A whisper-quiet exercise!
I fell prey to American advertising, the first world problem of listening to American radio and podcasts where you hear adverts pushing products which you can only buy in the States. D’oh!
This time I was sucked into the concept of owning a Peloton exercise bike – imagine that! Exercising at home, while being a part of a virtual class and virtual community! So I convinced myself that the Peloton bike was what we needed in our apartment, but the next day I found out that you can only get one of these babies if you’re in North America…….And not to mention the $2.2K US and the monthly fee was a bit of a deal breaker as well.
So I started to search around to see what other spin bikes were out there – and after a bit of research I decided I wanted a magnetic spin bike, and I didn’t need a bike with all the bells and whistles, but a bike around the AUD $700 mark was about as much as I’d like to spend.
What I found was the Lifespan Fitness SM-100 Magnetic spin bike.
What drew me to it was the fact that it was a magnetic bike, and that the fly-wheel was not as heavy as others. As I was surprised that in cases the fly wheel was as heavy as 19kg, which seemed a bit too heavy-duty for our needs – so the lighter fly wheel at 13kg sounded just about right. Not to mention, Lifespan Fitness’ online store was offering us the bike for the purchase price of $399 (RRP $799) – who could pass on a bargain like that!?
So we ordered it, and here is my review of the purchasing experience and how I’ve found the bike thus far after Week 1.
The first thing to note when purchasing the bike online, is that you’ll attract a pretty hefty delivery charge – the cheapest option was standard shipping at $52, and if you want the premium experience (i.e. designated delivery day within a two-hour window, assistance to set-up and remove all packaging, and the willingness to deliver the bike to a second level), then you’ll have to be prepared to pay $160 for the privilege. Ouch! Definitely more than I’d like to spend on delivery alone.
So finding out that in the standard delivery you weren’t able to specify the day you wanted to receive the bike, I changed our shipping address to my parents’ place, as they’re at home more often than the common 9-5 worker who just can’t sit around at home for a week waiting for a delivery.
So the bike arrived in less than 3 business days, but then it took us another week to organise a time to move the disassembled bike from my parents’ place to our apartment. And be warned! Even with the bike being disassembled, it’s still quite heavy and irregular shaped to transport.
The entire bike assembled weighs 37kg, and the main part disassembled has to weigh at least 25kg, so it’s not the lightest thing to pick up and move. The assembly from all accounts (by my dad) wasn’t difficult, but it did require some logic and careful study of the instruction booklet. All the tools to assemble the bike came with the bike – there are 2 tools, which play the role of a Phillips head screwdriver, a spanner for 3 different sized nuts, and an Allen key. So that is very helpful as like most Gen Ys, I don’t have a toolbox.
The bike assembled remarkably takes up very little space, and it’s not too much of an eye-sore, meaning that with its black and shiny chrome appearance, it fits in quite nicely with most modern apartment décor.
So what makes a spin bike different to an exercise bike? Is that a spin bike does not require plug in electricity and the resistance comes from the effort to turn a heavy metal fly wheel rather than any high tech electronics (and the reason why the spin bike is so heavy). And from all accounts a spin bike resembles more of the natural feel of riding a real bike, compared to riding an exercise bike.
And the reasoning behind going magnetic, rather than the typical spin bike which uses a compressed woollen clamp to add resistance to your exercise? It was purely because I wanted a whisper-quiet exercise – when we were kids we had an exercise bike (the ones with a replica bicycle wheel out front), and to increase the difficulty level you twist a nob which clamped the woollen tips onto the wheel, which added resistance, but it made this cringing brushing noise, which thinking about it now gives me the heebie jeebies. *Shudders*.
So what do I think after a week?
Its whisper-quiet! Literally it is soundless even though you’re slaving away on it, and the cycle motion is utterly smooth! Initially I thought it might require some effort to get the 13kg fly wheel turning, so perhaps we were getting something too advanced for our needs, which might deter us from using it – but it’s not that bad, not bad at all. And because it’s so easy now to fit in your exercise fix, as we have it right in front of the TV, I find myself jumping on whenever I feel like it- so I’ve been cycling twice a day at a minimum (all the while enjoying something on Netflix or an audio book). So it really doesn’t feel like much effort at all!
The bike also enables 3 levels of adjustment, you can move the seat further forward or back, and you can raise and lower the seat so you can find a position which is right for your height. And you can also adjust the handlebars up and down, so you’re in your preferred riding position at all times.
It comes with a LCD computer screen which displays the time you’ve been peddling away, the speed in which you’re propelling yourself along your virtual road, the distance that you’ve travelled, the calories you’ve burnt, the number of beats per minute your poor heart is pumping away at, and like a motor vehicle, it also displays the total distance your bike has travelled during its existence! And to power this computer, is 2 AAA batteries, the device turning on as soon as the wheel is turned over.
The handlebars is also a highlight of the bike, as it’s configuration allows for 5 different hand holds, depending if you like to ride more upright, or if you like to lean further forward and ride like a ‘pro’. For me, I basically use the different hand holds to enable me to change positions while I’m riding, to ease out the cramps in my lower back and ease out the ache in my back-side. Haaha.
The pedals are pretty cool as well, which enables you to clip in riding shoes if you’re usually a road warrior, but using the spin bike on a particularly bad weather day. So some features which I can aspire to use one day.
And this last aspect is only minor, but for this day and age pretty important – on the bottom edge of the LCD screen, is a little ledge where you can place your smart phone! So while you exercise, you can plop your phone there and be watching videos or replying back on your socials as you exercise! Pretty cool hey?
The only negatives of the bike is the saddle, but I’ve been told that riding any bike you’re bound to get a sore butt. So I’m still trying to work through that ass-pect…most times I stop riding not due to being tired, but because my butt hurts too much to continue on. Haaha. I’m considering getting some padded riding shorts, but currently I’m staying away from online shopping, just in case if whatever I buy originates from China- so they have my money and then it’ll never be shipped due to the travel restrictions flying in and out of China ATM.
But all in all, I’m enjoying the bike, only after a week I feel that my legs have firmed up a little, my core is also stronger, and hopefully after a month or two I’ll lose some of the Christmas belly fat which I’ve accumulated from the festive season.
If you’d like to read more or to purchase the Lifespan Fitness SM-100 Magnetic Bike, click HERE!