Friday, 16 April 2021

Review - The DKN XC-140i Elliptical Cross Trainer

A review of our new DKN cross trainer.

Our gym has been closed for most of the last year, and although we've continued our exercise at home, over the winter we started some research into buying a large piece of gym equipment. We settled on a cross trainer, or elliptical machine, chosen because it's not an exercise that we can duplicate ourselves (like running or cycling) and it provides a good full body workout. 

For clarity in this review, this is the first large piece of home exercise equipment that we have owned, and I can only compare it to the heavy duty cross trainer that I've used at the gym. 

DKN XC-140i Elliptical Cross Trainer review

We settled on the DKN XC-140i Elliptical Cross Trainer and we paid £599. This machine seemed to represent good value for money, being a high quality machine and with good reviews, yet not at the highly expensive end of the scale. We ordered it from Sweatband in mid January, but due to delays related to Brexit and Covid we didn't receive it until the end of March.

The cross trainer was delivered to our downstairs hallway. Since we planned to install it on the top floor we had to carry it up two flights of stairs. Some pieces could be removed from the box, but the bulkiest section was all in once piece, and because of the unpredictable moving hinged parts it was easiest to keep it inside the box for transport. It was very heavy, and although we managed it we didn't find it easy. 

Assembly took the two of us about an hour. It wasn't too difficult and there were only six steps, but a couple of times we were left scratching our heads and trying to work out what went where. It really takes two people to assemble, as you need someone to hold awkward pieces in place while they are screwed together. I think that it would be difficult to assemble alone.

Review of DKN XC-140i Elliptical Cross Trainer

The control panel is very basic compared to some on the market, but that's a good thing for me as it's simple to use. You just press Enter to select your options and use the Up and Down buttons to scroll through. During use, the Up and Down buttons are used to decrease or increase the resistance. There are four saved user profiles, although we don't use these as we track our exercise separately through an Apple watch. 

There are 12 pre-set programmes that you can choose from, although personally I prefer to use manual mode and set myself a time or distance goal. To use one of the programmes , select the programme you want and the amount of time that you want to exercise for and it will automatically work you through the different resistance levels. You can override the resistance level using the controls at any point.

DKN XC-140i Elliptical Cross Trainer control panel

The stride length on the cross trainer is shorter than on a larger machine, but it's not a problem for me and my husband as we aren't very tall. There are small wheels so that you can move the machine around, although you still need to lift it a little. On a wooden floor it can easily be slid around (without moving while in use!). We also bought a good quality mat to place underneath and protect our floor. We tried it out with a cheaper foam mat underneath but found that it felt a bit too bouncy. 

The cross trainer features an inbuilt Bluetooth Smart wireless receiver which means that you can monitor your heart rate with a compatible device and also connect to a device to keep track of your workouts. However we've not used this facility apart from to test it as we track our workouts using an Apple watch. 

There is a small shelf for a tablet or phone, but no water bottle holder or any other storage, although I manage to hook my small towel over the handles. You are quite high up when using it, so it's a bit awkward to reach down for items on a nearby table or chair. 

The cross trainer is pretty quiet when in use. You can hear it in the room underneath, probably because of the wooden floor, but it's not too loud. We've noticed an occasional knocking sound from inside the wheel that comes and goes. You can easily listen to a tablet or phone using the speakers while working out, and my husband has used it during work calls. I should mention that my daughter managed to cut herself very slightly on the sharp underside of one of the pedals, so that's something to be aware of and it should be used and stored in a place away from young children or pets. 

DKN XC-140i Elliptical Cross Trainer review

I must admit that I don't always find it the most exciting way of exercising, but I do enjoy being able to watch and listen to my own shows and music while using it without the need for headphones. I found this article is really helpful - 5 ways to boost your cross trainer workout - it contains some good ideas for mixing your workout up a bit. I'm intending to use the cross trainer for a longer workout once or twice a week, combined with outdoor running and core workouts.

We are really pleased with our purchase. It fits neatly into the space that we've set aside, and it's very motivating to know that it is there and so easy to jump on and use. It's definitely going to be very useful when I don't feel like going for a run outdoors.

You can find further technical information and reviews here - DKN XC-140i Elliptical Cross Trainer

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