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My journey through living with and controlling Diabetes, losing weight, getting healthy and a little bit of EVERYTHING else!! AND NOW raising my SON !!! :)

Review and Unboxing of our Freemotion 515 Elliptical from Costco

Written By: SkinnyVinnieHubby - Jan• 20•13

Hi Readers! C here again, and Vin and I have heard that there is a lot of interest out there about our new Elliptical.  I’ll start by showing you the crazy process of unboxing it, then I’ll go into more detail of the features and performance.   I’ll loosely refer to this as my Freemotion 515 Elliptical Review LOL.

As you all may have seen the other day, Vin announced that got a new Elliptical and posted a pic.  Specifically, we got the “Freemotion 515 Elliptical” from Costco. And let me tell you IT’S AMAZING.  But I don’t want to get ahead of myself.  For starters, here is a link to another elliptical that is also a Freemotion and is pretty close in features to the one we got, and its by far the closest I could find if you want to buy an elliptical online.  And, if you do want to go that route, we would very much appreciate it if you would use our affiliate link here:  ProForm 510 E Elliptical.  And, if you decide you buy one from through that link you will be also be supporting the SkinnyVinnieBlog with a commission, thank you!

At The Store

Freemotion 515 Elliptical in box on palletAs I was saying, it was quite a project to get it home, much less put together! I mean, wow just look at the size of this box!

And if you have sharp eyes you may have spotted the QR code, here is the link to the video it takes you too.  Very cool, and totally worth a watch!  Freemotion Fitness 515 video

 

 

A Huge Box In our Dining Room

Freemotion 515 Elliptical box at home

I loaded this beast of a box into my 4Runner SUV at Costco myself. Which by the way, I DO NOT recommend as my back was sore for DAYS after.  They have guys there to help.  USE THEM. It just barely fit with the seats pulled all the way up, and in at an angle.  But I got it home no problem.    I drug it out onto a dolly and wheeled it into the house.  I opened it up right away to see what I was about to get into…

 

Freemotion 515 Elliptical box packed tight

Woah.

It comes packed tight, to say the least.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots Of Trash, Or Thank Goodness for Recycling Bins

trash from Freemotion 515 EllipticalI started to get all the bit and pieces out and organized and soon realized that there was an amazing amount of packing material, and soon there was a MOUND of trash in our Living/Dining room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More trash from Freemotion 515 EllipticalVin had run to the store just before I started unboxing and once I got to this point I had to stop and text her, “Take your time hun, you DO NOT want to see the mess I’ve made in our house!” LOL and then I sent her a pic anyway haha!  I know, I’m a glutton for punishment as they say… LOL

The many parts of The Freemotion 515 Elliptical

Finally, she is revealed!!  WAY too heavy to lift out of the box, and I didn’t want to scratch our wood floor so I just cut the side of the box down and made a cardboard work surface to put it together on as you can see here below.

Almost unboxed Freemotion 515 Elliptical

 

Here are the larger parts set out and ready to be put together.

Parts to the Freemotion 515 Elliptical from Costco

Freemotion 515 instructions

After closely following the instructions and several hours of work, it finally was all together!

And yes, I DO read the instructions, for everything. These were pretty good instructions too, super long and tons of steps, but easy to follow and everything was labeled great, both in the instructions and on the parts themselves.  Speaking of that, One of the little things that really impressed me was that all the stickers, that are on each part that label each piece were all in places that will not show once you get it all together!  No need to peel off the stickers or clean the sticky stuff off!  Such a nice touch, good job Freemotion, Good job indeed.

Oh look, screws and stuff… Also all labeled! AMAZING. I had already took a few things out when I thought to take a pic, but they even included the 3 wrenches I needed.

the small parts of the 515 Elliptical

 

Once it was finally all put together, I’ll admit that Vin and I both had a turn the elliptical it right there the middle of the dining room! Sadly there are no photos of that sillyness and so the quest for evidence of our insanity will have to continue… LOL   Yeah, we have fun around here.

