on January 28, 2009
I frequently ride a bike outdoors during the summer, but in the winter when the weather is not as good I often go to the gym to ride the exercise bike. None of the indoor bikes I had ridden ever had the smooth feel of riding outdoors - until I tried the Keiser M3 at a health club. I loved it so much, I bought one for myself for home use (the first time I've ever bought home exercise equipment as an adult), and while I've only owned it now for a short time, it is fantastic. Due to the unique design, utilizing magnetic resistance, the feel is very similar to riding outdoors. It is very quiet and very smooth. So I can spin at a fairly rapid rate and still get my heart rate up. And, though I don't do this much, you can also crank up the resistance and make it as hard to peddle as you would like (it has about 24 "gears" so you can continually increase the resistance to virtually whatever level you would like - what is really happening of course is you are simply increasing the magnetic resistance). This is a first rate bike for anyone who is serious about biking and wants something to use indoors that feels like biking outdoors. It is great exercise and does not feel like the typical gym or spinning bikes.
It was easy to assemble even for someone like me, who views changing light bulbs as a modest maintenance task. In total, it probably took about 30 minutes to set up and required little more than a Philips head screw driver, an Allen (sp?) wrench (which I have for my outdoor bike), and either a pedal wrench (again I have one) or an adjustable wrench that would fit the pedals.
Lastly, I would recommend ordering via Amazon or Keiser directly since some of the small third party sellers do not deliver on time. I would not buy from Indoorcyclingstore.com, who appear to be either terribly managed or are dishonest; we initially placed an order through them and six weeks later we still did not have the bike, but they still had our money.
on June 8, 2012
There are many positives about this spin bike and only one negative, so I'll start with the negative.
1. The Cost. For sure, this is an expensive peice of equipment and I can see why it would drive some people away, but I feel the need to tell you what you'll get for your money, which brings us to...
1. The Ride. It's remarkably smooth, quiet, and stable which were the three most important things to me. You can crank as hard as you want on this bike and it never feels...well, cheap, for lack of a better word.
As was mentioned by other reviews, it uses magnets for resistance. And apparently Lenz's Law, Focault Pendulums, Bernoulli's Principle, Pythagorim Theorem, whatever. I don't care. What I care about is that when you ride it, it's stupid quiet. You will breathe much more loudly than what the bike will make in terms of noise and so watching TV or movies is very easy. We don't have kids, but if you did, and you were worried about waking them up, don't. You might wake them up with your breathing, but the bike won't with it's action.
The other reason I like the magnets is the feel of the ride. With other spinners that use the friction plate to increase resistance, it feels like you're riding a bicycle with the brakes on. I don't like that. I like this one; it feels more like you're riding up a hill.
2. The Computer. If you are looking for an objective workout, this is a big deal. For one thing, the "gears" have a digital reading and your time is right in front of you so you can say to yourself "Self, I'm going to go at level 18 for 3 minutes and then drop down to level 15." Your power is also right there, along with calories.
This is entirely more objective than twisting a knob and sort of guessing at the resistance. Also, the screen will tell you the average wattage at the end of a ride so you know how strong you rode and have a number to improve on. It also gives you distance...again, you can put a time to a certain distance and improve on it. It's alot easier to get back on the bike when you have a number you're shooting for. I think, anyways...
3. The Workout. The reviewer who said he couldn't get his heart rate up is either Lance Armstrong or is trying to impress women with an Amazon Review of a Spin Bike, both of which are incredibly lame (you get that label when you do a Michelob Ultra ad...sorry Lance). I'm in pretty good shape and this bike will wear me the hell out.
4. The Manufacturing. Made in the USA. Feel good about buying one.
5. The Service. So far, we've had positive experiences with Keiser. When we first got the bike and were putting it together (not too difficult by the way - took about 2 hours and we were taking our sweet time) we thought we were missing a hex-nut. Turned out we weren't, we were just dumb and didn't bother looking on the bolt that it should go on.
Anyways, we called up the company, talked to a real-live person, and they sent us a replacement in 2 days, no questions asked. Now we have two hex-nuts. Oh well.
All in all, I think this is totally worth the money and I am glad that my wife and I purchased it. We have no semblance of buyer's remorse. I should also tell you that I am 6'2, my wife is 5'3, and we have no problems with adjusting the bike to a comfortable position between the two of us. There are several reviews that have brought up concerns about the design of the bike and angles at which your body will sit - I'm afraid I can't comment intelligently on that but it hasn't been problematic for either my wife or I.
