Want to buy a home cross trainer without spending a fortune? You’re in luck! The five elliptical machines below can provide a great workout for less than £350.
While expensive cross trainers come with a variety of features and can provide more user data, spending the extra money just for those perks is probably not worth it for everyone. If you’re looking to get your home gym started, or add another exercise machine to your collection and change up your fitness routine, an affordable cross trainer will provide great value.
What to Expect From a Budget Cross Trainer
There are some excellent cross trainers that cost less than £350. But it’s important to have realistic expectations.
Budget cross trainers lack some of the features that more expensive models generally come with. For example, it’s rare for a more affordable cross trainer to have smart connectivity capability or a USB charging port for your phone. They often come with fewer preset workouts as well.
One major distinguishing feature between cheaper and more expensive cross trainers is the flywheel weight – cheaper models typically come with lighter flywheels.
Lighter flywheels usually aren’t as smooth when in operation and can’t provide the same intensity workout as heavier alternatives. But for someone who prefers to focus on lower intensity workouts, the light flywheel weight may actually be a bonus.
Another slight drawback? With cheaper cross trainers, you may need to occasionally tighten a few bolts here and there and make slight adjustments after you’ve been using it for a while. However, it should be noted that there are plenty of cheap cross trainers that are still very sturdy, and this is often just a minor inconvenience and not an actual safety issue.
For the amount of money that you can save by going with a cheaper model, the minor flaws are typically worth it. The average person will often find that the fancier features on expensive cross trainers simply don’t matter too much, and it’s totally possible to get in great shape while spending less on a cross trainer.
Cheap cross trainers are often a bit smaller than the larger, more high tech models, which means that they can be easier to assemble and will take up less space in your home. Even if they don’t always fold up, they won’t be getting in the way when they are not in use.
With that said, advanced fitness enthusiasts who want to perform high-intensity workouts need to spend more to get a stable, challenging machine. If that’s you, check out our list of the best cross trainers here. But if you’re looking for an affordable cross trainer for low or moderate intensity workouts, there’s often no need to spend more than £350.
5 Best Budget Cross Trainers Under £350
Now you know what to expect from a budget elliptical machine, here are our five top picks. Make sure you read each review carefully, as it’s important to choose a model that matches your fitness goals.
While all these models are sold in the UK, be aware that some are specific to a certain retailer (such as Argos or Powerhouse Fitness). If you decide to buy a second-hand cross trainer from eBay, make sure you know the exact condition of the machine before you commit.
Note: We haven’t included any 2-in-1 models on this list. These machines can be used as both a cross trainer and bike, although they typically are less effective at both roles. For more information about 2-in-1 machines, check out our page here. Roger Black also manufactures two of these models.
|Rank||Image||Name||Who's it for?||View Price|
Reebok Z Set 400
|People who want a versatile workout machine for a great price. Our #1 cheap cross trainer.||VIEW PRICE|
|People who want the cheapest cross trainer for low-intensity workouts.||VIEW PRICE|
Roger Black Gold
|People who want a cheap trainer for moderate intensity workouts.||VIEW PRICE|
|People who want a wide range of built-in programmes.||VIEW PRICE|
Reebok Jet 100 S
|People who want an affordable cross trainer that's relatively easy to assemble.||VIEW PRICE|
1. Reebok Z Set 400
The Reebok Z Set is at the higher end of the budget scale, but it’s worth the extra price. The 8.5kg flywheel provides a smooth ride, while the 32 resistance levels offer plenty of scope for improvement.
- Flywheel Weight: 8.5kg
- Resistance: 32 levels
- Built-in Programs:12
- Product Weight: 49.5kg
- Folding Design: No
Compared to some other cross trainers that fall into the budget price range, the Reebok Z Set 400 is on the more expensive side. However, this model is well worth the extra cost – mainly due to the wide range of resistance levels, the heavier flywheel, and the longer stride length.
Many budget cross trainers come with a flywheel that weighs about 6 kg or less, but the Z Set 400 has an 8.5 kg flywheel. The heavier weight means that it can accommodate more intense workouts. It also means that the machine will run more smoothly than cross trainers with lighter flywheels. It’s rare to find a cheap cross trainer that comes with a heavier flywheel, so if flywheel weight is one of your most important considerations, the Z Set 400 could be a solid investment.
The pedals on the Z Set 400 are also designed with both comfort and functionality in mind. They come with a pedal strap so that you don’t slip while increasing the intensity of your workout, which is helpful at higher speeds.
Compared to other budget models, the Z Set 400 has a slightly longer stride length. Many budget cross trainers have a stride length of about 35 cm, but the Z Set 400 has a 38 cm stride length. This difference may not seem like much, but it can be a boon for taller users, who may find that this extra room makes this machine a more comfortable fit than other cross trainers.
Most budget cross trainers give users the option of anywhere between 16 to 20 resistance levels, and the cheapest models often come with fewer than ten resistance levels. But the Z Set 400 gives you 32 resistance levels to choose from, which means that you can experiment until you find a level of intensity that works for your fitness goals.
