Looking to buy the best Cross Trainer? Check out our guide below and you’ll be well-placed to select the correct one for your needs.
How do you pick the best cross trainer for your needs?
What type of cross trainer am I looking for?
There are two types of cross trainers: rear drive and front drive, which relates to the location of the flywheel on the machine.
A machine with rear drive is more stable and allows for a longer stride length that feels more like running.
Front-drive machines, on the other hand, can make users feel like they’re climbing stairs as they lean forward.
Front-drive machines have the advantage of being more compact. If you have a tiny home, this makes them appealing, albeit there are folding rear-drive machines on the market that can be packed away after usage.
Regardless of whether you choose a front-drive or rear-drive model, the most important features of any cross trainer are stability and comfort — if you’re tall, avoid machines with short stride lengths. You’ll come to regret it.
What characteristics should I be on the lookout for?
The flywheel’s weight is a strong indicator of its overall quality; heavier flywheels should produce a smoother, more consistent resistance level.
Aim for a machine that weighs more than 5kg as a bare minimum, but you’ll definitely want it to be heavier for a mid-range machine and beyond.
Look for how many degrees of resistance the machine has, if it can vary the incline, and if it has any programmed programmes, all of which will ensure that it can continue to provide a challenging workout as you get fitter.
Other key characteristics to consider include its size and stride length. To be comfortable on the cross trainer, you’ll need a longer stride length and longer grips if you’re tall.
Heavier users should look for a machine’s maximum user weight, especially if going for a less expensive cross trainer, which are generally less stable.
I’m not sure how much I’ll need to spend.
There are great cross trainers available for under £200 if you’re on a tight budget, but you’ll definitely compromise some stability and functionality at that price. There are some good home models available for between £500 and £1000, but if you want a gym-like experience, you’ll need to pay well over £1,000.
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