The Marcy NS-716R is an affordable recumbent exercise bike that is a newer version of the very popular and highly rated Marcy ME-709.
It comes with the basics needed for a recumbent style workout – large seat with back rest, magnetic resistance, pedals out in front of you and a console to provide feedback as you exercise.
There aren’t many frills as is normal for bikes in this price range but that is not what you are probably after – you are more interested in getting good value for your money.
It does have a lot to live up to and from reviews it does seem to meet the standard of the previous model, but it is priced at a higher price point and whether it has additional features to support the increase was not immediately obvious to me.
In this review I look at how well it does the basics of providing a solid platform for low impact cardio workouts in the home as well as if the ratings and price are justified.
It does seem a little lightweight at 53 lbs to be able to hold you steady and with the adjustment join in the middle of the bike it seems even more unlikely.
But it doesn’t seem to flex or wobble.
It is made out of heavy duty steel tubing and has wide stabilizer bars that stop it from moving from side to side when on a level floor. It’s stable at whatever level of workout you are doing.
It should be used on a level floor. However, if your floor is a little uneven you can turn the rear end caps to balance out the bike to prevent it from rocking.
If you still experience some rocking you can try putting the bike on a rubber exercise mat and you should find that puts a stop to any rocking from side to side.
Also, there is no creaking or squeaking as you exercise. It leaves you free to get on with your exercise and watch the TV or read a book if you want art the same time.
The bike comes with a 2 year warranty on the frame which is better than average for bikes in this price range.
Customers have found that it works best for people between the heights of 5ft and 6 ft.
If you are below the minimum height you are likely to find that you can’t reach the pedals all the way through the pedal cycle without stretching and/or sitting at the front of seat which is uncomfortable and can cause a strain.
If you are at the other end of the height range – taller than the maximum height you problem is that you are likely to be cramped up and not getting a good full range of motion of the knee with it being more bent than recommended at the far point of the pedaling.
The adjustment is straightforward although it can take a little strength to move the back half of the bike to the position you want and line up the pre-set holes up so you can insert the pin and tighten the knob to hold everything steady and in place.
This type of adjustment is not a favorite of mine – I prefer moving just the seat but it does get the job done.
It’s not as quick and it might put some off adjusting the bike properly for their height if it has been moved since they set up the bike. However, some people don’t have any issues with this type of adjustment – it’s not hard it just involves more effort.
It does have the advantage that the seat is held firmly in place and it doesn’t shake.
It does mean that you have to ensure you tighten this up properly to prevent the front of the bike from moving around.
The range of adjustments put the seat back between 31 to 36 inches from the pedals when at the middle of the stroke. There are 5 different pre-set positions with about an inch between each one.
The resistance is controlled using the tension knob on the front support pole. It controls a set of magnets by moving them closer to increase resistance and further away to decrease it.
It has 8 levels of resistance marked on the knob. The transition between the levels is smooth with no jerkiness or sudden increases.
You do need to lean forward to make the adjustments but to turn the oversize knob to the level of resistance you want is easy to do.
The resistance goes from very easy to moderately hard in increments. The lower levels are great for people starting out in building up their fitness and with medical advice can be good for people recovering from injury and surgery.
Many people exercise in the range of 3 – 6 to get a good workout that gets the heart pumping and to get a sweat on.
Levels 7 – 8 is a little harder for a tougher workout but this is not likely to be those who want seriously hard workouts – it more like going up a slope than up a steep hill.
Also at the top range of the resistance the pedaling motion is less smooth with it starting to slow down as you move round the top and bottom of it due to the resistance starting to work as a brake.
The magnetic resistance is very quiet and should not require any maintenance.
It has a belt and flywheel inside the shroud that give a reasonably smooth pedaling experience with very little variation except as noted in the resistance section above.
The shroud protects the drive from damage but also helps to keep you, kids and pets away from the moving parts which could cause injury if touched.
It is also quiet and shouldn’t require any maintenance.
