Best Home Cross Trainer 2020 - Reviews & Comparison
We tested 50 home cross trainers for 3 months and show you our reviews and the results of our tests!
During our tests and for our comparison, we took into account the following technical criteria:
- the weight of the flying wheel
- the maximum power in watts
- the number of resistance levels
- the weight of the elliptical bike
- the maximum user weight supported
- the size of the cross trainer
- the console's characteristics
- the pedaling comfort
- the smoothness of resistance changes
- the movement of the elliptical
- the elliptical bike's solidity
- the pedaling noise after 10 hours and 100 hours of exercising
- the stability of the elliptical machine bike during a sprint
- the design
- the general impression of the cross trainer
- the price
We reveal you what's the best cross trainer for home use in 2020 in the UK and present you the results of our tests and our reviews in a comparison chart.
The DKN XC-140i elliptical cross trainer is the winner: the "best home cross trainer of 2020" in the medium price category (between £300 and £600). Well designed, quiet and stable during intense or interval training, it offers a very fluid pedaling and guarantees a good position of the body during the exercise. Its power and resistance levels allow you to follow cardio workouts as well as HIIT interval workouts. The DKN XC-140i has the best price on the market for that level of quality.
It performs very well in the most important criteria. The movement is fluid and comfortable thanks to its ergonomics and a 14 kg flying wheel. The resistance changes in a very smooth fashion and allows to go up to 250 watts by 5 watt increments. It has a solid construction and has been well designed: It does not make any noise after 10 hours of striding and hardly after 100 hours of use. On top of that, it has a Bluetooth connection, unlike most cross trainers in the same price range, which allows to use compatible training apps that make the workout more engaging and interactive. The Vescape App for example offers cardio and HIIT workout programs as well as fitness tracking with stats. All in all, a very good cross trainer for home at a highly competitive price!
The Kettler Skylon S Folding Cross Trainer arrives first in the ranking of the best home cross trainers in 2020 in the upper price range (above £600). It is of outstanding quality and the smoothness, comfort and fluidity of the movements are exceptional. For sure, it is an expensive equipment but well deserved!
The Kettler Skylon S scores very high in all criteria and has excellent technical characteristics: a 22 kg flying wheel which ensures a very fluid stride, smooth changes in resistance, a power going up to 400 watts and a comfortable position of the body. You can really feel the wheel turning while striding on the elliptical and it's a very pleasant sound, almost meditative (no unpleasant noise at all). The elliptical bike is very stable and can be adjusted on any type of floor thanks to small stabilizers. Its neat and elegant design, all in black with a blue circle around the wheel, suits to any living room or bedroom. Little wheels in the front allow to move the elliptical bike easily and it can be folded to be stored easily in a separate room. The Kettler Skylon S has a beautiful console with the Bluetooth connection and an iPad holder. The Bluetooth connection allows you to use workout apps on Android and iOS like the Vescape App. The Skylon S by Kettler is probably the highest quality elliptical trainer for home training.
Here are the results of our cross trainers tests presented in a comparison chart as well as our tips to help you choose the best home elliptical bike. Our ranking takes into account the most important criteria you should consider before buying a cross trainer as well as our reviews regarding the comfort and fluidity of the movements, the position of the body during the exercise.
When you want to buy a cross trainer, it is extremely important to know if you are going to to work out regularly and intensely since it will determine the price range you should aim for:
- If you intend to exercise once or twice a week, then you can find a very good equipment between £300 and £600.
- If you plan to use your cross trainer at least 3 to 4 times a week for one hour or more over a long period of time, that is at least 1 or 2 years, then you should definitely aim for a higher quality elliptical machine with a price above £600. It will be more robust, will have a longer life and will not squeak after one year.
No good workout without a good material! In addition, you will not achieve your goals, whether it is to lose weight, get back in shape, gaining muscle or for rehab, if the fitness equipment you buy is of low quality. Below £300, you will unfortunately not find a good quality cross trainer and it won't last long.
Here is our exercise bikes comparison chart according to the weight of the flying wheel, the maximum user weight supported and the other criteria mentioned above.
