The Marcy Club Revolution Cycle promises to give you a club style workout experience without the monthly fees. Our review looks at whether this bike provides the necessary features to deliver on this while being suitable for the home too.
The bike is an affordable priced spin bike or indoor cycle style exercise bike for beginners and beyond. It has a heavy construction, a 40 lbs flywheel with variable manual resistance but without any added features. This gives it the basis of a bike that can stand up to the rigors of moderate and tough workouts for a number of years in the home.
As well as being robust we look at how well it meets the different demands of a piece of exercise equipment for home.
The bike is made from oversized steel tubing that keeps it steady when you workout. It doesn’t rock no matter how hard you are pedaling or when you are jumping in and out of the saddle.
The handlebars and seat adjustment knobs do need to be fastened securely to avoid them from vibrating or wobbling from side to side.
Under the stabilizer bars are 4 level adjustment knobs to level out the bike if being used on an uneven floor to prevent any side to side movement.
The 40 lb flywheel is weighted to give you are natural and smooth ride. This all gives the basis of a good riding experience – a sturdy smooth ride so you can just concentrate on your workout.
The bike is adjustable so it can fit a number of different body shapes and sizes.
The handlebars can be moved vertically. The seat can be adjusted horizontally and vertically. This allows you to fit the bike to your size for the best workouts.
The adjustment is done by loosening and pulling out the pull-pin knob. Then sliding the pole to the desired height and fixing into place by fastening the knob.
It is the same process for adjusting the seat horizontally where you move the rail back and forwards to the best position and tighten the pull-pin knob.
The seat height can be moved up or down from 36 inches to 41 inches using the 6 adjustment holes in the pole that are about 1 inch apart.
The recommended heights for the bike are between 5 ft 2 ins and 6 ft 3 ins but I think you may find that if you are over 6 ft you will struggle to fit the bike to you and end up feeling cramped at best and may result in injury.
The adjustments can be done quickly and when fastened up tight the handlebars and seat don’t move around. It makes this bicycle able to be used by more than one person as they can all quickly fit the bike to them to get an efficient workout with the risk of injury from bad form minimized.
The handlebars do not adjust front and backward and for many people this will be fine but those who are shorter may find themselves stretching a little as the seat doesn’t move forward enough for their size. If you think that may be an issue for you a bike in the same price range of $200- 300 is the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1110 Indoor Cycling Bike that the handlebars move vertically and horizontally to accommodate more body shapes and sizes. It has a heavier flywheel at 44 lbs and manual resistance. It caters for heights between 5 ft 2 ins and 6 ft 2 ins. Unfortunately it doesn’t come with a water bottle holder.
Marcy Club Revolution Cycle Resistance
Resistance is applied to the flywheel by using the tension knob at the front of the frame. It provides incremental and continuous resistance. There are no pre-set levels or markings to help in setting the resistance level. It does make it difficult to set the bike to a previous resistance level when it’s been adjusted in between – you can only do it by feel.
This is usual for spin bikes and only those that cost much more and with magnetic resistance have levels that you can adjust the resistance to.
The resistance is applied to the flywheel by felt wool pad that sits on top of the flywheel. As the tension knob is turned the pad is tightened on the wheel increasing resistance and intensity of the ride. The pad will wear down over time and need replacing. The pads can be ordered from Marcy and the replacement can be done easily and doesn’t require specialist knowledge. You should expect up to 12 months for the pad.
It provides a consistent pressure to the wheel so there is no slippage as you ride the bike giving to through you off your cycling motion.
The Marcy Club Revolution Cycle has a chain for moving the flywheel. This is the same as you find on an outdoor bike. It provides the same feel and noise as riding an outdoor bike which is great if you are using the spin bike for indoor training.
It also means that you need to do the same type of maintenance too. The chain will need lubricating from time and tightening to keep it running smoothly and not making any noise. It isn’t too much work and most people can do this on their own without the need of an expert or specialist tools.
