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The Orbitrek X17 is a fitness machine between an upright bike and an elliptical trainer. It’s basically an upright exercise bike without a seat that requires you to stand up while pedaling. But on the other hand, its pedaling path and drive system is quite different than that of an exercise bike or elliptical machine. That’s because the angle of its path changes throughout the pedaling motion in order to focus more muscle groups than when pedaling on a bike or an elliptical.
Key Features and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 30L x 24W x 57H inches (107L x 58W x 154H cm)
- Assembled weight: 55 lbs (25 kg)
- Supported weight: 275 lbs (125 kg)
- Incline: No
- Resistance: Manual magnetic, 8 levels
- Fitness monitor: Time, distance, kcal, RPM, and workout load
- Extras: Device holder, bottle holder
- Warranty: 1 year limited
The Orbitrek X17 features a pretty sturdy frame made of steel tubing. It combines oval, rectangular, and cylindrical tubes in its construction for improved aesthetics and sturdiness. Although its frame is pretty sturdy, this particular exerciser is meant for home-use only; it is not a commercial-grade machine.
All the steel bars in its construction are double-coated with a corrosion-resistant and chip-resistant paint finish. The color used is black, this being the only color available for this model, at least for the moment. The covers of the drive and resistance elements are made of durable ABS plastic. They’re also black in order to fit the color of the frame, with the narrow circular panels at the base of the pedals which are red.
Similar to an elliptical stepper, like the Marnur model, the Orbitrek X17 features a rather small footprint. It takes approx. 30″L x 24″W (107 x 58 cm) of floor space, while its highest point, with the handlebar attached, reaches approx. 57″ (154 cm) above the floor. It is recommended, though, to assign a workout area with a clearance of at least two extra feet all around the machine, for ease of access and unhindered usage.
The trainer is not too heavy. Its net weight is 55 lbs (25 kg). This being said, it can be carried and assembled by only one person. Despite this fact, it provides excellent stability as it has a low center of gravity and both its base stabilizing bars have adjustable levelers. Plus, its front stabilizer integrates two small wheels for easy transportation.
The unit is equipped with a pretty standard handlebar. It features two long grips slightly curved forward. They are non-adjustable and do not integrate pulse sensors. They have PVC foam sleeves for a superior grip.
The Orbitrek X17 features quite an innovative drive system. Its pedal rotation describes an elliptical motion that changes angle throughout the workout. In fact, its elliptical path will have 17 different angles during pedaling oscillating between the motion of a stepper, the one of an elliptical, the one of an exercise bike, and the one of a treadmill. This way, the machine engages multiple muscle groups in a different way and leads to a superior workout.
The internal drive mechanism is also quite different than one of a bike, elliptical, or stepper. To begin with, each pedal has its own crank with a chain. There is one main pulley and an intermediary pulley, as well as two internal transmission belts. And finally, the machine also has a perimeter-weighted flywheel for improved inertia.
The exact weight of the flywheel is not specified, but considering that the total weight of the trainer is only 55 lbs (25 kg), the flywheel probably doesn’t weigh more than 15-20 lbs (6.8 – 9.0 kg). Its perimeter-weighted design provides superior motion stability and a more consistent momentum. Also, the flywheel is bi-directional. Thus, you can pedal in reverse in order to diversify your workout and engage different groups of muscles.
The machine’s pedals feature short, thick, and wide crank arms. Needless to say, these are made of steel, but they do have plastic covers for extra protection and improved aesthetics. The pedals are larger than for the average bicycle. They have metallic internal components and an outer cover made from a tough nylon material. They are weighted and have adjustable straps. They are durable enough to support users up to 275 lbs (125 kg).
The Orbiter X17 features a manual magnetic resistance system. This being said, you don’t need a power adapter or power cord for it. But on the other hand, the machine cannot automatically adjust the resistance and the console does not have pre-set workout programs.