The Z Set 400 also comes with twelve preset programmes, allowing you to set targets depending on your goals. With so many preset programmes and resistance levels to vary the intensity, you can find a highly specific routine that works for you.
One of the major perks of more expensive cross trainers are all of the options that allow users to customize their workouts. With the Z Set 400, you’ll have a similar range of options at your disposal, with a lower price tag. A bonus is that there is a Watts meter to give an accurate measure of your effort.
So, if customization and workout variety are important to you, this model is definitely worth looking into. Few other models in the budget range come with these capabilities at this price.
2. Opti Magnetic Cross Trainer
The Opti Magnetic is the cheapest cross trainer on this list. It has a light flywheel and very basic console, but is great for steady state workouts on a budget.
- Flywheel Weight: 3kg
- Resistance: 8 levels
- Built-in Programs:7
- Product Weight: 23kg
- Folding Design: No
In terms of price, the Opti Magnetic Cross Trainer is certainly one of the cheaper options, even when compared to other budget cross trainers. However, the decrease in cost isn’t the best trade off – unless you only want a machine for low-intensity workouts.
For starters, the flywheel on the Opti Magnetic is exceptionally light. Many budget cross trainers come with a flywheel that weighs in around at least 6 kg, but the flywheel on the Opti Magnetic is only 3 kg. If you prefer easier workouts just to get moving, but don’t enjoy intense exercise, this might be a good feature. But if you really like to break a sweat, you’ll probably want a machine with a heavier flywheel.
The also Opti Magnetic isn’t the best choice for taller, heavier users. While many budget cross trainers can accommodate a maximum weight of about 125 kg, the Opti Magnetic has a maximum weight of 100 kg. This is significantly lighter than most other budget machines, and potential buyers should certainly take note of this before making a purchase.
The stride length is also notably shorter than the typical stride length on other budget cross trainers. Most budget cross trainers have a stride length of about 35 cm, but the stride length on the Opti Magnetic is only about 27 cm. While shorter users probably won’t have an issue with this, taller people may want to check out other models.
Despite these limitations, there are a few perks to this model. It’s very compact and easy to store, so if you have a small space to work out that can’t accommodate a larger machine, the Opti Magnetic won’t take up so much room. While many of the cheapest cross trainers need to have the resistance manually adjusted, the Opti Magnetic has electromagnetic resistance, so you can change it simply by pressing a button.
If you find large display screens with lots of data points distracting, you’ll like the simplicity of the small screen on the Opti Magnetic, which still shows important information like speed, time elapsed, distance covered, calories burned, and your pulse.
Extra features on a cross trainer can be enticing, but if you’re simply looking to save as much money as possible when purchasing a cross trainer, the Opti Magnetic is a good choice. It’s unlikely that you would find anything cheaper – just don’t expect it to cope with high-intensity workouts.
3. Roger Black Gold Magnetic Cross Trainer
The Roger Black Gold is a decent budget cross trainer without being spectacular. It’s not suitable for high-intensity workouts, but for moderate intensity cardio it’s a solid choice.
- Flywheel Weight: 6kg
- Resistance: 16 levels
- Built-in Programs: 12
- Product Weight: 42.7kg
- Folding Design: No
The Roger Black Gold Magnetic Cross Trainer is aimed at beginner and intermediate fitness enthusiasts. It can provide moderate intensity workouts for a great price, so it’s certainly a step up from cheap trainers like the Opti Magnetic. If you’re looking to push past your usual limits, however, it may not be suitable for the highest intensity workouts.
The stride length of approximately 35 cm and the maximum user weight of 125 kg is typical of budget cross trainers, so this machine can accommodate people of many different body types. The 6 kg flywheel is also comparable to other budget cross trainers.
Overall, the design of this particular machine is fairly standard for a budget cross trainer. You won’t experience as much resistance when you accelerate as you would with a machine featuring a heavier flywheel, and this means that the machine can be somewhat noisier, but for the average user, a 6 kg flywheel will suit them just fine.
The display screen on the Gold Magnetic gives basic user data feedback, including time, speed, pulse, calorie, ODO, and RPM. It is a blue light LED display, so it is bright, clear, and easy to read. This cross trainer has 16 resistance settings and 12 workout programmes. Six of these programmes are preset, and users can also complete workouts specifically targeting body fat and maintaining their target heart rate. You’ll have plenty of choices based on your individual fitness goals.
The Gold Magnetic can be quite wobbly, so if you think you might feel more comfortable spending a bit extra on a more stable machine, this may not be the right cross trainer for you. This is primarily a problem at higher speeds, which is why this isn’t the ideal model for high-intensity workouts.
In addition, this machine is known for getting squeakier over time. However, this issue is common with budget cross trainers, so it isn’t a huge drawback, and being extra careful during the assembly process and tightening the bolts from time to time can help prevent this.
The Gold Magnetic doesn’t come with quite as many resistance settings and preset programmes as some other machines in the budget price range. But compared to the cross trainers that do come preloaded with more workout options, it’s a bit cheaper.