Assembly Complete!

woot elliptical We finally decided that it couldn’t live in the dining room forever and I set to getting it moved into the bedroom.  And moving it turned out to be really easy, which I was very thankful for after dealing with that giant box it came in!  There are wheels on the front end and the balance makes it easy to lift up on the back and roll it around; think sort of like a wheelbarrow. We moved the treadmill out into the garage and put the 515 in its place in our bedroom.

Once it was in place, i was presently surprised to find that it takes up a LOT less room than I thought it would, less even than our treadmill we had there before.  Overall, its about 5ft long but only about 2/3 the width of our treadmill.  This is a lot shorter than most of the other elliptical machines I’ve been looking at.  And, the reason is because the Freemotion guys had the genius of putting the flywheel in the front, instead out behind you,  easily cutting off 3 or more feet of length!  One note however, we did have to pull it out from the wall, if your wings get flailing about your elbow might rub on the wall.  Plenty of clearance for all the moving parts for it to be pushed all the way back and to the side (or front if you wanted).

 

Action Shots! Bam! Boom! Pow!

And here is what it looks like in use!   And, if you look close, there are “get’n skinny” sweat rings starting to show.  I forget how quick you will break a sweat on these things!!   J/K, Dont really look. ew… LOL

C on Elliptical SmileC on Elliptical smile2

 

And I had to post this too… Basically I was talking, or trying to when when Vin took the pic, and I look all confused, like, “huh?” But it more like, “<pant> Vin can you <pant> take a pic <gasp> for the blog <wheese> please?” LOLL

What!? C on Elliptical funny

You can really see the range of motion of the peddles and the arms  in these pics too.

Vin has also been using it a lot over the last couple weeks and I managed a pic of her crazy calves  which she let me post.  LOL.  I’m sure I’ll get you guys an action shot or 2 of her on it eventually ;)

Vin's cute calves on the elliptical

Vin’s cute calves on the elliptical

You will also notice that Vin is modeling her Reebok Women’s Realflex Running Shoe (affiliate link), which she loves by the way! I know you were about to ask! haha

And below, here I am on it too, and I am as always wearing my toe shoes the Fila Men’s Skele-Toes EZ Slide Shoe (affiliate link also) that I also love!

Elliptical with Fila skele-toes

The Interface

The LCD panel is very cool, and shows you all sorts of cool information to help you stay on track and such.  Just look at this thing:

Elliptical 515 interface

 

Let’s JAM!

Another feature, that is one of my personal favorites, is the MP3 input!  I did have to supply the cable myself anyway. Here Vin has her iPod Nano connected and clipped onto the book shelf/rest.  And, it can get really loud, and sounds great!

Elliptical MP3 in ipod on 515 Elliptical

 

Its Got A Freaking FAN. COOL!

The last feature I want to mention is that its got a fan on it!  This is something I’ve loved on some of the other models I’ve tried at the gym both on elliptical and on treadmills.  Not huge, we have a celing fan and an upright fan that we can use, but still its really nice to have.  You can see it there at the bottom of console in this pic:

Freemotion515 fan

 

And here are a few more pics of how it looks while you are on it in our bedroom… HEY, why are you in our bedroom anyway!? LOL

in use view freemotionin use view Elliptical freemotion 515

It has all sorts of other fancy controls, electronics, and programs too, even has something called iFit.  I look forward to learning all about.   But then again, you can just jump on and go.  Super easy to adjust the resistance or incline with the big buttons right there at the bottom just above the fan.  All in all, its everything I’d hoped for and more!  I’ll have to make another post with a review of it in more detail after we have been using it a while and get it broken in good.  Also, I’ll show you all how to use the fancy electronics on it if you want.  Its very nice with all sorts of great features, that like anything, are only great if you know how to use them!  Anyway, look for that, as I’m sure there will be more pics of it in action, and more sillyness too I’m sure ;)

Anyway, its got my stamp of approval!  If you are looking to buy an awesome elliptical, the Freemotion 515 is top notch.  Also, as I mentioned at the top of this post, we got ours at Costco but I did find an elliptical model pretty one close to this one. Its also Freemotion, its the ProForm 510 E Elliptical on Amazon. Check it out!

