The Diamondback 510SR Fitness Recumbent Bike is one smart looking recumbent exercise bike.
It certainly looks like the part to give you a good comfortable and low impact workout.
There are a good number of features and accessories to back up those looks.
It’s got a magnetic resistance, contoured padded seat, a mesh backrest adjustable seat, console, media bay, speakers, fan and pre-set programs that can make for a comfortable and supportive ride while being gentle on the joints in your home
But there are a couple of this to be aware of that aren’t apparent from looking through the product listing. There is plenty to like about the bike and that explains its ratings and popularity over the years.
I take a look at them as well as the good points in detail in the review below
First up is how well it holds you steady as you workout.
The bike frame and stabilizer bars are made from steel to provide the stability that prevents the bike moving around as you pedal at any level of workout intensity.
The bike can be leveled out on uneven floors by turning the 4 levelers under the stabilizer bars. This will ensure the bike doesn’t rock from side to side. This does give you much more chance of coping with any variation than the normal bikes that only have 2 levelers.
The warranty is lifetime on frame and brake, 3 years on parts and electronics, 1 year on labor and 90 days on wear items.
The bike has been available for a number of years which does provide an indicator to its durability.
The few people who have written a review on this and have used it for a number years are positive.
They say it continues to be comfortable and solid as when they bought it.
The seat movement can be adjusted to fit a range of people heights. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t offer guidance on the range.
From reading through customer reviews my estimate is that people between the heights of 5ft 2 ins and 6 ft 3 ins should not have issues using the bike – depending on their leg length.
Below the minimum height you probably find that you are stretching to reach the pedals or sitting forward on the seat (some people do this and put a cushion behind their back).
Above the maximum height you probably won’t get the proper leg extension as you pedal (leg slightly bent at farthest point of pedaling motion) and may feel cramped up. You can use the bike but as well as being cramped may experience aches and pain in your leg.
The adjustment to the seat is not difficult but is easier to do off the bike. There is a knob under the seat with a pop-pin that insert into pre-set holes in the slider bar. Sliding the seat is smooth but it is loosening and tightening the knob to move and hold the seat in place that causes some difficulty.
You do need to tighten the knob up very tight to ensure that there is no wobble in the seat which can make it hard for those without the same level of hand strength to adjust it.
This is why it is better to be off the bike along with lining up the knob with a pre-set hole. The adjustment can be done in less than 30 seconds. It is straightforward.
However, for the price I’d have expected a lever and a continuous adjustment where you can place the seat exactly where you want it – not limited to pre-set holes.
Having said that the pre-set holes are reasonably close together but you may just find that you can’t quite get the seat just right for you.
The 16 levels of magnetic resistance are controlled using the console. You make adjustments to the level by using the up/down buttons.
When using one of the pre-set programs the resistance is changed automatically.
You can then change the profile (classic) programs resistance as you go to change it to the level you want.
However, with the heart rate programs you can’t do this but that should change to a level that is right as it is designed to keep your heart rate in the selected zone.
The resistance goes from very easy to hard in increments. It moves smoothly when shifting between levels.
Beginners and those recovering from injury (if advised by doctor) should find the lover levels provide a level of resistance which is at the level they need to get started.
For most people the top level of resistance they are going to find the hardest level of resistance tough. But those who are looking for very tough resistance may find it a little easier than they may want. They won’t find it easy but may want a little extra.
If you are looking for really tough workout you may want to consider the Ironman Triathlon X-Class 410 Recumbent Bike (although it does cost more but you can change the angle of the backrest and track your workouts)
Within the shroud at the front are the magnets for the resistance, flywheel and a belt drive. This all very quiet and should not require any maintenance.
The pedaling motion is smooth with very little variation for a good low impact workout.
The shroud protects the drive, resistance and flywheel from damage as well as helps to keep children and pets from injuring themselves.
The pedals provide a sturdy platform for pushing at all levels of resistance. There are adjustable toe straps that help to keep your feet from slipping off the pedals.
