Horizon HT5.0 Peak Fitness Elliptical Stepper Review

Manufactured by Johnson Health Tech, the Horizon brand has been around since 1998 manufacturing a whole range of cardio machines, with the current catalogue covering treadmills, rowing machines, exercise bikes and, of course, elliptical trainers. We took a look at the Horizon HT5.0 Peak to see how it performs and what you get for your hard-earned money when shopping in this price bracket of the current range.

Assembly is the first order of business of course, and here it’s an absolute must to have two people involved for the first stage which involves tipping the machine into an upright position once the base has been attached. After that, there’s very little to do here apart from attaching a few more components such as the computer, footplates and handles, and you’re done. The biggest challenge here is getting the box into the room you want to build the machine into. It’s always nice to have an easy assembly and the HT5.0 Peak definitely scores well here.

Once built, this is actually a relatively compact machine. With a footprint of 118cm x 71cm (46.5″ x 28”) it takes up a lot less space than most, though by no means all, conventional elliptical trainers which makes this a space-friendly model, especially when we’re talking about a machine positioned at this price point. It’s common for trainers at this price to be gym-machine large but not here which is bound to appeal to a lot of potential users.

The action on the HT5.0 Peak is smooth and uniform throughout the cycle and the ergonomics are good. It’s easy to get comfortable and as a result, it’s possible to push yourself hard, though the number of different hand grip positions available is quite limited. The moving arms really only have one grip, though it’s possible to argue there are two due to the shape of the grips and there is a set of fixed handles to hold onto where the hand-pulse sensors are located. It’s a little unfortunate that this is the only way to measure heart rate on this machine. There is no wireless heart rate receiver which there really, really should be for this money and this, in turn, means that it’s not possible to measure your heart rate at the same time as getting a full-body workout. It’s an either-or situation here. Either you hold the fixed pulse sensors and stop moving your upper body to get your pulse reading, or you use the moving arms to get an upper body workout and don’t get a heart rate measurement. Given the competition at this level and the fact that this model is promoted as a speciality HIIT workout machine, this is disappointing. There’s really no justification for the lack of a wireless receiver here and it’s surprising, as well as frustrating, for Horizon not to have ensured it was possible to get a pulse reading while using this machine to get a full-body workout. We don’t like pulse sensors much, but placing some sensors on the moving arms would have achieved at least that. Enough said on this point. The overall construction here is pretty good it has to be said, though once in full flow and pushing hard in a training session, we did experience a bit of side to side rocking. This is common on many ellipticals that are out there, though it has to be said that it’s less common to see this in other models positioned in this price range. This is certainly not a lightweight machine, however, and generally speaking, this feels like a good-quality piece of kit.

The console features a 5.5″ LCD display which does a perfectly acceptable job of displaying training data including calories, distance, heart rate, resistance level, RPM and time with some of the data duplicated on the main screen, and the three separate small LCD screens that provide larger characters for easier viewing. There’s also a 400 meters (ΒΌ mile) track display the likes of which we’ve not seen in a while. There are 5 programs in total divided into manual, weight loss, target distance, target calorie, and a 20-minute HIIT workout program called Sprint 8. This last program is very much the main focus of this machine and is claimed, with all the usual caveats to burn up to 27% body fat in 8 weeks. After a warm-up phase, the Sprint 8 workout leads you through 8 rounds of HIIT featuring 30-second bursts that are performed at maximum effort and intensity followed by 90-second active recovery periods and then a cool down. It’s really very much a guided HIIT session and it does work well. We didn’t undertake to do the whole 8-week programme here so can’t confirm just how effective it is, but this workout is intense and we can say with confidence that it will produce results given how hard it makes you work. The console is basic and has a basic range of functions, but what is there works and works well and it’s possible to argue this gives the user focus, though it has to be said that it does feel a bit underwhelming given our expectations based on the price

Other features include a tablet holder, USB charging port, speaker for music and a 3.5mm audio input jack if you prefer to use headphones.

Best Price

Currently available for £999.99 from John Lewis

Review Summary - In Brief

Overall the Horizon HT5.0 is a well-constructed bit of cardio kit that delivers a challenging workout. The footprint is relatively compact so it'll fit into a good range of spaces and it definitely gets the blood pumping on those HIIT workouts. The issue for us isn't the mechanics of this machine. The issue here is that for this sort of money we're really expecting more functionality or a level of build quality that makes it stand out but we don't get either. For example, the adidas X-21FD has really great build quality, is self-generating, and makes it as one of our top picks of the month. Or, take our elliptical of the month, the DKN XC-190 which features dual rails and a ridiculously solid heavy-duty construction and also includes a wireless heart rate receiver, and Bluetooth connection so you can use 3rd party fitness apps but which will also save you hundreds of pounds. The HT5.0 is an interesting bit of kit that does what it does well, but it's limited for the money being asked.

Horizon HT5.0 Peak Specifications

  • 30.5cm (12”) stride length
  • 10 resistance levels
  • 5.5″ LCD display
  • 5 workout programmes
  • Feedback: calories, distance, heart rate, resistance level, RPM, time
  • Integrated Sprint 8 high-intensity interval training
  • Heart rate measurement via hand pulse sensors
  • Conveniences: tablet holder, rapid-charge USB port
  • Dimensions in use (L x W x H): 118cm (46.5″) x 71cm (28”) x 168cm (66″)
  • Maximum User Weight: 136kg (300lbs)
  • Product Weight: 70kg (154lbs)
  • Mains powered

Horizon HT5.0 Peak Fitness Elliptical Stepper - Console / Display Unit

Horizon HT5.0 Peak Fitness Elliptical Stepper - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Sprint 8 HIIT workout works well
  • Delivers a good workout
  • Compact footprint

The Cons

  • No Bluetooth, so it's not possible to connect to any fitness apps
  • Limited number of training options
  • No heart rate receiver
Horizon HT5.0 Peak Fitness Elliptical Stepper Reviewer Ratings

Ease Of Installation - 9
Appearance - 8
Smoothness - 8
Comfort - 8
Reliability - 8
Noise - 8
Ease Of Use - 8
Controls - 8
Warranty - 8.5
Value for Money - 6
Best Price

Currently available for £999.99 from John Lewis

Also see our Elliptical Cross Trainer Comparison Table

Whilst every effort is made to give you accurate information we cannot guarantee the technical specification. Models change on a regular basis and may differ slightly from the above review. We recommend you contact the retailer if you have a question regarding technical data. Please read our Legal Disclaimer

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