And as Vin always says, Get up and get moving!  or is that elliptical-ing?

– C


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58 Comments

  1. The machine looks great and I’m sure it will be nice not to have to get out and go to the gym especially with Sebastian.

  2. john says:

    What are the dimensions of the unit? The pic of the box doesn’t say and there’s little information online.

    • Vinnie says:

      The actual footprint it takes up is 25 1/2″ x 68″ but we have it pulled out a little bit from the wall and it actually takes up 31 1/2″ x 69″! It is 68″ tall from the floor to top of the handle! Hope that answers you question!
      Thanks C and V

  3. Sue Y says:

    Hi! We just bought this elliptical. There are 3 small pouches of grease & only 1 is marked high temperature Teflon. Where is that used? We read nothing about that in the manual. It just says grease. Thanks!

    • Vinnie says:

      Sue,
      As soon as C gets home from running errands I will have him answer your question!!!
      Thanks, Vin

    • SkinnyVinnieHubby says:

      I also noticed that it was not mentioned in the manual Sue! I used the normal grease on the parts as directed in the manual (the pivot Axle and Pedal Arms). And,after I was all finished, there was that other pouch of Teflon still on the table, unused. After a bit of research I have found that this sort of lube is commonly used on ball bearings of which this thing has several! The 515 looks to have come pre lubricated but I would hold onto this stuff and in a couple months go back and add a bit to them as well as tighten up all the screws and all again. I also have a can of spray teflon I use around the house that I may just use instead. It look like WD40 but it wont attract dust and fuzz since it drys into a powder. Its called: Dupont Multi-Use Lubricant 11 oz. Spray

      • Eric says:

        I just called em and they said the high temp lube is for the rollers that slide back and forth, front to back, under the foot pedals.

        • SkinnyVinnieHubby says:

          Awesome! Thank you Eric! Now that’s what I call getting up and getting moving! I’ll put that on my elliptical tonight and see how it works too! Or I’ll see how big a mess I can make by smearing grease all over myself while TRYING to put it on the elliptical… one or the other… Lol

          Seriously though, thank you very much for finding this out for all of us!!

  4. Doug says:

    Bought it and put it together last night in a couple hours. Not to bad. Had the same question about the white Lithium greese as it is usually for high speed applications. Maybe its a maintainance application for internal parts? Tried the Ifit 515 this morning for 20 minutes on a calorie burn. I usually have the resistance set high as I am 275lbs. At the gym I smoke through a work out on elypticals max elevation and resistance. this machine even though I increased the resistance manually Gave me an excellent work out. Kept my heart rate in limits. Highly recomend it. Have to figure out the I fit now.

    • SkinnyVinnieHubby says:

      As I said to Sue above, yes it has to be for maintenance and probably specifically for use on the ball bearings on the front wheel. I’ll be taking it all apart again in about a month or so to just make sure its wearing in OK and I’ll lube it up then. And, I’ll of course be sure to post some pics on here for you guys all about how that goes too!

      I’m glad you like the Freemotion Elliptical too Doug! And I totally know what you mean, because I’m the same way, I can crank up the resistance etc at the gym and have no problem but this thing is really able to make it hard! Still pretty easy on the lowest setting for anyone not used to working out on an elliptical however, so I’d still say its good for beginners too. Do you agree?

      And also, I have to just say, for everyone else reading this too, GREAT JOB for doing 20 min on a Sunday Doug! Wow! And I think this is exactly what Vin is always talking about, Get up and get moving! Well Doug is showing us how its done! ;) Keep it up man!

  5. Sam says:

    Thanks for this post. I’ve been doing extensive research on ellipticals and bought it after I read this.

    One thing I noticed is that other machines in the same price range have a weight limit of 250 or 275 and only 1 year warranty on parts.

