Teeter FreeStep LT1 vs. LT3: How Do They Compare & Which is the Best for Me?

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There is certainly no shortage of manufacturers, brands, suppliers, gadgets, and tools when it comes to home gym fitness equipment. One piece of home gym fitness equipment that has gained in popularity in recent years is recumbent bikes and trainers.

Today we take an in-depth look and compare two of the most well-known models on the market; the Teeter FreeStep LT3 Recumbent CrossTrainer and the Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent CrossTrainer. Although both recumbent trainers are manufactured by the same company, you’ll be surprised to see several significant differences separate these two from each other.

I’ve taken the guesswork out of it for you, and I have delved in deep to bring you a detailed comparison, so you can make an informed decision when choosing between the LT1 and LT3; the last thing you want to do is spend your hard-earned cash on the wrong machine.

Let’s get started.

Teeter FreeStep LT1 vs. LT3

In a Hurry? Check the Comparison Table 

Don’t have time to delve into the specifics, features, pros, and cons as we have? Well, check out this clear and straightforward comparison table that will provide you with everything you need to make an informed decision when looking to buy the Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent CrossTrainer or LT1.

Teeter LT1Teeter LT3
Resistance SystemMagnetic resistanceMagnetic resistance
Device StandYesYes
Warranty1-year warrantyTwo-year warranty
SoftStep PedalsNoYes
Bottle Drink HolderNoYes
SureGrip HandlesNoYes

Teeter FreeStep LT1 Detailed Review 


  • Resistance systems Variable Magnetic Resistance
  • Adjustment Mechanisms Micro-adjustable Resistance controls
  • Flywheel Tech Silent and smooth motion; 7 kg
  • Handlebars Foam grasps and 8-position adjustability
  • Seat Material Big buffer with reclining and height adjustability
  • Pedals Large grip texture with edge safeguards
  • Transport and storage Transport Wheels at the rear Base
  • LCD display Distance (km), speed (km/h), and calorie-burn
  • Deviceholder Sized to hold a smartphone or tablet
  • Water bottle holder Located in the Base
  • Power Battery-powered display (batteries included)

The Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent CrossTrainer is one of the best recumbent trainers that we’ve come across. The trainer does look quite big, but when you see it in person, it’s much more compact than you think, making it ideal for smaller homes, offices, or training spaces.

If you have pain or difficulty training because of the knee, ankle, or hip joint pain, the LT1 is for you. The linear pedaling stroke ensures your body is aligned and mitigates the chance of further injury, which could lead to you being unable to exercise for months. 

The low-impact activity means you can train every day if you like, although I would recommend having a minimum of two to three days off each week. 

The low-impact activity means you can train every day if you like, although I would recommend having a minimum of two to three days off each week. The Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent CrossTrainer has a pretty poor warranty which I find difficult to understand, especially because the brand is very well regarded and the machine itself is very well-made.

The other point that goes against the LT1 is the lack of pre-programmed training exercises. I think beginners to fitness would benefit significantly from having programs to help them get started. But with that being said, the Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent CrossTrainer does come with free access to the App, which offers world-class exercises. If you want to learn more about the LT1, you can read our detailed Freestep LT1 review & guide.

Things I liked:

  • Affordably priced
  • Training is low-impact
  • Linear motion for pain-free exercise
  • Easy to transport and store away
  • Ergonomic and padded handlebars
  • Doesn’t take up a lot of room

Things To Consider:

  • The one-year warranty for the LT1 is slightly disappointing
  • The LT1 has no pre-programmed sessions

Teeter FreeStep LT3 Detailed Review 


  • Seat Design ComfortSelect™
  • Pedal Tech SoftStep™ Pedals with rubber tread material
  • Move and storage Wheels at the rear Base
  • Display Screen Time, distance, speed, and calorie-burn
  • Tech Stand Sized to hold an iPhone or iPad
  • Water Bottle Cage Found in the downtube 
  • Power Battery-powered display, thankfully batteries included
  • Max User Weight 300lbs or 136kgs
  • LT3 Machine Weight 110bls or 50kgs

The Teeter FreeStep LT3 Recumbent CrossTrainer was invented by renowned inventor and designer Roger Teeter; hence “Teeter” is the name of the product line. Initially, Teeter was celebrated for his “inversion tables,” which are known to relieve pain and help with mobility and flexibility. 

