Octane XR4 Elliptical Review

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Octane XR4 Elliptical Rating

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Pros Octane xRide seated ellipticals are popular alternatives to recumbent bikes because they bring superior calorie burn and muscle recruitment. They also stand out for letting you exercise just your arms, just your legs or your whole body at once. The XR4 is the lowest priced model in the series and requires the least floor space. Its program menu is relatively short (six choices) but the routines are diverse and can be used with 20 resistance levels, plus three Workout Boosters can add variety to any training session.
Cons The Octane XR4 elliptical console has useful, innovative training programs but is otherwise rather basic. It lacks a wireless heart rate receiver, which for some shoppers is a dealbreaker, and unlike some other Octane ellipticals it doesn’t have a cooling fan. Besides that, some trainees prefer gym equipment consoles that are decked out with touchscreens, web browsers, MP3 speakers and other modern amenities. Also note that the moving handlebars are straight instead of curved; most other ellipticals over $2500 have curved handlebars to support multiple workout positions.
Summary The XR4 is a high quality trainer with unique appeal: Compared with typical recumbent bikes it allows faster calorie burn, and it’s the most affordable option featuring Octane’s built-in workouts for advanced cross training. These advantages help explain the machine’s above-average price, so keep that in mind when making elliptical comparisons or bike comparisons. Spend less: If you’re willing to forego the benefits of the XR4’s “active seat” and Workout Boosters, then you could choose a trainer that costs less, has a longer warranty and is loaded with modern tech to enhance your exercise experience. Spend more: If cash isn’t a concern then the Octane XR6 seated elliptical is worth a look. It’s enhanced with video training and WiFi, and it has a longer warranty.

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Octane XR4 Elliptical 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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