Horizon EX-57 Review

  • Horizon EX-57 Review
  • Horizon EX-57 Review
  • Horizon EX-57 Review

New trends in technology always usher in a fresh revolution and the elliptical market hasn’t been spared. But even with the support of new technology, few elliptical trainers ever make it to the top like the Horizon EX-57.

Even though it doesn’t promise a gym-like experience, Horizon EX-57 is a decent entry level machine that guarantees a worthwhile workout. On top of being affordable, the machine is well-built and capable of offering a smooth elliptical motion.

To put it simply, everything you ever hope to find in a quality machine has been packed into this machine, from the workouts and resistance levels to the design, decent warranties and so many other features. In our review, we’ve unveiled everything there’s to know about this machine.

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Horizon Fitness EX-57 Elliptical Trainer
The Horizon EX-57 elliptical gives you club-quality performance - from the smooth stride motion to the easy programmability - and recreates the feeling of running or walking without leaving home. 8 ...
Start from: $999.00
amazon amazon.com
Last price update: 2019-09-02 17:06:07
The machine was in very sturdy packaging and I was very impressed. I was unable to lift the main part (with the fly-wheel) out of the box so I waited until my husband got home from work. It was still too heavy to lift right out of the box. We were able to pull/push the box up stairs into the workout room.It was my new machine and project. I had so much fun, the instructions were as easy as Lego instructions, and it only took me 2 hours from start to finish. I have added photos, please check them out. The parts were sectioned out in the order of the steps (hardware bag #1 is for Step 1, etc.) and all of the needed tools are included (a screwdriver, hex wrench, 2 different size allen wrenches).I broke the box down and started putting it together right on top of the box. I'm glad I did that because when you put some of the parts together (bolts and/or stable bar) some excess grease will come out. Have a throw away rag handy because you will need it. Step 1 was attaching the wheels. The wheels made it a breeze to situate and move it to where I wanted it be positioned.Once it was together, I tried it out. The stride isn't as long/wide as I'm used to but it is smooth and quiet. It doesn't take up too much room so my husband is planning to get a couple other machines (a spinning bike, please). I'm looking for a TV to mount on the wall and spend all day on the elliptical! My first "Hill Climb" workout will be in the morning.UPDATE:October 19, 2010I still love this machine. The only other elliptical I have used was at the gym (Proform). The tension on this machine is tighter than on the large machines at the gym, due to the fact that the stride is shorter.I thought I'd just start my workouts on the levels that I had been working out at the gym. WRONG! On the Proform I could warm up at a level 4 and gradually by the end of my "Hill Climb" routine (of 45 minutes) I would be at a level 12. Occasionally I could end on a Level 14.After 10 minutes starting on a level 4 on my Horizon machine, I wanted to fall to the floor and fight to bring my breathing under control. It kicked my butt and I had to swallow my pride and back down to the level 1.I had to wipe out my iPod music arrangement and start new because the machine routine was different. I always set my music to the timed hill climbs and manual strides.A level 1 on this machine is like a level 4 on the machines at the gym. Horizon level 4 is a level 8 on the gym's elliptical.My workout on my Horizon is for 45 minutes "Climb" ending on a level 4. I use the "Manual" setting to warm up and cool down.I hardly ever used the arm handles at the gym because the stretch was so wide plus I loved to just work my legs and rear. It had taken me two weeks on my machine to get used to the shorter stride and be able to balance properly so that I can avoid using the arms. I alternate my routine and do use the arms half the time.The "Reverse" routine is short intervals and I don't like that. I've only used it once and haven't timed it exactly. I believe it is two minutes forward, two minutes backward, ect. I prefer a minimum of five minutes between forward/backward changes.The only things I would like to see added to this machine is a light in the display panel and It would be nice if a 5 minute "cool down" was at the end of each routine.I forgot to mention that about two weeks after use, one of the peddles started making a loud squeaking sound so I called customer service. The service tech very nice, asked me to hold the phone near the peddle so she could hear the sound. She said is was most likely a welding issue with the leg bar and foot peddle durring asembly. She immediately ordered two new legs/feet for my machine at no cost to me. The legs and feet arrived in about 5 days and I haven't had any problem since.All in all, I'm still very happy with my purchase.UPDATE:February 9, 2011My machine is still working perfectly.I've been able to increase my workout levels.I have noticed that the arches in my feet will start to ache slightly if I don't change the positions of my feet on the peddles (and if I workout longer than 45 minutes).While working out in the "reverse" I find that it is best to move m feet to the back edge of the foot peddle. I try to keep my feet in the center of the peddle in the forward motion. I believe it has to do with the shorter range of motion (stride) of the elliptical.I'm still a happy camper with this machine.UPDATE:October 5, 2011I'm still very happy with this machine. I made a good purchase :-)I haven't had to add grease to the moving parts and there isn't any squeaking at all.Update:January 2012Still happy and now my 11 year old likes to use the ellipticle about twice a week.
September 22, 2010
Originally I may have given this elliptical maybe 4 stars, today I would give it a 1 star but I am giving it 2 because I have had the elliptical for a touch more than four years and it was reliable until a few months ago. Recently the unit started getting a vibration that really shook the elliptical and nearly makes it feel unsafe to use. I emailed their customer service and received no reply. So I tried tightening and adjusting the only parts that I could find that seemed to be adjustable. It helped a little but I noticed one bracket that supports the wheel is a little bent and the belt has now started slipping plus there is a new rattle sound. When it worked it was nice but I would not recommend this product any longer because of the lack of customer support, really disappointing. I also feel an elliptical should last longer than four years.
