Front Drive Elliptical Trainers

Front drive ellipticals are one of the two most popular elliptical trainers on the market. They are so-called as the resistance systems, which is the drive system or the flywheel for the pedals are located in the front, typically underneath the consoles. Front drive ellipticals are the most preferred type of trainers, especially for home gyms. Besides front wheeled ellipticals there exist also center drive and rear drive.

Front-Wheel Elliptical Trainers

They are the closest relative to the traditional Stairmasters in function as well as the features. This is why front drive ellipticals are also called shuffle trainers. But this is not the only reason why they are a popular choice for many people who want to get a thorough body workout.


Let us find out why front drive elliptical trainers are a hit in the fitness community and what characteristics set them apart from other types of elliptical trainers.

Compact design

One of the most distinctive features of these types of trainers is their compact design. This is largely due to the fact that the flywheels are stored in the front, which has a significant impact on their footprint.

This is a huge advantage and also the reason why many folks prefer to add a front drive elliptical to their home gym. Their smaller body takes up minimal space on the ground, which allows you to use it freely anywhere it can be stored.

Although manufacturers are coming up with compact rear drive ellipticals, this is one feature where the front drive still takes the trophy.

Greater comfort

Since the majority of the weight is focused towards the front, many users like the fact that this mimics the motion of Stairmasters or climbing. The linear feel produced when using the front drive elliptical is also a reason many people enjoy this trainer.

However, this is greatly influenced by features such as the frame structure, weight of the flywheel and even the weight of the person using the equipment.

Affordable cost

The cost of a product is a big determinant on the decision of the consumers. And front drive ellipticals have a lower price tag than their other counterparts. The reason for their affordability is partly due to patent protection.

Even among the front drive ellipticals, those trainers which do not have the articulating pedals have the lowest cost.


Front drive elliptical trainers are also among the most durable ones. All the parts of the trainer are typically made of durable materials, and they are very reliable. Another reason why they are good in the durability department is the presence of high-quality rollers used in the equipment. It not only adds to the longevity of the trainer but also reduces vibration while using it.

Factors to consider while buying a front drive elliptical trainer

Most people purchase front drive elliptical for personal use at home. This is why having knowledge of these machines before you go shopping can be very helpful. Factors to consider while buying front drive elliptical trainers include:

A sturdy frame

This is one thing that you might not want to negotiate while buying the trainer. A lightweight frame on the trainer will affect the balance of the equipment, your posture as well as the overall workout.

An elliptical with a sturdy frame will allow you to have better balance and make the most of your workouts.

The weight of the flywheel

The weight of the flywheel is another important factor to consider. For personal use, a front drive elliptical having a flywheel of about 20 lbs should be enough. Of course, you can choose to buy one with a much lesser weight.

However, if you are looking for a heavy-duty trainer, those that have flywheels up to 30 lbs should meet your requirements. They can be a little pricier, but they are also more stable and quieter.

Regular versus folding

Front drive ellipticals are compact by design. However, they are made even more compact with some models which can be folded.

Although a foldable elliptical sound like a great deal, you need to consider what it has to offer. When they are folded, they occupy minimal space, and you can put them snugly in a corner. However, when they are in full capacity, they can be as long as rear drive ellipticals.

They also have a lot of movable parts which requires you to put extra maintenance into them. This, however, is not limited to folding models as most front drive ellipticals have a lot of movable parts such as rollers and tracks which require regular maintenance.

Incline Ramp

A typical front drive elliptical has a fixed incline. But there are a few models, usually the new ones, which allow you to make adjustments to the ramp. Since the right inclination can be detrimental to your stride, posture, and how you workout, consider which category of the ramp meets your requirements.

The best recommendation is to test out the elliptical trainer, a couple of times, before you complete the transaction and bring one home.

Along the same lines, front drive ellipticals translate to an angled, climbing feel while using it. This is quite opposed to the flat running feel on the rear drive elliptical. You should also take this into consideration if you are particular about how you feel during a workout.

Final Thoughts


Front drive elliptical trainers have been the preferred choice for decades and going by the activities of the manufacturers, it is continuing to reign supreme. They are a great piece of equipment to get a regular dose of cardio and strengthen your muscles on the lower body.

They are also affordable, which makes them easily accessible. These models are compact and can easily fit into a small space which adds to their versatility. The ultimate choice of whether you want to work out on the front drive elliptical trainer or not come down to your personal preference.

However, if space and budget is a constraint; if you love to feel like you are climbing or hiking without being outdoors, the front drive elliptical trainer is the perfect machine for you.

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