Exercising at home can be a great way to help with weight loss, stay in shape or get in shape without the expense of the gym or being outside in cold and wet. Cardio workouts on a spin bike or indoor cycle can be a great way to do this.
These bikes come in a range of prices and it can be difficult to know whether the ones at the lower and more affordable end of the scale can actually stand up to the rigors of cardio workouts done on a regular basis.
The Bladez Fitness Fusion GS Indoor Cycle is an affordable bike with compelling features.
It has a weighty flywheel, a console and solid construction designed for use in your home.
To determine whether you get what you pay for or something more, in this review I look at all of its important features to see how they can benefit your workout and of course whether it is constructed properly to stand up to rigors of cardio workouts.
The bike frame is well constructed from steel. There is no wobbling or rocking when you are standing out of the saddle or when you are jumping in and out of the seat. It’s steady and you don’t feel like you are going to fall off. You do need to put the bike on a level surface to prevent rocking as it does not come with levelers.
Customers experience with the durability of the bike is mixed. If you get a good bike you can get a good workout experience from it.
However, with just a few months of using the bike some customers have had problems with the axle, pedals breaking off or the chain snapping. Although these things do happen you would expect the bike to last longer than that and if it doesn’t this should be covered by the warranty (which I think it is from reading it) but the company has not acted quickly enough in the instances where there has been an issue reported for my liking. (As an alternative to this bike checkout Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1110 Indoor Cycling Bike here – it doesn’t have a console but it is highly rated for beginners and internediates).
The Bladez Fitness Fusion GS Indoor Cycle is fully adjustable which is pleasantly surprising in this price range. You can move both the handlebars and seat vertically and horizontally using the adjustment poles. This means you can get the bike to fit properly for the most comfortable and efficient workout. It can help prevent injury and strain from being in the wrong position when doing long workouts.
The adjustments are quick and easy to do. You undo the knobs or levers and slide the bar into position and then tighten up again. When properly tightened up they don’t appear to wriggle even at the most extended position when you are working out.
The maximum height that the bike can accommodate is 6 ft 2 ins and a minimum height of 5 ft, but it can depend on your leg length and torso length when getting close to these heights to get the bike to fit properly.
It is easier to get the bike set properly than other bikes because you can move the handlebars and seat fully (most bikes you can only fully adjust the seat and the handlebars can only be moved vertically).
To help in determining whether the bike is right for your leg length here are the distances you can adjust the seat from the pedals in their down position:
Maximum distance: 33.5 inches
Minimum distance: 28 inches
Resistance on the flywheel is an important feature of spin bikes to get a good cardio workout. It needs to be easy to adjust and be incremental so you can set it to where you want it for the hill climbs and standing out of the saddle.
Bladez Fusion GS Indoor Cycle uses a manual system for increasing/decreasing resistance that is a common method with indoor cycles. There is a knob at the top of the frame that you turn to increase or decrease the friction caused by the felt wool pad that sits on the top of the flywheel. This works well to apply constant and consistent resistance that you can rely on and is incremental so you can adjust the resistance to the level you want.
With the manual adjustment (this is the same for all bikes I’ve seen with manual resistance) there are no markings to indicate levels of resistance. This does mean that the only way you can return back to previous setting is by guesswork and feel. The only bikes that have marked levels are those with magnetic resistance tied into their console but these are much more expensive. – See Keiser M3 Plus for an example.
Also with the manual resistance the pad will wear down and you will hear a quiet noise of it rubbing against the flywheel. This is not loud and should not prevent you from working out at night or early in the morning if you want to. The pad should last 6 to 12 months before need replacing and can be bought from the manufacturer.
If you need to get off the bike quickly you push down hard on the resistance knob and the resistance works as a brake to stop the flywheel and pedals turning.
The bike has a fixed gear, which works in a similar way to children’s tricycles in that while the flywheel (front wheel) is turning the pedals are turning. This helps to give you a better workout so you don’t get to take it easy by coasting or freewheeling, instead you need to keep moving your legs. This is usual for indoor cycles and spin bikes.
The drive is a chain drive that is similar to those on road bikes (with the gears).
