Should You Get a Rear or Front Drive Diamondback Elliptical?

By: Trevor Mulholland

Diamondback has been in the business of making exercise machines, primarily stationary bikes, for quite a while now. Their elliptical machines are lesser known, but can boast of the same quality that satisfied users nationwide have come to recognize in their bikes. Diamondback distinguishes itself from other elliptical machine manufacturers in one particular way: it manufactures both rear and front drive machines.

So what's the big difference? What would make a rear drive elliptical machine better than a front drive one, and vice versa? If you're set on buying a Diamondback elliptical machine, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the choices. There aren't too many models to choose from, but still - how do you know which is best for you?

The most basic and evident difference between these two types of elliptical machines is the location of the main parts - the brakes, pedals and linkage system. Clearly front drive machines have them in the front, while rear drive ones have them in the back. This difference in design calls up a slight difference in performance as well. Trainers would be able to tell you that working out on a rear drive machine would resemble a walking exercise, while a front drive machine would simulate an uphill hike.

There are some additional advantages. For one thing, rear drive machines allow for longer strides and adjustable inclines, which would make for a more flexible workout. This is why it is more popular among more health buffs. However, front drive machines - particularly those with articulating pedals - are cheaper and thus more practical to buy.

What are other examples of popular rear drive machines? Precor manufactures some good rear drive ellipticals, notable among which is the EFX 5.23. The MultiSports ECT6600 Elliptical is considered a good buy, for under $1500 (as of time of writing). Life Fitness' rear drive machines are prized for their sturdiness. There are quite a number of high-performing rear drive machines in the market.

But front drive machines are also quite popular among manufacturers, primarily because of the lower cost of building. Examples of front drive machines made by other manufacturers include the Sole E55. Octane also makes high-end front drive elliptical models, which may be cheaper among Octane models but still relatively expensive compared to front drive models made by other manufacturers.

If you've made up your mind about the elliptical machine manufacturer you want to patronize - say you've got your heart set on a Diamondback, or a Life Fitness or Octane device - the next step is to try as many models as you can from that manufacturer. Front or rear drive, any elliptical device can provide a good workout - it would just depend on your budget, and the flexibility you seek from your device.

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