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Reebok SL8 Elliptical Trainer

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UnitSizeSupported
weight
ResistanceInclineConsole
Reebok SL8

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L:70.4"
W:29.1"
H:72.4"
286 lbsEddy
current,
24 levels
Manual,
4 levels
21 programs,
Recovery,
Goals,
Bluetooth

The SL8 elliptical machine is one of the models released by Reebok in 2019. It’s a mid-range trainer made for home use. In terms of features, it can be compared with the Schwinn 430. However, it has fewer incline levels and offers a slightly shorter stride.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 70.4L x 29.1W x 72.4H inches (179L x 74W x 184H cm)
  • Shipping weight: 224 lbs (101.6 kg)
  • Flywheel weight: 19.8 lbs (9 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 286 lbs (130 kg)
  • Stride: 18″ (45.6 cm)
  • Resistance: Eddy current, 24 levels
  • Incline: Manual, 4 levels
  • Console: 12 pre-set programs, 4 user profiles, 4 HR programs, goals, Bluetooth
  • Extras: Sound system, workout fan, USB port, bottle holder
  • Warranty: Parts 2 years / Labor 2 years

Frame construction

The Reebok SL8 elliptical features a heavy-duty steel frame combining oval, rectangular, and cylindrical tubing in its construction. All the steel bars are coated with a durable, corrosion-resistant, and abrasion-resistant paint finish. The color used is light gray, this being the only color available for this trainer. Also, most of its base frame, as well as the drive and resistance elements, are concealed by ABS guards.

The fully assembled machine is fairly large. It is approx. 70.4″ (179 cm) long, and 29.1″ (74 cm) wide. Plus, it is recommended to leave at least two feet of clearance all around it for ease of access and safe usage. These being said, it may not fit too well in a small room or apartment.

The Reebok SL8 is pretty heavy. Its net weight is over 200 lbs (90 kg), so it is recommended that the packaged unit is carried by two people. However, once it is completely assembled, it can easily be relocated by only one person; its rear base has a lifting handle and its front base features a set of wheels. By using these to move the elliptical, you won’t be handling more than 30% of its total weight.

It’s also important to mention that the overall weight of the unit plays an important role in its stability. You can be sure that it won’t rock or move even if you engage in a high-intensity workout. Plus, its two base stabilizers are equipped with adjustable levelers.

This Reebok elliptical trainer is equipped with two sets of handlebars, one fixed and one mobile. The fixed handlebars attach directly to the front mast of the machine and their connection point is covered by ABS guards. They don’t have any type of adjustment system. They integrate metallic pulse sensors.

The mobile handlebars have a multi-grip design. Their long grips are covered by a layer of high-density foam for improved comfort. They don’t have resistance controls or pulse sensors. They attach to the middle section of the machine’s front mast and to the pedal bars. Their joints have high-grade ball bearings for a smooth motion. Also, all the joints of the moving arms have ABS guards for extra protection.

The pedal bars and the base section of each pedal are steel-made. However, the pedal trays are made of durable thermoplastic material. They are pretty solid, rated for a maximum user weight capacity of 286 lbs (130 kg).

The pedals don’t have any extra suspension springs, articulations, or any adjustment features. However, they are pretty large, so they should accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes. They feature high-density foam, textured inserts for, and improved foot grip. They also have front and inner side guards for extra stability and for a more secure foot positioning.

Incline, stride, and elliptical path

One of the important features available with the Reebok SL8 elliptical trainer is its manual incline system. This is similar to the incline feature of the Schwinn 430, or the Nautilus 614. The front section of the pedal rail system can be connected to the front unit of the machine in 5 positions. The incline increments are 20%, 15%, 10%, 5%, and of course, there’s also the option of 0% incline. The incline mechanism involves a large button that can easily be pressed to unlock and lock the unit’s rail system.

Since the incline system is manual, it is pretty obvious that you cannot adjust it while you are on the pedals. Also, the console cannot automatically adjust it.

Depending on the selected incline level, the angle of the elliptical path changes. For example, with the incline set to 0%, the elliptical path is almost completely horizontal, while with the incline set to its maximum level, the elliptical path is inclined forward by a few degrees. Therefore, with a higher incline, the pedaling motion resembles a descent on a soft ramp.

The machine offers 18″ (45.6 cm) of stride. This is basically a stride of average length. It means that the SL8 elliptical should accommodate users up to 6’1-6’2″ (184 – 187 cm) with no problem, providing a satisfying range of motion. Taller users should also be able to use this elliptical, but they may not benefit from a complete range of motion.

One last aspect to mention here regards the machine’s pedal height. The lowest pedal position is approx. 9″ (23 cm) above floor level. Conversely, at their highest position, with the incline set to the maximum position, the pedals reach approx. 23″ (58.4 cm) above floor level. Therefore, it is recommended to place and use the machine in a room with a ceiling that is at least 25″ (63.5 cm) higher than your own height.

Resistance and drive

The Reebok SL8 elliptical machine is equipped with a motorized magnetic resistance system. This means you have to connect it to a power source in order to be able to adjust the resistance. It also means that the trainer can automatically adjust the resistance and the console makes available several preset workout programs. A 9V power adapter is included with the machine.

