DKN RB-3i Recumbent Bike Review

We recently had the opportunity of testing out some new toys from the Belgian-based DKN brand. Despite a marketplace replete with strong competition, the AM-6i Upright Bike got a great review based on its impressive spec, build quality and value for money. Now it’s time for the RB-3i recumbent version to step up to the plate! Will it prove such a hit? Or have the scarcity of offerings among the recumbent sector allowed DKN to ‘sit back’ and rest on their laurels? Let’s find out!…

Assembling the machine was a stress-free and relatively swift process. The main body of the bike comes out of the box in one unit, so once the ‘feet’ supports are bolted on giving a stable base – the seat, console and handlebars went on without a glitch.

Once complete, you have a VERY nice looking machine in front of you! We especially liked the colour. From cars to phones, over the last few years it seems that ‘white is the new black’ in terms of popularity, so it’s nice to see the Fitness industry has started to pick up on the trend.  The RB-3i has a contemporary mix of glossy white and silver with a couple of DKN details picked out in orange. The overall look is one of quality and style. Recumbent cycles may take up more space than an upright bike but if you can justify the room, the looks of this machine mean few people would begrudge having it left out on show.

When it’s time to put it into use, the RB-3i has some welcome features that should make this model an appealing choice for a wide cross section of people. One of its greatest attributes comes in the form of its shape. Notice how the bodywork follows closely around the flywheel and that it also angles back at the seat leaving an exposed section of solid metal frame? That design is not only easy on the eye, it makes climbing aboard easy on the user too. This ‘step through’ design has the 3″ wide silver powder coated frame sitting only 9cm above the floor making this superbly practical for elderly users or those with mobility issues.

Furthermore, recumbent cycles are often favoured over upright versions for deconditioned users, so this feature is especially well thought out. So too is the comfort and support provided by the seat. Not only are the double-stitched pads, well upholstered and generously proportioned, they are also highly adjustable. To ensure the user can position themselves at the ideal distance from the pedals, the seat has a large brake lever within easy reach. Once released, the seat simply slides up or down the length of 4″ x 2″ chromed box section until the perfect leg length is achieved, then the brake lever is turned outwards to lock it. Being as the distance is not predetermined by the usual series of holes, you can fine-tune the distance to the millimetre!

The adjustment for the backrest is equally user friendly and precise. There is a turning dial on one side of the seat that is twisted to adjust the angle. It’s rather reminiscent of the mechanism used to adjust car seats back in the 80’s – but with one distinct difference – on this bike seat, the twisting is effortless! With a partial revolution of the dial, the seat smoothly pivots with complete ease and control.

Once you’re sitting comfortably, regardless of where you are positioned, the console display can be tilted to angle with your eye line. At either side of the seat are handles with inlaid pulse grip sensors. If you opt for using a wireless chest strap for heart rate monitoring then the height that the handles are set makes them a useful elbow rest instead! These may also prove invaluable for some users who can use them for assistance in lifting and lowering into the seat. There are also unobtrusive handles that protrude just a couple of inches out from behind the console, which would also aid this purpose as well as offering support whilst setting the console.

Talking of settings, the RB-3i has plenty of programmes such as manual, pre-programmed courses, endurance, warm-up, calorie burn and more.

The console is the one that user of other ‘i-series’ machines from DKN will already be familiar with. Beneath the bright blue display there is a clearly set out menu of 12 Preset profiles for easy identification. In fact, the whole layout of all buttons and functions is nice and intuitive. You may also notice that just below the course menu is a ledge with a lip running across it… Ideal for holding a magazine perhaps? Well the 6″ rubber inset behind the ledge gives a clue that it’s function is to hold secure something far more valuable… And exciting!!

The RB-3i is compatible with the ‘DKN Motion’ application. Those in the know will be grinning after reading that!… And we are STILL grinning having tested it!!

If you have an iPad, or other compatible Android tablet device, you are in for a treat! If you don’t have one, we recommend you beg, borrow or start saving – The next feature is VERY worth it!!

As we’ve already said, the display is clear and does everything you’d expect on a well-designed machine such as this. If and when you want to go far, far beyond expectations, into the realms of ‘WOW!’ then DKN has the application! Sync your iPad or equivalent to the bike’s computer via Bluetooth, place it on the holder in front of the bike’s standard screen and your tablet turns into one of the finest fitness consoles we have ever seen. Anywhere. Ever.

