Buying guide: what to know before buying an elliptical trainer online?
Cross trainers are very popular in both gyms and homes as they are one of the most complete cardio machines as they train both upper and lower limbs. When buying an elliptical trainer there are many aspects to take into account, such as your budget or the goals you have set for yourself. See below a basic guide with the most important questions to bear in mind when you decide which model of Elliptical Crosstrainer to buy:
What types of elliptical machines are there?
In our catalog you will find four well differentiated lines. In each of the products individually you will find the label that shows to which range it belongs:
Home use elliptical cross trainer
These products are 100% adapted for home use, both for individuals and for several members. The warranty that it covers is only for this particular use. A machine of this line located in a professional facility will lose the warranty.
Semi-professional elliptical cross trainer
You will find a complete catalog of elliptical bikes specially designed in quality, warranty and price to meet the needs of fitness facilities in companies, communities of neighbors, hotels, physiotherapy and rehabilitation centers, municipalities, sports clubs and security forces and firefighters.
Professional elliptical cross trainer
Designed for professional fitness centers. From large gyms, Crossfit, Gym Boutiques or functional training. It is also valid for the semi-professional line of the most demanding.
Technical Features of Elliptical Bikes
Here is a basic guide with the main factors to take into account when deciding on one elliptical cross trainer model or another:
- Braking system
- Location and weight of the flywheel
- Length of the pedal action
- Console, Training Programmes and Extras
- Total weight of the machine
Elliptical Crosstrainers can have either a Magnetic or Electromagnetic braking system. Both systems are silent and do not produce wear and tear as there is no contact.
Braking for Magnetic Elliptical Trainers is through magnets which are situated around the flywheel and when the level of resistance increases, they get closer to the flywheel a smooth and silent movement.
Braking for Electromagnetic Elliptical Trainers works just like the magnetic brakes with the difference that the brakes are regulated through an electric current and can be programmed to change automatically during the workout. This system is even quieter than the magnetic brake system.
The air resistance does not use a flywheel but has a fan with high resistance built in. It creates neither magnetism nor friction as its resistance comes from the air. Pulleys and belts connect the pedals to the fan and as you pedal the speed increases and so does the resistance. For maintenance, it is mainly necessary to look at the fan blades and their screws from time to time.
Location and weight of the flywheel
Location of the flywheel
The flywheel, a fundamental part of the bike which provides resistance to the pedalling action may be at the front or the back of the bike. The Rear Traction Elliptical Crosstrainers, as their name suggests, have the flywheel at the back, guaranteeing greater inertia and smooth, jerk-free pedalling. On the other hand Front Traction Elliptical Crosstrainers have the flywheel at the front, offering a flatter and a broader pedal movement and more advanced workouts.
If more advanced workouts are not enough for you, you can try introducing abdominal training accessories into your routine to train your abdominal area and combine it with exercises on your elliptical trainer.
Weight of the flywheel
A machine equipped with a correctly weighted flywheel, provides a workout with a smooth progression, but if it is not heavy enough the pedalling movement will feel jerky. The heavier the flywheel is, the smoother and quieter the bike is, as the extra weight helps the flywheel to turn more efficiently. A machine with a 7 kg flywheel has a good feeling to it, non-jerky, but for semi-professional or professional and intensive training, we recommend that the flywheel weighs more than 14 Kg.
Length of the pedal action
The length of the pedal action on an Elliptical Crosstrainer refers to the maximum dimension of the elliptical movement. Depending on the model, the length can vary between 18 cm and 55 cm. The longer the dimension of the elliptical movement the better, as a longer pedal movement means more comfort in training, especially for taller users.
Console, Training Programmes and Extras
The screen of the Elliptical Crosstrainer continually gives you information about speed, distance, time or calories. Also on the console you can change the set programme. Finally, another thing to remember are the extras on the Elliptical Exercise Bike: cooling fans, USB connections, TV monitors, speaker systems, bottle-holders, interactive training and compatibility with Tablets and Smartphones, etc. The programmes and extras included depend mainly on the price of the machine.
These programs include the Bluetooth 4.0 technology integrated in some models through the i.Concept system, allowing you to use your favorite fitness apps with motivating and personalized workouts. Among the fitness apps you can use are BH byKinomap, BH Trainer, Run onEarth, Webathletics or FitConsole with countless programs to get in shape. In addition, another of the technological advances that have been made are the Interactive Workouts, so you can challenge or compete against users or friends, tour new cities, watch YouTube, etc. from the comfort of exercising at home. In the models that include the system compatible via Bluetooth with iFit, you will have the option to enjoy more than 400 predefined training programs and since the app has Google Maps and Street View you can train as if you were anywhere in the world. You will also know at all times the progress you are making as you can easily manage your online profile.
Total weight of the machine
The total weight of the machine is directly related to the rigidity of the bike. This is important as elliptical bikes move and rock and they have to be robust to avoid tipping over. A medium range machine should weigh about 50 Kg.
Finally, one of the aspects you should consider before deciding on an elliptical trainer is its accessibility. If you suffer from mobility problems but want to continue training a more suitable option are recumbent exercise bikes, which have an open and comfortable access.
However, if you're simply looking for a device that will stretch and activate your muscles to speed up recovery and stimulate blood flow, percussion machines are the way to go. This treatment will help relieve your pain naturally and will be the perfect complement after your workout.
Frequently asked questions about elliptical cross trainers