The Velocity Exercise Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike is a bargain priced bike.
But is it worth getting at that price?
That was my first thought.
I had a quick look at the ratings and it’s sales ranking
I was pleasantly surprised by both. I then thought it deserved more investigation.
But as you’d expect it’s not going to be up to the standard of bikes that are priced a lot more and those made to commercial quality. And not everyone is going to need a bike to that level.
There are some compromises that have to be made – and depending on your goals and wants they may not be important to you.
It doesn’t come with much in the way of extras but it does have a computer, drive belt and magnetic resistance.
In my review I take a look at this to see who the bike is for and whether it is a real bargain or not.
To start let’s take a look at how well this bike holds you steady as you workout
When sat in the saddle you get a good steady bike.
The steel frame and stabilizer bars keep you firm – there won’t be the feeling that you’re going to fall off.
It’s not really a bike designed for standing on the pedals but if you do the bike will move around more – although you should still feel safe, it’s not advised.
For small variations in the floor you can turn the end caps to balance up the bike to prevent the bike rocking side to side.
A popular review of this bike says that they got 3 years of everyday use from the bike without any trouble until the welds broke.
Until then he’d given the bike top ratings.
Only the seat can be adjusted and this is up and down to accommodate the different heights of users. There is no horizontal adjustment. You can get it right for a good fit for the legs but you may find that you have to lean forward or stretch to grip the handlebars.
For something that I think when looking to buy an upright exercise bike online it is strange that most suppliers don’t offer guidelines as to a range of heights or leg length as to who the bike is best for.
Velocity are no different, so in this case I’ve checked through the questions and feedback to give you an estimate of this. From my research the range of heights the bike works for is 4 ft 10 ins to 5 ft 10 ins
Over that height you can still use the bike but you probably won’t get the proper leg extension which may result in pain when used for a period of time. It seems you won’t have problems with your legs banging the handlebars with people 6ft 2 ins talking of getting a comfortable ride.
Below that height, depending on your leg length you may find you have to stretch to reach the pedals at their furthest point from the seat which will result in an uncomfortable exercise.
The adjustment is quick to do. It uses a standard arrangement of adjustment knob with a pin that fits inside a pre-set hole in the adjustment pole. You move the seat to the location you want and then adjust it slightly so the pin will fit in a preset hole and then tighten up to hold it in place.
The 8 levels of magnetic resistance is controlled by the tension knob on the front support post. The resistance levels are marked on the knob. Turning and reaching the knob is easy to do while you are exercising. The knob clicks a little as you turn it to the new level.
The movement between the levels of resistance is smooth without any jerkiness.
The resistance level starts off very easy at level 1 where it should be easy for anyone to turn over the pedals. It then moves up incrementally up to where it gets up to moderately hard.
This highest level is not going to be enough for someone who wants tough hill climb workouts. It is more like a slope than a tough hill. If you are looking for that and the ability to stand on the pedals you are going to need to look at a more expensive bike and one with a spin bike design
Most that use the bike find it has enough resistance for their fitness goals. Many use the middle range and change their pedaling pace to get the intensity of workout they want for the period they want.
It is low maintenance with no need to replace anything as well as being very quiet. The magnets are moved closer to the flywheel to increase the resistance and away to reduce and don’t ever touch the flywheel.
The bike has a belt dive and 4kg flywheel that provides a quiet and low maintenance experience.
It is all within the shroud to keep it out of the way and protect from damage and dirt for a longer life.
The pedaling motion is fairly smooth but not like you get on more expensive bikes and as you get on the top resistance levels it starts to pulse. It isn’t the smoothest pedaling motion you can get at any level but it is still low impact.
The pedals have grip and straps that help to keep your foot from slipping. You can adjust the plastic straps to give a good secure pedaling.
The pedals are attached to a 1 piece crank that is durable enough for pedaling the bike against the highest resistance in the seat without having any issues during the life of the bike.
The bike is not really designed for standing on the pedals – it’s not for spinning workouts with it more for sitting and pedaling.
It is possible to pedal backwards on the bike but there isn’t any resistance.
Seat. The seat is described as comfortable by the company. But that’s not the experience of many who find it is painful to sit on for any length of time. Which can really affect your motivation to exercise.
If you have not used a bike that much before, you are likely to find the seat hard. It can take a few uses for you to find the seat bearable and then not too bad at all. This is normal with any bike seat.
