Bodycraft SPT-MAG Indoor Club Group CycleThe Bodycraft SPT-Mag Indoor Club Group Cycle is built to commercial use standards which would also seem to make it ideal for home use situations where people want a spin bike for serious workouts and training.

It looks good, has a heavy construction and flywheel. It has a belt drive and magnetic resistance that can provide a low maintenance and quiet ride. It is designed to be used in a gym setting but should also be good for home use too.

The handlebars are a little different to most spin bikes in that they provide more hand positions for indoor cycle training.

The bike certainly seems to have everything needed to be a spin bike for the home or gym

that you can get the workouts to the intensity you want from moderate to very.

In our full review we look at all aspects of the bike to make sure it is a bike that lives up to its promise for the home as well as the club.

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Sturdiness

The bike’s frame is made from heavy duty steel to prevent the bike from flexing or shaking as you pedal hard in the seat or out. It holds steady standing up and when you are jumping in and out the saddle.

The bike has been painted been multiple times to give a covering that helps prevent damage and rusting from sweat to keep it looking good and in best shape.

There are guards over the resistance, flywheel and belt drive to keep sweat away from them. The belt drive guard also protects your clothes and legs from the belt and little fingers too.

The bike is to be used on a flat surface. There are 4 levelers under the bike to accommodate any unevenness in the floor to prevent any side to side rocking.

This bike has a light aluminum flywheel. It uses the magnetic resistance to provide a similar feel to that of an outdoor bike as the harder you pedal, the faster the flywheel turns which increases the resistance which is similar to what happens with an outdoor bike. It is using the eddy current technology from the magnets to produce this as the flywheel passes through the magnetic field. Also there are not any touching parts so nothing wears down. This gives it a couple of advantages over the traditional flywheel and friction resistance.

However, it does mean it doesn’t help in promoting a proper cycling technique and if you are new to this you may have a more up and down technique adding some impact to your workout.

Adjustability

Bodycraft SPT-MAG Indoor Club Group Cycle priceThe handlebars and seat are fully adjustable. They can be moved forwards/backwards and up/down to enable you to get the best fit for you. Making the adjustments to set the bike for different heights and sizes of people is quick and simple to do.

This makes it possible for multiple users to set the bike up for themselves. It does only take a few seconds so it can be used by all the members of a household or gym. The seat can be adjusted to between 28 inches and 37 inches.

To help with returning to a previous setting the poles have marked levels that you can use to guide to your bike setting if it has been moved since you last used it.

You simply slide the poles and sliders (horizontal adjustment) to the position you want and tighten into place. You aren’t restricted by preset holes, so it can be an exact fit avoiding the feeling that you get sometimes that something isn’t quite right.

If you ride an outdoor bike it means you can set this bike so it has the same settings as that bike to get the maximum out of your indoor cycling.

Resistance

Bodycraft SPT-MAG Indoor Club Group Cycle resistanceThe resistance for hill climb workouts is provided by magnets using the eddy current principle. The magnets are set on both sides of and close to the flywheel but not touching.

To increase the resistance you turn the knob on the frame clockwise which brings the magnets closer to flywheel and to reduce it you turn the knob the other way and that reduces the resistance. Within any setting for resistance there will be the variation in resistance as the faster you pedal the more resistance there will be similar to that experienced on a road bike

The change in resistance is smooth and is consistent (except as noted previously due to it increases the faster you pedal).

Bodycraft SPT-MAG Indoor Club Group Cycle resistance knobIt is quiet and low maintenance with no need to replace pads as you get with friction resistance. Also, unlike with resistance pads it doesn’t feel like you are riding with brakes on.

There are no levels marked as to how hard you’ve set the resistance. This is normal practice of spin bikes (an exception is the Keiser M3 plus). It does make it difficult to be objective with knowing how hard you’ve set the resistance or in returning to previous setting. You can only do it by feel and memory.

Drive type

Bodycraft SPT-MAG Indoor Club Group Cycle adjustmentThe bike has a belt drive which is quiet and very smooth. It does feel different to a chain drive as you don’t get the slight differences in speed or sound as the chain goes over the sprocket.

This belt is reinforced with kevlar a very hard wearing material used by the automotive industry. This increases the life of the belt to stop it from stretching and slipping.

In a number of years time it will stretch eventually and need replacing. That will need to be done by someone with the specialist skills and tools. In the meantime there is no maintenance required unlike with a chain drive.

