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  1. #1
    Registered User SKIinKC's Avatar
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    Looking for best all around functional trainer. Would appreciate opinions of my list

    Hello all, I am new to the site and have been doing a lot of reading on people's opinions of functional trainers. I am currently in the market for one and have narrowed my search to the following models that I am considering:

    1. FreeMotion Light Commercial EXT Dual Cable Cross

    2. Legend SelectEDGE Functional Trainer

    3. Inspire FT2

    4. Cybex Bravo

    5. Precor FTS Glide

    First, I can say I have searched this forum on this topic for the past several days. I have read several posts, and have learned quite a bit. But I would like your opinion comparing the above listed models as to which you think would be the best value for the money. I am looking for anyone who can give me their opinion on which model they think is the best all around model and why. From the research I have done so far, I believe the Cybex is one of the best quality machines on the list, but I am very reluctant to spend the money on such an expensive machine unless someone can give me a very good justification for doing so. I am basically looking to add the best all around functional trainer for the money value wise to my home gym. I am currently in the process of upgrading my home gym and will be purchasing a Rogue Monster Rack with attachments. I already have the free weight side covered as I already own a good amount of free weights, but want to round out my gym with the best functional trainer that I can get without breaking the bank. No, I am not made of money, but due to health issues, my wife and I have made a complete lifestyle change since the beginning of the year and have set aside a little money for this purpose. I value your opinion, so if you have any knowledge of any of the above listed trainers and would be willing to spend a few minutes typing up something for me, I would be very grateful for your time! If you know of another make/model that I should seriously consider, I would love to hear your opinion on that as well. Thank you in advance!

    Ski
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    Registered User EricAtl's Avatar
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    Welcome and good luck. I think some people,have the paramount pft and like it. Legend makes great equipment, but people have knocked their FTs in the past although the select edge may be better. Depending upon where you live you may be able to find a used commercial ft, make sure to search Craigslist.
    Regarding the rack, there are also numerous threads. The monster rack may be overkill and you will save some money with a monster light rack. Plus, all of the monster attachments are a lot more expensive than the ML ones.
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    Registered User smokinHawk's Avatar
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    my favorite of all the ones I have used is the Free motion. But I like the full commercial version the best
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    Registered User SKIinKC's Avatar
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    Thanks EricAtl, I appreciate the feedback. Nice set-up you have!
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    Registered User SKIinKC's Avatar
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    Thanks smokinHawk. I looked at that model but unfortunately it is to tall for my basement. I have to keep it under 93 inches and the commercial model of the FreeMotion is 95 inches tall. Hopefully the FreeMotion Light Commercial is of the same caliber and quality as the commercial model.
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    Registered User rpark's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SKIinKC View Post
    Thanks smokinHawk. I looked at that model but unfortunately it is to tall for my basement. I have to keep it under 93 inches and the commercial model of the FreeMotion is 95 inches tall. Hopefully the FreeMotion Light Commercial is of the same caliber and quality as the commercial model.
    I've got the free motion light commercial, and it's a nice machine. Only complaint would be that if you are strong, there are some exercises that you will max out the weight stacks (tricep pushdowns or lat pulldowns with both cables).

