** York XC530 availability update:
The York XC530 appears to be currently unavailable on Amazon, with no indication when, or if, it will reappear in the future.
If you know of alternative vendor, please go ahead and read the reviews.
However, for your convenience, I have added a review of the nearest equivalent –
Here is my full review of the York XC530 2-in-1 Elliptical Cross Trainer / Exercise Bike.
The first thing I checked was how it came across in its separate modes as cross trainer and as a bike. After adjusting the seat I tried using it as an exercise bike.
The pedals are fairly large platforms for use in both modes. While it’s not exactly the same as riding a bike with small pedals, I didn’t find that a problem in practice.
The seat is comfortable and adjustable, via large knobs, for height and forward and backward. The smaller ‘handlebars’ for use mainly with the bike, have metal pads for taking your pulse.
As a cross trainer, it’s even better. The handles are a good width and have comfortable rubber grips, while the pedal an and arm action is really smooth and quiet.
There’s a good variation of resistance from the tension control knob which is in a good, easily accessible position.
The computer screen readout is large and clear. It takes two AA batteries. I put some very cheap ones in and they lasted for several months.
When not in use, it displays the time, date and temperature. As soon as you start using it, the display switches to show the different modes. It shows RPM, Time (of use), Distance, Calories (see below) and Heart Rate.
Pressing the Mode button allows you to set the display to any particular readout, but I tend to leave it in ‘Scan’ mode, in which all the modes are displayed at the bottom and they also rotate being displayed in the large section above. For the pulse rate mode to work you have to hold the the bike handles with the metal segments, which forms a comfortable riding position. The pulse rate sensors work quite quickly coming up with a reading after only a few seconds after placing your hands.
The end caps for the legs have an eccentric lobe which helps to stabilize the machine.With the lobes above the floor, rotate them until they are firmly in touch with the floor surface. This should help to compensate for any slight irregularities in the floor and I bet that the very tiny minority who say it wobbles haven’t set those lobes correctly.
The main thing is that is feels as solid and stable as it looked on assembly. It doesn’t rock or wobble at all, no matter how fast I pedal and the whole thing feels really well made.
It’s also really quiet and I can happily listen to music or watch a video whilst using it.
If you are using the pulse mode, there’s a large and useful ‘Recovery’ button, below the display which works on the basis that the time which your heart returns to its resting rate gives an idea of your overall fitness.
When you’ve finished pedalling, you press the Recovery button and it counts down for a minute, then displays a number from 1-6. The lower the number, the fitter you are; the higher the number, the more you need to use the machine!
Overall, I’m absolutely delighted with the XC530 and I’m convinced I made the right decision. Most importantly of all, it encourages use, which I think makes it well worth every penny.
So you’ve decided to buy one – what’s it like to assemble?
Out of the box
The boxed weight of the XC530 is a hefty 50Kg and I had to get it up a narrow spiral staircase!
I unpacked it downstairs and everything looked good; well protected and all present and correct. It consists of the main enclosed wheel section, which takes up the bulk of the weight, and various odd-looking metal tubes and other bits and bobs.
I removed those from the box first, which left the heavy bit. Leaning over and trying to lift that out of the box is a bad idea and likely to put your back out. If you want to get fitter and healthier, that wouldn’t be a very good start!
The best way is to tip the box on its side, then gradually ease the box away from the machine. Doing that enabled me to remove it rom the box on my own, then I was able to carry that section up the stairs and place it on the floor near where it was going to live.
Putting it all together
I found this fairly straightforward. The diagrams in these guides can always be improved, but it wasn’t too difficult figure out what was what, with a combination of looking at the parts, the diagrams in the assembly guide and the picture on the box of what the finished thing looks like.
There is a piece of card onto which they various nuts, bolts and washers are shrink-wrapped with plastic, which I split with a pen-knife as and when I needed them. On the card, they’re all numbered, so I’d recommend doing it that way rather than unpacking all the nuts and bolts and risk losing them or confusing them with each other.
Although it’s heavy, there are a couple of small wheels built into the front cross-strut, which means you can lift the back and wheel it, so make sure you fit it the right way around.
The end caps for the legs have an eccentric lobe which helps to stabilize the machine.With the lobes above the floor, rotate them until they are firmly in touch with the floor surface. This should help to compensate for any slight irregularities in the floor. If it wobbles in use, you probably haven’t set those lobes correctly.
The assembled footprint is as follows:
Width: 20″ /51cm; Length: 39.5″/1m.
The pedals when fully forward extend a further 8″/20cm and the cross-trainer arms are 25.5″/65cm wide at their outside edge.
The height to the top of those arms is 59.5″/151cm.
For a machine of this substance, it’s actually quite compact, which means that, where I have it, it can stay where it is permanently, without having to move it between uses, which is good, as it certainly doesn’t fold up or anything, for storage. But then. I didn’t want something that was built like an ironing board!
Whether you’re just looking for something to help you get fit (or stay fit), or looking specifically for a 2 in 1 exercise bike and cross trainer, I would definitely highly recommend buying the York XC530. The original price of £458.25 reflects the quality of this machine. At the current price. it’s a snip!