Currently available for £399.00 from John Lewis
Reebok Z-Power Elliptical Cross Trainer Review
Who hasn’t heard of Reebok? World famous for being a leading producer of quality sports equipment it’s been producing sporting goods such as running shoes since as far back as 1958 and, in the last couple of decades, has expanded into producing home fitness machines. We decided to get a better look at the Reebok Z-Power cross trainer to see how looks under our metaphorical microscope. Here’s what we found…..
The instructions say that assembly is a 2 person job and while it’s certainly a great deal easier with two people, the overall size and weight of this elliptical mean that it is possible for just one person on their own to build this machine. The steps that need two people need two people because a they involve something awkward and fiddly, rather than any heavy lifting. Unpacking the Z-Power and putting it together took just under an hour from start to finish and as the basic principles of the build are all simple enough there’s nothing here that requires a professional assembly. The instruction manual is nice and clear and all the parts required for the build were present and correct – which is what we’ve come to expect from Reebok.
With a 135cm x 72cm (53″ x 28″ LW) footprint the Z-Power is a substantial machine without being huge, making it a suitable choice for most of the types of the rooms that people tend to put fitness equipment into. This elliptical has a compact look about it but that’s all down to the design. This is a fairly substantial elliptical that’s been designed to look compact and this design combined with the jet-black finish with red highlights makes it look really modern.
The console is of a basic design and features just seven (fairly large) buttons in total but underneath the hood there are some features that make this cross trainer a bit more than just a basic machine. The 5.5″ two-colour back-lit LCD screen takes center stage here. The display is bright and easy to read and it’s also easy to navigate through the menus which are all logical and well thought through. There’s no shortage of training options here with 20 different workout modes available. There are 12 preset workouts which are all scalable meaning that regardless of the profile of the workout, it’s possible to set the difficulty level for it from 1 to 32. This makes it possible to find a workout that you like and then keep increasing the difficulty of that particular workout as your fitness levels improve. There are also 3 target-based workouts (distance covered, time and calories burned) a manual training option and both watts and heart rate controlled workouts. Last but not least there’s also a user-defined programme so you can create your own workout and save it for use later. In addition to the onboard workouts, there’s also a recovery mode which tests how fast your heart returns to a resting rate after a training session to provide an indicator of your current fitness levels.
At the heart of any elliptical is the ‘action’, the way it feels to use, and the Z-power is no exception. The build quality of this model is exactly what we’d expect of a Reebok cross trainer at this price point. It’s stable thanks to the leg levelers that allow you to adjust it to prevent it from wobbling on uneven surfaces and while this is a small thing, it’s an important one. The Z-power also feels solid to stand on and the individual components don’t wobble in relation to other parts when it’s being used. There is, of course, some movement – after all, this isn’t a commercial level machine – but this is kept to a minimum and crucially our test unit was quiet with no unwelcome squeaks or creaks. As far as ergonomics go this isn’t the worst elliptical we’ve tested, nor is it the best. It’s let down slightly by the lack of curves in the arms, the straightness of which makes the motion less than perfect and while to some extent this is negated by the ability to adjust the distance from the pedals to the handlebars during assembly, it’s not completely overcome. The result is a machine that doesn’t feel quite as good to use as it probably should, and while this isn’t a deal-breaker it is a bit disappointing. A 30-minute workout definitely gives the impression that a longer training session may start to pull things in places you don’t want them pulled. That being said, the question is whether you’re likely to spend more than 30 minutes on an elliptical in the first place. If not, then the chances are that you’re either a beginner, a reasonably casual user, or someone that likes high-intensity training sessions. If you’re the latter then you’re probably fitter than your average user meaning this model is out of the running – the top end resistance level simply isn’t high enough for veteran gym bunnies. If you’re either of the former then the Z-Power makes a decent choice as long as you’re not over 6′ 2″ tall or weigh more than 120kg. The 15″ (38cm) stride provides a good platform for a wide range of users while the 9kg (20lb) does a good job of keeping everything moving smoothly all the way through the cycle.
In terms of additional extras, well, there’s a water bottle holder and that’s really where it ends. There’s no wireless heart rate receiver here, which for an elliptical in this price bracket, it really should have. There’s no Bluetooth connectivity, no interactive training, no valuables tray and there are no speakers to play music through. In fairness, the only one of these that bothers us is the lack of built-in heart rate receiver which means that you’re limited to hand-pulse sensor readings only.
All in all, this is a perfectly good elliptical that’s ideally suited to beginners or casual users, the lack of a wireless heart rate receiver combined with the reasonably easy maximum resistance level making other models a better choice for more seasoned campaigners. It’s well-built, is quiet and smooth during operation and has a good range of workouts that’ll keep things interesting. It also comes with a 3-year on-site parts and labour warranty for peace of mind.
Typical of most Reebok machines, the Z-Power cross trainer is well made and has a decent set of features. It's not bad value either if you take into account the 3-year warranty. The thing is that you can get our elliptical of the month, the Viavito Sina, which has a nicer action, features a wireless receiver and also sports a much a better console, for quite a bit less than the Z-Power. There's also the DKN XC-140i to consider which costs just a little more but gives you a longer 16" stride, a substantially heavier 14kg flywheel, comes with a Bluetooth wireless heart rate receiver fitted and also has interactive capabilities giving you a heck of a lot more machine for just a small additional outlay. These offerings do make it hard to recommend the Z-Power right now. Despite the fact it's a pretty good elliptical, it's finding it difficult to compete in the current market.
Reebok Z-Power Specifications
- 9kg (19.8lbs) flywheel
- 32 levels of electronic computer resistance
- 20 Programmes including 12 pre-set, 3 target (time, distance, calories), watts control, heart rate control, recovery, user defined, manual
- 15″ (38cm) stride
- 5.5″ LCD display
- Feedback: Speed, time, distance, calories, pulse, watts, RPM and your level profile chart
- Heart rate measurement via Pulse grip sensors
- Extras: water holder, transportation wheels, adjustable handlebars, slip-resistant and adjustable footplates plus floor level adjustment
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 135cm (53.1’’) x 72cm (28.3’’) x 169cm (66.5’’)
- Product Weight: 52.2kg (115.1lbs)
- Max user weight: 120kg (264.6lbs)
- Warranty: 3 years
Reebok Z-Power Elliptical Cross Trainer - Console / Display Unit
Currently available for £399.00 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