Spinning workouts have helped many people to lose weight and get in shape. They were introduced and developed by the makers of the Spinner Sport. This bike is known as the original home spin bike.
The bike gives you the ability to perform these high intensity workouts in the comfort of your own home for when you can’t get to the gym or you want to save money on the gym fees or don’t want to train on your road bike in bad weather. It can be a cost effective way to train and exercise.
It also can save you time so you can use your time more efficiently – you can workout when you when you want.
The bike has a 31 lbs flywheel, adjustable seat and handlebars, quick change resistance and comes with 4 beginner workout DVDs.
In this complete review we look at all the features that make spin bikes such a good way to get a cardio workout for burning calories and how this the original home spin bike measures up in providing a value for money way to train and exercise at home.
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The bike frame is constructed from steel to give a stable base for high intense workouts with jumping, sprints and hill climbs catered for. It doesn’t rock from side to side so you can stay focused on your workout without fear of toppling over. There is little wiggle or wobbling from the handlebars or seat even when at the highest extension.
Experience over the years with this bike is that it is durable and lasts for many years and hours of intense workouts.
There is not much maintenance required. You need to keep the chain lubricated and properly tensioned. The resistance pad needs lubricating from time to time and will need replacing as it wears down. Other than that you do need to make sure all the nuts and bolts are tight just as you would with any fitness equipment.
The flywheel weight is 31 lbs. This gives a fluid riding motion that helps to smooth out changes in pedal motion you may have to prevent any choppiness. It is perimeter weighted which helps in getting the momentum needed for that outdoor bike feel to the pedaling. For the more experienced this flywheel is probably not heavy enough for when cycling at high speeds and low levels of resistance to smooth out the fluctuations in cycling speed. It is fine for beginners but as you gain more experience you may want to look at a bike with a heavier flywheel (See comparison post for examples).
There are 4 levelers under the stabilizer bars to level out any unevenness in the floor so the bike can be used on uneven floors without any rocking.
The seat can be adjusted vertically and horizontally. The handlebars can only be moved upwards and downwards.
These adjustments help in getting the bike to fit the rider for the most comfortable and effective workout possible. It helps to prevent injury too and it is always easier to stay motivated when you can have a more comfortable workout.
Making the adjustments is straightforward. The pop pins in the adjustment knobs make it easy to get the pins into the adjustment holes in poles to hold the handlebars and seat securely in place. This means more than one person can use the bike in a household by being able to adjust the bike to their height in less than a few minutes.
The bike is recommended for people between the heights of 4 ft 10 ins to 5 ft 10 ins. If you are taller than this check out our comparison page that details the bikes we’ve reviewed and their height adjustments.
If you have a shorter torso you may find that you can’t quite get the bike to fit because there is not enough adjustment in the seat’s horizontal adjustment. An alternative bike that caters better for this is the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1110 Indoor Cycling Bike because the handlebars more horizontally too. You can read more here.
The bike has manual resistance that you increase or decrease by turning the tension knob at the front of the frame.
There is felt pad that sits on top of the flywheel. Friction on the flywheel increases by the felt pad being pushed harder on to it and making it harder to pedal.
The pad will wear down and need replacing probably once every 12 months or so depending on usage. The replacements can be sourced from the company’s website. It provides a consistent pressure on the flywheel so you know how much resistance you are going to get as you turn the knob and it has a constant grip so the flywheel doesn’t slip .
If you are used to spinning at the gym you may find that the knob needs less turning to get the same amount of resistance. It may take a little bit of time to get used to but it is still incremental and doesn’t go from easy to impossible in one small turn. You get the changes in hardness that you can use for your workouts.
The resistance pad pushing on the flywheel is not silent but it is just a quiet shushing sound that is unlikely to disturb you or others while you train or workout. If it does make a louder noise it is likely it needs lubricating and how to do this is explained in the manual.
If you are looking for a very quiet bike without maintenance then a bike with magnetic resistance is the way to go. They are quieter but do cost more. The closest bike in price is the Diamondback Fitness 510Ic but it does cost up to $400 more.
The Spinner Sport uses a chain drive that is like you find on an outdoor cycle. It does make a bit of noise as it moves across the sprockets. It’s about the same as you get with an outdoor bike and it does need to be maintained in the same way to keep it working in good order.
