I purchased this for my personal gym after carefully considering the options, including Chinese imports on eBay at half the price which, on afterthought, may be well worth looking at as an alternative.
This machine loses points from me for lack of customer support by Body-Solid (no reply to email enquiry about concerns); failure to supply the machine with necessary safety equipment (retaining collar for weights and clear operating instructions); unsafe design on the cam adjustment (guaranteed to pinch a user's flesh); rough machining on moving lock pins, making them difficult to operate; and finally a fancy name sticker that says "Bo -Sol" because of a flaw in the manufacture.
In the UK, the lack of a collar for the weights may make the unit unfit for purpose under consumer regulations -- ensure that your supplier provides a collar with the unit and with the Olympic adapter if you order this as well.
This machine is built solidly with good quality cushions and a well-aligned frame with good quality fasteners. It assembled quickly and easily for the most part. In use it is smooth and has enough adjustment for most people to use it comfortably. It can be sufficiently loaded with weights for all but the most serious lifters.
Unfortunately, for the cost, there are too many cons on this machine to make it a clear winner over competitors. This is not a commercial grade machine although Body-Solid claims that it is. Anyone who has worked with commercial grade leg extension/leg curl machines will know this immediately. It has too many short cuts in design and manufacturing to make it a suitable commercial machine.
Safety -- The machine was delivered with a full sheet of paper warning that it is not safe to use without a collar for the weight plates and, indeed, the plates will walk right off the shaft in use without a collar. It advises that the consumber contact Body-Solid to order the collar! The machine uses a simple, spring-loaded knob to release the cam rather than a lever/handle. This knob could have been designed with a chamfer or space to reduce the chance of pinching, but it does not and because the user must reach around the pinch point to withdraw the knob, the new, inattentive, or weak user will more than likely end up with a blister after being pinched. Finally, the machine ships with pooly duplicated sheets of loose paper to outline assembly with a line drawing showing configuration for extensions and curls. There are no instructions for proper use or adjustment by users. A commercial machine simply must have this.
Quality -- The machine is let down on the finer points by the previously mentioned adjustment knob, which, like the retaining pins for the seat back and leg cushions, has not been polished after the lathe work resulting in very rough metal to metal surfaces that are difficult for users to operate, particularly in the case of the leg cushion which requires reaching over or under the cushion to release the pin. Some users will find this difficult and it could have been easily improved by the usual polishing of a shaft after it comes off the lathe. The unit was delivered with an Allen screw missing from the cam/weight plate pivot point. The screw was found floating around the bottom of the burst shipping carton.
In Use -- Because of the design, the resistance does not begin until the extension/curl is well advanced. This could have been improved by better design of the rest point for the weight plates, which begin perpendicular to the machine rather than a few degrees in the direction of the intended exercise.
Customer Support -- I took the time to write to Body-Solid's sales support on their website, but did not receive the courtesy of a reply. This suggests to me that if I cannot expect quality in the manufature, safety in the design, and contact from the maker/seller, then I might have been just as well off buying a cheaper version at half the price from eBay.
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