The Horizon Fitness Evolve 5 is one of the best folding elliptical trainers on the market. Here’s a full review of the Evolve 5, including pros, cons, and some alternative folding ellipticals for comparison.
In the market for an elliptical that can be folded up but doesn’t sacrifice features and stability?
The Horizon Fitness Evolve 5 Elliptical is this kind of machine.
It can be folded up from the rear when not in use, cutting its overall footprint by nearly 30”, ideal for smaller spaces and home gyms.
And just because it is a folding elliptical doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice on features. It has a 23lb flywheel, large LCD screen, and tons of resistance levels for lively and challenging workouts.
But is it the right folding elliptical machine for you?
In this review of the Horizon Fitness Evolve 5, we will find out.
We’ll cover all the basics and features, discuss the pros and cons of this machine and help you decide if it’s the right elliptical for your workout goals.
Let’s jump right in.
Horizon Fitness Evolve 5 Elliptical – Key Specs
- Price: $1,599
- 23lb flywheel
- Stride length: 18”
- 20 resistance levels
- Step-up height: 10 inches
- Machine weight: 181lbs
- Maximum recommended user weight: 300lbs
- Warranty: Frame (10 years), parts (3 years), labor (1 year)
- Screen: 6.25” LCD
- Footprint (open): 69” L x 28” W x 69” H
- Footprint (folded): 41” L x 28” W x 69” H
Horizon Fitness Evolve 5 Elliptical – The Pros
It folds up!
This is the primary feature of the Horizon Fitness Evolve 5. When not in use, it can be folded up from the rear, cutting down on 28” of footprint.
This has some obvious implications: multi-use areas like bedrooms or garages can be freed up of space and you can squeeze more utility out of workout areas.
Easy to move.
Folding up the Evolve 5 is easy thanks to the hydraulic folding system, but for people who also want to be able to move the elliptical when not in use, this is easy as well.
Two large castor wheels at the back of the main housing unit of the elliptical means you can tilt and wheel the machine out of sight when done with your workout.
The Evolve 5 folds up and goes portable easily and quickly, again perfect for multi-use areas and people who want to use the machine in different locations and/or need to move the elliptical on occasion.
The flywheel on the Evolve 5 weighs a sturdy 23lbs. This is more than heavy enough for a majority of users to experience a smooth ride when using the machine.
At the end of the day, all of the portability and folding features are great, but if the machine doesn’t ride well, it’s not going to get used.
For most people, you won’t notice the difference from the machines at your local gym.
Extremely easy assembly process
One of the intimidating aspects of ordering large, complex machines like cardio equipment is that they have to be assembled.
And unlike a squat rack, cardio machines have a ton of moving parts and electronics that need to be installed correctly.
While there are a few brands out there that ship ellipticals with brutal assembly manuals, you can forget that with the Evolve 5 as it largely arrives assembled.
Yes, you will have to attach the main center column and the two handlebars to the main body of the elliptical, but that is it.
The total assembly process consists of three steps and then you are off to the fat-burning races.
Lots of training functionality.
Een though the console on the Evolve 5 is relatively straightforward (more on this in a bit, and this also isn’t necessarily a bad thing as big and shiny screens can also be a distraction), there are lots of workout options to go around.
Programmed workouts include intervals, manual, and the Evolve 5 has all of the usual performance-based workouts (heart rate, calories burned, etc).
The Evolve 5 also has 20 resistance levels which can be quickly adjusted from the console.
For people who want to unfold the elliptical and just get to work will love the simple training functionality and LCD screen.
Horizon Fitness Evolve 5 Elliptical – The Cons
No multi-grip handles.
When training on an elliptical, my hands tend to wander. I like being able to switch up the grip, using a palms-down, “rowing” arm motion.
The Evolve 5’s handles are purely vertical, which will likely be sufficient for most users.
Other ellipticals in this price class like the Sole E95 have multi-grip handles with resistance and incline controls.
Basic screen at this price point.
The consoles on ellipticals have come a long way in recent years thanks to the explosion in popularity of online training programs like Peloton and iFit.
The Evolve 5 has a decent 6.5” LCD display that does the basics, but at this price point, I’d expect to see an HD screen as is offered on the NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i.
Being able to crank up the incline during your workouts is a great way to increase the difficulty of your workout instantly.
Incline, whether power or manual, turns the elliptical into a pseudo-stepping machine, cranking up the calorie burn.
Less expensive—albeit not folding—ellipticals like the Nautilus E618 and Horizon Fitness 7.0 AE have power inclines while the Evolve 5 does not.
Horizon Fitness Evolve 5 vs Evolve 3
The Evolve 5 is the big brother to the Evolve 3, with some increased features and stability.
While both machines are rated for the same max user weight (300lbs) and have the same footprint, the Evolve 5 has a heavier flywheel (23lbs vs 18lbs), more workout programs and a larger screen.
|Evolve 5||Evolve 3|
|Screen||6.5” LCD||5.5” LCD|
|Footprint (open)||69” x 28”||69” x 28”|
|Footprint (closed)||41” x 28”||41” x 28”|
Horizon Fitness Evolve 5 vs. NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i
The NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i is another folding elliptical that is priced almost identically to the Evolve 5.
In some ways, the SE9i is vastly superior.
The SE9i has a huge 14” HD touchscreen and when folded up and stacked vertically, takes up less space than the Evolve 5. The SE9i also has a slightly larger weight capacity (325lbs vs. 300lbs) and four more resistance levels (24 vs. 20).
The Evolve has the edge when it comes to stride length (20” vs. 18”), flywheel weight (23lb vs. 18lb), and price ($100 less expensive).
Here is how the two folding ellipticals compare:
|Evolve 5||SpaceSaver SE9i|
|Screen||6.5” LCD||14” HD|
|Footprint (open)||69” x 28”||80” x 32”|
|Footprint (closed)||41” x 28”||32” x 32”|
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, the Horizon Fitness Evolve 5 is an excellent choice for people looking to do low-impact and low-footprint workouts at home with an elliptical trainer.
While it doesn’t have the same shiny screen as some competitors, it’s got the sturdiest and smoothest ride of all the folding elliptical trainers on the market.
If you are looking for an easy-to-fold elliptical trainer to save space and get your fat-burnin’ on, the Evolve 5 is an excellent choice.
|✅ PROS||❌ CONS|
|Folding, space-saving design||Basic screen at this price point|
|Sturdy and smooth ride||No incline option|
|20” stride length||No multi-grip handles|
|Tons of workout functionality|
More Elliptical Guides and Reviews
Horizon EX-59 Elliptical Review – An Entry-Level Elliptical Trainer for Home Gyms. The EX-59 is Horizon Fitness’s most budget-friendly elliptical. Here’s a full look at the EX-59, including pros, cons, and some alternative ellipticals at the same price.
Elliptical Buying Guide – Everything You Need to Know to Buy with Confidence. Want to buy an elliptical but don’t know where to start? Arm yourself with the knowledge to choose the perfect elliptical for you and your workout goals.
The Different Types of Elliptical Machines (Pros and Cons of Each). The elliptical machine is one of the best tools to achieve weight loss goals. Here’s a look at each type of elliptical machine, including the pros and cons of each, so that you can use the right one for you and your training goals.