The espinner is like no other spin bike I’ve seen in one particular area, it comes with a full featured workout console and media center. No other spin bike computer comes close (and many don’t have one at all).
It still has all the features of a spin bike. Other than the console it isn’t like a recumbent or upright bike.
You ride it the same and it has a heavy flywheel and a tension knob for increasing resistance. It has the same spinning features of the Spinner NXT with Smart Release technology to be easier on the joints and safety when you want to stop pedaling.
You get the choice of 1 million different workout combinations to set for yourself while getting as intense cardio workout as you want for beginners up to advanced and serious spinners..
This all does come at a price but it is designed and manufactured to commercial grade standards that is the standard used in gyms across the country. However, it can still be used in the home.
In our review we check out the computer but also make sure it still delivers as a spin bike so you can get workouts as intense as you want.
The bike is just as sturdy and tough as the Spinner NXT (which is the base of the bike). The oval steel frame looks good and holds everything steady while you workout whether in or out of the saddle or jumping.
The adjustment poles for are made of aluminum that stay firm and don’t wobble when fully tightened up.
The cross bars (stabilizer bars) are 20 inch wide provide the base to prevent rocking or moving side to side. If the floor is uneven there are 4 leveling feet underneath these bars that can be adjusted to level out the bike to prevent any rocking.
The flywheel weighs 38 lbs and is perimeter weighted. The weighting on the perimeter helps to build inertia to keep the wheel turning even with high levels of resistance applied. This helps in keeping cadence up as well as more importantly promotes a fluid pedaling stroke the same as you have with an outdoor bike. This helps to prevent injury by reducing impact on the joints.
For beginners riding bikes with a lighter flywheels (especially those without perimeter weighting) can result in more of an up and down stroke as the flywheel movement is choppier as it slows at the top and bottom of the stroke. This can cause more pressure on the joints which can result in injury and for those with an existing problem it can make it harder to recover.
Adjusting them is a simple process and is quick. This makes it possible for the bike to be used by many different users which is important in a gym setting and also at home it allows the bike to be used by everyone (within the height parameters) in the home.
For the vertical adjustments you loosen the T-Levers on the poles and slide the pole into place and then tighten up. There pres-set holes you insert the pin in the lever that are close together.
Although this can prevent being able to get the setting just right, it is unlikely to be an issue due to the closeness of the holes. It can also feel safer because there is a pin holding the poles up so the saddle and handlebars won’t suddenly slip downwards if not properly tightened up.
The horizontal adjustments have a slider bar arrangement where you loosen the knob and slide the seat to position you want and then tighten it up in place. You can place it in the exact position as you aren’t restricted by pre-set holes.
The poles and sliders are marked so once you’ve set the bike up properly it is easy to return to them if they’ve been moved since you last used the bike. This takes only a few seconds allowing you to quickly get on the bike to start your workout. If using at home you can mark positions on the poles with a felt tip pen to make it even easier to get everything set up if the set up has been changed.
The bike uses a friction pad on the flywheel for increasing resistance for hill type workouts. This is increased by turning the knob at the top of the frame that pushes the pad harder on to the wheel.
It is a single pad that provides a consistent pressure on the flywheel so the resistance stays constant preventing any slipping or unevenness in the cycling motion.
The resistant pad and flywheel have a guard which prevents damage from sweat dripping on them thereby increasing the longevity of both.
The resistance goes from easy to very difficult. It goes up in incrementally and gradually allowing you to set it where you want.
There are no markings to guide you as to how much resistance you’ve applied but this is normal for spin bikes – it can make it difficult to be exact in setting the amount of resistance you’re pushing against or returning to a previous setting. However, you can use your cadence and heart rate to help in determining how hard you’re working.
To stop everything quickly you can push down on the tension knob and the resistance pad works like a brake.
The bike has a chain drive similar to that you’d find on an outdoor bike. This helps to provide a riding experience similar to an outdoor bike. It also makes a similar amount of noise and also requires a similar type of maintenance too.
The maintenance required isn’t great – it will require lubricating and adjusting the tightness of the chain. It will be less that you get on an outdoor bike as it is out of the rain and dirt that you get outside.
Also it is covered by a guard that prevents sweat and dirt dropping on to it. This guard also helps to stop your ankles and clothes getting caught up in the chain.
The bike has the Smart Release system which sets it apart from most spin bikes. This allows the pedals to disconnect from the flywheel while still maintaining the feel of a fixed gear bike.
When a bike has a fixed gear the pedals always move in sync with the flywheel that pulls them through pedal cycle but prevents freewheeling and you need to wait for everything to stop before getting off the bike.
