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The XTERRA FS150 cross trainer is one of the most affordable elliptical machines with a digital magnetic resistance system. In terms of features, it can be compared with the Marcy ME-704. It has the same type of console and number of programs, but its resistance system is not self-generating as for the Marcy model; it requires a power source.
Key Features and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 50L x 23W x 64.2H inches (127L x 58W x 163H cm)
- Assembled weight: 72.75 lbs (33 kg)
- Supported weight: 265 lbs (120 kg)
- Stride: 13 inches (33 cm)
- Incline: No
- Footplates: Standard, 3 positions
- Resistance: Digital magnetic, 24 levels
- Console: 23 programs, recovery, BMI
- Extras: Tablet holder, sound system
- Warranty: Frame 1 year / Parts 1 year
The XTERRA Fitness FS150 features a steel frame with several ABS parts. Differently put, most of it is made of steel tubing; the only ABS parts are the covers of the drive system, the pedals, and several other small covers. The machine has a pretty sturdy overall construction for a home-use machine. It is designed to support users up to 265 lbs (120 kg).
Compared to other elliptical trainers, such as the Horizon Fitness 7.0 AE, for example, the XTERRA FS150 is smaller. It is only 50″ (127 cm) long, and 23″ (58 cm) wide. However, it still is recommended to allow at least two feet of clearance all around it for ease of access and unhindered usage.
The fully assembled machine isn’t extremely heavy but still weighs approx. 72 lbs (33 kg), so it delivers excellent stability. Plus, its rear base is equipped with adjustable stabilizers. Also, the front base integrates transport wheels which facilitate its relocation once it is assembled.
This XTERRA elliptical is equipped with two sets of handlebars, one fixed and one mobile. The fixed handlebars are directly attached to the front mast of the machine. They cannot be adjusted. They integrate pulse sensors, a feature that not all cross trainers have. The mobile handlebars feature very long grips and rock-climber type grips at their top. They actually reach approx. 64.2″ (163 cm) above floor level, offering a more natural hand positioning even for taller users.
The machine’s pedals are large enough to accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes. Their surface is textured for improved foot adherence. They also have inner and front guards for extra foot stability.
The pedals are not articulated, though, and do not have extra cushioning like the more expensive cross trainer models. But on the other hand, they have three attachment positions. Thus, you can connect them to their bars a bit closer to the front or to the rear. They can easily detach from their bars; each one attaches to its bar via two bolts that are closed with two knobs rather than two nuts, so you don’t need any tools to detach them and re-attach them if needed.
Elliptical path, stride, and step-up height
First of all, the XTERRA FS150 does not have an incline system. Therefore, you cannot adjust the position of its elliptical path or the length of its stride. Also, most elliptical trainers with a rear-drive system have their elliptical path slightly inclined forward. So, a ride on them feels like a descent on a soft ramp. This also applies to this XTERRA cross trainer, but the angle of its elliptical path is only 1-2 degrees. In other words, its elliptical path is almost perfectly horizontal. This leads to a natural pedaling motion eliminating most of the impact on your joints.
Similar to other trainers with this type of construction, the XTERRA FS150 has a fairly short stride. It is only 13″ (33 cm). Due to this fact, it is not recommended for taller users than 6’0″ (183 cm). So, in case you’re taller, you may want to opt for a different machine, like the Exerpeutic 5000, or the GoElliptical V-200.
The pedal step-up height is around 6″ (15 cm). This being said, even for users with disabilities, stepping up onto the pedals shouldn’t be too difficult. Conversely, at their highest point, the pedals stand at approx. 15″ (40 cm) above floor level. Therefore, it is recommended to place and use this elliptical cross trainer in a room with a ceiling that is at least 20 (51 cm) higher than your own height.
Drive and resistance
The XTERRA Fitness FS150 integrates a belt drive system. This comes with several advantages. First of all, you don’t have to lubricate its transmission. Second of all, the pedaling motion is very smooth, quiet, and generates considerably less vibration than a chain drive.
The unit’s internal flywheel weighs 15.5 lbs (7 kg) which is not bad for a small elliptical. This weight adds consistency to the ride. It has a balanced structure which also contributes to the smoothness of the ride.
The flywheel is bi-directional. This means you can pedal in reverse, which gives you the possibility to diversify your workouts. Also, when pedaling in reverse, the console continues to count your distance traveled, calories burned, speed, etc.
