For several years I have been a member of a gym and enjoyed going to a number of classes and using the equipment. The cross trainer was always my favourite, with the bike a close second. However during the last year I found that I was managing to attend the gym less and less, the monthly subscription was increased and a few of the best instructors left, so I took the big decision to leave and try and exercise myself at home!
When choosing equipment to buy to use at home my biggest issue was a lack of space. Therefore I could not buy a cross trainer and thought that even getting a bike would be impossible as I did not have room to store it. However I then came across this folding exercise bike and my problems were solved!
I purchased the bike from Argos on offer for £79. This was a very good price and I argued to myself that it was a good investment as it would hopefully last for years and cost the equivalent of just 2 months gym membership. Getting the bike back was a bit tricky as it comes in a very large box and I only have a small Mini but eventually I managed to fit it in the car.
On unpacking the bike I immediately liked the design and appearance. It is white which looks quite feminine and fits nicely into the decor in my lounge so it does not look out of place. It was easy to set up by following the instructions and using the few tools provided and only took about 45 minutes to get it up a running.
The bike folds up via a pin which has to be released and then reinserted in one of the two different positions. I have found this a bit hard to get the hang of to begin with as sometimes it is a bit fiddly to line the two holes to fit it through but it is fine once you get the hang of it.
The seat is fully adjustable and I found it easy to find a height that was suitable for me. However I am quite small and I have read some reviews on other sites that say that it does not adjust high enough for taller people so this might be something to be aware of.
The bike comes with a monitor that you attach as part of the installation. You have to fit your own batteries. The monitor measure the length of time you have used the bike, your heart rate, distance and calories burned. This is the element of the bike that I think is the least effective. The time and distance measured is accurate but I do not think an accurate reading is always given for the heart rate and I can definitely say that an accurate reading is not given for calories burned. The reading is way too high and totally unrealistic although this might make you feel good (to think you have achieved more than you really have) is actually worthless so I now completely ignore it.
The bike has a number of resistance levels which really do work. I tend to start on level 2 and then gradually work up to level 3 and 4. I have never managed to get beyond level 4 but someone with more strength (I am only 5 foot 2 and about 8 stone) may well manage this. The resistance levels certainly give you a good workout and I sometimes use the bike with a spin DVD and am able to replicate some of the instructions given on the DVD by using the definite levels
The bike is really quiet when in use and this is helpful so you can listen to music or even watch the TV at the same time (although i find if i am doing this I don't really work out hard enough as I am too distracted) I would definitely recommend it for a good workout at home although clearly it is not as powerful as a machine at the gym would be
The only problem with the bike is for the owner (me!) to get round to using it! I aim to do this a least three times a week but often fail. Having written this review I now have no excuse not to remember to use it today!!
This review might also be posted on Ciao under my username Star20000
I love Davina Mc'Call and I own all her exercise videos and last year went a little mad at argos buying her exercise range. I was determined to get myself fit and while I still have a long way to go I'm definitely getting there. Other than just liking Davina the reason that I bought her equipment in the first place was because of just how excellent it actually is. Normally I find that with celebrity inspired products the quality can be somewhat hit and miss but not with the Davina range which in my opinion is fantastic quality at really reasonable prices.
I originally wanted the cross trainer and exercise bike which is combined in one but it was more than I really wanted to pay and I know from my experience at the gym that me and the cross trainer don't really mix well together so I settled on getting the magnetic exercise bike. I paid £99 for this bike which I thought was a little on the expensive side originally but as soon as I started using it I could tell the difference straight away in the quality compared to the cheap exercise bike that I previously used. It is currently priced at £119 at argos which is quite a lot to have gone up by but I would still recommend it at this price.
The bike was really easy to assemble and came with everything that you needed so even if you have no tools of your own you will still be able to get it up straight away.
The only thing which bugged me is that the little computer part which measures you time and distance etc needs batteries and these weren't included so I needed to make a trip to the shops before I was able to use it.
I only have a vague idea of the mechanics of the bike and how the magnetic resistance works but what I do know is that you can change the resistance settings easily and that the more difficult ones really do feel like you are going up hill. Because of the fact that the pedals and mechanics work by being magnetic the bike itself is so incredibly quiet that it is almost silent when pedalling. On my old one I tried to do in front of the TV but it was so loud and became louder when I pedalled faster that I actually couldn't hear the television. With this one there is no such problem and I can pedal away whilst watching Eastenders and not miss anything important.