It makes about the same amount of clinking noise. It isn’t that loud when properly adjusted.
As with a road bike the chain is going to need some adjustment and lubricating to keep it working in good order to give a smooth and quiet ride. This is relatively minor and won’t take too long and doesn’t require any special tools (a spanner or wrench is required).
If you don’t want to be concerned about maintenance or the noise the alternative to the chain drive is the belt drive. With these there is no maintenance required (although it will need replacing at some stage in a few years time) and it is very quiet. Most bikes in this price range do not come with a belt drive. But there is one and that is the well-regarded Sunny Health & Fitness Belt Drive Indoor Cycle (read about it here).
The bike pedals come with baskets for sliding your shoes into to help with pushing and pulling while cycling. There are no straps to tighten them onto your shoes which can mean your feet may feel loose in them when you are pedaling hard but your feet shouldn’t lose their grip even when standing up out of the saddle.
These pedals do help keep the price down and for many people they do a good job in keeping the feet securely on the pedals. But, if you want you can change the pedals for other standard bike sized pedals to give you a better quality grip while cycling or spinning.
If you ride an outdoor bike you are probably going to notice that your feet a further apart when riding this bike as it has a q factor of 8.7 inches ( the horizontal distance between the pedals) which is wide but not unusual for indoor cycle bikes. It might take some time to get used to but if you want a narrower q-factor for a bike and want to pay a similar price then the Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycle (read more here) has a q-factor of 7 1/8 inches but doesn’t come with handlebars that can adjust horizontally or a console.
Bladez Fitness Fusion GS Indoor Cycle Comfort
Seat. Like most bikes, indoors or spin or outdoor bikes, many people find the seat uncomfortable. It’s not unusual as everyone has their own preference as to what feels comfortable on their sit bones especially when not used to sitting in the saddle. The options if you don’t want to persevere unaided are to try padded bike shorts or a get seat cover to see if that makes it bearable. Or you can replace the seat with one you find more comfortable. The bike fits any standard size bike seat.
Handlebars. These are flat with that angle upward at the end of for making getting out of the saddle and leaning on the bars more ergonomic (although you may want elbow pads to soften the bar on the arms near the elbows). Although they can be moved vertically and horizontally the angle can’t be changed. The handlebars are covered to make them easy to grip with sweaty hands.
You don’t have to just use them like that to sprint out of the saddle, they are also designed for sitting and placing the hands in the center or at shoulder width for leverage.
Riding Motion. The heavy flywheel ensures that it doesn’t lose momentum as you go through the pedaling cycle. It feels like riding an outdoors bike and gives a natural and constant feel to the cycling. There is none of the jerkiness or choppiness that you get with lighter flywheels.
Riding Position. You ride the bike in the same position as you would an outdoors bike with you leaning forward on to the handlebars so if you have lower back problems this type of bike may not be the best. (Check out my comparison of exercise bikes for more information).
Noise. This is not a silent bike but is quiet. The chain makes a slight clinking sound as it moves over the sprockets and the resistance pad on the flywheel makes a shushing sound. You can easily ride the bike and watch TV or hold a conversation without turning up the volume. If you have young children you could workout on the bike without disturbing them while they take a nap in the next room (if you can get them down!)
Dust And Dirt. There will be dust, lubricant and sweat dropped as the result of your exertions on the bike, so if you want to protect your flooring then a rubber mat is a good idea . This should be enough to protect your floor from damage.
The bike is 45 inches long by 21 inches wide so doesn’t take up too much room and could be stored in a large cupboard when not being used. It is heavy, weighing 86 lbs. To help with this it has 2 small wheels at the front you can tip the bike on to, to move around your house. They take most of weight so you only need to manoeuvre it and not carry it.
However, the wheels are very small and I think if you have this on carpet the wheels will get stuck in the pile making it so you have to drag it rather than wheel it. On hard surfaces the wheels should be fine but you may want to check that they don’t dent or mark wooden floors.
The bike comes mostly assembled and the tools required to complete it are included. It is a simple process to do it and should take less than an hour. It comes with an instruction manual with clear diagrams but the written directions are brief. They are sufficient to complete the job.