They are plastic with holes that you put over a tab on the pedal to adjust them to the size you want. Once adjusted to size you can just slide your foot in.
They can be a little tough to make the adjustments at the beginning due to the plastic hardness but do soften up over time and use.
Seat. The seat is padded and contoured to provide comfort and support. The backrest is now a mesh fabric that is angled and contoured to provide support to the back.
The angle of the backrest is fixed. It does move backwards and forwards with the seat.
You can change the height of it. It has three positions to accommodate and support people of different heights. To make the change you need to be off the bike and go round the back of the bike to loosen the adjustment knob and move into position and tighten back up in the position that is right for you.
The mesh backrest as well as being supportive allow the air to flow over the bike to help remove heat and keep it cool to stop it getting too sweaty.
To get on the seat you can easily walk through the bike with the low frame only requiring a slight lift of the foot. You can then use the front handle bar for support as you lower yourself into the seat. You can also use the handlebar to help in getting out of the seat.
Most find the seat and backrest gives them the support and comfort they need to exercise for as long as they want. There isn’t any pain or aches that develop while they exercise.
However, as comfort is such a personal things some people may not find it that comfortable. People that are in this situation find that a small cushion or folded up towel can be enough to improve the comfort so they can use the bike for as long as they want.
Handlebars. There are 2 sets of handlebars – one set is at the front of the bike and the other set is on both sides of the seat.
The front set as well being used for support in getting in and out of the seat can be used to hold on to while you workout for a different sitting position or for use when setting up/making changes to the console.
The set by the seat are slight angled and above the seat. They are at a reasonable height for gripping when using the hand pulse sensors or for when you want support or leverage.
Noise. The bike operates very quietly. The loudest noise will be any heavy breathing when you’ve exerted yourself hard. It can be used while watching TV without turning the volume up or used without disturbing others and when they’re sleeping too – unless they’re very light sleepers.
If you live in an apartment your neighbors shouldn’t even know you’re exercising. Some people are concerned that noise or vibration may transmit to the apartment below them – although unlikely putting the bike on a rubber exercise mat should make it doubly sure.
Cleaning. The biggest cleaning job is likely to be keeping the bike free of sweat, because of its’ corrosive effect it can over a period of time start to rust and jam up the bike. It just needs a quick wipe down. You may also want to protect your floor with a rubber exercise mat as sweat can drop on that too.
It is not the most compact recumbent bike for home needing an area of 64 by 23 ins when not in use. It does weigh 125 lbs too. (It is unlikely to fit into a closet.)
It can be moved easily from place to place. It has two transport wheels on the front stabilizer bar. With much of the weight of the bike at the front it is easy to tip the bike up on to them and move the bike and roll it to where you want to go. You probably don’t want to be moving it too far due to the size or be going round too many corners.
The company recommends that two people should move the bike together for safety reasons but I think it could be done by one person if they are careful.
The wheels at the front of the bike will move freely on most surfaces including carpet unless they have a deep pile then they may jam up. If you have a wood floor you might want to check if the wheels dent or scratch it before you move it all the way across it.
The bike isn’t an eyesore so putting against a wall out of the way shouldn’t be a problem and it can serve as a friendly reminder.
The bike is shipped to you part completed so there is some assembly required. It normally takes about 1 hour to 2 hours to complete.
The manual advises that you should use a registered dealer or technician. But people do it on their own and describe it as straightforward. It is easier with 2 people to have one person hold the pieces in place as you tighten and for moving the box when it first arrives.
The bike comes with reasonable instructions and the tools required to finish the assembly.
You do need to check the bike with the instructions as they have in some cases already installed some pieces where the manual hasn’t been updated for these changes.
Putting it together is much easier than most kitset furniture – you are only adding major pieces to already assembled frame and drive. The most difficult part of the process has already been completed (putting the drive together).
Diamondback 510SR Fitness Recumbent Bike Console
The console comes with 20 pre-set programs. It displays progress on these programs plus measures to show you how you are tracking to help to keep you motivated.
