Part of their innovative commercial series of ellipticals, the Precor EFX 835 Commercial Series Elliptical Trainer features a number of upgrades over the earlier 833 model.
Our review takes an in-depth look at some of these new features, as well as the technology behind the elliptical motion, P30 console features, customer reviews, and much more. This is to help you decide if the Precor EFX 835 would be the best elliptical machine for your own home gym.
As one of the flagship product in Precor’s range of premium quality commercial ellipticals, the Precor EFX 835 has more than a few features that you won’t find on any other machine.
The most obvious difference you’ll notice between the EFX 835 and other ellipticals, is the combination of flywheel and CrossRamp technology.
Although there’s nothing unusual about a rear driven elliptical, it’s the addition of CrossRamp that creates a completely different running motion than you’re probably used to.
Far from being a simple incline adjustment feature, the patented CrossRamp technology allows you to alter the height of the elliptical path your foot travels.
Whereas most crosstrainers will determine the muscles you work according to whether they feature a front or rear driven design, the Variable Stride Geometry behind CrossRamp allows you to target specific muscle groups with a much better degree of isolation.
Want to focus on toning and strengthening your quads? Then increase the ramp angle to 40 degrees. Want to focus on your calves and hamstrings? Then adjust the angle to be closer to the 13 degree starting position.
This patented motion also helps to ensure your heels are in constant contact with the foot pedals, avoiding any wasted energy and reducing unwanted stress on your tendons.
Although the Precor EFX 835 isn’t going to win any awards for lightweight design, transport wheels have been attached to make it easier to move around if required.
One last important design feature worth mentioning is the moving handlebars.
Both the stationary and moving sets have been ergonomically designed to help you maintain a comfortable posture while training. But it’s the moving set of handles that allow you to effectively train upper and lower body muscle groups at the same time.
Precor EFX 835 – Features Summary
- Touch and telemetry heart rate monitoring
- Ergonomic moving handlebars let you tone and condition your entire body
- Cross-ramp Technology lets you target specific muscles or all major lower-body muscle groups by adjusting the cross-ramp angle
- The patented low-impact EFX motion is smooth and natural, making your workouts more comfortable
- Patented motion allows heels to remain in contact with foot pedals, reducing muscle, tendon stress
- Reversible pedal rotation
- Accessories holder
- Integrated transport wheels
- 20 resistance levels
P30 display console with entertainment options
Building on the already impressive frame design, the Precor EFX 835 also features what is in our opinion, one of the most aesthetically pleasing display consoles on the market.
In short, it looks great when it’s setup, with a modern design and intuitively placed button functions that make it quicker to start your workouts.
Despite its fairly compact size, Precor still managed to split the workout information between several different LCD screens.
This can make it much easier to remember where to find how many calories you’ve burned, or how long you’ve been working out for compared to consoles that rely on scrolling screens.
But it’s not just the workout functions and workout feedback that make this console so special. There’s also a range of optional attachment options, including a 15″ Personal Viewing System (PVS), and Personal Entertainment Player (PEP).
The PVS essentially allows you to watch your favourite TV and movies while you exercise, while the PEP lets you listen to your favourite music straight from your iPhone to provide some extra workout motivation during those early morning sessions.
You can even switch the standard console cap for an integrated Entertainment Cap if you don’t want to increase the height of the machine. This acts as a receiver to provide access to a selection of audio channels, including those from wall mounted displays.
Preset workout programs
As important as the design is, you also need to make sure any elliptical trainer you buy can provide enough variety in its workout programs to allow you to reach your fitness goals.
With the P30 console supplied as standard, the preset workouts for the Precor EFX 835 fall into 6 main categories.
- 1. Manual
You don’t follow a set plan. Every change in resistance and speed is completely controlled by you.
- 2. Heart rate controlled
Allows you to set a specific target heart rate level, then automatically adjusts the incline and resistance to keep you at this level.
Both touch and telemetry heart rate monitoring are available thanks to a combination of Smart Rate and advanced metrics tracking.
- 3. Interval
Your best choice if your goal is to increase cardiovascular fitness, lowering and raising your heart rate throughout the duration of your workout.
Intensity levels are adjustable to suit a range of user fitness levels.