You are required to put on the stabilizer bars, the handlebars and pole, seat and pole, water bottle holder, pedals and the console. The frame, flywheel, chain drive and crank are all put together for you before delivery.
As mentioned in the storage section of the review above it is a heavy bike (86 lbs) so the biggest problem is likely to be with the weight and holding in place to put on the stabilizer poles. for this reason it is recommended that 2 people be involved with the assembly.
It is unusual and good to see a computer on a spin bike at this price range.
It is a basic one that tells you time elapsed, speed, distance, total distance, calories burned or you set to scan through them while you are exercising. This can help with keeping you motivated and push you harder by getting this feedback while you are on the bike.
It does not include any workout programs included to follow along to but there are now plenty of spinning workouts you can follow along to online which is what many people to get a good hard workout.
You can’t store the information or upload it to a fitness account online. So to keep track of progress you need to manually record in a journal or spreadsheet.
Apart from the time elapsed all the indicators are calculated estimates at best but they can help in tracking progress. The calories don’t take into account your weight or how much resistance you are pushing against.
The console is situated in the middle of handlebars. It is powered by 2 AA batteries and these are supplied. The LCD screen is small but can be read while riding. You can only see one data reading while exercising or you can set it toggle through them while you ride.
It turns off if there has been no cycling or buttons pushed for 4 minutes which does give you time to get off the bike if you need to refill your bottle or for other reasons and get back on it without losing your workout numbers.
The weight and dimensions of the bike are:
Length 45 inches
Width 21 inches
Height 48 inches
Flywheel Weight 40 lbs
Bike Weight 86 lbs
Q Factor 8.7 inches
Max User Weight 275 lbs
The bike comes with a drink bottle and holder that fits at the front of the handlebars. This puts the bottle in easy reach and out of the way of sweat. It may be a little difficult to get the bottle into the holder as it looks to need a little force to get it into the holder properly.
The lack of accessories is not unusual for a spin bike. They are designed so that you can work out hard and not be distracted from it. And this is the case with this bike.
It can be used for more moderate exercise if you want and these bikes do a good job at that but you won’t have anywhere to place your book or plug in your MP3 player.
Heavy flywheel for a natural riding motion
Basic console to keep track of workout and progress
Good incremental resistance for a range of difficulty
Easy to adjust bike for heights between 5 ft and 6 ft 2 inches
Quiet workout so can exercise so won’t disturb others in the home
Good stable ride without any rocking
Minimal maintenance required
Bottle holder included
Pedals have toe baskets and do not accommodate spinning or specialist cycling shoes.
Durability is questionable on some of the bikes in particular the pedal
Customer service is not as proactive as it should be
Nowhere to plug in MP3 player nor anywhere to place a book
Seat is hard but can be replaced with any standard sized bike seat
Console does not include workout programs nor can you monitor heart rate
Bladez Fitness Fusion GS Indoor Cycle Consumer Ratings
The reviews on this bike are mixed with some people very happy with it and others disappointed to say the least.
To be fair there can be problems with the manufacture of any product (although this should be minimal) and there seems to have been some issues with the pedals and axle. I’ve seen this on some other bikes but the big difference is how the company responds when there is a faulty product. This is where it seems they have let themselves and their customers down in sorting out the problem and where necessary replacing the part or bike.
Having said that when they deliver a “fully fit” bike they are robust and can take the rigors of high intense workouts.
Bladez Fitness Fusion GS Indoor Cycle Price
You get some very good features for the price. You get a heavy flywheel, a console, a drink bottle holder and heavy frame that can all combine to give you the basis for a cardio workout as intense as you like.
You can check price and if still available by clicking here: Bladez Fitness Fusion GS Indoor Cycle
This bike has a lot to commend about it – the good affordable price, the flywheel and sturdy frame construction. Unfortunately due to the mixed reviews due to the issues with it breaking when used for high intense cardio and the company not sorting the issue, I feel this bike does not reliably provide a good low impact cardio solution for those wanting to train indoor or spin in the comfort of their home. (When you get one that is properly manufactured they can be good bikes).
However, I think the Sunny Health & Fitness S-BF1110 Indoor Cycle (does not have a console) makes a better choice and you can read my review of it here.