Most helpful positive review
256 of 263 people found the following review helpful
My best fitness friend.
on December 16, 2009
I am reviewing this bike from the perspective of someone who is about 100 pounds overweight, 5'4", and 55 years of age. I also have lower spinal problems which might require surgery, so I'm using this bike for weight loss, as well as general strengthening my back and improving my fitness level. I've lost 125 pounds in the last few years, partly by using a recumbent bike for exercise, but still have a ways to go! I'm writing this to let the reader know that I think using a recumbent bike for cardio exercise is a great thing especially if you are limited in how much weight-bearing exercise you can do.
1st of all, the bike was very easy to put together. My easily-frustrated brother was kind enough to do this for me, and let me just say that I heard no yelling, cursing, or "what the h*ll is this?" the whole time. So...directions are excellent. In addition, the owner's manual (only about 20 pages) also has clear instructions, but graphics and instructions on the console screen are easy to follow.
With this recumbent bike, all the adjustments in the workouts (such as resistance) are electronic and controlled on the touch screen console, as opposed to having to turn this or that wheel manually -- really convenient and quicker. The console itself is rather small as compared with some other bikes that I have seen, which I love because it doesn't block the TV screen if you want to watch while working out. (I encourage myself to workout by picking a TV show -- Nancy Grace for me -- to work out during each night.) Also, the console can tilt into different positions to make viewing the most comfortable for you.
The seat on this bike is well-padded, comfortable, and easily slides forward or backwards depending on the length of the rider's legs. The handles beside the seat are also at a comfortable height and position for you to rest your hands while riding. Even though there is a mechanism to tighten the seat to keep it from wobbling side to side, it still does so a tad--you don't seem to be able to tighten it down completely. I'm not sure if this is a problem or not, as in some ways it makes your range of motion a little better when peddling, but I would hope that it wouldn't keep getting looser and looser, and have to keep getting re-tightened.
A nice feature is the handlebars beside the console, which my former bike had but were positioned too far away from the rider -- it takes the stress off your back to grab onto handlebars and pull yourself forward, or just re-adjust your position, at times throughout the workout. Pedals on the bike are large and easy to fit your shoes into, although I tend to ride in my socks -- I haven't encountered a problem with that at all, as there is texture on the pads which help keep your foot into place (not slippery, in other words). The magazine rack is located under the seat...love that little handy feature. There is also an easy-to-install water bottle holder that is located on the upright bar under the console. My last bike had the water bottle holder UNDER the seat--very inconvenient, especially is you're a little hefty on the bottom side, as I am.
Love the choice of workouts, the "memory" so that you can track your progress (and compete against yourself), and that you can customize all the settings and such for two different riders. It is just plain fun to "play" with the adjustments on the console screen, so I get a pretty good warm-up just by pedaling while I'm looking at all the settings and picking a workout. I don't really use the heart rate monitor, as I'm used to assessing how hard I'm working by how hard I'm breathing, but I may utilize that feature further down the road. The strap that goes across your chest is fairly comfortable, and is adjustable for most anyone's size.
Another great feature is the fan -- yes, a fan! There is a little louvre that can be adjusted to blow the air in the direction you want, and at two different speeds. I only use the fan (just touch the screen) when I get pretty hot and sweaty, as it is blowing directly into your face, and could be irritating & noisy for the whole workout.
I highly recommend this bike, and, especially with the 10 year warranty, I can't see myself getting another one for a long, long time. Especially if you're unable to walk long distances, this will give you an excellent, sweat-filled, low-impact workout, for all fitness and weight-loss purposes. With the sleek appearance, it really looks nice in my living room, and everyone I know wants to get on it and ride when they come over. I'm delighted with it!