Currently available for £799.99 from SportsDirect.com
BH Fitness I.FDC19 Elliptical Cross Trainer Review
With a history that stretches all the way back to the early 1900s, it’s fair to say that BH Fitness knows a thing or two about building machines. From the early days of manufacturing road bicycles, BH has grown to become a global player in the fitness market. It’s been some time since we look at one of their elliptical cross trainers so we got their i.FDC19 model in for testing. Here’s what we found….
Assembly, like BH itself, is traditional. While putting this elliptical together involves more steps than most models we’ve tested recently, it’s not particularly difficult in an of itself. Rather it does take a while but the main reason for this that the instruction manual could do with being clearer. The pictures are clear enough, but the text that accompanies each step is in a different section of the manual so it’s necessary to refer to each as you work your way through. It works, true, but it really could better.
No such criticisms when it comes to the build quality though. The i.FDC19 is clearly well manufactured. The components feel hefty and they all fit together the way they should. This doesn’t surprise us given the manufacturer but it’s still nice to see. The only part of the construction that we felt could do with an upgrade was the single rail setup that the rollers run on. They could, and probably should be dual rails. In our experience, this makes a big difference to stability and reliability, but in this instance, the build quality is pretty good so hopefully, in the long run, the decision to go single rail won’t come back to bite.
There are certain elements that decide how good an elliptical trainer feels when you’re using it. Overall size is one of them. With a footprint of 185cm x 70cm (73″ x 28″) this isn’t a small cross trainer and that bulk does help to make it feel sturdy, though you’ll need to make sure you leave more room than this in terms of length due to the workings of the machine. The Q-factor (the distance in between the two pedals) is another. As a rule, the less the distance, the better and here the Q factor is 14cm which for many people will result in a natural walking position. The 19″ (48cm) stride length allows for a full range of movement, even for taller people and being a front-wheel based elliptical the ellipse is quite flat in nature, which again, feels more natural than many rear wheel based machines. Another factor is the quality of the components, and very specifically the bearings. Cheap bearings result in clunks, grinding noises and rough performance. Thankfully BH has opted to use good quality bearings in this machine so mechanically it runs silky smooth.
The console on the i.FDC19 is, unhappily, not as impressive as the mechanical part of this elliptical. There’s a standard blue back-lit LCD screen which displays your training data and this does a fair job. But, with just 12 workouts to choose from the training options at your disposal are rather limited, though it does have heart rate control workouts and a wireless receiver and you can create and store up to 4 user-defined workouts. In short, if you’re planning on doing the same exercise each day with a small amount of variation, this will do a job. But, there’s nothing here that’s very engaging so if you’ve got good discipline and are in a habitual exercise routine then all well and good, but if like many others you get bored easily or find it hard to stick to a routine, there’s little here that’s going to help you do that. BH has made some effort on this front by making this model compatible with seven (at the time of writing) different 3rd party apps such as KinoMap and FitConsole. But of these seven, five will only run on Apple devices so if you’ve got an Android device there’s not much to choose from. Some of the apps are subscription-based, most are free but only two that we checked had a good rating, with most coming from one developer (all of whose were ranked 1 star when we checked). For a cross-trainer at this price point, that’s a bit disappointing and certainly pales into obscurity compared with what else is out there.
Other features include a nice hefty 130kg max user weight, a fitness recovery test, a tablet/smartphone holder and a water bottle holder. The i.FDC19 also comes with a 2-year parts and labour warranty.
If time has taught us anything it's that BH Fitness produce good fitness machines and the i.FDC19 is no exception. Mechanically and ergonomically this is a good cross-trainer. But it does fall short in certain areas. We'd much prefer to see a double rail system and the training options (or lack thereof) are a definite issue for us so the value for money here isn't great. When compared with other ellipticals it struggles to compete on price. For example, the Proform 7.0 is fitted dual rails, benefits from 20°adjustable power ramp, has 29 built-in workouts, is iFit compatible, has adjustable pedals, adjustable stride length and a sound system just for good measure. The Proform 7.0 is our elliptical of the month and yet it costs a bit less than the i.FDC19.
BH Fitness I.FDC19 Specifications
- 35kg (77.2lbs) Flywheel
- 48cm (18.9″) length of the strides
- 14cm (5.5″) distance between pedals
- Smooth, zero maintenance, and silent settings of magnetic resistance
- Blue Backlit LCD Screen
- Feedback: Time, Speed, RPM, Distance, Watts, HR, and calories burned
- 12 programs including manual, 4 customs, Fitness Test, 4 heart rate controls, Recovery Test, and Body Fat Test
- Heart Rate Measurement: Telemetric via optional chest belt, integrated with sensors in handlebars
- Conveniences: build-in water holder, transportation wheels, i.Concept Technology, Fitness Apps, tablet/smartphone holder, easy to assembly
- Dimensions in Use (L x W x H): 185cm (72.8″) x 70cm (27.6″) x 170cm (67″)
- Maximum User Weight: 130kg (286.6lbs)
- Product Weight: 85kg (187.4lbs)
BH Fitness I.FDC19 Elliptical Cross Trainer - Console / Display Unit
Currently available for £799.99 from SportsDirect.com
Also see our Elliptical Cross Trainer Comparison Table
Whilst every effort is made to give you accurate information we cannot guarantee the technical specification. Models change on a regular basis and may differ slightly from the above review. We recommend you contact the retailer if you have a question regarding technical data. Please read our Legal Disclaimer