When you are looking for exercise equipment like the Phoenix 98623 Revolution Cycle Pro II Exercise Bike you want to be sure that it can provide you with a cardio workout as tough as you want without having to worry about it breaking down or being unstable.
In our review we look at its durability, stability and just how good a workout you can get. We look at it features and how they stack up. We discuss alternatives plus we look at how noisy it is, how easy is it to move around , what heights is it best for and how quick is it to adjust for
In a hurry …
different heights so more than one person can use it.
As well as it being stable you want to know you can have an efficient and comfortable workout at whatever pace you want to cycle at.
It comes with a heavy flywheel, adjustable seat, adjustable handlebar and incremental manual resistance everything needed for an efficient workout.
The bike is heavy duty with the frame and parts made from steel. It has a 39.6 lb flywheel and weights 113 lbs in total and although compact it has good width to prevent side to side movement when you are out of the saddle cycling hard. You don’t feel like it’s going tip over at any point including when going from seated to standing and back.
There is a small amount of vibration when sprinting and out of the saddle like you may have experienced when using a spin bike at the gym. It won’t affect the quality of your workout.
You may also feel the handlebars moving slightly when they are extended to last adjustment hole and again this is slight and won’t affect your exercise and training. It is only when on the highest adjustment hole and there is nothing noticeable at other height levels.
If you have an uneven floor the front stabilizer bar has 2 levelers that can be screwed up and down to level it out to prevent any rocking that might otherwise occur.
People who have been using the bike a number of years report they are getting good service out of the bike. They have found it is durable and sturdy. It can stand up to multiple workouts a week for many years.
The bike seat can be adjusted vertically and horizontally and the handlebars can only be adjusted up and down. The adjustment is done by loosening the adjustment knobs and sliding the post and then re-inserting the pin in the knob into the appropriate hole in post and tightening up.
These help in getting the bike to fit you for the most efficient workout so you are not overstretching or cramped up. You get a better workout and reduces the risk of any overuse strains that may occur from bad form.
The movement of the posts can sometimes need some force because the posts are in tight and you may find you need help with this. This only happens occasionally and a little lubrication normally sorts the issue.
It can be adjusted to accommodate people between the heights of 5 ft 2 ins and 6 ft 3 ins. If you are shorter than 5 ft 2 ins you can get an extra 2 ins adjustment by resting the post on the bottom and not using the holes. The seat is in tight and does not move when cycling but it is not supposed to be used like this.
It can sometimes feel, due to where the holes in the adjustment posts are that, it is either a little too tall or a little too short but that is the same as with other bikes.
The handlebars not moving horizontally can also make it so you can’t get it to fit you quite right especially for shorter users. Very few bikes in this price range have this adjustment but the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1110 does. It is a cheaper and the bike is a few pounds lighter but well rated for giving good workouts for beginners and intermediate exercisers. The extra adjustment makes it easier to get the bike to fit you properly.
The resistance is applied to the flywheel by turning the tension knob on the frame to give a tougher workout like you’d get when climbing a hill on a bike outdoors. You can adjust the resistance incrementally as you exercise from none to full on, then back again and anything in between depending on the type of workout you want or as directed by a program you’re following.
The tension knob is near the top of the frame near the handlebar post. There is also lever at this point that you can push to stop the flywheel turning immediately if there is an emergency and/or you need to get quickly. The lever and its location can make it awkward to turn the re knob as you msy bang your knuckles as you turn it. It takes a bit of getting used to and some more room could have been left to avoid this.
The knob itself works well in increasing and decreasing the resistance incrementally at a steady rate making it easy to work out how far to turn it to get the amount of resistance you want.
The knob opens and closes a calliper style brake with 2 felt brake pads on either side of the flywheel applying the resistance through friction. Having two brake pads like this does reduce the amount of wear you get on each pads when compared with having one pad on the top of the flywheel used by some spin bikes but they can go out of alignment easier and thereby not apply the resistance evenly. This is similar to what happens to this style brake on bikes. It is something to keep an eye on to adjust as required. It doesn’t appear to be a big problem as it is not mentioned by customers.
As is normal when using friction for resistance on these bikes there are no makings on the knob to know what level of resistance you are applying to flywheel. You need to estimate the level if you want to go back to an old resistance level or go to a new one.