As well as being able to change the resistance of the pedalling you can also use the little computer monitor your calorie, heart rate, time and distance. The monitor is easy to use and very user friendly and even I could work it right off the bat without any sort of instructions and the reading that it gives all seem to be accurate.
As space is at a premium in my house I really appreciate the folding aspect of the bike and as it is quite an unobtrusive piece of equipment in the first place when it is folded it is easy to store away in a cupboard. I try and keep it in view though as I know that when I put exercise equipment away in a cupboard they tend to stay there gathering dust.
This is a nice neat bike that will store easily but more importantly you can be confident knowing that if you buy it you will not need to be worried that it will break down on you within a week like a cheaper one. It has everything that you need to kick start your exercise routine.
==Davina Magnetic Foldable Exercise Bike==
I seem to go through phases of either doing a whole load of exercise at home or none at all. For the last year however I have been doing a lot of running and I was getting up to do a 6am run when is was still light. However as the mornings are now really dark I have not been going out running as much as I was before due to time restraints. Plus I have also been suffering from a bad spell of sciatica which I am due to see the physio about as I am unsure whether to exercise it or not seeing as there is so much conflicting information. With all this in mind I thought it about time I updated a few of my at home exercise equipment and when I saw this bike in Argos I thought it looked great and the small reviews on the site rated the product highly so I didn't hesitate to drive to my local store and pick one up.
==Price and Availability==
When I purchased the bike a few months back it was at £99 which was a price that I felt pretty good especially as the item was small and compact with the option of folding up smaller for storage. However since then they have reduced it by £20 and it is now £79.99p which is a little annoying on my part but for anyone thinking of buying it I would suggest doing it now as that price is really value for money.
Like I say I bought it from Argos and having had a look online just now I can't see that it is being sold anywhere else. It seems as though it is a newish product because it doesn't even look as if anyone is selling a second hand one on eBay even. Buy saying that I guess because the bike itself is so good no one would want to get rid of theirs! It is however an item that can be picked up in store and it fit well into the back seats of my car.
==Setting The Bike Up==
I was really surprised at how easy it was to get the bike up and running once I got home. Considering I was on my own and without man help I was still able to put it together within 15 minutes and without any stress! There is a small spanner type tool included with all the nuts and bolts and the instructions did look very complicated at first but once I got going it was a very basic thing to put together. It was a simple case of attaching the two bars that are like the feet of the bike and then the peddles onto each side. Then the handles get fixed on and this is where the computer type section of the bike is held so that needs plugging in to the loose cable already fed through the main frame of the bike. The final stage is to fix the seat in place and it is all a case of around screwing a dozen or so bolts. Very easy.
==Look, Comfort and Design==
The bike itself does look the business and at the same time doesn't take up too much room. I have mine set up in the front room so that every time I am sat on the sofa I feel guilty for not being on the bike and so far I have been using it far more than I would do were it positioned in the kitchen or another room of the house. The folding aspect of the bike is a good idea although to be honest I can't say I have folded it up yet as I want to keep it out with the idea that I will use it more. The folding up part is easy to do though and it takes only the pull of a metal pin out of one set of holes that then enables you to push the feet of the bike together and then you can replace the pin into another set of holes to keep it pushed together and thus taking up less floor space.
The seat of the bike is nice and large and after the first few goes my bottom has because accustomed to it and it is not in the least bit uncomfortable to sit on for a good amount of time. The cushioning of the seat is adequate enough and is covered in a water proof type material so that it is easy to wipe clean and get sweat free! This is also the case with the handles of the bike which are large and shaped so that they can be held in a variety of different positions comfortably. These are also covered in a wipe clean material which is not only soft and cushioning but easy to keep clean.
As far as the entire design of the bikes goes it is a really good one and I can find no fault with it at all. It is smallish and lightweight so that it can easily be moved around the house if you so wish but at the same time it is sturdy when in use and comfortable too.
The bike I found a real surprise to use because of the fact that it is so quiet and non-intrusive that it is something that you can be one whilst watching a film and it wouldn't put you off or annoy anyone you were in the same room as. You really can't here the mechanics of the bike at all and this is probably one of the best aspects to the bike in my view.
Of course the bike itself also has different type of resistances that you can work with. There is a large dial on the main frame of the bike that can be turned from 1 to 10 with 10 being the hardest resistance but still not impossible to do. I tend to keep it on 6 to be comfortable whilst watching a film but to get a good sweat on I will crank it up to 10 for short periods.
