Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Review + Better Alternatives in 2023
Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer, unlike regular traditional recumbent bikes, provides a full-body workout. How does it do that? Well, it has a set of handlebars and a set of foot pedals so at the same time you can move your legs and arms together rather than just moving your feet as you do on a standard recumbent bike.
I don’t know about you but I usually get bored after 20-30 minutes of using a recumbent exercise bike because it’s too relaxed for me but with the Teeter FreeStep recumbent, I hardly want to leave the machine. It’s mainly because I can get the blood pumped better and increase my heart rate so ultimately you get better results.
The other thing I do love about the Teeter Freestep recumbent exercise bike is the pedal motion. It’s a linear motion, not a round 360-degree circular motion like traditional recumbent bikes so I feel almost zero impact on my knees.
In fact, because of its linear motion, I think it’s a much better choice compared to standard recumbent exercise bikes for the elderly and those in recovery, or anyone with bad knees. And because it is a recumbent exercise bike with the possibility of arm workouts, I think Teeter Freestep LT3 recumbent is also a better choice for obese or overweight individuals than regular exercise bikes.
I can’t say exactly how many calories you can burn on Teeter recumbent trainer because it depends on your resistance level, weight, age, and of course as explained in this Harvard study, your metabolism has a big role in how many calories you can burn.
However, with certainty, I can tell you that you will burn more calories and improve your overall cardiovascular health quicker with Teeter FreeStep recumbent cross trainer compared to a recumbent exercise bike with handlebars like Nautilus R618.
Plus, the great thing about Teeter recumbent cross trainer is that you also have the option to work out only your lower body as you would do on a recumbent bike or at the same time also use your arms. Or as I always do, you can distribute the weight/resistance between your legs and arms.
The Teeter recumbent bike is also a good choice for senior users. This indoor fitness machine has low impact and a backrest to support you throughout the workout. However, it’s not as easy to mount as the normal recumbent exercise bikes.
You can’t step through the frame and sit on the saddle and unfortunately, its seat doesn’t swivel/turn as Inova RTC2025 does. So, you would need to actually cross your leg over and get on the machine. For me it’s easy but my father-in-law wasn’t able to mount it. So, I personally think it’s the biggest design issue on this awesome piece of exercise equipment.
Before I talk further about Teeter Freestep recumbent elliptical (or cross trainer), I am going to explain how what are the differences between this specific model and the older model that is a little bit cheaper. Let’s see if you should spend the extra $100 to get the new one or stick with the old Teeter recumbent bike.
How Teeter Freestep Evolved (LT3 vs LT1)
If you look at both Teeter recumbent cross trainers, you can’t see the differences because they are mainly in drive mechanism. But for sure the Teeter LT3 has several improvements and modifications for better user comfort and longevity of the machine compared to its previous model which is the Teeter LT1 recumbent.
One of the significant improvements is the seat, which is now 17 inches wide and 11 inches long, with 27% thicker and softer cushion which is almost 2-inches, providing a more comfortable experience than the Teeter LT1, which had a 15.5-inch wide and 10-inch long seat with a 27% thinner and harder cushion.
They have also updated the wheels in the Teeter LT3 recumbent exercise cross trainer, with higher quality, larger transport wheels compared to smaller transport wheels that were on the Teeter LT1 recumbent cross trainer.
Additionally, the handlebars of the Teeter LT3 recumbent cross trainer are longer and dipped, providing a better grip than the ones on the Teeter LT1. But more importantly, the Teeter LT3 also has superior ball bearings with much higher quality compared to the bearings of the LT1, resulting in smoother and quieter operations.
They also improved the quality of the pedals on the Teeter LT3 recumbent trainer and added a soft rubber, providing a better grip than the hard plastic pedals on the Teeter LT1 recumbent trainer.
Other than these improvements everything else is still the same and to be honest there is still much to be improved both in terms of technology and comfort.
The resistance mechanism in both the Teeter LT3 and LT1 is 13-level manual magnetic for pedals and handlebars, without independent resistance. So, it would be great if they actually add independent resistance for pedal and handlebars.
Also, both models have three recline adjustment settings, no backlit console and no app compatibility. The new model still has a light 7 lbs flywheel which is great for the elderly and those on recovery but for me or anyone in a little bit of a better shape, it feels a little too light.
