The Marcy ME 709 Recumbent Exercise Bike has been a bestselling bike for a number of years. It seems to be able to combine a great low price with high levels of customer satisfaction.
It is a basic recumbent exercise bike but appears to do the job that people expect and often surpassing the expectations that people have of it when they buy.
Many people use it for improving their general fitness, to lose weight or rehab after an injury (on their doctors advice of course).
Its comfortable seat, backrest and low impact cardio being some of the things that help to make it popular along with price.
I think the simplicity of it all (no frills) can help too – it makes it easier to use and there is less to go wrong as well.
As with anything it is not for everyone and in our review we go through the good and the bad in detail so that you can decide if it is the right bike for you and your fitness goals.
It is a well constructed bike from 2 inch steel tubing that holds everything firm as you exercise.
It doesn’t move around or wobble allowing you to exercise and watch TV or anything else you may want to do to keep your mind occupied.
The bike doesn’t have levelers so you do need to have it on a flat floor or it will rock from side to side – a rubber exercise mat can help to prevent the rocking if your floor is a little uneven.
There have been a couple of areas of concern with the bike. One is the bearings where a few people have experienced them not holding up and hearing that grinding noise in a few weeks.
The company did replace the bikes when it happened as noted in a review. It is an old problem so now appears to be a thing of the past.
The other problem that a few people have experienced when they’ve put weight on the handlebars (more than they should in some cases) is that it can break them off. It doesn’t happen often and in cases where it has happened the supplier Impex has replaced them..
I think it is unlikely that you’ll have either of these problems but it has happened in the past to just a few customers.
Customers who have had the bike for more than 3 years have left reviews saying they are still getting good workouts from it, with them using it on a regular basis to work on their fitness.
The warranty for the frame is 2 years, there is not one specified for the parts that I have found yet.
The back half of the bike can be moved closer and further away from the pedals.
You don’t adjust the seat as you do on other bikes but adjust the frame moving the back and front of the bike closer/further apart depending on the setting you want. The adjustment is on the sliding bar that goes along the floor that joins the front of the bike to the back. This can cause a few problems when you want to adjust the seat.
It can be done in under a minute but does take more strength than you do with other affordable recumbent exercise bikes like the Exerpeutic 900XL where you move the seat backwards/forwards.
It involves undoing the pop-pin knob and pulling then sliding the sliding frame (rear of the bike) to the position you want and re-inserting pin into the pre-set hole and tightening it back into place.
The bike seems to fit people between the heights of 5ft 2 ins and 6 ft from customers experience. Below 5 ft 2ins people start having to stretch to reach the pedals (most but not all depending on their leg length) at the far end of the pedal stroke.
Some who struggle to reach the pedals put a cushion behind them to push then forward on the seat to reach the pedals properly. Others have drilled an additional hole in the sliding bar (not advised by the company).
If you are over 6ft you are likely to feel cramped and not get the full range of motion of the knee as you pedal.
The bike has 8 levels of magnetic resistance. The change to the levels of resistance is done manually.
It is controlled using the tension knob at the front of the bike below the console. You do need to lean forward to reach it to change the loading.
It turns easily – clockwise increases the resistance and counter-clockwise decreases it.
Levels 1 – 2 are very light resistance and is almost like there is none to push against. Many people that are just starting out or rehabbing (as advised by their doctor) their knee(s) find this a good place to get started.
Levels 3 – 6 provide progressively more difficult resistance and continues a smooth and fluid pedaling motion. Many find this to be the range that they can get a good low impact workout to get a “sweat on”
Levels 7 – 8 gets to a moderately hard level which can be a stretch for many but anyone who is wanting tough workouts will probably find it doesn’t give them the intensity they want (i.e. it is too easy). The riding motion will also start to be a little choppy as it slows and speeds up round the pedaling motion.
As it is magnetic resistance it is very quiet and no maintenance as there are no touching parts.
The transition between the levels is smooth and incremental so there are no sharp jumps in how hard it is to pedal as you change the level of resistance.
The belt drive is quiet and enclosed in the casing which keeps it from getting damaged plus out of the way protecting children and pets. It also stops your ankles and clothes from getting caught up in it.
