Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike Review

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise BikeStamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike is one of a select few recumbent exercise bikes that you can exercise your upper body while exercising your legs.

It has moving arms at the front of the bike that you “pedal” with your hands.

This style of bike is great for burning more calories and getting a better workout in the same time as you’d spend working out your legs on a standard recumbent exercise bike. Or if you like you can just exercise your arms or your legs separately.

It certainly has the looks of a bike that is going to be sturdy and durable to fully support you as you get a good cardio workout for the arms and legs. It has a padded seat and backrest to provide support and comfort when you are exercising.

In this review I examine just how this bike measure ups in the area of low impact exercise as well as how well it can fit in to a home.

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Sturdiness

The bike has a solid steel frame and wide stabilizer bars that hold you steady as you workout your lower body and upper body. There is any noticeable wobbling, shaking or annoying creaks or squeaks.

This leaves you to just get on with your exercise without being annoyed and you can also watch the TV etc without being disturbed.

You need to set the bike on a level floor and manual advises a rubber equipment mat to prevent any rocking due to any possible unevenness in the floor.

It doesn’t come with levelers to help with this.

There is a stand in the middle to adjust that gives the bike more support and prevent flexing in the frame.

The warranty for the bike is 5 years on the frame and 1 year on the parts – which is an okay warranty but not as good as some bikes around $300 mark but at least gives some comfort.

As to customer experience with durability they like how well built it is. One customer who had had the bike for 4 years has said that they use the bike regularly with no issues and don’t expect to have any going forward.

Adjustability

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike priceThe seat can be adjusted backwards/forwards to fit the bike to your leg length and upwards/downwards for a more comfortable fit and put you in position for the hand pedals.

You can make the horizontal adjustment while you are seated which makes it really convenient and easy to set the seat in the best position for you.

Unfortunately, the company doesn’t provide guidelines as to range of heights that the bike provides the best fit. But from customer feedback it can fit people between 4ft 10 ins and 6 ft 3 ins.(People 4ft 9 ins and 6 ft 5 ins have said that they can manage comfortably).

People who are taller are likely to find that they can’t fully extend their legs (it should be slightly bent at full extension).

These people and those close to and above 6ft may find they need to be careful and adjust the upper pedals to ensure they don’t bang their knees.

Under the lower end of the scale are likely to find they have to stretch to reach the pedals at the far end of the stroke or sit at the front of the seat which isn’t comfortable – it can help to have a cushion at their back as some users have done.

The horizontal position of the seat is quick to adjust. To move it you push down on the lever at the side of and the blow seat. Then move the seat back and/or forward to the required position. To lock in place you pull the lever back up and you’re done.

You do need to be off the seat to make the adjustment to change the vertical position of the seat. There is a knob on the seat post under the seat you need to loosen and pull to release the pin, you then can move the seat to the required height. You then release the pin and may need to move the seat slightly for the pin to insert into a pre-set hole. Then you tighten up the knob to hold it securely in place.

The speed of making the adjustments does mean that it can be easily be used by multiple users of different heights to get their exercising done.

It is great to see that the manual includes guidelines on how to fit the bike for your leg length and upper body so you get the best workout position.

Resistance

Stamina Elite Total Body Exercise Bike from sideThe tension knob at the front of the bike controls the magnetic resistance for both the legs and arm pedals.

When you are using your legs there is no resistance on the arm pedals but when just exercising your arms there is and this can be changed as you go using the tension knob. I can’t understand why they’ve done this. (If you have a good reason from a user point of view, I’d like to hear.)

It’s easy to make the changes with the knob – turning it clockwise to increase and counter-clockwise to decrease. The knob has 8 levels of resistance marked which makes it easy to set and return to amount you want to exercise with.

The position of the knob is easy to get to but you do need to lean forward slightly to reach it when you want to make a change with it positioned at the bottom of the front support post.

There is no resistance when you back pedal on either of the sets of pedals.

The resistance is very quiet, move smoothly between the levels and there are no requirements for maintenance.

At level 1 it is very easy to push against. It moves up in increments. For most people using the bike the level 8 is great for them to get their heart rate and work up a sweat.

However, those that are in very good shape and want a challenge they will find that it isn’t enough for them. The resistance is for those who want light to moderate workout in terms of hill type work.

At the top end of the resistance you are likely to feel the pedals starting to pulse a little – this is where the resistance is starting to work like a brake and slowing down the flywheel as you move through the top/bottom of the cycle when you aren’t pushing on the pedals as hard. It does add a little impact to the motion.

Drive type

The bike has a belt drive and flywheel that gives a good steady and consistent cycling motion.

It is very quiet and doesn’t require any ongoing maintenance.

This is all enclosed in the shroud at the front of the bike which protects it from damage plus protects your ankles, kid and pets from injuring themselves

Pedals

The large foot pedals provide a good solid platform for pushing. They are textured and have straps to keep foot in place. The straps are plastic and have holes in them that are fitted over a tab on the pedals to fix them in place. This adjustment can be tough at first to get the tabs into the holes – but is okay once they soften up.

