Best Elliptical Cross Trainers in the UK (2019) – Reviews, Comparison & Top Machines

Want a full body cardiovascular workout from the comfort of your home? Here are 7 of the best elliptical cross trainers available in the UK.

Elliptical cross trainers are amongst the best gym equipment for low-impact cardiovascular workouts. Unlike treadmills, there’s little or no impact placed on your joints. And, unlike an exercise bike, they provide both a lower and upper body workout.

Yes, they make you look a little strange when you’re working out, but that’s a small price to pay considering the benefits!

It’s vital to choose the right cross trainer for your exercise needs though. While most ellipticals have a similar form and design, there’s a huge variation in features, durability, resistance level and stride length.

To help you make the right choice, we’ve listed seven of the best cross trainers depending on your budget, fitness level and available space.

The Quick Picks

If you’re in a hurry, here are our top picks depending on your budget (read the reviews below to compare each model in more detail):

  • Our pick for the best cross trainer is the excellent NordicTrack E11.5 Power Incline. It provides an almost gym-standard smoothness, quiet magnetic resistance, 30 programmes and adjustable stride length, all for a great price. It also has a folding design and rear-drive system for a more natural gait. When it comes to value for money, the E11.5 is an easy choice for our #1 pick.
  • Our #1 mid-range cross trainer is the NordicTrack E7.2 Incline. It’s considerably cheaper than the E11.5, so it’s an excellent alternative if you don’t need the advanced features or electronic incline adjustment.
  • Our #1 budget cross trainer (under £300) is the ProForm 225 CSE. You’re never going to match the quality of mid-range or high-end machines in this price range, but the 225 CSE provides smooth operation and 8 built-in programmes. The stride length may be too short for tall people though.

What Should You Look for When Choosing an Elliptical?

There are three key factors when choosing an elliptical cross trainer. The machine must be comfortable, stable during the type of workouts you want to complete, and able to provide enough resistance to challenge you.

This means the best cross trainer varies depending on the individual. If you’re an athletic person who wants a cross trainer for high-intensity workouts, be prepared to spend more on a stable machine with a high maximum resistance, long stride length and adjustable platforms. If you just want an elliptical for light workouts, a cheaper machine with a compact design could be all you need.

Here are some other factors to consider:

  • Flywheel Weight. Cross trainers use a flywheel to generate resistance. Heavier wheels tend to feel smoother and can generate more resistance, but are more expensive. As a general rule, the more intense your desired workouts, the heavier flywheel you need. Look for a minimum of 5kg – but heavier if possible.
  • Front or Rear Flywheel. There are two broad categories of cross trainer: front-drive and rear-drive. The rear-drive design usually provides a longer stride and a movement pattern that’s closer to running, but at the expense of space. Front-drive trainers sometimes feel more like a stepper, but have a compact design. Low-quality front-drive machines tend to feel less stable though, which is something to keep in mind if you’re planning to use it for vigorous workouts.
  • Stride Length. A longer stride length is essential for tall people. If the stride length is too short for your gait, the cross trainer will always feel uncomfortable and cramped to use.
  • Handle Size and Grips. Similarly to stride length, taller people need a larger handle size for a comfortable ride. Multiple grips can also be useful for getting a more varied workout.
  • Resistance Levels. While the flywheel plays an important role in the difficulty of a workout, nearly all cross trainers also have adjustable resistance. Check how many magnetic resistance options are available and whether there are built-in programmes.
  • Incline. Some mid-range and high-end elliptical trainers have an incline option. This is another way to increase the difficulty without relying on the resistance. Some inclines need to be adjusted manually, while others can be changed electronically via the machine’s control panel.
  • Size and Folding Designs. The space you have available for a cross trainer is a vital consideration. Pricier ellipticals are often bulkier and weigh more, as this increases stability, but can mean they are difficult to fit in a home gym. Some models have a folding design to save space though.
  • Other Features. Modern cross trainers come with a host of advanced features and settings. Examples include adjustable platforms, smart connectivity and multiple handles. It’s also important to check the maximum user weight to ensure the trainer is suitable for everyone in the house who wants to use it.