It has a fixed gear or direct drive so that while the flywheel is turning (it continues to turn with momentum) the pedals will turn also. This is so you get a better workout as you can’t coast and are always on the move. It can take a little getting used to if you’ve not been on a spin bike before. To get off the bike quickly you need use the brake by pushing down the tension knob to stop the flywheel quickly.
The chain is protected by a chain guard that covers both sides of the chain. This helps to protect your legs and clothes from the chain as well as prevent sweat dripping on the chain so it does not start it rusting. It helps to make the chain quieter too.
The pedals have toe cages with adjustable straps to fit any size shoe to give a good grip on the pedal when pushing and pulling through the pedal cycle. They won’t fit specialist shoes with cleats but they can be swapped out for other bike sized pedals if you want. The threading is the same and the left is tightened counter-clockwise as with outdoor bikes.
If you choose to pedal backwards on the bike the pedals may loosen and need tightening up to prevent them falling out. However, this is common for most spin bikes.
Riding Motion. The bike has 40 lb flywheel which provide a smooth continuous riding motion similar to that experience on an outdoor bike. It stops the choppiness you might otherwise experience as you go through the cycling motion that you can get with lighter flywheels. It helps also to prevent possible injury from the impact of the changing speed of the pedals as you move through the cycling motion.
Riding Position. You ride the bike in a similar position as you would a road bike and it is important to adjust the bike correctly to avoid injury. It does mean you sit and lean forward on to the handlebars. If you have back problems you may find this position doesn’t help and you may find that other exercise bike styles are better suited to getting a workout.
Handlebars. The handlebars have a rubberized coating that make them easier to grip and prevent slipping when your hands get wet from sweat. The design shape is so you can rest hands in the middle of the bike while seated or for more leverage you can grip the end of the inner handlebars or grip at shoulder width apart. When out of the saddle you can either have them on the bar shoulder width apart or grip the ends of the outer handlebars. If you like to lean on the handlebars with your elbows resting on them the rubberized handlebars will help absorb some of the pressure but you may want to invest in elbow pads to prevent your arms getting too sore.
Seat. This is like the seat you find on outdoor bikes. This does mean it is as comfortable as one of those seats. If you are not used to bike seats you are likely to find this hard on your sit bones. You do have some options other than to just grin and bear it. You can try gel seat cover and/or padded bike shorts or if they don’t work you can change it for a more comfortable standard size bike seat.
Noise. This is not a silent bike but it is quiet. The chain will make a soft clinking noise as it moves across the sprocket much the same as you find on an outdoor bike. The other area you may notice some noise is the resistance pad on the flywheel which is like a shushing sound. These noises should not be enough to stop you enjoying the bike and watching TV or having a conversation at the usual level. You can probably ride the bike without waking anyone up at night or waking the children for the night. However, if you think even this level noise might be an issue you might want to consider the Sunny Health & Fitness Belt Drive Indoor Cycle bike which has a belt drive that doesn’t make any noise (it still has resistance pads) so is quieter overall. It does cost a little more but comes with a heavier flywheel.
Dirt and Dust. The bike won’t give off a lot of dirt and dust but it will drop lubricant and dust on your floor which may damage it. Also you are likely to drop sweat on the floor when training intensely. A rubber exercise mat will adequately protect your floor from damage.
The bike is quite compact with a footprint of 40 inches by 20.5 inches, so it doesn’t take up too much room. It can be stored in a large cupboard or out of the way under a staircase when not in use.
To help with moving the bike from the workout area to where you want to storage and back it has 2 small wheels at the front that you tip the bike onto. They carry most of the weight. You need then only to roll it rather than carry the bike – it weighs 86 lbs.
The company does recommend 2 people be involved in the moving of the bike. Many people find they can do it on their own. This is the same with all spin bike and indoor cycles.
The wheels work well on hard floors and carpets. If you have a wood floor you may need to check that the wheels don’t scratch or dent it when moving the bike.
The bike comes partly assembled for shipping purposes. It is about 80 – 90 % assembled. All the tools needed for the assembly are included. The assembly of the remaining parts should take less than an hour.
