It’s obvious that Smooth Fitness is getting just as serious about the elliptical trainer market as it has been about the treadmill market. In the past, Smooth Fitness made the choice of buying an elliptical trainer very easy by only offering one award-winning model; the Smooth CE PLUS Elliptical Trainer.
Over the past 3 months, they have quietly introduced three more elliptical cross trainers to their selection, the CE 2.1, the CE 3.2 (2007 Best Buy in the $1,000 - $2,000 price range), and most recently, the CE 7.4.
The new CE models have focused on providing a health club feel in a home elliptical unit...and Smooth has definitely produced a winner with the 7.4 elliptical trainer.
We took delivery of our CE 7.4 elliptical trainer three weeks ago and have been very impressed with the stability and the overall feel of the unit. It easily rivals the performance of most health club elliptical trainers that I have used thanks to its rock solid feel and exclusive roller-less design that provides smooth-as-silk performance.
Through the innovative pivoting movement of the footplates, the Smooth elliptical trainer gives a unique and enjoyable feeling of weightlessness during your workout. The evenly balanced movement strengthens the legs, glutes and hips without putting unnecessary strain on the joints. For an extra kick to the glutes, you can easily backpedal with the 7.4 without having to make any mechanical adjustments to the machine. The reverse movement feels just as natural and smooth as the forward movement.
The oval tube frame is nice to look at, but the second you straddle this elliptical, you realize exactly how functional it is. The natural, low-impact stride lets you enjoy the cardiovascular benefits of a serious workout without experiencing next day soreness that you typically experience from other machines. The ergonomic pivoting foot pedals and unique roller-less design helped provide one of the most natural strides I have ever experienced on an elliptical at any price range.
Like all Smooth Ellipticals, the CE 7.4 provides an upper and lower body workout using a unique 3:1 resistance ratio. You would think that an upper body workout would be standard on all ellipticals, especially those over $2,000. For some reason, Precor has not picked up on that yet.
The 8 preset programs and 16 resistance levels provide a variety of challenges for people of all fitness level and the usual vital signs are easily read though the no-frills LED display.You can easily maintain your target heart rate thanks to the handle bar mounted pulse grip monitors and wireless heart rate control. I just set put on the wireless chest strap, set my target heart rate, and the 7.4 intelligently adjusted the resistance of my workout.
The warranty covers the frame and electromagnetic brake for the life of the machine, parts and electronics for three years and labor for one year.
eddy-current brake system|
frame, 2 years parts including electronics, 1 year service|
In our opinion, the Smooth Fitness CE 7.4 Elliptical Trainer is in the same class as the Precor EFX 5.23. However, the only upper body workout you’ll get with the EFX 5.23 is when you reach into your wallet to grab the extra $1,300 to pay for it. Do yourself and your bank account a favor; buy the CE 7.4 instead of the more expensive ellipticals. It sells for $2,499 from smoothfitness.com and in our opinion it’s worth every penny. We have seen it on sale from Smooth Fitness for as low as $1,999. If you see it at that price, don’t hesitate to take advantage of the bargain.
If the CE 7.4 was $500.00 more expensive, it would easily be awarded our Best Buy in the $3,000 + price range.
Manufacturer's web site: www.smoothfitness.com