Octane Fitness Zero Runner ZR8 elliptical review

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by BEMH • Updated: January 30, 2019

Octane Fitness ZR8 Zero Runner review
Octane Fitness ZR8 Zero Runner

The Octane Zero Runner 8 is one of a special type of elliptical/treadmill machine.  ZR8 is a zero-impact running machine that allows you to do both cardio and strength training. When exercising on the Octane Zero Runner, you will have the freedom to stretch your legs up-to 50-inch and improve your cardiovascular capacity. When you are not on the Zero Runner zr8, you can do a full-body strength training with the resistance cords.

However,
what sets apart the Octane Fitness zero runner zr8 is the unique type of exercise it offers because the machine has HIP and KNEE joints (just like humans). Octane Zero Runner zr8 offers the least form of running-impact while providing as close as possible to real running experience. In addition to zero-impact running the ZR8 also allows you to do the “HEEL KICK” which is not possible on the treadmill.

Here is what many people don’t know about zr8 elliptical:  Octane Zero Runner zr8 is not compatible with Polar heart rate chest strap and it’s also NOT compatible with the Cross Circuit Pro Kit. Cross Circuit Pro Kit are two stands for dumbells and plates for doing squats that gets installed at the back of the most Octane Fitness elliptical machines. Cross Circuit Pro Kit allows you to hop off the machine and combine your weight training with your cardio training with limited rest.

Octane Zero Runner ZR8 Elliptical Overview

“RUN SMARTER” that’s the motto of the Octane Zero Runner zr8.  What makes the Octane Zero Runner ZR8 better from the previous version (zr7) are the durable aircraft-grade aluminum legs and lightweight pedals which allows for a faster cadence. On ZR8 model, they also added an extra set of grips for more variety and better performance.

Octane Zero Runner ZR8 elliptical is also self-powered and provides a cordless quiet operation. The ZR8 requires 4 AA batteries for console operation which can easily be replaced. Further design features include the narrow pedal spacing 1.4″ and a low step-up height of 5.2″. Compared to the ZR7 the spacing between the pedals is 0.6″ narrower which allows the hips and lower body to be aligned.

According to Octan Fitness they also improved the resistance range however, we weren’t able to locate the watts of the resistance the ZR8 offers. Octane Zero Runner 8 offers 3 sets of hand-grips, static with the built-in pulse sensors, moving and the performance grips.

Here is the deal with Octane zr8:
Zero Runner zr8 elliptical is totally a new experience and the ride is weird at the beginning for all users. It’s like running in the air and it takes time to teach the muscles to figure it out. However, after a few weeks, you will get used to the motion.

Your feet will always stay on the pedals and thanks to the innovative design that allows your knees to bend just as it would while running outside. Another feature that makes Octane Zero Runner zr8 a unique masterpiece is the 58 inches stride and you will learn more about it in the article.

Octane ZR8 elliptical features an LCD display with built-in ANT+ and Bluetooth (4.0) and it’s also compatible with the Smart-Link App which allows the users to create workout programs that suit their training goals.

You can save your daily workout progress on the app to compare your improvement monthly/weekly etc. There are also 35 preset-workout-programs for zr8 however, only 4 of them are on the console and the other 31 programs are on the SmartLink App.

Considerations:

You should go for Octane Zero Runner zr8 elliptical if?

  • You are a runner. Octane zr8 is an excellent machine to replace your daily outside running session. Running is a great exercise but it comes with a price of high-impact on the body. Every-time you lift your feet off the ground and hit it back it’s an impact on joints. The Octane Fitness ZR8 offers the all the benefits of running with ZERO impact. With that being said, you can still do your running outside, just wouldn’t need to do it on a daily bases.
  • You want unlimited stride length motion. Octane Fitness Zero Runner zr8 allows you to stretch your legs from ZERO up-to 58 inches. This allows you to target different muscle groups.
  • You are an individual with kneecap issues or joint issues in general. You can now run without impact, and that’s what makes the Octane Fitness Zero Runner 8 a unique cardio equipment. Unlike traditional elliptical machines, ZR8 adopts your motion. Patented hip and knee joints offer a real running experience (without the running impact).
  • You are taller or shorter than average. The ergonomic design and 58″ stride of the Octane ZR8 elliptical allow the user with all sizes to exercise without any difficulty. So, you don’t have to worry if members of your family are short or taller than you. It’s also a commercial machine built to be used in the gym by all height and body shape trainees up-to 300-lb weight. So, it would make a life-lasting elliptical/treadmill if used in the house.
  • You live in an apartment and would like to have a treadmill, but due to the size and the noise, it makes you can’t use it. Octane Zero Runner zr8 is smooth and has a really quiet operation compared to the treadmill so you wouldn’t bother the neighbors.
  • You like to use resistance cord. Octane zr8 trainer also features 7 connection points so that the exerciser can grab a resistance band and start doing all sorts of strength training (of the machine).

