on November 6, 2013
I've had the bike for 3 days and I love it. This is coming from someone who does NOT like to exercise :) I'm 5'8" and 228 lbs and the bike is very comfortable and actually enjoyable to use. It’s very convenient to have it in the house.
I ordered the bike on a Friday and it was delivered on the following Monday. UPS must have been very careful because there was no damage to the box or the enclosed bike at all. Whoever packed that box must have been a sadist because I found it challenging to get everything out and I can promise that I'm not returning it even if it breaks down because there is no chance in heck that I will ever be able to repack it!
You will need some kind of a mat or carpet under the bike to protect your floor.
Contrarily to the scary picture greeting you when you open the manual, there aren't that many parts to assemble because most of everything is already pre-assembled. That was a big relief because that picture really scared me! Because so many people are complaining that the instructions are hard to read, I am retyping them in detailed and clearer English at the bottom of this review.
I hope this helps someone!
I assembled it on my own, taking my time to make sure I was following all the directions properly and it took me about 90 minutes to assemble it. The tools you need are included, which is nice, although using a regular Phillips head screwdriver might be a little more comfortable, especially if you have problems gripping things. No, I have never assembled one of those before. If I did it, so can you!
The computer is packed in a square white cardboard box. The 2 tools (Allen wrench and Phillips head screwdriver/wrench) are packed with the few loose bolts/nuts/washers that you will need. The tension assembly is packed with the pedals. I’m mentioning this because I thought I was missing the tools at first.
Some reviewers have complained that the wires for the computer/heart monitor aren't color-coded and that it made the assembly difficult. Honestly, I did not find this to be a problem. Take your time and observe: each time you have to connect wires, there is 1 wire that is by itself that you will need to connect to the corresponding “lonely” wire on the other part, and 2 other wires that are either fused together or come from the same direction that you will connect to the other “group” of 2 wires on the other part (and in the case of those 2 wires it doesn't seem to matter which you plug into which. Just be careful and once again observe where the little metal teeth are and where the corresponding tiny holes are on the other wire's end so you don't jam them in the wrong way and end up bending them. It's really NOT a big deal. Most of the wires are secured with elastic bands so they don't get stuck inside the frame before assembly: just remove the rubber bands and GENTLY pull on them to extend them to their full length before connecting them. Then GENTLY tuck them back into the frame before assembling the bike parts.
The one difficulty I encountered was when it came to putting the tension assembly back into the frame of the bike and then installing the tension knob. The spring hook would only go back into the frame partway and with the big plastic knob attached to it, it was awkward to maneuver it while trying not to break anything. I found that pushing the spring hook in sideways allowed the whole hook to fit into the frame and then I also twisted the knob at a 45 degree angle so the plastic part that was supposed to fit into the frame actually had enough clearance to go in. It didn't take all that long to figure out but it was harder than it should have been, I think.
As the instructions say, be careful when assembling the pedals: they are marked L and R, both on the shaft and on the pedals themselves (and also on the straps) and the instructions clearly state that when you assemble the LEFT pedal, you need to screw the pedal on COUNTERCLOCKWISE or you will strip the threads. However, you screw in the RIGHT pedal CLOCKWISE.
Other people have mentioned having a hard time installing the computer. I think that maybe they didn't realize that you need to slide down it in place, not just force it in place. There are small groves to match. The instructions do not specify this but if you take your time, you would notice.
As many people have mentioned, adjusting the seat position is a pain if you're going to have more than 1 person using it and you are of different sizes because you need to unscrew and take out 3 different knobs, reposition the seat, and reinstall the 3 knobs. So it's feasible, but not very convenient and it’s time consuming. Luckily for me, I plan on being the only person using it.
Several people have also mentioned the creaking seat. I found that tightening the 3 knobs as much as possible took care of the problem. The bike mechanism itself is incredibly quiet (I have only used it on levels 2 and 5).
