What’s the best elliptical Cross Trainer?
How much do you have to spend to find a good machine and what is the best cross trainer to buy, in each price range?
As usual, I have divided a selection of the best cross trainers into groups according to budget, which is where most of us start.
N.B. One point worth bearing in mind – the machines we’re looking at here are pure elliptical cross trainers only, but some of the more popular ones on the market are 2 in 1 cross trainers and exercise bikes, about which there is a separate article. Click here to read the article.
Best Budget Cross Trainer
The JLL CT300 supercedes CT200 and is a good value cross trainer.
It has a 5.5Kg flywheel and allows two-way operation where the pedals can rotate in either direction, forwards or backwards. It is reported to be fairly stable. It is likely to be a bit more stable on a harder surface than with the machine standing on carpet.
The CT300 has both fixed and moving handlebars with foam grips.
It has 8 magnetic resistance levels and is belt-driven, making it quiet in use.
The battery-operated 9-Function LCD display features RPM, Speed, Distance, Time, Temperature, Heart-Rate, Calories, Body Fat & Pulse Recovery, with the heart-rate data being generated from pulse sensors on the handlebars.
The monitor has a shelf which can be used as a tablet holder.
The Manufacturer’s advised maximum user weight is 100Kg.
It has large non-slip (which I think is more important than you might imagine) footplates. Users from 5’5” to over 6’2” with up to size 11 shoe size reported no problems.
From the front of the furthest foot pedal to the end of the nearest foot pedal the stride is 60cm.
The JLL CT300 comes with 12 months warranty.
To buy the JLL® CT300 Home Luxury Elliptical Cross Trainer, click the button below.
Best Cross Trainer under £300
Orbus XT7 Sport Elliptical Cross Trainer with Smooth Drive 12kg Flywheel - Out of stock
The main feature of this machine is its heavy 12kg flywheel which contributes to a very smooth elliptical action. Together with a high gauge tubular steel construction, it has an impressive feeling of solidity and it is very quiet in use. The pedals can rotate in either direction so you can pedal backwards as well as forwards.
The maximum user weight is 120Kg. Some users report that the manual says 150Kg but such manuals can be misleading. The seller says 120Kg, so I would go with that.
It takes quite a long time to assemble, by all accounts, including attachment of a cable from the resistance knob, which implies a physical friction resistance rather than magnetic. But there are 8 levels of resistance from light to heavy load.
The seller reports the stride length as 13.5in, which is fairly short and implies that it would suit shorter users more than tall ones. However, one 6’2’’ user found it comfortable and chose it “specifically because it takes a bit more weight and more throw than most”.
There are pulse sensors on the handles and Pulse/Heart rate is displayed on the battery operated LCD screen, along with Speed, Distance and Program.
The XT7 is a substantial machine and does not fold.
The assembled dimensions are: (L) 133 x (W) 61 x (H) 165 cm.
Best Cross Trainer under £500
JTX Strider-X7: Magnetic Cross Trainer - £399.00
A high spec cross-trainer from another highly respected brand of quality exercise equipment. (I have a JTX Pro-10 Vibration Plate and can highly recommend it).
No matter how good a product is, problems are always possible but, as well as making exercise equipment of very high quality,
JTX is a company with a very good reputation for customer service, which can make a big difference when you’re spending a lot of money.
To back this up, there is a 28-day money back guarantee and a 2 year in-home repair full service warranty including parts and labour, and you can’t say fairer than that.
Assembly is estimated to take about 1.5 hours.
Attention to detail includes non-slip adjustable pedals and adjustable floor pads for uneven surfaces, which will also help stability.
The Strider-X7 has a useful 16inch stride length and respectable 12.5kg flywheel for smooth movement. There are 16 levels of magnetic resistance.
Technical features include 21 programmes including, fat burning, interval, hill and heart-rate programmes. With the latter, the computer will use your heart-rate (read via hand pulse sensors on the handles or your own heart-rate chest strap) and adjust the resistance automatically to provide an optimum workout.
The attractive full colour display shows Speed, Time, Distance, Calories, Watts and tracks your programme progress. Each of these parameters can be selected as a target for your session. The machine needs to be plugged into a mains socket to provide power for the display and the computer-controlled resistance.
Dimensions: 170cm(h) x 70cm(w) 130cm (l) (Maximum length in use 146cm).
The maximum user weight is 130 kg / 20 stone.
The height of the pedals in use is aprox. 1ft / 30 cm so, if you have a low ceiling, add this to your own height to determine headroom. TIP: I’d add another couple of inches (/few centimetres)!!
Best Cross Trainer over £500
The unique selling point of this machine is that it is a very high quality, heavy duty cross trainer which behaves like one you might find in a gym but which folds up for easier storage. It folds horizontally, then you can store it vertically using less floor space.
Another initial bonus of the 900ZLE is that, unlike most cross trainers, which tend to take longer than other types of exercise equipment to assemble, has a clever assembly system which makes it very quick to put together.
As far as the ProForm goes as a cross trainer in use, it has a 10kg flywheel, which is decent, albeit not as heavy as some in its price range. What is bigger than most, especially for taller users, is a good stride length of 18 in / 45.7cm.
It has 18 levels of silent magnetic resistance, digitally controlled.
The on-board computer also provides 18 workout apps. There is the expected hand grip pulse sensor and the 900ZLE is wirelessly compatible with Polar fitness monitors.
For audio motivation, you can plug your iPod / phone / other mp3 player into the Intermix acoustics 2.0 sound system and hear it through the built-in speakers.