The Bodycraft SPR Indoor Group Cycle is a bike that is built for the gym but that doesn’t mean it can’t be used in the home for those wanting to do their training and workouts at home.
It has a heavy flywheel at the back of bike rather than at the front like traditional spin bikes, it uses magnetic resistance and belt drive which provide a low noise and low maintenance workouts.
It also comes with a console as standard which is something I like as I always like to be able to check how I am getting on and it is integrated with the resistance to let you know whar level of resistance you’ve set it to.
In our review we look at these features as well how well it is built to see if it is suitable for the different requirements for use in the home for providing low impact cardio workouts and training.
The bike is made from heavy duty steel and covered in multi phase paint. The steel frame is solid that doesn’t shake or move when you are pedaling hard in the saddle or out of it. It gives you the confidence to workout as hard as you want at the intensity and toughness you want.
The coatings of paint protect the bike from the corrosive effects of sweat so that it looks good and performs well for an extended period.
The 38 lbs flywheel is perimeter weighted that provides the momentum on the bike to pull the pedals through a 360 degree cycle reducing any impact further. It prevents choppiness or an up and down pedal stroke that happens with light flywheels. Pedaling is natural and feels more like riding an outdoor bike.
The flywheel is at the back of the bike that takes it out of the way of the sweat zones helping to protect it.
The drive is protected by a guard which stops sweat and dirt getting into it and damaging it. The guard also protects legs, clothes and fingers getting caught up in it.
The bike is made to be used on flat floors. However, there are leveling feet under the stabilizer bars that can be used to balance the bike up to prevent any rocking due to unevenness in the floor.
The handlebars and seat can be adjusted to just where you want horizontally or vertically. You simply loosen the adjustment levers and slide the poles into place and tighten them up again. There are no pre-set holes to worry about so that you end up with them in the right place for you rather than having to find the hole closest to where you want it.
The seat can be adjusted to be between 28 inches and 37 inches from the pedals.
This level of adjustment makes it easy to get the bike set up for your height and others to get maximum benefit from a workout. The process is quick so it can be easily set up for multiple different users for it be possible by more than one person.
It does only take a few seconds so it doesn’t really get in the way of working out even if you have to re-adjust it back to your setting because someone has moved them since your last workout.
As well as getting the bike to fit properly it also makes it easy to get it set up as close as possible to how you ride your road bike.
You do need to ensure the lock lever is fully tightened on the seat or it may slip and you could fall off hurting yourself.
There is a scale on the vertical and horizontal adjustment poles that can be used as a guide to get back to your settings. You can use felt tip pens on the pole to make it easier if you prefer.
Although the horizontal/vertical positioning of the handlebars can be adjusted the angle of the handlebars can’t be changed.
Bodycraft SPR Indoor Group Cycle Resistance
The bike has magnets on both sides of the flywheel to provide resistance for hill type workouts. The magnets are moved closer to flywheel to provide more resistance and further away to reduce it using a shift lever at the top of the handlebars. It uses the eddy current resistance where magnets on either side of the flywheel “push against” it to try to stop it turning.
Magnetic resistance is quiet and low maintenance as there is nothing touching – the magnets move closer but never touch the flywheel.
The resistance lever works with the console to give you the level of resistance you’ve set the bike at. There are a total 16 levels that go from easy to very hard. This is shown at the top of the console. The resistance is on a continuous scale so it changes smoothly and doesn’t go up in jumps.
Having the levels marked in this way is unusual, with the Keiser M3 Plus being one of the few that have this. It makes it so much easier to see how hard you’ve set it objectively and means you can get return to previous setting without having to rely on guesswork.
From time to time you may need to recalibrate the resistance level meter to resistance lever when it won’t go to level 1 or level 16. The instruction to do this are included in the owner’s manual. They are straightforward and should only take less than a minute to complete.
The bike has a belt drive which provides a smooth and quiet riding experience. It will feel different to that of a road bike but it still provides a good basis for spinning and training due to their not being the small difference you get in pull with a chain.
There is no maintenance required on the bike required on an ongoing basis. It is reinforced with kevlar that makes it harder wearing so as to prolong it’s life. In a few years or more the bike will eventually loosen and start to slip. It will then need replacing and this needs someone with specialist skills and tools – but in the meantime you should have years of trouble free workouts.
