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Horizon Fitness EX-79-2 Elliptical Trainer Review


Horizon Fitness EX-72-2 Rider

If you are looking for an elliptical trainer on a budget, $1000 gets you into the territory of good quality gear that will last.  This is the minimum I would look to spend on a trainer, and in this post we are going to look at the new Horizon Fitness EX-79-2.  The old version was very popular and won award after award for its reliability and quality.

Horizon are relative latecomers to the Elliptical market, a few years ago no one was interested in their machines.  This all changed when Horizon went back to the drawing board with their design philosophy.  They went away and studied exactly what users were wanting from their machines and came up with 6 design philosophies that have been implemented across their range.

Combined these 6 elements combine to give the smoothest most natural elliptical feel in the market.

So does this work, and what are the differences between the EX-79-2 and the older EX-79?

Read our full review of the Horizon EX-79-2 Elliptical Trainer

  • Our Analysis
  • Comparison: $1000 Ellipticals
  • Video


One of the 6 design elements is the stride length.  A minimum of 18″ is required to ensure a comfortable ride for most users.  The EX-79-2 goes further with a 20″ stride.  Although not adjustable this gives a good amount of space for training and even taller riders won’t feel cramped.

The long stride length is complimented with a surprisingly high flywheel weight.  Again identified as part of the revised design philosophy, the heavier the flywheel then the smoother the elliptical motion.  The fly wheel will ‘carry’ the pedals over the top of the stride without that jerkiness of lighter models.

Connecting it all together is an oversized pulley system.  This acts to space out the motion, again minumising the jerkyness.An 18” stride length is common for many ellipticals in this price range. The EX-69-2, however, has a stride of 20” that is both very natural and smooth in motion. This smoothness and comfort is further enhanced by the 17.6 lb flywheel and large drive pulley system.

Ride Position

There are two options with the Horizon 79-2, you can hold the moving handles, and use your arms to push the elliptical motion.  Alternatively there are fixed handles under the console that have builtin heart rate sensors.

I usually use the fixed handles if I need to adjust a setting or grab some water, it makes me more balanced and feels safer.

Either way both positions are comfortable and give good posture, with a good upright stance.


Another of the basic design principals is to make this elliptical easy to get onto.  Being front drive there is no bulky frame to climb over, Horizon have designed the pedals to be no more than 10″ high.  This makes getting on and off really easy, it also means that the elliptical is sutible for use in lower ceiling rooms.

Console and Programs

Horizon Fitness EX-79-2 ConsoleSo far I have not really talked about the difference between this and the old model.  The console is one of the main changes.

The old model had a slightly old fashioned LED display, it looked cluttered and was limited in the amount of information that could be displayed.  You had to scroll through menus to change from Heart Rate to RPM for example.

For 2014 Horizon have radically updated the display, now it features a bright blue screen that shows everything you need at a glance, workout progress is shown by a running track, heart rate, incline, speed are always visible and there are options to see watts, RPM, fan speed etc.

Horizon have packed this elliptical with programs.  A personal favourite of mine is the 1-30 day goal challenge designed to help motivate you to meet you goals, such as weight loss or distance in a set period.

All in all there are 11 programs, that allow for hill climbs, cardio burn etc.  In addition you can set your own programs and store a couple in the memory.

Other Features

Most Elliptical Trainers are equipped with speakers and a fan.  nine time out of ten these are junk.  However the Horizon is one of the few where these are actually decent.  The speakers are powerful enough to make the music sound good as you work out, and the fan delivers enough air to keep you cool.

There is also a slot to hold you iPhone/MP3, and a good sized cup holder on the frame.


The warranty reflects the overall quality of this machine:

  • Frame and Brake Warranty: Lifetime
  • Parts Warranty: 2 years
  • In-Home Labor: 1 year


  • Dimensions: 73 by 22 by 65 inches
  • Machine Weight: 182 pounds
  • Maximum User Weight: 325 lbs

User Reviews

Horizon have done a good job making a quality all round elliptical for under $1000.  This is reflected in the positive reviews.  Users like the quiet drive, and the solid feel.  Many users are on their machine 4-5 times a week and it takes the strain without fault.

One downside is that it does require some home assembly.  If you are good with your hands this should take about 2 hours.

Click here to read more pros and cons >>> Horizon Fitness EX-79-2 Elliptical Trainer Reviews

ModelHorizon Fitness EX-59-2Nautilus E614 EllipticalBest Fitness E1 EllipticalSchwinn 470 EllipticalProform 110E Elliptical
RatingBest BuyRunner Up ReccommendedReccommendedReccommended
ReviewHorizon Fitness EX-79-2 Elliptical ReviewNautilus U614 Elliptical Trainer ReviewBest Fitness E1 ReviewSchwinn 470 Elliptical Machine ReviewProForm 1110 E Elliptical Trainer
MotionArms / LegsArms / LegsArms / LegsArms / LegsArms / Legs
Flywheel18lbs25 lbs18lbs
Incline20 Levels / Powered20 Levels / PoweredNo15 Levels / Manual5 Levels / Manual
Heart RateSensorSensorSensorSensor + ChestSensor
DisplayRed LedDual Track LCD display6.5" Blue LCDBlue LCDGreen LED
Size (L x W x H) Inches73 x 22 x 6568 x 30 x 17.748 x 30 x 6626 x 70 x6875 x 24 x 66
Weight Lbs177198215215208
Warrenty: FrameLifetimeLifetime15 years5 YearsLifetime
Motor2 years3 years10 years1 yearLifetime
Parts1 year1 year1 year1 year1 year
Labour1 year1 year1 year3 months1 year
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Where to buy the Horison EX-79 for the best price?

We have done a little leg work for you.  If you want to buy on line, with the convenience of sitting at home and having the unit delivered for free then there are two good options.  We love the service from Amazon, where this is available for about $1000, including free delivery.

The alternative is going straight to the manufacturer, where the EX79 is again available for $999 and with free delivery and 18 months no interest finance.  Click Here to buy from Horizon

Any Issues and Summary

Not really, this is a solid, well made machine from one of the most reliable manufacturers there is.  If you want something a little more flash looking then there is the option of the Nautilus E616 Elliptical Trainer.  This is from the same manufacturer and costs a little more.  All in all we think the Horizon Fitness EX-79-2 is one of the best Elliptical Trainers for under $1000.

Horizon Fitness EX-69-2 Elliptical Trainer Review Summary:

  • SixStar Certified platform, low 10-inch sure step step-on height, cool fit fitness fan
  • 14.3-pound flywheel, magnetic brake resistance, 1-20 electronic resistance range
  • 20-inch FLATellipse foot path, oversized footpad with traction edges, 300-pound user capacity
  • 10 program options, Goal Center workout tracking, contact grips, sonic speakers with MP3 input and headphone output
  • 300 pounds user capacity, Lifetime warranty for frame and brake, 1-year for parts and labor