Pros: Plenty of features, large & comfortable seat, does the job!
Cons: Strange issue with the pedal, there are better (though more pricey) ones out there
After an unpleasant visit to my doctor, I was faced with the news that I weighed more than I ever thought was possible. I dont look fat, but found myself pondering the options. What I settled on was a healthy diet and exercise. So, I suppose, Im doing this weight loss thing the proper way.
I knew nothing of what to look for in an exercise machine except for the fact that it had to fit in my family room and be positioned in front of the television. Yes. Im lazy. In fact, I didnt even know where to look for such equipment. While wandering aimlessly through Sears one day I noticed that they had a decent selection of exercise bikes and treadmills. So, without much thought and a minimal amount of research I settled on shopping at that department store.
There were a number of models to choose from a few different manufacturers and of a couple styles. I was already certain that I wanted a cycle, so that of narrowed my selection considerably. For those not already familiar with the terminology, there are two kinds of bikes: upright and recumbent. I tried out both styles, and decided that the recumbent was a better workout and was more comfortable on my back. And then there were the brands. Sears features only three names, Pro Form, NordicTrack, and Weslo. The Weslo units were quickly eliminated. They were inexpensive, and as such felt cheap. Many of the Pro Form models suffered from similar problems. Though there was one that was decent.
After hopping on the NordicTrack TRL 625 I knew Id found the equipment most fitting to my body and needs. Of course it also happened to be the priciest one available at Sears at the time, on sale for $399.99 and regularly priced at considerably more. The three things that sold me on the bike were the substantial seat, the sturdy construction, and the comfortable pedal angle. So I snatched up the bike and went on my merry way.
Of course I recruited my husband, an engineer, to put my new NordicTrack TRL 625 together. Obviously hes a better than average assembly artist. The parts came neatly organized and packaged in an intuitive manner. After helping him to further sort, separate, and organize the large and small pieces he was able to put the bike together fully in about 30 minutes time. It went together relatively easily aside from the fact that we neglected to purchase D-size batteries, a requirement to view the monitor.
The NordicTrack has a ton of features. On first look, the large LCD panel is most noticeable. Also of note is the aforementioned comfortable seat. Easily adjustable, the unit can be made to work with a whole family of fitness-types. But there are many more perks that have made this ergonomically designed exercise bike a worthwhile buy. In plain English my favorite are as follows:
- Two cup holders
- Blood pressure monitor
- Four pre-programmed routines
- Adjustable resistance
- Easy-to-adjust, comfortable seat
- Calorie, fat calorie, mile, and time monitors
- Side-seat handles
- Recumbent design
With a single push of a pedal, the TRL 625 powers on. From there, it is easy to choose your method of fitness. You can choose to adhere to one of four set routines ranging from 20-30 minutes. These require the rider to keep pace with a coach as shown on the LCD panel. Also, riders may choose to simply pedal without any precise goal in mind aside from those personally set. The display makes this a very simple process by providing rotating stats about calories burned, fat calories burned, distance gone, and time elapsed. You can decide to view any of these stats at any time during your workout without losing any information. Also, with a simple reach forward with both hands it is a breeze to test your pulse rate.
Pedaling is simple. The pedals are wide and include a toe strap to keep your foot firmly in place. The toe strap is easily adjusted and requires no special tools (nor does the adjustment of the seat).
Overall, the seat is comfortable. I have pretty severe lower back problems (acquired after running track for ten years as a child and teen), and have some minor discomfort. But the back of the seat is high enough to properly support me as best as I could expect. There are handles on either side of the machine to aid in balance and need be. In addition, riders can prop a magazine or thin book on the built-in stand on the LCD panel.
Honestly there are very few negative things to be said about my NordicTrack. As already mentioned, it was significantly more expensive than other units at Sears. But head over to any large fitness store (for example, Galyans) and youll see that it isnt out of the range of possibilities to spend thousands of dollars on a similar bike from brands like Diamondback. So the NordicTrack is a relative bargain for people not wanting cheap but not willing to spend a small fortune.
Also of slight displeasure are the pedals. Ive mentioned they are wide and have a nice toe strap. Well, it seems that in the case of my unit it also has a slight bend on the left pedals shaft. The bike works fine, but if my foot is at a certain angle while exercising the pedal makes an ungodly, annoying clicking noise. My husband says he doesnt notice it, but I do. It bothers me.
If you can track a NordicTrack TRL 625 down, it is most definitely worth checking out. Although, my suspicion is that we were about the last to get the model a few months ago. It seems that Sears is now carrying a similar, yet updated one by the name of NordicTrack SL 720. It has more features, but seems to be very similar to my model. Thus far, I am happy with my purchase and pleased with the fitness results. I ride about four miles a night.