If you’re not looking for a huge variety of programmed workouts or resistance options, the price difference is a bonus. For most people in the market for a budget cross trainer, a model like the Gold Magnetic will be suitable for helping them meet their fitness needs.
Note: Want to learn more about this model? Check out our full review on this page.
4. Marcy Onyx Elliptical Cross Trainer
The Marcy Onyx has some interesting pre-set workouts, including hills and mountains. It also has a heavier flywheel and longer stride length than most budget models.
- Flywheel Weight: 7kg
- Resistance: 16 levels
- Built-in Programs: 23
- Product Weight: 45kg
- Folding Design: No
As far as budget cross trainers go, the Macy Onyx Elliptical Cross Trainer will cost more than some others in this price range. However, it does stand out in areas where some budget cross trainers are lacking, and the extra cost will be worth it for some people.
The Onyx Elliptical comes with 23 programmes. This includes the option of saving up to four custom user programmes. The cross trainer is preset with several landscape programmes, including hills, valley, and mountains.
With all of these different workouts preloaded and saved in the machine, it’s easy to get on, select from a variety of routines, and get going. If you’re open to trying something completely different, you can also select “Random” and see what kind of workout is in store for you.
The display on the Onyx Elliptical gives the user plenty of data to help them structure their workouts, including time, speed, distance, calories, pulse and RPM. It also has a water bottle holder and tablet holder.
The flywheel on the Onyx Elliptical comes in at 7 kg. It’s not quite as heavy as the flywheel on the Reebok Z Set 400, but it’s weightier than the flywheels on most other budget cross trainers. This allows you to pedal more smoothly during your workout and get more resistance as you exercise. If you’re looking for a cross trainer that will make you work a bit harder, but you don’t want to spring for an expensive model, the Onyx Elliptical might fit the bill.
Although the maximum user weight is 120 kg, which is slightly less than other budget cross trainers, the Onyx Elliptical also has larger pedals that can be adjusted to accommodate people with bigger feet. If you find that typical cross trainer pedals feel a little cramped, the Onyx Elliptical might be a better fit.
The Onyx Elliptical also has an exceptionally long stride length compared to most budget cross trainers. The stride length on this model is approximately 40 cm. This is a plus for users with longer legs.
Overall, the Onyx Elliptical is definitely a high quality budget cross trainer. If you want to enjoy some of the perks of more expensive models without paying the same price, the Onyx Elliptical is a smart purchase.
5. Reebok Jet 100 S Cross Trainer
The Reebok Jet 100 S is another solid budget cross trainer. It’s smooth, has 16 resistance levels and easy to assemble – although we still think the Z Set 400 is the better option.
- Flywheel Weight: 6kg
- Resistance: 16 levels
- Built-in Programs: 12
- Product Weight: 42kg
- Folding Design: No
The Reebok Jet 100 S Cross Trainer isn’t the cheapest budget cross trainer, but still provides excellent value. This moderately priced cross trainer is fairly standard for a budget cross trainer – it isn’t quite gym quality, but it runs smoothly and includes plenty of features that make for effective workouts.
Like most budget cross trainers, the Jet 100 S has a 6 kg flywheel. This is ideal for someone who would like to do low to moderate intensity workouts. Other cheap cross trainers that come with a flywheel of the same weight often run a bit more expensive, so this is a pretty good deal in comparison.
It comes with 16 resistance levels, which seems to be the standard for similarly priced cross trainers. It’s also preset with 12 programmes for varying your workout. The display screen is large and clear, making it easy to see exactly what you’re putting into and getting out of each workout.
Some cross trainers can be tricky to assemble, but the Jet 100 S is easier to construct. It’s also designed to be compact, so while it doesn’t fold up for storage, it won’t take up too much space in your home, either. Although the Jet 100 S is a relatively sturdy machine, the handlebars are known to get a bit loose every once in a while, so they may require some occasional tightening.
The display on the Jet 100 S can occasionally show inaccurate data from the heart rate monitor. This may pose a problem for people who especially like to focus on target heart rate workouts. But if you just want to use your cross trainer to tone up or burn calories, this shouldn’t be an issue.
The Jet 100 S does come with a water bottle holder, but it doesn’t have space to store a tablet. People who want space for both can typically expect to spend slightly more. However, if you view your workouts as the perfect time to unplug and get away from digital distractions, this won’t be a drawback.
All in all, the Jet 100 S is a solid budget cross trainer. The 120 kg maximum weight and 27 cm stride length mean that it’s more suitable for smaller people, but aside from a couple caveats, this is a well designed cross trainer for the price.
For serious athletes and people who enjoy high-intensity workouts, budget cross trainers may not be the best option. But if you want to work out in the comfort of your home without breaking the bank, you can find a quality cross trainer for an affordable price.
Our top pick in this category is the Reebok Z Set 400. It may be pricier than other models in the budget range, but it has a wide array of useful features and programmes that are often absent on budget cross trainers.
The longer stride length and heavier flywheel also set this machine apart in terms of design. In addition, the range of resistance levels means that you can continuously make your workouts more and more challenging over time to keep increasing your endurance. The Reebok Z Set 400 is a top of the line budget cross trainer.