The Reebok Zr8 Cross Trainer has an entry level price when compared to most cross trainers but promises to offer much more than just entry level features. With Reebok having established a solid reputation for home exercise equipment, we decided to give it the full Fitness Brain treatment in our full Reebok ZR8 Cross Trainer review.
ZR8 First Impressions
Upon first viewing of the ZR8 there is little not to like. It has a strong design with a black frame and vibrant yellow trim whilst the centre console draws the eyes with its prominent positioning and brightly lit LCD display. You can’t help but notice the distinctive Reebok branding and although this isn’t something we would be influenced by in terms of the usability, it does look the part.
The ZR8 is not the largest cross trainer and stands at a height of 169cm with a length of 144cm and a width of 63cm. Although it is somewhat diminutive in stature, it looks and feels robust and will suit users up to a height of 6’1″ quite comfortably. Weighing in at just over 50kg, the ZR8 has a stable base and on first use it is clear that the sturdiness of this cross trainer has been a priority from Reebok. This is great to see as one of the biggest issues with cross trainers at the cheaper end of the market is flimsiness and lack of stability when pushing hard in a workout – there are no such problems here.
The Reebook ZR8 has some pretty decent technical specifications when compared to other cross trainers in its class. Sporting a 9kg flywheel and 32 levels of electronic resistance, the ZR8 provides a challenging but smooth and fluid workout feel.
There are no less than 12 pre-set workout programmes to choose from and of course you can also control your workout manually should you so wish with everything controlled by the simplified centre console. There are 7 clearly labelled buttons beneath the 5.75″ LCD screen which allow you to control the workout as well as allowing you to go in to recovery mode at the touch of a button.
The ZR8 has pulse sensors on the stationary handlebars which allow you to measure your heart rate and to have a more balanced or more lower body focused workout depending on where you choose to grip. The feet plates are oversized and have a non-slip design and offer a fantastic low impact cardio workout.
The maximum user weight of the ZR8 is 120kg which is pretty good for a budget cross trainer.
Using the Reebok ZR8 Cross Trainer
The ZR8 is easy to use and will provide beginner and intermediate users with a stern enough test, even advanced users will be able to get a good cardio kick out of this cross trainer thanks to the good range of resistance offered within the 32 levels. Both the stationary and moving arms are well positioned and the length of the latter means you can use a grip position that is comfortable for you no matter your height.
The foot plates are well made and we found them comfortable to use with no slippage when wearing appropriate trainers. The foot plates can also be adjusted depending on the length of your stride which is an excellent adjustment to have at your disposal and is quick and easy to make. The handlebars have a sweat resistant padding that is both effective at reducing sweat and comfortable to hold for long periods.
The drive of the flywheel provides a smooth movement and the impact on joints really is minimal. This is one of the key differences between this Reebok cross trainer and other models in the same price bracket as this really does perform well under the hood.
The control panel is super simple to use and although the LCD display may not win any design awards it displays all the key information you need and is well positioned. Expect to find data such as calories burned, speed, distance, time, watts and RPM. The LCD will also show your heart rate when using the built in pulse rate monitors.
Compared to other models, the ZR8 doesn’t take up a huge amount of space and as such it makes it ideal for a home workout and when compared to a treadmill you are going to need much less space and have a workout that is much kinder on your joints. It also has built in transport wheels to help you move it from one place to another which helps with storage.
We found no issues with using the ZR8 during our testing period and user reviews are very good too. Reebok provide a two year warranty regardless which shows a lot of faith in their product and this includes parts and labour.
The ZR8 Verdict
The Reebok ZR8 Cross Trainer is an affordable model that is about as good as it gets at its price point. It is easy to use, provides a fluid workout and is comfortable in all the right places. The added peace of mind of a two year warranty will help those who are sitting on the fence to make the plunge. If you are looking for a good cardio workout that is as kind on your joints as it is on your wallet then the ZR8 is a top pick!