Octane Fitness ZR8 Zero Runner

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Octane ZR8

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300 lbs58"Manual,
6 levels
4 onboard


Octane Fitness offers several elliptical trainer models, and the ZR8 Zero Runner is one of the machines made for home use. However, despite the fact that it’s not sold as a commercial machine, it definitely has the sturdiness, quality and range of features of at least a light-commercial unit.

As opposed to the ZR7 Zero Runner that we’ve already reviewed here, the ZR8 offers several superior features. For example, its legs are made of aluminum while the pedals are lighter, which reduces the impact of the ride even more. Also, the spacing between the pedals is smaller, while the step at the base of the unit is more solid and has a rubberized surface.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 63L x 38W x 59.75H inches (160L x 97W x 152H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 191 lbs (87 kg)
  • Weight limit: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Stride: Dynamic, max. 58″ (147 cm)
  • Resistance: Adjustable
  • Console: 4 onboard programs, Bluetooth 4.0, SmartLink Compatible
  • Warranty: Frame lifetime / Parts 5 years / Labor 1 year

Frame and accessories

The Octane Fitness ZR8 Zero Runner combines several materials in its frame construction. For example, its sustaining side bars are made of steel tubing, the moving legs are made of aircraft-grade aluminum while the pedals and several other covers are made of heavy-duty ABS material. The pedals and the step-up element at the rear of the unit also have a rubberized surface to provide a non-slip contact.

All the steel parts in its construction are double-coated with a durable paint finish which is also corrosion-resistant. The aluminum legs also have a powder coating finish. The colors used are light gray for the steel parts and rust-brown for the aluminum bars.

The machine isn’t as long as a front drive elliptical trainer, such as the Bowflex BXE216 or the Life Fitness E1 Go Cross-Trainer. However, it still has an active footprint of 63″L x 38″W (160 x 97 cm). It’s also recommended to assign a clearance of at least two feet all around the unit, for safe access and operation.

Although it doesn’t integrate a flywheel like other elliptical trainers, the Octane Fitness ZR8 is considerably heavy. With the frame fully assembled, it weighs approx. 191 lbs (87 kg). All this weight provides an outstanding stability and overall sturdiness for the unit. But on the other hand, moving the machine isn’t too difficult because its front base integrates a set of transport wheels.

This Octane Fitness elliptical features as a set of mobile handlebars and a curved handlebar which also integrates pulse sensors. The mobile arms offer a multi-grip design, with rubberized handles for a comfortable grip. They aren’t set at an extreme height from the pedals, so most users should benefit from a natural grip and arm position during workouts. Shorter users than 5’0″ will have a grip a bit higher, close to their chest, but this shouldn’t affect the quality of the overall workout.

The mobile handlebars continue to move for as long as you are pedaling. They cannot be locked in place.

The Octane ZR8 Zero Runner features several powerband anchor points. Not all elliptical cross-trainers have this feature. Two are placed at the lower ends of the rear leg stabilizers, two at the lower ends and two on the upper ends of the front leg stabilizers, and one attached to the curved stationary handlebar, at the front.

In terms of accessories, this cross-trainer includes a set of performance grips which you can either attach to the mid bar anchor points and hold on during pedaling, or you can opt for the elastic bands which offer the possibility to perform various other exercises. Elastic bands are not included with the machine.

Another optional accessory for this trainer is a set of Powerblock Stands for Powerblock weights stowage.

Finally, the front section of the unit that supports the console also integrates an ABS bottle holder designed to accommodate any type of water bottle.

Elliptical path, stride and step-up height

To begin with, the Octane Fitness ZR8 Zero Runner is equipped with a set of large and extra-strong pedals, featuring a rubberized surface to improve foot adherence. Both the pedals and their supporting legs are durable enough to support users up to 300 lbs (136 kg). The pedals and the joints of all the mobile bars integrate stainless steel, sealed ball bearings, in order to deliver a very smooth operation. They’re all industrial-quality parts, so they should last a lifetime.

Considering that it is a free-motion trainer and not a trainer with a fixed elliptical path like the BodyCraft ECT400G for example, the ZR8 allows you to lean forward or backward during pedaling. Therefore, you can change the angle of the elliptical path in order to focus different muscle groups. Also, the pedaling motion is impact-free since it eliminates the footstrike element from your running. This being said, a workout on this machine will keep your joints in good shape, free from damage and pain.

This elliptical cross-trainer makes available a dynamic stride with a length up to 58″ (147 cm). This is quite a plus as you can benefit from a full range of motion regardless of your height.

The spacing between the pedals is 1.4″ (35 mm), by 0.6″ smaller than for the ZR7 model. This being said, your feet are positioned on the pedals naturally and the pedaling motion eliminates any lateral stress on the knees and ankles. Also, the pedal step-up height is approx. 5.2″ (13.2 cm), which is not too high. Plus, the rear rubberized step and the fixed handlebar provide safety and balance when you position your feet on the pedals.

Resistance system

The Octane ZR8 elliptical machine doesn’t have a conventional flywheel-based resistance system. Each one of its upright legs has a Stride Control Adjuster dial. For the ZR8 model, the tension dials provide a longer adjusting range than for ZR7. Each dial has three “+” positions, and three “-” positions.

