Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical L1 Review
Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical L1 is a very innovative exercise machine and very kind on users’ joints as it exerts 97% less pressure on knees than other exercise machines.
Its construction is durable like a light commercial trainer. It’s surely a machine meant for light to medium intensity exercise, mainly focused on eliminating as much pressure on users’ spinal column and articulations as possible.
Users can get vertical as well as horizontal movements on this machine and thus versatility in exercise and muscle toning. It offers running movement without the impact posed by running.
The machine is also ideal for cardiovascular training as well as overall fitness. It burns 17.4% more calories than a regular workout.
Published: April 13, 2020.
Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical L1 Specifications
- Dimensions when assembled: 54 x 38 x 52 inches (137 x 97 x 132 cm) (L x W x H)
- Weight when assembled: 110 lbs. (50 kg)
- Resistance: 8 levels, magnetic, manual
- Stride: 13″ (33 cm)
- Maximum user weight capacity: 300 lbs. (136 kg)
- Warranty: 1 year on frame, 90 days on parts
Features of Teeter FreeStep Cross Trainer
The assembly of the Teeter FreeStep Cross Trainer is pretty easy because all the internal parts and most frame parts come pre-assembled. Users only have to assemble the front bar that acts as a support for the console, the seat and backrest, the moving handlebars, the pedals and the rear base stabilizers.
Although this may take over an hour, it’s not complicated. The assembly instructions in the manual are detailed with well-drawn diagrams and all tools required for the assembly are provided.
It should be remembered that for attaching the pedals, the machine should be turned on its back. Here, depending on the user’s size and strength, they may need a second person to help them out.
Despite having a sturdy frame, the construction of the Teeter FreeStep has a lot of ABS parts, such as the covers of the drive system, many other small covers, pedals etc. However, the construction is overall durable and sturdy and can be compared to that of a light-commercial machine.
Most steel parts in the machine have a dual coating of a rust-resistant paint, whereas parts like the seat adjustment post and the adjustable portions of the moving arms have a chrome finish.
The frame of the Teeter FreeStep is heavy-duty and is made of steel tubing, made to support users up to 300 lbs.
Although the Teeter FreeStep Cross Trainer is not very large-sized, it does occupy around 54″L x 38″W (137 x 97 cm) of floor space. Besides, it’s recommended by the manufacturer to leave at least a two foot space on all sides of the unit for easy access and unrestricted operation.
The Teeter FreeStep is a quite heavy machine, weighing around 110 lbs. (50 kg) and has a low center of gravity placing most of its weight under the user. All in all, the unit is extremely stable. Moreover, the rear base bar has adjustable stabilizers having large rubber pads.
Although it’s heavy, the unit is not very difficult to move around because its rear base bar has transport wheels too.
The console of the Teeter FreeStep is pretty basic. It just helps users track their time, distance, current pedaling speed and calories burned. The digital display uses imperial units to show distance and speed. Thus the metrics are displayed in miles and MPH. It runs on two AA batteries (1.5V) (included).
The console is quite easy to use as it has only one button that can be used for all functions. The console starts when users start pedaling and shuts down if left inactive for a few minutes. To choose any of the above-mentioned metrics, users can keep pressing the button. Or they can choose the Scan Mode, which keeps rotating the metrics. By keeping the button pressed, users can reset all the values to zero.
Seat and Backrest
The Teeter FreeStep has a comfortable seat and backrest. Both of them have a contoured layer of high-density foam padding. Adequate contact surface is provided by the bottom part which is around 14” (35cm) wide. The backrest is concave so as to accommodate user’s back perfectly during workout.
The seat post is set at an angle and thus accommodates taller users better. As such, the trainer is meant to accommodate users from 4’11” to 6’6″ (149 – 198 cm) given its seat with multiple height adjustments. It has 3 recline adjustments to facilitate the right posture. When it is set to its lowest position, the seat is around 27″ (68.5 cm) above the floor level.
A unique feature provided by the Teeter FreeStep Cross Trainer is the adjustability of backrest. This feature is generally not provided in recumbent bikes and other cross trainers. The backrest of the Teeter FreeStep can be adjusted in three reclining positions. A durable lock is provided on the adjustment system, so as to facilitate a firm lumbar support by the backrest.
The Teeter FreeStep has two sets of handlebars – one fixed and the other mobile.
The fixed handlebars are placed behind the seat and are attached to it. They have small grips and the right one integrates the resistance adjustment dial.
The mobile handlebars are attached to the pedal bars and continue to move as long as users pedal or the pedals keep moving as long as users move their arms. Both of them cannot move independently. These handlebars have curved grips furnished with a thick rubber foam layer for added ease and comfort.
The mobile arms have double adjustability, i.e. length adjustability and outward/inward adjustability. They can be adjusted in three lengthwise positions and in an inward or outward position. This enables users to diversify their exercise and target various muscle groups.