7 Elliptical Cross Trainer Reviews – Which is Right for Your Budget?

PriceImageNameFlywheel WeightStride LengthMax. User WeightView Price
£ - BUDGET
York Active 110
6kg30.5cm110kgVIEW PRICE
£ - BUDGET
ProForm 225 CSE
7kg36cm115kgVIEW PRICE
££ - MID-RANGE
Kettler Axos Elliptical P
18kg50.8cm130kgVIEW PRICE
££ - MID-RANGE
NordicTrack E7.2 Incline
9kg46-51cm150kgVIEW PRICE
££ - MID-RANGE
ProForm Endurance 720E
9kg50.8cm (adjustable)135kgVIEW PRICE
£££ - HIGH-END
Life Fitness X1 with GO Console
9kg51cm (adjustable)159kgVIEW PRICE
£££ - HIGH-END
NordicTrack E11.5 Power Incline
9kg50-55cm (adjustable)150kgVIEW PRICE

Best Budget Cross Trainers (Under £300)

If you don’t have a large budget for a cross trainer, there are still some decent models available. Models under £300 won’t have the advanced features or long stride length of more expensive options, but the top cross trainers in this price range can still provide a decent workout.

Before we get to our top budget picks, a quick word about the cheapest ellipticals. While you can get cross trainers for under £100, they are usually lacking stability and have a short stride length. It’s better to spend a bit more to get a trainer that will last.

Note: Want to learn more about this price range? Check out our page of the best cheap cross trainers.


1. York Active 110

York Active 110

The York Active 110 isn’t stable enough for the highest intensity workouts, but for steady-state cardio it’s hard to beat at this price.

  • Flywheel Weight: 6kg
  • Stride Length: 30.5cm
  • Resistance: Magnetic with 8 levels
  • Built-In Programs: 4 (3 Target, 1 Manual)
  • Product Weight: 30kg
  • Folding Design: No
  • Maximum User Weight: 110kg

If you’re looking for an entry-level magnetic cross trainer that doesn’t cost a fortune, the York Active 110 is an excellent choice. The combination of relatively heavy (for a budget trainer) 6kg flywheel and magnetic resistance provides smooth operation and plenty of scope for fitness progression.

Panel of the York eliptical X trainer

As you would expect from an entry-level model, there aren’t many advanced features included with the Active 110. It does have a basic LCD display and heart rate monitoring function, which allows for three HR target programmes, but there’s no smartphone connectivity. The console displays basic metrics, such as calories burned, speed, distance and time, but it lacks a power output reading.

These features aren’t necessary for basic workouts though. If you just need a cross trainer for light/moderate home workouts, power output readings or smart connectivity function won’t make a huge difference. You can always watch a YouTube workout on your TV or tablet, after all.

Away from the console, the 110 is built to a high standard and should last a long time. York has a reputation for manufacturing high-quality workout machines that provide great value, so it’s no surprise the Active 110 feels smooth when in operation. It’s also easy to put together – which can’t be said for all gym equipment!

It’s important to have realistic expectations though. With a 6kg flywheel and 30kg total weight, it’s not as stable as more expensive options. The stride length of 30.5cm is also much less than the 50cm average for more expensive models. It’s a great choice for steady-state workouts or people who want to gradually get in shape, but if you’re already fit and want a challenging workout, you’ll need a mid-range machine.

So, while it doesn’t have many advanced features, the York Active 110 is perfect for people who want to start getting fit from home. It’s not quite sturdy enough for high-intensity workouts, but if you’re trying to get in shape without breaking the bank, it’s certainly an option to consider.

Note: York also produces an Active 110 exercise bike with similar features. If you’re looking for an alternative model, check out the Gold Magnetic, which is part of the Roger Black range.


