Elliptical Crosstrainers, How to Replace a Drive Belt on a Rear-Drive Home Unit

The drive belt is a crucial component of your elliptical crosstrainer, and worn or broken belts can lead to sluggish performance or complete machine failure.


If your home elliptical has the drive unit in the back, here's a guide to help you replace the belt yourself.

There are a lot of moving parts on the machine which requires you to remove several pieces to replace the drive belt.

Don't worry, Sportsmith can help you get your home elliptical working in top shape again.

Tools Needed:

  • Screwdrivers (Flathead and Phillips)
  • Hex Keys or Allen Wrenches
  • Adjustable Wrench

  Safety First!

Unplug your home elliptical from the power source before starting any repairs.



  1. Using the hex key or Allen wrench, you will need to remove the bolt that connects the upper arm to the pedal arm. Start with the user's left side of the machine. Do the same to the right side.


    As the pedal arm separates from the upper body arm, the upper body arm will swing free. This is the same for both sides.


  2. Remove the left pedal arm from its connection at the big disc. You should be able to use the same hex key or Allen wrench as with the upper arm connection. Remove the left arm from the machine.
  3. Do the same to the right side.
  4. Remove the panels or covers providing access to the rear drive system. This might involve removing screws, bolts, or plastic clips. Many units will have a top center cover, left and right side covers, lower left and right shields, and crank or pedal discs. Set any hardware removed to the side so it is available for reassembly. After the covers are removed, you will have access to the drive belt.
  5. Identify the drive belt path around the pulleys and flywheel. Loosen any tensioner mechanisms that might be holding the belt tight. Once loose, you should be able to slip the old belt off the pulleys.

      Tech Tip

    Units with a resistance motor and an eddy mechanism require the tension cable to be disconnected from the tension motor. This allows the eddy mechanism to be pulled from the idler bracket to remove the belt.

  6. Skip to Step 8 for machines without a tension motor and eddy mechanism. Machines with an eddy mechanism and tension motor, proceed with this step.
    Using the flathead screwdriver, press down on the space in the eddy mechanism to create slack in the tension cable. Remove the tension cable connection from the resistance motor.
  7. Loosen the nut on the axle of the eddy mechanism enough to allow you to pull the mechanism from the idler bracket and remove the belt.
  8. Following the routing you observed earlier, begin by placing the new belt around the larger flywheel pulley. Then, work your way around the remaining pulleys and idler wheels, ensuring proper alignment. Ensure the belt is properly seated on each pulley and aligned correctly to prevent slipping or uneven wear.
  9. Tension the Belt (if applicable). Some ellipticals have a tensioning mechanism that requires adjustment after installing a new belt. A correctly tensioned belt should have a slight give when pressed but not be loose. There should be no slipping when the unit is pedaled, even at its highest resistance setting.
  10. Reassemble the Elliptical. Once the new belt is installed and tensioned (if applicable), carefully put everything back together in the reverse order you disassembled it. Double-check that all screws, bolts, and covers are secure to prevent issues during operation.
  11. After the final assembly, check the machine for operation.

Replacing the drive belt on your rear drive elliptical may seem daunting at first. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can successfully replace the drive belt yourself and get your elliptical crosstrainer in top shape to get back to your workout routine!

  Additional Tips

  • Take pictures during disassembly to aid in reassembly.
  • Label any screws or bolts you remove to ensure they go back into the correct locations.
  • If you encounter any difficulties or are unsure about a specific step, contact us while you are with the machine for additional support.
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