    This has a 325 weight limit and 2 year warranty on parts. I couldn’t find a machine in the 500-700 price range that had a 2 year warranty on parts. I’m assuming this may have higher quality materials hence the longer warranty.

    Only thing I’ve had a problem with is the incline. At 6 feet tall, anything above incline 7 gives me an awkward motion. I think this may have to do with the front wheel rather than having it in the back. That said, the resistance is great. Even at the lowest setting I can break a sweat when doing intervals.

    • SkinnyVinnieHubby says:

      Sam, I’m so glad you found the article useful! This is why Vin and I do this! And you make such a great point about the weight limit and the longer warranty. And, I also think you are spot on with it being quality materials. As I wrote in the post above, I really am very impressed with the build quality. Not to mention even the quality of how it was packed and the care they went to in making sure the stickers were hidden after assembly. All in all, it shows me a lot of care went into this – beginning to end.

      Haven’t noticed the awkwardness of the motion you mention, but I am a few inches shorter than you too. Its great to get more input on this, there really is not a lot of info out there on this thing and hopefully my post, and great comments like yours will help lots of other people! I’d love to see how it hold up for us with the range of heights and weights over the coming months. Be sure to let us know if you have any other thoughts about it too! Keep on moving! -C

  6. Cathy says:

    Hi

    I got the elliptical and am having trouble getting the time to count down – when I hit enter it beeps a few times , am I doing something wrong?

    • SkinnyVinnieHubby says:

      You may be making it too hard actually! Hop on and start peddling to turn the system on. Then just press the button “Timed” If you are on another program already it will say to press “home” to confirm that you want to exit that first. After that keep pressing the Timed button until the time you want shows. If you pass the time you want you will have to keep pushing and let it wrap and come back around to it. 15 min, 20 min, etc. Anyway, Once it shows the time you want just stop pressing any buttons and keep peddling! It will start counting down!

      So basically, just press TIMED once or twice and keep peddling is all there is to it! No need to press enter.

      Let me know if this works for you too!

      -C

      • Bob Petersen says:

        Thanks for the help however, timer stays on the selected time and still does not count down. Tried to call customer service and was on hold an extended period of time so l found your suggestion, tried and am still on hold. Thanks for your time

  7. […] did a full workout at home!  Overall it was only a 15 min session  on the elliptical for cardio (see my review and unboxing of our Freemotion 515 elliptical for more info). But I did about 30 min of weights first so overall I spent about 45 min!  I was […]

  8. bob says:

    just got mine from costco, only $599 now. Unpacked and assembled, didn’t work out of the box! I found the part in the manual that talks about setting the REED switch closer to the magnet. I did that, still nothing. What happens is the module only shows zero. It powers on, but doesn’t respond when you start pedaling.

    No confidence in a product that doesn’t work out of the box. especially when I racked up my BACK loading, unloading, unpacking and assembling. I would rather spend another $1k to get something delivered, set up and working properly.

    i spent one hour on hold with iconservice.com and another hour on the phone with a clerk that read from a script all the stuff I could do to try and fix. they offered to send a tech to fix it.

    seems easier just to return it, rather than jump through hoops. but returning it sucks too so either way it’s a bad situation

    • SkinnyVinnieHubby says:

      Bob,
      Wow what a string of bad luck! And I hope your back is OK! I did managed to load and unload ours myself, but it is crazy heavy and even with all the time I’ve spent in the gym, it was still really cumbersome to get it onto a dolly by myself once I got it home. For future reference, if anyone is planning to get this, or anything heavy, PLEASE be careful! Lift with your legs and get some friends over to help if you need to! For the Freemotion 515 Elliptical I would recommend at least 2 people move the box. Or better yet, have the guys at Costco load it up for you, and then unbox it in the back of your truck and bring it inside one piece at a time.