The Teeter FreeStep LT3 Recumbent CrossTrainer does an excellent job at providing users with a high-intensity workout but with a low-impact movement. The pedaling stroke is linear and helps stabilize and iron out any imbalances that may be found in the joints and muscles. The ankles, knees, and hip joints can take a real beating when exercising, and if the training technique is incorrect, it can lead to injury.

Postural alignment is also a genuine concern, especially for beginners who are just starting out in fitness and are unaware of the correct training methods. The seat is comfortable and helps stabilize the midsection and core muscles, ultimately leading to better functional mobility and movement. 

Unfortunately, as with most exercise equipment, there are a few downsides, and the LT3 does have two. The two-year warranty on the proposal is far less than most other brands offer; I would’ve expected to see a minimum of 5 years, especially in the price range of close to $1000. 

Also, as with the Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent CrossTrainer, there are no exercises that are pre-programmed which is really quite peculiar, especially in today’s day and age. However, the app is included and is free of charge. In the app, you can find a wide range of exercises for people of all fitness levels; they’re easy to follow and have been designed by some of the world’s most renowned fitness coaches. If you want to dive into more detail about the LT3, you can check our detailed Freestep LT3 review & guide.

Things I liked:

  • Outstanding price and affordability
  • Compact and fashionable look
  • Relaxed and upgraded seat
  • Low impact exercise is pain-free
  • Ergonomic and stylish
  • Easy to transport and 
  • Linear pedaling stroke

Things To Consider:

  • No pre-programmed training sessions is a real bummer
  • The Two-year warranty falls short of many other brands

How the recumbent trainers compare 

Let’s have a look at the primary differences between both the Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent CrossTrainer and its counterpart, the LT3. As you’ve seen, these recumbent trainers are ideal for those just starting out in fitness, particularly those who suffer from chronic pain or arthritis. 

Both machines allow you to burn those unwanted calories with a low-impact and pain-free linear movement. Although the LT1 and LT3 perform the same duty and look identical, there are a few differences between the two. 

SoftStep Pedal Technology

One of the main differences you’ll see is that the LT1 has much simpler pedals than the LT3. The pedals on the LT1 are targeted toward users who are beginning their fitness journey, users who are interested in performing moderate workouts, and the elderly. The pedals are solid and adequate for working out.

Now when it comes to the pedals on the Teeter FreeStep LT3 Recumbent CrossTrainer, they are far beyond what you find on the LT1. Firstly they have a rubberized overlay meaning you can push the pedals much harder and work out for longer. It’s crucial to note that both pedals are ergonomically designed and provide the user with confidence while training, but the LT3 is the better option if you want high-intensity.


Separate from the soft step pedals, the LT3 also includes rubberized grips for the handles, making a real difference when working out for extended periods of time. The handles found on the LT3 are lower-grade plastic that can be prone to slipping, especially when your hand gets sweaty from training.

The Teeter FreeStep LT3 Recumbent CrossTrainer really provides a level of quality and comfort far beyond the LT1. The handles are softer and perfect for those challenging training sessions. If you like to train for 30 minutes or more, you’ll notice a big difference when compared to the LT1.

If you’ve worked out at a gym before, the grips on the LT3 are very similar and are comfortable and durable. The rubberized grips also provide safety as you can push hard without the fear of slipping and injuring the joint. 

Upgraded Seat and Comfort

This is the one area, in my opinion, where you’ll see the most significant difference between the LT1 and LT3. While both trainers offer excellent support with their seating, the LT3 wins out again.

The Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent CrossTrainer comes equipped with an upgraded seat that provides a level of support and comfort far superior to the LT1. Again, the seat on the LT1 is adequate for those who work out with moderate intensity. The LT3 seat is better suited to users who are training with higher intensities and more extended periods of time. 