The foot pedals work independently of the hand pedals. They are not tied together so when using one set only the other is not moving.

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike Comfort

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike seatSeat Most people find the large padded seat and backrest comfortable for the whole time they want to exercise.

However, that is not the situation for all – they wish it was a little more cushioned. These people find a small pillow or cushion can help and they can then exercise without pain on their sit bones affecting their workout.

The bike is designed so you can step through the bike to get on and off the seat. There is no need to lift your foot over the frame. The seat height can be adjusted but is about the height of a chair and you can get on and off it in the same way. Although you may need to adjust the seat back if you have it at the closing seating to avoid there not being enough room between the it and the drive shroud at the front of the bike.

The listing talks about an adjustable angle seat back which could lead you to think the angle of it can be changed. However, that is not the case, the angle is fixed but the backrest does moves with the seat when you adjust its horizontal position.

The angle of the backrest is comfortable and help with supporting the back.

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike handlebars and adjustHandlebars. There are fixed handlebars or handrails at the side of the seat. They are at the height of the seat so should be in easy reach for support or for leverage when pushing hard. They are covered for comfort and make them easy to grip when hands get sweaty. The handlebars shouldn’t get in the way too much if you want to get on to the seat from the side and swing legs round – although the recommended way is by stepping through the bike first.

They also have the hand pulse sensors in them. These are gripped when you want to measure your heart rate on the monitor.

Noise. This is a very quiet bike that you can use at anytime without disturbing others. If you want to watch TV you can do that without having to turn it up. It makes it a good choice for using in an apartment as the neighbors won’t know you are on it. If you are concerned about those below you if you have a wood floor and any vibration or sound going through it then a rubber exercise mat should put a stop to that.

Cleaning. The bike itself doesn’t generate dust and dirt. The biggest reason for cleaning is probably going to be sweat from people using the bike and exerting themselves. Sweat is corrosive so needs to be wiped off the bike along with any dust that might accumulate on it. Sweat can also drop on the floor and it can be a good idea to get a rubber exercise mat to protect the floor.

Storage

The bike needs an area of 24 by 50 ins when not in use so is more likely it will be stored against a wall rather than a closet.

The bike weighs 121 lbs so it is not the lightest.

Fortunately there are two transport wheels on the front stabilizer bars that will hold most of the weight. They make it an easy task to wheel the bike to where you want to go.

It is easy to get the bike on to the wheels. You lift it from the back and with most of the weight of the bike at the front this is something one person can do without much effort (the same as moving it once it is on the wheels).

The wheels work best on hard surfaces and will work on carpet that isn’t too soft or has a long pile in which case you may end up having to slide rather than roll it.

The wheels may dent or scratch a wood floor so it is worth testing them out before you move the bike all the way across the floor.

Assembly

The bike is delivered part completed. It normally takes between 1 and 2 hours to assemble the bike. The hardest part of the bike has already been completed, leaving you to add a few major pieces to the frame.

Namely, you are required to add the stabilizer bars, rear frame, pedals, seat assembly, seat, back rest, hand pedals and fixed handlebars.

The instructions and diagrams are clear. You are also provided with the tools need to finish the assembly but you may find it easier and quicker to supply your own – I think a socket set or adjustable wrench are the best options. One review suggested at 13 mm wrench is useful.

The most difficult part of the assembly process is likely to be moving the box and getting the pieces out of it due to the weight.

The bike can be put together by one person but it is quicker and easier if there is two people doing this.

Console

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike consoleIt comes with a basic console that measures time, speed, calories, distance and pulse when hand pulse sensors are being gripped. You can set targets for time, calories, distance and pulse. Distance and speed are measured in miles.

It displays one measure at a time. You select the measure you want displayed by pushing the mode button underneath the display. It is possible to set it to scan through the measures every 6 seconds so can see them all while you workout.

When you choose to set a target using the buttons below the display the console counts down from the target when set for time, distance or calories. With the pulse target it beeps when your pulse exceeds it.

The measures can be seen easily in good lighting but are difficult to read in poor lighting as the display is not backlit.

You may find that you can’t get a reliable reading using the pulse sensors and this is a common problem with this type of sensor. It is experienced with other bikes in all price ranges. It can involve changing your grip, dampening the hands, cleaning them etc but even then you may find you don’t get a good reading.

The calories, distance and speed are calculated numbers and should not be relied on as accurate. They are a guide only and can be used for motivation during a workout and also to track progress over you various workouts.

It doesn’t come with any pre-set workout program to help to keep you motivated.

Nor does it have the ability to track your progress so that needs to be done manually in a journal or spreadsheet,

The console uses 2 AA batteries that are easy to install in the back when needed. No other power is needed.

You can use the bike without the console (if the batteries are drained) adjusting the resistance as you go you just won’t be able to see how you are doing.

It has an auto on/off functionality. To start it up you start pedalling or push a button. It turns off after 4 minutes of no activity. All values are reset to value when it turns off.

