Two top spin bikes going head to head in this Lifecycle GX vs Keiser M3 comparison to find out how they match up.
The big question is which one offers the best value for the money in helping you reach your fitness goals.
There are a number of similarities with both bikes. They have a flywheel at the back of the bike being one of them, have magnetic resistance, belt drive, console and they look good too.
However, there are some differences between them that are important depending on what type of ride you want and your reasons looking to buy a bike.
Before moving on to comparing and looking at the differences here is a quick look at each of the bikes.
This durable bike is micro adjustable to fit people between the heights of 4 ft 10 ins and 6 ft 4 ins.
The magnetic resistance and belt drive provide you with a quiet and effective workout. There is very little maintenance required.
You can ride the bike without disturbing others in your home and you can watch TV without turning the volume up more than a little.
The pedals are dual sided with toe cups and straps on one side and cleats for SPD shoes on the other.
This bike has a light flywheel weighing 8.85 lbs. This doesn’t pull the pedals through the same as you get with heavier flywheels but does allow for the variable resistance of the magnetic resistance to work in the same way you get on a road bike. You do need to pedal in a different way to bike with heavy flywheels and concentrate on good form especially when you are out of the saddle.
It still provides a fluid riding experience you just don’t get the help you do with a heavy flywheel, as long as you ensure you pedal around the 360 degree pedal motion.
Keiser M3 Range
There are 3 models in the Keiser M3 range with the Keiser M3i having advantages over the M3 & M3 plus.
It is fully adjustable with the handlebars and seat moving backwards/forwards and up/down to get the best fit possible. The console is able to be paired with iOS devices using bluetooth and the GoInd App to give you more analysis and storage of your training data.
The pedals are dual – on one side you have toe cages and straps for athletic shoes and the other has cleats for fitting SPD shoes.
This bike is also different to most other spin bikes and indoor cycles as it has a light flywheel weighing only 8 lbs, whereas others are at least 30 lbs, so it does a give a different feel to the pedaling.
It takes advantage of the effect of the magnetic resistance increasing the faster you pedal providing a similar feel to that you get on a road bike as you get the same increase the faster you travel. It is smooth riding experience but it is different to other bikes.
How Do They Differ- The Facts
Belt Drive. The Lifecycle GX has a multi-ribbed belt that provides a more secure grip on the flywheel to prevent slipping.
Console. The Keiser M3i monitors Watts in addition to calories, distance and heart rate. The distance is not Mile or kilometers but something in between (Lifecycle GX is mile or kilometers).
Watts won’t coincide with what you record on a bike but does allow you to compare rides on the Keiser M3i. The Keiser M3i can upload its information to a basic App available on IOS devices for storage and further analysis
Q Factor. The Lifecycle GX has a narrower Q Factor at 170 mm ( although wider than a road bike) is much narrower than the 197 mm that the Keiser m3i has at 197 mm. The wide M3i Q Factor can feel uncomfortable at best and at worst it can cause pressure on the joints that can result in injury.
Handlebars. The Lifecycle GX handlebars are more traditional shape and come with aero bars that are easy to use as such, the Keiser M3i handlebars are bit of an odd shape making them harder to use in the aero bar position.
Water Bottle The Lifecycle GX comes with dual water bottle holders which are positioned in easy reach between the handlebars and out of the way of a sweat zone. The Keiser m3i only has a single water bottle holder and situated at the bottom of the frame puts it right in a sweat zone and you do need to be careful you don’t kick it off when you get off the bike.
Max User Weight. The Lifecycle GX can accommodate users up to the weight of 350 lbs which is 50lbs more than the Keiser M3i
Price – The Difference
The difference in price between the 2 bikes is $4 when I checked (that is the M3i and the Lifecycle).
The Kesier M3i comes with a console that records watts and can be uploaded to a basic App which is the advantage this bike has over the Lifecycle GX.
The Lifecycle GX has a better riding experience with the better Q factor and handle bars.
So there isn’t really that much to choose between them in terms of explaining price.
Which Model Should You Buy
This is a difficult one as they are in lots of ways very similar bikes and both bikes are high quality.
The Lifecycle GX has the better Q factor which is better on the legs by keeping them in alignment and there’ll be less chance of injury due to this. The better handlebars also allow for using in the aero position.
The Keiser M3i is better for recording your workouts and storing with the basic GoInd App that works with iOS smart devices and IOS. So if oyu want to record and analyse your workout this is an easier solution but it is basic.
But I think in the end the Lifecycle provides a better ride and lower risk of injury making a better bike overall.
Compare – Side By Side – Features and Dimensions
To help in understanding the difference between the bikes the table below lists their features and dimensions side by side.
|Feature||Keiser M3i||Lifecycle GX|
|Flywheel Weight||8 lbs||8.85 lbs|
|Pedals||Dual Toe cages/SPD||Dual Toe cages/SPD|
|Bike Weight||85 lbs||111 lbs|
|Max User Weight||300 lbs||350 lbs|
|Max User Height||4 ft 10 ins||4 ft 10 ins|
|Min User Height||6 ft 5 ins||6 ft 4 ins|
|Dimensions||Height 45 ins|
Width 26 ins
Length 49 ins
|Height: 46 ins
Width: 23 ins
Length: 42 ins
|Q Factor||197 mm||170 mm|
Hopefully you’ve got the information you need to make the right decision. Please let us know what you’ve decided in the comments below.
Filed under: Buying Advice
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