The computer type element of the exercise bike is okay if not a little basic. There are a few different modes that you can have the display set to or of course you can opt to "scan" all of the modes so you can get a quick flash of all the different ones. This option for me seems far too fast compared to other exercise items that I have with a similar type of computer on them so I tend to keep it mainly on the timer so I can see how long I have been doing.
The other modes that you can get are the distance mode, the calorie mode and the speed mode. I must say that the calorie mode I don't trust one bit as it seems far too overly generous. I didn't have to set my height or weight into the computer either so I really wonder how it can tell you the calorie burnt at any one time. Also the display is a little annoying as it will only go up to 99 which means that when I was on it the other night for around 2 hours the time had to reset itself once it got to the 99 which was a bit of a pain but I still kept going and wasn't too put out but of course for those wanting to train for long distances this bike may not be the one for getting the times and distances correct.
There is also a heart rate monitor on the handles of the bike which does seem to work well but for what I am using the bike for (mainly just to know I have done an hour or so on it) I don't really see the need for using this but I guess it is an added bonus having it there although it may just be another thing to go wrong!
All in all having had this exercise bike for a good number of months now and have been using it most nights if not every other night I can say that it was well worth the money I paid for it and it is a great bit of home exercise equipment. Being relatively small and compact makes it ideal for any home however big or small plus the more or less silent mechanics of the bike makes it perfect to use any time of the day or night. The bike can of course be used at different resistances so perfect for different abilities and the low impact of cycling is far better for knees and joints than running is but can be just as sweaty and exhilarating!
The main downside of the bike has got to be the on board computer which is really quite average and not one of the best I have used even on cheaper exercise equipment however for me I don't see this as too much of a downside because I feel that as long as I know how long I have been on the machine and work as hard as I feel I want to that is all I want the bike for. This said though the computer does give the distance and the time so even if I decided I wanted to do a bit of a challenge and time myself for a 10 k bike ride this would still be possible and accurate so the computer does still work the basics like this.
All in all I feel that the fact that the bike is comfortable, silent and compact overrides the fact that the computer is less than brilliant and I still think I am happy to award a top score of 5 out of 5 star rating and a very high recommendation!
I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you
Many thanks for taking the time to read.
***Davina Foldable Magnetic Exercise Bike***
***The bike basics***
Magnetic resistance system.
Hand grip pulse sensor.
Console feedback including: time, speed, distance, calories, scan and pulse.
8 level tension control.
***Price and where to buy***
This can be bought at Argos for £99.99. I bought it from Argos just after Christmas for £69.99. There is often a 20% off offer where it is sold for £79.99.
The exercise bike is quite often out of stock so you are best reserving it. This is easy to do on Argos website and you get a text message when it will be in.
You will need transport if you are picking it up in person so make sure it is an Argos that has a handy carpark or helpful assistant that I found.
You can also pay for home delivery which if you don't have transport is worth it as it would be less than the price of a taxi and you don't have to actually walk with product to then find a taxi.
***Assembling the product***
I bought this as my sister had one and I liked it as it didn't make a noise so I could watch TV and exercise. I am not the best at putting things up so me being able to assemble something like this in the first place means it must have been easy enough for most people to do. The bike took about 20 mins to assemble. I needed someone to help keep it stable for the first part then I could do it by myself. The product has a spanner type of thing and Allen key which is all you will need. You get 2 triple AAA batteries to put in the thing that tells you how far you've gone.
***Using the product***
As mentioned due to it being magnetic it doesn't make a noise so I can exercise while watching TV or when someone else is watching without being a nuisance. The bike tells you how long you've been on it, how far you've 'gone', pulse rate, speed and calories burnt. This is great as I set targets of 20 minutes or 30 minutes. The seat can be a bit uncomfortable after 20mins but I find that with any exercise bike. The tension rate is easy to change as you just reach down and turn the knob. The bike does fold by simply releasing a pin type thing this will then allow you to put it in a cupboard or under the stairs however it is still quite large when folded so bear this in mind.
I have been going on the bike 3 times a week and along with following a slimming plan have so far lost 1stone 10 pounds. The bike helps me tackle one of my problem areas which is my thighs. As I can't afford to subscribe to a gym and have the convenience of exercising in my own home the bike is just what I need. My husband and daughter have been going on it so it has been getting used well and so far I haven't had any problems with it. The batteries you get with it don't last long so when replacing buy longer life ones. The bike however can be used when they run out but you can't track your progress.
I would recommend this product if you want a reasonably priced exercise bike that is easy to assemble.
I am giving this 4 stars. One star is deducted due to it still being quite large when folded away