2. ProForm 225 CSE

Proform 225 CSE

The best entry-level cross trainer on sale at the moment. Slightly more expensive than the York Active 110, but with more pre-set programmes, longer stride and heavier flywheel.

  • Flywheel Weight: 7kg
  • Stride: 36cm
  • Resistance: Magnetic ranging from 1-12%
  • Built-In Programs: 8
  • Product Weight: 39kg
  • Folding Design: No
  • Maximum User Weight: 115kg

The ProForm 225 CSE elliptical trainer is our top pick for an entry-level machine. This is mainly due to its 7kg flywheel and smooth operation, as it’s a step up from the York Active 110 without costing a lot more. If you’re looking for a cheap cross trainer that feels smooth and comfortable to use, it’s an excellent choice.

Aside from its 7kg flywheel and magnetic resistance, the ProForm has an LCD display showing metrics such as RPM, time and speed. There’s also built-in EKG grip pulse sensors on the stationary bars, a tablet holder and front transport wheels.

There are a couple of drawbacks though. The instructions are clear, but putting everything together can be a struggle. The Bluetooth connectivity option is also only compatible with iFit, which requires a separate subscription.

Even so, with a longer stride length and heavier flywheel than the York Active 110, the ProForm 225 CSE provides excellent value for money. While it’s still not the best choice for high-intensity training, it’s a brilliant elliptical for beginner or intermediate workouts.


Best Mid-Range Cross Trainers (£300-£750)

If you want a cross trainer that’s capable of higher intensity sessions, you’ll need to move into the mid-range category. These ellipticals have heavier flywheels, longer stride lengths, are stable at higher speeds, and have a wider range of pre-set programmes.

3. Kettler Axos Elliptical P

Kettler Axos Elliptical P crosstrainer

The Kettler Axos Elliptical P is a big step up from entry-level cross trainers. The 18kg flywheel and 50cm stride length provides a smooth and comfortable workout for almost all fitness levels.

  • Flywheel Weight: 18kg
  • Stride: 50.8cm
  • Resistance: Magnetic with 16 levels
  • Built-In Programs: 12
  • Folding Design: No
  • Maximum User Weight: 130kg

Once you get into the mid-range category, the quality of cross trainers increases dramatically. The Kettler Axos P is a good example, as it has a heavy 18kg flywheel, 50.8cm stride length and 16 levels of resistance – yet only costs around £150 more than the ProForm 225CSE.

Axos P panelAs you can see from the photo, the Axos P is a front-drive cross trainer. This saves space, although front-drive models tend to feel less like real running than rear-drive models. Kettler has also included front transport castors and the option of adjusting the rear height depending on how tall you are.

There is a backlit LCD display showing metrics such as pulse, energy output, distance, speed and time. You can also choose between 12 built-in programmes, which includes 4 user memory programmes and a heart rate option. For more accurate heart rate measurement, the display includes a POLAR compatible receiver, although you’ll need to buy the chest strap separately.

As you would expect from a mid-range cross trainer, the Axos Elliptical P provides significantly more stability and resistance than entry-level models. You shouldn’t expect gym-standard quality, but it’s capable of providing almost anyone with a tough workout. There’s no incline option or advanced connectivity options though – you’ll need to spend a bit more to get the NordicTrack E7.2 for those features.

Even so, with its smooth operation, heavy flywheel and range of programmes, the Kettler Axos Elliptical P is an excellent choice for almost any type of workout. The flywheel is heavier than many more expensive options, and it feels comfortable and smooth to use.


4. NordicTrack E7.2 Incline

NordicTrack E7.2 Incline

One of the best mid-range cross trainers is the Nordictrack E7.2. With features such as a manual incline ramp, 20 difficulty levels and a stable construction, it’s great for all fitness levels.

  • Flywheel Weight: 9kg
  • Stride: 46-51cm (adjustable)
  • Resistance: Magnetic with 20 levels
  • Built-In Programs: 20 (10 calories, 10 performance)
  • Folding Design: No
  • Maximum User Weight: 150kg

If you’re looking for a cross trainer that allows for true variety in your workouts, the NordicTrack E7.2 Incline is one of our top recommendations. The combination of adjustable stride, incline and 20 levels of resistance makes it easy to vary intensity or target different muscle groups. It’s also available for a great price compared to machines with similar features.

