5 Best Rear Drive Ellipticals (2024) For Your Home Gym

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Written By Kathy Brewer

I am a certified personal trainer, and I take pride in helping people achieve their fitness goals through strength training, cardio, and nutrition. 





Are you searching for the perfect elliptical to add to your home gym? Look no further than the rear-drive Elliptical.

With its natural and balanced stride, incline features, and motor housed in the back for a more upright position, it’s no wonder these machines are favored over front-drive models.

But with so many different options in the market, finding the best one can be overwhelming. I researched on my own and found these top 5 best rear drive ellipticals to help you lose weight quickly.

In case you’re wondering whether an elliptical is right for you, read our customer reviews! They were surprised at how much they enjoyed these machines.

If you want to change your exercise routine and start loving working out, read on to learn about five of the best rear-drive ellipticals that are available.

5 Best Rear Drive Ellipticals

So, if you’re looking for a high-quality elliptical trainer that delivers a smooth and efficient workout, a rear-drive elliptical trainer might be just what you need!

Here are the five best rear-drive elliptical machines:


Elliptical ModelFeatures
Niceday CT11
  • Hyper Quiet Magnetic Drive System
  • 16-resistance levels
  • Adjustable handlebars
  • Pulse sensor for real-time heart-rate tracking
Sunny Pre-Programmed
  • 24 integrated programs
  • 16 resistance levels
  • Pulse sensors on handles
  • 15.4-pound flywheel
  • Small size
ProForm Hybrid Trainer XT
  • 2-in-1 workout equipment
  • Inertia-enhanced flywheel
  • Adjustable pedals
  • Moving handlebars with pulse sensors
  • 16-resistance levels.
XTERRA Fitness RSX1500
  • 2-in-1 machine
  • Articulated padded hand grips
  • Blue and yellow backlit LCD screen
  • USB ports for workout tracking.
Nordictrack Spacesaver SE7I
  • 24 integrated workouts
  • 20+ resistance levels
  • A power incline of up to 20%
  • Weight capacity: 325 lbs
  • 10-year frame warranty
  • 2-year parts warranty
  • 1-year labor warranty.

Niceday Elliptical Machine – Most Cost-Effective Rear-Drive Elliptical

Niceday Elliptical Machine is a cost-effective elliptical equipment suitable for most users. The Hyper-Quiet Magnetic Drive System helps to eliminate noise, providing an uninterrupted workout experience.

Niceday Elliptical Machine


  • Stride length: 15.5-inches
  • Weight: 93.8 lbs
  • Resistance: 16-levels
  • Product dimensions: 62 inches L x 25 inches W x 48 inches H
  • User weight limit: 400 lbs.
  • Warranty: Lifetime service for parts
  • Resistance system: Magnetic
  • LCD Monitor functions: Heart-rate, calories, time, and distance

The 16 lbs flywheel and 15.5″ stride length ensure a smooth and comfortable workout. Sixteen resistance levels allow you to progress on your fitness journey easier. 

At the same time, the adjustable handlebars provide a comfortable grip without compromising on comfort or control over speed settings (you can even adjust them while exercising).

The pulse sensor enables real-time tracking of your heart rate, which is displayed in both manual and automatic modes, depending on what type of user you are!

I have logged more than 210 miles in three months and reported that the treadmill is still working great. Some users have reported issues with the moveable handlebars squeaking after prolonged use, but tightening the screws seems to help alleviate their problem.

The assembly of the machine is easy and should take around two hours to complete. However, there are no leveling devices on it, which can cause it to wobble.

Even if a professional put it together, it may still wobble due to the lack of ability to level the machine. Anti-skid/level wedges or leveling feet can be purchased to solve this issue.


  • Can be easily assembled
  • Comes with detailed instructions
  • Simple equipment needed for assembly
  • Wheels for easier movement during transportation
  • 90% of the parts are already assembled
  • Cover the bolts for a polished appearance
  • Useful right & left arrows on the handles
  • LCD monitor batteries that can be replaced


  • Some users might find the weight to be too much
  • There is just one language available in the instruction manual.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3912 – Best Rear-Drive Elliptical for Beginners

The Sunny Pre-programmed Elliptical SF-E3912 is an affordable elliptical that is great for beginners and those who want a primary, easy-to-use machine in their home gym.

With 24 integrated, device holders, and 16 resistance levels, plenty of training variability keeps you challenged.

The pulse sensors on the handles or compatible heart rate straps can help you measure your heart rate accurately and stay in your target zone.

Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical


  • Stride length: 15.5 inches
  • Resistance: 16 levels
  • Product dimensions: ‎55 inches L x 23 inches W x 64.5 inches H
  • Max user weight Limit: 330 lbs
  • Warranty: Three years for structural frame, 180 days for parts

While the 15.4-pound flywheel and 15.5-inch stride length may not provide enough space or resistance for more extensive or experienced trainees (or those who want more power), it’s still doable and perfect for smaller spaces like apartments where space is limited, but exercise needs are high!

