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Life Fitness Review

Wednesday, September 28th

2022 Exercise Bike Reviews

Life Fitness Review 3.5 Star Rating

Life Fitness

3.5 Star Rating
  • Extremely high-quality exercise equipment
  • "A+" rated by the BBB
  • Live workouts available
  • Great warranty coverage

Want to buy your fitness equipment from the original manufacturer of electronic stationary bikes? That would be Life Fitness, a household name in exercise equipment for about 50 years. Look around at a gym near you and you'll likely find at least one treadmill, elliptical or cycle with the Life Fitness name on it.

Indoor Cycling or Exercise Bikes

As you're shopping the Life Fitness site, you should be aware that they categorize their bikes in two different ways: Indoor Cycling and Exercise Bikes. Indoor Cycling models are more like what you'd find in a competitive studio setting, with seats that move forward or backward as needed, and grips that allow you to lean over the handlebars for out-of-the-saddle sprints or hill work. Exercise Bikes encompasses both upright and recumbent styles, still giving you a great cardio workout without looking like you just stepped out of a SoulCycle location somewhere.

Nice range of tech features

Even at the lowest price point ($1588), you'll find that Life Fitness exercise bikes are well-appointed with respect to technology. While you may need to bring your own smartphone or tablet to follow along with your favorite workout (or catch up on your latest TV binge), you can connect your bike to sync with most of today's apps like Fitbit, Garmin, and Apple Health.

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Equipment overview:

  • Type of exercise bikes: Upright, recumbent, indoor/studio
  • Price range: From $1588 to $7209
  • Different models: 12
  • Can stream live/pre-recorded workouts: Only on-demand, not live
  • Financing available: No
  • Weight capacity: 300 to 400 lbs., depending on the model selected
  • Return policy: 15 days, only if defective or damaged
  • Warranty: Lifetime on the frame, 3-5 years on electrical/mechanical parts, 1 year on labor
  • Shipping: Up to $300

Pay a LOT more for upgraded monitor

You'll have to move up on the price scale to get access to on-demand (not live), instructor-led classes through Life Fitness on Demand. For example, the Club Series + Recumbent Lifecycle was priced at $2,253 with the standard SE3 console; to stream classes, you'd need to upgrade to the S3HD monitor, bringing the base price all the way up to $6889.

On-demand access included with no time limit

They also don't come out and tell you if you have to pay for the LFOD membership. We had to search for it, and the website that came up was definitely geared towards gym owners who wanted to give members access to the platform. (Eventually we found that it's included with the purchase of the upgraded display, so figure that extra $4500-ish covers your LFOD...indefinitely.)

Disappointing return policy

Life Fitness doesn't offer the same generous trial period and return policy as they did previously. Their current policy states that returns may only be requested within the first 15 days after delivery, and they'll only be approved if the exercise bike was defective, damaged in transit, or the wrong product. If you're spending over $7,000 on a piece of exercise equipment, don't you want more reassurance than that?

Bye-bye, free shipping

Another disappointing change is their shipping fees. You used to get free delivery on all exercise bikes. Now you'll pay up to $300, depending on which bike you choose. There was no option at checkout to upgrade that delivery to include setup, either.

Excellent warranty and reputation

And yet, Life Fitness still has an "A+' reputation and nearly a half-century in business, with almost no complaints registered with the Better Business Bureau in the last three years. They provide excellent warranty coverage on all of their bikes, with a lifetime guarantee on the frame and anywhere from 3-5 years on electronic and mechanical parts. Their equipment can be found in fitness centers, gyms and studios around the world: if you want to replicate your experience working out there, these exercise bikes would be a great addition to your home.

Great bikes - at high prices

But you'll pay for it, in more ways than one. With no financing options, expensive shipping fees, and much higher than average prices, Life Fitness is going to be out of range for a lot of customers. We can't argue with the quality of the equipment or the solid reputation for customer service, but you might get more for your money with another exercise bike company.

Where Can You Find the Best Exercise Bikes?

Fitness equipment is more popular now than ever, with so many people working, learning and doing just about everything from home. It can be challenging to find anything in stock near you, with no idea of when your preferred exercise bike will be available to buy.

Naturally, that's where the internet comes in, making it a lot easier to get the type of bike you want most. Looking for live and on-demand fitness classes on a machine that automatically increases and decreases resistance - or that even allows a coach to remotely shift your settings to give you an extra push (or a break!)? Shopping online gives you access to not just one company but several that offer that boutique-style workout experience.

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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!
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Continued from above...

Or, maybe your doctor has told you that you can't do high-impact exercise anymore, but you still need something to stay healthy. Recumbent bikes to the rescue! There are plenty of models available from internet retailers, from basic models under $500 to high-tech designs with plenty of features for over $2,000.

There are even exercise bikes designed for use under your desk or with a tabletop/desk built in: no more using work as your excuse for not working out! Your coworkers can get in on the fun if you choose a model that has three bikes at the same round table, too.

It's easy to feel overwhelmed when you start your search for the exercise bike that's right for you. Studio style? Recumbent? Touchscreen or basic console? Fortunately, there are several criteria you can use to narrow down your options and find something that fits:

  • Number of Exercise Bikes. How many models does the retailer sell? The more bikes in their inventory, the more likely it is that one of them will have the features you're looking for - and that it will be in stock when you're ready to buy.
  • Features. Think about what features are most important to you when using your fitness equipment. Is it connectivity with your smartwatch or fitness apps? A weight capacity that accommodates each member of your household? Interactive displays with games and leaderboards to keep you motivated? It's not impossible to get a bike with everything you want, if you know what's on your must-have list.
  • Value. Is the exercise bike you're considering a good value for the money? That's not just a matter of price: some lower-end models actually offer a lot, while some of the most expensive models don't give you nearly what you'd expect.
  • Customer-Friendly Policies. Can you get a free trial with your exercise bike? How long do you have to return it if it's not working out? Is delivery free and/or will it include professional set-up? How about warranty coverage?
  • Reputation. It's a good idea to consider what customers have said about the particular bike you want and the company itself. Can you count on getting fast, friendly help from the customer service department if anything goes wrong? Even the most promising warranties aren't worth much if the retailer doesn't follow through on them.

TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best online retailers of exercise bikes available today. We're confident that this information will help you get the indoor ride you've been hoping for!

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