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      November 17, 2019

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Life Fitness vs Precor

Best Exercise Bikes

To help you find the Best Exercise Bikes, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Life Fitness and Precor.

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Exercise bikes, also known as stationary bikes, are a great way to get an excellent cardiovascular workout at home when it best fits into your schedule. Exercise bikes also strengthen and nicely tone your legs, butt, stomach, and other muscles, and do so with less impact on the knees and lower back than other forms of exercise.

There are two general types of exercise bikes for home use: upright bikes and recumbent bikes. The upright exercise bike is similar to your standard road bike, with a saddle seat, and pedals positioned directly underneath the legs. Upright bikes allow for more movement, such as riding while standing on the pedals, or in a racing position, which can give you a more strenuous workout.

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Best Reviews

2019

Exercise Bike Reviews

3.5 stars
Life Fitness

LIFE FITNESS Visit Site

Cost:

From $1,399 to $6,999

LifeFitness isn’t shy about their place in the exercise bike industry. More than 45 years ago, they created the first electronic stationary bike and have continued to bring new products to the forefront of the exercise world - home and gym - ever since.

Unsurprisingly, LifeFitness has one of the widest ranges of exercise bikes available. With 14 different base models and a total of 19 different configurations to choose from, there’s a product for every user. On the lower end of the spectrum are the R1 and C1 models - a basic upright and recumbent model for shoppers with a tighter budget - while on the high end there’s the Platinum Club Series recumbent model with a health club-quality console with all the latest technology for Bluetooth connectivity and TV/app compatibility.

Equipment overview:

  • Type of Exercise Bikes: Recumbent and Upright
  • Price Range: $1,399 to $6,999
  • Different Models: 14
  • Financing Available: No
  • Weight Capacity: 300 to 400 lbs.
  • Return Policy: 30-day trial period on all products. A 25% restocking fee (up to a maximum of $500) is also charged on all returned merchandise
  • Guarantee: Most products have coverage of 3 years for consoles, 5 years for parts, lifetime for the frame, and a 1-year labor warranty. You'll see the option to add extended coverage during your checkout process, which we recommend
  • Shipping: Free

One of the reasons that LifeFitness exercise bikes tend to be considerably more expensive than other manufacturers’ is the technology available even on the lowest-end models. For instance, the entry-level Track+ Console is compatible with both Android and Apple devices, includes 14 pre-programmed and 12 custom workouts, and allows users to establish up to four different user profiles on the machine. LifeFitness’ most advanced console, the Discover SE3, has up to 50 different workouts, including 8 custom ones, limitless user profiles, all packaged in a familiar tablet-style screen. Warranty coverage is decent as well, particularly the three-year coverage for the console itself.

But, that high ticket price may be out of reach for some home fitness shoppers, with no model under $1,000 - and most models over $1,500 once sales tax is factored in. Also, it can be expensive if you decide you don’t like your LifeFitness exercise bike and want to return it: a 25% restocking fee, up to a total of $500, will be charged if you return your equipment within 30 days of purchase.

Price tag aside, another reason to consider the LifeFitness is that, for users who are on the upper end of the scale (300+ lbs.), there are several models to choose from that can accommodate larger exercisers. Many of LifeFitness’ competitors are designed with a weight limit of 300 lbs. or lower.

Overall, the upright and recumbent exercise bikes offered by LifeFitness have a reputation for quality, high-tech features, and a good standard warranty - with the prices to match!

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2.5 stars
Precor

PRECOR Visit Site

Cost:

From $2,345 to $4,299

Precor prides itself on high-quality engineering and constant innovation within the fitness equipment market. For more than 30 years, Precor has provided equipment to gyms, the military, home users, and many other fitness facilities. They currently offer three models of upright bikes and three recumbent models for home purchase.

Equipment overview:

  • Type of Exercise Bikes: Recumbent and Upright
  • Price Range: $2,345 to $4,299
  • Different Models: 6
  • Financing Available: No
  • Weight Capacity: Up to 350 lbs
  • Return Policy: Precor does not accept returns after products have been delivered.
  • Guarantee: All products have a lifetime warranty on the frame, 3 years on the Console, 5-10 years on parts and “wear items” (depending on the model), and 1 year for labor
  • Shipping: $199 for delivery + installation

Using the website to compare options can be challenging. Even when we added all six available models to compare, the resulting page was difficult to understand and the names of the bikes don’t give the average user much of a clue, either – for example, what’s the difference between a UBK 815 and a UBK 835? After some scrolling around on the page, it was easier to determine that the main differences lie in the number of available workout programs, riding positions (upright, cruising, road), and whether pedals are dual-sided or single-sided.

One feature common to all of the upright exercise bike models is the “Knee Over Pedal Spindle”. This design keeps the forward motion of the knee right over the ball of the foot when the pedals are horizontal, reducing harmful pressure on the knee joint.

Depending on the model you choose, Precor exercise bikes have either 6 or 12 programmed workouts, such as Cross Country, Weight Loss, and Hill Climb, and all models feature 25 resistance levels.

Compared with their competitors, Precor came up short in several key areas. First, despite a fairly steep price tag, none of the Precor exercise bikes had consoles with technology beyond the bare basics of time, heart rate, and exercise tracking. Most high-end exercise bikes include compatibility with smartphones, even TV screens and other up-to-date technology. Also, Precor does not offer free shipping: all exercise bikes are delivered and installed for a flat rate of $199.

However, the biggest drawback we found was that there is absolutely no possibility for returning your Precor exercise bike after it has been delivered. In other words, if you buy a recumbent bike without ever trying it in person, and something about the fit or feel of the machine doesn’t work for you, you’re out of luck. The majority of retailers of exercise bikes allow for returns - granted, often with significant restocking fees - specifically because it can be difficult to know how a machine will feel without trying it first.

We appreciate Precor’s solid reputation, especially as a supplier of exercise bikes for fitness centers and other commercial environments. But, for the average home user, the steep price tag, lack of high-tech bells and whistles, and lack of a return policy make Precor a less attractive option among manufacturers of exercise bikes.

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Continued from above

A recumbent exercise bike is more like sitting in a padded chair with back support. The pedals are situated straight ahead like a recliner. Recumbent bikes provide more comfort and ease of use, especially for those with back problems or who feel unstable sitting high off the ground.

Recumbent bikes can also encourage a less intense workout, which is good for those people looking to gently exercise at their own pace. In the end, choosing a recumbent bike or an upright bike is ultimately a matter of preference to the user.

Several different brands of exercise bikes exist today and they range greatly in cost and quality. Before you make the move to purchase an exercise bike, consider the following:

  • Weight Capacity.  What is the maximum body weight allowed on the exercise bike
  • Cost.  What is the price range for the exercise bikes offered? How do these prices compare with other brands?
  • Return Policy.  If you're not satisfied, does the company enable you to return the exercise bike for a full refund?
  • Guarantee.  If a piece or part of the exercise bike breaks, does the company offer any guarantee for replacement?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best exercise bikes available today. We hope these reviews help you find a healthier, leaner you!

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