Friday, June 16, 2006

Orbitrek Elliptical Machines by Thane Fitness are Pieces of Crap

I wasn't planning on getting anywhere near the computer today, but my experience yesterday with an Orbitrek elliptical machine by Thane Fitness left me no choice but to rant about what a piece of crap it is.

For a few years now, I've been using an indoor trainer on my mountain bike for exercise. One of my wife's coworkers happened to have an elliptical machine gathering dust in a closet, and we agreed to take it off their hands.

Despite the fact that the Orbitrek elliptical machine had been passed down from owner to owner, it had obviously been used very little. I mean, it looked like it had just come out of the box. The folks we got it from admitted that they had used it perhaps once or twice, total, and they think the previous and original owners -- relatives of theirs -- might have put it through a similar amount of use.

So I had used it perhaps a dozen times in the last three weeks, and yesterday, about a dozen minutes into my workout -- kerblam! The crankshaft suddenly broke where it attached to the right-hand pedal.

In browsing Thane's website, it doesn't seem that they offer parts for repairs. The instruction manual states that the unit is good for users up to 250 lbs. I'm well below that limit, and was using the machine normally. If anything, I've been taking it easy on the elliptical machine, because I've been using a lot of muscles that I hadn't used on the stationary bicycle.

A quick search revealed other folks with similar problems.

13 Mar 2005 - Daniel of New Mexico, USA writes:

I purchased my OrbiTrak in 2001 from a TV shopping channel. When it arrived it was easy to assemble and i began to use it immediately.I noticed when i would increase the intensity of my workout it started to make alot of noise in the rear. It sounded like the chain was slamming against the plastic cover. I continued to use it until about 8 months later when the metal bar that connects the foot step to the machine busted in half renduring the product useless.It was good while it lasted but dont plan on it lasting long if your a deciplined user.

Bottom line: even if the Orbitrek is gratis, as mine was, accept it only at peril of physical harm.



Linking to: Leaning Straight Up, Dan Mancini, MacBros' Place, Comedian Jenee: People are Idiots, Woman Honor Thyself

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