January 19, 2017
Horizon EX-57 Review:After a lot of research (I narrowed my decision down to the EX-57 and the Schwinn 430), I decided on the Horizon because of the warranty. Plus, I was able to try the machine out beforehand at my local Sears. I knew I wanted a front fly-wheel, since the ellipticals I've tried with rear flywheels feel wobbly. Both the Schwinn 430 and Horizon EX-57 have excellent reviews online, but the Horizon offers one year of labor versus Schwinn's 90 days, and the machine was actually a little less expensive.Delivery:I elected for Free Super Saver Shipping. Two business days after ordering, I received a call from the shipping company, ABF. A very polite man made a delivery appointment with me for the following week. My item arrived just five business days after ordering. On the day of delivery, ABF called to say they were in the neighborhood and would be arriving in 15-20 minutes. The delivery guy was very polite and friendly, and he carried the box inside to my living room floor. The box itself was in good condition, only a little dirty with some slight gouges in the top layer of cardboard, nothing that alarmed.Since we have a townhouse apartment and the elliptical was going upstairs, we opened the box downstairs and carried the parts upstairs. All were in excellent cosmetic condition. We had already purchased a gym mat from Kmart at a great price - less than thirty dollars.Assembly:There were three or four small bags of parts that were full of grease. Keep that in mind. You will want to have some paper towels or rags handy. We just used one of the larger pieces of packing styrofoam as a tray for all the greasy parts. I even added a little WD-40 to a few of the bolts and washers during assembly, to ward off squeaks. We took inventory and there was one missing part - the "console mast boot" - a small rubber ring that goes over the opening where the mast enters the flywheel. This part would not otherwise interfere with us putting the machine together, so we continued with installation. (**More about the process of getting this part from Horizon below**). It took my mildly handy husband and me one and a half hours to assemble the elliptical, and we moved at a comfortable pace, carefully reading the directions. I had borrowed a ratchet set from a friend, but we did not need any tools other than those provided by Horizon. It was very simple to assemble.**We could technically do without the console mast boot, but there's no way I'm letting that go, since this machine cost a small fortune for us. I called Horizon about the missing part and got an automatic response system that told me to leave a message. Next day, I got a call-back as an unknown number and screened it (mistake). I had to leave another message and did not hear back from them until the following day. However, the Horizon representative was polite and helpful and, after registering my product for me over the phone, he put in the order for the part and offered to have tracking information emailed to me. A couple of days later, I got the email with UPS tracking information for my missing part. It arrived less than one week after the elliptical. I snapped it on without having to rearrange any other parts.Usage:My husband is 6' tall and I am 5'2", so a comfortable stride, comfortable distance to the handle bars, and plenty of head clearance was crucial for both of us, since we have to share one machine. Our ceiling is 8', and we had to push the elliptical close to a wall instead of in the center of the room, since my husband's head was too close to the blades of the ceiling fan. I find the stride and handle bar distance perfectly comfortable. My husband said that the stride could be a little longer for him, but he is not uncomfortable on the machine. He did say, however, that someone much taller than 6'2" would probably be a little uncomfortable with the length of the stride.The EX-57 is very quiet during use. I am able to listen to music at a normal volume, and it doesn't bother my husband in another room or downstairs. There are some small, inoffensive noises now and then, but think about this: the flywheel operates almost completely silent. If you have greased the bolts and all the parts have been tightened to the right level, then the machine won't give off any ambient noise that might drown out the occasional click of a pedal or other small sound. After having worked out on my friend's expensive Cybex, I've learned that most machines make a sound or two now and then.Since I am a beginner at regular exercise, I started at level 1 resistance, and good thing. I was whipped after 25 minutes. My resistance will undoubtedly increase with regular use, but the EX-57 is at a stronger base resistance than some other machines I've used, including the aforementioned Cybex. So, I would counsel beginners not to get too excited about resistance levels right off the bat. Veteran gym folks should be pleased with the levels of resistance offered too.The heart monitor may or may not be accurate. It is not so important to us. I am of a mind that most of these machines are off when it comes to that, even at the gym. If heart rate is important to you, I recommend getting a separate monitor.The screen reads fine in indoor lighting; no worries about it not being backlit.The cup holder is too low to be convenient while working out. You would have to slow or stop first. I just use a nearby table top.Final Notes:In another review, someone commented about cheap looking plastic parts, so I was on the lookout for this. After getting it all set up and using it a few times, I really think the machine looks nice, and I have no complaints about the plastic panels and pieces.After a month of near daily use by two people, we could not be happier with our Horizon EX-57. Everyone needs to do their own research to find the right fit, but I highly recommend this elliptical.
September 29, 2009
7 Total Score
Good!