It’s worth paying the extra money, in my opinion, to take advantage of the added comfort and support provided by the LT3; it will keep you fit and healthy and reduce the chance of injury.

UltraGlide Vs Plastic

The inner workings of both the LT1 and LT3 are identical, I hear you saying? But guess what? They are different, and the LT3 wins out once again. 

The Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent CrossTrainer uses plastic bushing, which helps to keep the movement while training smooth and quiet. On the other hand, the LT3 takes full advantage of the ball bearings, making the trainer almost silent, and the smooth motion of the pushing and pulling is greatly enhanced.

The LT3 targets moderate to light intensity, so the plastic bushings are more than adequate, although it’s not as quiet and smooth as the LT3. The ball bearings are also durable and, if looked after correctly, could last for at least ten years, which, when you look at it that way, makes the Teeter FreeStep LT3 Recumbent CrossTrainer great value for money. 

Linear Motion

If you train using the correct technique, both the Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent CrossTrainer and the LT3 are designed with a natural linear motion enabling the user to train pain-free and with low-impact to the body.

Both trainers have fully adjustable seat heights and handles, which also help users find the correct position and allow a natural motion. Many recumbent trainers feel like you are pedaling squares rather than circles, but that’s not the case with the LT1 and LT3; both are incredibly smooth and fluid. 

The ergonomic design, to me, is the standout feature. As a professional coach, I understand the importance of correct technique, especially concerning fitness and weight training. The LT1 and LT3 support the user, and the seat aligns the body, particularly the ankles, knees, and hips. 

This alignment allows for an efficient pedaling stroke and, more importantly, reduces the chance of injury and helps to alleviate lower back pain. You’ll also burn a lot more calories with the LT1 and LT3 due to the activity’s low-impact nature, meaning you can work out daily if you choose. 

Which Recumbent Trainer is for me? 

Ah, the most challenging question to answer when performing and writing reviews of fitness equipment; which one is for me? When deciding which one is best, you need to answer a few critical questions and take time to consider your goals.

In this case, both the Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent CrossTrainer and the LT3 are almost identical in the area and, in fact, in the most important areas like resistance and tech; they are identical. Some of the questions you need to consider are what’s most important to you? Is it having the best and most expensive recumbent? or are you happy with a run-of-the-mill one? 

Both recumbents offer a pain-free training experience thanks to their linear pedaling stroke, which helps to alleviate pain in the ankles, knees, and hip joints. The LT3 has a slightly bigger and better seat which gives you a more comfortable experience; that being said, you’re not training to be comfortable; well, you shouldn’t be anyway. 

The Teeter FreeStep LT3 Recumbent CrossTrainer does have three primary advantages over the LT1; The LT3 comes with upgraded and softer handles, an upgraded seat, and softer pedal technology. Both provide challenging upper and body workouts regarding health and fitness, so there’s no real difference in that area. 

Once you’ve answered these questions, your choice is made so much easier and will become much more apparent to you which recumbent best suits your needs. In the end, it might come down to your budget and whether you can afford to pay the extra for the LT3; if I were you, I would. 

The Final Wrap 

Well, wow, that was a comprehensive and detailed comparison, but to be honest, when readers are considering where to spend their money, we at girlbikelove take it very seriously. Personally, as someone who has spent 20 years coaching professional athletes, I feel responsible for providing my expert knowledge to regular fitness fans and those looking to start a health journey. 

The Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent CrossTrainer and the LT3 are both outstanding pieces of equipment, and although there are many reviews where it’s difficult to find a clear winner, we have one here.

In my opinion, the LT3 is head and shoulders above the LT1 in several different areas. The LT3 comes with an upgraded seat, bigger and softer pedals, and an extended warranty. There is nothing wrong with the LT1, but when you consider that both machines have the same resistance systems and tech, it makes sense to spend the extra money on the LT3 to get those bonus features.

Brenton Barker

Brenton holds a Degree in Sports Coaching from the University of Delaware and was the former Head Advisor for the Japanese Government's Sports Science Institute. Brenton currently consults with several Professional Athletes and clients in Self- Accountability, Health, and Goal Orientation.

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