The Marcy Foldable Exercise Bike comes with very good ratings and at a very good price too.
It seems people get a lot of use out of the bike for low impact cardio exercise to help them improve their fitness, recover from illness or surgery and/or increase their activity levels.
It does come with a console to help you see how you are getting on but apart from that it is very much a no-frills bike.
It has some very good features for a home exercise bike too – magnetic resistance, belt drive and a compact size that can be folded up. These things make it a quiet bike and a space saver.
These are among the things they that do need to be considered before you decide if this folding exercise bike is the one for you.
In this review we examine all the important aspects of what makes for a good bike for home use.
This is a compact and light bike, for an exercise bike, and along with the price would make you think it wouldn’t be sturdy or stable while you exercise. But that isn’t the case.
It provides a good solid base for you to get frequent exercise, for users up to a maximum weight of 250 lbs without any rocking or moving around.
The steel frame stays firm without flexing or bending and only gives off the occasional creak.
It doesn’t come with levelers so does need to be kept on even floors otherwise it will rock from side to side.
It appears to have good durability and should be around for a number of years for your workouts.
People who have left reviews and questions report that they’ve had it for over a year, used it regularly, without any issues or maintenance requirements other than cleaning and tightening bolts from time to time. They expect it to keep on going strong.
The frame has a warranty for 2 years which is expected for a bike at this price point.
The lower end of the range is closer to 5 ft 2 ins where people can comfortably reach the pedals. There are a few people who are below this height down to 5 ft who say they can reach it but they are likely to have longer legs.
At the top end of the height scale most people get a full range of motion with proper leg extension up to 6ft tall. People over that height can use the bike but will find they don’t get the leg to extend to just slightly bent at the far end of the pedal stroke. They are likely to feel cramped but shouldn’t be banging the handlebars up to 6 ft 3 ins.
Only the seat height can be adjusted – there is no ability to change the horizontal setting although it does go up at an angle to make allowance for different body sizes.
Making the adjustments is quick to do. It makes this bike something that many people can use. Once you’ve sized the bike for you it only takes seconds to adjust the bike to your setting. It doesn’t have markings on the pole to help with this but you can use permanent marker pen to note your setting.
To adjust the seat height you loosen the adjustment knob on the post and remove it from the pre-set hole. You then slide the seat to the height you want and then re-insert the pin and tighten it up fully to avoid slippage or movement.
To control the amount of resistance you are pedaling against there is a tension knob below the handlebars. It controls a magnetic strip that moves closer to the flywheel (enclosed) making it harder to pedal against and moves it further away to make it easier. It is has 8 levels of resistance marked.
At Level 1 there is very little resistance almost like none at all. It increases in small increments as you turn the dial.
At Level 8 it is more like going up an incline rather than a steep hill.
This makes it good for beginners and those wanting to add more activity into their life for general fitness and burning calories.
It is also good for those who want a cardio workout that provides a little challenge.
But, if you are in good shape you are likely to find the resistance levels are less than you need to get a good challenging workout. This will definitely be the case if you are a serious athlete looking for tough cardio workouts and training. If you are in this category it’s great for getting a warm up or when you want to catch up on a movie.
Having the resistance levels marked helps you to be able to track your progress on the bike objectively and set your own exercise plans. It also helps in returning to previous level – it removes the guesswork out of it all.
The pedaling motion is smooth without any choppiness at the lower levels of resistance but you may finding it “pulsing” at the highest levels where the pedal stroke speeds up as you are pushing and slows around the top/bottom of the stroke which does add some more impact to the stroke.
The bike has a belt drive that is quiet and smooth. It doesn’t slip as you pedal at any of the resistance levels. It doesn’t require any ongoing maintenance.
It is enclosed keeping it out of the reach of pets and small fingers. It also protects your ankles and clothes from getting caught up in the belt.
The pedals are made from a sturdy plastic with a non slip surface and straps to keep your shoes in place. They fit athletic shoes but you could use just about any type of shoe if you want.
If you have big feet you may find the straps are too small to go round them. You can remove them and pedal with the straps. The pedals do grip on to the shoes and should keep them in place.
The pedals are in front of the seat not directly below as you find on an upright bike. It can make a little getting used to if you ride a bike regularly. But most people find it comfortable and easy on the legs.
