Octane XR4 Elliptical Review

Octane XR4 Elliptical Rating

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Detailed Overview

Priced at $2899 the XR4 is the most affordable recumbent elliptical from Octane Fitness, a brand known for good quality and high prices. Just like Octane’s more expensive options the XR4 lets you burn calories about 25% more efficiently compared with seated ellipticals and recumbent bikes from other brands. As described below it’s also loaded with Octane’s signature Workout Boosters for advanced cross training.

The XR4’s advantage of higher calorie burn results from what Octane calls an “active seat.” In other words, the XR4 elliptical seat positions your body for greater muscle recruitment as you ride. The most noticeable difference is in glute activity, which more than triples. Also compared with other recumbent trainers, the XR4 may let you extend your legs further and move your torso more freely.

For workout guidance and exercise data this elliptical is topped with the XR4X console. Its data window simultaneously shows speed, distance, time, calories, resistance (20 levels) and heart rate. Six diverse training programs are provided, plus the XR4X can run three Workout Boosters named Chest Press, Leg Press and XMode. A Workout Boosters can be activated at any time to add variety and interval training to a primary workout program: When Chest Press is activated, you’ll stop pedaling and will use the XR4’s handlebars in isolation. (The resistance is adjustable for a customized challenge.) When Leg Press is activated, you’ll train without the handlebars and focus on lower body strength. The third Workout Booster, XMode, will lead you through a variety of upper body and lower body exercises. To get a better understanding you can see video of the Boosters in action on the XR4 elliptical sale page.
Wondering if this ride is your best buy? Additional specs are listed below as “favorite features” and “least favorite features.”

Our Favorite Features

The XR4 is an entry-level trainer, but it’s part of an elite series and has some impressive features. Here are highlights:

  • Recumbent seating is easy on the back and relieves pressure from over the knees, letting you train more comfortably than with a standing elliptical
  • Promotes greater muscle engagement and higher calorie burn compared with other recumbent trainers
  • Supports cardio and strength training for beginners through advanced trainees
  • Provides six standard training programs to combine with three Workout Boosters
  • Lets you exercise the upper body and lower body separately or together
  • Has 20 resistance settings to support varied workout intensities
  • Fits a wide range of body sizes with its adjustable seating; choose from 15 height settings and five angle settings
  • Can monitor heart rate via sensors built into stationary handlebars
  • Has an integrated water bottle holder for convenient hydration
  • Has a safety mode to protect curious children
  • Is compact (just 53” long and 35” wide) to help you optimize your living space
  • Holds up to 300 pounds

Octane XR4 Elliptical - Notable Specs:

Overall Rating:4-stars
Compact / Folding:No
Stride Length:16"
Programs:6 workout programs
Weight Capacity:300 LBS
Dimensions:53" L x 35" W x 60" H

Our Least Favorite Features

The XR4 has many fine points, but it’s a modest ride compared with the advanced Octane seated ellipticals (the XR6 and XR6000). Also, in some ways it falls short of others in its elite price class. Some specific drawbacks:

  • Does not support wireless heart rate monitoring
  • Has straight handlebars, whereas the XR6 and other trainers have curved handlebars to support more diverse upper body exercise
  • Lacks a personal cooling fan
  • Doesn’t incorporate newer technologies that are found on many other cross trainers (e.g., Bluetooth for data sharing, a touchscreen with web browser, or speakers for an MP3 player)
  • Is paired with a three-year parts warranty, whereas some other home ellipticals over $2500 have warranties of five years or longer

The Bottom Line

The XR4 is the most affordable model in Octane’s xRide Series. As an xRide elliptical it has some appealing advantages over its competitors: greater muscle recruitment, faster calorie burn and Octane Workout Boosters. Nonetheless we wouldn’t necessarily call this entry level trainer a best buy; that depends on your priorities. For the $2899 sticker price (or less) you could buy a club-quality elliptical or bike that has other strengths such as a longer warranty, wireless heart rate monitoring, long-term data tracking and digital entertainment.

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