Dimensions

The dimensions and weight of the bike are:

Height 49 ins
Width 24 ins
Length 50 ins

Bike Weight 121 lbs
Max User Weight 250 lbs

Accessories

The big “accessory” that makes it different than just about every other recumbent exercise bike is the moving arms.

Moving Arms

Stamina Elite Total Body Exercise Bike hand pedalsYou can use them at the same time as you use the foot pedals but they don’t have resistance. For me it would be better if you could have resistance in the hand pedals while using at the same time as the foot pedals.

When you use them on their own they do and that is controlled using the same tension knob as the one used for the foot pedals.

If you do want resistance when you are using them in reverse you need to use them from the other side of the bike, as there is no resistance when you use them in reverse sat on the bike. This is what some customers have done successfully by sitting on a seat.

When you are taller you may need to get the timing right when using both sets of pedals to ensure you don’t bang your knees.

The length of hand pedals can be adjusted to find the best length for your arms. Also moving them closer can make them harder to move when there is resistance applied to the pedals.

You can set them up so they are opposite each other like the foot pedals (for aerobic exercise) or in the same direction.

The handles are padded to give you a good non-slip grip and prevent blisters when your hands start to sweat.

Aside from the hand pedals and console the bike doesn’t come with any other accessories. If you want to water or to listen to your MP3 player or watch your tablet you need to place them on a table near the bike or holder to be able to access them while you are on the bike exercising. At the price you’d think they could have added a bottle holder at least.

There are some general guidelines on your fitness and a bit more specific on warm up and cool down. Unfortunately it doesn’t provide anything more on training programs to try out to get you started.

Pros

  • You can workout your upper body at the same time as your legs.
  • You can adjust seat position while in the seat – its quick and easy to do
  • It can be adjusted for a range of users between 4 ft 10 ins and 6 ft 3 ins (based on customer reviews)
  • Seat can be adjusted vertically as well as horizontally for most comfortable fit (but needs to be done when off the bike)
  • Bike has low step through making it easy to get on and off the bike
  • Bike seems to be very durable from customer feedback
  • It is a very quiet bike
  • Assembly is easy and can be done within 2 hours
  • Smooth pedaling that is low impact
  • It provides a stable and steady base for your workouts
  • Has 8 levels of marked resistance
  • Resistance adjustment is quick and easy to do
  • Padded angled backrest to give good support to the back
  • Many find the seat comfortable to sit in for as long as they want to exercise
  • Can measure workouts with console and set workout targets

Cons

  • There is no resistance on the hand pedals when you are also using the foot pedals
  • When you pedal backwards there is no resistance in both sets of pedals
  • Console does not come with pre-set programs nor does it keep a record of your workouts – this has to be done manually
  • Resistance won’t be enough for those looking for a very demanding or very challenging hill type workouts
  • Levelers are not included to help in balancing up the bike on uneven surfaces
  • There is nowhere to put your water bottle or personal electronics
  • There is no resistance when back pedaling on hand or foot pedals
  • There are no pre-set workouts
  • To track progress you need to do this manually

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike Consumer Ratings

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike ReviewIn reviews online the bike is highly rated on the whole with an excellent rating of 88% giving the bike a 4 or 5 – which is one of the best I’ve seen. It definitely seems most people are very happy with the bike.

Of those that don’t like the bike, a couple report issues with the bike on delivery and breaking down in a short period. It is that along with slow response from the supplier that has caused the issues for these 2 customers. It sounds terrible, but there is only 2 reporting this.

The biggest frustration is the lack of resistance on the hand pedals when you are using the foot pedals and the lack of resistance when pedaling backwards.

That issue aside customers like the bike for getting a quiet comfortable low impact cardio workout for their upper and lower body – helps in burning calories and recovery and more

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike Price

Included in the price, you get a very solid recumbent exercise bike with upper body exercise and a basic console.

You also can adjust the seat horizontal position while on the bike. Also you can adjust the height, although that needs to be done off the bike. For the price I’d have liked to see a better console and accessories as well as resistance on foot pedals and hand pedals at the same time

It is priced about $400 more than the Velocity Exercise Dual Motion Bike (also has upper body exerciser) for that you get a more solid bike, a longer warranty, target goals and arm exercise displayed on the console and a better seat adjustment method. And tt does come with a better overall rating from customers.

When I checked at Amazon it qualified for free shipping and Prime.

Click here to check latest price and availability:
Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike

Summary

This is a great recumbent exercise bike for beginners and those looking for light to moderately hard workouts with the ability to exercise their upper body as well as their lower body.

The top end resistance levels probably won’t satisfy those looking for challenging workout as they are more moderate than difficult in hardness.

For everyone else they can get low impact cardio exercise for the whole body that will increase the heart rate and work up seat. This will help with weight loss, toning up and getting in shape and staying that way.

I think for the price it could do with a better console with some pre-set programs and somewhere to put water bottle at least. I’d also don’t like that there is no resistance in the moving arms when you are using the foot pedals. But many don’t seem to mind this and love the bike.

Overall, this is a good bike for those wanting to be able to workout both the upper body and lower body with low impact exercise in combination or separately.

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