HCI Fitness HXT-300 Recumbent Semi-Elliptical Cross Trainer
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The HCI HXT-300 is one of the fitness machines released by HCI Fitness in 2016. It’s part of the Physio Step series which includes several recumbent semi-elliptical trainers. The Physio Step HXT-300 is also a recumbent bike elliptical hybrid trainer featuring an eddy current resistance system and offers superior comfort.
Key Features and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 52L x 25W x 51H inches (132L x 64W x 130H cm)
- Assembled weight: 165 lbs (75 kg)
- Weight capacity: 330 lbs (150 kg)
- Seat: Adjustable
- Resistance: Eddy current, 16 levels
- Console: 17 programs
- Warranty: Frame lifetime / Parts 3 years / Electronics 3 years / Labor 1 year
The HCI Fitness HXT-300 features a heavy-duty steel frame combining cylindrical, rectangular, and oval tubes in its construction. The only exceptions are the adjustment rail of the seat which is made from extruded aluminum, while the pedals, the drive mechanism covers, the console casing, and several other small covers are made of durable thermoplastic material. Overall, the machine has a light-commercial build and a fairly decent user weight limit of 330 lbs (150 kg).
All the steel frame parts are coated with a corrosion-resistant and abrasion-resistant paint finish. The color used is black, this being the only color available for this HCI trainer. The two adjustable sections of the machine’s moving arms have a chrome plating finish.
The HCI Physio Step HXT-300 is quite heavy. Its net weight is approx. 165 lbs (75 kg). Therefore, the transport of the packaged unit requires two people or at least a box carrier. However, once it is assembled, it can easily be moved by only one person as its rear base stabilizer features a set of transport wheels.
The unit is pretty bulky as well. With all the parts assembled, it is approx. 52″ (132 cm) long, and 25″ (64 cm) wide. Plus, it is recommended to leave at least a few feet of clearance all around it for ease of access and safe usage.
Seat and handlebars
The HCI Fitness Physio Step HXT-300 recumbent cross trainer is equipped with a seat designed for high comfort. To begin with, both the seat base and the backrest integrate a thick layer of foam cushioning. Their covers are made of black vinyl material which is very durable and easy to maintain. Also, the backrest is contoured to provide a better positioning and stability for the user.
The seat is fairly large as well. The seat base is approx. 15″ (38 cm) wide, and 11″ (28 cm) deep, while the backrest is 19″ (48 cm) long, and 15″ (38 cm) wide. Thus, it should be able to accommodate most users up to the maximum weight limit with no problem.
The seat is adjustable. It slides on a rail system made of extruded aluminum. The applicable user height range is 4’9″ – 6’2″ (145 – 188 cm). Taller persons should still be able to use this trainer but they may not benefit from a complete range of motion.
The adjustment system of the seat is lever-based. This being said, you can easily slide it forward or backward on its rail simply by lifting the lever on the right side. The seat can be adjusted with no problem while you are seated. Also, the backrest has a reclining function so you can adjust its angle by pulling the pin at the base of its backbone.
The HCI HXT-300 is equipped with two sets of handlebars. One is attached to the seat assembly, the other to the pedals. The seat handlebars have short grips and integrate pulse sensors. The moving arms are adjustable. They attach to the front mast of the machine and to the pedal bars. Thus, they will always move while you are pedaling; they cannot be locked to remain stationary.
The HCI Fitness HXT-300 is a rear-drive cross-trainer. In other words, its drive system is located under the seat and at the rear section of the unit. It features a 3-piece crankset with two short arms made of steel that connect to the long pedal bars.
The machine’s pedal system has a different design than most other similar recumbent cross-trainers. The pedal bars have v-wheels at the base which slide on two steel bars for improved stability. The pedal bars themselves are not connected directly to the machine’s moving arms. There’s also an intermediary set of small bars that further reduce the impact of the pedaling motion and add extra stability to the ride.
The machine’s pedal trays are large enough to accommodate shoes of all sizes. They have a textured surface and adjustable straps for improved foot stability. They’re made of durable thermoplastic material. They do not have extra cushioning but due to the pedal articulation, the machine provides a very smooth, low-impact ride.
The internal flywheel is perimeter-weighted for improved inertia. Its exact weight is not specified, but it’s definitely not as heavy as the flywheels on most spin bikes. It’s also smaller and thicker and allows pedaling in reverse which can be a plus for recovery training.
Last but not least, the machine uses a belt drivetrain. It integrates a durable poly-v belt resistant to stretching. Since the machine uses a belt, not a chain, the drivetrain does not require periodic lubrication. It also generates less vibration than a chain, so it contributes to the overall smoothness and quietness of the ride.
