Elliptical Cross Trainer Reviews and Comparisons – Which is the Best Cross Trainer?
Ellipticals have always had fans, though over recent years their popularity has grown – both in the gym and for home use. The secret to their success is the combination of intense workout with low impact. You’ll certainly feel you had a good full body workout after using one, though your joints will not be jolted and jarred in the same way as running or cycling might affect them.
Quick Note on Terms: The terms Elliptical Trainer and Cross Trainer are used interchangeably here, instead of using the full ‘Elliptical Cross Trainer’ every time. This is simply a matter of what you prefer to call them.
On this page you will discover the kind of cross trainer you can expect in different price brackets, and the features and extras which come with these machines. There are a lot of models available from many of the biggest and best home fitness equipment makers. Once you decide on a model, it should last you for years – so making sure you pick the best elliptical for your personal profile is definitely worth the time spent.
Below you will find and overview of what to expect from budget, mid-range and top-end elliptical trainers. This includes links to detailed reviews / examples for each one. After that I have outlined some of the key features found in the different models, this will allow you to narrow down your search by deciding which are the key criteria for you.
First of all, here are the 3 popular elliptical trainers which combine popularity with great feedback from buyers in each of my price brackets. You can check out the discounts at amazon.co.uk directly, and you’ll find links to the detailed reviews below:
Cross Trainer Reviews – 2017 Picks in Budget / Mid and High Price Brackets
Budget Pick - vFit Cross Trainer + Bike
Best of both worlds with this stylish cross trainer which can also be used as an exercise bike - good discount (at the time of writing!) too.
|Product Page Read Review|
Mid-Range Pick - BodyMax E60 Elliptical
This is as smooth and robust as many upper-end ellipticals, with a mid-range price tag making it excellent value. Check out the user feedback for this model!
|Product Page Read Review|
Upper-End Pick - JTX Strider
An amazing machine which would not be out of place in a commercial gym, has a big touch screen console with plenty of options too.
|Product Page Read Review|
Elliptical Cross Trainer Prices – What To Expect
I have used the following price brackets:
- Budget = Under £200
- Mid-Range = £201 to £400
- Upper-End = £401 and up
Of course, there will be some overlap – and maybe you disagree with where my boundaries are! Each review shows an amazon.co.uk preview with the current price, and a link through to the product page too. So you have plenty of opportunities to compare the models for yourself before you click ‘buy’.
Cross Trainer Reviews – Budget Elliptical Trainers
You can now pick up a basic elliptical for less than £100, with some nicer models around the £150 mark. These even come with LCD screens to track your distance and calorie burn. There is a lot of variation in quality at this end of the market, and user feedback becomes more important than ever.
Keep in mind that with budget ellipticals, the size and build will not be similar to what you find in your local gym. Every budget model I have ever seen has people leaving comments who are surprised that their machine is small and a little wobbly in comparison… Once you understand that the gym models cost 20x as much as the budget home ellipticals, it is easier to have a fair comparison.
What you will find is hybrid elliptical / exercise bikes dominate the budget end of the market. these are essentially cross-trainers, with the cycling capability added on (rather than bikes which work like ellipticals!). There are budget models from some well known brands, including We R Sports and Confidence Fitness. I have picked a vFit Model as my top pick, this combines a solid build with a nice discount – providing good value for money:
This model looks very smart, and combines an elliptical cross trainer with an exercise bike to help you vary your workouts. You’ll get smooth action, a reasonably heavy and stable machine and a computer with a mix of preset programs. This is a best seller, with a lot of comments. Considering the price range users are very positive about this model. What I’m even more positive, is the amazon.co.uk discount* which brings it from just inside the mid-range price level down to budget territory.
You can check that feedback, the gallery and user feedback over on the dedicated Amazon.co.uk product page.
Alternatively, my more detailed review can be found here.
Elliptical Cross Trainer Reviews – Mid-Range Elliptical Trainers
If you are willing to spend between £201 and £400, you can get a far more robust machine with some features that almost all the budget models miss. Some models in this bracket even have the ability to fold away – though most will require a dedicated space!
Resistance levels that automatically change via the computer, device compatibility (trackers and entertainment) and properly programmable displays will now come as standard. Your cross trainer will keep track of your progress between workouts, and not just monitor the burn on a single session.
If you are in the mid-range price bracket then you can expect a solid build as a bare minimum. If I see any user feedback even mentioning the word ‘flimsy’, then it is time to hit the back button and try again. By the time you come into the mid-range then you’ll get some of the best brands out there to choose from.
Mid-Range Elliptical Pick:
I recommend the BodyMax E60 – which is actually at the lower end of this price bracket when you include the amazon.co.uk discount*. This is another nice looking machine, though it is the mechanism and smoother ride which really make this mode stand out from the pack. BodyMax have a lot of experience on the gyms side, so you can be sure that their equipment will last. You’ll get a 10kg flywheel (big for cross trainers), plus a heart-rate monitoring built in. The feedback for this model has been excellent (one of the best I have seen in the category).
Check out the gallery, feedback and discount for yourself on the dedicated amazon.co.uk product page
Alternatively, you can find my detailed review of the BodyMax E60 Cross Trainer here.
*As always, discounts do change, you can find the latest deal on the product page
Elliptical Cross Trainer Reviews – Upper End Ellipticals
You can spend more than £500 to get the very best ellipticals, with those I would say come closer to commercial gym spec at £700 and up. If you already know that cross training is the right workout for you, and want the very best – then you can find some wonderful elliptical machines for use in the home.
