on July 14, 2012
This is quite simply the best spin bike there is. I have researched spin bikes for the past 2 years, and have had a bad experience with one. The bike is compact, sturdy, incredibly easy to adjust, and whisper quiet. Its infinitely adjustable, which is a rarity. Now it has the fore and aft adjustable handlebars, making it even better. The pedals can be easily swapped out. Basically, you can customize this bike to be anything you want it to be. I had trouble moving a heavy flywheel on other spin bikes. This one is magnetic going from gear 1 to 24. It is so easy to use, you feel like you're missing steps. Its smooth as silk and I found it to feel better than using a bike on a trainer. Don't even look at another spin bike. Get this one. For a person with physical ailments to someone who is an elite cyclist, this one would work for anyone. I can't say enough good things about it. The price might seem high, but for what you are getting, its worth every penny and then some.
on March 4, 2015
OK, so let's get this straight. I love this bike. My wife loves this bike. But this is the second and a half Keiser M3+ I've had in my basement since I ordered it in January. The first one came with what turned out to be diagnosed as a bent frame. The tech at Keiser said I might try "whacking it with a 2 x 4." I kid you not. $1700 bike? Ah, nope. I called the company that shipped it to me (through Amazon), and they shipped me the second one, without hesitation. (Two thumbs up, Brand Cycle and Fitness). The second bike (I had to assemble again, btw) showed up with a crushed gear lever and a "clunking noise" while pedaling. Keiser asked me to video the clunking, and said they'd send parts and a tech to fix it. Waited a week, called the tech to force an appointment. He eventually showed up and now we're thrilled with our bike. Smooth as buttah. The first bike? It's still sitting on the porch, waiting to be picked up. Shipping is THE issue here. Keiser needs to box these things like the $2000, 120lb, unwieldy things they are. UPS needs to treat these things with a little more concern about contents, and not just a rattly box of heavy bits. Amazon needs to get involved with this. The bike? Awesome! Execution? Not so much. Funny, I didn't by the SoleSB700 because of bad reviews about damaged parts and shipping.
on February 23, 2014
I am a die hard bicycle commuter. I bought this $1795.00 high tech stationary bike to stay in shape at work during inclement weather. I also bought a Sole SB700 stationary trainer which cost $1000.00 less than this Keiser on the same day. The Sole was the "other" top rated trainer but in reality it's not an apples to apples comparison. The Keiser has many more innovative features and I like all the bells and whistles.
In retrospect I like the Keiser M3 Plus soooo much I wish I would have bought a second one for my Home rather than settling for a Sole SB700. The Sole SB700 is a great trainer - it's just very basic but it will last a long time and is very quiet also.
The computer is very basic but includes: Watts, Calories, Time, Heart Rate, Distance etc.. Best of all is the calibrated shifter which is magnificent. 10th gear in the Keiser approximates pedaling on the road with no wind or hill. You won't run out of gears or resistance choices, at just 17th gear with at least 71 more to go; yes 88 gears!, I had to stand up to climb. Out of the saddle I quickly found out this trainer is VERY stable.
Another huge plus is the spin wheel on the Keiser uses magnetic resistance rather than a friction pad making it whisper quiet and you can pedal in the same room folks are watching TV and they wont be bothered.
The bike came well protected - double boxed from the factory. I still had two insignificant plastic parts cracked due to the shipper mishandling this awkward 114 lb box. Keiser Customer Service was very pleasant on the phone and easy to reach. They replaced the parts within 3 days.
If you want to use the Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) feature you will need to buy a compatible HRM from Polar. They should offer these as a bundle through Amazon.
Assembly took 45 minutes max and two people would have made things easier but it wasn't absolutely necessary. You will need a torque wrench and other basic tools, Phillips screw driver, Allen wrenches and pedal/box wrenches.
When you ride this trainer you will be immediatley impressed with how quiet this exercise bike is! I use the same SPD pedals on the Keiser as I do on my commuter bicycle - so I didn't use Keiser two sided pedals - one side is clip in the other side is cages. The Bike is highly adjustable, I am 5'6" and it could drop a lot lower or be raised a lot higher - Keiser really engineered this well. Their seat is comfortable and has some springs and I honestly don't know why; properly adjusted you shouldn't rock when pedaling.
I only have one regret - I didn't buy two. If I could figure out how to box the Sole SB700 up and return it to Amazon. I would replace it immediately but once you've taken one of these stationary bikes out of the box, good luck getting the genie back in the bottle.