    Also to compare the full commercial and light, I think they might quoting heights with the arms fully extended upwards. My basement is 82" high and mine fits nice and tight at the arms, but the weight stack is a lot shorter, maybe 6' something. I can use all the arm settings except for the most vertical setting (position 2 is about 1/4" away from the ceiling, but works perfectly).
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    Registered User Hardgains88's Avatar
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    I second Rpark. I have the paramount pft200a (there may be a newer model now) and you dont require the highest setting to work to make that unit work, reality is its an adjustment you would not be able to make on a shorter unit that was picked specifically for height , so your not loosing anything. Max settings on width and height are not used too often, when they are, i cant recall an exercise that one setting lower would have been noticible. Pull downs possibly, but there are workarounds,
    Functional trainers are awesome, especially ones with the arms that adjust.
    That bravo rocks, the free motion would be my #2 with my paramount almost tied for 2nd but i will say #3rd because the freemotion looks more like a robot! Lol
    What i would recomend, is stay away from th light commercial and fixed column FT, there good i am sure, but there not the same level and youll regret it. You can buy a good used commercial and probably count on less issues then a new lighter duty.
    If you cant find a craigs list deal or dont want to wait, there are plenty of good national sellers of used equipment tgat will negotiate and do a great job. I buy 20% of my equipment new, if its cheap or to rare or new to find used, 70% is craigs list and if available always the best, but for the few pieces that are too exoensive to justify new what i want and craigs list isnt showing options, i have gotten very good pieces from resllers. You dont get the crazy deal, but you get what you want.
    A good condition commercial FT or other equipments lifetime duty cycle literally freezes in place when you put it in your house. Theese things arent like cars, theres onlso much that can go wring, if its not broke when you get it, your not going to be saddled with issues, my 2 cents
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    Registered User SKIinKC's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input rpark. I will have to take a look at the commercial version again and compare prices with the other pieces I have on the list. Do you know what the warranty is on the machine you have and the commercial version?
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    Registered User SKIinKC's Avatar
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    Thank you Hardgains88. I will take a look at the FreeMotion commercial version and compare to the others on the list. My first choice would be the Cybex Bravo, but I haven't seen many used ones in the K.C. area and a brand new one is well over 6K. Don't really want to spend that much on one piece of equipment.
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    Registered User rdogg07's Avatar
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    Hey ski.. i'm also looking for same thing and have been searching.. wondering why you left out bodycraft and hoist off your list? i'm trying to find the best value as well. i dont mind paying a lot if its truly worth it.
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    On that list, I think the Bravo is the most interesting with that bracing mechanism they have. I think you could get similar function using an adjustable bench to brace against, but might be more of a pain to setup and also keep it from sliding. Only thing I'd really be concerned about is the height of your ceiling relative to the top of the pullup bar with that unit, but if you're using your rack for pullups then it's not an issue.
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    I have the Paramount pft200A I got used for $1,500 sitting on 3/4" stall mats in my garage. Even with the arms fully vertical the garage door still has clearance with room to spare. I doubt the Freemotion is that much taller.
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    Hey rdogg07, I did consider the Hoist but from what I saw in person I was not overly impressed. I have a Hoist Smith Machine and really like it, just didn't care for their other equipment I looked at. I have not seen any of the Bodycraft trainers in person, so I guess that is why I didn't put it on my list. What have you found and what models are you seriously considering?
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    Registered User rdogg07's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SKIinKC View Post
    Hey rdogg07, I did consider the Hoist but from what I saw in person I was not overly impressed. I have a Hoist Smith Machine and really like it, just didn't care for their other equipment I looked at. I have not seen any of the Bodycraft trainers in person, so I guess that is why I didn't put it on my list. What have you found and what models are you seriously considering?
    Main ones i have considered were inspire, tuffstuff, bodycraft, hoist, vectra, cybex.

    I like vectra and cybex but they are costly.

    I narrowed mine down too Inspire vs bodycraft. Leaning towards bodycraft mainly because local shop carries it and will take my old gym and give me 500 for it and they offer free delivery and assembly so i have can get the HFT 1900 install after discount or PFT 2750 installed (both with upgraded weight stacks). They offer lifetime warranty for residential so I figured if anything goes wrong should be good and reviews on amazon seem good. but I haven't pulled trigger yet. I also have 83" ceiling so that limits some of the machines for me.
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    Originally Posted by dukenukem7777 View Post
    On that list, I think the Bravo is the most interesting with that bracing mechanism they have. I think you could get similar function using an adjustable bench to brace against, but might be more of a pain to setup and also keep it from sliding. Only thing I'd really be concerned about is the height of your ceiling relative to the top of the pullup bar with that unit, but if you're using your rack for pullups then it's not an issue.
    Over the years, I've tried out several Cybex Bravo units, they were all excellent, but of course excellence generally comes with a hefty price tag.
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    Registered User SKIinKC's Avatar
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    Hi Buccaneer82, thanks for your input. How do you like the Paramount model? Do you have any experience with any other models, or did you seriously consider any other models before purchasing the Paramount?
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    Registered User SKIinKC's Avatar
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    Hey rdogg07, what part of the country are you in and if you don't mind me asking, what kind of pricing have you been quoted on each model you have been looking at?
    Last edited by SKIinKC; 10-25-2017 at 03:58 PM.
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    Originally Posted by SKIinKC View Post
    Hey rdogg07, what part of the country are you in and if you don't mind me asking, what kind of pricing have you been quoted on each model you have been looking at?
    I'm Chicago. local shop offering me 500 on my vectra which i'm content with. they gave me prices above for the HFT and PFT. On Bravo he said would be 5k. Another place on Hoisted wanted like 3k can 600 on my trade.