As standard, the RB-3i console offer a choice of 4 user profiles. Each of these allows the the age, weight, height and gender of a user of the bike to be stored and this data is used in increasing the accuracy of feedback provided such as calorie consumption. With DKN Motion, the concept is extended further to allow 12 different users to be configured on the app with additional facility of the name and a cartoon style avatar for each user.

With the DKN Motion app,  all of your training data displayed in a way that is as visually delightful as it is crystal clear. Navigating the app and making adjustments is easy with standard, familiar touch and swipe actions. All of the standard functionality in the RB-3i console without the tablet is on offer through DKN Motion, along with a few more!

Variety really is the spice of life AND the cure for training boredom. With that philosophy in mind, DKN have developed the ultimate antidote to eradicate workout doldrums – it’s called ‘iRoutes’. This super smart software allows you to cycle around a great selection of various iconic spots from around the world. Before now, a lap round Central Park U.S.A on your bike before breakfast may have seemed like fantasy – with iRoutes, it seems like reality!

The DKN Motion app also adds a recovery test function to the RB-3i. This is a useful feature that measures the rate at which your heart rate returns to resting state after an exercise session and provides a fitness rating based on this. Given the inherent inaccuracy of pulse grip sensors for measuring heart rate, we’d recommend using a compatible wireless chest strap to get the best of this.

Of course, the real reality is that not everyone has the use of a tablet device to enjoy these apps. Fortunately, the RB-3i on it’s own, really does take the cake and DKN Motion is merely the icing! But as the old saying goes ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating!’ ….

This bike has a whopping 11kg flywheel tucked away behind that sculpted bodywork and the quality of all the components used combine to give an outstandingly smooth and comfortable ride.

Training noise is also an important consideration when training at home. The Poly V Belt works with the digitally controlled resistance and the result is a whisper quiet workout.

You also have wide scope for adjustment with 32 levels of resistance. With all those steady and safe increments, plus the user-friendly design of this model, makes it an ideal choice for a broad section of users. Whether you fall into the category of ‘unfit but enthusiastic’ or the more ‘seasoned advanced trainer’, the RB-3i certainly has plenty to offer.

Best Price

The DKN RB-3i is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

Review Summary - In Brief

It's pleasing to see that DKN haven't used the lack of intense competition in the recumbent bike market as an excuse to make a mediocre machine. The RB-3i is very comfortable, smooth to use and provide effective workouts. The addition of the tablet & app functionality propels this sub-£500 recumbent ahead of its competition.

DKN RB-3i Specifications

    • Levels of Resistance: 32
    • Flywheel Set: 11kg
    • Poly V-belt drive system
    • Console Feedback: speed/rpm, time elapsed, theoretical calorie burn, distance covered, watts/energy expended and heart rate
    • Console Programmes:  manual, endurance, warm-up, calorie burn
    • Console compatible with Android tablets, iPad or iPad Mini
    • DKN-Motion App: available (iRoutes, 12 user profiles, Watt control, Heart Rate Control etc.)
    • HRM: hand sensors & wireless receiver
    • Size: 180 x 66 x 118cm, 58.6kg
    • Adjustable Seat Position: Yes
    • Transport wheels: Yes
    • Guarantee: 2 years

DKN RB-3i Recumbent Bike - Console / Display Unit

DKN RB-3i Recumbent Bike - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Great Looks
  • Easy aboard ‘step-through’ design
  • Heavyweight 11kg Flywheel gives a smooth ride
  • 32 Levels of Resistance
  • DKN Motion & iRoutes compatible with an iPad or Android device….

The Cons

  • You’ll ultimately want DKN Motion & iRoutes if you don’t already have a tablet device!
DKN RB-3i Recumbent Bike Reviewer Ratings

 

Appearance - 9
Smoothness - 9
Comfort - 9.5
Programmes - 9
Ease Of Use - 9
Warranty - 8.5
Value for Money - 9
Best Price

The DKN RB-3i is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

Also see our Exercise Bike Comparison Table

Whilst every effort is made to give you accurate information we cannot guarantee the technical specification. Models change on a regular basis and may differ slightly from the above review. We recommend you contact the retailer if you have a question regarding technical data. Please read our Legal Disclaimer

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