How To Lubricate An Elliptical Machine?

Elliptical machines are a common alternative to treadmills as a form of cardiovascular exercise.

The best way to keep your elliptical in top running condition is by regularly lubricating it. 

Lubricating an elliptical is also something you should to stop an elliptical from squeaking, or when the tread becomes a bit rough when you are gliding on the machine.

In this article, we’ll go over how to lubricate an elliptical machine and discuss the different types of ellipticals in order to make the lubrication process much easier to do.

Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

What Are The Different Types of Elliptical Machines?

For lubrication purposes, all elliptical trainers at their most basic level can be categorized into one of two major types. 

These characterizations are based upon the location of the flywheel.

1. Front drive elliptical

sole fitness e25 elliptical machine

As the name suggests, front drive ellipticals are the converse of rear drive ellipticals in nearly every way. 

This elliptical style places the flywheel in the front of the machine and roller tracks in the back, giving them a more traditional look. 

The pedals on this style of elliptical slide along these tracks and provide a slightly more vertical range of motion, whereas rear drive ellipticals provide a more horizontal range of motion.

These ellipticals tend to have a more sophisticated and complex design, with more moving parts which make them more difficult to maintain.

A front-wheel-drive elliptical machine is not as comfortable as a back-wheel drive model because many are missing the pedals that create different angles for a smooth movement.

They also do not come with adjustable incline levels, while rear drive ellipticals do .

2. Rear drive elliptical

life fitness elliptical machine picture from my home gym

The rear drive elliptical may be the oldest design for elliptical trainers, but it’s still very effective and in wide use today. 

This design features a flywheel situated at the back of the machine.

Due to the position of the flywheel, rear drive ellipticals have the ability to provide a more natural and smooth range of motion because of the articulating pedals.

Rear drive ellipticals have simpler design and fewer rollers and tracks, so maintenance is more straightforward.

Additionally, due to the flywheel being positioned in the rear, the center of balance for this type of machine is located more toward the center.

They also typically allow for longer, more natural strides.

How To Lubricate Elliptical Machine? Step-By-Step Guide

sole e95 elliptical machine on a black rubber floor matt

It’s important to note that elliptical machines can get dust and dirt in them, so a regular cleaning process to your machine must be applied. 

All you will need is a lubricant, a grease gun, and two soft cloths to successfully go through the lubrication process.

Here is how to lubricate an elliptical machine: 

  1. Begin by using one piece of the cloth to remove any dust or debris from the ramp and rollers. All you need to do is wipe the cloth over.
  2. Add a small amount of the lubricant to the second piece of cloth and wipe it over the elliptical rails. Do the same on each roller, ensuring you only leave a thin coat of lubricant.
  3. Briefly and slowly allow the machine to run a few steps to distribute the lubricant around any areas you couldn’t reach with the cloth.
  4. Next, locate the ball bearings, typically located near the flywheel, and inject grease into them using a grease gun. 
  5. It is also time to find the elevation screw and make sure it is lubricated. It is typically inside of the front or back wheel housing, make sure you apply lubricant to it. 

You may need to use an appropriate screwdriver to remove the front housing before gaining access to the elevation screw.

What Is The Best Lubricant For Elliptical Rails?

There are two primary kinds of lubricant that you will be using on an elliptical machine: silicone and grease.

Most often than not you are going to use a silicone spray lubrication as it is the easiest application on your elliptical.

Whichever lubricant you decide to use, just make sure that after you apply it, you wipe down the machine rail.

Therefore, no excess oil remains. Excess oil will attract, pick up and hold dust and dirt. 

These are the best best silicone lubricant for elliptical machine to consider using:

Silicone Treadmill Belt Lubricant 

Silicone Treadmill Belt Lubricant is a non-toxic, odorless lubricant which has been formulated for a wide range of modern exercise equipment. 

It works great for home and heavy duty commercial treadmills and most elliptical trainers.

Regular lubrication reduces noise, extends the motor life, and makes a more natural and smooth range of motion.

Each 4 oz bottle of the lubricant contains approximately 4 applications, enough to protect your equipment for a full year.

This silicone lubricant is absolutely ideal for all elliptical and treadmill models to help you keep your exercise equipment in top running condition.

Super Lube Multi-Purpose Grease

Super Lube Grease is a patented synthetic, heavy-duty, multi-purpose lubricant.

With the addition of PTFE micro powders( PTFE lubricant is used for coating items such as cookware in PTFE) combined to form a premium lubricant that provides protection against friction, wear, rust and corrosion over higher levels of temperature.

Super Lube grease is absolutely one of the well known exercise equipment lubricant on today’s market.

Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease

Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease is an advanced full synthetic grease formulated with a proprietary blend of high-performance synthetic base stocks and a lithium complex soap thickener. 

The thickener system provides a high dropping point, while additives impart excellent extreme-pressure properties and resistance to water wash, rust and corrosion. 

The proprietary blend of high-performance synthetic base stocks gives reliable lubrication over wide temperature ranges.

Why An Elliptical Trainer Needs To Be Oiled?

Lubricating your elliptical machine is an essential part of maintenance when it comes to your home gym. 

An elliptical machine flywheel bearings primarily rely on oil to function properly. 

If your rower is used daily and not lubricated, then the bearings will get worn out and need to be replaced. 

Because of the high amount of friction the bearings experience, it’s important to lubricate your elliptical. 

Another reason to keep a lubricating routine is to extend the lifespan of your machine. If you don’t lubricate your crosstrainer, then the parts will wear down and become damaged. 

Therefore if you want your machine to last for years and to work properly, then you need to lubricate it every six months. 

How Often You Should Lubricate An Elliptical?

sole-fitness-e35 elliptical machine from my home gym setup

For more precise information, refer to the owner’s manual that came with your elliptical for specific instructions about maintenance, including when to lubricate the machine. 

Most ellipticals should be lubricated every six months, more often if they produce a squeaking or scraping noise while in use.

One major thing to keep in mind is that the longer you wait between lubrications, the more oil will get contaminated with dust and dirt. 


The best way to keep an exercise machine in top running condition is by regularly lubricating it. 

Today’s guide showed you how to maintain your elliptical trainer to help prevent many of the annoying problems people have with them due to improper or lack of lubrication.

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