Reebok ZJET 430 Elliptical Trainer Review

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The Reebok ZJET 430 elliptical trainer can be compared in terms of specs and features with the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3804. It’s a machine designed for home use, featuring a manual magnetic resistance system with a read-drive setup. For reference, this is the Reebok part number RVJF-12211RD; this may actually be important to know as there also is a ZJET 430 treadmill machine.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 53L x 26W x 67H inches (134L x 66W x 171H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 114.6 lbs (52 kg)
  • Supported weight: 265 lbs (120 kg)
  • Flywheel weight: 15.4 lbs (7 kg)
  • Stride: 15 inches (38 cm)
  • Incline: No
  • Resistance: Manual magnetic, 8 levels
  • Console: Time, distance, speed, RPM, calories, pulse, goals
  • Extras: Tablet holder, bottle holder


Frame construction

The Reebok ZJET 430 features a steel frame with ABS covers for the drive and resistance elements. It has a fairly sturdy construction offering a weight capacity of 265 lbs (120 kg). It’s also pretty heavy; with all the parts assembled, it weighs approx. 114 lbs (~52 kg). This weight provides excellent stability. Plus, both its base bars are equipped with adjustable stabilizers.

This Reebok elliptical trainer is not foldable. However, it takes a smaller usage area than other machines in this category. It is 53″ (134 cm) long, and 26″ (66 cm) wide. It is recommended, though, to leave at least two feet of clearance all around it for safe usage.

Although the fully assembled unit is pretty heavy, its relocation can be done with ease once it was fully set up. Its front base integrates two transport wheels; so, by lifting it from its rear base and using these wheels, you won’t be handling more than 30% of its total weight when relocating it.

The unit features two sets of handlebars, one fixed, one mobile. The fixed handlebars are directly attached to the console mast. They integrate pulse sensors which connect to the console so that the unit can display your heart rate. The mobile handlebars feature longer grips with ovalized grips at the top. They are connected to the console mast and the pedal bars. Therefore, they cannot be locked into a stationary position; they will continue to move for as long as you pedal.

The pedals are made of heavy-duty ABS material. They feature a non-slip surface; they don’t integrate additional cushioning or articulation as the pedals on more expensive machines, such as the BodyCraft ECT500G, for example. But nonetheless, just as any other elliptical, the Reebok ZJET 430 does provide a low-impact ride, with minimum stress on the joints.

The pedal trays are attached to two metallic plates which are directly welded to the lower bars. Each plate has three attachment positions for its pedal tray. Also, the pedals trays attach to their plates via two knobs each; this makes it quite easy to disconnect them and re-connect them closer or farther from the front of the unit.

The unit’s steel parts are coated with a corrosion-resistant and chip-resistant paint finish. The color used is black, this being the only color available for this machine. The side ABS panels that cover the drive system combine red and black for an extra aesthetic touch.

Elliptical path, stride, and step-up height

The Reebok ZJET 430 cross trainer features a rear-drive construction. Therefore, its elliptical path is slightly inclined forward. This means that a ride on this machine feels like descending on a very soft ramp or hill. This adds a bit of extra burn for your thighs and gluteal muscles.

Although it’s a pretty compact machine, the ZJET 430 offers 15″ (38 cm) of stride. This being said, it should provide a satisfying range of motion for users up to 6’2″ (188 cm). Nonetheless, taller users can still use this cross trainer but they may feel their stride is a bit restricted.

The unit’s stride is non-adjustable. Also, there is no incline system. However, as we’ve mentioned above, the pedal trays can be attached closer to the front or the rear of the unit, offering an adjustment span of a few inches. Therefore, if you’re taller, you can attach them to the rear positions to benefit from a better foot placement.

The pedal step-up height is at approx. 9″ (23 cm) above floor level. Conversely, at their highest point, the pedals reach a height of approx. 15″ (38 cm). This being said, it is recommended to use the machine in a room with a ceiling that is at least 20″ (51 cm) higher than your own height.

Drive and resistance

The Reebok ZJET 430 elliptical equipped with a 15.4 lbs (7 kg) flywheel which has a perimeter-weighted structure. Therefore, not only that it provides superior inertia, it also delivers a very smooth and steady pedaling motion.