I like the computer although I’ve only used it in SCAN mode. It displays each measurement for 6 seconds before moving on to the next: time elapsed since you started pedaling (the computer turns itself off if you don’t use the bike for 4 minutes and resets all the counters except the total mileage counter), distance, odometer (since you started using the bike), your speed (which seems to vary wildly, I will say), your pulse (it will show 0 if you are not grabbing the handles bar where the sensors are) and calories burned. You cannot input your weight so the number of calories burned is just a general indication. You can set the computer to count down a certain number of minutes or certain distance, or even a certain number of calories to burn. You can also preset a target heart rate if you wish.
The only way to reset the odometer is to take the batteries out of the computer. The computer is operated by 2 AA batteries (included) and the battery case is easily accessible. As I mentioned before, there is no ON or OFF button for the computer. It turns itself on as soon as you start pedaling or if you hit a button on the computer and it turns itself off if you haven’t used the bike or the computer in 4 minutes.
The display is NOT backlit or lit at all so you can only see it in a room that is itself lit.
You can adjust the tension level from 1 to 8. I find that the knob, which is angled down, is hard to read when you’re sitting on the bike. I wear bifocals and I still had trouble determining if I was on level 5 or 6, but it is a minor design fault.
You cannot fold the bike to put it away. It needs to stay in its permanent, indoor, position. You can move it by lifting the back and rolling it on the small wheels on the top front of the front stabilizer (there’s a picture at the bottom of the Amazon description) but I haven’t tried it. I can’t imagine that those small wheels wouldn’t damage hardwood floors.
ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS (re-written by Book Enthusiast on 11/6/13) - You might want to copy and paste those in a word processing document so you can adjust the spacing and the indents for clearer reading.)
After unpacking all the part, CAREFULLY remove all the plastic wrapping. Some parts have delicate electrical wires that could be damaged if you’re not careful!
You really should read everything in the manual, especially the warnings, but for practical purposes, just open the manual to page 8.
All you need to know about page 8 is that the "(30) Bolt M8x70" is the longer kind of the loose bolts that are included in a bag with the tools. The "(70) Bolt M8x45" is the shorter kind. The bolts come already fitted with their washers and their cap nuts. When it comes time to use them (I don’t recommend doing it before so you don’t lose any pieces), you will need to unscrew the cap nuts. Leave the washers in place, though.
Now SKIP THE SCARY PICTURE ON PAGE 9 and go to page 10. The diagrams are somewhat useful, if confusing because of all the part numbers on there.
1. REAR MAIN FRAME INSTALLATION (page 10)
a. Locate the Rear Main Frame part: that is the part pictured on the RIGHT side of the illustration. You will see that it comes with 6 bolts already assembled in that part. Using the Allen wrench, remove the bolts. Keep the washers in place on the bolts if you can, it’ll save time.
b. Locate the Front Main Frame part: that is the part pictured on the LEFT side of the illustration, the part with the big plastic casing.
c. Position those 2 parts like in the picture but don’t join them yet. In the middle where they will join, you will see 3 wires coming out of each part. The wires are secured with elastic bands. Remove the elastic bands carefully, try not to tug on the wires.
d. On each part, observe that 1 wire is on its own whereas the other 2 wires kind of go together. Match them with the same on the other part. BEFORE connecting the wires, look at the little plugs so you fit the small metal teeth in the tiny holes the first time correctly. If you bend them, that could prevent the computer from working properly. Once you feel certain that you understand how to connect the wires properly, connect all 3 wires.
e. Now carefully connect the Rear Main Frame to the Front Main Frame. You will need to stuff the wiring into the frame as you go. Be careful.
f. Now replace the bolts and washers that you had removed, using the Allen wrench. Tighten all the bolts.
2. FRONT AND REAR STABILIZERS INSTALLATION (page 11)
a. The Front Stabilizer is the tube-looking part that has the little wheels on top. Pay attention to the sticker on the part telling you which way is up. The little wheels need to be up in the air, not on the floor.
b. The Back Stabilizer is the other one It has your bike’s serial number on it so it might be a good time to take a picture of it or write it down on the front of your manual because you will need it if you ever need to contact the warranty provider or if you bought the Square Trade Warranty.
c. Take 2 of the LONG loose bolts and unscrew the cap off. Leave the curve washers in place on the bolts. You will need the Multi Hex tool too.
