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      December 9, 2019

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Precor vs NordicTrack

Best Exercise Bikes

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

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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

2.5 stars
Precor

PRECOR

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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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2.5 stars
Nordictrack

NORDICTRACK

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Cost:

From $399 to $799

NordicTrack was founded as PSI NordicTrack, Inc. in 1975 by Edward Pauls who had studied mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and was a designer of ski boots and bindings for the Minnesota based Rosemount, Inc. NordicTrack is best known for its cross-country ski simulator which ruled the home fitness equipment market in the late 80's. Since that time the company has manufactured several different pieces of fitness equipment including treadmills, strength trainers, exercise bikes, elliptical machines, and more.

NordicTrack exercise bikes have their pros and cons. Most customers have reported a smooth ride and a decent yet wobbly display. The workout and games on some of the consoles are a nice to have feature. Most notably, the machines are extremely quiet when working well. That's nice for someone that wants to watch TV or workout without bothering others.

Unfortunately we found several accounts of construction issues, a developed vibration, and serious belt issues. Problems often started immediately and were very frustrating to deal with. Many customers also find the seat very uncomfortable.

Equipment overview:

  • Type of Exercise Bikes: Recumbent and Upright
  • Price Range: $399 - $799
  • Different Models: 8
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Weight Capacity: 250 - 350 lbs
  • Return Policy: No
  • Guarantee: 5-7 years on the frame, 90 days-1 year parts and labor
  • Shipping: Free

Some of the bells and whistles of the NordicTrack exercise bikes make them attractive, especially given the cost of the equipment. However, numerous customer complaints regarding manufacturing defects and wear issues brought us concerns. If you have a desire to try a NordicTrack exercise bike, purchasing an extended warranty is a must.

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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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