The NordicTrack has a backlit screen showing metrics such as time, distance and calories. There are 20 pre-set programs, with 10 dedicated to calorie burn and 10 to performance. There’s also a manual control option, along with iFit connectivity (you’ll need to purchase a separate subscription though).

While these features are hardly unique, the E7.2’s resistance has a much higher ceiling than cheaper models. This, combined with the wide range of programs and incline settings, mean the cross trainer can challenge people of almost any fitness level.

Most importantly, the E7.2 provides a stable ride due to the heavy construction and solid design – even at high speed. It’s smooth and has a similar feel to a gym-standard cross trainer, which is a big complement considering the low price.

It’s worth noting that the incline needs to be adjusted manually – there’s no electronic function to change the tilt. This isn’t a major problem – and you wouldn’t expect an electric incline function on a mid-range machine – but it’s not as convenient as a gym-standard cross trainer. It also takes time and patience to put together, although the instructions are clearer than those provided by other brands.

Overall, the NordicTrack E7.2 is an excellent cross trainer that provides a host of functions for a great price. It feels smooth to use and is capable of high-intensity workouts, so it’s a brilliant option in this price range.


5. ProForm Endurance 720E

The Endurance 720E provides a smooth workout, along with advanced features such as a workout fan, power incline adjustment and USB charging station.

  • Flywheel Weight: 9kg
  • Stride: 50.8cm (adjustable)
  • Resistance: Magnetic with 20 levels
  • Built-In Programs: 24
  • Folding Design: No
  • Maximum User Weight: 135kg

The 720E is a direct upgrade to the previous 420E model, with a number of extra features and improvements. It has a 9kg flywheel that provides a smooth ride, along with an adjustable stride length and 24 pre-set workout programmes.

As it’s more expensive than the NordicTrack 7.2, ProForm have managed to include several advanced features. Aside from a 0-20% difficulty range, there’s a power ramp with a maximum incline of 20 degrees. This provides plenty of scope for increasing the difficulty of your workout or targeting different muscle groups.

Like the NordicTrack 7.2, the 720E is compatible with iFit via Bluetooth. This requires a separate subscription, but lets you “run” real routes via Google Maps and take part in challenges with friends. Even if you don’t get iFit, the Endurance 720E’s iPod-compatible speakers and tablet holder can make your workout much more enjoyable.

As you would expect, the ProForm feels great to use. It’s sturdy and highly durable, so it can handle high intensity workouts. It’s also surprisingly quiet.

In short, if you want a mid-range cross trainer that comes close to gym machines, the ProForm Endurance 720E is an excellent choice. It’s more expensive than the NordicTrack 7.2 though.


Best High-End Cross Trainers (£750+)

If you’re looking for a home elliptical cross trainer that can match gym machines, you’ll need to spend at at last £750+. When you get into this price range, the ellipticals are rock solid, come with a range of advanced pre-set programmes, and are often quieter than cheaper options.

6. Life Fitness X1 with GO Console

Life Fitness X1

With quiet operation, sturdy design and a wide-range of built-in programmes, the X1 is a fantastic home cross trainer.

  • Flywheel Weight: 9kg
  • Stride: 51cm (adjustable)
  • Resistance: Magnetic with 20 levels
  • Built-In Programs: 13 + race mode, quick start and warm up/cool down modes
  • Folding Design: No
  • Maximum User Weight: 159kg

Life Fitness produce some excellent workout machines, and the X1 is a great example. It’s a high-quality rear-drive trainer that matches gym-standard machines in almost every respect.

What makes this such a high-quality cross trainer though?