It can be done by one person but 2 are recommended because of the weight of the bike to prevent injury. It weighs 86 lbs fully assembled, so you do need to be careful when handling it.
The instructions that come with the bike are clear and easy to follow. The assembly needed is to add the pedals, the seat poles, seat, handlebar poles, handlebars and the water bottle holder and no specialist knowledge is required.
The bike does not include a console which is usual for spin bikes with the emphasis being on the length and intensity of the workouts. But you may like to know how you are getting on over time and during it for motivation from seeing progress.
To get this knowledge, it is possible to add a relatively affordable bike computer to it such as the Schwinn 20 Function Bike Computer, it is priced at around $20. It is designed for an outdoor bike so you will need to make adjustments to the spoke magnet to fit it to the flywheel. It doesn’t monitor RPM or your heart rate but gives you calories burned, speed, distance traveled, time elapsed etc.
If a monitor is something you want but don’t want to have to install one and want a bike in the price range of $200 – $300 then the Exerpeutic LX7 Training Cycle is worth checking out. The computer monitors heart rate, RPM as well as calories, speed, distance traveled. It can be a little hard to read and as with all monitors the calories burned is not that accurate and it tends to overstate speed and distance but is good for tracking relative progress
The dimensions and weight of the bike are
Height 43 inches
Width 20.5 inches
Length 40.0 inches
Flywheel Weight 40 lbs
Bike Weight 86 lbs
Max Use Weight 300 lbs
Spin bikes as a rule don’t come with many accessories. This bike is no different. The only accessory included is a water bottle holder that sits on the bottom of the frame. It is easy to reach and there is no problem with getting the bottle out and returning it. It is situated in a common place for bottle holders but you may find you drip sweat on to it which can make your bottle a little slippery.
Comes mostly assembled and the required assembly is straightforward and can be done in less than an hour
Includes a water bottle holder
Sturdily made so there is no shaking while riding hard
Little day to day maintenance
Transport wheels make it easy to move around on all types of surfaces
There is only a little noise so that you can easily hold a conversation or watch TV without having to turn the volume up much
Does not include a console nor workout programs
Nowhere to put a MP3 player or book or tablet
Seat is uncomfortable but can be swapped for a more comfortable one
Pedals have toe cages so they don’t fit specialist shoes but they can be changed for other pedals
If you are under 5 ft 2 ins or over 6 ft you are unlikely to be able to adjust the bike to get the best fit for an effective workout
Marcy Club Revolution Cycle Consumer Ratings
After reading through the customer reviews online it seems most people are happy with their purchase. They like the ease of assembly, the sturdy and durable ride.
There is a couple of reviews that discuss the pedal falling off. I contacted the supplier about this to see what they had to say. It is their view that when pedaling forward there isn’t a problem but when you pedal backwards the pedal may loosen and fall out if not tightened up.
It does appear to me to be an isolated issue. It is not mentioned in other customer comments.
Marcy Club Revolution Cycle Price
For the price you get a bike without the frills but that is par for the course for bikes in this price range, with spin bikes including programs and consoles and specialist pedals etc costing much more. For the features, such as a 40 lb flywheel, it includes it compares well with its competitors in this price range.
The saving on gym fees will quickly pay for the bike.
When I checked the best discounted price was at Amazon with free delivery. Click here to see if that is still the case: Marcy Club Revolution Cycle
This is an affordably priced bike that is great for beginners and those with more experience, with the 40 lb flywheel giving a fluid riding experience.
It provides a natural, stable riding platform so you can concentrate on your cardio workout to meet your fitness goals, whether that is lose weight or get in better physical shape or training for an event.
The only downsides are common with bikes in this range and they are to do with the lack of computer to monitor progress, specialist pedals (it can be changed) and uncomfortable seat (it can be changed), but to get these you would need to pay a lot more. Aside from these, you have spin bike that can give much the same experience as you would if you were using one in the gym.
Filed under: Spin Bikes
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!