You should NOT go for Octane Zero Runner zr8 elliptical if?

  • You have a hard time adapting to new things. The motion on Octane Zero Runner zr8 will feel weird for a while until you get used to it. It’s nothing like your traditional elliptical machine, the movement is different as well as the exercise.  If you want a good quality traditional elliptical, check out Sole E35.
  • You are looking for an elliptical to mimic hill/climbing and strength training. On an elliptical with incline ramp and high resistance level, you can do both cardio and strength training. However, with Zero Runner zr8, you can only do cardio. ZR8 doesn’t have the incline ramp functionality and it also doesn’t provide a powerful resistance. Octane Zero Runner ZR8 offers a substitute for outdoor running for those who want less impact. Therefore, the resistance is not much, in fact, the resistance is not even mentioned on the ZR8.
  • The large touchscreen rich in color LCD display, speaker, and the cooling fan is a factor for you. Zero Runner ZR8 elliptical has a non-backlit display that allows you to track basic information.

What is unique about Octane Fitness Zero Runner zr8 elliptical

  • The ZR8 is two in one. It’s both an elliptical and a treadmill, except it has way less impact on the joints than a treadmill or outdoor running. It also allows the user to get that heel kick that they can not achieve on any treadmill.
  • Octane Zero Runner zr8 elliptical offers 3 sets of hand-grips. You can use the static and performance handlebars to work on your core and the moving handlebars to do a full body workout. The performance grips allow the shorter users to better engage the core.
  • ZR8 elliptical comes with multiple connection points on the frame for cross circuit training. Resistance Band allows you to do many exercises to build Total-Body strength. You can hook in the band to one of the points on the frame and do, arms, shoulder, legs etc… It’s not a problem if you don’t know how to use them because the SmartLink app offers video coaching with cross circuit programs
  • Bluetooth, ANT+, SmartLink App, Garmin Connect IQ App and Wireless heart rate (Polar, ANT+ and Bluetooth 4.0) compatible. You can combine and save the outdoor and indoor running data in the same place.

Octane ZR8 Review

Resistance

ZR8 has adjustable resistance built in at the back of the machine. Not in a very convenient location but reachable. However, to adjust the resistance you need to stop the movement. You can set the machine resistance to free movement or increase the resistance to replicate higher intensity or uphill running.

Compared to ZR7 the resistance is improved on the zr8 however, compared to ZR8000, the Octane ZR8 lacks few features and one of them is the resistance level. If you are into doing more intense training, I recommend you to go for ZR8000 because it has more resistance and functionalities.

Stride and incline

Adjustable from 0 t0 58-inch stride length. On most elliptical machines your stride is fixed from 20-25 inches however on the ZR8 elliptical you can stretch your stride to 58 inches. It allows you to run and jog while working on shoulder and arms.

ZR8 features the dual stride trace technology, you can view the health and consistency of your stride movement on the screen. This functionality allows you to easily identify the areas of fatigue. However, while running on the treadmill or outside you can’t trace each stride/step. The downside is that the Octane Fitness Zero Runner zr8 doesn’t have incline ramp for hill climbing.

Console

The display is not blue back-lit but the LCD is clear enough to see the data shown, even in the darker room. On the display, you can track the necessary workout data such as time, speed, calories HR and pedal motion. Octane Fitness Zero Runner offers a basic display and doesn’t have any flashy feature.

Octane zero runner zr8
Octane zero runner zr8 display

Bluetooth and App connectivity
One of the great features of the ZR8 elliptical is the Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+. It has the ability to connect to the Smart-Link App as well as Garmin Connect IQ App. This means you can connect your Andriod, iPad, iPhone etc with ZR8.

You can download the free Apps connect the machine to your device, create an account put in your info and track your workout data. You can make customize training programs based on your goals. The exerciser can also download workouts plans using the Smart-Link App and add some strength training to your cardio.

What’s really special about the Smart-Link is that it allows you to monitor your stride data in real time on your device’ screen. You can basically see which legs are stretching more or less and performance efficiency and difference aspects of your run. It’s something you can’t monitor on treadmills or outside. The orange rack on the top of the display is where you can put your devices.

Preset-program
The zr8 elliptical machine has 35 built-in programs from endurance to recovery to toning options. It’s more than what many machines offer on the market.

The Octane ZR8 trainer programs include 13 endurance programs, 12 tone up programs, and 10 active recovery programs. However, only 4 of these programs are on the console and the rest of the programs are on Smart-Link App.

Heart Rate
ZR8 also has a heart rate monitor that’s compatible with the wireless ANT+, and Bluetooth 4.0 chest strap for accurate readings. You can either wear the polar or hold your hands on the stationary handlebars to see the HR on the screen. The heart rate chest strap is also included

Media Rack
The ZR8 offers plenty of space on the console for the rider to place their device and stream through their favorite music or monitor their progress on their device.