However, this is not always the case.
Fortunately, there are a couple of things you can try to help with this. Padded bike shorts can often provide the necessary padding. The second option, and more popular, is to buy a gel seat cover which for most provides the comfort they’re looking for.
Changing the seat is difficult but not impossible. You can take it to a bike shop and they should be able to help or the next easiest thing is to buy a universal exercise bike seat adaptor which allows you to fit any standard bike fitting seat to it.
Handlebars. The handlebars are vertically angled upwards which doesn’t give you loads of different hand positions but does make some allowance for the different heights of people – with those taller likely to find the ends more to their liking than the crossbar at the bottom.
They are covered to provide a secure comfortable grip when your hands get grip.
The positioning and angle of the handlebars can’t be changed. You may find you have to lean more forward than you like for those at the lower end of the height range.
Noise. There is not much noise generated by the bike. You can use the bike while others are sleeping and you shouldn’t wake them. It also allows you to watch TV without turning up the volume.
Some even workout on the bike in their bedroom with their spouse asleep without waking them.
As well as being compact, the quietness of the bike can make it a good choice for an apartment as your neighbors won’t know you’re exercising – if you are concerned that some vibration or noise may be heard below you, by putting the bike on a rubber exercise mat that should eliminate the risk.
Cleaning. It’s not a dirty bike – it doesn’t generate dust itself. But you do need to clean it mainly to stop the sweat and dust accumulating on it which when to build up can result in jamming and rusting the bike. It doesn’t add much to the chores and isn’t different to any other piece of exercise equipment. You may also want to put the bike on a rubber exercise mat to stop sweat dropping on to your floor.
The bike can’t be folded but it doesn’t take up much room – it has a footprint of 21.65 by 31.69 ins so it can easily be left out and not dominate a room. It is probably too big for a closet but can fit nicely in a corner or by a wall when not in use if you don’t have room or don’t want to leave it out.
The size does make it a good choice for those in smaller homes and apartments as well as anyone who doesn’t have room or doesn’t have much storage space for a bigger piece of equipment..
It does have transport wheels that you tip the bike forward to engage. They will work fine on hard surfaces but you may find them sticking on soft carpet – where you may need to drag it a little. The bike weighs just over 49 lbs so for many it won’t be too challenging to slide it.
When moving on wood floors it’s a good idea to test it first as the wheels may scratch or dent the floor.
Velocity Exercise Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike Assembly
The bike comes to you part assembled. The most difficult parts of it have been done. Most can complete the assembly with 1 to 2 hours with some doing it in less than half an hour.
You are required to add the stabilizer bars, pedals, seat post, seat, front post and console. It all goes together well.
You have 4 diagrams to follow which do an okay job at best of explaining what needs to happen except for the attaching of the tension cables where a little more explanation would help. A little care needs to be taken here to get this right so that you don’t end up with no resistance or too much. But most do get it right first time. Just take your time over this step.
It does help that the rest is easy to do and you don’t need the best instructions to do it.
It does come with the tools included but the manual suggests you may also want a Phillips screwdriver, adjustable wrench and mallet (customers say it is not needed) to make it go quicker and easier.
The manual also suggests that 2 people assemble it – this will make it easier when holding parts in place but it is manageable by one person.
It’s no harder than putting together than IKEA furniture and probably easier in a lot of cases.
You can order assembly through Amazon but that costs about 2/3rd of the bike itself when I checked.
It comes with a basic console. It measures distance, speed, time, odometer (cumulative distance), calories and pulse (when hand pulse sensors are held).
You can either see just the one measure as you exercise and you can change that as you go by pressing the mode button below. Or you can set it to scan where it will show each measure for 5 seconds before moving on.
The numbers are a reasonable size so that the measures can be easily seen. However, it isn’t backlit so you won’t be able to see it when the light conditions aren’t the best.
There is no ability to set targets or follow a pre-set workout – you have to come up with those on your own. Also, if you like to keep a track of your exercise then you have to do this manually by getting the measures at the end of your workout where you can then enter in your journal or fitness App.
The console uses AA batteries so there is no requirement to plug the bike into the wall. You can use the bike anywhere you want. It can be used anytime even if the batteries are dead as you adjust the resistance manually you just won’t have any feedback on your performance.
The hand pulse sensors are in handlebars at the side. They are easy to grip but when you want areading you have to grip both tightly but not too tightly. It means you can’t move your hands while getting the reading which you might find restrictive if you want to monitor this for the period you are on the bike.
