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CAROL Review

Friday, March 1st

2024 Exercise Bike Reviews

CAROL Review 4 Star Rating

CAROL

4 Star Rating
  • Priced $2,595+
  • 1 model in stock
  • 1- to 2-year warranty on frame
  • 100-day trial period
  • AI-backed workouts
  • Free shipping and returns
  • Average 4.7 stars from reviews

If you're looking for an exercise bike that claims to improve your fitness fast, you'll want to take a look at CAROL. Promising noticeable improvement in less than 9 minutes of exercise is the hallmark of the CAROL brand with its innovative exercise bike system.

Scientifically timed changes

The CAROL machine offers a variety of exercise styles including sprints at an intensity three times higher than your typical HIIT cycling class, with scientifically-timed changes to resistance. So in the same time you spend on another workout, you're getting a lot more out of your CAROL exercise bike. The only downside? CAROL only offers one bike option, though thankfully that bike was in stock at the time of this review.

Equipment overview:

  • Type of exercise bikes: Upright
  • Price range: $2,595+ (you can add warranties and assembly)
  • Different models: 1
  • Can stream live/pre-recorded workouts: Yes
  • Financing available: Yes
  • Weight capacity: 330 lbs
  • Return policy: 100-day home trial
  • Warranty: 1-2 years (choice is up to you)
  • Shipping: Free

Only model: CAROL Bike

The CAROL bike is one of the most technologically advanced bikes on our list. The CAROL brand prides itself on providing a bike experience backed by science. The bike starts at $2,595; however, there are some extra costs involved. For example, if you want to add an extended warranty (2 years instead of 1), you'll have to pay an additional $150. And, if you'd like your CAROL bike assembled for you, that costs $199 extra. As if that wasn't enough, you also need a CAROL membership to use all of the features of your bike. This costs $15 a month. So, if you get all the possible features, the already pricey bike will cost around $2,959 (including one month of a CAROL membership).

Best Exercise Bikes

AI determines your optimal resistancec

So what makes CAROL worth all that money? The bike uses AI to personalize your workouts by determining the optimal resistance that pushes you to your limits without overdoing it. This AI adapts as you get fitter so you always work at your maximum potential and don't plateau in your workouts. The company notes that their research indicates that with just three 5-minute sessions a week, you can improve by 12% in 8 weeks. The bike allows you to link to various streaming services like Peloton, Zwift, YouTube, Netflix, and more (but we're not sure how much watching you'll get in with just a 5-minute workout!).

For best use you'll need the membership

One thing customers may not like is having to commit to a monthly membership to use the CAROL bike. Now, you don't have to have a membership, but without it, you don't have access to any of the AI features. You still have access to important features, like non-personalized resistance settings, individual performance metrics, and six scientifically-backed workouts, but the whole benefit of this high-priced bike is its AI workout features and personalization. If you do go with the membership, the AI optimization calculates your optimal resistance, including 20 scientifically proven workouts and fitness tests. The home membership allows access for up to eight riders to have personalized dashboards. Plus, CAROL Bike automatically updates with new features and performance improvements through over-the-air software updates.

100-day trial period

To help you decide if the CAROL bike is right for you, the brand offers a 100-day risk-free trial. This means you can return your CAROL bike within 100 days from the date it's delivered to you. According to the CAROL website, if you live in the US, Canada, or the United Kingdom, you don't have to pay anything to return the CAROL bike if it doesn't work out for you. This means you can test it worry-free and only pay the cost of the bike itself. And if you make the return, that will be refunded too.

Best Exercise Bikes

Customers who've used it are fans so far

CAROL is relatively new in the market; in comparison to brands with hundreds of thousands or even millions of fitness enthusiasts, CAROL's community appears relatively small. Beyond the handful of testimonials on the CAROL website, just over 200 customer reviews were found on third-party review sites. While the majority of these reviews were positive with a 4.7-star average on Trustpilot, particularly regarding CAROL's exceptional customer service and the efficiency of the bike's programmed workouts, we aren't able to gauge the reputation beyond the few reviews out there. There's no page for the company on the Better Business Bureau yet, but if the reviews continue the way they're going currently, CAROL has the potential to be a fan favorite.

Expensive but extremely unique technology

CAROL introduces a unique element to the exercise bike landscape, offering a kind of workout bike we haven't seen before. With the inclusion of AI assistance in your workout, you can get maximum fitness with minimum pain. However, the AI features come at a price. The bike is expensive and you have to pay for a separate membership. Given that many bikes from other brands do a lot of great fitness work for less than half the price of CAROL, we're on the fence in terms of value. But no matter how you feel about the cost, it's a brand worth keeping an eye on, especially as it continues to receive feedback and potentially garners more praise over time.

What's the Best Brand of Exercise Bike Out There Today?

If you're looking for a versatile machine easily accessible for a home gym, exercise bikes are a top choice. Exercise bikes offer motion that's ideal for individuals with sensitive joints, sore backs, bad knees (shout out to the crunchy knees gang), or other conditions that make high-impact exercises hard or impossible to do.

