XTERRA Fitness FB150 Folding Exercise Bike Review

The XTERRA Fitness FB150 Folding Exercise Bike is an economical bike.

It is very compact and folds up to store away making it a good option for those with limited space.

The color and design are appealing with the silver and blue (to me anyway).

All that is nice but the question is whether it is worth spending the money asked.

No one wants to waste money on something that doesn’t work or isn’t right for them.

In this review I take a good in depth look at how it operates, what you can expect, who it is for, who it isn’t for and how much exercise it can handle and the intensity.

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Sturdiness

It is a steel tube X-frame with provides a good stable platform for in the seat exercise. The stabilizers (the support tubes at each end of bike) are 18.1 inches wide and despite these being on the narrow side the bike doesn’t have much of a reported wobble with many describing it as stable..

It does need to be on a level surface as it doesn’t have any levelers to balance up the bike.

It’s designed to used in the seated position and is stable in that position.

It is not for standing on pedals as you would in a spinning or indoor cycling workout and you may find it is unsteady. If you want to do those types of workouts you need to look at an indoor cycle.

It seems to have a good record in being able to be used for a good period of time without it breaking down (based on feedback in customer reviews  after a few months of use). This is with moderate levels of exercise rather than high intensity.

The warranty is 1 year on the frame and 90 days on the parts which isn’t the longest but is okay considering the price of the bike.

There is a small maintenance requirement that is outlined in the manual. It involves keep it clean and making sure all the nuts and bolts are kept tight

There have been a few reports of issues with the console and some reports of issues with pedals – which may be the result of not following assembly instructions.

But not too many and where there has been feedback the company does respond and appears to work with customers to solve the problem.

Adjustability

The bike can be adjusted to fit people between the heights of 4ft 10 ins. and 5 ft 10 ins.

This is done by sliding the seat up and down by releasing the adjustment knob on the support pole and then by inserting pin and tightening up to prevent slippage.

The seat moves only up/down on a diagonal which brings you further away or closer to handlebars to allow for the changes in height and upper body length.

It doesn’t have any lateral adjustment and nor do the handlebars move at all. You should find it close enough for comfort but you won’t probably get the optimal position as you can with more adjustment options.

If you are over 5ft 10 ins you can use the bike but you are likely to find yourself cramped and you won’t get proper extension in your legs with them being bent more than advised when pedal is at furthest point (slightly bent).

If less than 4 ft 10 ins you are likely have to stretch your legs on the down stroke to keep in touch with the pedal which is not the best.

XTERRA Fitness FB150 Exercise Bike Resistance

The bike uses magnetic resistance to provide degrees of hardness from very easy at level 1 to moderate at level 8.

The 8 levels of resistance are changed by turning the tension knob below the handlebar. The levels are marked on the knob making it easy to know where you are up to and for returning to a previous level.

It results in low maintenance and a very quiet bike with nothing dragging on the flywheel to produce a noise or wear and tear on the disc.

The resistance won’t go on very hard, for those looking for high intensity it will seem to be too easy, but for those starting out and/or looking for moderate workouts it should be enough to get the heart rate up and get a sweat on.

If you are looking for more intense workouts you are better looking at indoor cycles which are designed for tougher training.

Drive type

The bike has a belt drive which helps to keep the bike quiet and low maintenance. It has a light 3.3 lbs flywheel that is precision balanced.

You get a smooth ride from this for low to moderate intensity workouts.

The drive and flywheel are protected by the blue shroud to keep it dust free and also protect small fingers or pets.

Pedals

The pedals are in front of you rather than below as you get with a road bike due to the X-frame design.

Some do find this awkward as it doesn’t feel natural but it doesn’t stop you from exercising or result in your knees banging the handlebars (that is more likely to happen if you are over the recommended maximum height of 5ft 10 ins).

It has been described as almost semi-recumbent (legs aproaching a 45 degree angle to body)

Athletic shoes are a good type of shoe to use with the bike. The pedals are a good size with grip and an adjustable strap to keep feet in place. It can be a little tough adjusting the strap at the beginning with the plastic being hard but these type of straps do tend to soften up through use over time.

You can pedal backwards with resistance and the console continues to monitor your workout.

XTERRA Fitness FB150 Folding Bike Comfort

Seat It has a large oversized seat. Many do find it comfortable but it doesn’t suit everyone and this is the same with most exercise bike seats.

If you find it too much to bear you can use a towel or a cushion (but make sure you are steady and be careful) or a less precarious option is a gel seat cover. The seat size is 12″ x 9″ x 2.5″ (per manufacturer).