    I"m going to sleep on it but i'm pretty sure I"m going to go with the HFT. price is right and i like the fact they give lifetime warranty. The guy at shop told me bodycraft is great brand they make machine for other companies. He bad mouthed inspire and hoist but could be because they dont carry it.
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    Originally Posted by rdogg07 View Post
    I'm Chicago. local shop offering me 500 on my vectra which i'm content with. they gave me prices above for the HFT and PFT. On Bravo he said would be 5k. Another place on Hoisted wanted like 3k can 600 on my trade.

    I"m going to sleep on it but i'm pretty sure I"m going to go with the HFT. price is right and i like the fact they give lifetime warranty. The guy at shop told me bodycraft is great brand they make machine for other companies. He bad mouthed inspire and hoist but could be because they dont carry it.
    There was just a Freemotion unit for $600-700 listed on the Chicago craigslist section earlier in the week. You're in a good market - I'd keep my eyes on craigslist.

    EDIT: I don't see the ad listed anymore - I'm sure it went fast.
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    Originally Posted by swimmer32 View Post
    There was just a Freemotion unit for $600-700 listed on the Chicago craigslist section earlier in the week. You're in a good market - I'd keep my eyes on craigslist.

    EDIT: I don't see the ad listed anymore - I'm sure it went fast.
    Ya i've looked but i think i want to go new. once i add in cost of moving it and alot of times the warranty is only good for original buyer. I just worry about the cables. I have vectra right now works great but cables are worn out and new ones run several hundred dollars, so thats why I kind want new not have to worry about replacing parts.
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    Which Bravo model did they quote you and was it closer to 5k or 6k? Just curios so I can compare what my local dealer here is quoting me. If I decided to go this route, I would know I am getting a good deal or not. So far, my dealer's initial quote for the Bravo Pro was $6299. Of course I would have to convince the "boss" that spending that much for a functional trainer was justified. I think it will be a very hard sell to convince her and honestly as this point, I am having a very hard time convincing myself to spend anywhere near that much for one piece of equipment. If it was 4k it would be a no brainer, but 6k, I am heavily leaning against it unless someone can convince me otherwise.
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    Originally Posted by SKIinKC View Post
    Hi Buccaneer82, thanks for your input. How do you like the Paramount model? Do you have any experience with any other models, or did you seriously consider any other models before purchasing the Paramount?
    I love it, super smooth adjustments especially the foot adjustment for pivot fore and aft. I have no experience with others.
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    Very good, thank you very much for your input, it is appreciated!
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    Originally Posted by Buccaneer82 View Post
    I love it, super smooth adjustments especially the foot adjustment for pivot fore and aft. I have no experience with others.
    I have this model also, assuming were talking pft 200a with the free motion style arms. I think its very close to free motion, some areas a bit better some a slight bit behind, but overakk very close. The afpdjystnebts for the arms are easier and faster with the foot pedal on paranount, the counteweight system i prefer slightly on the freemot.
    If you do get the paramount, theres two stack options, i believe 155 x 2 and 185 x 2, get the bigger stack if you have a choice, its 2:1 like all these units so half tge actual resitance, that adds to the travel of the cable and how smooth these units are. If you get the lighter stacks like i did, they are not any of the usual standard size or hole soacibg so you have to get them from paramount, i was pleasantly surprised though, they sell them for much less then i thought. As a bonus, when they looked up all the oarts that i needed to upgrade the guy was honest that he wasnt sure so i checked my machine and they designed them for easy upgrade by making an effort to make most parts not require replacement like the selector rod, which typivally would. I believe all in it was $200 shipped to upgrade. I still strongly vote nice used. I love my paramount, but if i did it again, cybex bravo used. I like the support pad set up and hybrid combo of column / arm set up. It seems to avoid tge few downsides to these long adjustent arm units. Its not a big deal but when yo want the pulleys close and mid height they can wind up putting you ptetty far away from the machine, add in a bench and you gobble a good bit of real estate, the cybex seems to obpvercome this and increase the total amount of adjust capability.
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    Thanks Hardgains88, from all the research I have done and spoken to several sellers, I would have to say I agree with you. Actually, the Freemotion models are 3:1 ratio and only provide 70 lb max resistance on the Lite EXT, and 80 lb max resistance on the F624 model. After speaking today to a seller of the FreeMotion models, he said the F624 model which I was leaning towards would have to be taken apart to get it down into my basement as it ships with the arms installed and would not fit through a standard door without taking it apart. He made it sound like it was a difficult task to say the least. I am definitely leaning towards the Cybex Bravo, that is if I can get one within my budget. Do you know anything about the Legend SelectEDGE Functional Trainer? This is another I am considering but haven't gotten any feedback from anyone on this model.
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    I am a big fan of the Cybex Bravo, there isn't really anything quite like it and its so well thought out. Its really the ideal FT to own and Cybex as a company doesn't do shortcuts to make a product cheaper ether.