      As for sensor not working, wow what a disappointment!! All that work getting it home and put together only to have it not work… As the SkinnyVinnieBlog.com readers probably know, I do IT support in my day job so I do see electronics fail all the time even brand new out of the box. It’s unfortunately entirely too common, and totally unacceptable by the electronics manufactures. Of course its a bit easier to return a mouse to the store than something this size! The manual did talk about adjusting the sensor if it didn’t work right but thankfully mine worked perfect out of the box. Its great to hear that once you finally made it through the tech support they are going to the right thing by sending a tech out to get it fixed, because as you said its really just too big, especially once you put it together, to easily haul back up to the store for a replacement.

      I don’t know if spending $1,000.00 more on another brand could lend any better quality. As I said in my article above, its really one of the best assembled and thought out pieces of hardware I’ve ever put together or used – aside from any Apple products maybe LOL! And from my research, Freemotion was one of the top brands in the industry but I had given up on finding a new one since they were so much more. But when we found the 5151 at Costco we were really excited. Especially since we are very mindful of cost, especially with little Sebastian now! For us this was by far the only elliptical in our budget that had the features we wanted and was still new. Before we found this one, Craigslist was looking pretty good!

      Bob, please let us know how it goes when the tech visits and what you think about the elliptical once you get a chance to try it out.

      -C

  9. Jamie says:

    Hi! Thank you so much for the awesome review, my husband and I are considering this model, but we live in a basement suite right now and have lower ceilings, we’ve been searching and can’t find how high the ceiling needs to be so you don’t knock yourself out. Our ceilings are just shy of 7 feet (roughly 214cm) and he (the taller of us) is 5’10 (178cm). Do we have any hope of making it work?? :D

    • SkinnyVinnieHubby says:

      What a great question! We have 8′ ceilings here as a point of reference in the pictures. But obviously your clearance for your ceiling will depend on your height. I took a few measurements for you that may help. With the incline, or “power ramp” all the way down, the midline of peddles are 14″ off the ground. So, for your husband who is 5’10”, the top of his head would be exactly 7′ off the ground during normal use. And that is if you don’t get crazy and get ahead of the peddles and jump up on them at the top of the revolution and ride it down (hope that makes sense!). The peddle is 19″ high at the top of the revolution which means the top of his head could go as high as 7’5″ or in your case 5″ into the upstairs! And that’s just for the lowest incline. If you run the it all the way up the measurements are as follows:
      18″ at midline, 24″ at top of the revolution. And for your husband, the top of his head would be 7’4″ at midline and 7’10” if jumped up at the top.

      I really dont see how this model would work for both of you guys with such low ceilings unless you are a planning to move sometime soon or just want to make it “girls only” LOL. But either way, would you mind letting all of us here at the SkinnyVinnieBlog know if you do find one that works for you, that is a bit lower to the ground?

      Hopefully you, and other readers can use this info to help you decide! And once again please do me know if you (or anyone else) has any other questions!

      -C

  10. Santosh says:

    hey there,

    this is such a helpful post. i have researched everywhere and i didnt get a believable feedback on this elliptical. so you have done us (wifey and I) such a big favor.

    cheers
    santosh

    • SkinnyVinnieHubby says:

      Santosh,
      I’m so happy that you found it helpful! I did a lot of research too and like you said, there just wasn’t a lot of good info out there. I decided to risk it and as they say, “take one for the team” if need be. And I’m so glad I did! I am super happy with this elliptical and I hope when you get one you will come back and let us all know what you think too! Or if you have any questions, feel free to ask!

      Thanks again! Its comments like yours that keep me posting reviews like this!

      -C

  11. Sarah Kaster says:

    Thanks for all your posts! My husband and I actually made the decision to purchase the elliptical after seeing all your posts. I was wondering if anyone else felt like the resistance was harder than it should be. Do we need to lube the bearings again? We just got it last week and both my husband and I are very fit but we can barely use it with a resistance level higher than 5. I can appreciate the challenge but I want to make sure we are not missing anything.

    Thanks!