Not everyone is a fan of Smart Release as it may change the feel of the ride but this can sometimes be due to it not being properly adjusted. This is something you many need to do from time to time to keep it working properly so it isn’t slipping or isn’t too tight.
The instructions included on this aren’t that clear and you may need to speak to the company to do this properly. Initially it won’t be a problem as it has been properly adjusted before delivery. If you do struggle with the adjustment the company can assist by providing instruction over the phone.
The pedals are combo. One side are SPD, the other side has toe baskets and straps for athletic shoes. Either side gives you a good grip on the pedals so there is no issue with your feet slipping off while pedaling.
The Q Factor of the pedals is 158 mm which is good for spin bikes or indoor cycles. They are normally wider than this. The advantage of a narrower Q Factor is that keeps your legs more aligned, it can feel more natural and it is closer to that experienced on an outdoor bike. for most people it will reduce the chances of injury.
Noise. It’s not a silent bike but it isn’t noisy. You’ll hear the chain moving clinking softly as it moves over the sprockets and the resistance pad rubbing on the flywheel. You are unlikely to disturb others in a house in a different room and you may need to speak up a little. The loudest noise is likely to be your hard breathing. You plug in your headphones to the console so this won’t be making that noise for anyone else.
Dirt and Dust. The bike doesn’t give off a lot of dirt and dust but it will drop dust from the resistance pad, and lubricant from the chain and other moving parts. Also you may drop sweat on the bike and floor. To keep the bike looking good and prevent corrosion it is a good idea to clean it on a regular basis. To prevent any damage to the floor you can put a rubber exercise mat under the bike.
Seat. The saddle is padded and has a cut out to make it as comfortable as possible. The tilt and direction of the saddle can be adjusted to be more to your liking as well. However, as with all bike seats you may still find it is too hard on your sit bones. You can try a gel seat cover or padded bike shorts but if these don’t work you can change it for any standard bike fitting saddle.
Handlebars. The handlebars are shaped in a standard type spinning arrangement giving you the hand positions to do spinning workouts. The handlebars are coated to provide a better grip especially when sweaty and also to prevent blisters. There aren’t aerobars in the center so you won’t be able to cycle in the aero position.
The bike needs an area of 20 ins by 60 ins for storage. It is a large bike so if you have a small home or an apartment you may find it difficult to store out of the way when not in use. It is quite a good looking bike with rubber pads and paint protection to be more resistant to corrosion and marking to help to keep it that way.
There are 2 transport wheels on the front stabilizer bar for moving the bike around. The wheels take most of the 140 lbs weight leaving you the job of pushing and pulling the bike into position without having to worry about straining yourself due to the weight.
The wheels are made of non-marking rubber so they shouldn’t mark your floors but I’d test first to ensure they don’t mark or dent wooden floors. They are freewheeling so should also be fine on carpet too.
The espinner comes in 2 packages – one box has the frame and other parts of the bike, the 2nd box has the console, manual, warranty and power cord.
The tools required to complete the assembly are included.
The frame and drive come assembled and you are required to add the adjustment poles, pedals, saddle, handlebars, water bottle holders, stabilizer legs, console support and console. Adding the console is the only tricky part of the process as you need to feed the wires through the support ensuring they aren’t pinched and attaching them to wires to the one in the support tube.
It is a heavy bike so two of you may be needed to assemble with one supporting the bike and the console while the other assembles it. Also when it is in the box 2 people may be needed to move it to where you want to the assembly location.
You do need to supply a coax cable to connect it to your TV and set up the TV.
The instructions are step by step and can be completed within an hour
To use the console you do need to plug it in to the power with cord and plug supplied.
After 10 hours use you are required to re-torque the crank bolt using a torque wrench which is a bit of a pain if you don’t have one, which if you are like me you won’t.
The console is a 15 inch touchscreen that is easy to read and can be tilted to give you the best view possible.
The console is powered by your house supply – the plug and cord are provided, so positioning is dependent on where you have a socket. When setting it up the first time it takes about 80 seconds to boot up. There are a number of steps you need to go through to set the console to work with your TV and you need to do each step on the console touch screen
There are no buttons on the frame of the touchscreen as all selections and set up of workouts are done on the screen itself. At the top on the left is where you can plug in USB sticks and devices. It will charge these for you while plugged in, you can access and see them on the screen. In the middle is a fan (with high, low and off settings) that you can use to help to keep you cool while you ride. On the right is a place for docking your ipod to have your own music playing while you ride.
To hear what is happening you need to plug in your head phones, so this helps in keeping the noise down while you workout.
