StairMaster Freeclimber 8 Series Review
The StairMaster Freeclimber 8 series or simply the 8FC, is the latest commercial-rated stepper from the world-renowned fitness equipment brand. With more than three decades of experience in manufacturing high-quality stair-climbing machines, the company updates its stepper line to integrate the latest technology and innovations in fitness with the StairMaster Freeclimber 8FC.
For more than 30 years and counting, fitness machines from the StairMaster brand have been a constant feature in well-equipped gyms across the U.S. and some parts of the world. In fact, it would be hard to miss members working out on a row of imposing StairMaster machines as you enter fitness centers that have them. If you want more information on our recommended favorite StairMasters then go to our StairMaster review article or our best-recommended step mill review here. Since the brand consistently creates high-performance cardio machines, StairMaster Freeclimber 8FC should get gym owners wondering if they should make space for it in their cardio room.
Here’s what you should know about the new StairMaster FreeClimber 8FC before buying one.
StairMaster Freeclimber 8 Key Feature
It isn’t uncommon to see decades-old StairMaster stepper machines still handing out good workout sessions in fitness centers. This fact alone is a strong testament to the build, quality, and durability of StairMaster steppers. As useful as older stepper machines may be, they require essential upgrades, both in ergonomics and functionalities to be more in tune with the times and become more appealing to gym members.
The StairMaster fitness brand addresses these issues with the Freeclimber 8 series. A quick glance at the StairMaster Freeclimber 8FC and you’ll instantly notice the improvements to the basic design of their stepper line. Compared to its older brothers, the StairMaster Freeclimber looks more ergonomic as it did away with dated sharp angles and replaced it with a softer, curving profile.
While the new StairMaster Freeclimber 8FC may look modern, the stepper is a combination of brand’s tried and tested mechanical structure and the latest technological fitness innovations. One of the key features of the StairMaster Freeclimber 8 series is the integration of OpenHub consoles that takes the 30-year old brand into the future.
Available in 10 and 15-inch capacitive touchscreen consoles, OpenHub offers advanced connectivity features including Bluetooth, WiFi, HDMI, and ANT+. This allows users to interface their mobile devices with the console to access their entertainment and run their workout data tracking apps. OpenHub is compatible with several workout trackers, including MyFitnessPal, RunFit, MyFitness, RunKeeper, and Strava. When connected to a wireless network, OpenHub also gives users access to web-based apps including YouTube, social networking sites, CNN, BBC, ESPN, and NBA.
On its own, OpenHub consoles come ready with Global TV tuner options. It comes with a wide range of exercise programs such as Heart Rate Zone Trainer, Calorie Burner, Random and Heart Rate Intervals, Speed Intervals, Calorie Goal, and Fat Burner. One advantage of the OpenHub consoles for gym owners is that it comes pre-wired for Ecofit, an independent asset management company that tracks essential information on cardio equipment use.
Integrating the Future with Tradition
It should be noted that the consoles that come with the StairMaster Freeclimber 8FC are available in LCD, 10 inches and 15 inches. These consoles are electronically integrated with the heart of the Freeclimber’s machine, mainly the drive chain and the alternator. This gives the user better control over the speed and pedal descent to ensure that they work out well within their level of fitness. Users can work out at a leisurely 24 steps a minute, while the more athletically proficient can push themselves to up to 174 steps per minute.
While the general profile of the StairMaster steppers was redesigned in the Freeclimber for a more ergonomic look, the patented independent pedal geometry and pedal linkage remain the same. This design, which contributed to the success of the brand’s stepper models, ensures smoother strides while encouraging biomechanically sound movement at the same time, thereby minimizing the risk of injuries.
The StairMaster Freeclimber 8FC measures 43 inches long, 27 inches wide and 68 inches tall. Adding a few Freeclimbers to the cardio room wouldn’t be much of a problem for gym owners as each unit does not take up too much space. It is also easy to move around, weighing only 270 pounds. Just like other StairMaster cardio machines, the Freeclimber is sturdy enough to handle users weighing up to 350 pounds.
Pricing and Extra Features
There are extra features to the StairMaster Freeclimber cardio stepper that contribute to a better overall user experience. On the side of the consoles are cup holders, which allow those who are working out to hydrate with their own hydration solutions without needing to dismount the machine. Standard LCDs also come with device holders for users who prefer to use their own devices and apps, independent of the embedded apps on the console. Other features include a service light on some console models and a 3-speed fan, which can be especially helpful when working out on a hot day.
Your choice of console will primarily influence StairMaster Freeclimber 8FC units costs on the upwards of $5,000 and any increase or decrease in its price tag. Given the popularity and durability of StairMaster cardio equipment, the Freeclimber 8 series will be a good investment for fitness centers given the years of service that is guaranteed with each unit.