What I can tell you with certainty, is that this bike provides the best impact-free, aerobic workout I've ever had.
After 18 months (roughly) of using this spin bike regularly, there hasn't been a thing go wrong with it and it's still providing a great cardio workout. We still have no buyers remorse and I still think you should get one.
on September 3, 2010
I've been doing quite a bit of research for which bike to buy for home use. I was initially interested in just getting what I have at the gym the Schwinn Evolution. In a store, I was almost sold on the Schwinn A.C. classic or sport, but the seat was very uncomfortable, and I while I loved the magnetic resistance, I wasn't quite convinced by the ride.
Then I found all of these fantastic reviews on the M3. I called around, but it turned out none of the stores that sell them in the area, had them on the floor as demo. Finally, one sales person admitted to me that even though he (and everyone else agreed) thinks it's a fantastic bike, they don't keep it on the floor because their margin of profit on them is much smaller than it is on other bikes.
I didn't want to invest without trying them out, so I called Keiser and found out who our local rep is. Sure enough, he had one we could try in his garage. This is the most amazing piece of engineering I've ever seen on a bike!!! This guy had been with Keiser for 18 years, and knew every detail of what's going on. Basically, they started developing this bike after years of taking losses because they conformed to the price standard in the market, and at that price, could only manufacture bikes that like every other bike, would break and need maintenance. The maintenance cost them too much money, and they got tired of it. Being a small independent company, they decided to do something about it, and the M3 was born. They are ruthless about their price policy of it, even if you buy 250 of those, the discounts are fairly minimal. On the other hand, these bikes require NO maintenance!!!
If you look at their 3 year warranty carefully, you'll see that labor is not included. I called to ask about that, and they claimed on the phone that labor is not NEEDED, because everything you might ever need to do, is so simple you could do it yourself. Well, my spouse has a strong engineering background (experimental physics), and we inspected every aspect of this bike. They're right. It is TRIVIALLY simple to put together, and there's basically nothing that could break!! If you can handle a screwdriver, you can handle this bike! The engineering is GORGEOUS, someone really put a LOT of thought into the design. And the ride, oh the ride... Smoothest ride EVER! And SO comfortable! Everything from the saddle to the positioning, just perfect!!! The balance feels just right, it's super quite, and most importantly, there are really no parts there that could break, except perhaps the computer. As far as maintenance is concerned, according to this guy, it's limited to cleaning up your sweat from the bike, after a workout...
I should mention, when I was looking at the Schwinns, they offered me the floor model at a ~15% discount. The flywheel looked pretty scratched, basically it looked used. The demo we saw, is the same demo the guy has been using for 5 years, to show gyms, take to shows, show private clients, etc. If he had told me he only unpacked them yesterday, I would have believed him. They looked brand new, 5 years later!
Finally, Schwinn spin bikes division has been sold and resold and keeps moving hands. You really don't know who you're buying from (the Schwinn A.C. are on the Nautilus website - their latest buyer, rather than on the Schwinn site). Keiser is solid, made in the USA, and you know who "their daddy" is... And keep in mind if a sales person tries to sell you a schwinn over the keiser - their margins of profit are MUCH smaller for the keisers, and they usually work on commission.
Anyhow, to make a LONG story short, we bought the bike. It was a no brainer. I'll update my review after I've used them for a couple of months at home, but I fully expect the 5 starts to remain. If you can't find this bike anywhere to try them out before buying, I recommend you call Keiser, and they'll help you out.
*** ADDED A FEW MONTHS LATER *** (Jan 2011)
Now that I've tried these in my pregnant and non-pregnant state, I can stay 100% - I absolutely adore this bike!! I've been using it almost daily. It's SO smooth, quiet, and comfortable - in seated AND standing positions! I don't get the people who talk about wrong fit. I am 5'6", my spouse is 6', and it adjusts to each of us perfectly. Maybe if you're extremely tall or extremely short it might be an issue, but then I bet a lot of other bikes would be too. This is just a very natural ride, the computer is fantastic, and overall, I can say only good things about this bike (and I've tried many other bikes at gyms, including the popular Schwinn Evolution. I *far* prefer this one to any of them!)
