Sole Fitness R92 Recumbent Bike (2013) Reviews

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If you are going to spend a thousand dollars buying an exercise machine, you may want to make sure your investment doesn’t go awry. Even when you decide to buy from a well-known brand, you still need to know that this particular model performs as it promises. This is how this Sole Fitness R92 reviews come into play. Our review will reveal everything you need to know about this product, both good and bad. You will be able to use the information here for your decision making.

Description

If you have been using exercise machines, you should know the name Sole Fitness. This is a company that has been in cardio-vascular exercise machines for years with a very good reputation for launching quality products. Some of their products are of professional gym quality, but with less cost. Of course, they are more expensive than most of the home equipment products, but there are reasons why this is.

By using a recumbent bike as a tool for your cardiovascular exercise, you have done yourself a favor by saving your lower body and joints from problems. Also, if you are the one who needs a lower impact cardio workout, a recumbent bike is one of the best machines you should consider. You will be able to work out in a semi reclined position, allowing you to have less strain on your hips, knees, back and joints. While the joint impact is low, you can enjoy your exercise as intense as you want.

Sole-R92-back-viewComparatively, this bike will cost you almost a grand. So, you had better be sure that the product really offers you what you need. The first thing you will see is its good design. The unit has ergonomic touches, which make it one of the most stylish models in the market. Its walk-through design allows you to use the unit without the need to climb over a high middle bar. The seat is well padded and contours to your body shape. This makes it a very comfortable seat, even for a long ride. The backrest provides good support to your lower back area, allowing you to have less stress when you are leaning against it. In addition, the seat can be easily adjusted to match your height and feet length. You can adjust it while you are on the seat, like what you do when you are in the seat of a car. This is a very nice feature to have, especially for the household that has several members using the same exercise machine.

The flywheel, crank and pedals are superb. They make the riding of the product smooth and consistent. Its heavy flywheel gives the frictionless motions that you can feel when you start pedaling. I think you will find that to pedal on the unit is very satisfactory.

Another big advantage of the unit is its advanced console. It is made to be oversized so it can be clearly read. The nine-inch LCD display contains a lot of useful information for your workout. You can choose to challenge yourself on the preset programs, such as the hill programs. You can even design your own programs and keep it for your next time use. This is one good looking display with all the easy-to-use features.

The unit comes with several accessories. It has fans, a water bottle holder, an mp3 port, an iPod compatible port and decent speakers to play the music. The transportation wheels allow you to easily move the unit to wherever you want.

Since this is a high priced ticket item, the number of the reviews may not be that many. But it is enough to show us that most customers are happy with their purchase. Let me lead you to where you can find if the product is good for you to invest in.

Drive, Crank and Pedals

The product comes with a perimeter weighted flywheel, which is used in modern recumbent exercise bikes. The flywheel is made to be heavy, 26 lbs, in order to provide efficient output when you are on it. As you might have known, the heavier the flywheel, the better performance you will get from a bike. The weight of the wheel is distributed evenly to the perimeter of it, resulting in a consistent 360 degree weight distribution. As a result, you will get smooth and consistent pedaling instead of getting jerky up and down pedaling. The unit has a one-piece crank that gives you quiet pedaling.Sole-FitnessR92-back

There is one good thing about the pedals of this product. Apart from their oversized feature, which allows them to fit different sizes of feet, the pedals are made to have the one of the smallest Q factors in the exercise bikes. What is a Q factor? It is the value showing the distance between the two pedals on the bike. Normally, a stationery exercise bike has a wider distance between the two pedals than a regular road bike. This is because they have to spare some space for the braking system, pulleys, drive components and plastic covers. Sole’s scientists have come up with the design to make its Q factor low in order to provide the same performance as what you get from a road bike. This may be one of the smallest Q factors in the industry. In addition, its engineers have tooled a new pedal design providing a two degree inward tilt. This alignment gives a biomechanical advantage to this product. You will find that your feet, ankles, knees and hips are lined up properly and you can comfortably work out on it.

Sole Fitness R92 Tension Resistance System

The product uses the Eddy Current Brake (ECB) system to provide the tension or resistance to your workout. The brake system here is not to stop your bike like it is in the road bike, but it works to provide you inertia. The system includes a magnetic yoke, which will send out vertical magnetic fields to the electrical coils inside. When both combine together, it provides accurate and adjustable resistance levels. This is the same system used in high speed trains. There will be no wear or tear parts since there is no contact between the parts when the system works. This means it will last longer than other normal resistance systems. In addition, there is no burnt smell when it works. This is another plus to your workout.

There are 20 levels of resistance you can choose from when you use manual programs. However, when you are working out on a more sophisticated machine like this, you tend to use the preset programs since they are already pre-designed to make a good workout. The direct selection of resistance levels is therefore less important. In order to change the levels, you can just use up or down buttons on the console when you are on the manual mode and asked to give the level you want.

