JTX Tri-Fit Review
JTX have a good range of cross trainers and the Tri-Fit sits firmly in the middle of the three products they offer. Although the Tri-Fit is moderately priced, it is not too far off their top level model (the JTX Zenith) in terms of functionality but is leaps and bounds ahead of their entry level model and as such it is well deserving of consideration.
We were lucky enough to take this cross trainer on test for three weeks and we bring you our findings here in our JTX Tri-Fit review.
JTX Tri-Fit Overview
The Tri-Fit cross trainer is not a low budget option but neither will it break the bank. With this model, JTX have looked to strike the perfect blend of affordability with a high quality of build that is reliable and likely to last for years to come. It has some strong specs that put it in line with commercial gym quality cross trainers but it is very much designed to be used in the home.
The Tri-Fit looks like a quality piece of kit and has a matt black plastic outer that houses some high quality steel mechanics that drive the main functions of the machine. There is a whopping 17kg flywheel that is smooth and silent in operation and there are 16 levels of magnetic resistance that are electronically controlled. There is one feature found on the Tri-Fit (which is where it likely gets its name from) that is not found on any of the other models in the range and is not commonly found on many cross trainers – and that is that it features three levels of incline. There is a large LCD display and although it won’t win any awards for its aesthetic appearance it is perfectly functional, well sized and easy to read all your key data as well as enabling your to navigate the main settings.
With 18 pre-set programmes to choose from, the JTX Tri-Fit provides plenty of scope for training with a variety of foci and you will find 12 fitness based workouts including hill climbing and interval workouts – with the resistance levels changing automatically as and when required. There are also 4 heart rate modes which can be used with the built in pulse sensors or by using a Polar compatible heart rate strap. You can of course also opt for completely manual control with buttons on the centre console or the quick select intensity buttons on the handles being used to control the difficulty level. Finally, there is a custom programmable setting which allows you to create your own workout with virtually limitless options.
This cross trainer weighs in at 75kg and has a maximum user weight of 150kg. This high user weight should give you a good idea as to the quality of the Tri-Fit as many cross trainers have significantly lower maximum user weights than this. The dimensions stand at 153cm (l) x 75cm (w) x 173cm (h) but be aware that you will need a minimum length of 165cm when using the machine as the pedals need space to move backwards as well as forwards and the maximum pedal height is 32cm so you should add this to your own height to determine the minimum ceiling height needed for proper operation. We would suggest adding a little more so 40cm plus your height should be ample and not leave you in fear of bashing your head on the ceiling.
The maximum stride length of the Tri-Fit is 20 inches which is in line with commercial grade equipment (which is usually 20-21 inches) but one interesting feature that is again rarely seen on cross trainers is the ability to alter the stride length from 16-20 inches. Most people will want to use the 20 inch stride length but for those with smaller leg lengths or for anyone who wants to mix up their training, the adjustable stride length is a pretty nifty feature. The Q-Factor (which measures the distance between the feet) is 150mm and this is generally considered to be the ideal distance for optimal comfort and efficient training.
You will find a pair of speakers built in that can be used for music or connecting to various running apps such as Kinomap. There is a device holder that is positioned just beneath the main screen and using bluetooth you can also connect to i-Console which is included and third party apps such as Google Maps for even more functionality. For convenience there is also a well positioned water bottle holder.
Using The JTX Tri-Fit
We tested the JTX Tri-Fit cross trainer for three weeks in total and in this time we had three different users test it out for this review. Each of the users found it comfortable to use, easy to get started and found there to be a good range of challenge that would be suitable for people of all levels of cardiovascular fitness.
The first thing you will need to do upon taking delivery is assemble the Tri-Fit. If you have had bad experiences in the past with other brands then fear not as assembling this cross trainer is a breeze with all the complex parts already built leaving you with a 30-45 minute job of adding the finishing touches. There are good quality instructions included and although it is a two person job, you will be up and training in no time.
Everything about the Tri-Fit has a robust feel to it and all the main touch points are well made. The pedals are of a good size and have a rubber grip that gives you a good level of stability. The handles are also large and well designed meaning you have multiple grip points so no matter how tall you are there will be a comfortable grip position. The curved design of the stationary handlebars also gives you a range of options for grip position and is useful if you feel the need to change position when really pushing hard. There are pulse rate sensors on both the stationary and moving handles and these work well with heart rate data displayed on the main screen.
There are a couple of features that set the Tri-Fit apart from other models at similar price points and that even allow it to compete against some more expensive competitors.
Firstly, the 17kg flywheel is excellent. It provides an incredibly smooth and fluid ride and coupled with the 20 inch stride length allows for one of the best home cross trainer experiences we have ever enjoyed (or endured depending on your outlook). The flywheel is silent in operation and when combined with the 16 resistance levels really does provide a high level of challenge when using the hardest settings.
The adjustable incline is the second reason the Tri-Fit is well worth the investment. There are not many cross trainers that include an incline setting and there are three incline settings to choose from with this model. They do have to be set up manually which means you can’t really change mid-workout (at least not without getting off the machine) but they do allow you to target your lower body in slightly different ways depending on the setting you choose. Crucially, the incline does not affect the stride length so you can still enjoy a large stride with the highest incline.
The adjustable stride length is the final factor that sets this model apart from others and although most people will simply opt for the 20 inch stride there will be some users who will be glad of the shorter stride length options and this is ideal if you have multiple users of differing heights.
JTX have really pulled out all the stops with the Tri-Fit and we have to say that it is one of our favourite mid-level cross trainers in terms of functionality. The LCD screen does leave a little to be desired but the bluetooth connectivity means you can use your own device to access even more features and the use of third party apps can help you to not only track your progress but keep you motivated too.
When you use the JTX Tri Fit you will find that it is incredibly stable, everything feels solid but fluid in motion and the touch points are incredibly comfortable. All of this means you will be working out for 30-60 minutes at a time without too much discomfort but still enjoying a gruelling workout that is stress free on the joints and getting that heart rate pumping.
There is a two year at home parts and labour warranty with the Tri-Fit with any repairs taking place in the home – which makes it one of the best warranties available.
JTX Tri-Fit Verdict
The JTX Tri-Fit is a high quality cross trainer that will easily reign supreme over others in its price band and can even put up a worthy fight against more expensive competition. The low-fi LCD is the only real downside to this strong and durable cross trainer but thanks to some excellent connectivity and third party apps you can sync your own device to overcome this minor irritant. If you are looking for a good quality cross trainer that will last for years to come then this is it.