I like very much that both Teeter recumbent cross trainers are bidirectional for pedaling in forward and backward directions. But what I don’t like is that both Teeter recumbent exercise bikes are only vertically adjustable but not horizontally which is a major factor for optimal comfort.
|Features||Teeter LT3||Teeter LT1|
|Seat||17″ Width x 11″ Length with 27% thicker cushion (2″)||15.5″ Width x 10″ Length with 27% thinner cushion (1.5″)|
|Wheels||Higher quality larger transport wheels||Lower quality smaller transport wheels|
|Handlebars||Longer and dipped for better grip||Shorter and foam cover|
|Bearings||Superior ball bearings||Inferior ball bearings|
|Pedals||6″x 12″ with added rubber||6″x 12″ plastic|
|Resistance||13-level manual magnetic for pedals and handlebars (no independent resistance)||13-level manual magnetic for pedals and handlebars (no independent resistance)|
|Backrest||3 Recline adjustment settings||3 Recline adjustment settings|
|Bidirectional||Yes (forward and backward)||Yes (forward and backward)|
|Operation||Pedals and handles work together (not independently)||Pedals and handles work together (not independently)|
|Swivel||No right or left seat swivel||No right or left seat swivel|
|Console||No backlit 2.5×2″||No backlit 2.5×2″|
|Adjustment||Vertically adjustable (not horizontally)||Vertically adjustable (not horizontally)|
|Applications||Zero (not compatible with any apps)||Zero (not compatible with any apps)|
|Flywheel||7 lbs||7 lbs|
|Warranty||2 Years warranty||1 Year warranty|
|Support||4’9″ to 6’6″ | 300 Lbs||4’9″ to 6’6″ | 300 Lbs|
|Power||2 AA batteries included||2 AA batteries included|
|Assembly||Tools included||Tools included|
|Dimensions||52.5″H x 54″L x 38″W (100-lb)||52.5″H x 54″L x 38″W (100-lb)|
Seat and backrest
The Teeter Freestep recumbent machine has a soft and comfortable adjustable seat to accommodate a wide range of users.
So, if you are short, average, and tall, you will still find a workout position. Of course, it would have been better if the seat was horizontally adjustable too. Especially because when you adjust the height of the seat, it goes backward at 30 degrees angle instead of going straight vertically up.
As far as the backrest goes, it’s well cushioned, wide and it’s 3-position reclining adjustable. So, you can lean back and do a relaxed cardio workout or lean a bit forward and do a more intense home exercise. The adjustment allows you to position your body for optimal posture, muscle engagement, and comfort.
If you are a shorter person and can’t lean on the backrest and pedal comfortably, you can use a cushion behind your back. You can buy a seat cushion from any brand that you like or use a cushion that you have available in the house.
The worst possible thing about Teeter Fresstep seat is that it doesn’t rotate/swivel right and left. So, if you are buying a machine for the elderly or someone who is recovering from an accident or surgery, I suggest that you don’t look at some other recumbent exercise bike that is easier to mount and dismount.
Handlebars and pedals
In terms of movement, the Teeter exercise machine offers a smooth linear stepping pedal motion. And since it’s not circular, it has less impact on the knees compared to recumbent bikes.
The pedals are very large and anti-slip with safety edges to keep your feet in place. But what we like the most is the handlebars, which Mare vertically adjustable to allow all members of the family to do a low-impact exercise regardless of their height.
There are two handlebars at the back of the seat to allow you to do a lower body workout alone. So, if you don’t feel like doing a total body workout, you have the option to do only a lower body workout. Both sets of handlebars on this home exercise machine for seniors have cushioned to absorb the sweat and offer better grips.
Adjusting the handlebars is a big deal for me because those in my family who used the bike are of different heights. Thankfully Teeter Freestep recumbent allows adjusting the handlebars just how you like. The part where you hold your hand is also dipped and allows a good grip without slipping.
This recumbent cross trainer by Teeter features a silent magnetic resistance that is applied to the handlebars and the pedals at the same time. The fact that the resistance is applied to the lower and upper body makes this machine much better than expensive similar recumbent bikes that offer resistance to pedal only.
Another well-thought feature of Teeter FreeStep is the resistance adjustment lever. It’s located next to the seat so you don’t need to bend forward to reach the adjustment lever/knob.
You can change resistance while you are leaning back. The resistance is adjusted through a dial and there are 13 levels. But the actual resistance level is not displayed on the trainer’s console like how you can see your current intensity level on Schwinn recumbents. But it’s strong enough to create a challenging workout for all fitness levels.
I guess the part that I really don’t like about its resistance is the fact that it’s not electronically adjustable and there are no resistance controls on the handlebars. If there was a set of – and + buttons on the hand grips, it would have been more convenient and easier to change resistance.
The Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer features a rear-drive patented stride which eases joint strain. It also comes with whisper-quiet technology to allow you to conveniently exercise indoors while watching your favorite TV program without bothering your partner.
As far as the linkage system/joints go, they are friction-free. So, they don’t make noise and offer long-lasting performance.
The bearings have been improved remarkably on the new Teeter Freestep recumbent bike. They added Ultra-Glide Bearings which provide a long-lasting frictionless motion for fluid start-up and stride transitions.