The bike has a fixed gear or direct drive. This means that while the flywheel is turning so are the pedals and vice versa. This helps to give the bike a better riding experience while pedaling but does mean you need to be careful when you want to stop or dismount.

If you are new to spin bikes it can take a little getting used to. You also need to be careful that you don’t injure yourself. This set up is usual with only a few bike models offering the ability to freewheel (these bikes have Smart Release like the Schwinn AC Sport). To stop the pedals turning you either need to push back gently on them or push down hard on the tension knob to use the resistance to stop the flywheel quickly.

The lower bottom bracket has SKF sealed bearing and a case hardened shaft that provide a good smooth experience that is hard wearing as well, for many years of riding.

Pedals

Bodycraft SPT-MAG Indoor Club Group Cycle pedalThe bike comes with aluminum alloy pedals with toe straps for use with athletic shoes. You slide the shoes in and then tighten the strap to get a good solid grip on the pedals.

You can buy SPD pedals from the company for $99 or you can use your own pedals as the thread is 9/16″.

The Q Factor for the pedals is 175 mm which is good for spin bikes but is more than on an outdoor bike. The Q Factor is the horizontal distance between the inside of the pedal. The narrower this distance the more in alignment are your feet, knees and hips reducing stress on them and providing a more natural feel – as this is closer to how you walk – as a general rules.

A bike with a narrower Q Factor is the Spinner NXT with 158 mm but it has friction resistance and chain drive so will be a noisier bike than the SPT.

The cranks are 175 mm long made cold-forged steel to give a tough base for the pedals to avoid any bending while you pedal hard against the resistance of standing up.

Comfort

Bodycraft SPT-MAG Indoor Club Group Cycle handlebarsNoise. This is a very quiet bike. The belt drive will make very little noise and the magnetic resistance won’t make any. The loudest noise is likely to be the heavy breathing from pushing yourself hard. It makes this bike ideal if you are going to be working out in the middle of the night or while or others are sleeping as you are unlikely to wake them up. You’ll be able to watch TV and have conversations without having to turn up the volume.

Handlebars. These are very good handlebars with a lot of different grips and riding styles catered for. You can use them for spinning with the classic positions. It also has central bar for aero positions as well as Bull-Horn and Racing Ergo Drop Loop grip positions. This makes it one of the most fully featured handlebars I’ve seen. The handlebars are coated but not padded so they will be hard on your arms if you rest on them for long periods,

Bodycraft SPT-MAG Indoor Club Group Cycle seatSeat. This is high performance racing saddle for best fit to prevent too much aching of the sit bones. However, as to what is comfortable is different person to person, you may want to replace it. This is possible as it takes standard size seats. You can also try a gel seat cover and/or padded bike shorts

Dust and Dirt
. There will be little lubricant or dirt from the bike, but there will be some. Also there is likely to be sweat dripping on the bike and on to the floor. Giving the bike a quick clean will keep it in good order. For the floor you may want to consider a rubber exercise mat to protect it from anything dropping on it and the bike moving around.

Storage

Bodycraft SPT-MAG Indoor Club Group Cycle transport wheelsThis is a reasonably compact bike requiring an area of 42 by 24 inches for storing when not in use. I like the look of the bike – it might not be as good looking as the Keiser M3 plus but it is smart – so if you have nowhere to store it won’t be an eyesore.

The bike weighs in at 116 lbs. For this reason it has 2 small transport wheels on the front stabilizer bar that you tip the bike on to when you want to move it. They take most of the bike’s weight so you just need to wheel it to where you want it to go. A little care is needed to prevent any overbalancing although wheels are wide enough which should stop it going over on its side.

The wheels will work on most hard surfaces except probably for carpets with a very deep pile that might get caught in them and jam them up. The wheels are exposed so jamming up is less likely to happen. If you’ve a wooden floor it might pay to check that the wheels won’t dent or scratch the floor.

Assembly

Bodycraft SPT-MAG Indoor Club Group Cycle adjustmentThe bike does come requiring some assembly. Much of the bike has been put together – the frame, drive and flywheel are all together. You are required to put on the pedals, handlebar post, seat post, handlebars, seat, pedals and stabilizer bars.

Assembly normally takes less than an hour. The tools needed to complete the job are included They do advise it’s good to have some additional tools that make it easier but they aren’t necessary. Assembly is much easier than putting together IKEA furniture with it only have 4 bolts and washers.

Bodycraft do make quality products so you are unlikely to experience any difficulty in lining up and inserting the parts.