The following elliptical trainers are ideal for those who want to work out regularly from 2 to 3 times a week and get a full-body workout at home.
|Max user weight
|The DKN XC-140i has very good technical characteristics for a very good price.✔ Comfortable and silent movements✔ Smooth resistance up to 350 watts✔ Good ergonomics and elegant design✔ Bluetooth console with a stable tablet holder / iPad holder and app✔ Very good value for moneyStride Length: 16" (40.6 cm)Dimensions: 142 cm (L) x 56 cm (W) x 164 cm (H)
|A very high-quality cross trainer for an excellent price, ideal for anyone who intends to exercise at home regularly and get a full-body workout.✔ Very good quality✔ The elliptical is quiet and robust✔ Smooth strides and good position of the body✔ Very good value for money✘ No Bluetooth on the touch console, hence no appStride Length: 16" (40.6 cm)Dimensions: 130 cm (L) x 170 cm (W) x 70 cm (H)
|Reebok ZR8 Cross Trainer
|It's a good all-around elliptical cross trainer, similar to the Viavito Sina but for a much higher price.✔ Design and ergonomics✔ Good pedaling fluidity✘ Console without Bluetooth and therefore no mobile application.✘ Highly priced due to the name of the brand although Reebok does not produce its home fitness equipment anymore (the brand is licensed to a manufacturer).Stride Length: 15" (38.1 cm)Dimensions: 144 cm (L) x 63 cm (W) x 169 cm (H)* Attention: According to the manufacturer, the flywheel weight would be 24.6 kg, which according to our tests does not seem accurate.
|A medium-quality cross trainer for a lower price than the other cross trainers of our comparison but with medium technical characteristics.✘ Medium pedaling comfort.✘ Instability of the elliptical machine during a sprint or an acceleration.✘ Good price but not the best value for moneyStride Length: 15" (38.1 cm)Dimensions: 132 cm (L) x 55 cm (W) x 170 cm (H)
|Proform 225 CSE
|An elliptical machine slightly below our expectations for such a well-known brand.✔ The bike is stable and has a good level of resistance.✘ The movements do not feel very comfortable✘ Pedaling is not very fluid and little jerks over the bike's usage (and a bit of noise as well).✘ Not very steady during acceleration or high speed✘ The iPad holder is very high, which is not very practical.Stride Length: 14" (36 cm)Dimensions: 102cm (40.1") L, 54cm (21.2") W, 162cm (63.7") H
|York Fitness 120 2-in-1 Cycle
|A medium quality cross trainer and stationary bike at the same time. The concept of this 2 in 1 is interesting but it's not very practical to sit on it. It's probably better to choose either a cross trainer or an exercise bike of higher quality for the same price.✘ Awkward position while sitting on the elliptical bike✘ Pedaling lacks fluidity, squeaks and makes noise after a while (only a 7kg flywheel)Stride Length: 12" (30.5 cm)Dimensions: 120 cm (L), 62 cm (W), 152 cm (H)
The following elliptical trainers are ideal if you are planning to exercise more than 3-4 times a week (5 to 10 hours per week) over one year or more: they are more robust and will last longer. These elliptical bikes have higher quality parts and won't squeak or make any noise after one year or two years of use. Plus, the striding comfort and the feeling while running are superior to that of the cheaper elliptical bikes.
|Max user weight
|Kettler Skylon S
|The Kettler Skylon S Folding Elliptical Cross Trainer offers an oustanding quality, an incredible fluidity of the movements and a beautiful design, probably the best elliptical machine on the home market!✔ Exceptional fluidity of the movements✔ Very good resistance level (Power up to 400 watts)✔ Very elegant Bluetooth console with compatible application✔ Foldable: L=140cm (55.1"), W= 65cm (25.6")✘ The iPad / tablet holder is not wide nor deep and can cause the phone or tablet to fall.Stride Length: 19.7" (50 cm)Dimensions: 201cm (79.1") (L), 68cm (26.8") (W), 170cm (66.9") (H)
|The DKN XC-160i is a very high end elliptical bike with excellent technical characteristics for a very competitive price.✔ Smooth and silent strides✔ Comfortable position of the body✔ Elegant design and good ergonomics✔ Bluetooth console with a stable iPad holder / tablet holder✔ Very good value for moneyStride Length: 20" (50.8 cm)Dimensions: 188cm (74'') (L), 68cm (26.8'') (W), 186cm (73.2'') (H)
|A high-end elliptical trainer, ideal for anyone who is serious about his or her workout and plans to exercise regularly several times a week.✔ Smooth pedaling✔ Good stride length✔ Robust and stable✔ Bluetooth console, compatible with the Vescape App, and iPad holder✘ The position of the fixed handlebars in the middle is not optimal (behind the console)Stride Length: 21" (53.3 cm)Dimensions: 190cm (L) x 87cm (W) x 173cm (H)
|A good elliptical cross trainer, a high price compared to its technical characteristics.✔ Very nicely designed console✔ Good pedaling comfort.✘ Very heavy machine (110 kg) and 2m long, good for stability but not very convenient✘ Highly priced compared to its technical characteristics.Stride Length: 20.8" (52.8 cm)Dimensions: 202cm (79.5") (L), 64cm (25.2”) (W), 165cm (64.9") (H)
|Nordic Track C7.5
|An elliptical machine from quite a well-known American brand which however performs lower in terms of quality compared to the other elliptical bikes in the same price range.✘ A very light flywheel for an elliptical trainer in that price category✘ Striding is good and comfortable but less smooth than on the other ellipticals in the same price category.✘ The iPad holder is very high.Stride Length: 20" (50.8 cm)Dimensions: 67.1"(170cm) (L) x 25" (64cm) (W) x 69.1" (176cm) (H)
In our opinion and according to our tests, DKN Technology and Kettler are the best brands for cross trainers for home use.
