It’s great to do your research on products, just be sure to note that you can go to five different sites and get five different answers. You'll find a lot of conflicting reviews out there for many reasons. Wholesale relationships, consumer bias, and even location can alter perception of each individual piece of cardio equipment. Not to mention these days anyone can review what they want on the internet, meaning the speaking platform has shifted from experts to anyone who has access to the internet. One thing that you will find is low-end brands being given high ratings, if it's found in a department store of any kind or featured in infomercials, it definitely isn’t a product worth investing in.
Manufacturers typically make different equipment for different stores. Rarely is department store quality equipment in fitness specialty stores. You may pay a little bit more from a fitness specialty retailer, but it will feature far superior build quality, a more solid feel, and higher reliability. These things will add up to a superior workout experience and increased longevity. Department stores also rely on contractors to perform any services or warranty requests, potentially leaving you in limbo if the department store drops the product line or goes out of business.
Be wary of retailers advertising seemingly massive discount prices on relatively new equipment. Department and chain stores purchase low quality items in massive numbers at lower retailer costs. When they advertise an unrealistic regular price that doesn't reflect their true costs it allows them to portray artificial discounts. In this case it's likely that you aren't getting a deal, but falling prey to a common marketing scheme.
Who does the equipment supplier use for service? Do they contract someone out or do they have there own in house service? Can they come to you or do you have to drop it off? Do they handle warranty issues for you or do they leave you to deal with the manufacturer? These things are important things to note because if a supplier utilizes contractors they may not take responsibility if you aren’t happy with the service. In-house technician services are important and will save you from headaches and unnecessary costs if anything goes sideways with your equipment.
Is delivery and set-up available or does the company just leave it in your driveway? Having professionals move your heavy equipment, assemble it properly and make sure it’s safe and ready for use is important. Most cardio equipment requires initial fine tuning to be set-up for optimal performance and prevent early repairs. Most manufacturers will not warranty products until they are assembled and working, potentially leaving you on the hook for any problems that arise beforehand during installation.
Often a customer will visit one of our locations looking for a certain type of equipment and they've talked their situation with our experts they realize it isn't the right piece for them. Talking things over with an industry expert can help you decide on a piece of cardio equipment that works for you and will continue to work for you in the future. They can help you make sense of the seemingly endless array of features and warranty caveats, narrowing down the list to those that serve your purposes.