Exerpeutic Therapeutic Fitness’s slogan is ‘high-quality products at value-orientated prices.’ The Exerpeutic 900XL Recumbent Bike seems to live up to their slogan.
A mid-range recumbent bike, the 900XL is aimed at casual users who want a simple piece of kit to get fit and stay fit. Due to its recumbent style, it is easy on the lower back making it perfect for those with lower back issues and new users.
It is not an innovative, all-singing, all-dancing machine but it will keep you fit and help you shed some weight. If you are looking for a product that is easy on the wallet but tough on your muscles and excess fat, then this a great choice.
Read on for an in-depth look at the Exerpeutic 900XL Recumbent Bike.
- Step-through design for easy use.
- 300lb weight capacity.
- Suitable for users between 5’ 3” and 6’ 7”.
- LCD monitor.
- 8 different levels of magnetic resistance.
- Transport wheels.
- Pulse sensors in the handles.
- Large, comfortable seat.
- Quiet operation.
Construction and Assembly
The frame of the bike is made of steel and has a quality feel. The frame seems to be durable according to buyer’s reviews and it provides a solid, stable base for your workout with little to no wobbling.
The pedals, straps, mechanism housing and feet ends are all plastic, along with a few other pieces. This is to be expected at this price but some users have reported cosmetic damage on some of the plastic parts including the cover from the pedal mechanism.
In some cases, plastic parts were delivered scratched or dented, in others scratches appeared during use. They don’t seem to affect the use of the machine but it isn’t an ideal situation.
The plastic pedals are the area of concern. The threading used to screw the pedals onto the crank are plastic and do seem to be a bit flimsy if you screw them the wrong way.
The pedals are marked so you can tell which is the left and which is the right, and the instructions clearly state which pedal should be screwed which way. If however, you do mix up the pedals, trying to screw them on the wrong way can strip the threading.
This bike uses magnets to increase resistance. You control the resistance using a turn nob on the frame of the bike. Higher levels of resistance increase the level of magnetism on the flywheel which means it becomes harder to turn, thus requiring more effort from you.
There are eight levels of resistance on the Exerputic 900XL offering a good range of intensities. If you are a seasoned pro or looking to really build up your leg muscles, then this bike probably won’t offer you as much resistance as you need according to reviews.
However, if you are using the bike to get or keep fit, the eight different settings will allow you to get into the cardio zone an challenge your stamina and fitness.
The major complaint regarding resistance is the placement of the adjustment knob. It is on the front, upright post below the screen and is quite difficult to reach when you are sat back on the seat, especially if you are shorter in the arms.
This is a little bit frustrating but doesn’t really ruin the user experience as once you’ve set the resistance for your ride you shouldn’t need to adjust it. If you do like to adjust the resistance for different parts of your workout you may find it slightly annoying.
The seat can move forward or back to suit the different height of users. To move the seat you have to unscrew a knob put it in place and then scre the knob back in. Sure it’s not the slickest system like those found in highend gyms, but it does the job.
Suitable for people between 5’ 3” and 6’ 7”, this is not a good choice for shorter users. This model is the XL model and specifically compensates for taller users. If you are on the shorter side you will want to look at the standard model.
The foot straps are adjustable to the extent that you can select from a series of holes on the side during installation. If a few different people are going to use the bike, you may have to keep adjusting the straps depending on everyone’s foot size.
Users with larger feet do note that the straps seem to be quite small and uncomfortable for them. You might want to consider purchasing third party straps or attachments if you have a bigger shoe size.
Display and Heart Rate Monitor
The display is a simple LCD screen which can track your speed, time, distance and calories burnt. It is battery operated and independent of the actual machine so even if the batteries run out you can keep pedaling.
For the price, you can’t ask for much more. The display is clear and uncluttered and the device itself is easy to use and seems to be accurate and reliable.
The heart rate monitor is built into the handles of the bike and displays on the screen when you hold the handles for a minute or two. There seems to be a split between users over whether the heart rate read out is actually accurate.
Some find that the numbers do not match their own personal equipment while other find it does match. We’re not sure where this discrepancy comes from but if you do have a watch or heart rate monitor that you know is accurate, you could check the built-in pulse sensor.
As far as operation goes, this machine is as simple as sit down and start pedling. There are no in built prorams to fuss around with, no wires to attach for read outs. If you are the only person using the bike you won’t need to adjust the seat and footstraps either.
The step-through design makes it easier to get in position compared to standard upright bikes where you have to climb onto the seat. This is perfect for people with mobility issues and makes the bike suitable for a wide range of users.
Another great feature of the bike is its almost silent operation. The construction of the pedal wheel, fly wheel and resistance mechanism makes for a smooth and quiet ride. Even though the bike lacks an audio or visual output, you can place it in front of the television and ride without having to turn the volume up.
The quiet operation also means you have more options in terms of placement around the home. You don’t have to worry about disturbing others as you workout.
The pedal action is fairly smooth, though some users report a slightly jarring motion at the highest level of resistance and it is nowhere near as smooth a ride as the high-end bikes in gyms. However, considering the price the pedaling action is perfectly adequate and, as already mentioned, quiet enough for home use.
Storage and Mobility
The 900XL is, as you’d expect from a product with XL in the name, fairly large. It’s footprint is 54” long and 22” wide. It won’t fill a room but you will notice it, especially because you can’t fold it away.
We understand why it isn’t collapsable, but if you are looking for a small machine you can tuck away in the closet when not in use, you will want to look at some of the Exerputic fold-away models.
You can move the bike fairly easily thanks to two wheels on one side of the base. You’ll need to lift the bike up onto the wheel end and then you can push it into a corner or where you want to keep it.
The wheels are a really nifty feature that make the 900XL more suitable for home use than bikes without these wheels. It is particularly useful for those who don’t have a dedicated gym room.
Warranty and Returns
Exerpeutic 900XL bikes come with a three year limited warranty which sounds great but in practice is less useful.
The wording of the warranty means that the machine is only covered for manufacturing defects. The frame is covered for a year while the rest of the bike including the seat, pedals, interior workings and coverings are only covered for 90 days.
Replacements or refunds will only be issued for any defects that appear in normal use. They won’t cover wear and tear, acidental damage, cosmetic damage or defects they deem to have arisen from improper installation or use.
The advertisement of a three year warranty seems to be somewhat misleading when you actually look at the warranty document. Its frustrating that the manufacturer feels the need to hide behind this confusion when in practice most purchasers are more than happy with the construction, operation and customer service.
This is a decent, mid-range bike. It will help you get fit, improve your stamina and give you a really good workout.
It is not a fancy machine with all the bells and whistles but it doesn’t need to be. It does what it claims to do which is help you get fit.
The real selling point of this bike is the quiet operation and the extra leg room that allow taller users to ride comfortably.
As a low-cost option, you won’t go far wrong with the Exerpeutic 900XL Recumbent Bike.