d. I found it useful to have something to rest the edge of Front Main Frame onto so I could attach the stabilizer (because of the angle in which the bolt has to go). I used one of those clear plastic shoeboxes, upside down. The bike is already heavy at that time so it cracked it, but it worked.
e. Take the Front Stabilizer (remember, see which way the UP sticker is pointing) and nest it against that curved end in the front of the Front Main Frame. The bolts go in from the bottom up, at an angle. Once one bolt is through, screw the cap back on slightly. Look under to make sure the curve washer is positioned appropriately and then tighten the nut completely using the Multi Hex tool. Repeat with the other bolt. Then you can take the bike off whatever support you used, you won’t need it anymore.
f. Take the Back Stabilizer. The stickers with the serial numbers, etc. should face OUT (i.e. NOT towards the bike). Same thing as with the Front Stabilizer, put the bolts in, secure the washers in place and tighten the nuts with the Multi Hex tool.
3. FRONT HANDLEBAR POST and FOOT PEDAL INSTALLATION (p 12)
a. Look at the top part of the Front Main Frame, where the handle bar will go. Remove the 4 bolts that are in place, using the Allen wrench. Leave the washers in place on the bolts.
b. Find that plastic part that looks like a drink holder. That is the Front Handlebar Post Cover.
c. Find the Front Handlebar Post part. It’s the part at the top left in the illustration on p12.
d. Slide the Post Cover part up onto the Front Handlebar Post. Look at the illustration to see which way if you’re not sure.
e. Locate the Tension Cable (it’s metal and has a hook at the end) that is located in the shaft from which you just removed the bolts. Gently pull on it to extended its whole length.
f. Insert the Tension Cable through the bottom hole of the Front Handlebar Post and gently force it all the way up. You will see a RECTANGULAR opening at the top of the Post. Pull the cable through that opening.
g. Locate the 3 electric wires in the same shaft where you found the Tension Cable. Gently tug on them to extend them to their full length. Remove the elastic bands.
h. Locate the other 3 electric wires coming out from the bottom of the Front Handlebar Post. Gently tug on them to extend their full length and remove the elastic bands. Now connect the 3 wires together, just like last time. Take your time and be gentle.
i. Gently tuck the connected wires back into one of the two parts and then slide the Front Handlebar Post onto the tube of the Front Main Frame.
j. Reattach the 4 bolts that you had taken off and tighten them.
k. Slide the plastic Front Handlebar Post Cover all the way down so it covers that area with the bolts.
l. Find the Tension Control Knob (it is packed with the pedals, you might need scissors to cut the hard plastic wrapping off.) Remove the bolt from it. Leave the washer in place on the bolt.
m. At the point, look at the small illustrations A and B on top of page 12 to see how you need to connect the resistance cable from the knob with the Tension Cable hook. It’s not hard.
n. Now comes the challenging part: you need to stick that cable with the hook back into the frame. Now that it’s connected to the tension cable, though, it’s a little awkward and the hook might not want to go all the way back in. Try twisting the hook assembly on its side to make it fit into the opening. The hook should be COMPLETELY back into the frame (mine kept wanting to rest on the bottom of the rectangular opening).
o. Once the cable and hook are back into the frame, it’s time to install the Tension Control Knob in place. Once again, this is a bit awkward. Be gently because you don’t want to break that plastic part! Twist it so it’s kind of catty-corner with the opening (there is a small plastic knob on the back of the big knob and I angled that toward the right top corner of the rectangular opening and that let me put the big knob in place. Once everything is in place, reattach the bolt and washer that you had taken out.
p. Locate the 2 pedals. Notice that they are marked L and R.
q. Now pay attention because doing this wrong would be bad: make sure that you fit the L pedal onto the left Pedal Shaft (marked L) and screw it on COUNTERCLOCKWISE. Don’t screw it clockwise or you will strip the threads!
r. Now fit the R pedal onto the right Pedal Shaft (marked R) and screw it on CLOCKWISE. Same caution as above but in reverse!
s. Tighten the pedal shafts with the Multi Hex tool.
t. Attach the pedal straps. Note that they are marked L and R. When I use my sneakers, I need to have the straps on the last notch on each side (giving me the widest opening) to fit my shoes through and comfortably position my feet on the pedals.
