One of the more popular pieces of cardiovascular equipment, exercise cycles come in a variety of innovative styles. From recumbent to traditional upright to the popular versions favored in group cycling classes, exercise bikes help members achieve both aerobic conditioning and lower-body toning. Plus, the bikes are easy-to-use and easy-to-understand, making them an ideal option for everyone — from newer exercisers to elite athletes.
Bikes also make great cross-training equipment for runners, swimmers and other athletes, adding both variety and fun to the workout. With minimal space requirements, exercise cycles can be installed in any existing cardio room with little hassle involved.
The following companies offer top-of-the-line bikes.
Cybex International offers a 700C cycle and 700R recumbent cycle. Each features real-world “aerodynamic” loads that recreate the feel of a 21-speed bicycle. Extensive program ranges are ideal for members of all fitness levels, states the company. Both models have a built-in magazine rack, water bottle holder and adjustable seats that accommodate users from 4 feet 10 inches to 6 feet 5 inches.
Cybex International Inc., 10 Trotter Drive, Medway, MA 02053; (508) 533-4300; fax: (508) 533-5500; www.ecybex.com
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The latest lines of upright and recumbent Lifecycle exercise bikes are designed with a variety of user-friendly features, including a smooth, quiet, belt-drive system; ergonomically correct seats; and 20 levels of resistance. Self-powered, the bikes also include a patented “Managers and Services” menu.
Life Fitness, 10601 W. Belmont Ave., Franklin Park, IL 60131; (800) 634-8637; (847) 288-3300; fax: (847) 288-3703; www.lifefitness.com
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The RB210CH semi-recumbent bike features Magnum's Innovative Drive System (IDS), which uses only two grooved pulleys and one self-adjusting belt, reportedly resulting in smooth and quiet resistance. The ergonomic design is said to deliver perfect biomechanics and comfortable upper-body support. A unique self-contained generator/eddy current brake requires no external power. And the three-color LED control panel displays resistance, distance, speed in rpm, time elapsed and program profile. Scrolled workout data include calories burned, time remaining, speed in mph and heart rate. Both contact and telemetric heart rate controls are included. Workouts can be varied endlessly with 10 programs and 40 resistance levels.
Magnum Fitness Systems, 2201 12th Ave., South Milwaukee, WI 53172; (800) 372-0554; fax: (414) 768-7047; email@example.com; www.magnumfitness.com
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The Body Cycle features a rust-resistant frame, backed by a 10-year warranty. The Avenger offers a precision-machined flywheel and Kevlar belt, a patented braking/tension system that is micro-adjustable. The Defender features a free-wheeling pedaling system allowing users to coast. All Body Cycles feature a four-way seat and handlebar adjustment to fit users of varying heights (4 feet to 7 feet) and keep them in the proper ergonomic position.
Millenium Fitness International, 164 St. Louis, St. Eustache, Quebec, Canada J7R 1Y3; (800) 479-1790; (888) 258-2496; www.bodycycle.com
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The comfortable and smooth, award-winning C846 upright and recumbent cycles feature the QuickStart button, 20 resistance settings and six preprogrammed courses. These self-powered cycles feature the Precor touch heart rate system with Polar technology, user-friendly programmability, and exceptional reliability, according to the company.
Precor, 20031 142nd Ave. N.E., P.O. Box 7202, Woodinville, WA 98072-4002; (425) 486-9292; fax: (425) 486-3856; www.precor.com
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The Qruzer from Q-Sport features a tubular steel frame finished with durable chip-resistant polymer powder coating. All non-painted parts are stainless steel, chrome-plated or E.D.-coated, to resist rust. Virtually maintenance-free, the cycle's bottom bracket utilizes tapered roller bearings that are cylindrical, reportedly giving them a significantly larger contact surface over which to spread the load. This translates to less friction and better wear. The contoured organic brake pad provides a smoother, more consistent application of resistance to simulate a superior road feel, and the precision-balanced flywheel allows for a steady ride and smooth transition from high to low pedal speeds.
Q-Sport LLC, 4430 Hollister Ave., Santa Barbara, CA 93110; (888) 9-SPORT-1; fax: (805) 696-6591; www.iqsport.com
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Reebok introduces two new indoor cycles that are reportedly reasonably priced, durable and technologically advanced: the Reebok Studio Cycle 2000-Belt Drive and Reebok Studio Cycle 2000-C-Chain Drive. Key features include adjustable seat/handlebar height/length, name-brand bottom brackets, dual pedals and a sleek frame that resists rust and corrosion. Both are available immediately.
Reebok, 3110 Pennsylvania Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90404; (800) 627-2210; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.clubreebok.com
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SciFit's new 7000 Series product line includes the ISO7000 upright bike and the ISO7000R recumbent bike. Both bikes are self-generated with a battery backup. They feature contact heart rate and isokinetic resistance, as well as Polar compatibility. Bidirectional resistance is a standard feature on both bikes, while the ISO7000R recumbent bike has a unique, step-through design for easy user entry.
SciFit, 5616A S. 122nd E. Ave., Tulsa, OK 74143; (800) 278-3933; fax: (918) 254-4189; email@example.com; www.scifit.com
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SportsArt's 5100/5200 cycles are the latest addition to its club cardio line. The recumbent (5100) offers a patented, multi-position seat back and unique infrared remote. The upright (5200) features a patented fore-and-aft seat adjustment. Both feature self-generating power and extensive electronics, including contact HR and HRC.
SportsArt America, 15500 Woodinville-Redmond Road, Building C, Suite 100, Woodinville, WA 98072; (800) 709-1400; (425) 481-9479; fax: (425) 488-8155; www.sportsartfitness.com
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With a perfectly balanced flywheel, chain drive system and proper ergonomic design, the Star Trac V-bike is reportedly engineered to produce appropriate inertia levels that provide a “true cycling” feel at high rpms. All exposed metal is corrosion-free stainless steel, and non-rusting shrouds cover the brake and chain drive system to deflect sweat.
Star Trac, 14410 Myford Road, Irvine, CA 92606; (800) 228-6635; (714) 669-1660; fax: (714) 508-3303; www.startrac.com
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The R2600HRT semi-recumbent fitness cycle and the E3600HRT upright fitness cycle both come with dual heart rate training, which is simple to use, self-generating, durable and reliable. The R2600HRT's exclusive Comfort-Arc seat features a lumbar adjustment knob. Vision Fitness offers a corporate warranty (up to five hours of use per day) for two years.
Vision Fitness, P.O. Box 280, Lake Mills, WI 53551; (920) 648-4090; (800) 335-4348; fax: (920) 648-3373; www.visionfitness.com
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