cycleops phantom 1 indoor cycleThe Cycleops Phantom 1 has a different look to the majority of indoor cycles (or spin bikes) with its racing bike look and different style handlebars.

The bike has been designed with indoor bike training as part of a cyclist’s overall training plan and/or when they can’t get outside due to the weather or other circumstances.

It is a no frills spin bike with no extras (other than a water bottle holder). It does have the basics well covered with a heavy flywheel, friction resistance and adjustable handlebars and seat.

In our review we look at these basics and check how the bike stacks up as a training bike for indoor use in comfort of your home. You don’t want it causing unnecessary stress with other members of the home, and there is the possible benefit that is can be used by them as well (if you want).
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Sturdiness

It has a steel frame that provides the solid base needed for tough training workouts whether that is seated or out of the saddle.

Whether you want to be cruising along doing sprint work or hill climbs it holds you steady so you can just keep your focus on your training.

The flywheel weighs 48 lbs that gives the inertia needed to give the feel of rolling along roads like that of an outdoor bike. This stops you feeling like you are in the wrong gear that happens with light flywheels. It helps with giving you a steadier pedaling motion so that you don’t feel like you are restarting as you move round the top and bottom of the pedaling cycle.

The flywheel is at the back of the bike rather than at the front with most other spin bikes. This puts it out of the way of the corrosive effect of sweat helping to keep it and the resistance pad in good condition. However, some sweat may still drop on it and that does need to be cleaned regularly.

There are 4 levelers under the stabilizer chevrons. These will prevent the bike from rocking due to an uneven floor. You turn the feet to the required height and then use the locking nut to keep them in place.

Adjustability

cycleops phantom 1 indoor cycle priceThe bike is adjustable to fit most people between the heights of 4 ft 11 ins and 6 ft 6 ins. However, the company says on its’ site that those people 5 ft 1 ins and under may need the low seat adapter.

The ability to move the seat and saddle horizontally and vertically and place it exactly where you want within the range means that you can get the bike to have the same set up as your outdoor bike. This helps to gives a more similar experience to riding your bike.

The adjustments are quick and simple to do. You loosen the lever on the adjustment poles and sliders and then more seat or handlebars to the position you want and then tighten up to hold in place. It is important to tighten the pole properly in place to prevent them slipping while you ride which could cause injury.

The speed of adjustment means that the bike can be used by more than one person for their training, or it could be used by someone who wants to use it for other indoor cycle type training such as spinning workouts. When you want to use it again you can quickly return it back to your settings. To help with this there are scales marked on the poles that can act as a guide to returning to a previous setting.

Resistance

Resistance is provided by a brake pad that sits on top of the flywheel. The resistance on each bike has been calibrated to provide the same amount of resistance from bike to bike.

The same amount of turning of the tension knob produces the same amount resistance no matter the bike. At the lowest level of resistance you should be generating 30 watts at 90 rpm.

However. tt works in the same way as most spin bikes that use a resistance except there is a cable that runs from the tension knob at the front of the bike to the pad at the back of the bike. It does mean there may be more maintenance required here as the cable is likely to stretch over time and may need adjusting to keep the resistance consistent. (But it is something that you may need to after months or years of uses)>

As it is a brake pad this is going to wear down and need replacing which may also require the need to re-calibrate the resistance. The instructions on how to do this are included in the manual, they are straightforward and should be no problem for anyone who has done any work on their outdoor bike.

There are no markings on the resistance knob to let you know how hard you’ve set it or to help with returning to a previous setting.

This does make it difficult to be that precise with the levels of resistance so they need to be done by estimate and feel. This is the way most spin bikes work with friction resistance pads with only some bikes with magnetic resistance offering marked levels ( See Keiser M3 Plus Indoor Cycle and Bodycraft SPR– they do come with consoles but are more expensive than the Phantom 1).

CycleOps Phantom 1 Indoor Cycle Drive Type

Just like a road bike it has a chain drive. This gives more of a bike riding experience than a belt drive but it does come with the same type of maintenance requirements – keeping it lubricated and at the correct tension to keep it running sweetly.

The actual adjustments needed for the tension are similar to a road bike and there are instructions in the manual. You probably won’t need to adjust as much as an outdoor bike due to it not going over bumps in the road and having to deal with the dirt and weather.