- 4. Weight loss
Although every workout program will essentially burn calories and help you lose weight, the four intervals that make up these programs are specifically designed to keep you at your optimum calorie burning level.
- 5. Variety
Ideal for if your weight loss or fitness gains reach a plateau, the Variety workout option constantly varies the resistance throughout your workout, helping your progress get back on track.
- 6. Performance
Not so much of a workout program and more of a fitness test, Performance is written based on the Gerkin Protocol, and is the official fitness test of the International Association of Firefighters.
The test gradually increases the incline in specific stages until the test automatically ends, providing you with a fitness score based on your aerobic capacity.
Another important feature of the P30 console is that it allows you to input your age and weight.
If you’ve read negative reviews for lower priced ellipticals, one of the most frequent causes of dropped ratings is inaccuracy of the calories burned and heart rate metrics.
By allowing you to enter these two simple pieces of information, the Precor EFX 835 provides accurate feedback throughout your workout.
As well as calories burned and heart rate, during each workout you can keep track of your strides per minute, time, distance, and current resistance level.
Ease of assembly
In all honesty, for the size and complexity of the machine, the assembly instructions are probably as good as you can expect.
If you’re more used to putting things together solely through looking at diagrams, then there’s probably not enough detail to be able to do that here.
That being said, each step is explained in detail, and most of the steps are similar to what you would have to go through to setup any elliptical, so we weren’t too surprised.
If you want to take a look at the owner’s manual for the Precor EFX 835, which includes all of the assembly instructions, you’ll be able to download a copy for free over at the official Precor website.
After spending thousands of dollars on a piece of fitness equipment, it’s only natural that you’re going to want to increase its lifespan as much as possible.
One of the best ways to do this is with regular cleaning and general maintenance of essential parts.
Although this might seem an unusual topic to cover in a review, we feel that it’s useful to know everything that’s required to assemble, setup, and maintain any new piece of fitness equipment you buy.
This is particularly true if you’re buying more than one of these machines for a commercial installation.
A small amount of daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance is required in order to ensure the machine stays within its warranty.
Recommended maintenance schedule:
- Daily: Daily inspections are nothing more than checking for slipping belts, worn power cords, or anything else that indicates a service is required.
- Weekly: Weekly checks are still quick to perform, requiring just a simple clean of the equipment and making sure it sits level on the ground.
- Monthly: Monthly checks require a combination of the two. Removing the rear cover to clean inside, checking the tension and alignment of belts, and lubricating the lift motor screw with Teflon or Mobil1 are all that’s needed.
You can find a much more in depth guide to the maintenance by downloading the user manual from the link in our ‘Ease of Assembly’ section, but this should provide a basic overview of what to expect.
Before taking a look at the existing customer reviews, it’s important to realise that the majority of these ellipticals have been installed at commercial gyms.
It’s due to this and the higher price tag that there’s fewer reviews than you might be used to finding on lower priced ellipticals.
That being said, there are still some very detailed reviews that have been left on ecommerce sites by people who are using the Precor EFX 835 in their home workouts right now.
With such a high average rating, it was actually very difficult to put together many negative points, but what we did find in these reviews has been aggregated and added to the lists of pros and cons below.
- Smooth and natural running motion created by the CrossRamp technology
- Console displays the muscles you are working based on the current incline setting
- Moving handlebars create a full body workout, training your chest, back, and biceps, as well as your quads, hamstrings, and calves
- Low impact nature of the exercise reduces stress placed on your knee and hip joints
- Intuitive button layout on the display console
- Attractive range of console upgrade options available to make your workouts more entertaining
- High build quality ensures a stable and supportive elliptical motion
- Price tag is a little high for many home buyers
- Slightly noisier than some ellipticals due to the self-powered drive mechanism
What’s covered by the warranty?
In recent years Precor has been ranked number 1 in after sales service in surveys of over 150 health club operators.
Although the Precor EFX 835 is available for home workouts, it’s also part of their Commercial range of fitness products.
This means that they currently offer to make most on-site repairs within 24-48 hours of the problem being reported, if you are buying this elliptical as part of a commercial installation.
In terms of the length of warranty coverage, this is as follows:
- Frame and Welds: Lifetime
- Parts (mechanical & electronic): 10 years
- Wear Items: 10 years
- Labor: 1 year