Seat and Backrest

Another good feature of this product is that it provides a very good and adjustable seat. The vinyl cover is made of high quality materials and iswell-polished to make it a high-end look. The foam, which is padded inside, is firm and gives good support. The seat is slightly contoured to fit to your body shape. It is made in a nice triangular design in order to give you a comfort feel when you are pedaling. Your legs will not rub against the seat.

The seat can be adjusted for fitting people of different heights. The adjustment lever is below the seat and it is very easy to adjust. You can do it the same way as you do when you are in a car seat. Just lift up the lever and move. There are 12 positions to choose from when you use this lever. This is very convenient, especially for the house thathas several members at different heights using this machine.

The Display Type and Readouts

sole-r92-sideThe product comes with a full backlit display and the console is large enough to contain all the buttons you need. It can be easily read even in a dark room. The angle of the console can be adjusted according to your needs. This is another plus to it. Let’s talk about the details of all the buttons and the screen on the display.

The top parts of the console are the fan and speakers. Below that you will see data displayed to show you the resistance levels, calories, time, distance, round per minute (RPM), and pulse. All of this information is on the same line.

The second level is the program profile showing the grid dot matrix display. The display represents the profile programs you are working on. Below the grid, you will see the message window. It will alternately show your distance, watts, speed and segmented time.

The third level contains the quick buttons to the 10 programs you can play with, including Manual, Hill, Fat burn, Cardio, Strength, Interval, User 1, User 2, HR 1, and HR 2.

The fourth level has five major buttons, including Enter, Up, Start, Down, and the Stop/Reset buttons. Above these five buttons there are display and Fan buttons on each side.

The lowest part is where the speaker input and head phone output plugs are located.

Preset Programs

This product has five different programs that were pre-designed so you have a few patterns you can play with. You can then achieve different goals from the programs, including:

Hill : This is the program that simulates climbing up and down the hill. The tension will steadily increase until it reaches the peak and then will steadily decrease.

Fat Burn : The program is designed to maximize the burning of fat. Normally, you will have to use your actual heart rate and work out until it reaches 60% to 70% of the rate. However, this program doesn’t use the real pulse but instead simulates a lower, steadier exertion workout.sole-Fitness-R92-front

Cardio : It is used to increase the cardiovascular function and endurance. It’s like other cardio workouts that focus on increase the efficiency of your heart and lungs. It will build up your heart muscle and lung capacity. It can be achieved by putting forth high exertion with fluctuations in your workout.

Strength : This is to increase the muscle strength to your lower body. It will steadily increase the resistance until it comes to plateau and then decrease. The program is used to strengthen your legs and glutes (muscles of the butt). The program is also good for the athlete who wants to train his lower body muscles.

Interval : In order to add more variety, the intervals of high levels of intensity are introduced to this program. It will increase your endurance by letting you workout until you deplete your oxygen and then decrease the intensity in order to allow you to have recovery and replenish the oxygen. It will let you become more efficient when your heart rate increases. This will help the heart rate recover from intense activity.

These five programs may be sufficient for someone who knows how to use them. However, considering the price of the unit, the machine should have more programs. One of its rivals, which is less expensive, has more than 17 preset programs to work with. This depends on how you are going to look at.

User Profile Programs

There are two user profile programs you can make use of with the unit. In order to make it work, you will have to input your personal data, including age and weight. Then, you will be allowed to design your workout pattern by increasing or decreasing the resistance levels over time until the end of twenty time segments. The program will be saved under the name either User 1 or User 2. You can recall the program for your workout any time you want or edit it the way you like.

Heart Rate Control Programs

There are two heart rate control programs that you can choose from. The HR 1 is set at 60% of your maximum heart rate and HR 2 is set at 80% of your maximum heart rate. Both are programmed exactly the same.

In order to start working out on heart rate control programs, you just select the HR 1 or HR 2 program and press Enter. Then you will need to give input on age, weight and time. After that, the machine will lead you through the heart rate control program as you have selected.

Fitness Test Programs

There is no fitness test program in this machine. This may be one of its drawbacks for someone who likes this type of programs.

QuickStart Program

sole-r92-lcd-screenYou can quickly start the program this by just pressing the start button. This is the quickest way to start your exercise. After the console is powered on, press the Start button. You will be led to the Quick Start mode. The time will start counting from zero. You can then adjust the resistance levels anytime you want by pressing the up or down buttons.

Quick Buttons for Resistance Level

There is 12 quick buttons for choosing the resistance level in this unit. What you need to do is just select the button indicated the number of the level you want to choose. This is convenient and easy.

Maintenance Menu

This is what makes this unit different from the rest of the recumbent bikes. You can use the software that is implanted onto the console to change the console setting. What you need to do is to press and hold down the Start, Stop, and Enter button simultaneously. Keep holding them for five seconds. It will lead you to Engineering mode. Press Enter to access the menu. Use the up and down buttons to navigate it. What you can set includes:

sole-r92-liftingA Key Test: Lets you test all buttons to make sure that they work.

B Display Test: It tests all display functions.

C Display Test: This sets different functions on the unit, including:

Sleep Mode: Turn the console off automatically after 30 minutes.

Pause Mode: Turn on to allow five minutes pause.