The small digital monitor displays basic workout stats, including calories burned per minute, distance traveled per minute, and time elapsed from the beginning until the end of the program.

It also displays the number of revolutions completed by moving pedals forward/backward depending on the selected level set at startup, RPMs (revolutions per minute), speed achieved during the specific interval(s) selected, and many more features.

One of my friends, a runner with flat feet, experienced a foot injury and had to switch to low-impact workouts.

He tried the Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical and after using it for a few days found it to be stable as well as user-friendly. The pedals are rather small, so those with larger feet may have trouble.


  • High limit for weight
  • Arm exercises with full motion
  • 20+ unique exercise modes


  • Limited warranty
  • Minimal stride length

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ProForm Hybrid Trainer XT – Best Hybrid Rear-Drive Elliptical

The ProForm Hybrid Trainer XT is a multifunctional 2-in-1 workout equipment that combines the advantages of a rear-drive elliptical and a recumbent exercise cycle.

It features an inertia-enhanced flywheel for smooth and natural pedal strokes. Adjustable pedals offer a comfortable position for your feet, making them suitable for various foot sizes.

ProForm Hybrid Trainer XT


  • Stride length: 15-inches
  • Resistance: 16-levels
  • Product dimensions: ‎70.5 inches L x 24.5 inches W x 70.5 inches H
  • Max user weight limit: 250 lbs.
  • Warranty: five years on frame, one year on parts and labor

The elliptical has moving handlebars with integrated pulse sensors to monitor heart rate in real time. It offers 16 levels of magnetic resistance to make workouts more challenging and allow progression as per the fitness level desired by users.

It also comes with a 30-day iFit membership which includes streaming live workout sessions, taking studio classes from onboard instructors, or even recording them on video so you can watch them later at home!

Product dimensions are 70.5 inches L x 24 5 inches W x 70 .5 inches H; max user weight limit 250 lbs. (113 kgs); warranty includes 5-year frames & 1-year parts & labor.

The machine’s magnetic digital resistance is smooth and quiet enough to make exercises enjoyable. You can effortlessly switch between the elliptical and bike modes thanks to the machine’s user-friendly design.

The machine’s computer screen can be changed so that whether you stand to ride or sit to pedal, you can clearly see how you are doing.

ProForm Hybrid Trainer XT is overall well-built and user-friendly equipment that you should definitely consider.


  • Affordable
  • 16 pre-set workouts
  • 16-levels of resistance
  • Aux audio jack for playing songs
  • iFit available


  • Limited labor and parts warranties
  • Hard assembly
  • No display backlight is present
  • Small stride length

XTERRA Fitness RSX1500 – Best Feature Packed Rear-Drive Elliptical

The XTERRA Fitness RSX1500 is a 2-in-1 machine that combines the motion of a semi-recumbent bike and an elliptical to provide a linked 13-inch stepping action.

With its articulated padded hand grips that rotate 360 degrees, recruiting lower and upper-body muscle groups, this elliptical work all parts of your body in one sitting—not just your legs!

XTERRA Fitness RSX1500


  • Stride length: 13-inches
  • Resistance: 24-levels
  • Product dimensions: ‎52.1 inches L x 14.7 inches W x 50 inches H
  • Max user weight limit: 300 lbs.
  • Warranty: Lifetime on frame and brakes, three years on parts, and one year on labor

The console features a basic blue and yellow backlit LCD screen that displays speed; distance traveled, calories burned, heart rate (if you have an optional heart rate monitor), time spent exercising (if you have an optional timer), and more information about how much time has passed since last resetting the machine’s internal clock.

You can also view your progress by logging workouts into memory banks via USB ports on each side of their workout area, so they keep track of which session they’re on next time!

This machine is a high-quality piece of exercise equipment, and its sturdy construction and comfortable seat makes it ideal for heavy users.

The assembly process is relatively easy and the equipment is so quiet that you can’t even tell it’s running unless you’re standing next to it. 

It does have a tendency to get knocked off balance by very light hammer taps, so make sure your screws are well-driven when attaching the large swing arms to the axle. Better screwdrivers and wrenches will help with this job.

One drawback of using the handles is that they can flop around dangerously if you use only your feet. However, this also allows for variation in the grip to target different parts of the wrists and forearms.

The wires connecting the handle grips can be tapped out of the way, and you’re able to set a target heart rate for yourself. Overall, it’s a great value—you get what you pay for with very few drawbacks.


  • Adjustable, comfortable seat
  • Easy-to-adjust handles
  • Handles can also be rotated
  • Has a good warranty
  • Offers complete body workout


  • There are no wireless heart rate monitors.
  • Doesn’t fold for storage.
  • Small pedals compared to other machines.

