Is the Nordictrack Commercial VR Exercise Bike A Good Buy?
***Please Note: This bike is no longer available. It has been replaced by the Nordictrack Commercial VR23 which you can review here.
The Nordictrack Commercial VR exercise bike has been around for a few years now – which is always a good sign since Nordictrack tends to keep the popular bikes around and discontinue unpopular models.
It has been upgraded to accommodate iFit LIVE – however most of the other popular features are still there – along with a very affordable price tag.
So is this bike right for you? Here are the pros and cons to help you decide:
Price: $799 + Free Shipping
Built In Programs: 32
Heart Rate Sensors and Wireless Heart Rate Monitor included
Weight Capacity: 375 lbs
Warranty: Lifetime Frame, 3 Year Parts, 1 year labor
Pros of the Nordictrack Commercial VR Exercise Bike:
iFit basically opens up a whole new level of training that will keep you challenged and entertained. If you are worried about having “boring” workouts, you can forget about it with iFit LIVE
This feature 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. You can also track your fitness activity automatically to reach your 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.
Cushioned Seat with Lumbar Support
The Commercial VR comes with an extra-cushioned seat with lumbar support, which makes it great for people with lower back issues who want a more comfortable workout.
The seat can be easily adjusted back and forward with the pull-key in front of the bike (so you don’t even have to get off the bike to adjust the seat)
Resistance Controls on the Side Handrails
This is something you don’t often see with recumbent bikes – but it’s extremely handy here. You can easily change your resistance level just from the side handrails (you can also grasp the handrails to get a heart rate reading).
So you don’t have to lean forward to the console to change your resistance – which can get to be annoying after a while.
Extra-Large Backlit Console with Racetrack Display
This is one of the largest consoles at this price point – plus it’s backlit. 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).
Wireless Heart Rate Monitor
The Nordictrack Commercial VR recumbent bike comes wireless heart rate monitor compatible – and you also get a wireless heart rate monitor included FREE with this bike (a lot of bikes come compatible with a wireless monitor – but you need to buy it yourself).
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).
20 lb Flywheel For Smoother Ride
Heavier flywheels tend to give you a smooth 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 choppy start and stop motion you sometimes get with cheaper bikes.
Plus the Commercial VR is designed 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.
Cons of the Nordictrack Commercial VR Exercise Bike:
There aren’t a lot of cons on this bike however there are a few things you should know before you buy:
In order to use the iFit, you have to get the iFit LIVE module. As of this writing it’s about $99 at the Manufacturer’s website. However, that also gives you a free year subscription to iFit LIVE – so you can try it out and see if it’s worthwhile for you.
You can still use the bike without iFit – you get a whopping 32 built-in workouts. But some people do want to use iFit and it’s not very clear when you buy the bike that an iFit module is required.
No Water Bottle Holder
Strangely enough, there’s no place to hold your water bottle on this bike. While this isn’t huge, some people really like having it.
The Nordictrack Commercial VR exercise bike is a very solid contender in mid-priced bike market. It actually gives you a lot more than other bikes at this price point (although the price does tend to jump around a bit). You get a heavier flywheel and higher user weight capacity (which helps give you a more sturdy feel to the machine).
You also get resistance controls from your side armrests and a large backlit console. For entertainment options, you can do everything from play your iPod through the console speakers to downloading new workouts from iFit to plotting out new trails with Googlemaps.
Overall great value for the money and Best Buy at this price point.
How To Save:
You can get the Nordictrack Commercial VR Exercise bike here and also get Free Shipping. Plus you can watch a great video on how it works and read the latest user reviews before you buy.