Pros and Cons of the Nordictrack Commercial VR Pro Recumbent Bike
The Nordictrack Commercial VR Pro recumbent bike is currently Nordic track’s premium recumbent model.
It’s fairly new (upgraded actually) for this year and fairly popular judging by how much Nordictrack is promoting it with sales and premium space on their website.
So how does it measure up? Is it a good buy?
Here’s a rundown of the pros and cons – along with how it compares to the very similar Nordictrack Commercial VR recumbent.
Price: $899 + Free Shipping
Resistance: 26 Levels
Built-In Workouts: 32
User Weight Capacity: 350 lbs
Warranty: Lifetime Frame & Brake, 3 year parts, 1 year labor
Nordictrack Commercial VR Pro Review – Pros:
Resistance Controls on the Handrails
You can change your resistance from the side handrails (just above where the heart rate sensors are). This is super convenient because you don’t have to keep reaching up to the front console to change your resistance.
Padded Mesh-Back Style Seat For Cooler, More Comfortable Workouts
The seat on the VR Pro bike is made for extra comfort. It is molded with extra padding and offers lumbar support to support your lower back.
It’s a mesh-type back style which lets the air circulate in and around your back to keep you cooler when you’re working out.
Many people prefer a mesh back and you usually only get is with higher end bikes.
Plus, this is only a mesh-style, not fabric mesh, which is a plus. Why?
Because oftentimes, the mesh-fabric seats can get tight with use and eventually end up splitting (this has been a problem with the Livestrong 6.0 for example). Then you have to pay to replace the seat – which is a huge pain. However this seat is not made of fabric mesh but is all one piece, so chances are higher that you’re going to avoid that problem.
iFit is a one-of-a-kind fitness training feature that basically turns your bike into your own personal fitness entertainment studio. It gives you a lot of ways to reach new goals and fight exercise boredom.
iFit basically connects your bike to the Internet. From there you can plot out new paths to cycle using Googlemaps or ride pre-planned routes as well.
You can also download new weight-loss workouts from Jillian Michaels where she coaches you through your workout through the built-in speakers. You can also track your fitness activity online to set new goals and see how far you’ve come. Basically there’s a lot you can do with iFit that you just can’t do with other bikes.
Wireless Heart Rate Monitor
The Nordictrack Commercial VR Pro comes with both a hand-grip heart rate sensor and a wireless heart rate monitor (included with the bike).
A lot of people prefer the wireless monitor because it’s more accurate and convenient (you don’t have to keep grasping the heart rate sensors).
And while many bikes today do come with the wireless tracking capability – they don’t include the wireless monitor itself – which you DO get with the Commercial VR Pro.
23 lb Flywheel For Super-Smooth Ride
Heavier flywheels tend to give you a smoother ride. And at this price point, this kind of flywheel is almost unheard of (most brands give you about 8 – 15 pound flywheels).
This helps to add to the smooth ride feel – especially when you are transitioning between resistance levels or slowing down. You don’t get that jump start-and-stop motion you sometimes get with cheaper bikes.
Plus the Commercial VR Pro is manufactured with a 3-piece crank system. This separates the spindle from the crank and creates a stronger, more durable bike that can take harder, longer workouts and hold up well in the long run
Extra-Large Backlit Console with Racetrack Display
This is one of the largest consoles at this price point. You can easily see your workout stats like speed, time, distance, resistance, pulse and calories burned without having to squint at a tiny console window.
Nordictrack has some of the most sophisticated consoles at this price point with graphics, racetrack displays and quick, intuitive buttons (you don’t need a manual to figure out how to use them).
Nordictrack Commercial VR Pro Review – Cons
So what are the drawbacks to this bike? Well frankly, there’s not a lot.
You should be aware that in order to use the iFit LIVE, you have to purchase the iFit LIVE module (around $99 as of this writing). However if you get it at the Manufacturer’s site, they will include a free year subscription to iFit (around a $100 value).
So it’s a great way to try it out first to see if you like it. You don’t have to have iFit to use this bike – you still get a whopping 32 workout programs and 26 resistance levels – which should keep you challenged for quite a while.
The other downside is that people get confused between the Nordictrack Commercial VR and the Nordictrack Commercial VR Pro (the one we’re talking about here is the Pro. Click here for a review of the Commercial VR).
What’s the difference? The VR Pro is really the next model up from the VR - but here’s a quick rundown of what the VR Pro gives you that the VR does not:
Nordictrack Commercial VR Pro vs Nordictrack Commercial VR
- Mesh back – you don’t get the upgraded mesh back seat with the Commercial VR bike
- Heavier Flywheel – 20 vs 23 lbs which is not a huge difference, it just gives you a smoother, more gym-like feel. They’re still both pretty good.
- Water Bottle Holder – Nordictrack listened to user complaints it seems and finally added a water bottle holder to the VR Pro – the VR model does not have one
- More Resistance Levels – 26 vs 24
- Step-Through Design makes it easier to get on the VR Pro vs the VR bike.
Overall the Nordictrack Commercial VR Pro has a nicer finish and sleeker look.
Nordictrack VR Pro:
If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line recumbent bike without the top-of-the-line price tag, you’ll probably love the Nordictrack Commercial VR Pro. Compared to other bikes at this price point it’s really tough to beat because it just gives you so much.
It improves on a lot of the issues with other recumbent bikes out there - and gives you a very sleek “commercial” look to boot.
Bottom Line: One of the best new models this year.
How To Save
You can get the Nordictrack Commercial VR Pro by going direct through the Manufacturer and skipping the middleman. Plus they are also offering Free Shipping and you can get the iFit module with Free iFit deal all in one shot.
Click Here for More on the Nordictrack Commercial VR Pro Exercise Bike