The Gazelle Freestyle is a non-impact glider machine that simulates long stride walking or running while working more muscles that you would by walking or running by traditional methods. The machine weighs approximately 45 lbs. and was manufactured by Fitness Quest, makers of gym products used at home and in commercial gyms. Built on a steel frame, the Freestyle can hold up to 300 lbs. It comes equipped with an LCD display that calculates speed, distance, time and approximate calories burned. The freestyle also includes a built-in thumb pulse monitor for measuring your heart rate.
The Gazelle Edge provides a resistance-free workout similar to the Freestyle. The weight capacity is 250 lbs. The Gazelle Edge was the first Gazelle model released to the general public. Since then other Gazelle models have been released, in addition to the Freestyle, that include resistance training among other features not available on the Edge or Freestyle.
Is There a Difference?
Both machines fold down for compact storage and basically provide the same workout. Both also have a computer that measures time, speed, distance and calories burned. However, the Freestyle costs on average $100 more than the Edge as of 2011. The Freestyle has a bigger weight capacity which leads a consumer to believe the frame is studier. The steel used is of a heavier gauge than the Edge model. It also include a heart monitor that the Edge model doesn't have. The heart rate is key when performing cardiovascular activities. Your heart rate dictates how intensely you are working out.
Which Should I Buy?
If you are near 300 lbs. then it is an obvious choice that, for the machine's longevity, you should purchase the Freestyle — it is built stronger. The heart rate monitor is another feature that some could either live with or without. Most people that have to regularly monitor their heart rate for health and safety reasons shouldn't depend on a built in heart rate monitor. Instead they should opt for an independent monitor to wear separately. The weight capacity is the only issue that stands in the way of making a decision.