In the medium price category (£300 to £600), you may find cross trainers from other brands with similar characteristics but quite often, the price-quality ratio varies a lot. In our opinion, the best value for money is offered by the fitness brand DKN Technology with the DKN XC-140i for £499.
In the upper price category (above £600), the elliptical machines by the well-known brands such as DKN, Kettler, Nordic Track, ProForm, JTX are all of very high quality. If you spend more than £600 to £800, you won't buy a cross trainer with bad characteristics. But you can end up paying more for the same quality. If you are ready to spend more than 1000 , we would definitely recommend you the Skylon S by Kettler. If you are more limited in your budget, the DKN XC-160i is an excellent choice for £799.
Kettler is a famous German home fitness equipment brand. They used to produce everything in Germany and manufactured high-end cross trainers (and exercise bikes) of outstanding quality. However, they changed their production mode about two years ago and have since been focusing on cheaper models, so that their very high-end elliptical bikes like the Skylon S are still available, but surely not for long.
The cross trainers in the lower price category that are sold for less than £300 are of course cheaper but their quality is much lower than the cross trainer in the upper price range.
- The movements are not very fluid and the resistance not smooth.
- During an interval training (HIIT workout), these elliptical bikes lack of stability.
- Cross trainers in the lower price category (below £300) have less power and cannot go very high in watts.
- Some of them are quite silent at the beginning but after 10 to 15 hours of exercise, they all start squeaking. Then, they make more noise over time and the rotation of the inner wheel becomes less and less smooth, which impacts the fluidity of the strides. Their lifetime is very limited.
- The compact cross trainers are smaller and have a smaller stride length, which is a great limitation in the workout. The position of the body on these ellipticals are not always very appropriate.
Most of the compact foldable cross trainers are in this price category. It is for sure practical since you can store them after your workout but this benefit comes at the expense of quality. In the end, cheap elliptical bikes do not offer the best price-quality ratio. If your goal is to exercise regularly and not to stop after 2 or 3 weeks, it's better to invest a bit more and be sure to have a high quality trainer with smooth movements. It's important that you enjoy your workout if you want to make progress and stay motivated!
The flywheel weight is probably the best criterion for judging the quality of an elliptical cross trainer. With a flying wheel that is too light (below 11-12kg), the movements on the cross trainer will not be as smooth and fluid. In worst cases, jerks will come with each stride. Other criteria like the stride length, the weight of the elliptical and the maximum user weight are also important criteria. Usually, if a cross trainer performs poorly in one criterion, it will also perform poorly in the other criteria.
Unfortunately not... The Bluetooth connection allows you to connect your iPad, iPhone or tablet via Bluetooth to your cross trainer and makes the workout more interactive. There are many apps available, like the Vescape app, that gives you the possibility to follow training programs, customize or create new workouts and follow your stats. It's really a great advantage but many cross trainers, also in the high end segment, do not have the Bluetooth.
OUR ADVICE: Before buying an elliptical cross trainer, think of how you are going to use it and how frequently you intend to exercise. If you plan to work out once or twice a week, then a cross trainer in the medium price category would be an excellent fit. But if you plan to exercise 3 to 4 times a week, with another person at home as well, your wife or your children for example, then we would rather recommend you to choose an elliptical trainer in the upper category which will be more robust and last longer.
Clara Miller has a Master's degree in Sports Science and has worked for famous sports and fitness brands. She is passionate about sports and regularly writes about fitness, weight loss and motivation for various blogs and magazines.