Wondering how they’re different?
These are two of Nordictracks most popular recumbent exercise bike models, both coming in under $1000 with adjustable seats with lumbar support, iPod docks, backlit consoles and extra wide, ergonomic pedals.
They also both come with easy step-through design which makes it easier to get on and off the bike. Both also give you with tablet holders and are iFit compatible – meaning you can bike trails all over the world for some virtual reality fun.
However there are some key differences that you should know if you’re trying to decide between them.
So with that in mind here’s a review of the main differences between the Nordictrack VR21 vs VR25 recumbent bikes to help you decide.
Nordictrack VR21 vs VR25 Bike – Price
The Nordictrack VR21 is the more affordable of the two bikes coming in around $200 less than the VR25 Bike with Free Shipping here.
The Nordictrack VR25 is the next model up in the series – so it comes in a bit higher. However you can get a discount on it and get Free Shipping to your home here.
So is the Nordictrack VR25 worth the extra money? Read on.
Nordictrack VR21 vs VR25 – Console
This is where you see a big difference between the bikes. The Nordictrack VR21 recumbent has a 5 inch backlit console which is easy to read and gives you feedback on the basics like speed, time, calories burned etc.
It also has a tablet holder in front of the console screen, an iPod dock and a built-in cooling fan.
The Nordictrack VR25 console however takes it up a level and includes a full-color, touch screen console with built-in web browser. So you can surf the net, read emails or watch YouTube videos as you bike.
The console screen is also larger than the Nordictrack VR21 at 7 inches across instead of 5 inches – so your workout stats are easier to read.
Nordictrack VR21 vs VR25 – iFit Coach
iFit Coach is a new technology that you can add on to either bike. It takes your bike online and from there you can do all sorts of wonderful things like track your workouts over time, set new goals and download new workouts.
You can also bike trails all over the world – from Paris to Hawaii – and see the scenery pass you by.
Here’s the main difference however: On the Nordictrack VR21 bike, you’ll need to connect to iFit on your tablet and watch the scenery that way.
On the Nordictrack VR25 bike you can connect easily through the console itself (because it already has the web browser) and watch the iFit scenery that way. You don’t need a tablet. (However if you have a tablet, you can also connect to iFit using that – so you have two options with this bike).
So the bottom line is that you don’t need a tablet to enjoy iFit on the VR25 bike. But you will need a tablet to try iFit on the Nordictrack VR21 model.
Nordictrack VR21 vs VR25 Bike – Flywheel
A heavier flywheel helps to give you a smoother-feeling ride, especially during resistance transitions. It also helps to anchor the machine and add more stability.
The Nordictrack VR21 bike has a 23 pound flywheel – which is really good for the price point. However the Nordictrack VR25 bike takes it up a level with a 25 pound flywheel.
Nordictrack Commercial VR21 vs VR25 – Resistance
The Nordictrack VR21 recumbent comes with 25 resistance levels – which again is really good for the price point. The Nordictrack vr25 bike gives you 26 resistance levels – so you get one more level of resistance.
The difference isn’t really that great – both bikes give you a lot of room to grow. However it is worth knowing.
Nordictrack VR21 vs VR25 – Heart Rate Hand Grips
The Nordictrack VR21 bike has the EKG hand sensors on the grips near the console (see above). So you have to reach up and grip the EKG sensors to get your heart rate reading.
The Nordictrack VR25 bike however puts the EKG hand sensors down below on either side of your seat – which is a lot more convenient than having to reach up to the bars by the console to do it.
There are also easy controls on these two bars by your seat – so you can adjust your resistance easily without having to constantly reach up to the console to do it. This is not found on the VR21 model.
Nordictrack VR21 vs VR25 Bike – Wireless Heart Rate
Both bikes will work with a wireless chest strap to take your heart rate (if you don’t want to use the EKG grips).
However it’s worth noting that if you get the Nordictrack VR25 recumbent bike from the Manufacturer here, you will also get a Free wireless chest strap included with your order.
This is not included with the Nordictrack VR21 recumbent bike.
So what’s the bottom line on the Nordictrack VR21 vs VR25 bike debate?
Well, they both give you with fully adjustable seats, easy step-through designs and lots of resistance levels.
However the real difference is seen in the console – the VR25 gives you a larger, full-color console with web browser which can add a lot of fun to your workouts.
It also steps it up in terms of a heavier flywheel and more convenience features like the heart rate chest strap and hand grips by the bike seat.
On the other hand the VR21 is no slouch either and it comes in around $200 less. So it really comes down to what’s most important to you.
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