XTERRA Fitness FS380 Elliptical Trainer

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300 lbsEddy
24 lvls
16 workoutsFrame: Lifetime
Parts: 2 years
Labor: 1 year

The XTERRA FS380 elliptical trainer is a model similar to the Horizon Evolve 3. However, it doesn’t have a folding frame and online connectivity, but on the other hand, it costs considerably less. It’s also a machine without an incline system. Although it’s not a gym-grade trainer, it does have a sturdy construction which is pretty close to light-commercial models.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 63L x 22W x 62H inches (160L x 56W x 157H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 121 lbs (54.8kg)
  • Flywheel weight: 13 lbs (5.9 kg)
  • Max. user weight: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Stride: 18 inches (46 cm)
  • Incline: No
  • Handlebars: Both mobile and fixed (with pulse sensors)
  • Resistance system: Eddy current, 24 levels
  • Console: 16 workout programs
  • Amenities: Sound system, tablet holder, bottle holder
  • Warranty: Frame lifetime / Parts 2 years / Labor 1 year

Frame construction and parts

The XTERRA FS380 is a pretty large fitness machine. With the frame fully assembled, it’s approx. 63″ (160 cm) long, and 22″ (56 cm) wide. On top of that, it requires at least two feet of clearance on each side and at the rear. Also, its highest point is given by the top of the mobile handlebars, which is approx. 62″ (157 cm) above floor level.

The assembled unit if pretty heavy as well. It weighs over 120 lbs (~54.8 kg), which means it’s recommended to be transported and assembled by two persons. However, once it is assembled, it is rather easy to handle and relocate as the front base integrates a set of large rubber wheels.

The overall weight of the machine enhances its stability. You can be sure that it won’t wobble or rock while you engage in a more intense workout. Plus, its base points feature adjustable stabilizers with rubber pads which allow you to perfectly level the unit on any type of flooring.

Needless to say, the XTERRA FS380 features a heavy-duty frame made of steel tubing. It has a weight capacity of 300 lbs (136 kg), which is similar to light-commercial models.

Of course, the unit also has several plastic parts, these being the covers of the motor and flywheel, several other covers at the joints of the machine, and the console. These parts, however, don’t take away from the unit’s overall sturdiness; their role is only protective and cosmetic.

All the steel parts in the unit’s construction are coated with a corrosion-resistant layer of paint; the color used is light silver, this being the only color available for this elliptical trainer so far.

The machine is equipped with a set of large pedals which have a non-slip, rubberized core. They don’t integrate any articulation or extra shock-absorption elements; however, this is after all an elliptical and any workout carried out on it has a very low joint and back impact. Also, the pedals are slightly tilted inward (by approx. 2°) in order to provide a more natural positioning of the feet.

As opposed to the bars in the machine’s frame construction, the tracks on which the pedals glide are made of aluminum. Thus, the pedaling motion is very smooth. The rollers of the pedal bars integrate sealed ball bearings; also, the other joints of the mobile arms and pedal bars are equipped with top-quality bearings, so that the unit provides a very smooth operation.

Last but not least, the XTERRA Fitness FS380 elliptical machine features two sets of handlebars. Both have rubberized handles for a firm and comfortable grip. Also, the fixed handlebars are equipped with stainless steel EKG sensors, so that the console unit can monitor your pulse if you hold on to them.

Q-Factor, stride, elliptical path and elevation

The XTERRA FS380 features a narrow Q-Factor. The spacing between its pedals is only 2″ (5.1 cm) which means that the position of your feet on the pedals is natural, without being too far apart. This way you won’t experience any extra lateral stress on the joints.

This elliptical trainer doesn’t have an incline system. Although it’s a front-drive machine, its elliptical path is actually 1-2 degrees inclined forward. However, the pedaling motion feels like walking a horizontal path.

The unit’s stride length is 18″ (46 cm). This means it can accommodate users up to 6’1″ – 6’2″ (185-188 cm) comfortably, providing a complete leg extension and a satisfactory striding motion. Taller users can still use this machine with no problem, but they will perform shorter steps. Evidently, the stride is non-adjustable. If you’re looking for an elliptical with an adjustable stride, you may want to check out the Octane Q47x or the ProForm 1110E.

One last aspect to mention here regards the unit’s pedal elevation. The surface of each pedal reaches approx. 18″ (46 cm) above floor level when it is at its highest point. This being said, it’s recommended to place the machine in a room with a ceiling at least 20″ (51 cm) higher than your own height.

Drive and resistance

One of the main drive elements of an elliptical trainer is its flywheel. The FS380 elliptical from XTERRA Fitness is equipped with a mid-range flywheel, weighing 13 lbs (~6 kg). It’s a perimeter weighted flywheel which means that it is heavy enough to provide a fairly consistent momentum and eliminate the “stairmaster” effect. It’s also bi-directional; thus, you can also pedal in reverse on this machine.

The machine’s drive system integrates a heavy-duty v-belt, resistant to stretching. Thus, the pedaling motion generates almost no sound or vibration. Plus, as opposed to a chain drive, this belt drive doesn’t require any lubrication.

