JLL are one of the most popular makers of home fitness equipment in the UK. They make quality products at affordable prices. Don’t expect high-end technology or treats, but do expect solid, budget cross-trainers.
Remember to check our complete list of the best home cross trainers.
JLL says the CT300 is suitable for users of all ages and fitness levels. This single exercise device does seem more suitable for an advanced athlete on a budget than the similarly priced Pro XS 2-in-1. The CT300 does one thing and does it well – elliptical.
The JLL dispatched very quickly. I was able to set it up relatively quickly and start to use it within a couple of hours of its arrival – lunch included in that time. The machine has a spatial footprint of around 130cm by 70cm. Not the smallest cross-trainer out there, but far from the biggest.
- 9 metrics tracked and displayed on LCD screen
- RPM, speed, distance, time, ambient temperature, heart rate, calories burnt, body fat
- 8 levels of magnetic resistance
- Tablet holder
The machine is also lightweight, weighing 35.9kg, and easily moveable. There are some wheels on the front floor bars, tipping the thing forward onto these makes it easy to roll about. I managed on a wooden floor, across a couple of rugs and a carpet.
Something to consider is the maximum user weight, at 100kg this is not as high and strong as other machines. The Pro XS can handle 130kg, but it is not a pure cross-trainer
- Compact size and lightweight design
- Tracks many different metrics
- Silent to run
- 5.5kg flywheel
- No built-in programmes
- No way to create and save custom workouts
- Maximum user weight 100kg
Resistance is provided by an electromagnetic flywheel. There are eight levels of resistance offered, so not as many as more expensive models but still a good range and ratio. As the resistance is magnetic the machine runs smoothly and silently, no air releasing and whirring takes place.
The screen is LCD and shows several readouts. There are nine of these, which is very extensive for a budget cross-trainer. They are; current RPM, current speed (in mph or km/h), distance travelled, time, temperature (of the room), heart-rate, calories burnt, body fat and pulse recovery.
Though it is a decent size, the screen is not backlit and therefore hard to see in some conditions.
A great bonus on the screen is a tablet holder. You can pop in your iPad and forget about all these statistics with some music or TV. There are no built-in speakers, but though the machine does run quietly, I think you need headphones or speakers. I don’t own on Bluetooth speakers, so found myself slightly on edge about yanking a wire out of my ear. I prefer to count stats anyway.
The handles are one of the most important features of cross-trainer design. On the CT300 the handlebars are static and stationary. Both handles have a foam which is quite soft on the skin. If you do want to see your pulse rate as you exercise you need to use the stationary handlebars. This is unfortunate but to be expected on a budget machine.
The CT300 footplates are non-slip and treaded like a tank track. Pretty identical to a standard cross-trainer pedal. The plates have a ridge at the top to stop you slipping off, but not one at the back.
The need for a back-stop is because you can use the CT300 in forward and backward motion. By ‘running’ backwards it is possible to work leg muscles, especially hamstrings, in a novel way.
Also worth noting before you buy is the stride length, it won’t stand up to the higher end ranges and customisation. It also might make it hard for tall users to move in their fullest or most efficient range.
Good for beginners
If you’re looking to build a home gym and are relatively inexperienced, the CT300 is a safe bet. Many fitness wearables offer elliptical or cross-training recognition and activity tracking. So the lack of monitoring connectivity and sharing can be negated.
The 5.5kg flywheel is also not too heavy to get going with initially. Heavier flywheels are best suited to those with experience or on machines where you can get a little boost. Thus reducing the risk of injury. This is important because if used correctly, cross-trainers offer a great low-impact way to workout.
If you’re in the market for a budget, low-cost cross-trainer for your low-impact home gym we’d recommend the CT300. Despite being small and light the machine is sturdy and stable. We really like the fact you have a proper place to put your tablet or smartphone. This we feel counter-balances the lack of features in terms of making and saving custom workouts, or even just having some to run through.
Combined with electromagnetic resistance you can ride the CT300 in your home, without distracting housemates or neighbours. At the price we don’t know of a better cross-trainer.
- 9 Function LCD Display Monitor: Displays RPM, Speed, Distance, Time, Temperature, Heart-Rate, Calories, Body Fat & Pulse Recovery.
- Quiet Operation - 8 levels of magnetic resistance combined with belt driven technology provides the quietest and smoothest operation possible.
- Transportable with front built in wheels; Maximum user weight: 100kg
- 5.5kg flywheel provides a challenging yet smooth workout; operates in a two-way style so you can pedal forwards and backwards; dual action handlebars mean you can hold the stationary central handlebars or use the moving side swing bars; comfortable foam grips provide a comfortable workout.
- Monitor can be used as a tablet holder (tablet not included); non-slip footplates provide maximum security while exercising; strong steel frame ensures grade A build quality.