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Bike Advice

anmpr1

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#1
Since the house arrest lockdown, I haven't been able to go to the gym as before. So waifu and I are looking to buy a (recumbent) exercise bike. I see them on-line with prices ranging from less than two hundred dollars, to two thousand. I just want something that is decent and going to last, and not fall apart. McIntosh quality for Topping prices. I don't need blue meters, or anything like that. LOL

Since I know that ASR members are all physically (and mentally) fit, I'm asking advice. Anyone have any suggestions on decent quality but not through the roof priced home exercise gear?
 

Blumlein 88

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#3
Actually a rowing machine isn't bad advice. I'll assume you wanted a bike however.

I've limited advice other than don't bother with anything of $200 or less, probably even $400 or less. Most have some sort of issue that will keep them from lasting. Or some issue that even if they last they are so unpleasant to use that you won't use them.

Reviews of these are littered with paid shills. Look at the 1 and 2 star reviews. See if there is one or two common complaints about them breaking. Often you'll see the very same complaint in nearly all the 1 and 2 star reviews and chances are most of them will suffer the issue if they are actually used very much.
 
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#4
OTR10022-CM-01_800x800.jpg
You can place your bike on this. When the time comes you will be able to ride it outside. If noise is an issue. try the magnetic version,
 
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hmscott

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#6
I've had both bike trainers and a couple of recumbents, and unless you plan to ride outside the recumbents are much more comfortable and accessible for indoor exercise, dual-use aside.

Life Fitness for me are the champs, but it's been a few years since I've needed to buy one.

Right now there are a lot of these up for sale on eBay because fitness centers have been closed for the pandemic, so many are selling off their equipment to keep the doors "open".

Mine was self-powered - but it looks like you can get "entertainment" versions now too, I'd recommend the self-powered as they are less complicated - less things to fail - and mine have lasted for years.

New they are around $3-$4k, but used I'm seeing them for around $650-$2000+ on eBay:

life fitness recumbent exercise bike in Fitness Equipment | eBay

This one looks like a good deal at $650 in great condition:
LIFE Fitness recumbent bike 5500 | eBay

Life Fitness makes good treadmills too, on eBay starting at $1250+:

Life Fitness Treadmill CLST | eBay

At $1250 for a commercial-grade treadmill, this is a great price - but $2000 and up is probably where I would shop for a newish reliable unit.
Life Fitness Treadmill CLST | eBay - Life Fitness Treadmill CLST

The treadmills from commercial fitness use have "hours" on them, so if you can find a nice private sale, the same goes for the Recumbent bike, but things are a bit differently right now because fitness centers need to sell equipment to stay alive, you should find great deals on low hour equipment now if you ask the seller before buying.

Also, if you are in an apartment, or even in a room upstairs in a house where the bottom floor is occupied while you are exercising, look for a heavy-duty rubber pad to place under the equipment to protect the flooring and not transmit vibrations through into the structure.

Good health! :)

More info:

The newer Life Cycle Recumbent bikes have fancy consoles, even the lowest model, but this is the interface I'm used to, and these models are still available on eBay :)

(17152) How To Use the Life Fitness 95Ri Recumbent - YouTube

Of the current models, this one looks good, I do like the open look:

Integrity Series Lifecycle® Recumbent Exercise Bike | Life Fitness
(17152) Life Fitness Integrity Recumbent - YouTube
Gym Quality Recumbent Lifecycle Bike | Life Fitness Store - With SE3 Console "only" $4299 :)
 
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#7
all good suggestions. If price is no object and you are going to use it ,by all means go Peloton or one of its' competitors.
 

Blumlein 88

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#8
The weird thing is you can buy a good enough bike that will last years for much less than a good exercise bike that will last.
 

Sal1950

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#9
The weird thing is you can buy a good enough bike that will last years for much less than a good exercise bike that will last.
True but a bit difficult to use in the northern climates.
 

hmscott

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#10
The weird thing is you can buy a good enough bike that will last years for much less than a good exercise bike that will last.
As described to me the last time I bought a road bike and asked to add a stationary frame, the shop owner said I should stick to stationary exercise bikes as the materials in my Life Cycle exercise bike are much much heavier duty and much more solidly built. They are stationary and have to take all of the forces exerted into their frame and the sitting structure.

