Pros: Lots of features and inexpensive.
Cons: I don't love where the heart rate monitor is; no magazine rack.
This product is the topic of a discussion at epinions. I decided to learn about it over the course of weeks and am now reviewing the Reebok RL 900 Elliptical Machine. AT $800 - $900 depending on where you buy it, the price sounds right. Lets find out if the price is right in my opinion.
What is an elliptical machine?
Perhaps by now everyone knows since they are very popular for a reason. I like using ellipticals a lot. I find them much gentler on my joints than treadmills. I also find that they burn more calories than walking on a treadmill unless you have that treadmill at a very high angle. They are considered a safe, low impact cardio vascular (heart/lung) workout.
Using the Reebok RL 900 combines the motions of walking, stepping, cycling and skiing all in one.
About the Reebok RL 900:
The first things I noticed when I knew I would be reviewing this machine were the console, where the water bottle was, what kind of handles it has and how comfortable the pedals were.
I stepped onto the pedals and held on to the conveniently placed handlebars. If you have never been on an elliptical you should take a few minutes to get used to the movement of the pedals. Once on I noticed the bottle holder that was right in font of me. Ive been on machines where the water bottle was way over to the side of the machine.
I also noticed that the heart rate sensors are designed differently than I am used to. Usually the heart rate monitor is on a straight bar right in front of me. In the case of the RL 900 the heart rate monitors are in a horseshoe shaped piece of metal right in front of me. Some may not like this but it isnt a deal breaker. At times I will use the heart rate monitor bar to hold onto with one hand while I take a drink of water. The design of Reeboks heart rate monitor makes this a little awkward to do.
Reeboks Elliptical has 8 pre-set programs. What that means is if I pick interval training for example, the machine will automatically change resistance and will prompt me to pick up the pace if I am not keeping up with the program I chose. I can choose a manual mode in which I would incline, decline, raise or lower the intensity on my own as I work out. I can also choose from two heart rate programs that automatically change the resistance of the pedals to get my heart rate up to my target heart rate.
If you dont know your maximum heart rate is 220 your age. If you want to work out at 50% of that then just divide that number by 2.
The large, easy to see console display has nice features. Youll see the time you will be on the Reebok RL 900, the calories youve burned, the resistance level you are at, the steps per minute and the steps youve taken. Some people like to watch the display which lights up and tracks your progress. It is really not a functional feature on cardio machines but youll find them on many.
The console does not have a magazine rack. If that is a must have then this will be a deal breaker.
I found the foot pedals comfortable. The pedals dont have a slot in which I put my feet like some elliptical machines do but they do have a raised end so my feet dont slide off the pedals. The pedals are 5 off the floor at their lowest but are close to 20 at the highest. I usually dont note this but was asked that question. Its a good one. The issue was if the person was too tall to use this machine given the low ceiling in his basement.
The machines dimensions are 76 x 68 x 24. Although it is narrow this is a large machine. It weighs 270 pounds with a 350 pound weight capacity
More about the console:
The Reebok RL 900 has two built in fans. I am seeing this more and more. The CoolAire Fan creates air currents from 4 to 6 mph. Personally I dont use the fan because I dont like air blowing on me when I am sweating. However if you do, you will love this feature. If you do not you do not have to use it! Note and this is true of other machines that are tall and have fans. Depending on your height you may not get the full effect of the fan! You will not have this issue with a treadmill with fans because treadmills are not as high.
I love the QuickSpeed and QuickIncline Controls. Reebok, made by Nordic Track is owned by ICON. You will find many of the same features on other ICON companys such as ProForm. On many cardio machines in order to increase the intensity or speed I push an arrow for each level. Thats not a big deal really. But the QuickSpeed option eliminates the pushing of the arrow. I can increase my speed or decrease it immediately. It does not have to basically stop at each interval.
This is the way it works. If I am walking at 3 miles per hour and want to go to 4, rather than pressing the up arrow, I just press the number 4 and it jumps to 4 mph.
The 900 elliptical has Built-in iFIT technology. This will let you run optional workouts from videos, CDs and the Internet. You will get an audio cable with this machine. Connect it to your computer or stereo or use iFit material (www.ifit.com).
Nordic Track offers a 1-year warranty on the motor, parts and labor. Extended warranties can be purchased.
Youll get a 30-day trial period is you buy this at www.NordicTrack.com.
Jos Final Thoughts:
You will get in my opinion a well built machine with a lot of features for $800. The glide is smooth and quiet. I enjoyed the several times I got the opportunity to use the RL 900. Sure I love the Cybex Arc Trainer but it is $5500! I also like the $1100 ProForm Treadmill but its not an elliptical. For the money I dont think youll do much better than the Reebok RL 900.
I luckily did not have the displeasure of having to assemble this. I know it takes two people and based on what I was told plan on spending a few hours putting this together unless you are really good at this kind of thing! I am giving this 5 stars. It isn't that it is my favorite machine but I am basing it on the features, price and the name.
Feel free to leave me a question or comment. Youll find a comprehensive list of my reviews on my profile page. Thanks for reading. jo