So if you've got the money - BUY the Keiser M3 Plus as a first choice or the Keiser M3. The extra money will be money well spent.
THREE recommendations for Keiser / the Manufacturer:
1) figure out a way to place the wheels (or an attachment or handle or whatever) so the bike is easy to move around.
2) Make the end caps on the 4 points of the base legs out of a good rubber vice a hard plastic; will save you money in the long run.
3) Design the seat mast / attachment point so a bicyclist can use a seat of their choice like those found on most high end road bikes today. Train like you operate and operate like you train.
I will update my evaluation of this unit in 6 months and at 1 year.
I almost forgot to mention - before I bought this Keiser M3 Plus I purchased a nearly $3000.00 / 2013 Tour De France indoor trainer that Pro Form sells - talk about a waste of money and poor customer service. After 90 days of absolute frustration they refunded my money and told me to send it to the land fill - Enough said.
on November 8, 2014
2015.10.17 edit: Almost one year after purchasing and still no legitimate solution for ‘more bluetooth apps are coming every day’.
It is good to hear from Mike, but his answers are misleading. Companies generate solutions to provide value to customers. They then advertise how those solutions will meet customer needs to convince customers to purchase their solutions. Kaiser clearly advertised that the M3i would connect to smartphones with the implication that it would work as most customers would expect…customers could use any of the most common apps...in Keiser's advertisements they didn't mention that customers would have to completely shift how they track their health data to obscure apps that folks have not previously heard about (probably because they knew no one would pay the extra $100s for the Bluetooth feature). Searching the Apple app store or Android’s store, will demonstrate that the suggested apps are not anywhere near the top in terms of popularity if they appear at all. So for Mike to imply the issue is merely that I have some obscure app that won't work and so it is my problem is shifting blame rather than working to provide a good solution. I am open to using most of the common apps (Stava, MapMyRide, Wahoo, Cyclometer, Runmeter or Apple's HealthKit directly ... Even if the obscure apps they suggest mapped to Apple HealthKit / Activity that would work ... At the end of the day getting their data [particularly power vs time tracked over years] into a database to use with other health data is goal).
Additionally, claiming the M3i uses the new ‘advanced low power bluetooth chipset and its protocol’ as an excuse for why their system won’t connect to the common iPhone and Android apps is misleading like the original claim that the M3i would connect to ‘many apps’. Many providers of sensors from Wahoo, Topeak, Polar, and others use the new low power advanced bluetooth chip sets and are able to use existing profiles to connect to existing apps. Kaiser could very easily have mapped to the ‘power’ profile and would have had instant connection to most smartphone apps. Instead they wrote their own protocol and then blame the app providers for not coding to their unique protocol…most app providers do not find enough return on investment to code to every spinner manufacturer’s unique protocol. Rather than saying it is an app provider problem, Keiser could develop an update to their software to deliver additional protocols consistent with what app developers are currently using (e.g., power profile). Then most apps would automatically support. They could also work with the popular app providers to ensure their existing unique protocol is supported (Keiser may have to pay the app developers to ensure this happens). Or Keiser could caveat the Bluetooth option in their advertising literature to indicate the unique hoops folks must pursue to use Keiser's Bluetooth feature.
So my review stays as is until Keiser provides a solution to provide the promised connection to smart phones that isn’t caveated by directing customers to apps that don’t make it into the top health apps. The end product Keiser is advertising and charging more for customers to obtain is their product. They need to make it work for existing and future customers or stop advertising it. Ford would receive negative reviews if they advertised 100 mpg for their new Focus and couldn't deliver results. If then when customer's started giving negative reviews they claimed it was that the gas stations weren't providing the 'advanced fuel blend', no one would 'buy' their excuse. Folks would expect Ford to fix the issue or change their advertising.
2015.04.05 edit: I am still waiting for "many more BlueTooth apps coming everyday" that are claimed in comments to my review and in many on-line reviews. Here we are 1/2 year after I purchased and still I have not heard of anything supporting this other than 'GoInd' (again...GoInd doesn't compare to most typical high quality exercise tracking apps). I will gladly change this review to 4-5 stars when someone points me to an app like Cyclometer, Strava, etc. that connects into Apple's HealthKit. This is something I can do right now with my road bike riding on Kreitler rollers.
2015.02.22 edit: Still waiting for apps to pair with the BlueTooth. GoInd is the 'declared' solution. Please check it out. It does not compare to the quality of apps like Strava or Cyclometer and does not integrate into Apple's HealthKit. So data is not able to be integrated into calorie counting apps. Update: I did try Strava and it also does not pair with the Keiser bike. Keiser has a very nice software interface document on their web. I have written software and designed systems for many years. If I had time, I might try tackling...just don't have the time.