The Teeter FreeStep is equipped with a magnetic resistance system with manual adjustments. Thus it doesn’t have an internal motor for adjustments; neither does the unit need to be connected to an electric outlet. The console doesn’t have any role in resistance adjustment.
The resistance mechanism contains a magnetic brake connected to a tension knob which is integrated in the right handlebar of the seat. By moving this knob, the magnetic brake can be moved closer or farther from the flywheel, which will increase or reduce the pedaling difficulty.
The knob doesn’t have any settings for resistance on it, but has 8 different levels of resistance. However, the maximum resistance is not extreme. Since this machine is designed for light to medium cardio training, it’s focused more on comfort than resistance output. However, the machine is definitely useful for maintaining cardiovascular health and also for shedding some pounds.
The internal drive system of the Teeter FreeStep, like that of most recumbent bikes or elliptical trainers with magnetic resistance systems, consists of a poly-v belt and therefore the drive train doesn’t need lubrication. Plus, the operation of the machine is extremely quiet.
The Teeter FreeStep Cross Trainer has extra-large pedals made of sturdy ABS material. They have a tray-like design i.e. they have borders and have a textured surface. Both these features keep users’ feet secure on them without letting them slip.
The pedaling motion resembles more with the motion generated by a stepper machine, but with a backward tilt and with the comfort of being seated. Also the stride is around 13″ (33 cm) which is satisfactory to most users.
Reverse pedaling is also possible but as pedals don’t have straps and their design is such that it needs users to press on them, reverse pedaling is a kind of awkward.
The flywheel is designed to deliver a steady motion and consistent momentum.
Patented Stride Technology
The patented Stride Technology used in the Teeter FreeStep takes the load off user’s back, hips and knees, and joints, offering better comfort than traditional steppers, ellipticals and treadmills. This technology offers a unique stepping motion that prevents the knees from traveling over the toes and soothes the back and hips and thus gives extremely stress-free workout.
Dual Power Motion
The Dual Power Motion of the Teeter FreeStep offers a unique push-pull mechanics which promotes a full body workout to user’s upper and lower body simultaneously, so that their body keeps burning fat and building lean muscles long after workout.
The covering of the drive system is molded in the front side and made into a bottle holder.
Also, there is a media tray on the top portion of the console where users can keep their smartphones, tablets, MP3 or iPod to keep themselves entertained during workout. The tray being on top of the console, any device placed in it doesn’t block the display.
The Teeter FreeStep doesn’t require much maintenance. As mentioned earlier, the internal system doesn’t need any lubrication. Thus users just need to clear off any sweat, dirt etc. and regularly check for any loose nuts, bolts and parts.
Ability to Target Various Muscle Groups
Although the Teeter FreeStep Cross Trainer doesn’t have any preset workout programs, it has the capability to enable users to target various muscle groups in their body and thus offer a full body workout. With its Dual Power Motion, it offers exercise for upper and lower body muscles. Its push and pull mechanism targets all main muscle groups.
Since it simulates the leg press stepping motion, it helps target quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. The adjustable handlebars facilitate the toning of the chest and back muscles. The handlebars can also be repositioned to target biceps, triceps and back muscles.
Pros of Teeter FreeStep Cross Trainer
- Strong construction supporting users up to 300 lbs.
- Extremely stable and has adjustable stabilizers on rear base bar
- Transport wheels for easy relocation
- Mobile as well as fixed handlebars
- Mobile handlebars are length adjustable and can be kept locked in an inward or outward position
- Comfortable, wide and foam-padded adjustable seat and backrest
- Reclining backrest with three adjustment positions
- Seat can accommodate users up to 6’6”
- 8 distinct resistance levels
- Large pedals with a unique design that prevents slippage of feet
- Versatile and offers total body workout
- Bottle holder and tablet holder provided
- Quiet operation
- Quite easy assembly
- Very low maintenance
- Affordable price
Cons of Teeter FreeStep Cross Trainer
- No pulse reading function
- Resistance levels are not shown on the adjustment knob
- No online connectivity
- No preset programs
Since the Teeter FreeStep Cross Trainer is basically designed to offer comfort during workout, it provides features like zero impact, wide, comfortable and adjustable seat and backrest, comfortable pedals, a set of fixed handlebars and a set of mobile handlebars with dual adjustability.
Though an average user can use it and have benefits like high calorie burn, full body workout, light to medium cardio workout, toning of various muscle groups, weight loss and stamina development, it’s especially useful for people suffering from hip pain, knee-pain, back pain, sciatica, spinal curvature, spinal degenerative joint disease and injuries, recovering from a knee surgery and needing physical therapy and recovery training.
Since it’s cost-effective, it’s also perfect for those looking for a budget exercise machine. However those who are overall healthy, aiming to perform HIIT, looking for advanced features and have no problem in spending a pretty penny can be better off with other options.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical Amazon link (link opens in the new window).