The most difficult part is handling the weight. The packaged bike weighs 127 lbs. It may require two people to move it to where you want to assemble it. Also you it may pay to have someone to hold it in place while the stabilizer bars are attached to prevent it tipping over.

Console

Bodycraft SPT-MAG Indoor Club Group Cycle sudeThe bike doesn’t come with a console which is disappointing. I like to see how I’m getting on and set targets but that isn’t everyone – many people don’t want or need it to get a great workout. (And you don’t need one to get a great workout from the bike).

Not having a console may help to keep the price of the bike down, as there is a console that can be bought separately for the bike – called
Computer With Comprehensive Feedback V2 for $99 (as of doing this review). It gives Speed, Time, Distance, Calories, Heart Rate and Odometer. You can set yourself Time, Distance, or Calorie goals which can count down to zero. To use the heart rate you need to also need a heart rate strap. The company offers one for $49.95.

Some people, on other makes of bike, have fitted standard bike computers, such as Cateye, to get this sort of information. It does require modifying the spoke magnet to fit on the flywheel. It probably doesn’t look the best but it offers a serviceable option at a lower price.

Dimensions

The dimensions and weight of the bike are:

Height 47 inches
Width 24 inches
Length 42 inches

Bike Weight 116 lbs
Flywheel Weight
Max User Weight 300 lbs

Accessories

Like the majority of spin bikes it isn’t feature rich. The only accessory is a water bottle holder at the bottom of the frame.

The bottle is held in place by gravity and the positioning of it makes it easy to grab and return while you are working out. However, at the bottom of the frame does put in a sweat drip zone, so it might make it a bit wet (yucky) to pick up if you’ve been sweating.

You also do need to be careful when you are getting off the bike that you don’t kick it as you bring your leg through.

The instructions included give guidelines to the daily/weekly maintenance required – which should only take a few minutes.

The bike doesn’t come with help on the best way to adjust the bike for the most efficient work out or guidance on workouts. Fortunately there is plenty of guidance online that can help with that for beginners with videos on YouTube and other sources.

Bodycraft SPT-MAG Indoor Club Group Cycle Pros

Provides a good solid base for tough workouts

The bike is made of heavy duty steel for durability and ruggedness

Easy and quick to assemble

Bike is fully adjustable to fit multiple heights and sizes

Very quiet bike with belt drive and magnetic resistance

Low maintenance bike

Seat can be replaced if you don’t like it

Handlebars includes bars for aero, cross, bull horn and drop grips

Magnetic resistance and aluminum flywheel give a variable resistance similar to an outdoro bike

Cons

No console provided

Pedals fit only toe baskets but can be swapped for specialist pedals or your own pedals

No guidance for beginners or workouts

Resistance levels not marked

Nowhere to put your MP3 player or tablet

Lightweight flywheel can result in a choppier pedal stroke

Bodycraft SPT-MAG Indoor Club Group Cycle Consumer Ratings

Bodycraft SPT-MAG Indoor Club Group Cycle ReviewCurrently there are no customer reviews for the bike. However, looking at the reviews for other Bodycraft exercise equipment and bikes (Bodycraft SPX – see review) they are very positive.

They talk about how well the bike performs and the excellent customer service. I’ve not seen anything with this bike that makes me think it won’t perform at the same high standard.

Bodycraft SPT-MAG Indoor Club Group Cycle Price

This bike has a number of premium features – the magnetic resistance and belt drive and is well constructed bike and that is reflected in the price.

The best price I found when I checking on Amazon where it also qualified for free shipping.

To check availability and latest pricing discounts click here: Bodycraft SPT-MAG Indoor Club Group Cycle

Summary

The Bodycraft SPT-Mag Indoor Club Group Cycle is a well constructed with the serious cyclist in mind. It has different hand grip positions with adjustable handlebars and seat to be able to set the bike up like your road bike for training indoors.

It can also be used by those who want to do spinning style workouts as well as buy beginners too.
The use of a light flywheel and magnetic resistance does enable it to have increasing resistance when pedaling faster similar to a road bike but it does feel different to a traditional spin bike. You do need to concentrate more on your pedal stroke too to get a smooth motion as the flywheel doesn’t pull the pedal though.

It would be good if it came with a computer as standard to be able to monitor and track performance. That aside this is a very good bike for home use (and gym) that is robust and durable providing the basis for many years of low impact and intense (or moderate) cardio workouts.

Filed under: Spin Bikes

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