Due to how the seat is attached to post (like most upright bikes), a 3 bolt triangle it is not easily replaced unlike a road bike. It can be replaced but it’s not straightforward and not that cheap particularly when compared to the price of the bike.

The angle of the seat can’t be changed as it is bolted into place.

It is not designed to attach a back support. However, there is a version of the bike that does come with a backrest. It is a very similar bike but costs a little more – you can read more on the FB350 here

Other options with more support are a recumbent bike these bikes give more support and you are in a more seated position  but they don’t fold away

The X-shape does make it easier to get but you can’t step through as you do with a recumbent exercise bike but need to lift leg up over crossing point which is about 2 foot from the ground. Some people have used a small step to help if it is an issue.

There is concern over the cancer warning due to the California Prop 65 Notice. According to the company the notice is there because Toluene and Acrylamide is used in making of plastics and paint used on the bike. Eating, burning or inhaling the plastics could be dangerous. You can read more https://www.xterrafitness.com/compliance-policies/

Floor Protection & Dirt To be on the safe side you may want to place bike on a mat to protect from any small amounts of dirt or sweat that may drop. On wooden floors this should protect from possible scratching although the plastic caps on the support do help prevent this from happening.

It will be a clean bike on the whole due to magnetic resistance and belt drive reducing lubricant and dust. It will collect dust like everything seems to, so will need cleaning from time to time.

Handlebars The handlebars are fixed in place and they can’t be tilted. They are placed in a position to promote an upright seated position and are closer to the seat then you would get with an indoor cycling bike.

They are too close to the pedals to allow for standing on them (the bike isn’t designed for this).

The handlebars include the pulse sensors for monitoring heart rate.

They have a padded covering to make them easier on the hands and so they don’t get too slippery when hands get sweaty.

Noise The magnetic resistance and belt drive help to make this a very quiet bike. You can watch TV
without turning it up or disturbing others in the room.

The only noise is the clicking sound when you change the resistance level by turning the tension knob. It isn’t too loud – similar to the clicking of a pen.

If you live in an upper apartment using the bike shouldn’t disturb anyone below or next to you but you might want to place on a mat to be sure there is no vibration transmitted though the floor.

Storage

This stationary bike folds up to 18.1 by 18.1 inches making it easy to store out of the way when not being used. It should fit in most closets.

Folding up is easy to do with removing holding pin and then close the bike up.

It has two transport wheels on the front support. They are recessed within the black plastic caps. To engage the wheels for when moving you tip the bike forward and then can wheel the bike to where you want it to go.

It weighs 32 lbs, so it is not too heavy (compared to other exercise equipment) and may need two of you if you want to lift to move it particularly when moving it up or downstairs.

The size of the bike especially when folded up should mean it is easy to manoeuvre around corners and furniture.

The wheels will be fine on hard floors but you may struggle with them getting jammed on deep pile carpets.

Assembly

The XTERRA Fitness FB150 Folding Exercise Bike does come partly assembled. The assembly is fairly straightforward and takes about 30 minutes or less for most.

I don’t think the expert assembly service is needed in most circumstances.

You are required to attach the stabilizer bars, seat and handle bar support, seat, handlebars, pedals and console to the frame.

All the hardware and tools needed are supplied. The instructions are clear and simple to follow.

The areas to look out for are the pedals – the left one is attached by screwing it on counter-clockwise (this prevents it coming undone as you pedal and is standard for exercise bikes) and the console to make sure you don’t crimp the wire.

XTERRA Fitness FB150 Folding Exercise Bike Console

The console comes with a small LCD display of 1 in by 2 ins and a mode button.

It only displays one metric at a time. The numbers seem to be large enough to see for most users.

The metrics displayed are time, calories, pulse, speed and time. You can choose to see just one metric or you can set it to scan through them with it displaying each metric for 4 seconds at a time by pushing the button. The number being shown is indicated by small triangle at the bottom of the screen aligned to the description on the console.

There are no pre-configured training programs with the bike. If you want something to follow along to, there are online videos and App that can give guidance on workouts and/or ones with a trainer to follow.

The console is powered by 2 AA batteries and these are included when you purchase.

To start the console you start pedalling.

There are concerns that the console doesn’t turn off, however, this not the case, it turns off after 4 minutes of no activity detected. It stops recording after 4 seconds of no activity.

