Testing a Lightweight Spin Bike

Give me a phone holder over onboard electronics any day!
Give me a phone holder over onboard electronics any day!

Why hire a spin bike?

To review any product, a standard to compare it to is needed. So to measure this spin bike, we will look at why you might want to hire a spin bike and what sort of fitness outcomes you would expect on a spin bike.

The basic idea of why you might choose a spin bike, over say an exercycle or assault bike, is that a spin bike is meant to replicate the sensation of riding a bicycle outdoors (or on a track). The disc at the front of the spin bike is called the fly wheel, it is weighted to give the sense of inertia and momentum that would come from pedaling a real bike. Usually, a heavier disc is seen as a quality of a superior spin bike.

The other advantage of spin bike rental over treadmill rental, is that with any pedal operated machine you are saving your joints and limbs from impact damage. If you are not a seasoned runner already, you might be in for a surprise after your first hard session as shin splints and knee pain can be an issue for people at the beginner stages of fitness.

Saying all of this, let’s see how well this compact spin bike performs.

Sitting back is comfortable on this machine, and engages the core for balance
Sitting back is comfortable on this machine, and engages the core for balance

Taking a Seat

I will admit when I first saw this bike I wasn’t sure if I would feel entirely safe while balancing on it. However, after a bit of clever adjustment of the seat and handle bar heights, I was feeling right at home.

Sitting on the spin bike, it does feel ‘small’, but not unstable at all. I found the frame encouraged me to use more of my leg and core muscles to maintain balance, rather than resting my weight on my rear end. I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing, as the point is to work out, right? I suppose it felt more like a BMX than a road bike. I am 5’11, I reckon for anyone a few inches or more shorter this bike would feel great. I give it a ‘pretty good’ so far for me.

I am able to reach the handle bars of the spin bike, and comfortable view my phone in the phone holder conveniently supplied in the front. This is an exercise equipment trend I can get behind! In my opinion, many ‘expensive’ brands of work out gear spend too much money on accessories like screens, speakers, and fitness trackers. Most of us these days have better options than listening to music on our treadmill speakers, or use a fitbit or smartwatch fitness tracker if we care about tracking our stats and calories. So I do not really bother with these systems on most machines.

Sitting Back on the Spin Bike

Going Through a Workout

Time to find out what this will do. I wasn’t sure how the small fly wheel would perform on this spin bike, but I was pleasantly surprised.

The wheel lacked the momentum of a larger, more traditional spin bike model. All this means is that when you stop pedalling, the wheel more or less stops as well. With a heavier wheel, it will continue spin, just like on a bicycle that keeps moving even if you pause your pedaling.

However what I found was that it was also easy to get going. Yes, I didn’t get to hear that satisfying ‘click click click’ noise as I sit back after a big sprint, but I didn’t mind too much really. I was able to keep a hard pace for as long as I wanted, using the variable resistance to compensate for the lack of weight in the wheel.

I was even able to comfortable stand up and ‘sprint’ on the bike, on all resistance settings. For a frame this small, I was seriously impressed. I’ve tried to show all the different postures I was able to take on this machine in the pictures throughout this spin bike review.

While the machine did not feel unstable, it is a smaller footprint than most, so the laws of physics dictate it is a tougher balance point. I actually enjoyed this aspect of the spin bike, because I felt like my core and legs were engaged on a higher level than if the machine was letting me just sit back and pedal.

Going Fast on Small Spin Bike
Sitting forward for a sprint

The Verdict: Who is it for?

At Treadmill Hire Auckland, we believe in offering a diverse range of fitness solutions. Just because a spin bike, treadmill, or cross trainer is not right for one person doesn’t mean it won’t be a great solution for someone else!

So we give this compact spin design a very positive recommendation for those of us on the smaller side, or if saving space in your home is important to you.

A lighter flywheel definitely losing that ‘road bike simulation’ feel but that does not mean you miss out on a good work out. I was comfortable maintaining anything from a slow pedal to a full on sprint at all resistance settings (which are easily changeable on the dial between your legs).

The machine comes with, as every machine tends to, a basic fitness tracker but as I said earlier I don’t even bother will the in built electronics on fitness machines. I find my smartwatch is much more convenient and tracks across the whole day so provides much more useful info. Likewise with inbuilt speakers – we all have a better method than using our spin spike aux cord for home music listening!

The best feature on this device is the smart phone holder! Paired with a set of wireless headphones, you can watch or listen to media very easily.

So all in all I really enjoyed using this machine and would definitely use one in my personal fitness routine – I am always looking for ‘form factor’ in the design of equipment, I hate owning big bulky stuff when I don’t need to. I would not recommend this machine to someone much bigger than me (I am 5’11, 75kg, thought I think height is a larger factor than weight), or anyone that is not comfortable maintaining a strong posture that is required to balance on the smaller frame.

If you are interested in this spin bike, or want to know about any other equipment for your home fitness needs, please contact us using the form below!

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