The bike has a fixed gear. This means that while the flywheel is moving so are the pedals, you can’t freewheel.
You do need to stop the pedal to safely dismount the bike. To stop the pedals you can push lightly back with your feet or move the resistant lever away from you to use the resistance as a brake.
The bike pedals come with toe straps for athletic shoes. You slip your shoes in to the basket and tighten up the straps to hold them in place. You get a good secure grip on the pedal for pulling and pushing through the stroke and won’t be concerned with your foot slipping out while you are standing on them.
They don’t take specialist shoes but the company does have clip-in pedals that can be bought in addition for $99. It does fit pedals with 9/16″ thread so you can use your own pedals if you want.
The cranks are made from cold forged steel and 175 mm arms providing a good solid base for the pedals holding them steady while you pedal standing up or sitting down.
The Q-Factor is 175 mm which is the horizontal distance between the inside of the pedals. Generally the closer the pedals are to each other the more in line your feet, knees and hips are. This results in less stress on the legs as a whole to give a more efficient pedal stroke and lowers the chance of injury.
If you do ride an outside bike you may notice this is wider than you are used to as road bikes tend to have a narrower Q Factor. The best Q factor in this price ranges is Spinner NXT with 158 mm but it doesn’t have a console, has friction resistance and a chain drive.
Noise. This is a very quiet bike with a belt drive and magnetic resistance making hardly any noise at all. It makes this bike ideal if you have others in your house you don’t want to disturb or watch TV while you workout. If you have young children, if you get chance, you could get a workout in while they nap. It does make it ideal for an apartment (as long as you have room) or want to workout while others are asleep. Probably the loudest noise while you workout is going to be your breathing.
Dust and Dirt. There is little dirt or dust from the bike. There may be some lubricant and a little dust. It is likely sweat is going to be the biggest issue with it dropping on the bike and the floor. It is recommended you wipe down the bike regularly to prevent sweat from causing damage to the bike. To prevent damage to your floor you may want to consider a rubber mat.
Seat. The saddle is a high performance racing saddle to provide the support in the right places. However, no matter what the seat is you may find it not to your liking. You can try a gel seat cover or padded bike shorts or you can replace it with your own saddle that you find more comfortable.
Handlebars. These handlebars have been coated to help with grip when your hands get sweaty to prevent slipping and blisters. You can use the standard grips for spinning as well as lean on them in the aero position. The one thing that sets the bike apart from just about all other spin bikes or indoor cycles is the drop bars for aggressive racing positions.
At the front of the bike on the stabilizer bars are 2 small transport wheels. When you want to move the bike to/from storage or anywhere else you tip the bike forward on to them and navigate the bike to where you want to go. The wheels take most of the weight making it easier to move but you still need to be careful and company recommends that it is done by 2 people.
The wheels move easily and there should be no problem moving the bike except on soft surfaces and deep pile carpet. On wooden floors the wheels might scratch or dent it, so it is worth checking this out before moving if you’ve got them.
The bike requires 22 by 52 inches of floor space when not in use. It is a good size bike but longer than the SPT-Mag which needs 46 inched by 24 inches, but that bike doesn’t come with a console or have marked resistance levels. You can see other spin bike measurements on our comparison page if you want a bike that fits in a particular.
As with most spin bikes it comes partly assembled with the flywheel, drive and frame already put together.
You are required to fit the stabilizer bars, adjustment poles, seat, handlebars, pedals, bottle cage and console. There is a basic tool kit included but they recommend some additional tools. You can do it with the tools that come with the bike but it is easier to do with better tools :- an adjustable wrench, 4 mm Allen wrench, 5/8 open wrench or pedal wrench and a #2 Phillips screw driver.
In addition to those tools they recommend a 5 mm and 8 mm Allen Wrench plus adjustable wrench.
The actual process of assembly is straightforward with good clear instructions and can be done within an hour.
The most difficult part of the assembly is likely to be moving it while it is in the packaging as it weight 138 lbs and putting on the stabilizer bars as you may need someone to hold it steady.
The console is basic. You can use it to monitor resistance level, watts, calories, speed (mph/kph), distance (m/km), RPM, time and heart rate (if you have Polar compatible 5 kHz heart rate strap).