    Sarah

    • SkinnyVinnieHubby. says:

      Sarah,
      I’ve used several types of ellipticall machines at a couple gyms and friends houses and this one certainly gets hard faster than any of them. However I’m not exactly in “great” cardio shape (YET!) and 5 isn’t exactly easy, dbut it’s not super hard either. I think you might want to make sure the drive belt or something isn’t obviously rubbing or way too tight. If you can’t figure it out I can post a few pics or a video about how to troubleshoot this for you! Please let me know!

  12. Stacy says:

    Hello, This blog was definitely a big help in my decision to purchase this machine, and I was not disappointed. Assembly seemed easy enough for the guys & the machine works just fine. My problem is finding the serial number! Iconservice was NO HELP. Where were the decals located on your unit?
    Thanks

    • Chris1p says:

      It’s on the very bottom of the unit on the frame that the track is on. If you have someone lift up on the handle at the back you can see it easily if you are laying on the floor next to it. It’s really heavy so don’t actually get under it in case it slips and falls! I just tried it and had Vin reach under and take a pic while I held it up. Worked great!

  13. Anil says:

    Your review of Freemotion E515 was very helpful. I found answers to a few questions that I had before and after purchasing this elliptical. Thank you so much!

    • Chris1p says:

      You are very welcome! Thanks for letting me know! In fact just knowing I’ve helped even one person make it all worth while! Let me know how you like it or if you have any questions!

  14. Angelia says:

    Thanks so much for posting all of these reviews!! I was at Costco today struggling with the decision to buy this or not, I coudln’t find any reviews, AT ALL! I will be going back tomorrow to get it! Still working good?

    • SkinnyVinnieHubby says:

      I had to tighten up a few of the screws after a couple days, but yeah still working great! Let us know how you like it or if you have any questions!

      -C

  15. john says:

    thanks for the reply to my original question. I picked one up for 499.97 and assembled it today. seems to be ok, but need to get the ifit module. the gadget part and the ability to ‘compete’ with others or run real maps would probably keep my interest more than stock programs. anyone find a deal on the module yet? $99 on the site.

  16. Phil says:

    Hey, Great review. We found one at our Costco here. However, all the new ones are sold out and all they have a is the display equipment. Also, they don’t have the manual for it. Would you probably post the assembly instructions on your site if it is not too much to ask for. I have tried looking it up but couldn’t find it online. if you have a link, that’ll work too. Thanks for the amazing review!Couldnt find it anywhere either.

  17. Aaron says:

    Thanks so much for the review, this was a big help in deciding to buy the machine!
    Not to make anyone feel bad or anything, but I was able to get it for $399 at the Huntington Beach Costco. Costco is kinda strange and they eventually seem to keep dropping prices to get rid of stock on big items. I had to drive around to a bunch of different Costcos to find it (even the displays had been sold) and eventually found some at HB! If anyone is on the fence but can get this price, I can tell you this is literally the best deal you’ll ever be able to get on an elliptical, anywhere.

    The machine was actually a bit harder to put together than I had thought from your review. We had 3 people and it was still pretty hard and took a couple of hours. I think it would be literally impossible for 1 person. No one part is that hard, its just having to keep hammering together big heavy solid pieces of steel while holding them in place. I think this will make the machine a lot more sturdy though, I’m really glad the parts are all heavy solid metal.

    Using the machine is a pleasure once its put together!

    Oh, do other people find that the fan makes a pretty loud whirring sound? Its not really terrible, I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t just my unit. I prefer quieter fans if possible.

  18. Donna says:

    Have people been finding the Freemotion 510 actually IN the Costco stores? I visited mine last week, and there wasn’t any exercise equipment there (Seasonal was full of outdoors stuff now). Also, people have referred to both the 510 (which I know is a 2012 model) and the 515. Is the 515 an upgraded version of the 510? or is it a front drive system?

