There’s a reason that cross trainers are so popular and that’s because they provide one of the greatest ratio of calorie burn to total workout time out of all the various forms of cardio available – and on top of that, they are one of the least damaging forms of cardio when it comes to joint health thanks to the low impact nature of their operation. The JTX Strider X7 takes everything that is great about cross trainers and delivers it all in one relatively compact package – aiming to be the perfect home workout companion.
We took the Strider X7 out for a thorough testing over a period of 3 weeks and in that time we managed to get to the bottom of whether this popular cross trainer is still worth investing in. Find out that and more right here in our JTX Strider X7 review.
JTX Strider X7 First Impressions
The first thing you will notice about the Strider X7 upon assembling it (which is relatively easy) is that it is fairly compact. In fact, it is quite a bit smaller than standard commercial cross trainers and as such comes the first major limitation of this piece of equipment – it is designed to be used by people 5’9″ tall or under. Fear not if you are above that height, you can take a look at our reviews of the JTX Tri-Fit or Zenith models – both of which are incrementally bigger than the X7 – but for those who do fit the 5’9″ and under bracket – it is worth reading on as the X7 might save you some pennies.
Height restraints aside, the X7 still holds its own against newer models and although it is clearly the entry level model from JTX it does come at a very tempting price point.
Featuring a solid build with a black plastic moulded casing, the 12.5kg flywheel is more than enough to promise a smooth experience for lighter users and all in all the Strider X7 looks like a decent bit of kit.
Strider X7 Specifications
One of the biggest selling points of the Strider X7 is that it has a fairly small footprint for a cross trainer. Measuring up at 130cm (l) x 70cm (w) x 170cm (h) the amount of space you need to house this unit is pretty minimal. The stride length measures up at 16 inches which is a few digits short of the 20-21″ stride length you would find on a commercial cross trainer but it is a small concession to make and will likely be fine considering this model is not recommended for taller users with longer strides anyway.
The X7 weighs in at 51kg which is solid enough to provide a sturdy base for your workout but light enough to allow it to be moved around with the aid of the handy transport wheels – meaning it can be stored in the corner of a room and wheeled out for a workout with ease. Despite the smaller frame, the X7 has an impressive maximum user weight of 130kg which should be ample for the majority of users.
The 12.5kg flywheel is 4.5kg lighter than the other two models in the JTX cross trainer series but it handles the ride well and through all of our testing with a 5’7″ female it proved to be extremely smooth and afforded a good level of challenge thanks to the magnetic resistance on offer. There are 16 levels of magnetic resistance to choose from and this is all controlled from the impressive colour touch screen.
The large display is not going to blow anyone away with snazzy graphics or HD video but it is perfectly functional and the computer that powers it is well connected with the option to connect a Polar heart rate strap to inform your heart rate programs of your vital data.
There are 21 programs in total to choose from and you can also add 4 custom programs to the mix. The display shows all the key data you would expect to see and this includes heart rate, time elapsed, distance, speed and calories burned.
Considering the low price point of this cross trainer we would say it is very well spec’d and holds up well against newer models.
JTX Strider-X7 In Use
The initial set up of the Strider X7 takes around 40 minutes and is fairly simple, and that seems to be the order of the day when it comes to the way JTX have approached the design and usability of the Strider – it really is simple to set up and use each time you want a workout – and for us that is key to remaining consistent with your home cardio training.
If you want an affordable home cardio solution that is going to allow you to blast through a 20-30 minute workout and not have to think too hard about getting the settings right and so forth then the Strider X7 is an excellent choice. If you want to have a little more sophistication then the Strider can do that too in the form of the pre-set and customisable programs on offer – and again, yes you guessed it, it is still simple to get going.
We had two concerns when we started using the X7. The first was around the flywheel weighing in at 12.5kg. The reality is that the weight of a flywheel is not the be all and end all when it comes to cross trainers, but the way in which they work in sync with all the moving parts of the unit is crucially important. We found the flywheel to work seamlessly with the arms and feet and even when we tested it with a 90kg male (who admittedly was over 5’9″) it coped perfectly well.
The second concern we had was around the stride length. 16 inches is the recommended minimum for adults and that is what you get with the Strider X7. Again, even at 5’9″ (or slightly above… ahem), the stride length seems ideal and certainly doesn’t feel overly restrictive. Let’s be honest, this is one of JTX’s greatest selling products and it has over 240 reviews at an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars with Trust Pilot so they must be doing something right.
Cycling through the pre-set programs is easy enough and you can choose programs that automatically alter the resistance based on the program – pretty standard stuff so far but it all works perfectly all the same. Where the JTX Strider really comes in to its own is when it is combined with either the built in pulse rate sensors or a Polar heart rate monitor as you can then work at a target heart rate. This is an extremely efficient way of working out and will have you burning fat at a much higher rate than just going through the motions.
The Strider X7 does have its limitations and they mainly surround the maximum user height. This however is also a selling point for this unit as it is the one that requires the least amount of ceiling height. The maximum pedal height is just 28cm and so if you add that to your own height you can determine the minimum height you will need the ceiling. This means that for most users a ceiling height of at least 2 metres will suffice – so garage gyms could be ideal for the X7 (but always check your ceiling height before buying).
The challenge provided by the X7 is pretty considerable and even seasoned gym goers who are used to working on a cross trainer will find a workout on the highest resistance settings pretty difficult. The build quality is excellent considering the price point and the handles are well positioned and have a multitude of grip points with comfortable grips to the touch and the foot pads are well positioned and ideally sized. There is also a set of stationary bars should you wish to focus solely on the lower body.
It’s easy to see why the JTX Strider-X7 is such a favourite with consumers. It comes at an affordable price, has an excellent 2 year warranty (5 year frame warranty) and offers a great workout with a good level of challenge. It goes really easy on the joints and has a good range of magnetic resistance with a flywheel that is super smooth.
The only downside is that the maximum user height is around 5’9″ but if you are under that then you have nothing worry about and will actually find this an ideal cross trainer for your home workout.