4. SEAT SLIDING TUBE, BACK/SEAT SUPPORT BRACKET, and HANDLEBAR INSTALLATION (page 13)
a. Locate the Back/Seat Support Bracket part. That’s the last metal part you still have laying around.
b. Remove the 8 bolts from it (see the bottom part of it). Leave the washers in place on the bolts.
c. A long rectangular metal piece will become loose. That’s the Seat Sliding Tube. Slide it the corresponding rectangular part of the Rear Main Frame and align the holes. Then reattach the 8 bolts and washers. Tighten them with the Allen wrench.
d. Locate the 3 knobs for the seat (1 round-headed plastic knob with writing on it, 2 triangular-headed knobs).
e. Put the seat in the approximate pedaling position that you think will be comfortable for you. If you guess wrong, you can readjust it later on. Line up the holes and insert the round knob in the hole on the right side of the bike, towards the front of where the seat will be. Tighten it but not too hard yet, until you can try the position of the seat for yourself.
f. The other 2 knobs go towards the back on the left side (tighten it but not too hard yet) and also UNDER the seat assembly (that’s the one with the larger bolt size on it). Locate where that one will go so you know BUT DON’T PUT IT IN PLACE YET because you’re going to need to remove it again prior to actually installing the seat.
g. Locate that big handlebar (that’s the last part you have laying around aside from the computer). Attach it to the Back/Seat Support Bracket. It seats very low at your butt level. You will see a bracket where you can sit it before you bolt it in. Use the 2 short loose bolts that are remaining to secure it in place (the bolts go in from the top and the flat washers sit by the nuts.) Tighten the bolts with the Multi Hex tool.
h. On the back of that handlebar, you will see 3 electrical wires. Gently remove the elastic band and gently tug on the wires to extend them to their complete length.
i. Look at the bottom of the seat assembly and you will see a black corkscrew cable sticking out. Tug on it gently and as before, connect all 3 electrical wires carefully to those that you just untucked from the handlebar.
5. COMPUTER INSTALLATION (page 14)
a. Locate the computer. It is in a square white cardboard box. There also should be 2 AA batteries with it.
b. Remove the 4 “bolts” (they look like screws) from the back of the computer with a Phillips head screw driver (there is one at the end of the Multi Hex tool).
c. Locate the 3 electrical wires that are coming out of the top of the Front Handlebar Post shaft, gently remove the elastic band and gently tug on them to extend their full length.
d. As in the past, connect those 3 electrical wires with the 3 wires coming out from the back of the computer. Gently tuck the wires back into the post shaft.
e. Attach the computer to the Front Handlebar Post by sliding it into place (there are groves). Reattach the screws (bolts) with the Phillips head screw driver.
f. Install the batteries. The flat part of each battery needs to rest again the spring. The computer display should turn on.
6. SEAT AND BACK CUSHIONS INSTALLATION (page 15)
a. Remove the bolts and washers from the back of the seat cushions with the Phillips head screwdriver. I like that the groves are deep enough that it’s not that easy to strip the head of the bolts.
b. Attach the seat cushions to the frame with the bolts and washers you just removed. The larger cushion is the back cushion. For the bottom cushion, the straight side goes towards the back of the back, the more pointy side towards the front. Tighten well. Once you have attached the bottom seat, insert the last seat knob and tighten lightly.
c. Sit down and put your feet in the pedal straps. Strap pedaling slowly. You’re just testing the distance of your seat at this point. If you had guessed the position wrong, you will need to completely remove all 3 knobs and slide the seat assembly in the position that is most comfortable for you before reinserting all 3 knobs and tightening them up as much as you can (not tightening them could be dangerous AND also make the seat creak).
Now you should be ready to start using your bike! Thankfully, the rest of the manual is very clear on how to operate the computer and how to make adjustments, as well as maintenance instructions and even some troubleshooting. The last couple of pages have some warm-up exercises and a part request fax form.
I know that my instructions are way longer than the original ones, but I think they’re much clearer. I hope you agree. Good luck!