You have a choice of 3 ways to workout – spinning videos featuring coach Josh Taylor, build your own workouts or riding to your own media.
The first choice of spinning videos is like being in a spinning class but you get to choose how hard and how long you workout
Build your own workout allows you to choose from endurance, interval strength and race day categories and you can then customize them with level, time, gender and age and heart rate. This is where you have a choice of 1 million workout combinations. I haven’t checked the maths on this but there is plenty of choice to keep you going for many years and maybe even a lifetime.
Depending on the level you choose this will determine the type and toughness of ride you get.
You don’t get an instructor on this but get everything on the screen to follow along to with data and instructions to keep you motivated and on track. You can watch TV or listen to your ipod (with the playlist displayed) at the same time
If you want to work out on your own you get 3 options – watch TV, dock your Ipod or insert USB sitck with mp3 files.
On the workout screen you have a main view area where you can watch your progress, TV, iPod content or USB content. Below that on the left is where you choose the screen view and to the right are the volume buttons and mute.
Next is where you see any messages about your progress and how you’re going,
Below this is the dashboard which shows, cadence, heart rate, picture of ride position and hands, rating of perceived exertion, change your heart rate target, workout level and play/pause workout.
For your heart rate you do need to supply your own Polar heart transmitter and strap.
Also on screen are indicators to help you stay within the right heart rate zone and cadence speeds.
There are a choice of languages including French, Spanish, English and German that you select on the first screen.
There are videos included in the console to help with set up and riding safety. The instruction manual also has guidance on this.
The dimensions and weight of the hike are
Height 57 ins
Width 20 ins
Length 60 ins
Bike Weight 140 lbs
Flywheel Weight 38 lbs
Max User Weight 350 lbs
Along with all the extras that come with the console it also has dual water bottle holders that sit on each side of the console for easy access. They hold the bottles in place using gravity so that a bottle can be picked up and returned without having to try slide it in and out of a holder. They’re also out of the way sweat so you won’t have to handle a wet slippery bottle.(which could be seen as gross depending on your view of sweat).
- Console with 1 million customizable workout combinations
- Comes with place to plug in USB stick, Ipad docking station and digital TV tuner that connects to your TV
- Comes with smart release that makes it easier on your joints when stopping
- Dual water bottle holder
- It has 2 transport wheels which make moving it around easier
- Has a fan to keep the air flowing over you to keep you cooler
- It includes a spare parts kit that comes with replacement resistance pad and pedal straps
- Dual pedals for athletic shoes and SPD
- Solid and durable bike for rock steady workouts
- Comfortable seat that can be changed if not to your liking
- Fully adjustable handlebars and saddle for heights between 4 ft 10 ins and 6 ft 10 ins
- The results of your workouts aren’t stored nor can they be uploaded to a fitness account
- The Polar Wear Link transmitters and heart rate strap are not included
- No resistance levels marked to help with objectively setting amount of resistance or returning to a previous setting
- It is a heavy and large bike making storage more difficult than other smaller bikes
- Assembly requires a torque wrench to tighten crank bolt after 10 hours
Espinner Consumer Ratings
There aren’t many customer reviews of this bike and some that have been left are from people who have used at the gym.
That aside, the reviews are positive with them liking the console, the workouts available and the quality of the ride they get from the bike.
This is bike is premium priced. It comes with a comprehensive console and media center with 1 million customizable workouts and smart release making it stand out from most other spin bikes. It’s base is one of the best spin bikes around being the Spinner NXT.
It is priced about $2500 more than the NXT. For this you get the ability to set your own workouts as well as follow along to those the one pre-recorded ones for beginners and more advanced and Smart Release gear for stopping the pedals quickly.
However, tor the price it seems they should include a compatible heart rate transmitter (Polar Wear) – I guess if it is sold to a gym, their customers will supply their own but for a home it would make good sense to include one.
When I checked the best deal for the bike was at Amazon where it qualified for free shipping and prime.
You do get a lot of with this bike and it is a little like having your own instructor when you ride it. The way you can customize the workouts to suit your requirements makes it so anyone can use it from beginner to serious spinners.
The things I don’t like about it are the fact it doesn’t come with heart rate strap nor does it have a way of recording your workouts or uploading to a fitness account (may not be such a problem for a gym but at home you may want to track the information). It is expensive but you are getting many more functions than you do with any other spin bike
Overall it is a fantastic bike that gives you everything needed for spinning/cycling workouts at whatever intensity or type you want. You can follow along to pre-recorded workouts or make up your own too or just do your own thing entirely while you watch TV or listen to your music. It makes it good choice for a commercial gym or for your home gym.
Filed under: Spin Bikes
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