Any user who wants to maintain their current fitness levels will find great comfort and satisfaction in using Horizon EX-57. However, if you prefer a more challenging workout and a bit of diversity, this machine may not be your best option as it lacks the high number of workout programs and resistance levels perfect for advanced training. However, the machine is still a great option to consider for those who need space in their rooms. Bottom line if what matters most to you is how to monitor your extra pound and calories while every other fancy elliptical feature waits, please head over to Amazon and make your order for Horizon EX-57 today.

Features
6
Durability
9
Adjustability
6
Display console
7
Value for money
7
PROS
  • Affordable
  • Quiet and smooth motion
  • Attractive warranty
  • Low maintenance
  • Easy to assemble
  • Natural workout experience
  • Low step-on height
CONS
  • A little old(2008)
  • No backlight
  • No incline options
  • Few workout options
  • Front drive design
  • No fan
User Rating: Be the first one!

Product Description

Horizon Fitness has a list of several models under their EX series with EX-57 being the lowest of them all. Even though they share a number of features, there’s always something specific about each model that distinguishes it from the rest. So here’s our chance to find out what makes Horizon EX-57 special.

Resistance and Incline

Make no mistake, Horizon EX-57 has the capacity to put you through a challenging workout as you select between its 8 levels of resistance. To adjust the resistance, you only need to tap the controls on the console or select any of its pre-programmed work out apps that involves the use of resistance. When you work out on this machine, you will experience constant resistance, thanks to its magnetic brake technology.

Even though the machine doesn’t pack any incline settings, this doesn’t mean that its performance has to an extent been compromised. You will soon discover that the machine has a number of additional features that compensate for this.

Console Unit

Not many elliptical machines in this category come equipped with a console as advanced as that of Horizon EX-57. One of its key elements is the crisp LCD display that clearly presents all the relevant workout data.  To diversity your training, the console has a total of 9 workout programs all of them customized to match your needs.