Regarding the spinner's performance. It is very smooth when running below 200 watts. I have noticed a pulsating behavior when running between 250 - 400 watts, but have not had enough time on bike to determine if it will become a problem.
2015.01.30 edit: There seems to be a lot of misinformation on this topic...so am adding additional review comments. I am quite frustrated as there is still NO acceptable solution that has been provided to me by Keiser or Brands Cycle through which I bought this bike. I will gladly update my review to 5 star if someone can provide a good iPhone Bluetooth app solution. GoInd was suggested as an app by Keiser. Please check out the app before putting $2k down on this bike. See if you think it is a quality app. It certainly is not what I expect when compared to other health apps. It does not integrate with HealthKit (your data is stuck in the app and does not integrate with other calorie or exercise tracker apps). It does not even allow one to enter their height accurately. Basically it only provides a second screen for the display on the bike. I wouldn't make such a big deal about this, except that the promise of bluetooth connectivity to my phone was THE major reason I purchased this spinner and I still keep reading reviews while I try to find an answer to this problem that say this spinner has awesome connectivity to smart phones through bluetooth. So again, if there is a real solution out there, I will gladly change this review to 5 star. I contacted Keiser and they said many app developers were planning to support. I contacted Cyclometer (my favorite exercise app) and they said they have no current plans to support. When time permits I will also check out Strava and other major iPhone exercise apps. I was hoping I could get Keiser to tell me which app supports, but was not able to get that info (I suspect none do). I keep searching the web to see if there is any info indicating any of the major apps support, but have not seen anything yet.
2014.11.23 edit: It is all about customer value proposition...with $2k one could purchase a very decent Trek bike. One could purchase power meter pedals. I wonder if the Bluetooth was promised since seller knew the spinner would have less customer value without data sync'ing to smart phone. Still no capability provided as of this date. It has turned spinner into a glorified room ornament as the krietler rollers offer a better method to work out and track. Wish I had looked harder into power meters for the $2k. Then I could have had them on rollers in winter months and outside in summer months. Is this clear? Bluetooth data to smart phone was one key feature I expected with this purchase and value it at $800 of the $2k purchase.
2014.11.08 original: $2k is a lot to spend on a spinning bike. I was hoping to use this bike to motivate me to keep going with an exercise regimen into the winter months. Unfortunately they claim the bike has Bluetooth that you can read all the stats on your Bluetooth enabled phone. However, what they don't say is that that capability does not exist. You have to wait and hope it will work someday. I read much of the material when deciding which spinner bike to get. This capability was one of the key requirements. Now I can't record anything from it to iPhone Health (or one of the many existing apps that read Bluetooth) and am finding myself going back to riding my bike on Keitler rollers rather than using this spinner.
on December 6, 2013
Bike was packaged very well - even though there was a impact mark on the box, there was absolutely no damage to the bike. The bike assembled easily in about 45 minutes. I used to be a tool engineer (still a mechanical engineer) and I can say that the design is very solid and robust. It looks like one of our over designed tools - castings, socket head cap screws, components heavy and thick, all materials top notch.
I rode the bike yesterday for 30 minutes (short on time after carefully setting adjusting everything). Solid, great ride - it can be used as a spin bike or as a road bike trainer - exactly what I am looking for. Very quiet. My wife rode it this morning - she does most of her riding standing up. Really put it through its paces - she loves it too. Solid bike. This will last a long time.
Some background - I use my recumbent bike often (about 7000 miles over the last three years), and trail bike and road bike. I wanted a solid, quiet, quality, long lasting spin bike for the long, cold winters in Rochester, NY. I had a felt pad, spin bike that squeaked when it heated up (I should have applied the special spin bike lube to stop - I tried to wax the flywheel - that didn't last long). This is way better and will get used much more, as both a spin workout once a week and a road ride in the winter.
Absolutely awesome bike.
on May 31, 2014
Update after another 2 weeks:
The bike started making a creaking sound, coming from the crank arms or that area. First, I checked the torque on the crank arms (silly silly me, I had not done this when I first got the bike) and the left arm was about 10 ft-lbs undertorqued. This did not fix the problem. I pulled the left arm, and a little investigation suggested that the left crank bearing was shifting in the bottom bracket when under load. I pulled both arms (removing the belt, of course), and tapped out the crank axle and the left bearing - dis-assembly was suspiciously easy.
