Horizon Fitness EX 69

The Horizon Fitness EX 69 Elliptical Machine is a high quality, extreme value elliptical trainer one level above the EX-57 I previously reviewed. Both Horizon and Livestrong elliptical machines are made by the very reputable fitness machine maker Johnson Manufacturing whose been around for years.

If you’re considering a similar quality/price machine by another maker, the extended 1 year warranty Horizon offers is a real “tie breaker”. Horizon is one of the few that offer such a long warranty. Consumer Reports listed the Horizon EX-68 as a best buy in 2010, which is the previous version of the EX-69. At only $799 at Amazon.com, it’s a real steal for what you get.

Overview and Features

The SixStar Certified™ Horizon Fitness EX 69 elliptical machine offers an incomparable natural, smooth stride. With it’s ZEROgap™ overlapping pedal motion, stress is removed from the back and hips, while the 20-inch FLATellipse™ foot path simulates high speed activities like running.

The flywheel is 17.6 lb which is pretty heavy. The Horizon Fitness EX 69 elliptical machine has 11 different programming options that can be adjusted on the fly for a customized workout. An Advanced Goal Center and 31-day goal tracking can be used to help reach your fitness goals. The Horizon Fitness EX 69 elliptical machine comes with a lifetime frame and brake warranty, and a 1-year parts and in-home labor warranty. As stated above, that is a real decision maker for many consumers looking for an elliptical cross trainer in this price range. The Schwinn 431 elliptical trainer comes to mind as one of it’s closest competitors.

Specifications

  • SixStar Certified™ frame
  • 17.6 lbs flywheel
  • ComfortFIT™ footpad
  • 16 levels of resistance
  • 5 position manual incline
  • MaxTone™ Arch Pedal Foot Pads
  • 8 programs with 3 workout terrains
  • ComfortFIT™ footpad with
  • ZEROgap™ overlapping pedal motion
  • 20 levels resistance
  • Contact grip heart rate monitor
  • Dual action handlebars
  • iPod®/MP3 port with built-in Sonic Surround speakers
  • COOLfit™ fitness fan
  • Max user weight: 300 lbs
  • Product Dimensions: 76 x 24 x 67 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 201 pounds
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame and brake, 1-year parts and in-home labor

My Take on the Horizon EX-69 Elliptical Machine

Unlike the EX-57, I was actually able to track down the Horizon Fitness EX 69 elliptical machine and put in about 15 minutes at several speeds, and to test the console features and programs. As with all Johnson Manufacturing ellipticals, this model operated smoothly and quietly. It offers three basic pre-programmed workouts, but the user sets the workout duration according to their needs and goals.

Like the EX-57, the Horizon Fitness EX 69 Elliptical Machine accommodates external devices such as an iPod by plugging them into the console and listening through built in speakers, which put out pretty good quality sound for their size – I didn’t detect any distortion and they were loud enough to hear over the flywheel motion. I also liked the built in fan, but unfortunately it’s not adjustable, so you can’t direct the air wherever you want.

There are several custom programs to choose from, and the various resistance levels give you quite the workout – especially the higher levels. In addition to the resistance levels, users can customize their workout using a manual incline adjustment with three levels that I found pretty easy to to set. If you’d like to spring for the EX-79, you’ll have power incline, but like many of the bells and whistles high end elliptical machines offer, this is largely unnecessary.

I can’t comment on assembly since the machine I tested was already put together, but my research indicates that the instructions are very clear and all necessary hardware is packed in well marked package.

Overall, the Horizon Fitness EX 69 elliptical machine is a quality piece of exercise equipment that is worth the cost. The best price I’ve found on this machine was $799 at Amazon.com.

If you’re in the market for an elliptical cross trainer, be sure to check out our buying guide on elliptical machines, as well as our dedicated elliptical machine workout page.