The drive system is simple, involving only a pulley and a belt transmission and the flywheel. This being said, you can pedal in reverse if you want, and when pedaling in reverse, the console will still continue to monitor your distance, calories burned, etc. Also, the belt drive system comes with a few advantages. For example, you will never need to remove the covers to lubricate it, while the pedaling motion is almost completely silent and vibration-free.

This Reebok cross trainer integrates a manual magnetic resistance system. This means you don’t have to connect it to a power source. Also, the console is only a monitor for your workout stats; it does not control or interfere with the resistance in any way.

The unit’s resistance system consists of a magnetic brake attached to the flywheel system and to the tension dial on the main front bar of the machine. By turning the dial clockwise, the internal magnetic brake will move closer to the flywheel, increasing the intensity of the internal magnetic field, which ultimately increases the pedaling difficulty. Conversely, if you turn the dial counterclockwise, the brake will move away from the flywheel which leads to a lesser pedaling difficulty.

There are 8 levels of resistance available. The first one delivers very little pedaling difficulty, which can be great for recovery training or a light cardio workout. The 8th resistance level, on the other hand, provides a considerably higher pedaling difficulty, simulating a hill climb and allowing you to get a higher pulse rate in a shorter period of time.


Console

As we’ve mentioned above, the unit’s console does not control the resistance adjustment in any way. It is only a monitor for your main workout statistics. It also does not connect online to any fitness apps. But on the other hand, it offers plenty of features to keep you motivated.

To begin with, the console unit features a multi-panel LCD display and shows all the workout metrics at once, so you won’t need to use a Scan function to rotate them. It tracks time, distance, speed, RPM, calories burned, and pulse. It is not telemetric, though. In other words, it can only read your pulse through the integrated sensors; it cannot communicate with smartwatches or HR chest straps.

The unit does not have preset workout programs but does have goal values for time, distance, speed, and calories burned. If a goal is selected for time, distance, or calories, the console will count down from the selected value until it reaches zero. Also, if a target is selected for speed, it will prompt you to accelerate or slow down your pace in order to remain within the selected speed goal.

There is also a Recovery function. This indicates the user’s level of fitness. It measures the amount of time it takes your pulse to return to normal after the workout, and based on that, it will give you a fitness rating between F1 (excellent) and F6 (poor).

The unit is battery powered. It uses 2 AA batteries as its power source. It starts up when you begin pedaling or when you press any button. It also has a sleep mode function to which it will enter after four minutes of inactivity.

Assembly and Maintenance

The main body of this cross trainer comes pre-assembled. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about the assembly of the resistance and drive parts. You only need to attach the base bars, the front mast, the pedal bars, the pedal trays, the fixed handlebars, the mobile arms, and the console. This may take more than an hour. However, the manual provides very clear, step-by-step assembly instructions and schematics. Also, all the tools required for the assembly are included.

Maintenance doesn’t require much. The internal components of the machine don’t need any maintenance, at least not for a long period of time. Therefore, in terms of maintenance, it’s only recommended to wipe off the sweat that may drop on the frame at the end of the workout and periodically check for loose bolts or parts. The unit’s joints may also require lubrication from time to time.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction – can support users up to 265 lbs;
  • Fairly small footprint;
  • Adjustable and rubberized stabilizers on both base bars;
  • Transport wheels on the front base;
  • Fixed and mobile handlebars;
  • Bi-directional and balanced flywheel providing a smooth and steady pedaling motion with a consistent momentum;
  • Large, non-slip, durable pedals;
  • Three attachment positions for each pedal tray;
  • 8 levels of magnetic resistance;
  • Multi-panel LCD display console to show all the workout metrics simultaneously;
  • The console can track time, distance, total distance, speed, pulse, and calories burned;
  • Goal functions for time, distance, speed, and calories;
  • Recovery function included;
  • Tablet holder included;
  • Bottle holder included;
  • Quiet operation;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Decent warranty.

Cons

  • No backlight on the LCD display;
  • The calories reading isn’t too accurate.


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