There is guard over the chain to prevent dust and sweat getting to it to keep it good order. The guard also protects ankles and clothes from getting caught in the chain.

The bike has a freewheel hub that allows you to coast when you want for your training recovery. This is something most spin bikes don’t have as it can interfere with the amount of work expended in workouts. You don’t get your feet pulled through like on a fixed gear so you do need to concentrate on proper pedal form in the seat and out.

Pedals

Pedals are not supplied with the bike, which is what happens with premium road bikes. The bike fits 9/16 pedals so it fits standard pedals.

The crank length is 170 mm and this can’t be changed at this stage.

The Q Factor is a reasonable 168 mm which is likely to be more than on your road bike. Your ankles, knees and hips are going to be wider apart and out of alignment which can add more stress on the joints and muscles especially during long rides.

The Spinner NXT has a Q Factor of 158 mm which is similar to road bikes, thereby providing in this aspect a similar riding experience. It comes with dual pedals (SPD cleats on one side and toe straps and cages on the other side) but they can be changed for your own pedals if you prefer. The handlebars are the standard spinner set up and not the bike handlebars with drops as with Cycleops. It also has a fixed gear.

Comfort

Noise. The bike isn’t silent but it isn’t that loud either.You will hear the sound of the brake pad on the flywheel and the soft clinking sound of the chain moving over the sprockets much like you can with an outdoor bike. It is unlikely to disturb others in your home when they are in another room. If noise is an issue then you need to look at bikes with magnetic resistance and belt drive – such as the Keiser M3 Plus (see our review here), it doesn’t have drop bars or the Bodycraft SPT-Mag (our review of the bike is here) which has full handlebars including drop bars

Seat The seat is a standard bike seat. If you don’t like the seat or you have one your prefer you can swap the seat as it fit standard bike seats. You can also try a get seat cover or padded bike shorts which is usually enough but this does come down to personal preference.

Handlebars The bike has road style handlebars, with a big benefit being the drop bars for cyclist not seen on most standard spin bikes, to fully replicate the feel of their road bike. It doesn’t have the central loop or the long bullhorns restricting the number of hand positions for spinning or the aero position. The handlebars are coated to make them easy to grip when hands get sweaty. It is not possible to change the angle of the bars (I’ve not seen a bike where this is possible yet).

Dust and Dirt. The biggest problem is likely to be sweat dropping rather than dust and dirt. There will be some lubricant from the chain mostly and some dust from the resistance pad. Sweat being very corrosive due to salt content. To keep the bike looking good and performing at a top level it is important to keep the bike clean. As well as the bike the sweat is going to fall on to the floor so you may want to protect that with a rubber mat.

Storage

There are 2 transport wheel on the rear stabilizer chevron that you tip the bike on to when you want to move the bike. It’s easy to do as the bulk of the weight of the bike is near the wheels, with the flywheel at the back.

They support most of the weight of the bike for you, leaving you with a much easier job to navigate the bike to where you want it to go. They’ll work on most surfaces other than soft or carpet with a deep pile. On wooden floors they may mark or dent it so it is important to check that out before you wheel it over it.

The foot print of the bike is 13 by 48 inches making it a very compact bike. The company advises you need 21 inches of space to fit it in cupboards and through doorways.

Assembly

The bike does come partly assembled. There is more assembly required than with many other spin bikes but it isn’t too daunting. It can usually be done within an hour.

It does come with the tools required to complete the assembly but they say other tools maybe helpful – various wrenches, vice grips, pliers, pedal wrench and 2.5 mm Allen wrench.

The frame and flywheel are already assembled. To complete the assembly you need to add to it the stabilizer bars, adjustment poles, handlebars, water bottle holder, seat post clamp, seat and your own pedals.

As with all spin bikes and indoor cycles the hardest part of the process is dealing with the weight of the bike with it weighing 140 lbs when full assembled. You may need someone’s help to move the package to where you want to assemble the bike and also hold it while you attach the stabilizer bars at least.

The bikes is essentially the same as the CycelOps 100 Pro with some minir hardware changes and the better black paint. See below for some idea of the maintenance required.

Console

This bike doesn’t come with a console.