Some of the workout data you will collect on this console include:

  • Speed
  • Time
  • Distance
  • Resistance level
  • Calories burned
  • Pulse rate

Other amenities that come included on the console unit include:

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Water bottle holder
  • Tablet tray

Unfortunately, you will have difficulties reading the information on the console when in low light conditions due to the lack of a backlight, which is a feature known to enhance readability.

Build quality/ Design

Part of the machine’s tough build-quality includes a 14.3lbs flywheel which due to its heavy-duty nature helps in giving a smooth and quiet elliptical motion. As for the frame, it’s very solid and strong enough to reduce unwarranted movement and enhance stability.

Having been designed to be a front-drive machine, some users have complained about this feature while admitting to experiencing issues with their backs, especially the pain and to an extent, difficulty in using the machine.

Comfort

When it was designed, Horizon gave all they could afford to make this machine the most comfortable thing you will ever have. For the stride, the machine has a longer stride (18″) enough to make any user regardless of their level of training feel more unrestricted and natural. You can use this machine in any room even if you have one those ceilings that are about to make contact with the floor.

Stepping on and off the machine’s pedals is as simple and easy as eating pie due to their closeness to the ground. And to make your workout experience feel more realistic and natural, the distance between the footplates has been reduced to the minimum so as your walking motion can feel like the real act itself.  A pivoting footpad has also been installed to simulate your feet’s movement as you go forward.

If you prefer not to go for an upper body workout, the machine has fixed handlebars that will give you good support as you work out your lower body.

Assembly and Warranty

Inclusion of a comprehensive manual make assembling this machine an easy task. It doesn’t pack many parts and so putting it together won’t take any longer than 1-2 hours. A good number of users on Amazon say that it took them an average of 45 minutes to have the machine ready and operational.

As for the warranty here’s what to expect:

  • Frame-Lifetime warranty
  • Brake-20 years
  • Parts-1 year
  • Labor-1 year

Alternatives

Despite being a little older than its close rivals, Horizon EX-57 has never been pushed out of the market.  One of its closes alternatives is its sister model, the Horizon EX-59-02. When it comes to price, they are just a few hundred dollars apart, with FX-59-02 taking the lead. Presence of more workout programs, resistance levels, and a number of additional features like a cooling fan explain for the difference in price. However, if you are a beginner who wants an affordable trainer, you will likely end up going for the EX-57.

Exerpeutic 5000 is another affordable entry level trainer that gives Horizon EX-57 a run for its money.  Even though they share a number of features like the stride length, Exerpeutic gets an edge over the EX-57 due to its many resistance levels, superior design and use of latest technology. It’s priced a bit lower than EX-57 and so any trainer who wants a more popular option in this class will likely end up choosing Exerpeutic 5000.

