Friday, January 11, 2013
hi everybody! well it took all of three hours, but our new elliptical is assembled and standing in the corner of the office. first off, i am very GLAD we bought one with a small footprint--because even this one is a honkin' big thing. it fits very well into the corner but our house is small and the rooms are small, so it still looks like a big ole piece of somethin sitting there. here are some other observations: we purchased a smooth fitness 3.0 xt from their online store.
first--it comes by truck. we got a free upgrade to have it delivered to our door, rather than just the curb. this came in a single box that weighed 183 pounds. and this was a small elliptical. that should help you if you are deciding on delivery options. we have a very heavy duty appliance hand cart, and we had to use it to get it into the house. if you don't have some muscular help, i would opt for whatever option will get the box into the room where the piece is going to live. i could not lift even the light end of the box. rob was able to do it, but i wasn't much help. and this is a BIG BIG box. again--women of smaller stature, even if you think you are strong enough to muscle it around--it's probably bigger than you and a whole lot clumsier to fling around.
now--big thing to remember--SAVE EVERY SCRAP OF PACKING MATERIAL. even if you have the set up done for you. don't let them haul it away unless you are positive that returning it will never be an option. again--big box, and a LOT of packing material. you will need someplace to store the box for the time you are deciding about keeping the machine.
they will not accept returns without the original packaging.
this item is made in china--i was disappointed by this. i don't know why i had the impression that this was an american product. its not.
packing is well done. many individual pieces are boxed seperately and marked. we spent the first night unpacking and checking that all the pieces were here. items that were not marked, WE marked with post it notes. then we laid everything out in what seemed like a logical order so when we began to assemble it would go more quickly.
for chinese instructions, these were pretty good. the one substandard section was in reference to the wiring for the control panel. very poorly written. rob is an engineer, and even with him doing it i think we have one set of wires that isn't correctly connected, so we will have to redo that part.
go slow. look at the pictures, they are fairly well done. it's actually a good idea to look at the manual the day before and digest it--which is what rob did. at least for these ellipticals, which are fairly basic, the assembly is pretty logical.
get a set of your own allen wrenches. in a couple places the ones they provide are too short to allow you to tighten things down without a real struggle.
a regular phillips head screwdriver was a help too.
this really is a two person job. for the most part one person could do it, but there are some places where a second set of hands is a big help. keep a flashlight or headlamp handy too.
our "build" really went pretty smoothly. we had one plastic piece that cracked from rob over tightening, and one screw that got lodged and we couldn't back it out to restart it. both of these problems were on plastic cover pieces that were purely cosmetic and didn't affect the overall integrity of the machine. even at that, it was a solid three hours of work. if you are doing this alone, i would break the project up into a couple days. there are some subtle things that either rob or i picked up on when things got confusing, but if you were tired and frustrated it could really head downhill fast. the whole process is actually very logical, but its not always apparent at first what constitutes the logic.
so our behemoth got assembled, and the box, with all the cardboard, styro and plastic is stored temporarily in my workroom. we both hopped on for a test run last night.
this is a rear flywheel elliptical. of the ones i tried in the stores, i preferred the front wheel kind- but kept reading that the rear wheel ones were more fluid etc. in their motion. so far i am not convinced of this. but i did read that the flywheel belt may be a bit distorted when its first used, and this will correct itself. its nothing major, just something to learn and become accustomed to.
the manual section about the control panel and how to use it was very confusing to me--but often if i am confronted with a ton of written detail i zone it out. when i actually go to use it i will see how intuitive it actually is.
when rob got on it began squeaking really loud. we messed around and seemed to localize and fix the problem--there is a section in the manual that addresses this, they include a little grease and a q tip to lubricate bolts if necessary.
our trainer has an adjustable stride thingy. it's not the easiest thing in the world to use, but it does work. fortunately it is located right on the front of the machine, so while its sort of clunky to operate, its very simple to access.
the plastic cover pieces--particularly the one that goes down over where the main upright meets the flywheel assembly--have some EXTREMELY sharp edges. once it's on the machine they aren't a problem, but you need to be careful handling them.
so that's my initial impressions. now i need to learn how to use this monster!