The pedals are weighted and counterbalanced to help make the cycling smooth and consistent. There are plastic straps that can be adjusted to help to keep your feet in place on the pedals. Once adjusted you can just slide your feet in to them.
Adjusting can be a little awkward to start with as you have to fit the holes in the strap over a tab on the pedal. Once the plastic softens a little it becomes an easier to do.
Marcy NS-716R Comfort
Seat. It has a padded flat seat and backrest. Many who use the bike find this adequate to be able to exercise in comfort without pain or aches being experienced.
However, not everyone is that lucky – and this is to be expected as sitting on an exercise bike seat it is very much down to personal preference.
Those that do experience issues use a folded up towel or small cushions to improve the situation and find that these allow them exercise for as long as they want.
The backrest moves with the seat when it is adjusted. It is fixed a slight angle backwards (it can’t be changed). This angle does provide the needed support for the back for most.
Handlebars. There are 2 sets of handlebars – one at the front and one set around the seat. Both sets have a rubberized covering for comfort and easy grip when hands get sweaty.
The handlebars around the seat are at a comfortable height for holding for support and gripping when you want leverage for your workouts pushing against the resistance.
The handlebars are a few inches above the seat. The height of the handlebars does mean it is difficult to slide into the seat from the side. One customer reported in their review they didn’t install them and didn’t have any issues – so this could be an option if you want to do this.
You’ll need to step through the bike with its very low main frame bar, it means you don’t have to lift your foot more than inch or so. The handlebars at the front can be used to help with support as you lower yourself into the seat or when you get out of the seat. They can also be used if you want to lean forward and pedal.
Noise. The bike operates very quietly. You can use it while watching TV without having to turn the volume or while others are sleeping in the house.
If you live in an apartment you can use it without worrying about annoying the neighbors – they are unlikely to know you’re exercising. If you are concerned if you live in a upper floor flat about the people living below putting it on a rubber exercise mat should prevent any slight noise or vibration being heard.
Cleaning. The bike itself won’t add to your cleaning chores.
However, users sweat may do, due to it being very corrosive. Although it has a durable powder coated paint finish which helps in preventing damage to the bike the corrosive effects of sweat will eventually start it to corrode if not cleaned off the bike.
A quick clean with a damp cloth is all that is needed.
The sweat may also drop on the floor and if you want to protect it a rubber exercise mat is good investment.
When not in use the bike requires an area of 52 by 25 inches which does mean it probably is too big for a closet and more likely to be stored against a wall.
It doesn’t look like it has rollers to help with moving the bike but the end caps on the front stabilizer are rollers which you pick the bike up from the back to use.
Along with the relatively light weight bike and that most of the bike’s weight (53 lbs) is at the front it doesn’t take much effort to lift up the back of the bike and roll it to where you want it to go.
One person can manage it the only thing you need to be careful of is not to over balance the bike – it shouldn’t happen because the rollers are wide apart providing a good base for the wheels.
The bike is delivered part assembled. It can be put together in about 1 to 2 hours (some speedsters do it in 30 minutes).
The tools required to finish the assembly are included. The instructions and diagrams are reasonably clear.
You are adding major pieces to the bike with only a dozen or so bolts needed. The pieces need to be added to the front frame and drive are – stabilizer bars, pedals, back sliding frame, seat, handlebars, backrest, front support pole and console.
You can do this on your own but it is easier to have a second person helping to hold parts in place while you both them on to the bike.
It has only one slightly difficult step to the process and that is connecting the tension cables together and this is where the second pair of hands is most useful. There is a diagram that shows you how to do it that should be studied first to ensure you get it together properly so the resistance works properly.
The bike has a basic console that measures calories, time, speed and distance.
The LCD display shows one at a time or you can set it to scan through them every 4 seconds
It is easy to operate – you can select what you want to see by pressing the mode button below the screen.
The console requires 2 AA batteries to work. For some reason these aren’t included, so need to be bought separately.
