset my Horizon EX-59?

According to the manual, you’ll need to press and hold the “stop” button on the console for three seconds. If this doesn’t work, I’d recommend contacting customer service.

What are some of the other brands I can purchase an elliptical from?

Besides Horizon, other cardio giants like Schwinn, NordicTrack, ProForm, and Sunny Health & Fitness have excellent options. If you’re on a particularly tight budget, Amazon has some good cross trainer options available (plus free shipping for most larger items, even without a Prime membership).

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