This XTERRA Fitness elliptical trainer uses an eddy current, automatic resistance system. This means you have to connect it to a power source so that you can benefit from resistance adjustment; the resistance can only be adjusted from the console unit.

The resistance system consists of a servo motor which takes the commands given from the console and changes the pull of the magnetic elements, in order to increase the drag on the flywheel. Since the resistance is frictionless, the pedaling motion is extremely smooth and quiet. Also, there’s virtually no wear and tear in the resistance elements.

This trainer provides 24 distinct resistance levels. The first 5 settings offer light workouts, which makes them perfect for users who require recovery training, or users with disabilities. The highest tension levels, on the other hand, will definitely help you achieve an intense burn.

Console unit

The XTERRA FS380 elliptical features a mid-range console with a 5.5″ LCD display which has a blue LED backlight for improved readability. The display readings are time, speed, distance, Watts, resistance level, RPM, calories burned, and heart rate. There are both metric and imperial settings for speed and distance. Also, there is a race track function which shows the distance traveled as a 1/4 miles (400 m) track, which keeps the laps count.

The console unit is not telemetric. This means that it doesn’t work with Polar or other types of HR chest straps. So, in order to benefit from a pulse reading, you have to hold on to the sensors in the machine’s fixed handlebars. Also, when setting up your user profile, you will be prompted to input personal data, such as gender, age, height, and weight. Thus, the console will be able to provide very accurate readings with regards to your energy output and calories burned.

The machine’s console unit doesn’t have Bluetooth technology, nor it has any type of online connectivity. Differently put, you cannot sync it with any online fitness apps. But on the other hand, it offers 16 workout programs. These workout applications include 9 preset programs, 1 custom user program which gives you the possibility to create a routine of your own desire, and 6 heart rate-based workouts. Some of these workouts auto-adjust the machine’s resistance.

The unit also has a Fitness Test function and a Recovery function. The Fitness Test program is designed to test your performance depending on your age (it will prompt you to input your age). It tests you for a distance of 3 miles and gives you an idea of your overall level of fitness. The Recover function is also a type of fitness test, but it’s based on your pulse rate at the end of your workout. Depending on your pulse score once the workout is finished, it will give you a rating between (1-Best) and (6-Very Bad).

Along with these fitness-oriented features, the console also includes two extras. One of them is the integrated sound system, the other is the tablet holder. The sound system is compatible with most MP3 players and smartphones. It consists of two speakers situated at the top of the unit, while the jack input for your music device is at the bottom. The tablet holder is placed at the base of the unit display, above the keypad. It’s large enough to accommodate any tablet or smartphone. However, a tablet or smartphone place on it will partially or completely cover the unit’s display.

Assembly and Maintenance

The machine’s drive and resistance systems are already assembled and attached to the front part of the frame. However, there’s still quite a bit of assembly required. You will have to attach the pedal tracks to the front part of the frame, the pedals, the front base, the console mast, the mobile arms, and the console. This may take up to two hours. However, the included manual provides very clear, step-by-step assembly instructions, and all the tools you’ll need are also included.

For maintenance, it’s recommended to keep the pedal tracks clean in order to prevent any damage to them or the wheels. The machine’s joints may require lubrication from time to time. It’s also recommended to periodically inspect the unit for loose bolts and parts.

The Pros

  • Sturdy steel construction and weight capacity of 300 lbs;
  • Adjustable levelers;
  • Transport wheels;
  • Large, non-slip pedals;
  • Narrow Q-Factor which eliminates the lateral stress on the knees and ankles;
  • 2° inward tilt for the pedals to promote a natural foot positioning;
  • Inertia-enhanced flywheel for a consistent momentum and smooth pedaling;
  • Quiet operation, ideal for apartment use;
  • 24 levels of eddy current resistance;
  • 16 workout programs;
  • Multi-panel display, showing multiple workout metrics simultaneously;
  • The console display has LED backlight which considerably improves readability;
  • Both metric and imperial unit settings for speed and distance;
  • Goal tracking functions for time, distance and calories;
  • Race track feature which shows the distance as a 1/4 miles track, keeping count of your completed laps; 
  • Fitness Test and Recovery test features;
  • Pulse sensors integrated into the fixed handlebars;
  • Sound system included;
  • Tablet holder included;
  • Bottle holder included;
  • Fairly easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • No incline system;
  • No online connectivity;
  • A tablet placed on the media holder will cover the unit’s display.


The XTERRA Fitness FS380 is a mid-range elliptical trainer featuring a durable construction, motorized magnetic resistance with 24 levels available, and a console with 16 workout programs, sound system, and tablet holder. It can support users up to 300 lbs and features a narrow Q-Factor which considerably reduces joint stress.

It’s an excellent elliptical trainer for all kinds of workouts, from light to intense cardio, interval training, weight loss, stamina development, recovery training, and more. Although it doesn’t have an incline system, it still is quite a decent machine, as it costs at least a few $100s less than other models with an incline. In all, this trainer offers an excellent price/value/quality ratio.

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