Many medical professionals and nutritional experts are now calling our lifestyle an 'epidemic' of obesity. General fitness levels are declining due to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. Consumers are taking note of these concerns - and have made the decision to engage in exercise - in the comfort of their own home with home gyms or the purchase of workout equipment.
One popular piece of exercise equipment is the recumbent bike. A model that has been receiving a lot of attention is the 3G Cardio Elite Recumbent Bike
The question is -is this recumbent bike an effective tool in elevating fitness levels and controlling weight - and is it worth the investment. Let's take a closer look.
Who is 3G Cardio?
This recumbent bike is manufactured by the 3G Cardio company that is based in Phoenix, Arizona. The company has built a solid reputation for designing and manufacturing indoor exercise bikes that combine exceptional features and value for money.
Why A 3G Cardio Elite Recumbent Bike?
Although a 3G Cardio Elite Recumbent Bike is marketed as a 'commercial' product meaning that it is suitable for gyms, it is also perfect for home use.
The build quality is excellent and the materials used means that it can stand the stresses and strains of regular use with ease.
Let's look at this recumbent bike in action!
What Are the Types of Exercise Bikes?
There is a debate concerning what is the best exercise bike - upright or recumbent. You are probably most familiar with an upright bike. This is where you are sitting in an upright position with no back support.
When using a recumbent bike, you are in a reclining position. When exercising in this position, there is less stress on the knees, neck and back. My initial experience with a recumbent bike was after knee surgery and it made exercising much easier!
Recumbent bikes are often used for physical therapy or rehabilitation.
For some, a recumbent bike may be the only viable option.
3G Elite RB Recumbent Bike vs Elite UB Upright Bike?
3 Way Adjustable.
2 Way Adjustable
Assembled Product Weight
49" L x 27" W x 43" H
41" L x 22" W x 55″ H
The primary difference between the 2 bikes are the seat, size and weight
- The RB seat has 25 forward/backward positions and 5 tilt positions. The UB has 10 up/down height positions
- The RB weights 115 pounds while the UB weighs only 91 pounds.
For more information on a 3G Cardio UB Upright Bike, click on the link.
What Are Other Elite RB Features?
Key features of the Elite recumbent exercise bike are listed below:
- Construction and Design
The fact that this recumbent bike has a smaller footprint than many other competing brands and models also makes it ideal for use in homes where space may be an issue.
Not only does it not only take up less floor space than the competition - but storage is also more space effective.
It is not a foldable model, but the rollers on the base make it easy to both remove from storage and position it in the area where the workout will take place, as well as allowing for an easy return to the storage area.
The bike is not tremendously heavy - and at 115 lbs even those with a slighter build should be able to handle it with ease. This weight does mean that it boasts superior stability when in use. Unlike cheaper models of recumbent bikes, it is not prone to rocking or tipping while in use.
- Comfortable Seating
The bike is suitable for people with a variety of body shapes and heights. Its seat is adjustable across four axes. It can slide backward and forward allowing the user to comfortably reach the pedals making for a more comfortable workout.
In addition, there are five settings for tilting the seat into various positions. Easy to access and use levers control both of these settings. The practicality of this setup means that the bike can accommodate users of between 5’0″ and 6’4.
The contoured and padded surface of the seat is extremely comfortable and allows the user to cope with even extended workout sessions without undue strain.
The 'Airflow Mesh Flex' backrest is breathable and adds an extra 'comfort factor' to the use of the bike.
- 2 Sets of Handlebars
There are two sets of handlebars. The first alongside the handlebars are simple in construction and do not have added functionality.
The second set of handlebars are attached to the seat. These feature EKG pulse sensors and resistance controls. Heart rate can be tracked via the sensors in the seatside handlebars or via sensors which pick up information from a chest strap (not supplied).
The belt drive of the bike means that its operation is nearly silent. The belt system also means that maintenance is kept to a minimum as it does not require regular lubrication.