The counter balanced pedals give a smooth pedaling experience. They have a textured surface for grip and a strap to keep your feet securely in place. They are designed to be used with athletic shoes.
The straps on the pedals can be hard to adjust as the plastic is hard around the holes. Also people with larger shoes size will find they don’t have enough room to tie them up. It would be unusual for your feet to slip off the pedals without the straps unless the bike is not propely adjusted for you and you are stretching to reach the pedals.
You can pedal backwards on them, although it is not advised, and there is no resistance although the computer continues to track your effort.
Marcy ME 709 Recumbent Exercise Bike Comfort
Seat Many people find this a comfortable seat – it is an oversized bike seat with a backrest. The seat and backrest are fixed in place. The backrest is slightly angled that most people find gives them the support they need for their back.
The seat is about 16 ins wide by 10 ins deep and backrest is about 12 ins wide by 16 ins tall.
But like any bike style seat not everyone will find it to their liking. This just the way these seats are. Some people put a cushion on the seat and/or backrest and this is sufficient to add the comfort they need. You can also try a gel seat or sheepskin cover for a more permanent solution and one that is less likely to move around as you workout
Replacing the seat is difficult because it is screwed in place using 4 bolts so it doesn’t fit a standard bike fitting seat.
The seat is at a height similar to a chair making easy to get on and off it. It is step through so there is no having to lift your leg high to get on to the seat – just a couple of inches is all that is needed.
Dirt and Dust There’s not much to be concerned about with dust and dirt. It doesn’t generate much at all. You are likely to find the biggest source of concern will be sweat. So there is some cleaning to do. This is to keep the bike in top shape. It helps to keep the corrosive effects of sweat at bay.(The paint will also help to prevent the bike corroding). The sweat can also drop on the floor and you can protect that with a rubber exercise mat.
Noise It’s a very quiet bike. The loudest noise is likely to be your breathing. You can exercise while watching the TV or music and not disturb others in the room. Some people exercise during the night and other while their children are taking a nap.
For those who live in an apartment you shouldn’t have any issues with neighbors complaining about noise. They won’t even know you’re exercising – if you do have concern about people living below you – a rubber exercise mat should stop any possible transfer of vibration through the floor if you’ve a wooden floor.
Handlebars. The bike has 2 sets of handlebars – one at the front of the bike and a 2nd set beside the seat as you find with most recumbent exercise bikes.
They are both covered with a rubberized material that makes them easy to grip.
You need to lean forward to use the set at the front but it can help in keeping you exercising if you get tired of the recumbent position.
The distance between the handlebars by the seat are about 22 inches and are above the level of the seat. They are good for giving you something to rest hands on and are contoured for a more comfortable grip. They are good help for getting in and out of the seat. You can remove them if you don’t want them without affecting the bike’s performance.
You can rest your arms but you probably won’t want to push down on them as they are too hard for that as they don’t have the padding for that.
The bike needs an area of 55.5 by 25 inches when not in use. It doesn’t fold down.
It does have transport wheels on the front stabilizer bars that are a great help when you are moving the bike from place to place. You lift the back of the bike to tip it on to them. It is easy to roll the bike on hard surfaces but it can be difficult on carpet where you may find that you have to drag the bike as the wheels can get “jammed”
Also on a wood floor you may want to check that they don’t scratch the floor before you move it across the whole thing.
The bike arrives part-completed. To finish the assembly normally takes around an hour or so.
It is fairly straightforward and comes with the tools needed to complete it. One person can do it but it does help to have a second person to hold the bike while you add the pieces especially the 2 stabilizer bars.
There is one tricky part and it is worth studying the manual closely when adding the front post connecting the computer wire and tension cable. If not done correctly it can result in no resistance or too much and not being able to change it.
Most people don’t have an issue but some do have a problem which is normally solved by looking at the manual again.
The job of assembly involves adding the stabilizer bars, attaching the sliding frame, front post, console, seat support, backrest, seat, handlebars and pedals
It is a basic console that measures time, speed (MPH), distance (miles), total distance (miles) and calories burned. It doesn’t measure your heart rate.
