Wondering how they’re different – and which is best for you?
These are both classic recumbent models from Life Fitness. They’ve been around for years and are customer favorites, both coming in at under $2000 – which is excellent for a Lifecycle bike.
They both also have a similar layout and design with the popular knee-over-spindle design that keeps your body in ideal alignment as you cycle. This helps to reduce unnecessary stress on your knees, hips and back and gives you a much more comfortable workout overall.
However there are some key differences between the two models that you should know to help you choose the best one for your goals.
Here’s a rundown of what you need to know:
Lifecycle R1 vs R3 Bike – Price
The Lifecycle R1 bike currently comes in a little more affordable at around $500 less with Free Shipping here (however note that this is a sale price).
The Lifecycle R3 Recumbent 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 what do you get for the extra money on the R3 model? Let’s look a bit deeper.
Lifecycle R1 vs R3 Recumbent – Seat
The seat is everything when it comes to a recumbent bike and there are some differences you should know between the R1 and R3. The R3 seat is a little more padded and molded – so it’s going to be a little more comfortable over the R1 (see pics directly above and below to compare).
Both bike seats are easily adjustable forward and back. However with the R3 bike you can also lean back on the seat (changing the angle of your back rest). You can’t do this on the R1 bike.
So there’s a little bit of extra comfort on the R3 bike that the R1 doesn’t have. People especially prone to back problems will especially appreciate these added features.
Lifecycle R1 vs R3 Recumbent – Stability
Lifecycle is especially known for making a well-made, strong, stable bike. However when you drill down into it, the R3 recumbent does have some benefits in this area over the R1.
First of all, it’s heavier – 147 pounds vs 130 pounds. It also has a higher user weight capacity – 400 pounds vs 300 pounds on the Lifecycle R1
So this basically means you have a heavier, more stable base and the R3 can stand up to a bit more use – and abuse – than the R1 bike.
It doesn’t mean the R1 is weak – it’s still quite strong and steady. It just means the R3 is a built a bit tougher and can handle longer workouts with ease.
Lifecycle R1 vs R3 Bike – Pedals
You also get upgraded pedals on the R3 bike. You get enhanced cushioning, non-slip, self balancing pedals with ratcheting straps. The Lifecycle R1 bike comes with the standard LifeFitness bike pedals.
Again, the standard pedals aren’t bad – it’s just that the R3 pedals might be a bit more comfortable and better fitting.
Lifecycle R1 vs R3 Recumbent – Power Requirements
The Lifecycle R1 comes with the standard major voltage requirements. You need to place it near a plug outlet in your home.
The Lifecycle R3 is self-powered. That means there are no power cords required and you can place the bike wherever you want. As soon as you start cycling on the pedals, the console lights up and turns on. This is a handy feature unique to the R3 bike.
Lifecycle R1 vs R3 Bike – Extra Space
Both bikes come with a water bottle holder. But the R3 also has an added accessories tray behind your seat which is handy for keeping your remote control, keys, phone etc within reach as you workout.
Lifecycle R1 vs R3 Recumbent – Heart Rate Hand Grips
This may be a small thing. But if you look at the Lifecycle R3 heart rate sensors, you’ll notice they’re of a higher quality than the EKG sensors on the R1 bike.
So which should you choose when it comes to the Lifecycle R1 vs R3 recumbent bike debate?
Well, the Lifecycle R1 does come in at a very attractive price point. And it does offer a strong stable base with proper ergonomic design.
However the Lifecycle R3 bike is built a bit tougher with a few more comfort features than the R1 bike like upgraded pedals, a better heart rate sensor and the added storage tray. It’s also self powered so you can put it anywhere you want in your home.
So at the end of the day it really comes down to your goals, budget and preferences.
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