This elliptical trainer features a motorized magnetic resistance system. This means it requires an external power source. An adapter with cable is included; the connector for it is situated above the rear base. Also, since it’s a motorized machine, its resistance can only be adjusted from the console. Plus, since it has preset programs, the console unit can auto-adjust the resistance.
The unit’s resistance system consists of an internal servo motor and a magnetic brake. When you adjust the resistance (or when the console adjusts the resistance automatically), the brake moves closer or farther from the flywheel which increases or decreases the magnet’s pull on the flywheel. This leads to more or less pedaling difficulty.
This elliptical trainer makes available 24 resistance levels. The first few levels deliver a fairly light resistance, great for warm-ups or recovery training. Conversely, the 20-24 resistance levels provide considerably more pedaling difficulty, offering the possibility to achieve a higher burn and a more consistent overall workout.
This XTERRA Fitness elliptical trainer is equipped with a mid-range console. It’s basically the same console like the one on the XTERRA Fitness SB150 recumbent bike. To begin with, it features a 3.7″ LCD display with LED backlight for better readability. It indicates distance, time, RPM, speed, calories, and pulse. Speed and distance are shown in English units; they cannot be set to metric. Also, the console is not telemetric, so it can only read your pulse if you hold on to the integrated pulse sensors. It cannot communicate with a wireless HR chest strap.
The console does not have online connectivity. However, it offers 23 workout programs to choose from. The first program is Manual; it gives you the possibility to adjust the resistance freely during your workout and also select goals for time, distance and calories. The next 12 programs are preset. They have various segment layouts in order to meet the requirements of various types of workouts.
There also are 4 user programs and 5 heart rate programs. The user programs allow you to create four different custom programs with the desired resistance for each segment. The heart rate programs are set for 55%, 65%, 75% and 85% HRC, while the 5th HR program is also custom; you can select the desired target heart rate for it.
A BMI program and a Recovery function are available as well. The BMI program gives you the possibility to calculate your body fat ratio depending on your height, weight, gender, and age and based on the final result, it will provide you with a set of workout profiles perfect for your body type. The Recovery function counts the time it takes your pulse to return to normal after the workout, and based on the result, it will provide you with a fitness rating between F1 (excellent) and F6 (Poor).
Among other notable console features, we can count the built-in sound system and the phone holder. The sound system consists of two speakers integrated at the bottom of the console. It is compatible with most MP3 players or smartphones. Therefore, you can connect your device (via cable) to the unit to play your music through the integrated speakers. And finally, the device holder is placed under the main controls of the unit. It consists of a small shelf to which you can place your smartphone if you connect it to the console.
Assembly and Maintenance
The main body of the elliptical comes pre-assembled. Its motor and other resistance elements are already attached to the base frame and protected by the ABS covers. However, quite a few other parts require assembly. You will have to attach the two base bars, the front mast, moving arms, the fixed handlebars, the pedal bars, the pedals, and the console. This may take more than an hour. However, the task is pretty straightforward and the manual provides very clear assembly instructions and schematics. Also, a set of basic tools is included.
Maintenance doesn’t require much. The internal parts don’t need lubrication. The unit’s joints may require lubrication from time to time. Other than this, you only have the keep the unit clean and periodically check for any potential loose bolts or parts.
- Fairly sturdy frame – can support users up to 265 lbs;
- Adjustable stabilizers on the rear base;
- Transport wheels on the front base;
- Mobile arms with an ergonomic design and rock-climber grips at the top;
- Fixed grips with pulse sensors;
- Smooth and quiet belt drive system;
- Large pedals with front and inner guards for extra stability;
- Three attachment positions for each pedal;
- 24 levels of eddy current resistance;
- Console featuring a multi-window LCD display with LED backlight;
- 23 workout programs;
- Goal setting functions for time, distance and calories;
- Recovery function;
- Sound system integrated into the console;
- Device holder included;
- Bottle holder included;
- Quiet operation;
- Easy to assemble;
- Little maintenance required.
- A tablet placed on the device holder will cover the console controls;
- The sound quality of the integrated speakers is not too great.
The XTERRA Fitness FS150 is an elliptical trainer made for home use. It features an automatic magnetic resistance system with 24 tension levels, and a console with multiple workout programs, including a Body Mass Index and a Recovery function. It’s a fairly decent machine for light to medium-intensity cardio workout, interval training, muscle toning, and weight loss. And finally, it’s one of the most affordable elliptical trainers with a motorized resistance system available at the moment.