  • Product
  • Deals
  • Photos
  • Last reviews
Horizon Fitness EX-57 Elliptical Trainer
The Horizon EX-57 elliptical gives you club-quality performance - from the smooth stride motion to the easy programmability - and recreates the feeling of running or walking without leaving home. 8 ...
Start from: $999.00
amazon amazon.com
Last price update: 2019-09-02 17:06:07
The machine was in very sturdy packaging and I was very impressed. I was unable to lift the main part (with the fly-wheel) out of the box so I waited until my husband got home from work. It was still too heavy to lift right out of the box. We were able to pull/push the box up stairs into the workout room.It was my new machine and project. I had so much fun, the instructions were as easy as Lego instructions, and it only took me 2 hours from start to finish. I have added photos, please check them out. The parts were sectioned out in the order of the steps (hardware bag #1 is for Step 1, etc.) and all of the needed tools are included (a screwdriver, hex wrench, 2 different size allen wrenches).I broke the box down and started putting it together right on top of the box. I'm glad I did that because when you put some of the parts together (bolts and/or stable bar) some excess grease will come out. Have a throw away rag handy because you will need it. Step 1 was attaching the wheels. The wheels made it a breeze to situate and move it to where I wanted it be positioned.Once it was together, I tried it out. The stride isn't as long/wide as I'm used to but it is smooth and quiet. It doesn't take up too much room so my husband is planning to get a couple other machines (a spinning bike, please). I'm looking for a TV to mount on the wall and spend all day on the elliptical! My first "Hill Climb" workout will be in the morning.UPDATE:October 19, 2010I still love this machine. The only other elliptical I have used was at the gym (Proform). The tension on this machine is tighter than on the large machines at the gym, due to the fact that the stride is shorter.I thought I'd just start my workouts on the levels that I had been working out at the gym. WRONG! On the Proform I could warm up at a level 4 and gradually by the end of my "Hill Climb" routine (of 45 minutes) I would be at a level 12. Occasionally I could end on a Level 14.After 10 minutes starting on a level 4 on my Horizon machine, I wanted to fall to the floor and fight to bring my breathing under control. It kicked my butt and I had to swallow my pride and back down to the level 1.I had to wipe out my iPod music arrangement and start new because the machine routine was different. I always set my music to the timed hill climbs and manual strides.A level 1 on this machine is like a level 4 on the machines at the gym. Horizon level 4 is a level 8 on the gym's elliptical.My workout on my Horizon is for 45 minutes "Climb" ending on a level 4. I use the "Manual" setting to warm up and cool down.I hardly ever used the arm handles at the gym because the stretch was so wide plus I loved to just work my legs and rear. It had taken me two weeks on my machine to get used to the shorter stride and be able to balance properly so that I can avoid using the arms. I alternate my routine and do use the arms half the time.The "Reverse" routine is short intervals and I don't like that. I've only used it once and haven't timed it exactly. I believe it is two minutes forward, two minutes backward, ect. I prefer a minimum of five minutes between forward/backward changes.The only things I would like to see added to this machine is a light in the display panel and It would be nice if a 5 minute "cool down" was at the end of each routine.I forgot to mention that about two weeks after use, one of the peddles started making a loud squeaking sound so I called customer service. The service tech very nice, asked me to hold the phone near the peddle so she could hear the sound. She said is was most likely a welding issue with the leg bar and foot peddle durring asembly. She immediately ordered two new legs/feet for my machine at no cost to me. The legs and feet arrived in about 5 days and I haven't had any problem since.All in all, I'm still very happy with my purchase.UPDATE:February 9, 2011My machine is still working perfectly.I've been able to increase my workout levels.I have noticed that the arches in my feet will start to ache slightly if I don't change the positions of my feet on the peddles (and if I workout longer than 45 minutes).While working out in the "reverse" I find that it is best to move m feet to the back edge of the foot peddle. I try to keep my feet in the center of the peddle in the forward motion. I believe it has to do with the shorter range of motion (stride) of the elliptical.I'm still a happy camper with this machine.UPDATE:October 5, 2011I'm still very happy with this machine. I made a good purchase :-)I haven't had to add grease to the moving parts and there isn't any squeaking at all.Update:January 2012Still happy and now my 11 year old likes to use the ellipticle about twice a week.
September 22, 2010
Originally I may have given this elliptical maybe 4 stars, today I would give it a 1 star but I am giving it 2 because I have had the elliptical for a touch more than four years and it was reliable until a few months ago. Recently the unit started getting a vibration that really shook the elliptical and nearly makes it feel unsafe to use. I emailed their customer service and received no reply. So I tried tightening and adjusting the only parts that I could find that seemed to be adjustable. It helped a little but I noticed one bracket that supports the wheel is a little bent and the belt has now started slipping plus there is a new rattle sound. When it worked it was nice but I would not recommend this product any longer because of the lack of customer support, really disappointing. I also feel an elliptical should last longer than four years.
