Top positive review
on 31 March 2013
The first one arrived with a broken foot and one of the hydraulic cylinders was faulty. It's often a bit of a gamble with cheap Chinese goods.....
Amazon customer services excellent as ever, and replacement sent immediately.
I've been using the replacement daily for a couple of weeks, and it's fine so far. The hydraulic cylinders do lose a significant amount of resistance when warmed up (about five to ten minutes) and next time I think I'd spend the extra and get a stepper with adjustable hydraulics. This one is described as adjustable, but that just means you can raise or lower the height of the steps - there's no effect on the hydraulic resistance.
The bushes at each end of the cylinders needed tightening. They were slack and the thing made a lot of clunking in use. Since tightening, it's quiet, and no squeaks either - so far.
The electronic gizmo is useless, other than for counting steps, but it only does this if the steps are set at the max height position.
I use a heart monitor while exercising, and to get your heart rate up for proper cardio-vascular exercise, you need to use the bungies as well as just stepping - this really does give a decent workout. Just stepping without the bungies will give mild exercise - depending I suppose on how fast and for how long you're willing to go. I only do twenty minutes at a time - the cylinders get very hot and I wouldn't want to push them much more. The resistance is significantly reduced too after that long, so you'd have to increase speed. The bungies make a lot of difference!
All in all, it's good for the money. I'm not a fitness freak, just looking to be generally fit with the minimum time & effort. I think someone wanting serious training might not be satisfied for long with this machine.