The friction on the flywheel is close to silent with only a very quiet swooshing sound being heard even at the hardest levels of resistance.
The Phoenix 98623 Revolution Cycle Pro II Exercise Bike flywheel is driven by a chain like you find on outdoor bikes. It makes the feel of pedaling similar to this. You also have the same issues with noise and maintenance. The maintenance is minimal but it is going to need lubricating and tightening once in awhile.
The noise isn’t that loud, it is louder than a belt-drive bike (such as the Sunny Health & fitness Belt Indoor Cycle) but it is a little quieter than an outdoor bike because of the chain guard muffles the noise. The chain guard also helps to keep your clothes from getting grease on them from the chain and protects your ankles from banging the chain.
A belt drive is quieter than a chain drive and requires less maintenance so it does have some advantages over a chain drive. But the chain drive does feel more like riding a bike and can kept in good shape with minimal maintenance. A belt drive doesn’t require maintenance on an ongoing basis but at some stage it will need replacing when it stretches or breaks which is normally after a number of years. The chain drive can be tightened or repaired when it loosens.
The direct drive is also known as a fixed gear which you may be remember from riding a bicycle when you were small. The pedals keep turning while the flywheel continues to turn due to the momentum built up in it from your pedaling. This prevents you from coasting or taking it easy when you are doing your workout. It does mean that it takes awhile for the pedals to stop unless you apply the brake or have the resistance turned up high. Once it stops you can get off or start pedaling in the opposite direction if you want.
The pedals have toe straps where you slip your shoes in and tighten up the strap. They do give you a good grip on the pedal for when you are standing up out of the saddle. The pedals and crankshaft are tough so you can push against them hard.
If you want to use our cycling or spinning shoes you will need to replace the pedals. Which you can do with any pedals that fit a standard bike.
I have asked the company by email as to the q-factor for the pedals but have not yet received a reply. (The horizontal measurement between the pedals),
Seat As with most bikes the seat is uncomfortable. These type of bikes like their outdoor counterpart are sold with seats no-one likes. It is a matter of personal preference and some people surprisingly find the seat fine, but they are in the minority.
You can solve this issue a few ways if you don’t want to or can’t persevere. You can replace the seat with any standard size bike seat that is more to your liking or you can’t try a gel seat cover or padded bike shorts. One of these methods is used by most people that buy a spin bike.
Dust and Dirt. When riding the bike it will give off dust from the resistance pad and lubricant from the chain and flywheel. You may also drop some sweat. Therefore if you want to protect your floor from this a rubber mat is a good idea.
Noise. When working out at home you need to be consider other people in your home and if in an apartment you also have your neighbors to think about too. It isn’t too loud but it isn’t the quietest bike and is not likely to disturb anyone in the next room or your neighbor if you do live in an apartment not on the ground floor.
Handlebars. They have a rubber coating but aren’t padded. This helps with grip and preventing blisters but you may find it difficult to lean your arms on them when sprinting without elbow pads.
The actual shape of the handlebars means you can have 3 different grips depending on your riding position. When seated you can rest your hands in the middle of the bars or if you want to brace yourself when putting in a little more effort you can have your hands at shoulder width apart. When standing you can grip the end of the bars for that extra leverage you may need.
Cycling Motion. The flywheel weighs 39.6 lbs which is good for giving a natural feel to your ride just like riding a bike outside. This prevents any jerkiness in the motion protecting you from injury and an uncomfortable riding experience.
Riding Position. You ride this bike in the same position to that used for an outdoor bike where you lean forward on to the handlebars. If you have a back problems you may find this position aggravates any issue you have and you maybe better looking at a recumbent or upright bike to get your cardio workout.
The transport wheels at the front make it easy to move the bike from where you are working out to where you want to store it out of the way. You tip it on to the wheels and that takes most of the 113 lbs weight while you move it around. They work well on carpet as well as hard floors but you may want to check it won’t damage your wood floors before wheeling it on them – it may leave marks, scratch or dentthem.
It has a footprint of 24″ by 42.3″ so it is reasonably small for exercise equipment so should be able to be stored somewhere out of the way when you want your living space back for other parts of your life.
Phoenix 98623 Revolution Cycle Pro II Exercise Bike Assembly
The bike comes mostly assembled when delivered making assembly quick. The manual describes the process fully and the tools required to do this are included package. The whole process from unpacking to completion normally takes under an hour.
