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XTERRA Fitness RSX1500 Seated Stepper

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XTERRA RSX1500

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L:52"
W:30.25"
H:49.5"
300 lbsEddy current,
24 levels
Belt1 manual,
12 preset,
1 watt,
1 THR,
4 HR,
4 user,
Body Fat,
Recovery

The XTERRA Fitness RSX1500 is a recumbent bike / stepper hybrid designed for low-impact cardio workouts. It can be compared up to a point with the Teeter FreeStep trainer. However, it has a motorized (automatic) resistance system and comes with a superior console featuring multiple workout programs.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 52L x 30.25W x 49.5H inches (132L x 77W x 126H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 132 lbs (59.9 kg)
  • Stride: 13″ (33 cm)
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Resistance: Eddy current, 24 levels
  • Console: 23 programs, Body Fat function, Recovery function
  • Extras: Sound system, device holder
  • Warranty: Frame lifetime / Brake lifetime / Parts 3 years / Labor 1 year

Frame construction

The XTERRA Fitness RSX1500 seated stepper features a durable steel frame with ABS covers for the drive and resistance elements. All the steel tubes in its construction are coated with a corrosion-resistant paint finish. The color used is black, this being the only color available for this machine. The only non-painted part is the seat sliding rail which has a chrome finish.

The fully assembled machine is not extremely large but it is a little wider than the average recumbent bike. It’s 52″ (132 cm) long, and 30.25″ (77 cm) wide, while its highest point is given by the top of the console which reaches approx. 49.5″ (126 cm) above floor level. It is recommended, though, to leave at least two feet of clearance all around the machine for ease of access.

The XTERRA RSX1500 seated stepper is a fairly heavy fitness machine. With all the parts assembled, it weighs 132 lbs (~60 kg). This being said, it is recommended that the boxed unit is transported by two persons. But once it is assembled, it can easily be relocated as its front base features a set of transport wheels. Also, its rear base integrates adjustable stabilizers.

Seat and other parts

The XTERRA Fitness RSX1500 is equipped with a comfortable seat. Its saddle features a thick layer of foam cushioning and a durable vinyl cover. It’s also contoured for a better positioning. The backrest is similar to the one of an office chair. It’s a mesh-type backrest with a durable polypropylene frame. The whole seat assembly is designed to support users up to 300 lbs (136 kg), which is not bad for a home-use machine.

Needless to say, the seat is adjustable. It is attached to a horizontal rail system and can move closer or farther from the pedals. Its adjustment system is lever-based so you can easily unlock and re-lock while seated if you want to adjust its position. This being said, this seated stepper can accommodate users up to 6’5″ (196 cm) with no problem. It is important to mention, though, that the backrest does not recline.

The machine is equipped with two sets of handlebars. One is attached to the seat, the other is mobile, attached to the front mast and to the pedal system. The seat handlebars integrate pulse sensors. They can also fold upward in order to promote an easier entry and exit. Most recumbent bikes don’t have this feature.

The mobile handlebars are attached to the pedal and to the console mast. Therefore, they continue to move for as long as you pedal. They feature adjustable arms with several positions each. They have articulating grips that can rotate 360° in order to provide a comfortable hand positioning.

As opposed to other recumbent elliptical trainers (or seated steppers), such as the Octane Fitness XR650, for example, the XTERRA RSX1500 features standard exercise bike pedals. They attach at the base of the moving arms. They have a weighted design and adjustable straps so you can secure your feet in place if needed.

Resistance and drive

The XTERRA Fitness RSX1500 seated stepper is equipped with an eddy current resistance system. This means the machine requires an external power source (power cord is included). It also means that the console can automatically adjust the pedal resistance.

The unit’s resistance system consists of a magnetic brake and a servo motor. When adjustments are done from the console (automatically or manually), the motor changes the magnets’ pull which results in more or less resistance.

There are 24 levels of resistance available on this machine. The first few levels deliver a fairly light workout load which is great for recovery training or light cardio training. Conversely, the 20-24 resistance levels of resistance give you the possibility to perform a more intense workout in order to burn more calories and improve stamina.

The machine is equipped with an internal flywheel. Its exact weight is not specified, but as a general idea, most machines in this range feature a 20-30 lbs (9.0-13.6 kg) flywheel. The flywheel has a balanced structure and provides a very smooth pedaling motion. It is bi-directional, but pedaling in reverse doesn’t change the motion much as the pedal path is not elliptical. Also, the machine’s stride is approx. 13″ (33 cm).