It does make it very awkward, to say the least, to stand up to pedal. It can be done but it isn’t advised. It isn’t designed for this type of workout.
A better option if you want to stand on the pedals for sprint and hill climb type workouts is a spin bike (see choices for best spin bikes under $200 here).
Also, it doesn’t have a weighted flywheel so the pedaling feel is different to that of a spin bike or an outdoor bike as the pedals aren’t pulled though.
Seat. It is oversized, padded with high density foam, but it doesn’t seem to be enough to make it comfortable. This is common problem with most exercise bike with bike type seats. You can sit either upright or lean slightly forward resting hands/gripping the handlebars.
To help with problems with pain in sitting you can try a large gel-set cover (Sunlite Gel Seat Cover)and/or padded bike shorts
The bike seat attaches to the seat pole with 3 bolts which makes it difficult to replace with standard fitting bike seats. But it can be done . The simplest method is to buy a universal exercise bike seat adaptor which bolts on to the pole and on top has standard bike seat fitting.
If you are towards the lower end of the height range you may find that the seat can be a little difficult to get on to with the height of x-bars can get in the way – you may need a small step or stool to help you. The maximum height of the seat is 36 ins and minimum height is 32 ins.
Noise. It is very quiet so you can easily watch TV. (You can now pedal away while having session in front of Netflix and not feel guilty!). It won’t disturb others watching TV – in fact they might even forget you are there until you start breathing heavily from the exertion. You can ride it at night and not disturb others in the house while they sleep. Or if you have yong children you can exercise while they take a nap (if you have time or energy after running around after them).
If you live in an apartment it is unlikely to disturb your neighbors. If you are concerned about people below you a rubber exercise mat will stop any slight vibration transmitting through the floor. If they don’t hear the TV they won’t hear the bike.
Handlebars. They are fixed in place about 44’5 inches from the base. They are covered with a rubberized coating for good grip and to prevent blisters on your hands. The rectangular shape allows you to have several different grips for comfort.
Dust and Dirt. The bike doesn’t generate dirt and dust. Sweat may be the biggest issue as it can drop on the bike and floor. It is important to wipe down the bike to prevent the salt and water from the sweat corroding the bike and gumming it up. The floor can be protected with rubber exercise mat.
It folds down to 18.5 by 20 by 45 ins which makes it compact enough to fit in a closet or out of the way against a wall. Unfortunately it isn’t enough to fit under most beds.
Folding up is quick to do. You remove the safety pin at the center of the bike, push the legs togteher and then re-insert the safety pin and you are good to go.
It doesn’t have transport wheels so you need to drag or lift it to where you want it. The weight of the bike is 35 lbs. Despite that most people find it relatively easy to move, although some do struggle with it.
The bike comes partly assembled. To complete it, takes less than 2 hours and usually between 30 to 60 minutes.
You can do this on your own but the company recommends two people to make it easier to hold and line up the parts.
The bolts and nuts are in the holes rather than in a hardware pack saving you the job of identifying which is which,
The holes and pieces all line up making attaching them straightforward (apart from the pedal straps). The instructions and diagrams are clear and easy to follow.
The most difficult part of the assembly is putting the straps on the pedals which can take some stretching and pulling to get them attached.
It comes with a wrench and Allen wrench to tighten up everything. You can make do with the wrench but it is much quicker if you use your own.
It is a basic console. It measures time, speed (mph), distance (miles), calories and total distance of all workouts(odometer).
The console sits in the middle of the handlebars. The measures are large and easy to see in good light. But it isn’t backlit which can make it difficult to see the numbers in poor light.
It only shows one measure at a time. It has an auto on/off function. When you start pedaling the screen comes on and tracks your progress. After 5 minutes of no activity it turns off which saves battery and gives enough time to take a quick break if you need it without losing.
The mode key below the screen can be used to chose the measure you want displayed or you can set it to scan through them every 4 seconds.
The console takes 2 AAA batteries that normally last up to 3 months which you need to supply.
The manual warns that the measures it displays are approximate only and shouldn’t be relied on and that is confirmed by experience – it shows the measure do tend to be inaccurate with only time being reliable.
It can be used to keep track of your exercising during a exercise session and if you keep a manual record you can track your progress.