The flywheel, crankshaft, drive and frame are already put together. You just add the handlebars, seat, adjustment posts, stabilizer bars and pedals. It can take a bit of force to insert the posts into their holes. It normally requires pushing down hard and not being hammered in – (if you feel you need to do that you should contact the company first).
It is easier to have 2 people helping on the assembly due to the weight of the package and the bike. It is heavy, the bike weigh 113 lbs. Having two people makes it easier when you are moving it around or having to hold something especially when attaching on the stabilizers.
The bike does not come with a console. This is not unusual with spin bikes. The idea being you work along to a workout program on DVD or YouTube.
The bikes that do have consoles usually only have basic ones that monitor RPM, distance, speed such as the Schwinn IC2 (it does have lighter flywheel at 31lbs) wihch is priced $100 less currently or if you want one that has built in workout programs then the Diamondback Fitness 510 Ic is worth checking out with 14 programs including heart rate zone programs and again it has 31 lb flywheel and is up to $300 more.
Alternatively you can fit a bike computer to the bike such as Cateye Velo 7 Bicycle Computer but you will need to make some small changes to the spoke magnet that comes with it to fit on the flywheel.
The dimensions and weight are:
Height = 42.5″
Width = 24″
Length = 42.3″
Flywheel weight 39.6 lbs
Max User Weight 275 lbs
Bike Weight 113 lbs
It comes with a water bottle holder that fits midway on the frame. It is in an easy place to get to when you want to drink some water. However, when you get off the bike you need to be a little careful that you don’t bang it as it is in an awkward place for your leg as you step over the bike.
- Heavy flywheel that ensures a smooth and constant pedaling motion like you get on an outdoor bike
- Includes a water bottle holder
- Transport wheels make it easy to move around
- Can be adjusted for more different heights quickly so more than one person can use it
- It is a little louder than some bikes such as those with belt drives but should still not disturb others in the house
- Durable build for many years of workouts and exercise
- Good control over resistance so it can be adjusted as required
- No console included to track workouts and motivate you
- Seat is uncomfortable but you can change it for and standard size bike seat
- Pedals have toe straps which don’t fit cleats or spinning shoes but you can change these for any standard bike fitting pedals if you want a different type of pedal
- The resistance knob is close to the handlebar upright and the emergency stop lever making it difficult to turn without banging your knuckles until you get used to it
- No marked resistance levels to make it easy to go from level to the next
- Handlebars can only be adjusted up and down and not forwards and backwards
- Does not include somewhere to plug in your MP3 or rest your book or tablet
Phoenix 98623 Revolution Cycle Pro II Exercise Bike Consumer Ratings
After reading through all the customer reviews online the biggest reason why this bike doesn’t have a higher rating is the issue with delivery. The delivery companies do have a problem because of its’ weight and often they only use one man to do the delivery. Despite that most people do report the bike comes without damage or it is only minor and they can make do.
It is disappointing when you receive something you ordered and paid for is damaged in transit. The company and Amazon do everything they can to sort the problem out. It does seem to be a problem with this type of bike and you’d think Amazon would have come up with a better way to get the spin bikes to their customers. Having said that, it only happens occasionally but is very annoying when it does happen.
The majority of customers get an undamaged bike and they enjoy its durability and stability. In their reviews they comment that it is almost as good as the ones they ride at the gym.
Phoenix 98623 Revolution Cycle Pro II Exercise Bike Price
This is a middle of the range spin bike that has a good size flywheel for a natural riding experience. It is well constructed from steel and compares favorably with bikes that cost up to twice as much in giving you a good workout experience. It can vary in price at times but you can get with free shipping.
This was the case when I checked on Amazon (it does change depending on availability and season) and you can check if that is still the case and available by clicking here: Phoenix 98623 Revolution Cycle Pro II Exercise Bike
The Phoenix 98623 gives a good stable riding experience so you can workout as hard as you want without unsteadiness. It comes with the standard problems for these bikes, of an uncomfortable seat and toe clip pedals.
It can vibrate at high speeds but this is no more than you get from gym bikes. The tension knob is too close to upright and this takes a little getting used to, so you don’t bang your knuckles when increasing or decreasing the resistance. These are relatively minor problems and overall it is a good bike for beginners and intermediate users of spin bikes and indoor cycles.