Pros: 2-speed fan setting, pulse sensor, 10 resistance levels
Cons: blue light on the panel is too light, warning label not easy to spot
I use the treadmills at 24 Hour Fitness and considered getting one with my income tax refund. Price and space prevented me from pursuing this further, so a stationary bike was the wisest choice for my household with two children on the autism spectrum. I figured as my children get older they could utilize the bike as well.
I searched around at the Sears.com site and went to the Glendale, California location to make my purchase. I was able to sit on several stationary bikes and check them out without any pressure from sales people. In fact I had to go over to a cashier to ask for assistance. I chose the Pro Form XP 70 Exercise Bike for comfortability and features. The fan was the added touch I needed to make the choice.
This is the brand new 2005 model that is selling quickly at Sears stores, per the technician who assembled the bike. The price for the bike was $249.99 with a two year warranty at an additional $49.99 with the assembly costing $79.99. I made the purchase on a Friday morning in early March and was disappointed to learn I could not get someone to assemble it until mid morning the following Monday. At the check out the sales clerk called the technician to get availability.
The directions do state you will need two people to put this Pro Form XP 70 Exercise Bike together. There was one adult and a teenager or young adult that took fifteen minutes to get the bike in working order. There was another charge of $50 to deliver the bike that I did not utilize. I was able to borrow a dolley from a neighbor and get this very large and heavy box down the street and into my house with some effort and heavy breathing.
The technician did tell me to save the box for a week just in case there was a problem with the bike. He said it was easier to just return for another one instead of trying to fix it. There has not been any major problems with this bike, but I did find a piece in the box that I saved since I am not sure it was an extra piece or not needed one.
On Tuesday morning after having the bike set up in the living room, my non-verbal autistic son either bumped into it or tried to get on it. Since he awoke at 4:44 am and I went back to sleep for another hour I am not sure how the bruise came about, but he was limping for two days.
There is a full 90 day warranty from the date of purchase. There are 14 important precautions for the unit that are listed in the manual. These include:
Reading the manual first
Keep children 12 and under away from bike, as well as pets
The weight limit is 250 pounds
The pulse sensor is not a medical device
Keep the bike indoors on a level surface
Keep your back straight, do not arch your back
Do not wear loose clothing
Always wear athletic shoes
This is intended for home use only
Call 1-800-533-1333 for replacement warning decal
The exercise cycle does not have a free-wheel
The major warning for this is to consult your physician if you are over the age of 35 and for those with pre-existing health conditions.
It took me a long time to find this warning decal. It should be placed in a more suitable spot for reminders of the warnings, especially if friends and relatives visit and use the bike.
The serial number for the bike is on the decal, the model number is 831.215010. When calling for assistance you will need the numbers. They can be reached at 1-800-469-4663. There is a book holder that I keep the remote control to the television and a bottle of water when I am using the Pro Form XP 70 Exercise Bike. The pedals have straps that keep your feet in tightly. The seat is comfortable after about a minute of pedaling. Sometimes I feel like I am slipping off, but after getting into the rhythm it feels better.
The seat is adjustable with a black knob that I used for my ten year old to try sitting on the bike. The console does require four D batteries. Two are behind the trainer programs (manual mode) with the other two in a compartment behind the blue LCD screen that shows your age, pulse rate, carbs, distance, time, mph, calories, pace and rpm. There is a plus, minus and enter button with a larger plus and minus underneath for resistance levels. Ten is the highest. The distance can be shown in metric (M) or English (E).
The display is constantly moving with all the numbers with the hardest and longest one to display being the pulse rate. The heart button shows up three times and you need to stay still for 30 seconds. There are four preset programs for the bike with two pulse programs. The first pulse program is based on age with the second one following a pace guide. You will need to enter a targeted heart rate for program 2.
I tend to click on quick start at the 24 Hour Fitness treadmills and not bother with the programs and entering my age, etc. I do the same with my Pro Form XP 70 Exercise Bike. I find just pedaling is easier and then increase the resistance.
Since my younger son finds the bike fascinating and likes to walk around it while I am riding, I have taken to pedaling between 9 and 10 pm. In a fifteen minute period I will burn at least 100 calories. I do not bother with the pace and rpm, plus the carbs number does not make sense to me.
The handgrip for the pulse sensor is a small space compared to what the gym has on their treadmills. Program one is 30 one minute periods with program two lasting a full sixty minutes long. All these programs are too detailed and complicated for me, but I plan on figuring it out later on for advanced usage.
There is the option of using iFIT.com CD'S with the Pro Form XP 70 Exercise Bike. The exercise bike has to be connected to your portable CD player or computer with CD player. Another option is using iFIT.com videocassettes and you need to be connected to the VCR. There are step-by-step directions for connecting your stereo, CD player, computer and VCR. They also show if there are separate line out and phone jacks or only one jack.
There are workout guidelines in the manual as well as an explanation for how to move the bike. Just like the technician stated, you pull the handlebars until the bike can be moved by the front wheels.
The pulse sensors cannot be cleaned using alcohol, abrasives or chemicals. I have not changed the batteries since the technician told me they would last 3 months, and I have had this one month, but the light is very dim if I am not leaning into see it. If I were to sit without holding the handlebars in an upright position I would need glasses to see the numbers.
There is a heart rate chart with ages showing the rates for fat burning, maximum and aerobic. So far the bike is easy to care for, just a bit dusty around the book stand. I find it easier to just watch television instead of perseverating on the numbers that are appearing and changing on the screen.
The bike takes up some space in my livingroom. I gave away the Jump-O-Lene on craigslist.org, so the trampoline is next to the bike with my intentions being my child could use this while I pedal away. The bike is about 57 inches tall, 40 inches in length and 20 inches wide. These are my estimates with my measuring tape to give an idea of the space needed to keep this out in the open so it gets used daily.
The pedal straps are adjustable as well. The seat is 10 1/2 inches wide and 11 1/2 inches in length. The bike is nice looking and goes with the exercise theme in the back part of the living room. It is positioned against the wall in front of a window. This was the best place according to the technician.
When you first sit on the bike the red lights turn on around the training program. Then if you do not press the button the blue screen opens up with the stats. The button to start the manual mode is near that screen with the fan button on the other side. You will need to press the button more than once to get the high speed on the fan. Depending on the time of the day I have used both speeds and feel the fan helps. There is a dial to move the fan up and down. You will not get a blast of fan in your face, but it works well just the same.
This is a purchase I am very pleased with and hope to have for many years. It is comfortable, easy to use with many options for pacing your heart rate and counting calories and carbs. For those that like music you can follow the directions for connecting other systems to the Pro Form XP 70 Exercise Bike.