And, a bicycle is designed to be as light as possible while bearing the minimum weight required, all the force is converted to forward energy. Hopefully, the energy will expel with motion and the frame won't need to support a sudden "stop", that's where you end up with broken forks, suspension, wheels, cranks, frames, etc.

They went on to describe it as if I were a competitive bicyclist that needs foul weather riding capability to not lose tone during bad weather, then they recommend the conversion frame so they can ride their familiar ride and keep toned.

But for simple daily exercise for the rest of us, the solid heavy-duty exercise bike is a better choice.

For many years I'd heard the same from riding friends. They'd point out the dust-covered stationary frame and say they never use it, but one day I just got the wild idea to add that stationary frame to my new bike purchase and ended up returning it in a few weeks.

And, I bought the heaviest duty one they had at the time, and it looks like it's no longer available, this is another provider that still has a website listing:

Cycleops Saris JetFluid Pro Trainer (triathletesports.com)

The Cycleops Saris JetFluid Pro Trainer product page also echoes what the bike shop owner said:

"If you're a real roadie, you shave your legs. What's more, you measure what you eat, you obsess about your training regimen, you read everything you can about cycling, you were born to win. In other words, you're a CycleOps Saris JetFluid Pro Trainer rider."

It wasn't unstable or difficult to put on the bike or take it off, but it wasn't as easy to use as having a Lifecycle at home too. Its use was limited to my smooth tired road bike, those friction wheel trainers don't support nobby tire trail bike setups.

And, perhaps the biggest difference was that my road bike wasn't a recumbent bike, so perched on top of my normally very tall bike - up a few more inches on top of the trainer - it was a bit more awkward to ride and made getting on and off a bit wobbly.

I'm 6'4", and I think if you are much shorter it would be helpful to have a step up platform to make daily use easier for getting on / off.

This video was very convincing at the time:
(17054) CycleOps Pro Series Bike Trainers - YouTube

Again, there's nothing wrong with using a stationary trainer, and if you haven't been used to riding a recumbent exercise bike for many years like I was, I'm sure it would be much easier in the transition from road to stationary riding.

The construction quality and everything about the Saris trainer was solid, so if you are interested in getting one, their website shows they have expanded into two lines:

Basic Trainers | Saris
Smart Trainers | Saris

It also looks like Cyclops transitioned into Saris, and my shop is still carrying Saris branded components.

My bike shop now carries another brand of trainers, Whahoo Fitness:

KICKR Smart Bike Trainer for Cyclists | Wahoo Fitness

To add a bit of entertainment, Zwift looks like fun, but wasn't available when I had my Saris setup. I did have the sensors set up and a Garmin Edge 810 - they were much cheaper back then - Zowie! - back to Zwift:

(17146) Zwift - How to get setup on any budget - YouTube
Download Zwift on iOS, MAC, PC, or Android Devices | Zwift

Then there is Pelton DIY
(17200) DIY Peloton Bike hack - don't buy a Peloton bike until you watch this! - YouTube
(17264) DIY Peloton Bike Hack | I SAVED $2500 | Watch before buying a Peloton! - YouTube
 
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#11
I just want people to ride a bike. It dos not matter what kind. But as a 200lb plus male(that is being generous) I have never put the slightest strain on my Cannondale aluminum or Kestral carbon frame. Stationary bikes tend to clunky and of poor quality. Make your own choice.
 

hmscott

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#12
I didn't even think of this before, but please be careful and set things up from the start that won't endanger you or your bike. :)

Don't let Zwifting damage your bike - Zwift Insider
mike lloyd 9 months ago
"Having learned this the hard way, I cant emphasize the danger of sweat corrosion enough. Zwift is amazing, but if you dont regularly inspect your bike and protect it with a towel and fan you are taking a big risk. Under the bar tape is a big danger zone. I hit a mild bump on a downhill during mt mitchell ride that fractured my handlebars due to this. I managed to stay upright, but almost killed myself because i sweated all over everything indoors."

Lots more similar comments, check out the link for more.
 
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MRC01

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#13
Putting a bike on rollers takes a toll on the rear tire. Good tires are expensive (whether road or trail) so you may want to use a cheap heavy duty back tire when on the roller and swap it for riding out on the road/trail. Better yet, tire swaps are a PITA so a cheap rear wheel you can swap in seconds.

When the weather is bad (which is pretty much all winter here around Seattle) I do more running than biking. Even though I love biking and hate running, running is a faster tighter workout so I can dash out when there's a brief break in the weather. I used to have a treadmill but never used it much because there are enough opportunities to go outside when running. Not so much with biking, since it takes so much more time.