It’s good for getting feedback during your exercise to help keep you motivated either to keep your pace up or to beat a previous PR (it you’re that way inclined) otherwise can just use it for keeping time.
You can choose to just see one measure during your workout or set it to scan through them every four seconds. This is done by using the buttons below the screen as described in the manual.
When you finish your exercise it doesn’t automatically reset you need to do this by pressing the reset button. The total distance (odometer) isn’t cleared this way – that can only be done by taking out the batteries.
The measures are easy to read on the LCD screen in good light but in poor light they can be hard to see because it isn’t backlit.
Other than time the measures are “estimates” only and shouldn’t be taken as accurate. There good for keeping you motivated while you exercise and for tracking progress.
The only power needed is 2 AA batteries for the console (the rest of the bike doesn’t require power). They are easy to change when needed – which is expected to be about 3 months.
It has an auto on/off so that it starts when you start pedaling or press a button and turns off after 8 minutes of inactivity to conserve power.
You need to keep your own record of your performance if you like to track and measure using a journal, spreadsheet or fitness account by entering it manually as it can’t be uploaded.
The dimensions and weights of the bike are:
Height 37.5 ins
Width 25 ins
Length 55.5 ins
Bike Weight 57 lbs
Max User Weight 300 lbs
The bike is a simple piece of equipment without any accessories – giving you less to go wrong. There isn’t anywhere for your water bottle or MP3 player etc. If you want these or anything else close at hand you need to exercise near a table. It is possible to use an adjustable table to put over the bike where you can then use a laptop as a few people do.
There is some instruction in the manual about warming up and training in your heart rate zone (although there isn’t a heart rate monitor provided) but there isn’t any help with adjusting the bike to fit properly or example workouts to try
- Easy to assemble in an hour or so
- 8 marked levels of resistance
- 2 sets of handlebars allows you to exercise in different positions
- Can be adjusted to fit a range of heights
- Easy step through and seat at a good height for sitting and standing
- There are transport wheels to help with moving the bike
- It is quiet and provides a smooth low impact workout (it does get a little choppy at levels 7 and 8) for help with losing weight, toning and improving cardio fitness
- It is an affordable price bringing it in range of most budgets
- It is sturdy and appears durable
- Does not come with a heart rate monitor
- There are no pre-programmed workouts
- Adjustment for different sizes can be difficult
- Doesn’t have a levelers to balance up the bike on uneven floors
- The resistant doesn’t go to a hard enough level for those wanting very challenging workouts
- Seat doesn’t include a head rest
- Unable to upload your workouts to a fitness account or track them over time
- People with wide feet may find the straps too short (see comments below)
Marcy ME 709 Recumbent Exercise Bike Consumer Ratings
Overall the reviews left by customer are positive. They are surprised at the construction for the price. They find it quiet and sturdy. It is a comfortable bike on the whole.
Adjusting the bike is seen as an issue for some because it involves some muscle to make the adjustment and can make it a pain to adjust if more than one of you want to use the bike.
A few reviewers have had issues with quality control, especially earlier on but it does seem to have improved and company has got better at responding.
But the majority of customers find it is a bike they actually use for improving their health, feeling better and looking better.
Marcy ME 709 Recumbent Exercise Bike Price
This is an economical priced recumbent bike. You don’t get any “frills” with it.
I guess that means there is less to go wrong. It is well made for the price and gives people what they’re looking for in terms of exercise (light to moderate) which is enough for many.
When I checked at Amazon it can qualify for free shipping.
You can check current pricing and availability at Amazon by clicking here:
The Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Exercise Bike does a good job at providing a low impact cardio workout for people looking light to moderate levels of exercise. It is easy on the knees and most people find it comfortable.
The biggest drawback for the bike is the way you adjust the bike for people’s sizes which can be awkward and a little annoying. If there is only one person using the bike it’s not an issue if there is more than one you need to be okay with a more difficult way to get it to the proper fit each time people of different heights use the bike.
If you want intense or very challenging workouts then this bike’s resistance is going to be too light for you.
For others it is a comfortable, quiet and easy to operate recumbent exercise bike to get a good workout at a very affordable price.