Each Stride Control Adjuster changes the tension for its corresponding pedal. Therefore, in order to benefit from an even resistance for both pedal, you have to select the same position for each dial.

The resistance can be adjusted as you pedal with no problem. However, the resistance does not adjust automatically. Also, the console does not play any role in the machine’s resistance adjustment. It simply offers pointers on how to adjust your stride or speed in order to get the most of each workout.


The Octane Fitness ZR8 Zero Runner includes an advanced console, featuring a multi-panel LCD display which keeps track of all your workout data. It keeps track of your time, distance, speed, average pulse, pulse, calories, stride length, and pace. There are both English and metric unit options available for the display of speed and distance traveled. The console can monitor your heart rate if you use the sensors in the stationary handlebar, but it’s also telemetric. In other words, it can read your HR via a wireless ANT + or Polar chest strap. The box includes a Bluetooth / ANT+ HR Strap.

The calorie reading is fairly accurate as the console will prompt you to enter your weight. Depending on this personal data and the other workout data, it can calculate your overall calorie burning much better than a basic console.

There are three workout modes available on the console. These are RUN+, X-MODE and Cross CiRCUIT, plus the free stride mode. The RUN+ mode allows you to set up a series of one to six 15-second to 15-minute intervals of additional motions/activities to your exercise session, creating a unique workout each time. The X-MODE is a virtual personal trainer. In one-minute intervals, the console will prompt you to vary your workout alternating between Run, Step, Lunge, Jog, and Ski. And finally, the CROSS CiRCUIT program is the specific Octane Fitness cross-training workout which combines cardio intervals on the Zero Runner with sets of strength and toning exercises off the machine, using various other fitness equipment such as dumbbells, fitness ball, elastic bands etc.

Along with these programs, the unit also has a CoolDown function which counts down a recovery period at the end of your workout.

The console is SmartLink compatible. In other words, you can sync it with your tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth, in order to benefit from a superior user interface from the SmartLink app, online data tracking of your workouts, extra custom workouts and boosters and many other features that will make your training more entertaining and motivating.

Although it’s an advanced unit, the ZR7 Zero Runner console is fairly easy and straightforward to operate. The Start, RUN+, X-MODE and CROSS CiRCUIT programs have their own keys. The Up/Down arrow keys serve to increase or decrease different values on your workout goals or other parameters, while the Enter key in the middle covers the confirmation function for them. The Clock key can be used in several ways to increase and decrease the time of your workout. The LB/KG key allows you to quickly switch measurement between English and Metric for weight, pace, distance and stride length. The CoolDown key obviously covers the cooldown function and finally, the Power button turns the console on or off.

The unit is battery powered. It uses 4 AA batteries which are included.

Assembly and Maintenance

The side upright parts of the unit come pre-assembled, but there still are quite a few other parts that require assembly. For example, you will have to attach the front leg stabilizers, connect the pedal, the fixed handlebar, the mobile handlebars, the rear step, and the console. This may take more than an hour, but the manual does provide pretty clear assembly instructions. Several Allen wrenches are included, but you will also need an adjustable wrench and a Phillips screwdriver.

Once the trainer is fully assembled, it doesn’t require too much maintenance. It’s recommended to wipe off the sweat from the frame at the end of your training. A periodic check for loose parts and bolts is also a good idea. Also, in case its joints develop squeaky noises, lubrication or re-tightening can solve the problem.

The Pros

  • Sturdy frame – can hold users up to 300 lbs;
  • Heavy-duty construction;
  • Aesthetic design;
  • Adjustable stabilizers with rubber caps;
  • Transport wheels included;
  • Articulated pedals and pedal bars, resulting in a zero impact workout;
  • Adjustable resistance with several distinct tension settings;
  • Large, durable and non-slip pedals with forefoot guards for extra foot stability;
  • Mobile and fixed handlebars;
  • Performance grips included;
  • Pulse sensors integrated into the fixed handlebar;
  • High-grade ball bearings in each mobile joint of the machine;
  • Several anchor points for elastic bands;
  • Dynamic stride and elliptical motion, with a length up to 58″;
  • Advanced console with a large display which keeps track of your workout data;
  • Four onboard workout applications, including Start, RUN+, X-MODE, and Cross Circuit; 
  • The console unit is SmartLink compatible, an app that offers extra workouts and online workout data tracking;
  • Telemetric console – can read pulse via wireless transmitters;
  • An ANT+ chest strap transmitter is included;
  • Bottle holder included;
  • Tablet holder included;
  • The batteries for the console are included;
  • Quiet operation;
  • Fairly easy to assemble;
  • Almost no maintenance required;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • No sound system;
  • Elastic bands are not included.


The Octane Fitness ZR8 Zero Runner is a free-motion cross-trainer offering a sturdy construction, zero-impact workout possibilities, and adjustable resistance. It is equipped with an advanced console featuring a large display, SmartLink connectivity and four stimulating and highly entertaining workout applications. It also has several anchor points for elastic bands which can add diversity to your workouts. Finally, it’s not one of the most affordable cross-trainers, but its durability, versatility and overall quality definitely match its price.

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