Its flywheel is also in the back and weighs 7-lb which honestly has its pros and cons. For instance, it’s good because it’s easier on the joints and for those in recovery but at the same time it’s a con because it has very little momentum and is not great if you have a better fitness level.
Frame and Warranty
Teeter home exercise machine features commercial-grade engineering and a durable frame that can take up to 300 lb user weight. The frame includes adjustable feet levelers at the back and anti-scratch feet in front.
There are also two transport wheels built into the back of the frame for convenient transport. The frame of Teeter recumbent machine also comes with a water bottle holder and a table holder.
The bottle holder is beneath the seat so it’s easy to access your bottle during workouts. As far as the size of this home exercise machine goes, the footprint is smaller than regular recumbent bikes. It’s 54″L x 52.5″H x 38″W and almost 100 lb.
The warranty on the Teeter Freestep LT1 was only 1-year parts and 90 days labor but for the Teeter LT3, they added an additional year and now comes with a 2-year repair and replace part warranty and it’s because the company has more confidence in the quality of the machine after they put the new bearings and other things.
The computer is very basic non-backlit that runs on 2 AA batteries which come included in the box. The size of the screen is around 2.5″ wide and 2″ tall but it’s pretty dark and difficult to see the stats.
Not only the size and lack of backlit but also the fact that it is so far from your eyes makes it even harder to see how you are doing. If it’s a little dark in the room, you definitely need to turn on the lights or you won’t see anything. The Inverapy recumbent elliptical (which I added in the alternative section down below) has a better screen so guys at Teeter could probably at least improve it to that level.
Teeter LT3 Freestep recumbent cross trainer also does not have any type of wireless connection or pulse sensors on the handlebars. So, the only way for you to actually see your heart rate is to wear a heart rate chest strap and connect it to your phone or wear a heart rate monitor watch.
Because of the lack of Bluetooth, you also can’t connect the machine to indoor cycling apps to save your daily workouts. So, if you want to keep track of your progress to compare each month to see how many miles or calories you burned, you would need to write down the workout summary at the end.
At the end of each workout session, you can track all the following basic workout progress data including time, distance, speed, and calories burned (no resistance level, watt, or rpm).
As expected from its manually adjustable magnetic resistance and lack of an electronic system, there is no heart rate or hill climb programs and no automatic resistance change. So, you need to change your resistance manually by twisting the knob always.
There are also no speakers, cooling fans, USB phone charging ports, and a few other bells and whistles that you would normally get with a traditional recumbent exercise bike like Sole R92.
Assembly and Shipping
Yes, it does require assembly which might take around 30-50 minutes depending on how good you are with tools, and requires two people. All the tools that you need for assembly are also included but you may want to keep yours handy as well.
You will get the machine nearly 60% pre-assembled, with access to easy 3D guided instructions in the BILT app. The most important and difficult parts in the drive system are all factory assembled.
You will need to install the seat on the post, pedals (they are marked R and L), console, and handles. But if you are not really patient or aren’t good with the tools, I recommend you spend the extra $100 and have it assembled professionally. You can buy the assembly on Amazon when you buy the Teeter LT3 elliptical recumbent bike.
Teeter Freestep full body recumbent cross trainer comes with free shipping of FedEx Ground if you live within the contiguous US and depending on your location it can take anywhere from 3 to 10 days to arrive.
It comes in one box that is approximately 5′ x 3′ x 3′ and weighs 110 pounds. So, once it’s on the floor, it needs more than one person to move it or you can open the box and take each part one by one and move it to another floor. The heaviest part weighs around 35 lb so one person can pick it up.
Teeter Freestep LT3 Pros and Cons
- It provides upper and lower body workouts (not just leg workouts).
- Magnetic resistance is applied on handlebars and pedals which is quiet.
- Comfortable and cushioned adjustable seat and backrest.
- It has commercial-quality bearing durability.
- The linear motion makes it extremely low impact on the knees.
- Adjustable handlebars with up to 4 grip options to work out different arm and shoulder muscles.
- Large pedals make it convenient for all fitness levels including those in recovery.
- Fair price for a recumbent exercise bike of this quality.
- An adjustable backrest that has 3-tilting options for more comfort.
- No Bluetooth connectivity and not compatible with chest strap.
- Doesn’t have pulse sensors to provide your heart rate.
- Its screen is too basic without backlit and very small which is hard to see.
- Handlebars and don’t pedals don’t have independent resistance.
- Its resistance is only manually adjustable, not electronically.
- No preset programs or possibility to create user profiles.
- Saddle doesn’t swivel which makes it difficult for the elderly to mount the bike.
- Saddle is not horizontally adjustable which might prevent proper bike fitting for some.