Also, these type of sensors aren’t the most reliable. Many people do struggle to get a good consistent reading on them with them also not reading correctly. It doesn’t matter which bike they’re on it is a common issue.
If this is important to you it is worth trying to see if you can’t get a good reading from them. Otherwise you are probably going to be better monitoring this separately with a heart rate strap and monitor.
The other measures are estimates (except time). The calories in particular seems to be out by quite a lot so shouldn’t be used on for relying on too much for a good estimate of calories burned – you may need to do this using a Fitness App if you are using calories burned to help with weight loss.
The dimensions and weight of this bike are:
Height 48.82 ins
Width 21.65 ins
Length 31.69 ins
Bike Weight 49.1 lbs
Max User Weight 250 lbs
Other than the console and hand pulse sensors the bike doesn’t come with any other extras.
There is nowhere to put your water bottle or media devices or a bike. You need to hold these or add a holder or mount separately if you want these close at hand as you exercise. The bike is fairly stable so you may find you don’t need both hands on the handlebars to hold you steady, but this is an individual thing.
There aren’t instructions as to where you should set the seat for the most effective workouts and there isn’t any guidance as to workouts you can try to get you started.
There are some general guidelines on exercise. I’d have liked to have seen a bit more as this is a bike that is more for people getting started than those with a lot of exercising experience. Fortunately, there is plenty of information online if you want some guidance.
- It a very affordably priced upright exercise bike
- Comes with hand pulse sensors (great when they work)
- Has a basic console to help you keep on track
- Has small transport wheels at the front to help with moving
- Resistance has 8 levels and is incremental
- It is easy to assemble
- It is a compact bike so can be used in most homes
- Bike doesn’t need power to work so can be used anytime and any where
- It is not designed for people wanting tough workouts
- Resistance only goes to moderately hard
- Basic console doesn’t allow you to upload data to a fitness account
- Seat can be easily changed if you don’t find it comfortable
- You can’t adjust the seat’s horizontal position to get a more comfortable position in relation to the handlebars
- The bikes has limited lifetime of about 3 years from some customer’s experience
- The 2 AAA batteries needed for console don’t come with the bike
Velocity Exercise Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike Consumer Ratings
As I said in the opening the bike has reasonable ratings.
Considering the price for an exercise bike this is better than I expected.
A number of people note they’ve had problems with the bike not working for various reasons but most common is the problem with welds at the base. The customer service is noted as not great by these people too.
Some have problems with the resistance being too hard. This is probably an issue with assembly which some people get wrong. They don’t say if they contacted the supplier for help. The majority do get this step correct and have a good range of resistance.
As note above a popular review says they got 3 years of use before the welds at the base broke. Before that date they were pleased with the bike.
Another of the recent reviews does say that they only got 3 months trouble free workout and then the welds broke after 7 months. I’m not sure what this customer does but reading through the rest of the review the customer doesn’t have much luck with his exercise bikes even the more expensive models.
As expected there are issues with the seat (it’s a problem with all bike seats) but it isn’t all people. And those that do find it is a problem get a seat cover or use a towel to make it better.
But, the majority of customers like that it is quiet, it is compact, easy to move around and they can exercise when they want and all at a good price. They are surprised at how good it is made for the price. One customer has the bike over 3 years and uses it regularly and use it for hard workouts too.
Velocity Exercise Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike Price
It is basic and is for beginners and those wanting moderate exercise. For the type of bike it is well price priced and with reasonable ratings too.
However, you may only get 2 – 3 years usage out of it (although there are reports of people getting more too).
When I checked at Amazon it qualified for free shipping on eligible orders.
The Velocity Exercise Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike is not for everyone. It isn’t for those who are very fit and want to push themselves very hard.
It is more a starter bike and for those who gentle to moderate levels of cardio exercise. It isn’t for anyone who take their exercise seriously and want very tough cardio workouts.
It can be a great way to use TV time productively too – it is very quiet so it won’t interfere with your watching TV or others.
It can be easily adjusted to fit a range of sizes, so it can be used by multiple people in a household. The basic console can help to keep you on track so you don’t take it too easy!
It’s not going to be the most durable of bikes (as noted in some of the customer reviews) but it should give you a few years of use when used for moderate levels of exercise. And at current prices it’s not a bad deal overall.