It keeps a record of your metrics to date. When you start again it will start from where you left off by default (great if interrupted in the middle of a workout) – you can reset back to zero by using the mode button.

Distance is measured in miles with maximum shown 99.99 miles before resetting to 0.

The calories measure is an “estimate” rather than an actual as you don’t put in any personal information into the console. The company says it is calculated at 36.8 calories burned per mile. It doesn’t take into account resistance levels. Many do find that this is too generous compared to other devices and actual burned. The maximum calories measured before starting again at zero is 999.

It is probably not advisable to rely on the calories burned if you are calorie counting as you may find your expected “calorie deficit” isn’t as expected. A fitness App (like myfitnesspal.com) or a fitness wearable device maybe better to use to get your estimate.

For your heart rate to register you have to grip the pulse sensors at the side of the handlebars. You may find that they are too forward and feel uncomfortable. Both hands need to grip the sensors to get a reading.

Hand pulse sensors can be temperamental and it can be difficult to get a reasonable reading of heart rate. This is a common problem with these devices.

If heart rate monitoring for exercising is important it is probably better to use a heart rate strap and monitor such as those made by Polar.

Although the console is not the most accurate you can use it to track your workouts as you go and if you want to compare to see how you are tracking these need to manually recorded on a notebook or manually input.

There is no way to have your workout results automatically uploaded to a fitness tracker

In dim light you won’t be able to read the console as it is not backlit – one person bought a clip on light to illuminate so they could continue to exercise early in the morning without turning the room light on (so as not to disturb people sleeping).

Dimensions

Folded Up
Width 18.1 ins
Length 18.1 ins
Height 50.79 ins

In use
Width 18.1 ins
Length Total 31.89 ins
Base 28.5 ins (approx)
Height 43.3 ins

Weight: 32 lbs

Max User Weight: 225 lbs

Accessories

The bike doesn’t come with any accessories. If you want to use a smart device you’ll need to hold it or rest it on handlebars and it doesn’t have anything to hold it in place.

The console also is a little higher than handlebars which will make it a little unsteady place to rest a tablet.

If you want a drink handy you’ll have to either hold your bottle or place it on a table next to you.

Pros

  • The affordable price
  • Takes up a small space when in use and folds up so it can be stored in a closet out of way
  • Assembly is quick and all tools are included
  • Includes a console to monitor workout
  • Resistance levels are marked going from low to moderate tension
  • Pedals have straps and grip to prevent feet slipping off
  • Customer service is based in the USA
  • Silver and blue styling looks good
  • Quiet and smooth ride for low intensity and low impact exercise
  • Can be quickly adjusted to accommodate people between 4ft 10 ins and 5 ft 10 ins
  • Console and resistance work when you pedal in reverse
  • Good for beginners and those wanting moderate exercise

Cons

  • No training programs provided
  • If you want to track progress over time this needs to be done manually
  • Metrics calculated appear to over state performance
  • Console is not backlit
  • Nowhere to put a smart device or drink bottle
  • Not for high intense exercise
  • Handlebars are not adjustable
  • Not designed for standing on pedals
  • Seat not easily replaced

Consumer Ratings

XTERRA-Fitness-FB150-Folding-Exercise-Bike-ReviewCustomer reviews are on the whole positive.

Most seem to think they have got a bargain with the bike that is great for beginners. They like the compactness, how quiet it is, how smooth it rides and sturdy. Most people find it easy to assemble too.

The console is liked but it seems it overstates performance in particular the calories.

Where customers haven’t been happy with the bike due to a faulty part, the company takes a proactive approach in contacting them and wanting to work with them to get the issue sorted.

Price

This is an economically priced exercise bike. It seems from the reviews that it is more than just an affordable bike with most pleased with the quality of it (they feel they did get a bargain and don’t feel they’ve been let down).

When I checked on Amazon the bike qualified for free delivery.

You can check for the latest price and availability by clicking here:
XTERRA Fitness FB150 Folding Exercise Bike

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Review Summary

It doesn’t have a lot of features but this is a good basic stationary bike to get exercising.

This a good bike for beginners and those who want moderate exercise. It is very economical in terms of price and space. It won’t break the bank nor dominate a room (especially as it folds up too for storage).

The compact size and it can be folded together makes it ideal for those with little space. It is also very quiet so it can be used in an apartment without annoying neighbors.

But, it isn’t for those who want intense workouts or training with it designed for seated exercise and the resistance only going up to a moderate level of tension.

It’s best for those who want to get started or maintain general fitness and to burn calories with low impact and low intensity cardio.

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