    • SkinnyVinnieHubby says:

      Donna, just got back from our local Costco and it look the same here… :(
      As for the models, I do know that the only reference I could find to the Freemotion 515 Elliptical was always in reference to Costco. I’m starting to think it might me a special Costco only version. Not able to confirm that however. I’ve used a several freemotion models over the years and they are all really high quality, solid machines which is why I went with it personally. I didn’t really have a lot of concern as to the year model and such, I was even considering looking for a used one…. Mainly I just decide ahead of time my budget and the features I need and want. Then I hit google and amazon and see what I can find. Please let me know what you find that fits your needs Donna! Especially if Costco isn’t going to be a source for us anymore!

  19. Dale says:

    I just bought the Freemotion 515 elliptical at Costco. I really want to exercise and start out slow and build up. What buttons are should I choose to do this? I’ve tried it and the way it is currently I’m lucky if I can do 3 minutes.

    • SkinnyVinnieHubby says:

      Dale, I would just recommend using the timer function and keeping the all levels at 1 until you can do the time you want at a safe heart rate. Once you get up to 30 min or its just way too easy move up the resistance and/ or incline. Use the heart rate monitor to help but as a general rule I’ve been told to just try to keep it at a pace/resistance/incline that allows you to carry on a conversation at the same time. And please do let me know how it’s going after you use it a few times!

  20. Susan says:

    Couldn’t resist the close out price of $399 here in Wilmington, NC. Had to rent a uhaul for an hour, that box was not going to fit in the Acura Integra! Broke down the box in the truck and carried piece by piece into the house. Your very helpful review and updates helped me make my decision to buy what I’ve wanted for a long long time! We’ll tackle assembly tomorrow. Thanks for the tips.

    • SkinnyVinnieHubby says:

      Woah! Now that’s a deal!! Congrats! And yeah it’s a big ‘ol beast of a box for sure, so yes getting a u-haul was a great idea, I’m sure it made it wayyyy easier to transport!

      Lol Acura Integra! Now I sorta wish you HAD used it just so you could send in the picture!

  21. Aaron says:

    Dale,

    The machine is very hard in some ways, I’m still getting used to it too. A lot of machines in the gym are much “looser” so you can go really fast without really working too hard. On this machine, its almost impossible to go fast. I would just start out at height=1 and resistance=1, and don’t worry about going faster than 30 or 35 rpm at first. The first 2 minutes are the hardest for some reason, and then after that it gets a bit easier. Try to do about 10 minutes, and make your way up to 20. I think you’ll find that after 2 or 3 minutes, the next 6 or 7 minutes will be a lot easier.
    Once you get to 20 minutes, you can do the 20 minute intensity workout. Only, whenever it sets the resistance above 4, I quickly hit the 4 button to bring the resistance back to 4. I find I can do the workout at this level, but I don’t make any effort to get to the speeds they are requesting. (Can _anyone_ get to 75 rpm at resistance 9? you must be the Hulk)
    Anyway, I think its really good exercise and it does get easier over time! I do wish that there were some “beginner” workouts built in. You can hit the “timer” button to do a timed workout for 10 or 15 minutes, but then it doesn’t adjust the height or resistance.

    Anyone else have any thoughts?

    • SkinnyVinnieHubby says:

      Haha no I can’t do it maxed out either! But I do think its a lot easier than what you are talking about. Obviously personal strength and such have a lot to do with it but I’m really not in that great of shape – especially when it comes to cardio! I am however a little worries you are getting some extra resistance from something. Make sure all the moving parts are lubed up good. Especially the fly wheel. The high temp white Teflon gunk stuff that came with it goes in there. See the comments below for more info on that. But I would even check the rollers and the track. Let us know if you can loosen it up any!

      • Aaron says:

        Its possible mine is too tight somewhere. Where is the flywheel, though? Do you mean inside the plastic part that comes already put together? I wouldn’t think we were supposed to open that part at all. Can you explain how to lube it?

  22. Paco says:

    Thank you guys so much for the blog you posted, I’m from Mexico and yesterday I just bought one in Costco, of course more money here but after a year and a half I was using a Norditrack cx 1000, don’t like it any more, it turned into a very loud machine, the control panel was into black and I was searching for a new one, hope it won’t very hard to set it up and I’ll start to using it this very week. Thanks for the step by step description from the store and all other advises you give, I apreciate it a lot.

