Reebok ZR7 Elliptical Cross Trainer Review

The Reebok ZR7 elliptical trainer is an updated version of the highly popular Reebok Z7 elliptical trainer. The Reebok Z-series of machines were launched in 2011 and replaced Reebok’s top selling I-series of entry level home fitness equipment.

Historically, there have been many Reebok branded elliptical trainers for the home market and looking at the specs of the machines, it was fairly clear that consumers were being asked to pay a price premium for the Reebok badge on the machines. So, has this theme continued with the new Reebok ZR7 elliptical trainer?

First impressions were certainly positive. For an entry level elliptical, we weren’t expecting such a substantial machine! The ZR7 cross trainer weighs nearly 50 kg, and feels solid and sturdy when being used. The movement on the cross trainer feels smooth and the stride is pretty natural, helped by a decent 15″ stride length and a chunky 7 kg flywheel.

The stride is long enough to maintain the natural feel for most users under 6 feet tall. The stride feel and the motion is a significantly different (and better) than most the entry level cross trainers that we’ve tested with a shorter, 13-14″ stride.

As the entry level machine in the latest Reebok range, the ZR7 has a manually adjusted magnetic resistance system. Basically, the resistance is varied inside the machine by some magnets moving closer or further away from the flywheel. As the resistance is generated by magnetic force, rather than friction, it’s silent to use. The manually adjusted bit refers to  the resistance level being controlled by turning a knob on the upright.

The main downside of any manually controlled cross trainer is that the programming options are limited, as the console computer isn’t able to electronically control the resistance. On the upside, it means that the machine doesn’t need to be plugged into main power and can be used without unsightly cables and having to think about whether an electric socket is available near where the machine is going to be placed in the home! Additionally, the manual resistance is super-simple to use: just mount the cross trainer, start exercising and control the difficulty between 8 levels by rotating the dial on the upright – perfect for those that hate playing around with complicated consoles!

The console is a pretty straightforward with the nicest feature being a big LCD screen across the middle that provides all the essential exercise feedback. This includes: exercise time, distance covered, calories used, speed / rpm. In terms of programs, there are 3 target programs, where you can set the target distance, time or calories for the exercise session and the console will count these down as you exercise.

Another useful feature is that pulse rate can be measured by grabbing the grip sensors on the static handles for a few seconds to get a reading displayed on the console display. Whilst hand grip sensors are never that accurate, this does provide a useful indication of your heart rate.

Finally, this elliptical trainer has a fitness test function. After an exercise session (with your heart rate elevated), you press the fitness test button and grab the pulse grips on the handlebar for one minute. The computer monitors the rate at which your heart rate is returning to its resting level and based on that provides a fitness rating between 1 and 5 – the lower the number, the better your fitness level. We think a machine having a recovery / fitness test built in is extremely useful in providing motivation by actually enabling the user to see improvements in their fitness levels over a period of time.

Reebok haven’t forgotten the basic practical stuff either: there are leg-levelers to ensure that the machine can be used on slightly uneven floor as well as transport wheels at the front.

The warranty is what you’d expect from a brand like Reebok: 2 years parts & labour – so in the unlikely event of something going wrong, it’s covered!

 

Best Price

The Reebok ZR7 is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

Review Summary - In Brief

The Reebok ZR7 exceeded our expectations... It's a solid and sturdy elliptical trainer that is smooth and has a nice stride action. For under £250, it's hard to beat!

Reebok ZR7 Specifications

  • Flywheel: 7 kg
  • Stride Length: 15″ (38 cm)
  • Resistance: 8 Levels of manually adjusted magnetic resistance
  • Console: Single 5.5” LCD monitor
  • Programs: 4 target programs
  • Heart Rate Measurement: Hand pulse sensors
  • Footplates: Large footplates covered with anti-slip rubber
  • Transport Wheels: Yes
  • Leg Levellers: Yes
  • Maximum User Weight: 120 kg
  • Product Weight: 49 kg
  • Dimensions (LxWxH):  110 cm x  66 cm x 162 cm
  • Warranty: 2 years parts and labour

Reebok ZR7 Elliptical Trainer - Console / Display Unit

Reebok ZR7 Elliptical Trainer Console

Reebok ZR7 Elliptical Trainer - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Sturdy frame
  • Smooth stride

The Cons

  • Console displays distance / speed in metric and can't be switched
Reebok ZR7 Elliptical Trainer Reviewer Ratings

Ease Of Installation - 9
Appearance - 9
Smoothness - 9
Comfort - 9
Reliability - 9
Noise - 9
Ease Of Use - 9
Controls - 8
Warranty - 9
Value for Money - 9.5
Best Price

The Reebok ZR7 is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

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