Currently available for £519.00 from John Lewis
Kettler Sport Sella Elliptical Cross Trainer Review
With a firmly cemented reputation for building dependable machines that last, Kettler is definitely one of the manufacturers that should spring to mind if you’re considering ploughing some of your hard earned cash into a new elliptical. Due to so many models hitting the market it’s been a while since we looked at what they’ve got to offer, so we decided to check out the Kettler Sport Sella elliptical to see how it compares with the competition.
Everyone’s favourite part of unboxing a new cross trainer is the assembly. Well, actually on second thoughts perhaps not! Thankfully putting the Sella together doesn’t require a professional team and once it’s out of the packaging assembly takes around 40 minutes. While there are quite a few nuts and bolts it’s all easy enough and the instruction manual is nice and clear and easy to follow. Satisfyingly, all the parts fit together smoothly and easily with all parts present and nothing missing. Two things to highlight is that on the first test after our test unit was built there was some squeaking during use and the electrical connection to the console was too loose a fit for comfort. The former, it turned out, was down to the bolts holding the main front stem in position. It’s worth the mention here as the bolts really did need to be noticeably tighter than most other cross trainers to ensure that there was zero movement at the point where the stem attaches to the base unit of the machine. A bit of elbow grease directed at those bolts to make them super, super tight and the squeaking was completely gone and didn’t return at any point during testing. The electrical connection to the console did hold but on our test unit we felt the need to tape it up to make sure it stayed in position so loose was the fitting.
Unlike a lot of ellipticals on the market that show little imagination on the aesthetical side of things, the team behind the Sella do really have appeared to make an effort here. It’s not that the Sella doesn’t look like other cross trainers, it does, not to mention the fact that it also looks quite beefy because of the substantially thick metal that the major parts are made of. It’s the little tweaks here and there to the design of the bodywork. A small swish here, a bulge there a splash of colour here or there, or a bit of embossing with patterns on the plastic work or perhaps the shiny chrome handles – all small tweaks to a basic design that all add up to make the Sella look like it belongs in a modern setting. It would appear that Kettler has realised that not everyone has a dedicated gym room in their property and so has tried to actually make the Sella look like an item that you’d actually want in your home. 🙂
The console on the Sella features a light, bright, LCD screen that displays time, speed, distance, and heart rate and there’s a scan mode that toggles the display between that and RPM, calories and watt/power output. It’s a slightly unusual setup for an elliptical at this price point (we normally see that sort of thing on entry-level models) but it works well enough. Typical of a Kettler machine, the buttons on the Sella console and the menus and sub-menus are all logically laid out and structured making them easy to understand and to use. For simplicity there are only six buttons on the console, all of them clearly labelled in a way that really makes sense, even to a first time user. There are 19 different workout modes including manual, preset workouts and heart rate control. The preset workouts are scalable so it’s possible to increase the difficulty of each one which does provide a lot of training options. The console also features a built-in wireless receiver for more accurate heart rate measurement than the hand pulse sensors and a tablet holder so you can watch shows or music videos during exercise. There are also four user profiles built into the console so up to four people can save their own training data, which is invaluable if you have multiple users in your household that want to keep a track of their improving fitness levels. Above all the console is simple to use making the Sella a good choice for technophobes that want to workout!
Step onto the Sella for the first time and two things become apparent very quickly. The first is how solid this elliptical is, which itself isn’t a surprise if you’re the person that built it as during assembly it’s impossible not to notice that all the metal components are made of what feels like heavy duty steel. A stated max user weight of 150kg (23.5 stone) on paper looks optimistic, but when the parts are in your hand and you then actually climb aboard, it’s obvious that this machine will have no trouble in coping with that sort of weight. This is all the more impressive given its diminutive W58 x L115 cm (45″ x 23″) footprint. And it’s that footprint that brings us to the second thing you’ll immediately notice – the stride length. At just 13″ (35cm) the stride on this elliptical is significantly smaller than some of the best selling compact, entry-level machines on the market. This very small stride length does, unfortunately, really let this model down quite badly as it makes it unsuitable for anyone approaching 6ft or anyone taller. Indeed, even your reviewer (at 5′ 11″) and most other members of the review team found the stride too short to be comfortable and thus to deliver an effective workout. There’s just not enough movement here to be able to stretch out and work all those muscles effectively. For shorter users, this isn’t an issue at all and indeed the 8kg flywheel does provide a smooth action that’s quiet and would be comfy, but if you’re average height or taller you’re likely to find it lacking in this department.
Other features include a water bottle holder, transport wheels and adjustable footplates (regrettably still not enough to overcome that short stride for taller users). The Sella also comes with Kettlers 3 year on-site parts and labour warranty for peace of mind.
At this price point, the Sella is most certainly NOT an entry level cross trainer and while the overall build quality and long warranty do go some way to justifying the price, due to its size and stride it’s simply not very suitable for a lot of potential users and the feeling is that many would be disappointed in the workout they’d get in return for such a substantial investment. For those that struggle for comfort on large ellipticals and want a well-built, compact machine that’ll take lots of weight, this isn’t a bad choice. For everyone else, we’d say there are better options out there right now.
The Kettler Sport Sella elliptical is compact, sturdy and easy to use. It looks good too and for a certain type of person with a certain type of need, it's not a bad option. It comes with a good warranty too. The thing is that when directly compared to machines that are either similar in price or similar in spec it's hard to recommend over the competition. Take for example the DKN XC-140i which has a significantly longer stride, heavier flywheel for a smoother experience and interactive training options which is available for less. Even a great budget priced machine such as the Viavito Sina can beat this on specs and save a significant amount!
Kettler Sport Sella Specifications
- 8kg (17.6lbs) flywheel
- 24 levels of magnetic resistance
- 19 workout programmes
- 4 user programmes
- 13.5″ (35cm) stride
- LCD display
- Feedback: Speed, time, distance, calories, pulse, watts/power output, RPM
- Heart rate measurement via Pulse grip sensors + wireless pulse receiver (chest strap optional)
- Extras: tablet holder, bottle holder, sweat-resistant key pad, transportation wheels
- Adjustable footplates
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 115cm (45.3’’) x 58cm (22.8’’) x 153cm (60.2’’)
- Product Weight: 52.2kg (115.1lbs)
- Max user weight: 150kg (330.7lbs)
- Warranty: 3 years for parts and labour
Kettler Sport Sella Elliptical Cross Trainer - Console / Display Unit
Currently available for £519.00 from John Lewis
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