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Nordictrack Spacesaver SE7I – Best Overall Rear-Drive Elliptical

The Nordictrack Spacesaver SE7I is an excellent investment for those who want a feature-packed elliptical machine with a great warranty at a reasonable price. Its space-saving design makes it convenient to store in your home gym and offers plenty of benefits that make it well worth the investment.

With 24 integrated workouts, 22 resistance levels, and a power incline (up to 20% higher than other machines), the SE7I provides enough variety to keep you motivated and progressing in your fitness journey. 

NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i


  • Stride length: 18-inches & adjustable
  • Resistance: 22 resistance levels
  • Incline: 10% incline, power-adjustable
  • Product dimensions: ‎80 inches L x 32 inches W x 67 inches.
  • Max user weight limit: 325 lbs. (147 kgs)
  • Warranty: ten years on frame, two years on parts, and one year on labor

The dual handlebars feature oversized cushioned pedals explicitly designed for comfort while exercising on this machine; they offer an easy way to move around during training sessions without worrying about getting pain or injury due to how much force being exerted onto them when compared with other ellipticals out there today.

Nordictrack Spacesaver SE7I has a four out of five stars review on amazon. If you dislike running but want to improve your health, you should try this elliptical from Nordictrack.

If you can commit to five days a week for 30 minutes, you will see significant changes in your body shape, lose fat, and gain muscle. The experience will be a total game-changer.


  • Fast and simple to assemble
  • 24 integrated workouts
  • Integrated fan
  • Tablet holder
  • Foot pedals with adjustments


  • Handlebars may move too easily when pressure is applied
  • Moving the seat forward and back is somewhat awkward
  • Some components may make squeaking noises until they wear in a little

What is a Rear Drive Elliptical?

Elliptical machines are a popular low-impact alternative to treadmill running, and they mimic the motion of walking/running.


There are three types of elliptical trainers: rear-drive, front-drive, and center-drive (also known as “dual”) models based on where the flywheel is located.

Rear drive ellipticals have been described as “natural” because they provide an easy flow between forward and backward motion like walking or running does naturally—without jarring your joints like other types of exercise equipment might do.

Rear drive models also tend to have a slight incline for the added challenge due to their placement behind you instead of directly underneath you, as some other types do.

This means that when pushing yourself harder on these machines, there is less risk for injury than with other machines, which put all weight bearing down on one point exactly where it’s needed most.

Why You Should Have A Rear-Drive Elliptical?

Regarding elliptical trainers, there are several designs to choose from. However, rear-drive elliptical trainers are typically found in more expensive models, often used in clubs or gyms. These machines feature the flywheel or drive system behind the user in the back of the machine.

One advantage of the rear drive design is that it features fewer moving parts and an incline ramp that can be easily adjusted either automatically or manually.

Additionally, the pedal movement on rear-drive trainers is more of a circular, smooth motion that closely mimics the feel of walking or running, unlike other trainers.

Some users find the upright position and rear drive design more manageable on the low back, while others prefer a slightly forward motion. 

Due to their smoother and more natural motion, rear-drive elliptical trainers are often preferred by those looking for low-impact cardio workouts

The circular motion also provides a more efficient workout, targeting multiple muscle groups and burning more calories.

Another advantage of rear-drive ellipticals is that they are sturdy and require less maintenance than others, making them a worthwhile investment for home users.

While they can be more expensive than other models, rear-drive elliptical trainers’ added benefits and features make them a popular choice for serious fitness enthusiasts. 

Which is better: rear-drive or front-drive Elliptical?

rear drive vs front drive elliptical

When it comes to choosing between rear-drive and front-drive ellipticals, there are several factors to consider. Here are some pros and cons of both:

Rear Drive Ellipticals:


  • The rear positioning of the flywheel mimics natural walking motion, making it an excellent choice for those with joint problems, injuries, or senior citizens.
  • Fewer parts in the design make them easier to maintain and much quieter than other types of ellipticals.


  • Some users may feel they need more incline on their workouts because most models have no tilt feature (although others say this isn’t true).
  • Some users may also prefer front-drive technology because it allows them more flexibility when designing workouts around hills or slopes (like stairs).
  • Costly compared to other types with similar features.

Front Drive Ellipticals:


  • The positioning of the flywheel provides an uphill motion, making it ideal for users who demand a more intense workout.
  • These machines are so compact that they can be stored in any room, and due to their small size, some models can even fit under a bed.
  • They are a cost-effective option, less expensive than rear-drive ellipticals.


  • Ellipticals with a front-drive often have more parts (which leads to higher maintenance costs over time).
  • In comparison to other forms of workout machinery like treadmills or stair steppers, they are also noisier.

Ultimately, it’s essential to test both elliptical trainers before deciding. Consider your fitness goals and space limitations when choosing the best type for you!

