One great alternative to the standard recumbent bike is a model that can be used in your own chair or sofa. This is how these mini-bikes come into play. There are so many mini-bikes in the market and they come with many different names. Like this product from Stamina called the Stamina 15-0125 InStride folding cycle. We are going to look at the details of the product to see if it is worth buying or even looking at.
Stamina’s products have been in the market since its inception in 1987. The products have been well accepted as entry-level units including the recumbent bikes and folding cycle. This InStride model is also another entry-level mini-bike which is designed for competing with price strategy. Its price is so low that some people might wonder if it will work. Although the company tries to equip the unit with all the features that all other mini cycles have, there are several features that may not work properly and as consumers, you may want to know about those issues.
The product comes semi-assembled with small size. Its dimensions measure 19 inches x 15.25 inches x 12.25 inches in width, height, and depth respectively. The unit can be folded and stored in the closet or anywhere else since its size is so small. You can also take it to the office or travelling without any concern. It can be used for both feet and hands. With this feature, you can use it to exercise either your lower body or upper body. Therefore, it can be used to strengthen both your upper and lower body. And the same time it can be good aerobic exercise which is beneficial for your cardiovascular health.
The small display in the Stamina InStride Cycle can give you the time of your workout. The unit will need a 3v CR2032 mercury battery which is included with your purchase. You will need to replace the battery when you see the incorrect reading onthe monitor. The timer is small but still visible when you are on the chair.
The tension adjustment knob is on the top of the unit. By turning the knob clockwise, you will increase the tension. Going the other way, you will decrease the tension. The resistance depends on how tightly you turn this knob. There is no exact level mark. You will need to guess the level you want by your feeling.
Since the unit doesn’t have a flywheel, you will get the affect from the pedaling totally from the movement of the pedals. There is no other mechanics involved apart from the resistance system. Although this is an easy system to work with, the quality of the ride may not be that efficient. It is also not a very quiet machine due to its low-tech system.
Here are the good points of the product which we think can benefit users:
- The unit is compact and can be easily moved around.
- It has simple mechanism. So, it is easy to fix.
- The assembly is pretty easy and the instruction are clear.
- The main frame is metal which makes it a heavy duty machine.
- The plastic pedals have adjustable Velcro straps preventing slippage.
- It has sturdy and nonslip rubber feet for more stability.
- It can be used for both upper and lower body exercise.
- It can be folded and kept anywhere you want.
- The timer shows the time and comes with a battery. It can be reset, paused or stopped by pressing the same button. The timer turns off if there is no input within four minutes.
- The price is very affordable. It may be one of the cheapest mini-bikes.
Here are the shortfalls of the unit:
- The unit looks cheap and not durable.
- Plastic parts like pedals or knobs can be worn out over time.
- There is no console. It has only timer. No data on speed, distance, or calories which can be used to track your progress.
- When the resistance is set at high, pedaling can make the unit hot over time.
- Like most of the mini-bike, the unit may not fix to the floor and can slip away. You may have to place heavy object in front of the unit to fix its position.
- The pedaling motion may not be as smooth as a real recumbent bike. You may have jerking feeling when you are using it.
Due to its low price point, you may think that this Stamina 15-0125 InStride Folding Cycle is a good choice and it is. However, there is some concern on the durability of the product. The unit may not last very long and the efficiency of it may not be that impressive.
If your budget allows, we would suggest that you look for some bike which has a flywheel. Something like MagneTrainer-ER may be a better choice due to its better technology and expertise in the field. But if you have limited budget, this one is still OK. It still is better than not exercising at all.