Keiser M5i Strider Elliptical Review From A Group Instructor

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By Robbie Ferri, Personal Trainer & Group Exercise Instructor.

Keiser is an incredible supplier of sports and cardiovascular exercise equipment. One of their most popular products is the Keiser M3i, an exercise bike of amazing quality and function. What many people don’t know is they even make elliptical trainers, and they are very special. In this article, we will be speaking about the Keiser M5i and telling you all about it, so you know where to go when you’re in the market for a new trainer.

What I like, and what could be better?

To start, let’s summarise what we thought about the Keiser M5i overall. Then later in this article, we will expand on these points, so you get a very good understanding of the elliptical trainer.

Things I liked:

  • Looks Incredible 
  • Quality is outstanding
  • We love the accurate data monitor
  • Keiser Application is great
  • Magnetic Resistance System
  • Incredible all body workout

Things To Consider:

  • Not the Cheapest
  • I would love more on the application

Keiser M5 vs. Keiser M5i

The Keiser M5 and M5i are very similar bikes, in fact, pretty much identical. The only difference being is the M5i comes with a Bluetooth connection and a media tray, so you are able to mount a tablet on the top. Aside from this, it is exactly the same. Is it worth the extra money? Yes, we believe so. With lots of applications to connect to and the ability to track your fitness via their own Keiser application, it is ideal. We believe elliptical training is starting to move in the direction spinning did, and having Bluetooth will futureproof it for new applications.

keiser m5i review

The Big Picture

The best way to understand the Keiser M5i is to break it down and tell you all about the elliptical in detail, so you know what to expect if you come to purchase one.

Whos it for?

The unit itself is 66” tall, 23” wide, and 51” in length. As far as elliptical trainers go, it’s very small, and even the stride length doesn’t take much space either. It can work for users from 4ft 10”, to 6ft 10” and has a maximum weight limit of 350lbs. It has an incredible user range, and we don’t often see this on trainers with such excellent specifications.

Connectivity and Applications

The i in M5i stands for intelligent. This elliptical trainer has a Bluetooth function which is excellent. Keiser has their own application, and it is very good. It helps you track all your workouts, and you can use it in real-time while on the trainer. There are many other applications on the market now which work with elliptical trainers and a lot of classes to follow

Construction Quality

Keiser makes incredible products that boast exceptional quality. They do not outsource their bikes. They are designed and built in the US in their own factory. They are of an excellent standard, and these are bikes designed for gyms that will see constant use throughout the day every day of the week. Even when it comes down to the resistance lever, it moves silky smooth, and everything is just put together so well, even down to the welds.

Resistance 

The resistance on this elliptical trainer works great from anyone who is a beginner all the way to someone who is hyper fit. Unlike many elliptical trainers where you have electric buttons to change resistance, on this bike, you have a lever, and we love this. It makes it really easy to tune in to exactly where you need to be. It even gives you a level on the screen and tells you the power output you create in watts, as a spinning bike would.

Drive System

The elliptical run on a magnetic resistance system and works so efficiently. It uses magnetic to create resistance, which means you don’t need to oil the machine, and it will require little to no maintenance. It’s a very intelligent system and works very well.

Stride and Usability

One thing that makes this elliptical very special is that it doesn’t have a typical elliptical stride length. It’s much shorter, and because of this works with more users and offers the user more of an efficient low impact workout. Trainers that stride pushes you too far forward and puts too much twist on the body. You have two different handle positions, which gives you such an excellent all-body workout. 

Feet Plates and Handles

The Keiser has excellent feet plates that are not too large or too short. They have got the sizes just right, and the grip is excellent while wearing trainers. The handles are very grippy and, over long-term use, don’t seem to wear easily at all while still providing a high level of comfort.

Extra Features

One thing that impressed us with the Keiser M5i is the media tray. With this model, you get a tablet holder for the bars in front so you can watch TV or even run classes to train. It’s an excellent feature but doesn’t come with the standard M5.

Assembly 

The assembly of what looks like a very complicated machine is actually fairly straightforward. We recommend allowing a couple of hours if you are a beginner, and having two of you will help a lot with any lifting. What Keiser has done is not only put it in the manual, but also they have made an excellent video online for you to follow. 

Warranty

The warranty on the Strider is very good. You get 10 years on the frame, 3 years on cylinders, displays, processor boxes, and thumb buttons, 2 years on the compressor and dryer, cables , pulleys, and bearings. Then on top of that, 1 year on the chrome and 90 days on grips and paint.

Common Issues

The trainer is very good and sees very few issues, but one common problem is that you might need to recalibrate it every so often, which is very easy to do and takes no time at all. With bikes as high quality as these, you don’t see a vast amount of issues, and that’s an excellent thing.

Common Alternatives 

Should I go for an Elliptical or a Spinning Bike?

A question that is regularly asked is should you buy a spinning bike or an elliptical trainer, and this is an excellent question. Let’s take the Keiser M5i and pitch it up against the M3i, their spinning bike with similar specifications and in a similar price range.

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Keiser M3i Bike Keiser M3i Bike
4.9

The App takes the cycle to another level, and with compatibility and connectivity, the bike offers all of the latest conveniences the digital age has to offer. 

Which gives a better workout?

They are both very low-impact forms of exercise, and this is ideal for any cardiovascular activities. The elliptical trainer will definitely hit more groups of muscles and takes the award for an all-body workout. The spinning bike will definitely get into your legs more, but as far as the upper body, the workload is minimal, apart from the core and when you are in a standing climb.

Which is more entertaining?

They are both going to be a lot of fun to exercise on as they both have applications that can keep you motivated. With the elliptical, it’s still very limited, and there are not many applications that are going to link into the trainer and give you an amazing experience. When it comes to the bike though, you have much more options for working out and staying entertained. Programs like Zwift and Peloton will keep you going for hours. The spinning bike is by far the more entertaining out of the two.

What can burn the most calories 

When we get a piece of workout equipment, it’s not always about getting strong or fitter. Sometimes it is just about burning a few calories to indulge a little more. They both are going to burn an excellent amount of calories, but as far as intensity goes, you can ramp up the intensity on the bike more than on a cross-trainer, in our opinion.

Which is cheaper?

When it comes to the elliptical trainer and the bike, they are pretty much the same price, but the bike does come with some hidden costs you might want to spend to improve the experience, such as cycling shorts, a fan to keep you cool, cycling shoes and pedals to suit, etc. So overall, the trainer will more than likely be cheaper.

Space and Portability

They both will take up a similar footprint in your house and they will both be as easy as each other to move around on their wheels. We recommend just using a tape measure to ensure you have enough space before you purchase either.

Conclusion

The Keiser M5i is an incredible machine, and we think that elliptical trainers will get very popular soon, like what happened with spinning. You are actually getting elliptical studios now where instead of spinning bikes, you have elliptical trainers, and they run group classes. We love to see that fitness is evolving this way. We think the Keiser is excellent and believe it would make an excellent addition to a home.

Robbie Ferri

A Personal Trainer and Ultra Cyclist living in King's Lynn in Norfolk, UK. From Ultra Cycling World Records to Bikepacking Races and a huge amount of time on the gym floor training myself and clients my experience when it comes to Health and Fitness is vast.

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