on November 22, 2011
I used to teach spinning classes for 7 years 7 classes a week at several clubs. One of the must frustrating things to deal with was the inconsistent ride across different bikes, bikes that skipped because the heavy fly wheel was out of calibration, and inconsistent resistance. I happen to move to an apartment complex where they had a spinning room with the Keiser bikes. I was amazed by the technology and simplicity of this bike. The bike is very smooth at high and low resistance sitting and standing up. I like the fact that the resistance corresponds to a number instead of a number of turns. On most spinning bikes the resistance is not the same across all bike with respect to the number of turns of the resistance knob. The Keiser bike is good for spinning classes because the instructor can ask the class to set there bike to a particular resistance number that's consistent across all bikes in the class instead of a number of turns that inconsistent across all bikes. The trip computer also provides some real time data for each individual's workout, RPMs, speed, calories, heart rate... I really enjoyed riding the bike and I plan to purchase one for myself. Some cons since I am 6'4" the bike doesn't provide the best adjustments for taller individuals. The seat was very uncomfortable however I can change the seat on my personal bike. I like the computer but I would like to add more functionally into the computer like set rides where you can select a ride and the computer will control the resistance to simulate the ride.
Buy one and enjoy the ride minus the enjoyment you get from actually riding a real bike outdoors. This trainer is the best option I've experienced I'm my 11 years of spinning
on August 31, 2009
I ordered this bike from Amazon (Brands Cycle and Fitness) on a Wednesday evening and had it in my basement on Friday afternoon. Shockingly good service in today's world. The bike was well-packed and arrived in perfect condition. Taking my time, assembly took about 25 minutes because I had all required tools on-hand. If you're a directions-follower, you'll need 15mm and 16mm box wrenches, a deep-socket 15mm or 16mm socket, a torque wrench, a 4" socket extension and 15mm and 16mm crowfoot wrenches (see MIT 10 Pc 3/8" Drive Crowfoot Wrench Set- Metric).
As indicated by other reviewers, the Keiser M3 is very quiet; so quiet that my squeaking mountain bike cleats started to annoy me. Shifting the bike involves moving a bar-mounted lever up and down for "gears" 1-24. Lift all the way up and you'll activate an "emergency brake" which stops the flywheel immediately. In reality, just lifting the shift lever to 15+ will stop the flywheel very quickly.
Adjusting the bike to your dimensions is simple and smooth. Unlike most spinners, the lock-down bolt doesn't have a spring-loaded pin that inserts into pre-drilled holes. Hence, you can set the seat and handlebar heights to an infinite number of settings over their entire range. Since my wife and I share the bike, I marked a small black line at my height settings and a blue line at hers. I'm 5'8" tall but have long legs and a short trunk so I was concerned about the nature of the M3's adjustability. Namely, moving the seat and handlebars up moves them away from each other. Look closely at the frame geometry and you'll see what I mean. The good news is that I was able to adjust the bike to a proper riding position for my build.
The workout computer has all the necessary data to measure workout performance (watts, kcal, distance, time, gear) but see #2 below.
Two items to improve the bike:
1) A clutch that permits free-wheeling. Apparently, Keiser did offer this in the past but it wasn't a strong seller so they dropped it from the M3. Here's one vote to bring it back as an option.
2) Add workout programs to the computer. For those of us using the M3 at home (i.e. not in a spinning class), it would be nice to have a few pre-programmed "rides" to call up. Better yet, let us create a program from a riding session and save it.
Bottom line, I love this bike and recommend it highly to those looking for a smooth, high-quality spinner. If you appreciate machinery, the M3 is a true work of industrial art.
on June 5, 2009
I use this bike every single day at LA Fitness - sometimes I go to class twice a day. When I first started taking cycling classes, I thought these bikes didn't look like much. But after using them everyday for the past several months, I can tell you without hesitation that they are fantastic.
LA Fitness uses them in all their clubs in Atlanta (and probably around the country), so you know they can take a beating. Since I have been going to class, I've only seen a couple of the 34 bikes at my club experience any issues. According to the staff, they are pretty minor things that come from them being used several hundred times a month each. Put one in your house and use it daily yourself, and I doub;t you will ever have a problem.
Definitely would recommend this. A tough bike and a great workout!