You can use the bike without the console to exercise you just won’t see how you are getting on.
It is an auto on/off console. It turns on when you start pedaling it turns on and will turn off after 8 minutes after pedaling stops.
The measures are only approximate and are there as guide only purposes – which is great for motivation when exercising on the bike or for seeing how you are progressing over time but aren’t to be relied on for anything more.
It doesn’t monitor your heart rate unlike a lot of other recumbent exercise bikes (See Exerpeutic 900XL) which may seem to be a disadvantage with the bike. But the bikes that use hand pulse sensors are often unreliable with them either not getting a reading or reading the wrong value.
This is the situation for many people who use the bikes, so it’s probably not as big a deal as it could first seem.
If you want to monitor your heart rate you are likely to be better served with a heart rate chest strap and monitor.
The dimensions and weight are
Height 38 ins
Width 25 ins
Length 52 ins
Bike Weight 53 lbs
Max User Weight 300 lbs
The bike comes with a water bottle holder towards the back of the drive shroud. It’s easy to access and slide the bottle in and out as you need. However, it only fits a small bottle, so you better not get too thirsty during your exercise session.
The bike doesn’t come with any other accessories. You will need to hold on to your personal electronics which isn’t too bad due to the seating arrangement. Alternatively if you workout next to a table you could place them on there.
There is some advice about warming up and cooling down but little guidance on workouts you could try out on the bike to get started in the owner’s manual . There is nothing on what is best position to have the seat from the pedals.
- It is a very quiet
- Holds steady while you exercise
- Comes with a water bottle holder
- It comes with basic console that is easy to operate
- Has a range of resistance levels from easy to moderately hard to cater for different abilities and needs
- Can be used by multiple users as bike can be adjusted to fit a range of peoples heights
- Has front rollers to help with moving the bike from place to place
- Has levelers in the rear end caps to help to level up the bike when on an uneven floor
- Adults of all ages can use the bike
- It is an affordably priced bike
- It is easy to assemble
- The console display is not backlit so is hard to see in poor light
- Little guidance on workouts and getting bike properly set up for your height
- To keep a record of your workouts needs to be done manually
- It doesn’t come with any pre-set workouts
- The highest levels of resistance are too easy for those wanting very tough workouts
- To adjust the bike to fit various people you have to move the back of the bike which can be awkward to get it to line up
- Does not have a place to put your personal electronics
- Does not include a heart rate monitor
Marcy NS-716R Consumer Ratings
The bike has a very good overall rating with 87% of customers rating it a 4 or 5. Which is one of the best I’ve come across.
There are a few negative reviews and this where they’ve received a damaged bike (or defective ones). It is only a handful and they don’t talk about what it was like to deal with the company.
The majority like the bike, with reviews saying that it is better than they expected for the price. They find it comfortable and easy to use with some using it daily for their low impact cardio workouts. One review found it much better for them than a treadmill. They like that it is very quiet.
Marcy NS-716R Price
The bike is reasonably priced however it is very similar to the Marcy ME-709. The only difference being the seat shape, backrest shape and a water bottle holder (from what I’ve established). The difference in price is just over $50. Both bikes are well rated by customers.
When I checked pricing the best deal was at Amazon where it qualified for Prime and free shipping.
The Marcy NS-716R Recumbent bike is a good basic bike that is ideal for adult beginners of all ages. It’s is low impact and gentle on joints with people recovering injury using it (under doctors orders) and people who just want to get in better shape without pounding the joints.
The padded seat and backrest is comfortable for most and they can sit in it for as long as they want without causing too very much pain on the sit bones. It provides the support most want for their back.
It is easy to get in and out of the seat with easy step through and front handlebars for support in getting into and out of the seat.
The resistance starts off very easy and goes to moderately hard. This won’t suit those who want very tough hill climb workouts.
It might not be the cheapest recumbent exercise bike available but it does provide good value for those wanting to improve their fitness in home.
Filed under: Recumbent Exercise Bikes
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