It doesn’t need a lot of time spent on it to keep it running properly. It requires lubricating and tightening if it becomes loose – you’ll know this is happening at it will become noisier with it banging against the guard.
The instruction manual has good clear directions on how to lubricate and tighten the chain.
The tightening can be done using the tools supplied for assembly. To be clear it doesn’t require specialist tools and most people should be able to do this without any problems. If you do run into an issue there is phone number you can ring and they’ll talk you through it.
The chain is covered by a guard which helps in reducing the noise but is there primarily to prevent sweat dropping on the chain which helps to prevent it from rusting due to salt in the sweat. It also protects your ankles and clothes from getting caught in the chain.
It is a fixed gear bike so there is no coasting or freewheeling. While the flywheel is turning so are the pedals, this can take a little time to get used to. Spin bikes are designed this way so you burn more calories because you can’t take it easy because your feet and legs need to keep moving.
The q factor for the pedals is 155 mm (6.1 inches) – this measures the horizontal distance between the pedals. Generally speaking the shorter the distance the less stress it puts on your legs and knees. It also makes the pedaling motion feel more natural. This bike has one of the shorter distances I’ve come across. It will feel more comfortable for an outdoor cyclist and normally be better for anyone who may have issues with legs when using bikes they may experience with wider q factors.
The pedals themselves only have toe baskets for sliding your shoe into. They can’t be tightened to grip the shoe better.
The pedals can be changed for any other standard bike sized pedals if you don’t like the pedals provided or want ones that fit specialist spinning shoes.
Seat. As with any bike seat the comfort or otherwise comes down to user. Many people will find it uncomfortable. It is possible to change the angle of the seat by loosening the bolt underneath it, tilting it to the angle you want and then tightening up. If it still is too painful you can try padded bike shorts or a gel seat cover. However, if you have a favorite bike seat or know one that you like you can replace the seat as it fits normal sized bike seats.
Noise. The bike isn’t noisy but the chain is louder than other bikes made for home use. It is unlikely to disturb people in another room but you may need to turn up the TV a bit when you are cycling when you are watching the spinning DVDs or your favorite movie
Dust and Dirt. These bikes do drop dust and lubricant on to the floor and it may be mixed in with some sweat too. This can damage your floor but it can be prevented by putting the bike on a rubber exercise mate.
Riding Position. The riding position is similar to that of a road bike where you lean forward onto the handlebars for support, so if you have lower back problems this bike may not be the best solution for your cardio workout – check the post here on the different types of exercise bikes
Handlebars. The handlebars are designed to give a comfortable grip whatever position you are working out. You can grip it in the middle when you don’t need the leverage. Or you can put your hand at shoulder width apart at the bottom of the handlebars for greater support or grab the end of the bars to support you when sprinting and out of the saddle. The handlebars are covered with a foam grip to prevent slipping and blisters for when you start to sweat.
The bike doesn’t take up too much room when not in use so it can be stored in a large cupboard or somewhere else out of the way. It’s footprint is 18 inches by 44 inches.
The bike weight is 80 lbs which is light for these bikes but is still on the heavy side when you want to move it. To help with moving it around there are 2 wheels on the front stabilizer bar that you tip the bike onto. These take most of the weight leaving you to just move and direct the bike without having to carry the weight. The wheels are big enough so that you won’t have too much trouble on carpet as well as hard floor surfaces. However, on wooden floors you may want to check that they don’t scratch or dent it before moving the bike too far and ruin your floor.
The bike comes delivered with the flywheel, chain drive and frame already assembled. This leaves you with putting on the stabilizer bars, water bottle holder, seat, handlebars and pedals.
It is a relatively straightforward job and can be done easily within 60 minutes. The tools needed to complete the job are included.
The bike does weigh 80 lbs when fully assembled so you may want to have a helper when putting it together to make holding it in place easier especially when attaching the stabilizer bars.
There is no console with this bike.
It isn’t unusual for spin bikes not to have a console instead you follow along to a workout (DVD or YouTube) that tells you to turn the resistance knob and how hard to pedal. Still a console can be handy for getting feedback on your performance to keep you motivated and push you harder . It’s also great for helping with tracking your progress over time by comparing how you performed on the different workouts.