And when I come up with $1350, I'm getting one for home.
on March 9, 2010
I purchased this indoor trainer to replace a bicycle mounted trainer. Three members of my household are avid cyclists and need to train through the winter months, so we end up with three bicycles cluttering the gym area waiting their turn to be mounted on the trainer. Our old trainer has a rather primitive form of resistance that isn't very smooth. You can feel variations in resistance while pedaling and it doesn't increase with speed exponentially (like real world cycling). We tried several indoor trainers that used heavy flywheels with mechanical braking pads, such as the Cycelops, and found the same issues. They were inconsistent in maintaining resistance, and did not increase exponentially with speed. They simply don't feel like cycling. I think you could expend some calories and get a decent leg workout with the heavy flywheel/braking type trainers, but it doesn't feel like cycling. In real world cycling the resistance goes up at a rate above the square of speed due to the exponential nature of power/speed, and wind resistance. The Keiser M3 uses a rare earth magnet to create Foucault currents (eddy currents) in the lighter weight flywheel. Those foucault currents create an opposing magnetic field that creates resistance/drag according to Lenz's law. The resistance increases exponentially, just like real world cycling! In other words a cadence of 100 isn't double the power of a cadence of 50, its over four times the power due to the exponential nature of foucault resistance. On the heavy flywheel/mechanical braking type trainers the reistance increases linearly, and then fades as the brake pads begin to get hotter. I tried hard to like training on the Cycleops machine because I really liked the computer that came with it, but just couldn't overlook the primitive resistance system. The Keiser is ultra quiet, easily the quietest I've ever experienced, and far quieter than a bicycle mounted in a trainer. It can be adjusted three ways (with a three letter/number system to help you repeat settings) and fits my 60" wife as well as my 70" son and myself. The computer give realistic feedback that will help you train more effectively. Its not quite as capable as the computer on the cycleops machines, but the cycleops machine (brake pad/heavy flywheel)is primitive compared to the Keiser's Foucault resistance. This is a superior design in most respects to other indoor trainers. I would enjoy the computer on the Cycelops, but gladly trade the lack of ride data storage in the Keiser to have the superior resistance system. Try this machine and you'll be very pleasantly surprised at its performance compared to real cycling. Don't worry about the 24 levels of resistance, that 24th level is so intense that you'll generate greater than 600 watts at a moderate cadence. Is that enough for you?
on January 18, 2011
Positives: the smooth pedal stroke; the built in computer monitoring; ease of construction; easy cleanup.
Negatives: does not adjust to short bodied riders - the handlebars only slide on a diagonal angle with no adjustment back and forth - for short bodied or short armed riders, the handlebars cannot be adjusted to avoid elbow lockout which NEVER should be ridden for any length of time.
I acquired my model from Amazon's Marketplace. My model was one returned from a lease. It arrived expeditiously to my home in 3 days on a pallet.
Opening the bike from the wrapping took only a few minutes. I reconnected the electronics, adjusted the height of the seat and the height of the handlebars, and I was ready to work out. First of all, this bike doesn't need an outlet to plug into the wall. The LCD display is powered by batteries. The footprint is quite small and fits in the tightest of spaces.
The seat is extremely comfortable and feels like a memory foam. The saddle is adjustable in height and in the forward and rear position. The handlebars have a durable foam padding allowing various hand positions whole riding, and is adjustable in the vertical plane. The pedals have adjustable straps and are always set in the pedal forward position for easy mounting, and dismounting. The resistance shifter is smooth and easy to change in increments.
The LCD computer has distinct letters with excellent contrast. It's only limitation is that it doesn't have a backlit screen but it is also an advantage due to excellent battery life. Cadence (in revolutions per minute), power, heart rate, elapsed time, and trip distance are monitored. This is compatible with a Polar heart rate strap so that holding onto handles is not a necessity, like on lower technology equipment. In fact there is no alternative method of measurement for determining heart rate.
Resistance is by an Eddy Current Flywheel which has a smoother, quieter ride. This is so quiet, that I can easily watch a television show without having to turn up the volume. There are 24 levels of resistance which can be determined on the LCD readout.
Overall, I'm very pleased with my purchase. I have tried numerous upright indoor cycles, and this is the quietest, smoothest, easiest to use system with a small footprint to save precious indoor space.
Whether you're a cyclist or a spinner, this bike will suit your needs. It's an outstanding cycle and one of the best available.
on April 27, 2012
The M3 is smooth and whisper-quiet. It is solid and feels well planted riding up out of the saddle.
The heart-rate monitor does not come with the bike. In order to use this function of the Keiser computer, you will need to purchase a Polar model-31 coded heart monitor belt. It's only a $40 purchase, but it would be nice if Keiser was up-front about this in their product description.
Assembly took about 45 minutes with basic hand-tools. You will need a torque-wrench, a 5/8" socket, a 5/8" wrench, a 6mm and an 8mm allen wrench, and a phillips screwdriver.