You can upgrade it to fit one or check out their other 2 models the Phantom 3 and 5 if you are keen on having this data for your rides.

To upgrade the bike you need the Indoor Cycle Upgrade Kit with a cost around $500. With this you can measure heart rate, cadence and speed. You do not get power data with this upgrade and it doesn’t work with the Cycleops Virtual Training software or sync with other Cycelops products.

It includes a Joule 2.0 monitor, heart rate strap, speed sensor, cadence sensor, mount, hardware and 4.0 mm Allen Wrench. The plastic mounting seems a little cheap and the overall price is expensive for a basic computer but is a cheaper option than upgrading to the Phantom 3.

You might be able to fit your own bike computer (such as you Garmin) if you are a bit of handy man or woman but it will involve some changes notably dealing with the solid flywheel.

Dimensions

The dimensions and weight of the bike are:

Height 24 inches
Width 13 inches
Length 48 inches

Bike Weight 140 lbs
Flywheel Weight 48 lbs
Max User Weight 300 lbs

Accessories

The only accessory the bike comes with is a dual water bottle holder that sits at the front of the handlebars to keep you well watered during those long rides. They are in easy reach and the bottle is gravity held so there is no having struggle with sliding it in and out of a holder while cycling,

The bottles are also away from the main sweat areas which stops you having to pick up a wet bottle.

The company does offer a number of accessories that can be bought for the bike.

They are:

Indoor Cycle Upgrade Kit (discussed in Console section above)

Indoor Cycle Seat Adapters – for extending the seat for a more comfortable position in relation to the handlebars and low rise adapter if you are 5 ft 1 ins and below

Sweat Guard – for protecting the frame form the corrosive nature of sweat. Comes with an accessories pouch. Also known as the bike thong!

Pros

  • 10 year Warranty on Frame
  • 48 lbs flywheel that provides inertia to give the feeling of rolling along the road like a road bike
  • The bike is fully adjustable to enable you to get as close as possible of a fit to your outdoor bike
  • You can coast or freewheel
  • The bike has road bike handlebar with drop bars
  • Provides a good stable platform for indoor training and cardio workouts
  • Low maintenance
  • Quiet bike so won’t disturb others or you

Cons

  • No console for monitoring and tracking your training
  • The bike doesn’t come with pedals you need to supply those separately
  • Resistance levels aren’t marked
  • Doesn’t come with bull horns or central loop for spinning
  • There is no help in setting up or workouts if you are a beginner
  • Nowhere to place a tablet or smart phone
  • Doesn’t have full spinning handlebars

CycleOps Phantom 1 Indoor Cycle Consumer Ratings

cycleops phantom 1 indoor cycle reviewOverall customer reviews for the bike are positive (there is one negative but it doesn’t elaborate on what the issue was).

There aren’t many reviews but from the ones left – they like the quality and feel of the bike. They say it provides a strong and stable platform for use during the winter months as well as for sprint training and hill climbs.

CycleOps Phantom 1 Indoor Cycle Price

The bike is well put together with a strong steel construction. It has a 48 lbs flywheel for building the inertia to keep the bike “rolling along”, a freewheel hub for coasting (not available on many bikes) and road bike style handlebars.

When I checked for prices and deals for the bike, the best price was available on Amazon. It qualified for free shipping.

You can see if that is still the case by clicking here:
CycleOps Phantom 1 Indoor Cycle

Summary

The bike is designed for serious cyclists who want a serious indoor cycle or spin bike to do their indoor training when they can’t get outside or as part of their overall training plan. It is especially useful during the cold winter months. It saves putting the road bike on a trainer and the issues that can bring.

It doesn’t come with a console or pedals. To upgrade to a basic console using the company’s console costs an additional $500. You are expected to supply your own pedals which if you are an avid cyclist may not be an issue which is who the bike has been designed for.

I’d still like to see a console included in the price but if you aren’t interested in the numbers then this won’t be an issue (can’t understand that myself!).

That aside this is a very good bike for the home for indoor cycling training during those cold winter months and anytime when you need to be inside. It can be used by others too, if you want, making it something the whole family can use (height dependent) for training and working out on. It’s a quiet bike that can stand up to tough and long training sessions. A further plus is that it looks good.

Filed under: Spin Bikes

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