Please read this review before making a decision!

Jun 15, 2003 (Updated Jun 18, 2003)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:None - cannot hold a candle to better products at comparable price.

Cons:Very short stride, expensive for the number of features.

The Bottom Line: Avoid; inferior to other equipment in the same price range or cheaper (Schwinn 427p, Vision Fitness 6100)

I am not a conspiracy theorist, but the story of this product makes me very suspicious of the origin of all the positive information about it. Just like everybody else on this thread, I read glowing reviews of this product generously sprinkled all over the WEB. The overwhelming body of positive evidence was such that I was almost ready to buy this product before actually testing it in a store.

Luckily, I stumbled upon a WEB page that revealed the fact that this product is an identical twin of Kettler CTR1. Kettler has a network of dealers in the US, a couple in my area, and I was able to try it out, and boy am I glad I did!

The owner of the store has summed up my impression of this product very succinctly: "I have been carrying this piece for several years now - and I have yet to sell one", he said.

It's not that this product is so very bad; no, there is nothing strikingly wrong with it; with the exception of an extremely short stride (14"), which makes it feel more like a stepper - and please keep in mind that I am no giant, only 5'9" tall. The whole point of having elliptical machine is almost eliminated. Other than that, it is a reasonably nice piece of equipment.

What is pretty unbelievable is the boldness of the claims of Smooth CE peddlers about the fact that this is the best value for money, and no such machine can be found in its price range. These claims are simply very untrue.

To this reviewer's taste, at least two machines in the same price range appear significantly better deals:

1) Schwinn Elite Elliptical 427p - absolute best buy in my book at $1,299 (could be found in several places, e.g.

2) Vision Fitness 6100 - at $1,299 as well; found at my local dealer Fitness Resource.

Both beat the pants off of Kettler CTR1 / Smooth CE. The stride on Schwinn is 19.5", to begin with; on Vision Fitness - 18"! And on feature by feature comparison - both machines are better than Smooth/Kettler; not even speaking of the difference in feeling - Smooth/Kettler is by far the least solid and least comfortable machine of all three.

Just look at the facts:
- Kettler CTR1 evidently is not such a hot seller
- Kettler CTR is renamed into Smooth CE, very positive information is disseminated about it on the Internet
- Smooth CE is being sold on the Internet only; once you get it in the mail chances are you will put up with its shortcomings rather than face the hassle and expense of shipping it back.

As far as I am concerned - something is fishy.

My advise - bypass this inferior machine, go for the better deals.

NB. I am a real person, not associated with the industry in any way; just felt sorry for the other folks, who could multiply the numbers of the victims of this scheme, as I almost did.

*** In response to a comment:

My contention was that despite the claims of the proponents of this piece, there are other, possibly better, elliptical trainers out there in the same price range, the ones you can try out for that matter.

Everybody's tastes are different, and it is a potentially costly endeavor to buy such an expensive piece over the WEB, without ever trying it in a store and totally relying on other people's (including promoters') opinions. I would advise folks to contact for the location of the nearest dealer, and try Kettler CTR1/Smooth CE out before buying.

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