Similar to the XTERRA Fitness RSX1500, the HCI Fitness Physio Step HXT-300 is equipped with an eddy current magnetic resistance system. This means that you have to connect it to an external power source to turn on the console and adjust the resistance. A power adapter is included with the machine; it attaches to the rear base section of the unit and its cable is approx. 3-foot (91 cm) long with a standard US plug.
The machine’s resistance system consists of a servo motor and a magnetic brake integrated into the flywheel system. Therefore, when you adjust the resistance from the console, or when the console adjusts the resistance automatically, there is a shift in the magnets’ pull which increases or decreases the pedaling difficulty.
The HCI HXT-300 recumbent cross trainer offers 16 levels of resistance. The first few levels deliver a very light pedaling difficulty which is great for recovery training and muscle toning. Conversely, the 16th level of resistance provides a considerably higher workout load, great for anyone who wants a greater cardiovascular activity or to burn more calories.
Needless to say, the main advantage of the magnetic resistance system is that the brake does not touch the flywheel. Thus, the pedaling motion is seamless and whisper-quiet. Also, the brake does not suffer any wear-and-tear as is the case with bikes or ellipticals with a friction resistance system.
Considering the price of the HCI HXT-300 trainer, the console included with it is not exceptional. In other words, it does not have Bluetooth connectivity, it is not compatible with any fitness apps, and does not have any extra amenities like a workout fan or integrated speakers. But nonetheless, it does have a fairly decent program selection to keep you motivated.
The list of programs includes 1 Manual program, 6 Pre-set programs, 1 Body Fat program, 4 Heart Rate Control programs, 1 Watt Control program, 4 User Setting programs, and 1 Pulse Recovery program. The Manual program allows you to pedal freely while adjusting the resistance from the console manually, as you like. The Pre-Set programs have different segment layouts offering various types of workouts.
Three of Heart Rate Control (H.R.C.) programs are pre-set for 60% HRC, 75% HRC, and 85% HRC. The fourth one allows you to select a custom HRC. Depending on the HRC selected, the machine will auto-adjust the resistance depending on your current heart rate in an attempt to keep you within the desired heart rate zone.
The User Profile programs allow up to four users to create their own workout program with the desired workout goals and resistance settings. The Watt program is related to pedaling speed. Depending on the selected Watt value, the resistance will increase if your pedaling speed is too low and decrease if you pedal faster.
The Body Fat program is basically a calculator for your Body Mass Index while the Pulse Recovery program rates your fitness level based on the time taken by your heart to return to a normal BPM after the workout.
Finally, the console features an LCD display with LED backlight for improved readability. It tracks time, speed, distance, RPM, watts, calories, and pulse. Speed and distance are shown in MPH and miles. The pulse reading function is grip contact only; the console cannot read your pulse from a wireless transmitter.
Assembly and Maintenance
The HCI Fitness HXT-300 recumbent cross trainer comes partially assembled. In other words, its main body with all the drive and resistance elements is pre-assembled. All you have to do is attach the base stabilizers, the seat, the front mast, the pedals, the moving arms, and the console. This may take more than an hour of your time. However, the task is not too complicated; the manual provides clear assembly instructions and all the necessary tools are included.
For maintenance, you only have to keep the machine clean. The joints and wheels may require lubrication from time to time. Other than this, it is also recommended to periodically inspect the machine to make sure that all the moving parts still function properly and hold tight in their places.
- Heavy-duty construction – can support users up to 330 lbs;
- Aesthetic design;
- Superior stability;
- Transport wheels integrated into the rear base stabilizer;
- Large padded seat base and backrest;
- Adjustable seat;
- Reclining function for the backrest;
- Lever-based adjustment system for the seat;
- Handlebars with pulse sensors attached to the seat;
- Adjustable moving arms;
- Extra articulation for the pedals for improved pedaling stability;
- Large pedals with straps and heel guards;
- 16 levels of eddy current resistance;
- Multi-function console featuring a large LCD display with LED backlight;
- 17 programs on the console;
- Recovery function;
- Fairly easy to assemble;
- Little maintenance required;
- Excellent warranty.
- No online connectivity;
- No compatibility with any fitness apps;
- No integrated speakers;
- No device holder.
The HCI Fitness Physio Step HXT-300 is a light-commercial recumbent cross-trainer. It is equipped with a high-comfort adjustable seat, a 16-level eddy current resistance system, and a console with 17 workout programs. It features a heavy-duty construction with a maximum user weight limit of 330 lbs. It’s an excellent machine for recovery training, light to medium-intensity cardio training, muscle toning, stamina development, and weight loss.