Usually the more expensive the elliptical cross trainer the higher quality and more heavy duty it will be.
They come in two main styles – front and rear drive so which elliptical cross trainer is right for you?
FRONT V’s REAR DRIVE ELLIPTICAL CROSS TRAINERS
The drive axle on front drive elliptical cross trainers is located in front of the user whereas the rear drive elliptical cross trainer has the drive axle located on the machine behind the user.
Rear drive elliptical cross trainers are the established design and will be found in most gyms. The difference in the elliptical feel comes down to personal choice.
ELLIPTICAL CROSS TRAINER FRAMES
The elliptical cross trainer needs to carry your entire body weight so the stronger the frame, the more durable the machine will be. Usually cheaper options mean the machine is lighter and less durable and prone to breaking down.
If the frame is flexing when in use the elliptical cross trainer will wear out quickly and annoying squeaking or scraping noises will appear due to heavy loads on stress points on the machine.
Look for machines with a stride length between 35cm and 55cm. The longer the stride, the smoother and more fluid it will be.
Modern versions have the ability to adjust the stride length adding more versatility.
BRAKE & RESISTANCE SYSTEMS
Look for Elliptical cross trainers with an eddy current brake system (ECB). Because they don’t have any moveable parts they are more durable than other systems.
Magnets on the flywheel are used to create resistance with electronic magnetic resistance systems being the most common.
CONSOLE CONTROLS AND DISPLAYS
Most consoles will have some form of LCD or LED displays. They are available in all sorts of colours, shapes and sizes; much of the choice comes down to personal preference and the budget you have to spend.
There can be anywhere between 8-28 workout programme choices with different displays showing speed, distance, time, laps, incline, calories burned and heart rate.
Superior elliptical cross trainers will have all the bells and whistles including internet connectivity and built in speakers.
HEART RATE CONTROL
The basic elliptical cross trainer models have sensors for the user to grip which shows a read out of the heart rate. Superior models have in built receivers which receive messages from a wireless chest strap; the information from a chest strap is more accurate than hand sensors and can be linked to pre-set workout programs.
The heart rate information can help with weight loss goals and will raise and lower the intensity of the workout to maintain the heart rate of the user within a pre-set zone.
Make sure you buy from a reputable supplier (whether online or in store) and ask them how they can help you maintain your elliptical cross trainer. Do they carry adequate stock of spare parts and do they employ trained technicians? Check the warranties and make sure the supplier has the ability to back them up. Warranty promises are only as good as the company making them.
WHICH IS THE BEST ELLIPTICAL CROSS TRAINER FOR YOU?
We have created an interactive tool to help you take the guesswork out of selecting which elliptical cross trainer is right for you.
Follow the 4 easy steps to find the perfect product for you and then view the results based on your responses.