The machine’s resistance system consists of a magnetic brake attached to the bottom frame under the flywheel. The brake is also connected to the tension knob on the front upright mast of the trainer through a steel cable. Thus, when you turn the knob clockwise, the brake with the magnets moves closer to the flywheel which increases the pedaling difficulty. Conversely, if you turn the knob counterclockwise, the magnets move away from the flywheel and the workout load decreases.
The main advantage of the magnetic brake is that the magnets do not touch the flywheel. Therefore, there is no drag, the pedaling motion is very smooth and quiet, and there is basically no wear-and-tear for the brake.
The machine makes available 8 distinct tension levels. The lowest level actually delivers a little more resistance than most magnetic upright bikes or ellipticals due to the dual-transmission drive system. Conversely, the 8th tension level provides considerably more resistance simulating a steep climb.
The Orbiter X17 Multi-Path Cross Trainer is actually available with two types of fitness monitors, a deluxe version with more features, pulse reading functions, and programs, and a standard version that only tracks the most important workout metrics. This post addresses the X17 that includes the standard fitness monitor.
The X17 standard monitor unit features an LCD display that indicates time, distance, kcal, RPM, and workout load. The display is divided into several sub-sections and shows all the workout metrics at once so you don’t have to keep scrolling through them, which is a plus. It does not have a pulse reading function, while for distance, you can select between miles and kilometers.
The unit also has five buttons. These are Timer, Mode, Up, Down, and Reset. The Timer Mode starts a split-time mode and counts up until the Timer button is pressed again. Then, it will show the cumulative workout time until pressed again and a new split-time will be activated. The Mode button allows you to select goals for time, calories, and distance. If a goal is selected, the monitor will count down from the selected value until it reaches zero.
The Up / Down buttons allow you to increase or decrease the values during goal selection. By pressing and holding both for a few seconds, you can swap between miles and kilometers for the distance display. You can also use them to correlate the resistance setting of the machine with the resistance level of the monitor, in order to benefit from a more accurate calorie reading. And finally, the Reset button clears all the values on the unit to zero.
The monitor unit is battery-powered. It requires three AAA batteries. It starts up when you begin pedaling and automatically turns off after a few minutes of inactivity on the machine. It does not have Bluetooth or online connectivity and it is not compatible with any fitness apps.
Assembly and Maintenance
The main body of the X17 trainer comes pre-assembled. You only have to attach the two base stabilizers, the levelers, the pedals, the upright mast, connect the brake cable, the handlebar, and the fitness monitor. This shouldn’t take more than 30-40 minutes of your time. The manual provides clear, step-by-step assembly instructions, and all the necessary tools are included.
For maintenance, you only have to keep the machine clean and periodically check for loose bolts and parts. Although the drive mechanism integrates several chains, they are pre-lubricated and should not need any further lubrication for a long period of time.
- Sturdy construction with a low center of gravity for extra stability;
- Can support users up to 275 lbs;
- Compact and aesthetic design;
- Transport wheels on the front base;
- Adjustable levelers on both base bars;
- Durable, non-slip pedals;
- Sturdy handlebar with long grips;
- Perimeter-weighted flywheel for improved inertia;
- Zero-friction magnetic resistance system with 8 difficulty levels available;
- Multi-path cross trainer – its pedaling path changes between 17 angles for a superior and diverse workout;
- Fitness monitor included – it tracks time, distance, RPM, kcal, and workload;
- Goal settings for time, distance, and calories;
- Timer function for split intervals;
- Silent operation;
- Fairly easy to assemble;
- All the assembly tools are included;
- Little maintenance required.
- No pulse reading function;
- No device holder;
- No bottle holder;
- No online connectivity.
The Orbitrek X17 is a fitness machine between an elliptical cross trainer and an upright bike. It features a 17-angle multi-path pedaling motion, an 8-level manual magnetic resistance system, and a fitness monitor that tracks time, distance, RPM, kcal, and workout load. It’s a fitness machine for light to high-intensity cardio training, interval training, muscle toning, stamina development, and weight loss.