    Its good to see people with the Paramount units, they were one of my favorites when they were still independently owned. Hoist and TuffStuff have some really good options too.

    Where Cybex excels is its vast flexibility from rehab to the athlete, support and stability, adjustments for small to larger people, and the overall compact size. Investing in a peace like this its key to have something that can grow with you and the Cybex can certainly do that. But it is pricey compared to all others, but its also nothing like the others.

    Depending on the dealer, you can get some decent pricing on the Cybex (Cybex has small margins being US made). My company Gym Source sells them new depending on model for around 6k, sometimes under to give you an idea of what you should be able to pay new. But we are the largest Cybex dealer in the US.

    If the Bravo is a no go, my go to would be Hoist Mi7/Mi6.
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    Hey ripper238, I appreciate your input. I am pretty sold on the Cybex units, now just waiting on my local dealer to get me a quote. If you don't mind me asking, what is the cheapest you have seen the Bravo Pro and the Bravo Advanced sell for? Never hurts knowing this when I try to work out a deal. Thank you again for taking the time to reply!
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    If it helps I bought a used Free Motion F624. I completely disassembled it to get it into the basement. It took two hours but I’m glad I did it. It’s pretty simple and now I’m confident that I could fix any issue that would come up with the machine, as unlikely as it may be. It was a good learning experience.

    As far as extending it to the highest position, I’ve never needed to do it. Also I needed to replace a cable. It was rather inexpensive from Full Circle Padding.
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    Hey skrebs01, before you purchased the F624, did you seriously consider any other make/models of functional trainers? If so, what did you consider and what made you decide to go with the F624? When taking the F624 apart, did you have a manual to follow or just figure it out as you went? Are you happy with it or does it have any shortcomings? Thanks for your input.
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    Originally Posted by SKIinKC View Post
    Thanks Hardgains88, from all the research I have done and spoken to several sellers, I would have to say I agree with you. Actually, the Freemotion models are 3:1 ratio and only provide 70 lb max resistance on the Lite EXT, and 80 lb max resistance on the F624 model. After speaking today to a seller of the FreeMotion models, he said the F624 model which I was leaning towards would have to be taken apart to get it down into my basement as it ships with the arms installed and would not fit through a standard door without taking it apart. He made it sound like it was a difficult task to say the least. I am definitely leaning towards the Cybex Bravo, that is if I can get one within my budget. Do you know anything about the Legend SelectEDGE Functional Trainer? This is another I am considering but haven't gotten any feedback from anyone on this model.
    I am a huge Legend fan, I have two Legend racks and two Legend benches, but I really didn't like either of their functional trainers. As I live in the UK I finally decided to pick up an Exigo dual adjustable pulley, laterally fixed arms, built like a tank, an excellent cable unit, but without the extra versatility offered by FT's with adjustable arms, if I could find a good deal on a used Cybex Bravo, then I wouldn't hesitate to trade up.
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