The resistance system consists of a servo motor and a magnetic brake. As you adjust the resistance from the console, or when the console makes automatic resistance adjustments, the motor will basically adjust the position of the magnetic brake in relation to the flywheel which will add or reduce the pedaling difficulty.

The SL8 elliptical offers pretty decent micro-adjustability when it comes to resistance. There are 24 difficulty levels available. The first few levels deliver little pedal tension, great for low-intensity cardio workouts or rehab training. The highest (22-24) levels, on the other hand, provide considerably more resistance, great for anyone who wants a consistent workout and extra fat burning possibilities.

Similar to most other magnetic resistance fitness machines, this Reebok elliptical features a belt drive system. It integrates a PJ6 poly-v rubber belt which carries out the transmission between the machine’s pulley and flywheel. Since the trainer uses a belt, not a chain, the drivetrain does not require periodic lubrication. Also, the pedaling motion delivers considerably less vibration.

Last but not least, the internal flywheel is pretty heavy for an elliptical. It weighs 19.8 lbs (9 kg) and has a perimeter-weighted construction for improved inertia. This being said, the machine provides a pretty smooth and consistent pedaling motion. It also permits pedaling in reverse.

Console

The Reebok SL8 elliptical trainer is equipped with a pretty advanced and inclusive console. To begin with, it features a LED display with 7 windows. The top larger window shows the program grid, while the 6 smaller windows indicate calories burned, time, speed/RPM, pulse, distance, and Watts/resistance level.

There are multiple programs available on the console. The first program is the Manual mode. This allows you to change the resistance freely as you exercise and also set up workout goals for time, distance, calories, and heart rate. Next, there are 12 pre-set programs available. Each one has a specific segment layout in order to help you burn more calories, focus on improving cardiovascular shape, or perform an interval workout. And finally, four HRC programs and a Watt mode are available. The HRC programs are pre-set for 55%, 75%, and 90%, and there is also the custom target HRC. The Watt program allows you to select a target Watt value between 10 and 350. It will adjust the resistance automatically, depending on your speed, in order to keep you at the selected Watt value.

The console also has 4 User Profiles and a Recovery function. Each user can save their own data (age, gender, height, weight, and programs settings) for ease of access at the start of the workout. The Recovery function counts your pulse at the end of your workout and based on the result it gives you a fitness rating between F1 (perfect) and F6 (poor).

The console has built-in Bluetooth connectivity and is compatible with the Reebok fitness app. This app allows you to track your progress online, view your workout history, and even ride on a virtual trail created via Google maps and Google Street View.

Other notable console features are the sound system, the workout fan, and the USB port. The sound system consists of two small speakers integrated into the bottom corners of the unit. You can connect your smartphone or tablet through the USB port on the console to play your music through the integrated speakers. This will also charge your phone. The fan is placed right between the speakers. And finally, there is a device holder on the top of the console unit.

Assembly and Maintenance

The base frame of the machine with all the drive and resistance elements comes pre-assembled. However, the rest of the parts do require user assembly. You will have to attach the two base stabilizers, the pedal arms, the pedals, the front upright post (or mast), the two moving arms, the fixed handlebars, the console, and multiple small covers. This may take more than two hours of your time, but the process is not too difficult and the manual provides step-by-step illustrated assembly instructions. All the necessary tools are also included.

For maintenance, the machine should be kept clean, especially the rails to prevent any damage to the pedal wheels. If the joints become squeaky, some lubricant may be required. Other than this, you only have to periodically check the integrity of the machine.

The Pros

  • Sturdy construction – can support users up to 286 lbs (130 kg);
  • Transport wheels on the front base;
  • Adjustable levelers on both base bars;
  • Fixed and mobile handlebars;
  • Perimeter-weighted internal flywheel for a steady and a more consistent pedaling motion;
  • Large pedals with rubber inserts for extra stability;
  • Manual incline with four levels (5%, 10%, 15%, 20%);
  • Eddy current, automatic resistance (24 levels);
  • Multi-function console featuring a 7-window LED display;
  • Pulse sensors and pulse reading function;
  • Multiple workout programs available (1 manual, 12 pre-set, 4 HRC, 4 goals, 1 watt);
  • Four user profiles;
  • Recovery function;
  • Bluetooth connectivity and compatibility with the Reebok Fitness app;
  • Device holder included;
  • Bottle holder included;
  • Sound system included;
  • Cooling fan included;
  • USB charging port;
  • Quiet operation;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required.

The Cons

  • Not compatible with HR chest straps.

Summary

The Reebok SL8 is a heavy-duty elliptical trainer made for home use. It’s equipped with a 24-level eddy current resistance system, a 4-level manual incline system, and a console with Bluetooth connectivity and multiple workout programs. It excels in ergonomics and also has a pretty decent 286 lbs weight capacity. In all, it’s a great machine for light to intense cardio training, recovery training, interval training, muscle toning, stamina development, and weight loss.

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