Handlebars and pedals

Static handlebars, moving handlebars and the performance grips (3 hand-grips options). The ZR8 offers multiple handlebars for the exerciser to change grips and engage different body parts. The moving handlebars allow the user to workout upper and lower body while the stationary handlebars allow the user to concentrate more on the lower body.

There are also performance grip bands which allow you to actually train your core while doing cardio. You can also use them to activate more you get and elevate your heart rate. More importantly, it allows you to find that natural stride for your upper body. It also improves the balance. And the performance grip feature allows users to focus on additional core stability.


The ZR8 comes with large and comfortable Rubber non-slip pedals and toe cage for safety. Regardless of your speed on Octane ZR8 your feet will always stay firm and in place. The pedal spacing is 1.4″  and step up height is 5.2″.

More information on Octane Fitness Zero Runner zr8

Console:⋰⋰⋰⋰⋰⋰★★★☆☆⋰⋰⋰⋰⋰⋰Bluetooth:⋰⋰⋰⋰⋰⋰Yes⋰⋰⋰⋰⋰⋰⋰⋰⋰⋰⋰
Customer Service★★★★☆Power Source:Self-Powered
Sturdiness★★★★★Display:Not back-lit
Warranty★★★★☆Flywheel:N/A
Average Rating★★★★☆Compact:Yes
Machine Weight:191 LbsFolding:No
Dimensions:63L X 38W X 48HSpeakerNo
Max user weight:300 LbsCooling FanNo
Resistance:N/ABidirectional:N/A
Incline Ramp:NOBottle Holder:Yes
Stride Length:0-58 InchesMedia ShelfYes
Programs:35Price:

Drive mechanism

We haven’t been able to locate information on the drive system of ZR8. However, we know Octane zero runner zr8 doesn’t have the belt, motor, rollers and deck and that helps you save a lot of money on maintenance and the hassle and bustle of always being on the phone with technicians.

What is included with Octane Fitness ZR8

  • A set of CROSS CIRCUIT resistance bands
  • Water bottle holder
  • Media rack
  • Accessory tray
  • ANT+/BLE heart rate chest strap
  • Transport wheels
  • Home use warranty:
  • Lifetime on frame
  • 5-Year on parts
  • 1-Year on labor

Octane Fitness Zero Runner zr8 assembly

Some parts from the rear of the machine come pre-assembled however there is still a lot to put together and not all the required tools are included with the package. Therefore, we suggest you have a professional put your Zero Runner zr8 together.

Tools required: Phillips screwdriver, 13 mm wrench (2), 17 mm wrench (2), (6 mm hex and 5 mm Hex included).

Accessories

  • Mat to protect your floor from possible scratches and sweat
  • Lubricant to reduce the friction
  • 4 AA batteries for the console

Final Word on Octane Zero Runner ZR8 Elliptical

The innovative design of the Octane zero runner zr8 elliptical allows the user to bend their knee, just like running on the road because the machine has knees and hips that bend. While doing the short strides you can walk and with the long stride mimic running or do sprints.

Smart link app tells your stride length and the height of your heel kick and that way you can easily identify which areas you need to work on more. which is what makes this app smarter than most fitness apps. It also allows you to run and track your states from your device while watching your favorite Netflix show, all at the same time

We believe RZ8 is one of the best elliptical machines on the market. It offers so much for the price.  You pay less than $3500 for something that is both an elliptical and treadmill, except it’s much smarter and healthier. You don’t even need to plug in the machine as it generates the power it needs. So, you can place it wherever you want in the gym or at home and save on the electricity bill.

Run faster, more efficiently and avoid injuries that come with the impact of running. The suspension design allows the exercisers to enjoy the excitement of running without the impact of running outdoors or on a treadmill.

The materials used in  Octane Fitness ZR8 is the aircraft grade aluminum and lightweight pedals that provide extra stability and durability. The overall RZ8 elliptical machine is one of the best on the whole market and great value for the money.

☟ PROS

  • Zero impact on the joints
  • All size, shape and level athletes can use it
  • It’s two in one, elliptical and treadmill
  • Compatible with ANT+/BLE heart rate chest strap
  • 35 Built-in programs, 4 on the console and 31 on the SmartLink App
  • 58-Inch stride
  • Transport wheels and the light weight of machine makes it easy to move it around
  • Adjustable feet levelers
  • Aircraft grade aluminum and lightweight pedals
  • Seven connection points for resistance bands
  • Octane Fitness zr8 is quieter than the treadmill

☟ CONS

  • Octane zero runner zr8 doesn’t have the speaker or cooling fan
  • The resistance is at the back of the machine and you need to stop to adjust the resistance
  • Zero runner 8 is Not compatible with Cross Circuit Pro Kit
  • The console displays the very basic data and it’s not back-lit
  • Moving handlebars don’t have heart rate sensors
  • It doesn’t have the incline
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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