Kettler Alpine Elliptical Cross Trainer Review

As a brand there’s not much more we can say about Kettler than hasn’t already been said many times. With a solid reputation for producing reliable machines that stand the test of time Kettler are definitely one of the ‘go to’ manufacturers out there whenever you’re considering investing in a new piece of kit. Of late we’ve covered some of their higher end models so we decided to check out a new entry-level model offering in their range, the Kettler Alpine, to see how it compares with their more illustrious models.

In term of assembly, the user manual is nice and clear with, unusually, some really useful tips such as ‘The bolts (57 & 64) appear the same, but they are not. Number 57 has to be used on the left side and number 64 has to be used on the right side’. Given that the general trend with instruction manuals is to have next to no words and just diagrams, attention to details such as this make all the difference! Yes, there are a few fiddly bits, but because the manual is well thought out and contains useful information such as the above, there’s nothing here that should worry anyone who’s ever put an Ikea chest of drawers together before.

Having finished putting the Alpine together and taking a step back it looks nice and tidy. The polished black finish with red trim makes it look even more compact that its 130 x 55 cm footprint actually is. It’s quite compact without being tiny and will fit well into most domestic environments. Our first impressions are that this is definitely a high quality and well-built piece of kit.

Sleek looks aside, we were keen to try it out to see what it feels like. Could such a compact machine provide a nice action? The short answer is: Yes! Even though the stride length is quite short at 13″ (34cm), the motion is quite smooth and fluid thanks to its 8kg flywheel. We’ve seen so many compact ellipticals with 4-6kg flywheels that have a similar stride length, but quite a jerky motion as a result of the rotating mass being too light, but no such concerns with the Alpine. In addition to being smooth, the Alpine feels nice and sturdy to use as it’s quite a heavy machine (nearly 40kg) for its compact size.

There are 16 levels of computer controlled resistance and the transition times between levels are quick and noticeable so it’s easy to adjust the resistance to suit without having to jump several levels before feeling the difference. The top level of resistance isn’t bad either and certainly for the majority of people that are likely to buy this machine (that is to say people looking to improve their fitness levels, rather than hardcore gym goers) it will provide plenty enough of a challenge.

The computer boasts 4 user profiles allowing you to get more accurate and personalised information on calorie burn, body fat analysis and pulse recovery fitness tests which is always useful. It’s easy to use as there’s a wheel which you spin either clockwise or anti-clockwise to select the value making it far quicker that the repeated button press system on many other models.

There are 12 pre-set workouts , manual mode and user defined program. Getting started in manual mode is simple enough and you can either just press the start button and get moving, or you can set targets for time, distance and calories by turning the dial. If you do set targets, once the program starts the target figure will start counting down until reaches zero at which point the program will end. Selecting a preset workout is again done via the wheel and is quick and simple. There’s a print out of all the available programs on the console so it’s easy to see what each workout does. The duration of the pre-set workouts is fixed at 20 minutes and cannot be altered which is a bit restrictive but then again, for most people who are likely to purchase this model, a 20 min workout 3-4 times a week is probably pretty much on the money in terms of the kind of usage it’s going to be seeing anyway. There’s also a heart rate control mode. A nice feature is that there are symbols on the screen which tell you if you’re working too hard or not hard enough during a workout. The display clearly shows you if you’re working too hard with an ‘up’ arrow symbol (in which case you should slow down a little) or not hard enough with a ‘down’ arrow symbol (in which case you need to speed up). While slightly unintuitive it does have the benefit of make sure that you don’t lazily make your way through a workout, or indeed hammer yourself into the ground! It’s an unusual feature but Kettler say that it’s there because the preset workouts have been designed in such a way as to ensure that you get the intended benefit of the workout you’ve selected. It does actually all make sense and if you stick to what it’s telling you to do, it’ll do the job it was designed for. Hard to argue with that as a concept though obviously, it doesn’t know your personal fitness levels. Again, this is aimed at the ‘typical’ user of this machine and will be a very useful thing for most people using it. In addition, if none of the preset workouts work for you, it’s a 5-minute job to create a program of your own and use that so between manual, preset and user defined Kettler have made sure that they’ve got it covered in terms of suitable workouts. Last but not least, there’s a body fat measure mode and a fitness recover test mode that’ll give you a good indication of your general fitness levels.

Another point of note is that Kettler are including their standard 3 year parts & labour warranty on this machine. This is a testament to their confidence in the build quality of the Alpine as this warranty is certainly best in class for a budget machine!

Overall, we’re really impressed with the Alpine. There are plenty of people out there who need an elliptical that is really compact to fit into their homes and with the Alpine, they’ve delivered the features and smoothness typically found on larger and more expensive machines. This is a solid and reliable choice for those with space restrictions and it’s certainly very suited to people under 5′ 6″ (168cm).

 

Best Price

Currently available for £299.00 from Sweatband.com

Review Summary - In Brief

The Alpine from Kettler is a smooth, feature-rich elliptical that's perfectly suited to those who are average height or shorter. If it were a car, it'd be the BMW Mini: well engineered with quality components, but not necessarily suited for handling big families! We're very impressed with its ergonomics and the console features and at a sub £300 price, it's easy to recommend in terms of value. Our only note of caution: If you're over 5ft 6" (167cm), you're likely to find the stride too short.

Kettler Alpine Specifications

  • 8kg (17.6lbs) flywheel
  • 16 levels of magnetic computer-controlled resistance
  • 34cm (13″) stride
  • Blue backlit LCD display with perspiration-resistant keys
  • Feedback: Speed, time, distance, rpm, pulse, calories
  • Programmes: 12 pre-set, manual, user programme + body fat, pulse recovery fitness tests and personalized fitness programme
  • 4 user profiles
  • Heart Rate Measurement: Pulse sensors on handlebars, Polar compatible wireless receiver (chest strap optional)
  • Alarm when max pulse is exceeded
  • Transport castors at front and height adjustment at rear
  • Oversized footplates
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 130cm (51.2″) x 55cm (21.6″) x 160cm (63″)
  • Max. User Weight: 120kg (264.5lbs)
  • Product Weight: 38.5kg (84.8lbs)
  • Power: Mains
  • Warranty: 3 years parts and labour

Kettler Alpine Elliptical Cross Trainer - Console / Display Unit

Kettler Alpine Elliptical Cross Trainer - User Reviews

The Pros

    • Smooth action
      Compact footprint
      Advanced features on console
      User profiles for more accurate feedback

The Cons

    • Shorter stride makes it unsuitable for taller users
Kettler Alpine Elliptical Cross Trainer Reviewer Ratings

Ease Of Installation - 9
Appearance - 8.5
Smoothness - 9
Comfort - 8.5
Reliability - 9
Noise - 9
Ease Of Use - 8.5
Controls - 8.5
Warranty - 9
Value for Money - 8.5
Best Price

Currently available for £299.00 from Sweatband.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

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