As well as the buttons to control and set up programs it comes with accessories of speakers, magazine rack, fan, USB charger and media bay. I discuss these in the accessories section below.
The display has a good simple design, is backlit and the angle of console can be changed so that it all can be seen easily from the seat. You don’t have to squint or strain your neck to see the numbers.
The top part of the display shows resistance level, total time, segment time and watts (a measure of power generated). Total time and segment time swap between time elapsed and time left to complete the program or segment respectively.
In the middle of the display you find the heart rate monitoring and program progress display.
The heart rate display gives you the actual beat per minute and a bar graph showing the percentage of maximum heart rate you are working at when you are gripping the hand pulse sensors.
The progress display gives you a dynamic picture of the program progress. It is a matrix display that has columns across it with the height of the bar showing you with the resistance level shown by how high it is filled in. To show your progress through the program the column you are in flashes. Each column represents 1/20th of the total time selected.
Underneath this during the workout it displays distance, calories, speed and RPM. During set up it gives you instructions on what to do next.
So, it’s great it is all in front of you as you exercise.
If you want to get off the bike or stop and want to continue on afterwards with your exercise you need to press the stop button to pause the program and give you 5 minutes times to get started otherwise it resets itself after 15 seconds.
Like all recumbent exercise bikes the calories burned is an estimate based on a calculation. They have based theirs on that recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine. It then bases it on your body weight and power (calculated from RPM and resistance). If you don’t enter your weight it bases this calculation uses a weight of 155 lbs. They say it is a conservative calculation but should be more accurate even if it is lower than what you may see on other bikes.
If you are trying to lose weight a lower number is likely to be more help than on over-estimated number (I guess) but as always this does need to be combined with a proper diet. The number of the bike does still need to be seen as an estimate and not reality as it is with any piece of exercise equipment.
The 20 programs you can use include:
1 Quick start – this allows you to just get on with exercising without any set up needed. You press the go button. It has a default time of 30 minutes. Time counts down. You can change the resistance as you go.
Heart Rate Programs – there 2 types of heart rate control programs – percentage of target heart rate and target heart rate.
To use the target heart rate program you enter in the beats per minute value you want to exercise at. Resistance is adjusted to help ensure you exercise at the selected heart rate value.
The percentage heart rate programs give you a choice of 50%, 60%, 70% & 80% of maximum hear rate.
There are 2 user profiles and 1 guest profile that uses default settings except for heart rate programs where you can enter age.
The classic profile programs offer a variety of varying resistance levels over a period of time. The names of programs give you an indication of the type of workout to expect. You also see the profile of workout on the matrix in display screen.
There are 4 strength programs, 5 hill climb programs, 5 interval programs and 2 fat burn programs.
There is plenty of variety to keep you interested and challenged. They can also help by giving you some guidance rather than having to come up with your own or if you prefer you can just get on the bike pedal away but you can’t set up your own custom workout.
You can select a workout time from 1 minute to 119 minutes long.
Both hand pulse sensors need to be gripped to get a heart rate reading. Some people for this bike have mentioned that they can get a good accurate reading from these. However, many people struggle to get a good consistent and accurate reading when they grip these type of sensors. This is common issue with all bike models not just this one. This can make the heart rate monitoring difficult and not that useful on this bike and others too.
The default settings are English (imperial) but this can be changed to metric if you prefer.
The console doesn’t store your workout results or upload them to a fitness account for tracking and analysis purposes. You need to do all this separately – something I like to spend too much time doing – but it can help with motivation and to see how you are progressing.
Magazine Rack It has two arms that you swing up and a small ledge in the center of the console for balancing a magazine. There’s nothing to hold the pages flat so you may find them turning over by themselves. When in use a magazine will cover up the display. One customer put a ruler across and finds that provides the support needed for a ipad or tablet – an elastic band or strap across would make me feel it was more secure.