It is located at the end of the central handlebar loop for ease of use and clearly visible. The screen can be easily seen and it automatically backlights when it senses the light is poor.
At the top of the screen is resistance level which is shown in numbers and graphically. Next is time in hours, minutes and seconds. Next is speed and distance which you can toggle in between using the arrow buttons below. Below that is RPM/Watts then Calories/Pulse which you toggle between also using the arrow buttons.
The console counts up from zero by default but you can set targets for time and distance. It counts down from the target.
It does have a power down function when the bike hasn’t been used for a minute. You can press any key to restart your workout which is great if you have to get off for any reason. It helps to conserve battery charge.
When you need to change the batteries the console displays a low battery icon. Strangely you don’t put them in the console itself but at the bottom of the bike near the front stabilizer bar. You access the compartment using a 5 mm Allen Wrench (included). The instructions are clear on how to do this.
It takes 2 C or LR14 batteries which are readily available online.
The dimensions and weight of the bike are
Height 47 inches
Width 22 inches
Length 52 inches
Bike Weight 127 lbs
Flywheel Weight: 38 lbs
Max User Weight 300 lbs
As with most spin bikes and indoor cycles this bike takes the minimal approach. It provides you with a water bottle holder that sits at the end of the handlebars just beyond the console.
This location takes it out of the way of the sweat but you may find it a little difficult to get the bottle into the holder when seated as you need to slide it into the holder.
It doesn’t have any support materials for beginners on how to set the bike up correctly or how to use to get the most out of it, in the way of suggested workouts. It is designed for people who take or want to take their training seriously in mind which explains the lack of support materials as they’ve assumed only experienced users will buy it for their home or gym.
The good news for beginners is there is a lot of good information online that can help in how to set up spin bike/indoor cycles and workout videos.
- Easy to make adjustment to cater for a range of different heights. It is quick so bike can be used different family members
- Bike can be used by people of different abilities
- Has magnetic resistance and belt drive which are quiet and low maintenance
- A lifetime warranty on the frame for home use
- Comes with a console for workout performance tracking and feed back
- Has resistance levels displayed on the console
- Accommodates wide range of different leg lengths
- Provides a good stable base for low impact cardio workouts
- Flywheel is weighted to pull pedals through for good pedal stroke form
- Doesn’t have pre-set workouts
- There is nowhere to put your MP3 player or tablet
- Do need to ensure seat and handlebars are fully locked in place to prevent it from slipping
- Nothing to help beginners to get started
- Heart rate strap for the console is not included
- You can’t keep track of workouts/training sessions so these need to be manually recorded
Bodycraft SPR Indoor Group Cycle Consumer Ratings
Currently there are not many customer reviews for the bike. There are customer reviews for other fitness equipment and bikes by Bodycraft.
The one review that is there is about the shape of the bike rather than the bike itself and could apply to other models as well.
As with anything like this, many people prefer this type of the bike as similar bikes are very popular in commercial gyms and homes across the country. (Some don’t as evidenced by the person who left this comment).
Customers are very positive about the equipment and the company. This bike seems to be have made to the same high standards so I don’t anticipate any issues and you do have their reputation for customer service to rely on as well.
Bodycraft SPR Indoor Group Cycle Price
The bike’s price reflects the magnetic resistance, belt drive, perimeter weighted flywheel, console and durable construction. When I checked it was $300 less than the Keiser M3 Plus a comparable bike that has dual pedals for SPD on one side and athletic shoes on the other side and a light flywheel. You can add Bodycraft SPD pedals to SPR
for just $99.
The best deal was at Amazon with free shipping when I searched.
The Bodycraft SPR Indoor Group Cycle is a bike for those serious about their workouts and training. It has a good heavy flywheel, it is well constructed for standing up to tough and long workouts.
With the console you can see how your are performing within your training session but can’t upload it or save it to a computer for tracking results.
It is fully adjustable for different heights and toughness to make it suitable for people of different heights and abilities. It can be used by beginners, intermediate users and/or those who want moderate exercise.
This all makes it a good bike for use in the home. It is strong and robust. It looks good and can be used by all the family with it catering for all abilities and sizes.
Filed under: Spin Bikes
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