Teeter Freestep Alternative & Comparable Recumbents
One advantage of Teeter LT3 and LT1 is that they burn more calories than traditional recumbent exercise bikes as they engage both the upper and lower body.
Teeter has been in the industry for nearly 40 years and they had the time to specialize in different superior-quality exercise products. They didn’t copy other brands but designed and built Teeter FreeStep recumbent with a patented stride that eases joint Strain.
It doesn’t have the usual round pedal motion, it features a fluid ergonomic stride designed that puts less stress on knee, hip, and feet joints. So, you don’t have to worry about the risk of hurting your knees which is sometimes caused by typical cardio machines with circular bike motions.
However, they are bulkier and require more space, plus they are difficult to mount and dismount compared to traditional recumbent exercise bikes as they are not step-through, and their seats do not swivel. As such, they are not ideal for the elderly or those in recovery.
For the elderly and those in recovery, the Innova RCT2025 is a much better alternative over the Teeter LT3 recumbent cross trainers because Innova RCT2025’s seat swivels, and is easier to get on and off the machine.
Unlike Teeter Freestep, the Innova RCT2025 has a step-through frame and that’s + the swivel seat. So, if you don’t want to swivel/turn the seat, you can just walk into the bike and sit on the chair, thanks to its cut-through frame structure.
Plus, the Inverapy by Innova RCT2025 has a leg harness so you can use it if your legs don’t have the strength and require a little support.
But these are not the only superior features of the Innova RCT2025, it has a larger and more clear console, a better tablet holder, two additional static handlebars, and a velcro glove that comes attached to the handlebars in case your grips are not strong.
It also has a more micro-adjustable resistance with 16 levels instead of 12. Lastly, its backrest has a belt so you can fasten the belt in to make you don’t fall during the workout.
I know it’s $100 more expensive than the Teeter FreeStep LT3 but I know it’s worth it if you are elderly or recovering from an injury. So, take my advice and consider the Innova RCT2025 as an alternative for Teeter Freest recumbent cross elliptical trainer.
That said, if you want to spend as little as possible and still get a recumbent cross trainer with an arm workout, I strongly suggest the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4936. It costs less than $300 and it has foot and arm pedals. It also has a step-through frame so you can mount and dismount pretty quickly.
However, in terms of quality, performance, or features, it’s not comparable with the Teeter or Innova RCT2025 recumbent cross trainers. It only has 3 months warranty, a cheaply made structure, and no ergonomic seat or adjustable backrest.
Don’t get me wrong, the SHF SF-RB4936 cross trainer recumbent is worth the $300 asking price but you can’t expect it to give you the performance or comfort that you get with the Innova RCT2025 and Teeter recumbent elliptical cross trainer.
The Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer is perfect for stress-free home exercising. This total body workout cardio machine offers zero-impact and strength workout. You get the calorie-burning benefits of ellipticals, treadmills, and also steppers while comfortably seated.
It is a new on the market machine so I have to wonder how longi it will aast before something breaks!
Correct, but need to keep in mind that the consumers are happy and the price is unbeatable!
SORRY MY ENGLISH IS NOT SO GOOD. I’ll like the teeter freestep from $799,00. I’ll like to buy one
But you do not send it. To Holland?
Hi Hedy, thanks for stopping by.
I believe it can be arranged, if you contact the company directly.
You can email them or start a live chat through their website (Teeter.com.)
What are the good differences of this compared to the soul cycle?
SoulCycle is a spin bike which is perfect for individuals who have good balance and don’t have back, knee or ankle (joints) problem. They can offer a more intense workout and give quicker results compared to recumbent cross-trainers (teeter).
Teeter is an excellent machine for those who prefer a more relaxed workout with less impact. Its large seat and wide backrest provide the kind of support that you wouldn’t get from Soulcycle or any other spin bike.
What sets the Teeter apart from other exercise bikes is the full-body workout it offers. On a spin bike (soul cycle), you can’t achieve the upper body workout that you would get from the Teeter.
I hope it answered your question
I’m very disappointed in in this machine. it is more of an elliptical and not a back and should not be listed as a bike it doesn’t work all the muscles that a bicycle would work and needs to work. you need both upper and lower back muscles to be worked as long as full leg muscles not just the quads. Because this was listed as a recumbent bike it was given to me as a gift. I’m very disappointed and would write this the one if it would let me go back to change the Stars I feel like the company lied they’re calling it a bike which it clearly is not. it looks like I will have to go back to the gym sooner than I thought.
We have called, emailed and researched the teeter freestyle rebumbent bike. No one can ell us the unit of speed measurement on the data screen on the bike.
Hello Pat, sorry for the late response and thanks for dropping by
When you begin to pedal, the Console will display readings based on your performance, showing the time in seconds (TMR), calories burned (CAL), distance in miles (DST), and speed in miles per hour (SPD)
I hope it helps