The dimensions and weight are:
Height 50 ins
Width 23 ins
Length 64 ins
Bike Weight 125 lbs
Max User Weight 300 lbs
The bike comes with a good range of accessories
Media Shelf. This is designed to be used for MP3 players and phones. It’s at the top of the console and is flipped open when you want to use it. It does mean that these devices don’t cover up the display but it is a shame it won’t fit a tablet or iPad.
USB Charger. The USB charger is inside the media bay and means your devices won’t run down as you play them.
Fan. This is a two speed fan at the bottom of the console between the speakers. You turn it on and off using the fan button in the middle of the console next to quick start buttons. It provides a light breeze at best which helps a little in keeping you cool.
It has 2 speeds and you can change the direction of the air flow by moving the louver in the fan that you can move to get it to blow the air in the direction and volume for your comfort. You don’t
Speakers. There are 2 speakers at the bottom of the console. There is an audio jack at the top of the console that you plug your media player into using a male to male audio cable (not supplied). Volume and track selection is controlled through the device and not the console. They’re not that loud so you may be better sticking with headphones or earbuds
Water bottle holder. This is on the front support. It will mid range water bottles. You do need to lean forward a little to slide the bottle in and out of the holder.
- Has 20 pre-set programs for variety and a workout that’s right for you
- The height of backrest has 3 positions to provide better support for different heights
- Assembly can be finished within 2 hours
- Bike is low maintenance and shouldn’t any on an ongoing basis
- Lifetime warranty on the frame and brake
- Bike is stable providing a good solid platform for workouts
- 16 levels of resistance that can be set quickly at the level you want
- Bike is low maintenance
- Has 2 user profiles and 1 guest profile to help with setting heart rate monitoring and programs
- The bike needs to be plugged in to use so can’t be used in an outage
- Display is backlit for easy viewing in all light conditions
- The angle of the backrest can’t be changed
- Doesn’t come with a shelf that fits tablets or ipads
- Uses a knob rather than lever for adjusting seat position which can be difficult to tighten up enough to stop the seat from wobbling slightly
- Isn’t compatible with heart rate strap for heart rate monitoring
- Doesn’t allow you to track or upload workout results
- You can’t set up your own customized program
Diamondback 510SR Fitness Recumbent Bike Consumer Ratings
Customers on the whole are pleased with the bike.
But as with all the recumbent exercise bikes not everyone has that opinion.
There are just a few with issues where people have received a faulty bike and that has not been resolved by the company. However, there is also some who have had a similar issue to start with but the company has responded quickly and sorted the issue and have given it a good rating.
The problems overall do appear isolated.
Also there are people who don’t like the seat adjustment as they find it difficult to tighten it up enough to hold the seat completely steady. To properly tighten up you do need to be off the bike.
Overall people like the comfort, low impact and smooth pedaling motion they can use to get the low impact workout they want for their particular fitness goals. They find the workout programs give them the variety they want to keep them working out.
Diamondback 510SR Fitness Recumbent Bike Price
For the price you do get a very solid bike with a lot of very good features for a comfortable and convenient low impact exercise.
You do pay extra than other bikes that don’t have the same level of sturdiness and engineering. You’d expect less chance of an issue because of that.
As well as saving on gym fees you can save time getting to the gym as well as being able to exercise when your schedule allows.
The bike can be used by beginners, people recovering from injury or in pain to get a smooth low impact cardio workout.
It does also have the capability for those who want more demanding workouts. The top levels of resistance being tough. Although those who want extreme levels may find the top levels of resistance not quite where they want it but they can still get intense workouts.
The one issue is ease of the seat adjustment. It can be hard to get the adjustment tight enough to hold the seat steady for some people. It takes a certain level of strength so that the seat doesn’t wobble.
I’d have expected a lever at the price range that you can adjust on the seat. When using the knob it is best to be off the seat to be able to turn it properly.
Overall this bike can give you a comfortable, quiet and gentle on the joints workout.