Most helpful positive review
44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Looks good in person.
on February 13, 2012
My wife needed a recombent bike, and I immediately suggested the Marcy, which Amazon was shipping for less that $125, an unbeatable price (it's higher now). But my wife insisted on trying out available bikes in several sporting goods stores (surprisingly, few recombents are kept in stock). Most of the available models were Schwins, which I would have recommended if the price of the Marcy proved insufficiently compelling. But the Livestrong LS5, which was positioned next to a Schwin 220, was admittedly a more attractive machine all the way around.
I'd never heard of the brand, but it soon became clear that you get on and off with a minimum of "scrunching," the pedals move with a more reassuring evenness than other bikes we tried, the panel is user-friendly and intuitive. In sum, it's simply a more attractive bike than the Schwin--from the seat to the color scheme to the overall solid feel. Moreover, I would regard a bike that comes without a fan and iPod speakers a plus, not a minus. The fan is useless; the speakers worse, especially to any one with "trained" musical ears.
Assembly: first of all, the weight of this thing makes the big flat screen I ordered from Amazon, delivered by two strong-armed agents, seem like a lightweight job. With the wood crating added to the cardboard box for support along with all of the extra parts and the hardware, the total package is considerably heavier than the listed 110 pounds (as the lone UPS man deemed ncessary to remind me more than once. Unfortunately, I was caught short or I'd have slipped him a 5 or 10). Have two people at the receiving end, ready to bring the shipping box to the place where you plan to use the bike. Once there, you're home free. The assembly instructions couldn't be more user-friendly, and Livestrong has thoughtfully provided not merely the screws and washers but the tools as well. And they're all labeled to assure quick, no-brainer assembly. You won't require more than an hour, and you won't be hunting for, then 2nd-guessing, a choice of spring washer, etc. In fact, making an exercise bike out of this pile of steel and plastic proved more efficient and less frustrating than making sense of some ten-dollar aluminum shoe racks and CD cases I've received from Amazon.
This bike maintains a fairly consistent price level, so the only advantage of purchasing it from Amazon may be to save a local store's delivery charge, taxes, and the usual hustle by the sales team to pay for assembly and to buy their insurance policy. Part of the cost goes to the Lance Armstrong cancer fund. How much of that is tax-deductable (if any) I have yet to learn.
[Were this an "economy" bike like the aforementioned Marcy, the extra hundred for the next model up--the Livestrong LS6--would probably be a needless extravagance. But given the current price of the bike, it's harder to ignore the benefits of paying another hundred (16%) for the Livestrong model jst above the LS5. The frame and pedaling mechanism are the same, but for the extra hundred you get a more sophisticated electronic console, internet connectivity for uploading and downloading your work-outs to the Livestrong site, speakers for a music player (though I have yet to hear speakers on exercise equipment that were not a "last resort"), and, perhaps most importantly, a premium webbed seat, constructed along the lines of some office chairs that cost almost as much as the bike. It may be a close call for many buyers, but if you're serious about the LS5, the LS6 may offer enough extras to provoke the inevitable response: "For only a hundred more, why not?"]