BH Fitness FDC19 Front Drive Cross Trainer with Dual iConcept Technology
If you’ve ever been in the market for a new cross trainer, you know it’s an absolute mine field. There are so many products ranging with a massive range of prices, it’s hard to decide what to buy. The FDC19 should be on your list of considerations.
First of all if you are buying one of these to go in your house you need to make sure you have room for one. They are all pretty big, this one is no exception.
Length: 185 cm / 73”
Width: 70 cm / 28”
Height: 170 cm / 67”
Weight: 85 kg / 187 lbs
I’d recommend not putting a cross trainer in an upstairs room, they are heavy and when you clamber on top of them they are even heavier, so once you start moving on them people downstairs will probably be concerned about the herd of elephants that is going berserk in their bedroom. The FDC19 however is generally quite quiet if one a sturdy surface. I’ve had a few cross trainers over the years and most have been creaky squeaky affairs, this one gets top marks for it’s volume.
The people who made this thing have obviously tried to think of all the annoyances you usually get with cross trainers. There’s a bottle holder for example. Such a simple thing that most overlook. The downside of this is you now have no excuse to get off, I used to convince myself I needed a drink but would then sit for 2 minutes getting my breath back.
Another annoyance of my previous machine was the foot plates were plastic, it means your feet slide around and you end up tensing your calfs trying to keep them still, so buy the time your workout is done your feet hurt and your calfs hurt – for the wrong reasons. The FDC19 has rubber on the foot plates, again a simple thing that makes a big difference.
A standard feature of cross trainers (or elliptical machines for our US readers!) is the dull and 1980’s looking design of the control panel. Unfortunately this one doesn’t buck the trend. Look at this thing.
Ok maybe I’m being a little harsh but it’s 2016, where is the touch screen, where is the voice control, it’s not like this thing is cheap. It’s £999, that’s more than a smart phone which has these features as standard. Again though the BH FDC19 while not directly addressing this problem has offered a solution, it has a nice little shelf for an ipad or other tablet. Now on my previous cross trainer I used to precariously balance my iPad on the screen only for it to inevitably fall off and if it didn’t fall off it presented another problem, it blocks the control panel. Fortunately with this machine they have thought of this problem as well, you can connect your tablet via Bluetooth to the cross trainer and control it from there. Excellent. Like I said the people who designed this thing are obviously people who actually use these things and have thought of the annoyances that could easily be solved.
Some BH models require a module to enable this feature but it is built in on this model.
There are also a bunch of apps that are compaitble with the FDC19, including Run on Earth: Webathletics: Fitconsole: Tread Monitor and BH by Kinomap – you get a 1 month free trial included for this last one. They add a little entertainemt, you can run along the beach or through a forest. It’s a novelty. I’d rather watch TV or a film.
Another feature the FDC19 boasts is it has wheels so you can store it away when not in use. This was funny to me. Where am I going to put this thing? Under the stairs? Plus it weighs 85 Kg, I don’t fancy dragging this thing anywhere wheels or no wheels.
So this is something I hadn’t really thought of before and I’m not sure it matters as much as BH claim it does. This thing has front wheel drive, usually the drive wheel is at the back but with this one it’s over the front. It feels a little different as the resistance is more or less under your feet as opposed to behind you. One thing it does allow you to do is be more aggressive in your training without the machine starting to rock under the force of your strides. So if you go hard on these things then this will definitely benefit you but if you are trundle along at a steady pace then it probably won’t be something you will care about. But the goal of these things is to get fitter and to get to the point where you can go hard, so it’s worth considering looking for one with front wheel drive.
Nothing new here in terms of stats, it tells you your time, distance, calories, RPM, and pulse rate. Where this machine does differ though is you can set the machine to automatically alter it’s program based on your heart rate. Not working hard enough, the BH FDC19 will see that from your heart rate and up the resistance and it works the other way too. It will ease off if your heart rate gets too high. I have to say that this is pretty ingenious. I always question how accurate the heart rate monitors are on these machines though, how can it get an accurate reading through the palm of your hand? I’m not convinced they can. If like me you have your doubts about this you can attach a proper heart rate monitor to the FDC19 so that your heart is accurately monitored. A wireless Bluetooth heart rate monitor is available as a separate item.
There are 24 standard resistance levels, which range from walking on air to wading through thick treacle and everything in between. No issues here, it’s fairly standard. Some models only have 8 resistance levels meaning you struggle to find a happy medium, it’s either too easy or too hard. This doesn’t have that problem.
As well as the standard levels there are 12 programs that go up and down on resistance as you go simulating hill climbs and sprints etc. There are 5 slots available to program your own workouts and a random workout generator so you should never get bored with the programs available if you like to use them. There is also a fitness test which is cool. I do this once a week to see if I’m getting any fitter (slowly but surely).
This is an excellent cross trainer. It’s thought of things that quite frankly other companies already should have but for some reason most haven’t. I would recommend it. The only problem is the price, it’s the best part of £1000. If this isn’t a consideration for you then have no hesitation and go for it. If you are on a budget you might want to look elsewhere. You do get what you pay for though, cheaper ones will bug you with their lack of bottle holders and other simple luxuries.
It’s well built, functions as you would expect and is relatively quiet compared to most.
- Loads of programs
- Bottle & iPad Holder