January 19, 2017
Horizon EX-57 Review:After a lot of research (I narrowed my decision down to the EX-57 and the Schwinn 430), I decided on the Horizon because of the warranty. Plus, I was able to try the machine out beforehand at my local Sears. I knew I wanted a front fly-wheel, since the ellipticals I've tried with rear flywheels feel wobbly. Both the Schwinn 430 and Horizon EX-57 have excellent reviews online, but the Horizon offers one year of labor versus Schwinn's 90 days, and the machine was actually a little less expensive.Delivery:I elected for Free Super Saver Shipping. Two business days after ordering, I received a call from the shipping company, ABF. A very polite man made a delivery appointment with me for the following week. My item arrived just five business days after ordering. On the day of delivery, ABF called to say they were in the neighborhood and would be arriving in 15-20 minutes. The delivery guy was very polite and friendly, and he carried the box inside to my living room floor. The box itself was in good condition, only a little dirty with some slight gouges in the top layer of cardboard, nothing that alarmed.Since we have a townhouse apartment and the elliptical was going upstairs, we opened the box downstairs and carried the parts upstairs. All were in excellent cosmetic condition. We had already purchased a gym mat from Kmart at a great price - less than thirty dollars.Assembly:There were three or four small bags of parts that were full of grease. Keep that in mind. You will want to have some paper towels or rags handy. We just used one of the larger pieces of packing styrofoam as a tray for all the greasy parts. I even added a little WD-40 to a few of the bolts and washers during assembly, to ward off squeaks. We took inventory and there was one missing part - the "console mast boot" - a small rubber ring that goes over the opening where the mast enters the flywheel. This part would not otherwise interfere with us putting the machine together, so we continued with installation. (**More about the process of getting this part from Horizon below**). It took my mildly handy husband and me one and a half hours to assemble the elliptical, and we moved at a comfortable pace, carefully reading the directions. I had borrowed a ratchet set from a friend, but we did not need any tools other than those provided by Horizon. It was very simple to assemble.**We could technically do without the console mast boot, but there's no way I'm letting that go, since this machine cost a small fortune for us. I called Horizon about the missing part and got an automatic response system that told me to leave a message. Next day, I got a call-back as an unknown number and screened it (mistake). I had to leave another message and did not hear back from them until the following day. However, the Horizon representative was polite and helpful and, after registering my product for me over the phone, he put in the order for the part and offered to have tracking information emailed to me. A couple of days later, I got the email with UPS tracking information for my missing part. It arrived less than one week after the elliptical. I snapped it on without having to rearrange any other parts.Usage:My husband is 6' tall and I am 5'2", so a comfortable stride, comfortable distance to the handle bars, and plenty of head clearance was crucial for both of us, since we have to share one machine. Our ceiling is 8', and we had to push the elliptical close to a wall instead of in the center of the room, since my husband's head was too close to the blades of the ceiling fan. I find the stride and handle bar distance perfectly comfortable. My husband said that the stride could be a little longer for him, but he is not uncomfortable on the machine. He did say, however, that someone much taller than 6'2" would probably be a little uncomfortable with the length of the stride.The EX-57 is very quiet during use. I am able to listen to music at a normal volume, and it doesn't bother my husband in another room or downstairs. There are some small, inoffensive noises now and then, but think about this: the flywheel operates almost completely silent. If you have greased the bolts and all the parts have been tightened to the right level, then the machine won't give off any ambient noise that might drown out the occasional click of a pedal or other small sound. After having worked out on my friend's expensive Cybex, I've learned that most machines make a sound or two now and then.Since I am a beginner at regular exercise, I started at level 1 resistance, and good thing. I was whipped after 25 minutes. My resistance will undoubtedly increase with regular use, but the EX-57 is at a stronger base resistance than some other machines I've used, including the aforementioned Cybex. So, I would counsel beginners not to get too excited about resistance levels right off the bat. Veteran gym folks should be pleased with the levels of resistance offered too.The heart monitor may or may not be accurate. It is not so important to us. I am of a mind that most of these machines are off when it comes to that, even at the gym. If heart rate is important to you, I recommend getting a separate monitor.The screen reads fine in indoor lighting; no worries about it not being backlit.The cup holder is too low to be convenient while working out. You would have to slow or stop first. I just use a nearby table top.Final Notes:In another review, someone commented about cheap looking plastic parts, so I was on the lookout for this. After getting it all set up and using it a few times, I really think the machine looks nice, and I have no complaints about the plastic panels and pieces.After a month of near daily use by two people, we could not be happier with our Horizon EX-57. Everyone needs to do their own research to find the right fit, but I highly recommend this elliptical.
September 29, 2009