The flywheel is perimeter weighted which means that it provides consistent momentum as well as ensuring that the pedaling motion is as smooth as possible.
The pedal setup has been designed to avoid any lateral stress to the knees and ankles. Pedals are adjustable. As is now standard on many recumbent bikes the pedals are 'self-leveling' which means that the will return to an upright position when the feet are removed.
The bike features a motorized magnetic resistance system with a magnetic brake.
Resistance can be adjusted either via the console or through the handlebar controls at the side of the seat. Adjustment of the resistance levels requires that the bike be plugged into a mains power outlet.
The bike offers 16 levels of resistance making it ideal for both beginners and advanced users. The first three settings offer light resistance and the final settings will simulate the workout obtained by road bike users on a steep hill climb - this provides an intense cardio workout.
-The Console Unit
The console of this machine is fairly advanced. The above average size and a large readout on the blue backlit screen make it easy to read even while the user is recumbent.
It displays all relevant information on the screen without having to scroll through a menu system to find specific info relating to the workout. The information displayed includes time, speed, distance, watts, RPM, pulse and calorie consumption.
This bike can estimate such factors as calorie consumption more accurately than other competing models due to the fact that the user can input such data as height, weight, gender and age. These factors are all taken into account by the algorithms that provide feedback to the user.
There are 16 onboard programs offering a variety of scenarios or the user can select a manual mode to adjust the resistance to their preference.
The twelve preset programs allow the user to focus on workouts targeting weight loss, performance, intervals and many other targets. There are also three heart rate programs.
The user can also set goals and up to four user profiles can be saved. Use of the console is highly intuitive and even those new to the recumbent bike exercise experience should have no problems with its use.
Pros and Cons of the Elite RB Bike
What Are Customers Saying?
This is a popular recumbent bike with primarily 5 star reviews. If you want to read more reviews, click 3G Elite RB Customer Reviews.
One apartment dweller stated that this bike has a small footprint and is very quiet
A common theme among reviewers is that the seat is comfortable
On reviewer said "I love this bike. It is very comfortable and extremely quiet"
"Commercial quality at a value price"
Who Should Buy An Elite RB by 3G?
Harvard Health Publications has stated that riding a stationary bike for 30 minutes at a 'moderate' pace can burn up to 210 calories in 30 minutes. The use of recumbent bikes also increases cardiovascular health.
The use of this type of equipment also aids in building bone density and increasing muscle mass while not placing the joints under undue pressure
For some, a recumbent bike may be the only viable option.
This product is ideal for people who:
Can You Get a Good Workout With a Recumbent Bike?
The answer is a definite yes. As far as calories burned, in general, for the same time period, you can burn more on an upright bicycle. However, you may be able to exercise longer on a recumbent because it will put less stress on your joints.
The choice is yours!
Is The Assembly Difficult?
The assembly is not complicated. On the average, it will take between 1 - 1.5 hours. Amazon offers a white glove option where you can pay for the assembly. Most customers say that it is well worth the price.
Is The Workout Challenging For An Athlete?
Due to the numerous resistance levels, this bike is appropriate for everyone from seniors to athletes.
Does This Model Have A Cooling Fan?
No. It does not come with a fan, but you can attach one.
Can You Adjust The Angle Of The Seat?
Yes. It is a 4 way adjustable seat.
What Is The Elite Warranty?
The 3G Elite residential warranty is: Lifetime for the frame, 7 years for the parts and 1 year for the labor.
Final Verdict - Should You Buy a 3G Cardio Elite Recumbent Bike?
The Elite is an Amazon's Choice winner. It is perfect for entry-level users, intermediate users, as well as those who are after an intense cardio workout or who want to set weight loss targets.
Sturdy materials and ergonomic design mean that it is suitable for a wide variety of users. The price point enable users to purchase a highly effective piece of equipment that is worth the investment.
For additional information on recumbent bikes, visit Recumbent Bikes For Home Use.