Go control panelFirstly, the X1 includes lots of features you won’t find on mid-range models. It’s built with unique “WhisperStride” technology for quieter operation, along with a new drive system for a smoother stride and a 9kg flywheel. This, combined with the rear-drive design, provides natural gait that mimics running much more closely than cheaper models.

Secondly, the X1 has an advanced GO console with plenty of programmes and other options. The backlit display features 2 user profiles, along with a variety of feedback metrics, including calories, distance, METs heart rate and target heart rate. There are also 13 training programs, such as “Random Hill,” “Extreme Heart Rate” and “Fat Burn.”

If there’s one area that lets the X1 down, it’s lack of connectivity options. There’s no Bluetooth connectivity for iFit, for example. If you just want a cross trainer that provides a gym-standard workout and don’t need connectivity options, however, it’s one of the best around.

In summary, the Life Fitness X1 is a brilliant cross trainer that provides a smooth, quiet and stable ride at any intensity. It’s not cheap, but provides an outstanding workout.


7. NordicTrack E11.5 Power Incline

NordicTrack e11.5

Folding design, powered incline, 30 workout programmes and a gym-standard smoothness – all for a great price. Our #1 elliptical cross trainer.

  • Flywheel Weight: 9kg
  • Stride: 50-55cm (adjustable)
  • Resistance: Magnetic with 20 levels
  • Built-In Programs: 30 (10 calorie, 10 intensity and 10 performance) + iFit Live compatible
  • Folding Design: Yes
  • Maximum User Weight: 150kg

If the Life Fitness X1 is outside of your budget, but you still want a gym-standard cross trainer, the NordicTrack E11.5 Power Incline is one of the best options.

One of the great things about the E11.5 is how adjustable it is. Aside from the 20 difficulty levels, there’s the option of changing stride length, pedal angle and incline. This allows you to emphasise different muscle groups and continuously challenge yourself as you get fitter.

Along with adjusting the resistance and incline, the 5″ screen provides 30 different workouts targeting one of calorie burn, performance and intensity. It also shows all the standard metrics – heart rate, time, distance and more – and there’s the option of iFit connectivity.

Like most NordicTrack ellipticals, the E11.5 is also relatively quiet when in use. This is due to the company’s SMR technology (Silent Magnetic Resistance), which reduces noise output and provides a smooth gait.

A bonus is the E11.5’s folding design. If you’re tight on space, this can be a useful feature that’s relatively uncommon for elliptical trainers.

To summarise, the Nordictrack E11.5 Power Incline is one of the best cross trainers that’s the clear winner if you want a balance between quality performance and value for money. While there more expensive options with more features, there aren’t many that can match the E11.5’s bang for buck.


 

Is an Elliptical Machine The Same as a Cross Trainer?

Technically, a cross trainer is a specific type of elliptical. In practice, the two terms are used interchangeably though.

So, what’s the difference?

A cross trainer allows you to move your legs and arm bars. When most people talk about using an elliptical machine, they are talking about an elliptical cross trainer.

Some types of elliptical trainer have static arm bars, however, and these are not cross trainers.

Are There Any Models I Should Avoid?

As a general rule, avoid the cheapest home gym equipment. These machines can be tempting, but often have short strides and unstable designs, so they aren’t useful for much more than light workouts. If you’re looking for an intense workout, it’s also probably not a good idea to buy a combination of elliptical and exercise bike, as these machines are usually unstable.

We also recommend avoiding any machine that doesn’t have magnetic resistance. The best cross trainer machine all use a magnetic system.

Summary

Working out on a home cross trainer can be a great way to get in shape. Ellipticals provide a full-body workout, due to the moving arms, and don’t put much pressure on the joints.

It’s vital to get the right cross trainer for your needs though. Factors such as price, stride length, resistance levels, built-in programmes and stability should all be considered before buying.

If you’re looking for the best home cross trainer under £1000, we recommend the NordicTrack E11.5 Power Incline. It’s a brilliant machine that provides gym-standard stability and smoothness for a great price.

Do you have any questions about choosing the best home cross trainer? Or is there a model you think we should have included? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

 

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