ODO Reset: Reset the odometer.

Units: Choose either English (Miles) or Metric (Kilometers)

Beep: Turn the beep sound on or off when pressing the button.

Motor Test: Is used to run the tensioning gear motor.

You can exit the mode using the Exit function.

D Security: This is used to lock the buttons from unauthorized usage. To unlock, press Enter for three seconds.

Heart Rate Monitoring System (CHR and Heart Rate Transmitter)

There are two ways you can read your pulse or heart rate from the console. The first one is to use the contact heart rate monitoring sensors located on the handlebars. By getting a good grip on the sensors, you can read the pulse shown on the console. The computer will read it from the signals sent from the sensors.sole-r92-flywheel

The second way, which is more accurate, is to use the heart rate transmitter, which comes with the purchase. It is an elastic chest strap you can wear around your chest when you are working out. It will transmit the signals to the console for reading. The transmitter will automatically activate when it finds the activity of the human heart. It is recommended that you dry up the transmitter after you finish using it. The heart rate can be read erratically if your unit is too close to functioning microwave ovens, TVs, small appliances, etc.

Sleep Mode

The machine will automatically turn off if it is left idle for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can turn the machine off by hand and unplug the unit in order to save energy.

Maximum Weight and Height

The recommended maximum weight for this product is 300 lbs, which is considered high. There is no limitation on the height, though the seat can be adjusted to have a suitable position even for a taller person.

Noise Level

Obviously, the unit gives you a quiet workout without disturbing other people in the room or bothering your TV watching.

Accessories

The product has several accessories you can enjoy using, including:

  • Two cup holders on the sides of the seat.
  • Speakers that can be connected to mp3 players or an iPod.
  • A head phone plug is available if you want to listen to the music via the machine.
  • Fan is built-in on the console and can be adjusted by the button on the display.
  • Transportation wheels on the front bar allow you to move the unit easily.

Electricity

The Sole Fitness R92 Recumbent Bike requires electricity to operate. The product can directly connect to 115 volt AC plug outlet. When the power is connected, the console of the bike will automatically power up.

Warranty

There is a lifetime warranty for the frame. As for the parts and electronics, the warranty is three years. Finally, the machine’s warranty for labor is one year.

Sole Fitness R92 Recumbent Bike Dimensions

The assembled unit is measured 30 x 50 x 57 inches (W x H x D), and the unit assembled weight is 152 pounds. Although moving the machine across the floor is easy, moving it to a different floor is another story due to its heavy weight. It is therefore recommended that you decide which floor on which you are going to place the unit right before you start assemble it.

Please make sure you have spare 24 inches of clearance space on each side of the machine. This will allow you to have space to move while you are working out without the worry that your body will hit one of the objects surround the unit.

Assembly of the unit

Although the product comes un-assembled, the majority of the tasks have been done from the manufacturer. There are just a few parts you need to assemble to its core part. The assembly is not difficult and the manual is clear enough. Sole also provides all necessary tools for you to use. It may take you one or two hours to finish the assembly process. Since this is a heavy machine, it is recommended that you use two people to help assemble it.

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Pros

Check1OrangeIt comes with ten challenging programs that you can play with (5 presets, 1 manual, 2 user profiles, and 2HR)

 

Check1OrangeThe flywheel is made to be heavy providing smooth stroke.

 

Check1OrangeThe low Q factor allows you to have better pedaling in a better position.

 

Check1OrangeThe seat is well-shaped and well-padded, providing great comfort.

 

Check1OrangeThe seat can be easily adjusted for your convenience.

 

Check1OrangeThe design is stylish and the frame is solidly built. This machine can last for years.

 

Check1OrangeThere are both contact heart rate sensors and chest strap heart rate monitors for your use.

 

Check1OrangeThe console is large for better vision. The LCD screen is backlit, making it easy to read.

 

Check1Orange20 resistance levels are available for your use.

 

Check1OrangeThere are many accessories, including a bottle holder, fan, speakers, mp3 connector, etc.

 

Check1OrangeSole Fitness brand name makes it an interesting item.

 

Cons

xredThe 10 programs may be a little less when it is compared with other machines at the same price level.

xredSince the unit is heavy, moving it to different floor may be difficult.

Price

[contextazon id=’23’]The product price tag is set at around $999-1,999 depending on what time of the year you are going to buy and if you are buying on promotion. You can check the current price at Amazon by clicking on the link below.

Reviews and Rating

When it comes to a higher priced product, the number of reviews may not be that many. In addition, the model is rather new in the market. We can only count the reviews and get ten of them from the consumers and 80% give the product four and five stars. This means 8 out of ten people like what they get from the product. The rest have the complaints on defect pats on arrival.

Summary

Sole Fitness R92 Recumbent Bike can be considered an upscale model that gives you both style and performance. It is made of good materials, has a good design with added accessories and has a few preset programs for you to play with. One of its best features is that it has the lowest Q factor, allowing you to work out in a similar position as when you do on a road bike. The price may be a little high for some, but this may be a good investment if you plan to use the machine for a long while.

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