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Russell H.
Russell H., Service Tech
Category: Exercise Equipment
Satisfied Customers: 11239
Experience:  8+ years of professional experience
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I have an elliptical ion 490e and the resistance is really hard and I

Customer Question

I have an elliptical ion 490e and the resistance is really hard and I do not know how to change it.
There is nowhere on the screen to change the resistance and when I do the different workout programs, the resistance is not changing. It is set on hard.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Exercise Equipment
Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, thank you for contacting My name is Russell. I will do my best to provide the right answer to your question.

If there truly is no resistance setting, then what you are feeling is not 'resistance' as such, not a feature that is, but the gears or workings of the device grinding away harder than they should.

I would surmise that something is either lacking lubrication (oil, or grease, depending upon the nature of the joint and the directions for your device's model in its owner's manual), or else some parts are out of alignment and are rubbing together harder than they should be, impeding the workings of the machine.

Is the resistance less when it is unplugged? try that just briefly, just enough to tell and no more. If it is no less unplugged than when plugged in, you might have a failure of a motor, of a motor controller board's circuitry, or of a portion of the power supply also. I.e. with this interpretation, the motor normally helps the motion of the machine, and when it is 'dead' for whatever reason among the 3 likely reasons I just mentioned, it ceases to help the motions of the machine and it feels 'set at high resistance'.

Did this problem happen suddenly, or just gradually over a period of time?
How old is the elliptical machine in question?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

When it is unplugged, it flows very easily as if it is on the least resistance setting. I do not believe it is a failure of the motor or from the gears or working of the device grinding away harder than they should because there is no noise from the grinding away. I also do not hear anything rubbing together. I do not have an owner's manual and I do not know how old it is as I bought it used from another party. I tried finding the owner's manual on the internet but have not found one so far. Do you know for sure if the brand is Proform on the ION 490 [email protected]? I cannot find a brand name or a serial number on this machine. So far your answers have not helped me....any more answers?

Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 years ago.
Was it working OK when you bought it?

This is a Proform brand machine, as evidenced by these fairly authoritative pages:


And, the second one is a source for a manual! included an exploded diagram of the workings of the machine. I hope it is of use.

So, the motor seems to be set to maximum resistance... but if there *were* really no resistance setting, then a circuit board would probably be 'on maximum', by mistake. Still, does the manual show any resistance setting? if so, set it to minimum... and I will look through the manual also, for such a thing, meanwhile.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

This is not the elliptical I have. I have a 490e not a 490LE and this manual does not match my machine. I had already looked at this manual on the internet and saw that it was not the elliptical that I own before I contacted you. That is why I contacted you.

So far, you have not helped me in any way.

Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 years ago.
OK, I understand. Your model is 490e. That model may or may not be ProForm, until proved to be of a particular brand. I will continue to search, and get back to you on this later in the day. (Thanks for making details clear, it helps.)
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I called Proform and they did not make a 490e model so for sure it is not made by Proform.

Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 years ago.
I find no information for the exact terms
'Ion 490E'
except this ad page, with one picture:,35,970274,ION-490-E-Elliptical----200--Tyler-.htm

I would like to know if that pictured elliptical resembles yours, please ?

And, to double-check: is the model #
in full? I presume there is no indication, even on the exterior of the machine, or on the console labeling, of the maker name, or model #, otherwise?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes I have seen that ad and yes that is my machine. The only thing on the elliptical is ION 490E. There is no other indication of any other model number or serial number on the exterior of the machine.

Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 years ago.
Since you found what I found, you can judge what the extent of my information on your machine is... about as much as you have. It's true I know a bit more about problems with machines... but not yours specifically.

At this point I think it's right to say that I've rendered about as much help and advice as I can. The only thing left to say is: You might be well advised (or not - it's up to you) to engage a many-brand-competent local servicing co. that works with ellipticals, to assess and/or fix your machine. I can help find contact information for such a service local to you, if you Reply with your locale information (e.g. zip code or postal code.)
The only thing left for me to do is, to Opt Out of the case, on the off chance that there will be an Expert here that can help further with this problem in the subject elliptical of uncertain brand or maker name. I have so Opted Out.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

What does it mean for you to opted out? The only information you have given me is information I had already found on the internet before contacting you.