It's not rocket science, but...
One thing that you may not be aware of, is that regardless of where you purchase your elliptical trainer, you will need to put the thing together yourself. Some merchants provide in-home assembly for an additional charge, but in most cases it's just you and a packet full of nuts and bolts.
No need to get too stressed out about it though. If you have any experience at all with a screw driver and putting together assemble-it-yourself furniture you should be fine. The most difficult part is typically lugging the box from your front porch to the room where you will assemble it. Remember, the better the elliptical trainer, the heavier it is going to be.
Some folks complain about certain trainers being too heavy and the unpleasant experience they had moving it. This really isn't a valid complaint since the extra heft is what you should expect in a good machine. So be sure that you have someone help you move it.
There's no sense in injuring yourself attempting to move your ticket to better health and fitness!
Be prepared in case there are some surprises
In most cases the assembly of your new elliptical trainer should go forward without too many hitches. On occasion you may encounter missing hardware or damaged parts. It's very important to inspect the box and it's contents immediately after delivery to determine if there is any damage. Contact the shipping company if you suspect the damage occurred during shipment.
If there are damaged pieces that appear to have been shipped from the manufacturer that way, then contact the manufacturer either by the phone number provided in the instructions or via email from their Web site.
Many of the higher-end elliptical trainers come shipped within a wooded frame around the components of the machine. You will need to unscrew the wooden pieces of the shipping frame to get at the parts. It may help to have extra tools handy to assist with this process.
If there is any missing hardware such as nuts and bolts you should also contact the manufacturer. However, in the mean time a little improvisation can probably get you by. You may have equivalent parts in your workshop or can find them at your local hardware store. Just be certain that any replacements are an equivalent substitution for the original part - you don't want to risk damage to the elliptical trainer or worse, injury, by using an inappropriate part! Also keep in mind that you will probably void the manufacturer's warranty by using substitute parts. So be sure to get replacements and install them once they arrive.
In case your elliptical trainer shipped without the assembly instructions or manual, you can usually download the manual from the manufacturer's Web site.
The right tools for the job
Most all elliptical trainers, regardless of price, come with the necessary tools for assembly. In many instances this is just a hex wrench in the shape of a screw driver to tighten the screws and bolts. Sometimes a ratchet set can come in handy to tighten nuts.
It helps to have help
As mentioned above, having help in moving the elliptical trainer box is a good idea. The heaviest part of an elliptical trainer is its drive assembly. It's heavy because it contains the flywheel. Depending on the design of the elliptical trainer, it may be necessary to have someone hold up the drive assembly while the other attaches it to the frame.
Be prepared to spend around an hour putting your elliptical trainer together. You may do it in less time or it may take you longer. The important thing is to take your time and do a quality job.
Hire out the dirty work
As mentioned above, some merchants provide in-home assembly of the elliptical trainers they sell for an additional fee. The other alternative is to enlist the services of an exercise equipment assembly company. Check your local phone book or the Web to find equipment assembly companies near you.
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