Similar to most other fitness machines with a magnetic resistance system, the XTERRA RSX1500 uses a belt drive system. This type of drivetrain comes with several advantages. First of all, you don’t have to take the unit apart to lubricate the belt, so it saves you this hassle. Second of all, a belt drive generates less vibration than a chain, and third of all, the pedaling motion is whisper-quiet.

Console

The XTERRA Fitness RSX1500 Seated Stepper is equipped with a multi-function console. It features a 5-inch, dual-color LCD display with LED backlight. Its display is divided into multiple sub-sections in order to show as many workout metrics as possible at once. It tracks time, distance, total distance, RPM, speed, calories, watts, and pulse. Speed and distance can be set either to Imperial (MPH, miles) or Metric (km/h, kilometers) units. However, the console is not telemetric. This means it can only read your pulse if you hold on to the integrated sensors. It cannot communicate with a wireless HR chest strap.

The console has 23 distinct programs, a Body Fat Calculator, and a Recovery function. The first program is Manual (P1); this allows free pedaling and manual resistance adjustment. The next 12 programs (P2 – P13) are preset. They offer various segment layouts targetting different types of workouts. The list includes Rolling Hills, Valley, Fat Burn, Steps, Ramp, Intervals, Plateau, Obstacle, Off-Road, Fasttrek, Climbing, and Hill. Each program has 24 workout load levels shown in 8 bars for each column. Each column is 1 minute of work by default, but this can be changed.

The console also makes available a Watt Control Program, a Target HR Program, 4 preset HR Control Programs, and 4 User Programs. For the Watt Control Programs, the console adjusts the resistance automatically depending on the pedaling speed in order to maintain a constant watt value. The Target HR Program allows you to select the desired Target HR and the machine will adjust the resistance in order to keep you in the selected HR interval. The preset HR programs are set for a 55% HR, 65% HR, 75% HR, and 85% HR. And finally, the User Programs give you the possibility to create and save your own custom segment layouts.

A Recovery Function and a Body Fat function are available as well. The Recovery function has its own button on the console. When initiated, it counts your pulse recovery at the end of the workout and will provide you with a fitness rating based on your performance. The Body Fat function is activated by the Start button. It calculates your body fat percentage based on your age, height, weight, and gender.

Apart from the workout programs and fitness features, the console also offers two other notable features. One of them is the sound system, the other is the tablet holder. The sound system consists of two small speakers integrated at the top of the unit and an AUX connector at the bottom. Therefore, you can connect your tablet or smartphone to the console and play your music through the integrated speakers for a bit of extra sound depth. The device holder is placed between the console display and the controls. It is large enough to accommodate any type of tablet or smartphone. However, a USB charging port is not available on the console.

Assembly and Maintenance

The main body of the trainer comes pre-assembled. However, the rest of the parts still require assembly. As a general idea, you will have to connect the two base bars, the front mast, the moving arms, the console, the pedal bars, the pedals, and the seat with all its parts. This may take up to two hours of your time. However, the task isn’t too complicated; the manual provides clear assembly instructions and schematics, and all the necessary tools are included.

Once the trainer is assembled, maintenance doesn’t require much. Lubrication of the seat rail and the joints may be required from time to time. But other than this, you only have to check for loose bolts and parts, and keep the machine clean.

The Pros

  • Durable frame – can support users up to 300 lbs;
  • Transport wheels on the rear base;
  • Adjustable stabilizers on the rear base;
  • Both mobile and stationary handlebars;
  • The mobile arms are length adjustable;
  • Rotating (360°) grips on the mobile handlebars;
  • Pulse sensors integrated into the seat handlebars;
  • Foam-padded and contoured saddle;
  • Flexible and breathable mesh backrest;
  • Weighted pedals with adjustable straps;
  • Adjustable seat – can accommodate users up to 6’5″;
  • Eddy current resistance system with 24 tension levels;
  • Multi-function console with a 5-inch, dual-color LCD display;
  • Multiple workout programs, including 1 manual, 12 preset, 1 watt, 1 THR, 4 HR, 4 custom user programs;
  • Recovery function and Body Fat function;
  • Tablet holder included;
  • Sound system included;
  • Fairly easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • No bottle holder;
  • A phone or tablet placed on the device holder will cover the console display;
  • No USB charging port.

Summary

The XTERRA Fitness RSX1500 is a seated stepped made for home use. It features a 24-level eddy current resistance system, a comfortable seat with mesh backrest, adjustable handlebars, and a console with multiple workout programs. It’s a trainer made for light to intense cardio training, low-impact recovery training, stamina development, muscle toning, and weight loss.

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