Keiser's tech manuals (available online, Yay!) spec'd two flavors of high-strength Loctite (types 438 and 480) for use in the bottom bracket assembly. It was obvious that little or no Loctite had been used in the 4 relevant spots. I reassembled the bracket with proper amounts of medium-strength Loctite (since the high-strength stuff is a bear to work with).
Other notes: The belt had been slightly damaged by the first assembler, but nothing significant (no damage to the tension-bearing fabric). It's perfectly possible to remount the belt without possessing the special tool shown in the tech spec. but you need to be a bit creative, and careful not to scratch the nice aluminum disk. Be careful - there's lots of tension in the belt, and even more during the mounting process, and the drive wheel machining has sharp edges (why so, I wonder?). (For those tempted to bypass the idler / tension pulley: do not. It will seem OK until you ride it, then it will slip.)
So far, it's all running quietly again.
Note: I bought this M3+ on Amazon from "Brands Cycle and Fitness". I do not know who did the relevant assemblies (either Keiser or Brands, presumably). Whoever did, did not do a good job.
I still give this product 4 stars, but I am an experienced bike mechanic, and someone else might have been seriously frustrated by this problem.
We've only had it for 2 weeks so far, but here's initial thoughts:
- Solid build. Main parts are heavy and the welds look good. The two big aluminum disks are textured a bit (concentric groove pattern) and I think this will be better than a polished or ground surface in terms of showing fingerprints and whatnot. The handlebar alone must weigh 4 kilos. No indication of flex or wobble even when pushing against max resistance.
- Flywheel. Some reviews worry that the flywheel is lighter than most spinners, and has less rim weight and angular inertia. True, but the only thing I notice is that jumping to speed at low-medium resistance is slightly too easy - there's less simulation of trying to accelerate your body mass, like on a real bike on the road. I'm a long-time cyclist, and this behavior of the M3 does not bother me at all. With heavy resistance dialed in you'll never notice this issue, I promise.
- Assembly. You really should have a torque wrench in your kit anyway, right? Actually, I could not get the torque wrench onto the lugnuts on the "chainring" side, since there was not enough clearance above the nuts. I just estimated the torque with a long box wrench, compared to the properly torqued nuts on the other side. If you have box attachments (instead of sockets) for your wrench, this will not be a problem. Mounting the flywheel was fairly easy - it's simple to get it on the hub without scratching it, but lining up the bolt holes was a bit fiddly. No surprise, really, considering it's tightly machined for good centering, which is necessary to get the smooth and quiet ride. All the other parts were trivial to assemble - just follow the directions. The only non-standard thing I did was to put a sheet of very thin (maybe 0.5 mil) polyethylene as a gasket between the base and the upright (where the four heavy mount studs are), to try to protect the paint.
- Weight. Yes, it's heavy, but I can pick up and move the finished bike easily (and I can only curl maybe 80 pounds max) so I regard that as a small issue. It also rolls easily, even over carpet. If you want a solid ride I don't see how you are going to get it with a light bike.
- Plastic bits. The "chain guard", center cover, and the upper sleeve on the adjustable handlebar are some kind of plastic. Looks OK, but it's clearly not a good idea to bang hard things into them.
- Saddle. My wife thinks the saddle is fine. It's medium-firm foam, fairly wide, has a center-groove, and is mounted on a pair of coil springs. For me, it's too wide in back, and makes my butt bones sore unless I tilt it more nose-up. My road bike has a narrow (by today's standards, anyway) saddle, and I prefer that. Looks like it would be easy to switch out, in any case.
- Noise level. This baby is almost totally silent. The only noticeable sound is a slight swishing, probably from the drive belt on the rear pulley.
- Handlebar. Very adjustable (M3 Plus), but I'm not thrilled with the timetrial position; it's not really comfortable for me in that position. I may add a pair of arm cups. However, the complex shape of the Plus bar allows me a lot of other very comfortable positions.
- Computer. A bit primitive by today's standards, but frankly I ride to exhaustion, and I don't really care about the stats. Other people may care, but come on, folks, does this REALLY matter?
- Ride. This is the bottom line, of course. This is BY FAR the smoothest and most solid-feeling spinner I've ever used. I absolutely love to climb on this thing and push hard or just cruise fast. It's practically obscene.
- Price. Yes, it costs more. So far I think it was well worth it.
I give it four stars ONLY because I'm not too happy with the stock saddle. Otherwise it would absolutely be a 5-star product.