On top of being low-impact, one of the popular points for exercise bikes is the all-season approach. Picture this: you get to sweat it out whenever it suits you. No gym crowds, and no clock-watching. Convenience is your new fitness buddy. Plus, no more worrying about how you look or comparing yourself to others. Or whether the sweaty guy before you wiped down the bike seat (ew!). Basically, you get all the pros of a spin class without any of the ick of a public gym.

The Best Exercise Bikes Compare Exercise Bikes Compare Exercise Bike Reviews What are the best Exercise Bikes Best Exercise Bike Reviews

Exercise Bike FAQ

There are plenty of reasons that people buy an exercise bike for home use. For people with balance or mobility issues who still want a good cardio workout, bikes are a much better option than a treadmill or elliptical machine. They also take up much less room, are more portable/movable, and easier to maintain than larger pieces of cardio equipment.
That's up to you. Recumbent bikes have a seat like a chair, and the pedals are in front of you; they're the exercise bike of choice for people with joint and back issues. Upright bikes offer more flexibility in your workout: you can ride seated or pedal standing up for a more intense experience.
As with most products, the more features an exercise bike has, the more it will cost. You can get a basic, entry-level model for under $500 - or pay $7,000+ for one that has every bell and whistle imaginable (but it won't do the exercise for you!).
How does "free" sound? Many retailers include delivery in the price of the exercise bike. That definitely beats trying to lug it home from a brick-and-mortar store in your car!
Not necessarily. Most manufacturers have step-by-step instructions and even videos for how to put your bike together. You can also purchase professional installation/set-up from some retailers, either with their in-house team or through a third-party partner.
That depends on the store. Some offer no return policy whatsoever, while others give you 30-60 days to try your bike and decide if you want to keep it. Even then, you may still be responsible for return shipping costs and/or restocking fees.
Most bikes come with warranty coverage, usually with longer protection on the higher-end models. You may have lifetime coverage of the frame and brakes, 1-3 years on parts and electronics, and 90 days to 3 years on associated labor costs - but the specifics vary by manufacturer and bike model. Some retailers offer extended warranty plans as well.
That's one of the hottest trends in the fitness industry, and many bikes come with some kind of workout option with live coaching or on-demand classes. But, even if your bike doesn't, there are plenty of apps you can subscribe to and follow along on your own; you just need to have a way to see your phone, tablet or TV from wherever you position your exercise bike!
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

For athletes (especially you biking enthusiasts) who don't want to lose their form during the winter, nabbing an exercise bike can change your winter fitness regimen to more closely fit your regular training. But if you're not a tri-athlete (like many of us aren't), having an exercise bike at home is still a huge plus.

As you start browsing the different exercise bike brands, you'll realize that there's a lot of variety to choose from. Many modern exercise bikes come with cool features like built-in screens for virtual classes, fitness app hook-ups, and even virtual outdoor rides. So, exercise bikes aren't like one of those creaky metal contraptions from your grandma's basement anymore. They've got all the bells and whistles to upgrade your workout.

Imagine pedaling through scenic routes without leaving your living room or gamified paths to keep you engaged. These bikes aren't just tools; they're like your personal fitness sidekick, cheering you on and giving you all the stats you need to track your growth and celebrate your fitness level-ups. There are even exercise bikes designed to fit under your desk or that feature a built-in tabletop/desk, so you can work and work out at the same time.

But there's a lot to look at when you're shopping for the perfect exercise bike. Starting your search for the right exercise bike can be overwhelming. Studio style? Recumbent? Touchscreen or basic console? Fortunately, we've gone through the best options out there and put together some criteria to help you narrow down your choices and find a bike that suits you.

  • Number of exercise bike styles. The more models a brand has in their inventory, the higher the chances of finding one that fits your fitness needs. Also, keep an eye on which brands actually have their bikes in stock.
  • Features. Consider what features matter most to you. Is it connectivity with your smartwatch or fitness apps? Weight capacity that accommodates all household members? Interactive displays with games and leaderboards for motivation? Identifying your must-have list makes it possible to find a bike that meets your preferences.
  • Price vs. value. Price isn't the sole factor; some lower-end exercise bike models provide significant features, while some pricier options may not deliver as expected. So, make sure you get the perfect balance of value for your money. The most expensive model might not actually be the best, whereas the cheapest out there might be missing some features you need for your fitness.
  • Customer-friendly policies. Check if you can get a free trial, the return policy duration, and if delivery includes a professional setup. If a company doesn't serve customers well, it's hard to feel comfortable purchasing their expensive fitness machines.
  • Reputation. Tied into the customer policies, you'll want to take into account customer reviews and Better Business Bureau scores to make sure you're buying from a reputable brand. A reliable customer service department is crucial, even if the warranty is promising, to make sure you'll get fast and friendly assistance if anything goes wrong.

To make sure that your fitness journey takes off, Top Consumer Reviews has reviewed and ranked the best exercise bike brands available online today. We hope this will help you curate your perfect home gym and get back to the ride of your life on your new exercise bike. Pedal on, friend!

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