The AFG 3.1 AE has been likened to $2,500+ ellipticals – primarily by the popular consumer magazine, Consumer Reports – thanks to its construction quality, performance and wide range of features. Yet it retails for around $1,000, making it very good value for money.
SIXstar Certification (Comfort)
The first thing to mention is the AFG 3.1 AE SIXstar Certification. This “unique combination of the six key elements needed to deliver the most natural elliptical feel available” is usually found on high-end ellipticals such as LiveStrong models. Therefore, it comes as no surprise to learn that the AFG has been likened to some of the most expensive ellipticals on the market.
To put it simply, SIXstar Certification focuses on all areas that impact the feel and comfort of an elliptical, including its drive mechanism (results in a very smooth, efficient motion); access (easier to step on and off the machine); pedal placement (zero placement between the pedals to eliminate stress on the hips and back); foot path (mimics a natural walking or running motion); handlebar spacing (ideal reach and distance for both smaller and larger users); and body positioning (body is kept upright for maximum comfort).
The primary reason for the way in which the AFG 3.1 AE is able to mimic a person’s natural walking or running motion so accurately is down to the machine’s heavy flywheel. The flywheel weighs 23 lbs, which also has the knock-on effect of ensuring that the elliptical is very sturdy and will never wobble froms side to side as you workout.
The stride length measure 20 inches, ensuring that the AFG is a very versatile machine whereby even the tallest of individuals can comfortably work out.
It’s actually somewhat surprising to find a 20-inch elliptical that retails for $1,000, even with all the technological advancements that have been made in regards to exercise equipment. Therefore, hats off to AFG for this. As mentioned, the stride motion is smooth and natural, thanks to the heavy flywheel and machine’s drive mechanism.
The AFG 3.1 AE offers a generous number of resistance levels. In total, there are 20 resistance levels to choose from, making the AFG 3.1 AE suitable for both out of shape and tip top shape individuals. It’s also worth noting that the incline range can be adjusted in 5% increments, so you should always be able to find a resistance level that is right for your fitness level.
There are 10 workout programs to choose from, which is a bit of a surprise considering the number of resistance levels and other technological features. However, the 10 workout programs, which include Manual, Intervals, Weight Loss, Constant Watts, Muscle Toner, Reverse Train, Oregon Trail, THR Zone, Customer 1 & 2 programs – are all well-designed and should suffice for most, particularly as you are also given the option to customize your workout to your liking.
The AFG provides you with feedback on everything that you would expect, including time, calroies, watts and distance. Thankfully, all of the readings are accurate, which isn’t always the case with ellipticals. There are 2 LED feedback windows, complete with a 16-digit alphanumeric display, making the computer monitor easy to read. Always a plus when working out.
You are also able to wirelessly measure your pulse -i.e. there is no need to keep your hands on the handlebar to obain a reading, although this option is also available, thanks to the inclusion of a Polar receiver and chest strap. This also means that you can work out in your target heartrate range.
The proFILE performance tracking technology should also not be overlooked, as it allows 2 users to monitor and evaluate a variety of workout statistics, instead of just one.
In spite of its low price, AFG clearly believe that they are offering a reliable, high quality elliptical, judging by the warranty. The AFG 3.1 AE frame is backed by a lifetime warranty, the parts for 3 years, and labor for 1 year.
76 x 24 x 67 inches
AFG 3.1 AE User Reviews
Besides a couple of users who had issues with the machine making a creaking sound and some durability issues, the general consensus is that the AFG 3.1 is an excellent elliptical and offers very good value for money. For example, users have pointed to Consumer Reports having likened the machine to ellipticals that retail for $2,500+ and the fact that the elliptical performs similarly to commercial grade gym models.
Users have also praised the included assembly instructions, the machine’s sturdiness and overall build quality, the smoothness of the stride motion, as well as the range of included features.
Click here to read more pros and cons >>> AFG 3.1 AE Reviews
It seems that those two users were unlucky, as everyone else have only had very good things to say about the 3.1 AE construction quality and durability. However, a few more programs and higher quality speakers would have been welcome additions. The assembly process may also take you a few hours, although this is the norm for higher-end exercise equipment.
Anything Else You Should Know?
The maximum user weight capacity of the AFG 3.1 AE stands at 325 pounds. There is also a built-in speaker system that is compatible with any MP3 device, including iPod. You can also choose to listen to music through headphones.
To sum up, as one user puts it, “As close as commercial grade gym equipment as you will find in this price range.”