    Saludos!

  23. Denise says:

    I, too, just purchased this unit at our local Costco. Been researching elliptical machines for a long time. I had come across your blog a while back and had read through and found it interesting. I was just about to order a different unit (at a much higher cost) off of Costco.ca when they got this unit in the warehouse. Paid $599 for it. Looking forward to getting it assembled! Thanks for the great review!

  24. Paco says:

    Hi again, I assambled and started using it, I’m very happy so far, very good quality and the resistance even in level 1 is great, but I have a question, do you know in what kind of units is measured the distance on the board? since I’m at Mexico we using here the metric system, I’m not sure if the board shows feet, yards, miles or what and if there is any way to change it to kilometers or meters? Thanks again for all the support!

    • SkinnyVinnieHubby says:

      Paco,
      Glad to hear it’s working so good for you! Honestly I’ve assumed it was miles, but that may be because I’m in the US. LOL! I’ll look into more this evening and let you know!

      – C

  25. laurie says:

    Hi. I purchased a freemotion 515 from a.friend. Fully assembled. I can’t fit.it downstairs or in any room! Can i dissasemble this unit easily to make it fit? I have no manual. I googled it.. So confusing. Its just too tall.. The handles.. Help. I want to.start using it. Thanks

    • Vinnie says:

      C will reply when he is off work, sorry for the delay we have been out of town!!!

    • Vinnie says:

      the plastic shrouds snapped around the “elbos” of the arms can be pried apart and one side will come off. the other is screwed to the arm. Once you get this off you will be able to see the screws to remove the arms and you will have all sorts of clearance to get it downstairs! Good luck!

      – C

  26. JimW says:

    Thanks for the review, and for responding to all the questions!

    I have an opportunity to purchase this model from Costco, and I am wondering how it is still holding up about a year down the road.

    Thanks.

    Jim

    • SkinnyVinnieHubby says:

      Jim,
      It’s holding up pretty good actually. I’ve had to tighten up the screws on the handles a couple times because of a squeak, but it’s been awesome otherwise. It’s probably time to lube the flywheel but it’s working great. Maybe I should post an update about it!

  27. MarkK says:

    Costco has two models which I “think” are the same…a ProForm 710E and the FreeMotion 515 that you have and reviewed (which was quite thorough and well done BTW). I have been unable to find specifications or comparisons of the two models…the ProForm I think is a higher model because of the number (710 vs 515) and Costco is clearing this out (* on the price tag) for $599 (same price as the Freemotion). Just wondering if you had any information on it in your quest for fitness!

    Thanks
    Mark

    • MarkK says:

      I meant to say that I believe they are both made by the same company (Icon Fitness). I’m just wondering if you think the ProForm would be the better unit to buy if it is the same price as the FreeMotion…thanks!

      • Vinnie says:

        Mark, I actually was just looking at the proform 710e on Amazon and I was thinking the same thing. line by line the features are nearly identical so far as I can tell. The Proform 710 looks to have A few more resistance levels, a few more built in workouts and a little higher weight capacity. Oh and the peddals look flat instead of the red nubs on my freemotion but whatever. :P I say go for the cheaper one man! Personally I dont get into the fancy workout plans very often. Also, I worked out at a YMCA for a few years that had all Proform equipment and it was all really well built, but it was all very high end models of treadmills and ellipticals etc.

        I did find links to the Proform 710 and the 510 on amazon that show you a pretty good breakdown and quite a few reviews. But I say go snag that one they have on clearance!

        ProForm 710 E Elliptical

        ProForm 510 E Elliptical

        And thanks for the compliment on the review btw, I put a lot of work into it!

        -C

        • Mark says:

          Thanks for the fast response! The FreeMotion 515E is $599 and so is the ProForm 710E (on clearance/end-of-life at Costco). So I guess for the same money I will opt for the 710E. Thanks again!

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