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Front Drive Vs Rear Drive Elliptical – Detailed Comparison

Elliptical machines generally come in 2 kinds grounded on where the flywheel is located- frontal drive and hinder drive, although there’s a 3rd, less common type known as center drive. 

This system for categorization can be accessible when it comes to grouping ellipticals, but should it be used alone as a decision-making factor? And while it’s each group shares certain traits, and there is still a plenitude of differences between ellipticals in each order that should be considered when looking for a new model.

Front Drive Vs Rear Drive Elliptical

Two types of ellipticals that constantly appear in marketable gymnasiums are front-drive ellipticals and rear-drive ellipticals. Whilst the construction of both are veritably analogous, the one thing that differentiates them is the position of the flywheel on the design.

This article will discuss the main differences between front-drive and rear-drive ellipticals. We’ll also see if the flywheel’s location significantly affects the overall scheme of things. Because they’re easy to use and affordable, ellipticals are a popular choice in home gyms.

Front Drive Vs Rear Drive Elliptical Machine

Front Drive Ellipticals

Front Drive Elliptical

Front-drive elliptical trainers feature the flywheel at the front of the machine. This allows the user experience a perpendicular stir range that nearly mimics the stir of walking off a stair rambler. The front-drive name refers to the position of the flywheel and not the direction you can move on the machine. You’ll be suitable to pedal both forwards and backward on a front-drive elliptical.

Front-drive ellipticals are generally a lot further compact than other elliptical machines because the flywheel is incorporated into the design underneath the bars and the display screen. This is why they’re popular with at-home gymnasiums because they don’t take up important space.

Also, there are many different front-drive versions, and they all have a fairly similar appearance and feel. The most affordable variants are nearly entirely rear-wheel driven. Their lower production costs and smaller dimensions make selling them simpler.

  • Less precious (generally).
  • More compatible.
  • More grade possibilities.
  • Can be noisier.
  • May bear further conservation.

Rear Drive Elliptical

Rear Drive Elliptical

A rear-drive elliptical trainer features the motor/ flywheel at the reverse or reverse of the unit, and the pedal movement is veritably natural and mimics the smooth stir of walking or running typically. The rear-drive elliptical is one of the oldest designs and was monstrously popular when it surfaced on the scene in the 90s.

A hinder drive elliptical design is simple enough and requires a slightly more corridor space than a frontal drive unit. Thus, being less prone to breakdown and incurring smaller costs to repair these problems. As there are smaller moving corridors, it also means that the elliptical is lower noisy. But this isn’t a huge factor as ellipticals don’t tend to be the noisiest of machines, especially because they’re low impact.

  • Promotes better posture.
  • Mimics stir of walking or running.
  • Lower conservation needed.
  • The smoother feeling when working out.
  • Not veritably noisy.
  • More precious than frontal drive ellipticals.

Front Drive VS Rear Drive Elliptical

Elliptical machines have become popular for home gymnasiums because they’re generally comfortable to use and have become decreasingly affordable. Over time, as the outfit has grown in fashionability, units have become more affordable and people have sought to acquire one to keep in their own homes in relief for running outdoors in the rain or paying for a spa class.

Ellipticals are low-impact machines and won’t beget common discomfort like running on hard shells, but they will still be suitable to give you an effective drill. Elliptical machines are also great for anyone who’s recovering from knee injuries. They will allow you to strengthen your muscles and make your stamina without putting too important strain or stress on areas of your body. 

An elliptical machine can also offer a total body drill if you choose to use the handles on the machine correctly. So It’ll be suitable to strengthen and work your arms, back, and chest. 

Some of the top elliptical brands offer both a frontal drive and hinder drive elliptical, with some designs and settings differing between them. So if you’re considering buying one of these but you are undecided about which type of elliptical to go for. Also, hopefully, our overviews and comparisons of both types will help you to come to a decision. And when it comes to home fitness outfits, being comfortable and affordable goes a long way.

Ellipticals were designed to give a means of exercise that mimicked the sense of jogging but without the unwanted common discomfort. Along the road, center drive ellipticals also surfaced. These machines tend to bring further, but they do have their advantages. Similar to lower vestiges and longer stride lengths. Center drive ellipticals aren’t that common yet. These days there is a plenitude of quality ellipticals to choose from in each order.


Front Drive VS Rear Drive Elliptical - Flywheel

The significant differences between front-drive machines and rear-drive ellipticals are just the location of the flywheels, the element that provides resistance and nonstop stir to your drill. As you might imagine, front-drive ellipticals have a flywheel located at the front of the machine, while rear-drive ellipticals have their flywheels deposited in the reverse. 

The result of this difference is not huge, but it impacts the size of the machine and how it looks. Front-drive machines are more compact, whereas rear-drive ellipticals tend to be largish.

Also, because front-drive flywheels are in front of your bases, you will not have as long of a stride length as a rear-drive model. This can make the machine slightly awkward to use and increase the literacy wind a bit.

Incline Settings

Front-drive ellipticals generally have advanced grade settings than rear-drive ellipticals. This means that you might be suitable to get a more violent drill with a front drive than with a reverse, giving you a lesser chance of burning further calories and losing weight. Still, numerous people prefer rear-drive models because of the flat grade. It feels like running outdoors and requires a more natural movement pattern to operate correctly.


Front-drive ellipticals are known to have further small corridors than rear-drive ellipticals. This can make conservation a bit of a hassle. You might need to replace further corridors if the machine breaks down, and more constantly at that.


In terms of the original cost, front-drive ellipticals are nearly always cheaper than rear-drive ellipticals. Their compact size contributes to this, making it cheaper to produce them on a marketable scale. Still, front-drive ellipticals bear further conservation. 

This can increase the overall cost you might endure in the long run due to breakdowns or part reserves. Rear drive ellipticals have far smaller moving corridors, making them less likely to break down, also driving prices for their corridor down.


What’s Center Drive Elliptical?

CENTER DRIVE – flywheel located centrally on either side of the pedals, same balance benefits of rear-drive, generally more precious than front/ reverse, frequently quieter smoother, tend to have lower footmark than either of the others newest technology.


The elliptical trainer you choose is eventually a matter of what feels stylish for you. You must consider various factors, including your stride length, the type of drill you want, and the quantum of space you have to house the machine. Before buying your elliptical, the stylish idea is to try out various styles and determine which is stylish and suits your requirements. 

Also, whether it’s front or rear drive ellipticals, you’ll be sure you’re getting a smooth lift and a great intense workout every time. In the front-drive vs. rear-drive units debate, the winner is the elliptical trainer that feels right for you. No one can tell which is better between front drive ellipticals and rear drive ellipticals.

Matthew Fletcher

Matthew Fletcher

Matthew is a fully qualified fitness trainer specializing in weight management and strength training. He is a certified trainer with more than 15 years of training experience. He uses his technical know-how's with his passion for fitness to provide thoughtful curation of objective exercise equipment reviews. His insightful reviews will help you find the best fitness product for the price.

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