The dimensions and weight of the bike are:
In Use dimensions
Height 45.25 ins
Width 18.25 ins
Length 32 ins
Height 45 ins
Width 18.25 ins
Length 20 ins
Bike Weight 35 lbs
Max User Weight 250 lbs
The bike doesn’t come with any accessories. If you want water as you exercise you need to set it up near a table where you can put your water bottle until you want it.
There is nowhere for a book or tablet or MP3 player or a TV remote (which you can put on a table next to you). You can hold and rest the book or tablet on handlebars and console. You could with rubber bands or straps keep a tablet in place on them too.
The manual does have some help about getting started, although it doesn’t provide help on how to set the bike up to get the best fit. It gives you some warm up stretches and idea on your heart training zone (thw bike doesn’t come with a heart rate monitor), and a cool down phase. It is fairly basic.
But it is better than most. Plus there a couple of tips on muscle toning and weight loss. It could do with some editing and really does need more information to be really helpful to a beginner.
- Very quiet bike – it won’t disturb others in the house or in an apartment downstairs from you
- Assembly is quick and straightforward
- It comes with a basic console for tracking your workout
- Provides low impact exercise which people can use for general activity and knee rehab (on doctors advice), lose weight etc
- Has a basic console that can be used to provide you with feedback while you exercise
- Folds up to save space and make it easier to store out of the way in a closet
- It is stable and there is no rocking or worrying about falling off
- Easy and quick to adjust for a range of heights
- Resistance levels are marked making it easy to adjust bike to the level you want
- It provides a good level of workout for beginners and those looking to get in shape or stay that way
- Upper levels of resistance aren’t tough enough to give people who are in good shape the workout they are after
- Does not have wheels to move it – it needs to be dragged or lifted to move it in and out of storage
- You can’t stand on the pedals and use like you would a spin bike
- It doesn’t have levelers to balance up the bike on an uneven floor
- Most people find the seat very uncomfortable and is difficult to replace but you can try gel seat cover and padded bike seat cover
- There is no pre-set workout programs or sample workouts to follow
- Console measures are approximate only shouldn’t be relied on
- It is not designed for standing on the pedals as you would on a spin bike
- The manual only includes some basic information to help beginners – it doesn’t show how to set the bike up correctly for the best fit
With over 400 customer reviews online from sites it is apparent that people like this bike a lot. It’s quiet, sturdy, doesn’t take up a lot of room and provides them with the type of exercise they want to achieve their fitness goals.
However , there are 4 areas that come up as concerns for some of the customers:
Resistance. The resistance is lightweight for those who are in good condition and want a challenging workout.
Monitor. There has been issues with it not working (most times company sorts this out) and the accuracy of the measures. Apart from time they are only approximate at best (good for comparing workouts and keeping on track but not for relying on for assessing calories burned or estimated distance traveled etc)
Seat. This happens with all bike type seats that people find them hard and uncomfortable but this one doesn’t
Height – many are disappointed that it doesn’t really fit people below 5 ft 2ins or over 6 ft. The company should really be clearer as to the range of heights
A few people have received a bike that didn’t work but that seems to be more a problem with the shipping than the bike, although the manufacturer has also let the customers down by not responding quickly enough.
These concerns aside the majority of people are very happy with the bike.
This is an affordable folding exercise bike that is liked by most people who use it. It is something that all adult members of the family can use (and older children) to get their activity and cardio workouts.
It doesn’t take that long to pay for itself when you consider what it costs for a gym membership for one person or for all the family.
When I checked pricing Amazon had a good deal where it qualified for free shipping and Prime.
It is a well-built solid bike and is very quiet. It is compact and folds up for better use of space when not in use.
These features make it a great choice for the home and apartments or even motor homes.
If you are in serious training or want to be this folding exercise bike is not one that is going to meet your demands.
The resistance on the bike when set to the highest setting is like riding up an incline rather than a steep hill, which is great for general fitness but not when you want something that is demanding.
This is a bike for beginners and those looking to increase your activity rather than for getting some real serious cardio workouts and training. It can help you with rehab, get in shape and burn calories for weight loss.
Adults (and children who are tall enough) of all ages can use this bike (with people over 80 using it regularly for their cardio exercise).
Filed under: Folding Exercise Bikes
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