Keiser M5 Strider Review: The Compact Pro Elliptical
Among the best elliptical machines on the market, no self-respecting performance facility is complete without Keiser equipment. Keiser has influenced the industry and its athletes for almost 40 years. Its equipment always has human performance as its priority, combining both components of human performance; the force you produce and the speed in which you produce it.
More than 80% of the top professional sports teams in the world train with Keiser machines. The Navy Seals, NASA, medical experts and major gym chains such as LA fitness all choose Keiser as their fitness machines. This is in part due to their excellent customer support.
Keiser include a large range of commercial and home use machines, as well as fitness testing equipment and stretching machines. They are always on the cutting edge of technology and have been involved in 80 peer-reviewed and published research studies on strength training.
The M range uses an advanced type of magnetic resistance to give an ultra-smooth ride. Usually companies promote the smoothness of its machines but once you start some serious hard work on it they become fragile and move around, the M range has without a doubt the smoothest elliptical you will ever try, the Strider.
The M5 Strider is a commercial grade machine that has such a small footprint that it works perfectly at home, it’s easy to use whilst being small and portable. The previous model the M3i Indoor Cycle was hugely successful, yet there was further demand for an upgrade with recent innovation in technology.
Bluetooth Compatible Update
Although Keiser machines are not known to be very hi-tech, as they focus on just giving you all the performance information you need rather than entertainment. This model does come with Bluetooth compatibility, with which you can connect to smartphone apps such as Keiser M Series, GOInd, Ride Buddy Buckets, Impowered BeTested and Impowered BeTrained. The Keiser M Series app is a free app that allows you to further track the data from your session and even export that data to systems such as Garmin.
Pro Performance By Design
The resistance is controlled by a simple lever below the small display, this gives you up to 24 levels of resistance and a very simple to use emergency stop. This stops the problem of trying to take your feet off the pedals whilst the wheel is turning fast. The small display unit gives you all relevant performance information such as time, speed, watts, distance and even connect to heart rate monitors to show BPM’s on the display. If you are familiar with their stationary bikes you will see that all the systems work the same way.
This is a lightweight machine at just 131 lbs, perfect for those who want to move a machine around the home or wheel it in and out of a closet. A closet that it could easily fit into as the length of the machine is only 49” and at a width of 22.5”, the height of the machine is also just 63.5”.
Don’t be fooled by its small structure, it is also one of the most durable home fitness machines on the market. It was originally designed for large chain gyms and athletes, even with repeated hard use this will easily last a lifetime.
The M5 does come with a few home comforts, it includes a water bottle holder, accessories tray, padded moving handlebars as well as dual placement stationary handlebars. There is a non-slip belt over the near central flywheel that also includes non-wear magnetic resistance, ensure a smooth and soundless ride.
Keiser M5 Elliptical Cross-Trainer FAQ’s
Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions about the Keiser M5 elliptical machine:
How is this M5 different to the Keiser Bike?
The Keiser bike is similar in looks, the display and lever systems are the same. But the Strider is a standing position rather than seated and has the use of the handlebars to work the upper body, if overall fitness or weight loss is your goal it’s better to go with the strider as you will use more muscle groups and expend more energy,
What is the benefits of the M5 compared to other ellipticals?
The main benefit is the footprint, you will be able to place two M5’s back to back using the same footprint as just one other popular brand name elliptical machine.
How is the stride affected because of the small footprint?
The stride is quite different to your typical elliptical, there is more of an upright vertical climb feel, almost like a step-up position. It’s a position I find more comfortable and effective, it allows you to power your legs a little more and hits the glutes that much more.
Dennis Keiser at FIBO 2014 [Video]
What is the Max User Weight?
The weight limit is 350lbs.
What is the Max User Height?
The max user height is 6’10.
Can you train with heart rate on the M5 Strider?
Yes, this model has connectivity to its display for most common heart rate monitors but they do recommend using Polar brands.
What is the Warranty like?
This model has 3 years’ all-inclusive warranty, excluding labor and parts and 6 months on wearable parts.
Does it require assembly?
This machine will be delivered partially assembled, Amazon do give you the option of assembly. But it’s quite a simple design as does not take too much time.
Is the working position comfortable?
The Strider is designed to work with the natural movements of your body, you will find the position extremely comfortable. The wheel is smooth and the frame is sturdy adding even more comfort to your ride.
Is it stable even with heavy users?
If you are heavy and looking for a good home fitness cardio machine, this would be a perfect option for you. At full speed, you won’t even feel a wobble.
Is there much maintenance?
This machine is virtually maintenance free, at some point you may have to change the computer batteries.
Is the machine really that quiet?
The M5 Strider is a whisper quiet machine, even when braking at high speeds the magnetic resistance ensures silence throughout your ride. This makes the M5 a great option for home use if you’re training before or after the rest of your household is sleeping.
Is the short stride length still effective for tall users?
What the short stride length loses in distance it gains in height, this allows for a stride length designed to be optimal for all heights of user.
How does it look?
In my opinion its compact size, cool silver flywheel and simple design makes this one of my favorite looking home exercise machines. The design makes this feel at home at any sports facility in the world.
I have sore knees is there much impact?
Ellipticals in general are low impact machines, the M5 is no different but it does follow a slightly more vertical path than a traditional elliptical.
Is The Keiser M5 adjustable?
Yes, the Keiser M5 Strider can be adjusted to the comfort of the user. The footpad is also oversized which helps you adjust your ride further.
Is it easy to change the resistance?
The easy access resistance level is perfectly placed to be accessible at any time, the very slightest of touches adjusts the resistance to almost unlimited levels.
What does the Keiser M5 computer display show?
RPM (Revolutions Per Minute), Power Output Displays in Watts, Heart Rate, Resistance (1-24), Striding Time, Odometer/Trip Distance. This machine is also Bluetooth compatible, allowing you to track further date through apps on your smartphone.
So, what’s the verdict?
The Keiser M5 Strider is an exceptionally good machine, it blends performance and space saving perfectly. The small footprint and lightness of this machine makes this one of the top purchases for a home gym in all categories.
If you own a small gym or studio this is a perfect addition to make sure you have no wasted space, you can even create a group training class based solely on these machines if you purchase a few without giving up too much precious space. For those who want long slow training sessions you may need to add a tablet holder as the M5 lacks access to internet browsers and video, but honestly to get the most out of the M5 use it for high intensity sessions.
If you’re an advanced trainer or athlete the lack of entertainment shouldn’t be an issue, this machine is utilized by Olympians, Pro Footballers, Pro Soccer Players and just about every other professional sport in the world. For those purchasing this equipment, you will no doubt be amazed by its incredible quality of build and its value for money.
Beginners can also enjoy the Strider as it’s extremely easy to use, there are no complicated displays or gears and the step-up height is very low. Once you get used to the resistance lever the machine will do the rest.
With performance, space saving and futuristic looks the M5 Strider is the perfect addition to any home gym and it's my top recommendation for best elliptical machine for those who really want to challenge themselves. If you own a home gym and take pride in how that gym looks you really won’t get a more aesthetically pleasing machine.