The other effective but cheap home exercise gear is a pull-up bar you can install across the top of any doorway in your house. Combined with push-ups you can do anywhere, adds effective upper body strength to the running/biking cardio fitness.
 

Martin

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#16
I bought a Life Fitness recumbent bike at Costco about 15 years ago. I think it was $499. I would troll Craigslist and buy a used one cheap. We sold ours a couple of years ago for $150. Most, I would guess have very, very little use. (If my experience is any guide.) :)

Martin
 

Willem

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#17
I am a regular cyclist. I cycle around town, but I also go on long bike tours with a tent. If it had not been for Covid I would have done a tour from the Netherlands to the Mediterranean last summer. Instead, I did a tour of Northern Germany. I have a total of five bicycles, plus a trainer. So my first question is in which country the OP is living, and if in the USA, in which part of the USA. Califonia is not like Minnesota.
Assuming that this is at least in part for cycle training during really cold weather, an indoor trainer is a good idea, but I hate the riding experience because you are not smoothly balancing the thing, and because you are sweating a lot. But there are times of the year and times of the day when a basic trainer is a smart idea. I have some very expensive bicycles but for the trainer I decided to go very cheap ($129): https://www.decathlon.com/collectio...ainer-inride-100-14683?variant=31626081566782 There is really nothing wrong with this. The flywheel is pretty light, but the trick is to choose a high gear on the bike and a low resistance setting on the trainer. That way you have maximum flywheel effect and a smooth ride. There are two things to be aware of. The first is that the rear tyre will wear very fast, so you should really fit a special heavy duty trainer tyre. The second thing is that the bike will inevitably sit higher, so you need some stool to get onto the bike, and even so you have to be careful. So my advice would be to get a cheap second hand ladies bike with step through frame, fit a trainer rear tyre, and be done with it. I don't honestly think there is much point in spending big money on these.
A nice bicycle for rides in the open air is a different story, where it pays to spend money, even big money. However, here it is very much horses for courses. A bike like my touring bike that I use for long tours with camping luggage all over Europe is quite different from a Tour de France road bike, and different again from a low maintenance townbike for flat country.
If you are unsure about your appetite for cycling I would suggest a second hand bike of decent quality. Most important is the fit. If it is too big or too small you will be very unhappy. The second thing is to go for relatively wide tyres - US roads are mostly terrible. If you feel more comfortable about the idea of cycling and want a bike for recreational rides, have a look at Surly: https://surlybikes.com/ They are a huge US brand and their bikes are sensible excellent quality and value for money. As a fast bike that can handle crappy US roads, consider their Crosscheck. If you know more precisely what you would want to do, I can give more focussed advice. In the meantime you can have a look at my cycle touring website: https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=fietsvakantie+home+blog The text is in Dutch, and I have plans to translate the text into English, but that will be a while. In the meantime you can have a look and see how good Google translate has become (I have not yet tried).
If you do not cycle regularly, you will also have to build up your stamina, including your backside. I never have saddle sores, but after six weeks of Covid lockdown in the Spring my backside was less than pleased when I did my first 20 miles ride again, even with my classic hard leather saddle (soft sadles are far worse). Finally, since bicycle mechanics in the US are very expensive, make sure you learn how to do your own maintenance. US bike tool manufacturer Parktools not only makes excellent value for money tools, but also has a great book, plus many online videos. Enjoy the ride.
 

Astrozombie

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#18
I have no idea who is spending so much on those Pelotons?? I don't know anything about 'bents, I'd just get a regular stand up bike. But isn't it crazy how expensive they are?
If you told somebody you spent $2-3000 on speakers/headphones/guitars or just a regular carbon fiber bicycle they would look at you like you were crazy. I'd just get a $500 dollar one or a trainer for your regular bike.
 
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#20
I have the Tacx Neo 2t to which I mount either my 35 year old Cannondale MTN bike or my Ti(no rust) road bike.
Add Zwift and its similar to Peloton and a lot less money.
Tacx also has an app for riding with great videos from all over the world.
I like the bike with trainer as everything I do to my bike has benefits on the trainer. Seat, seat height, handlebars and position, clip pedals and biking shoes.
With the bike tuned/fitted to you your ready to get outside once the weather gets nice. And that's the best riding.
 
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