Review after two years of use -- you can do better.

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svanscoyoc's review of BH Fitness Khronos Elliptical

★★☆☆☆

“Review after two years of use -- you can do better.”

Written on: 14/11/2013 by svanscoyoc (5 reviews written)

I carefully researched the purchase of this elliptical trainer. It is expensive for a private machine at about £1,000 ($1,600) but it ticked the right boxes. It was not as sophisticated as others on the market and this has come up as a downside. It was delivered, assembled, and setup by the seller so no reason not expect everything to be in good order.

Within thirty days the unit developed problems in the bearings, becoming noisy and rough. A serviceman came onsite to repair it, but it became clear that the bearing cages were broken and little could be done to repair them. He reassembled it and I was told to continue using it. Within another thirty days the unit failed entirely.

BH Fitness sent out a new unit, leaving me to assemble it this time. The unit had a number of damaged items and, since the box was undamaged, it could only be assumed to have happened at the factory. Functionally, everything seemed in good enough order and the machine was nice to use. This machine was and is used for 30-60 minutes daily by my wife and me. The plus side is that the pedals are close together and the stride is long. It is generally quiet in use although there are squeaks and pops from time to time in the bearings. Weaknesses in the machine are it can only use uncoded HR straps and there are no sensors on the moving grips where your hands should be most of the time. The plastic covers on the flywheel are rather flimsy and sometimes rub against the flywheel. The control panel is rudimentary and sluggish to respond to inputs. The display is also fairly rudimentary, but functional and displays the information needed. Entering information can be a bit obtuse as it does not compare with most standard gym equipment. The automatic program for HR is too slow to come up, too fast to come down, and will cut off the machine if HR remains above the limit too long. At the end of any program the machine cuts off sharply rather than a gradual drop in resistance. This can catch the user off guard and throw your balance. The resistance level may not be high enough for fit users. I'm middle aged and fairly fit, but not an athlete. On gym-based machines I'm usually working in the middle somewhere as I am on my TechnoGym machine. On this BH Fitness unit it is not unusual for me to be working at or near the maximum level of 32 for the full workout. On HIT the level of 32 was not enough to do it properly although my TechnoGym equipment was capable of a high enough limit. Something to bear in mind if you are heavy, fit, or both.

Nevertheless, I found the machine fine to use and better than the discounted ones that often end up as drying racks anyway. Everything was not fine however. After less than a year the machine started dropping out, going to zero resistance, and failing to power-up, it is self-powered, at the start. BH Fitness (which is typically slow to respond and even slower to send out parts) decided it was probably the battery and sent one out. This did sort the problem.

Curiously, the manual shows an AC adapter available for this unit and, for many of us, this is sensible approach. BH Fitness said it was not available and could not provide specifications so I could obtain one elsewhere (the power point is on the back of the machine near the floor).

Now, again less than a year after replacing the battery, the machine is showing the same problem. I had a battery in stock and replacing seems to have solved the problem. The concern is that the battery, made by Sunbright Battery, is claimed by the maker as having a 5 year service life, but in this application it looks more like 1 year. A service request has been made with BH Fitness so we'll see where it goes from here.

My overall verdict? Spend a bit more on a better recognised brand or buy a refurbed full-commercial duty machine. The BH Fitness claim to be light commercial isn't justified in my opinion and I do have other light-commeercial equipment that is robust in comparison. This is a heavy duty home machine that is nice to use, good enough from a control perspective, but leaving a bit to be desired in both reliability and support. It may not be suitable for athletes or others who are very fit or heavy.

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Svanscoyoc's Response to svanscoyoc's Review

Written on: 15/11/2013

An update on this sorry saga. While the documents with our machine very clearly say two year warranty, the company, going as BH UK in the UK is saying it is only one year and thus out of warranty. Further, be warned that although it is advertised as light commercial on their website, the documents which come with the unit say it is for home use only.

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