What to look for while buying a rear-drive elliptical?

When looking for fitness equipment like an elliptical trainer, your budget is a critical factor in your decision-making process.

Knowing your spending limit before you start searching can help you narrow down your options and find the best value for your money. 

You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money on an elliptical trainer—but remember that features such as resistance levels and other features also affect how much they’ll cost!


The size of your home gym is also important when buying an elliptical.

While some rear drive ellipticals can be folded up, most models are not designed to save space, so you need to consider the amount of floor space available for such a machine—and whether it will fit through doorways and hallways if necessary.

Before purchasing a rear drive elliptical, it’s essential to measure the area where you plan to use it and ensure enough room for the machine’s console (the part that houses its LCD) and pedals. 

Keep in mind how much clearance is needed around your workout area; this will help ensure that your purchase doesn’t interfere with other parts of your home or office environment.

In addition, remember that when using an elliptical trainer as part of a more extensive workout routine such as CrossFit or Tabata interval training workouts—which involve running intervals between sets at high speeds while hurrying on both feet—you should always wear shoes with good traction! 

Shoes without laces allow for more freedom during these types of activities since they don’t require tying them up every time they’re used, making them especially useful since many people sweat profusely during intense workouts like these.


Learning new skills and improving old ones through interactive programs with real-life guidance from coaches is often easier.

You can schedule workouts independently and control the elliptical machine’s built-in monitor using a computer or smartphone app.

Or friends who have similar machines can also interactively share their training regimens by working out remotely.

However, most virtual training platforms require a monthly subscription fee that is not worth paying if you only plan to use the program occasionally.

If you are looking for a full-featured machine and don’t mind spending extra money, we recommend purchasing an elliptical with integrated workout programs rather than one without.

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When buying an elliptical trainer, you should consider the different types of resistance available. The two most typical are magnetic and air; magnetic is more frequent since it offers better control over intensity levels.

Magnetic resistance is easy to control, making it well-suited for various athletes.

On the other hand, air resistance is directly related to how quickly you pedal, making it more challenging to modify and regulate your workout’s intensity.

Even though some users prefer air resistance, magnetic resistance is typically liked due to its greater adaptability and control.

Weight Limit

The maximum weight a rear-drive elliptical can support should be considered while shopping for one. Elliptical stability and general performance are impacted by its weight capacity, especially in heavier users.

A higher weight capacity typically means a more stable and sturdy machine. It’s also good practice to find an elliptical with a weight limit suitable for your largest user who plans to use it—to ensure safety and optimal performance!

So, check out reviews online before making your purchase decision; they’ll let you know exactly how much space is available between two seats (and whether or not this matters). 

You may even want/need another seat if one end has been removed from its base simply because there wasn’t enough room left over after moving things around into place!

Warranty and Budget

When shopping for fitness equipment, consider both price and warranty. While there are many options on the market, you need to evaluate each based on what’s suitable for your needs.

Our list includes products that offer both short-term and long-term warranties. Shopping around for a product that fits your needs and provides good value is essential—research can help you find what you’re looking for!


Are rear-drive ellipticals better?

Rear-drive elliptical trainers are popular because they accommodate a more natural stride than other models. They’re also great for people with joint or mobility issues, as they cause less jarring motion during workouts.

Most rear-drive ellipticals have incline settings, which let you increase the intensity of your workouts by making hills out of them.

Which is better: a front or rear drive elliptical?

Because of their design, front-drive elliptical machines offer more excellent incline capabilities than rear-drive models. 

This allows you to increase resistance in your workout faster—but it can also be more challenging on joints than other ellipticals.

Rear-drive elliptical trainers provide low-impact workouts at a base level with fewer incline options overall.

What is the best-rated elliptical trainer for home use?

The ProForm Hybrid Trainer XT is a great elliptical machine for home use. It has a console that allows you to track your progress and is also peaceful while in use.

Why is a heavier flywheel better elliptical?

The flywheel is a heavy, revolving wheel that increases the machine’s momentum by providing stability during use. The heavier a flywheel’s weight, the smoother and quieter (or louder) it will be when in motion.

Conclusion – Which Is The Best Rear Drive Elliptical?

The Nordictrack Spacesaver SE7I is the best rear-drive elliptical machine on the market. This elliptical offers a range of features, including a 10% power-adjustable incline and 22 digital resistance levels. Plus its adjustable stride length can be set to 18 inches!

It also comes with 24 integrated workouts and iFit technology, which provides on-demand workout sessions that complement your goals. 

With a heavy flywheel, oversized cushioned pedals, and dual handlebars—you’ll get the full-body workout you want without sacrificing comfort.

Not only is its space-saving design perfect for home gyms, but the 10-year warranty on the frame and reasonable price also makes this one of our favorites.

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