The first thing you’ll note is the size and weight. Some machines go over 80kg, making them solid and robust (no squeaks or rocking motion). Resistance that changes as you use the machine, as part of either preset or custom programs should come as standard. You should expect built in entertainment (speakers, smartphone music and tracking app links and so on). You should also expect a longer stride length to suit your size along with comfort, quality and style.
There are certain manufacturers which stand out when it comes to the best quality equipment (Nordic Track are a personal favourite). You’ll see a preview of my top pick first, and then 2 other popular models are linked via their reviews underneath that.
Upper End Elliptical Pick – The JTX Strider X& Cross Trainer
The first thing that will strike you about this model is the size, it is much more like the big gym trainers than some of the smaller and sometimes flimsy home models. As well as being big and smooth, this cross trainer packs a punch in terms of the electronics.
You’ll get a big touch screen display, 20 programs and compatibility with POLAR trackers. With a full 16 inch stride length, this machine is good for all but the tallest users.
Compared to similar priced models, the JTX Strider has a lot of positive feedback. I recommend you check those comments (as well as those for the other models of course), to get an idea of how this machine checked out.
Check out the amazing pictures of the JTX Stider, along with that feedback on the dedicated product page.
Alternatively, you can read my review here:
An Alternative Way of Choosing an Elliptical Trainer – Focus on Features
Another way of narrowing down the reviews is to create a personal checklist of features, and then excluding those elliptical trainers which do not have them. This will at least help to narrow the field (though not as much as with some other equipment, since many features are must-have for cross trainers in general).
#1 – Smoothness: The smoothness of the action is determined by the size of the fly wheel to a large extent. If having a super-smooth ride is important to you (especially as you up the resistance levels) then look out for a 10kg+ wheel.
#2 – Stride Length: Some ellipticals have shorter 16 inch stride lengths – while the majority go for 18 inches. If you are taller, then I recommend you go for a little more, 22 inches (the top level) is too much for most people, though it can’t hurt to have some to spare.
#3 – Programs: The better machines will come with 10 or 20 pre-set programs. These vary in intensity and also help to keep things fresh while you work out. If you feel you would quickly get bored of the same few workouts then go for a machine with more of these.
#4 – Monitors: Good cross trainers will have built in monitors checking your heart rate (usually via hand sensors). Some will have extra compatibility with POLAR trackers or chest pad monitors. If you enjoy tracking apps then you’ll need to find out which machines are compatible with these.
#5 – Entertainment: Some people like to have built in speakers to keep their workout interesting. You can even find machines which you can sync wirelessly with your smartphone music collection.
One Feature to Rule Them All
I have left out build quality from this list of features. This is largely dependent on your budget, though with the action of cross trainers it is more important than for most machines. If you narrow down your choice to 2 or 3 models, then I strongly recommend you make your final choice based on which one has the most robust and solid build.
List Elliptical Cross Trainer Reviews
This is the final part of this cross trainer review main page. Below you will find links for all of the individual elliptical reviews here. I will add the latest reviews at the top of this list moving forward.
BodyMax E60 Cross Trainer: This is my mid-range pick, a really solid machine with some advanced functionality and (at the time of writing at least) a big amazon.co.uk discount.
vFit MCCT1 Cross Trainer / Bike: This is one of the best selling models, it is in the budget price range – looks fantastic (black and silver) and also has an option to use as an exercise bike.
DKN XC 140i Cross Trainer: A heavy machine with an impressive 14kg flywheel for super-smooth action. This is mid-budget, though only because of the amazon discount which takes it out of the higher end. An impressive machine, though you’ll need space for it.
JTX Tri-Fit Extendable Cross Trainer: This model uses ‘smart stride’ technology which enables you to choose from different maximum stride lengths, up to 20 inches is possible. This is an upper end model with an impressive spec.
JTX Strider X7 Cross Trainer: An upper mid-range machine with an impressive list of features that includes a big touch-screen colour monitor and the solid build that is shared with all of the JTX models.
Kettler Axos Cross Trainer: An unusual looking model with a large front mounted fly wheel. This elliptical is in the upper mid-range of prices.
Proform 900 Cross Trainer: This is an unusual mix – a higher price (and fully spec’d) elliptical which folds up to save space between uses. This does look impressive!
Confidence Fitness Cross Trainer Bike Combo: You won’t find many cross trainers cheaper than this. While you should not expect gym quality kit, this is a popular model at a very keen price which also works as an exercise bike.
Hammer CrossTech Elliptical Trainer: German engineering features in this mid-priced elliptical. It looks great too, with a bright white body and large flywheel.
FitnessForm P1100 Cross Trainer: Positive reviews, and unusual flywheel-visible look and a budget range price tag… three reasons why this is a popular home model.
XTerra Free Style Cross Trainer: My pick for the upper price range, and a clear winner when you compare the size, build and feature list with just about any other home elliptical – a truly amazing machine.
Pro XS Sports Elliptical Bike Combo: Another super-budget level machine. This is great if you are starting out and maybe don’t want to invest in a bigger / better machine until you are certain you’ll use it.
New 2-in-1 Elliptical / Bike Combo: Another cheaper machine, this time with generic branding. You will not get a ‘gym quality’ item for this price, though the feedback is positive when you take the price into account.
Viavito Setry 2-in-1 Elliptical / Bike Combo: Smart black and red looks with styling touches, and a versatile computer with 20 programs and up to 4 separate users. This mid-budget elliptical is starting to accumulate some good feedback.
FitnessForm ZRG Z10 2-in-1: This compact 2 in 1 model made it into Fitness Review thanks to a big discount and positive feedback from buyers. That discount might change, so keep an eye on the amazon page. The difference with this model is a seat which adjusts in both directions.