If you want a console to track your workouts you can buy Spinner consoles separately if you want direct from their site but they are expensive. The cheaper option is to attach a CatEye Velo 7 Bicycle Computer CC-VL520, it is a bike console but you do need to modify the spoke magnet to attach it to the flywheel.
Indoor cycles that come with simple monitors in a similar price range are the Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycle but it has a lighter flywheel and the Exerpeutic LX7 Training Cycle (includes a heart rate monitor) with a heavier flywheel. They are both cheaper and highly rated bikes that can be used as spin bikes. They do not include spin workout DVDs but you can either buy these separately or choose to watch some on YouTube.
Spinner Sport Dimensions
Height 38 inches
Width 18 inches
Length 44 inches
Flywheel Weight 31 lbs
Bike Weight 80 lbs
Max User Weight 250 lbs
You get a water bottle holder and 4 workout DVDs included with the bike. This is more than you get with many spin bikes where you normally need to source your own workouts.
The water bottle holder is on the frame and is within easy reach. You do need to slide the bottle in when putting it back which can be a little awkward when you are pedaling hard. It may also get some sweat dripped on it because of its positioning in a sweat zone.
The 4 DVDs you get are:
Train and Tone – 62 minutes long with instruction on bike setup and safety, assembly, how to ride a bike as well as high intensity workouts and recovery. Looks good for beginners but some people think the tone is not energetic and upbeat enough.
Ultimate Energy – 62 minutes long and also has instruction on setup etc. with hills and straightaway workouts. This is for beginners and again some people don’t like the music and the instructors approach saying it isn’t motivating enough. The workout is 42 minutes long
Maximum Results – 62 minutes long with instructions on how to use a spin bike properly. It is designed for keeping you in the fat loss zone. Again it is good for beginners but don’t expect the high energy approach you get from the gym instructors as it is more understated.
Turn and Burn – 62 minutes long. Has guidance on movements, cadence and a countdown timer. It is designed for beginners with a strength building workout for burning calories. It is a little repetitive
It’s good to see these included in the price but you may want to try others for variety and better music and more energetic instructions.
The bike doesn’t have anywhere to put your MP3 player or to rest a book or tablet. Spin bikes are made for working out hard where you don’t have the time to read but you can use them for more moderate exercise if you want but you are going to have to try and rest these things on the handlebars somehow.
- Narrow q factor at 6.10 inches for more natural cycling action and injury prevention
- 4 beginner workout DVDs included
- Assembly is quick and straightforward and does not involve too much in the way of DIY skills
- Sturdy robust bike so you can just concentrate on your workout
- Low level of maintenance required to keep it in good working order
- Easy to move around house on transport wheel making it a good choice for those living in small homes or apartments
- No console included for tracking workouts and getting feedback on performance
- Chain drive is noisier than other chain drive bikes
- Seat is uncomfortable
- Pedals only have toe cages with no adjustment
- If you are over 5 ft 10 inches the bike is like to be too small for you
- Handlebars do not adjust horizontally so may mean if you have a short torso you can’t get the bike to fit properly
Spinner Sport Consumer Ratings
Reviews are positive for the bike. They like that it is a solid ride that is easy to put together.
You can just get on with your workout and not work about any movement or rocking.
But as with most spin bikes most people don’t like the seat but this can be swapped for a more comfortable one if you want.
Some reviews state they are disappointed that is not up to gym quality but most say they love the quality of the bike for the price.
Spinner Sport Price
The price of the bike includes 4 DVD which you don’t usually see with spin bikes which are worth about $60 based on prices on Amazon for them individually. The bike is well put together and it is from the company that started the spinning revolution so they do know what they are doing. However, you are paying a little extra for the reputation even with adding in the cost of the DVDs. You can check out some other indoor cycles from other not so familiar companies that are priced at $200-300 here as an alternative that are more highly rated.
When I checked Amazon had a good price, but it does change, where it was discounted and qualifies for free shipping.
The 31 lbs flywheel makes this is a good bike for beginners where it will be a challenge but not be too hard when starting out. The inclusion of the 4 DVD also helps you in getting started- they may not be the most exciting programs but they are well put together and presented by experienced instructors.
The bike is well constructed. It provides a good firm footing for building up your fitness levels and burning off calories in the comfort of your own home so you don’t have to worry about the bad weather or gym fees or queues.
Filed under: Spin Bikes
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