Fuel 4.0 Upright Bike Review

Out of the box, the Fuel Fitness 4.0 exercise bike went together rather quickly. Fortunately the assembly process is a lot simpler and more obvious than the manual’s ‘exploded diagram’ instructions suggest! It is during that process that you see first hand, the quality of components used to build the bike. Everything seems nice and chunky and the ease and accuracy that the bolts locate and tighten into place is a reassuring.

To cater for different shapes and sizes, the bike has plenty of adjustment and a maximum user capacity of 130 kg (over 20 stone). At it’s maximum, the seat is 100cm above the floor with 9 holes of adjustment and a stopper preventing you from inadvertently pulling the seat tower out of its housing.

You can tweak the distance you are positioned away from the handlebars by moving the seat back or forth over 4 inches or by tilting the handlebars and locking them securely in place at the desired angle.

The saddle itself is well padded and proportioned to ensure you of a comfortable ride. Plus the ride itself is smooth and quiet thanks to the 10kg (22lbs) flywheel, which is an impressive weight at this price-point.

The console is easy to use and the best feature of it has to be the large dual colour backlit LCD display. All of the essential training feedback can be seen at a glance in a neat, bright blue row along the bottom, plus the main section of the screen is a dedicated dot matrix display showing you course profiles or resistance levels in vibrant green blocks.

There are 24 levels of resistance and at top whack (level 24) the resistance should be challenging enough for most users. The fact that it is smooth and manageable even at the higher settings, means that although this model may not be quite ‘man enough’ for very strong, well-conditioned trainers, for the majority, it offers plenty of scope for gradual progression.

For your training variety, the 4.0 has lots to keep things interesting. You have a selection of 12 pre-set programmes to choose from including courses such as: Valley, Fat Burn, Intervals, Climbing and more. All programs can be set at a duration from 5 minutes up to 99 minutes. If you adjust the resistance at any stage of the workout then the computer will adjust the rest of the course to keep things consistent with the pre-designed profile. This means that you can only adjust some segments up or down to certain levels (until something, somewhere will hit maximum peak or the minimum setting).

If you want to add further variety then there are plenty more programs to choose from such as Watt control program for speed or there are 4 user programs allowing you to create your very own workouts.

There are also 4 Heart Rate controlled programs available to you if you wear a compatible chest belt transmitter. These programs have the computer, changing the resistance to keep you within ± 5% of your target zone. If you’re aiming for fat burning results then there are programs that set the target at 55% and 65% or for your fitness goals, there are setting of 75% or 85%.

If you don’t own a wireless chest belt then you can at least get some pulse feedback by holding the pulse grip sensors on the handlebars, although this is much less accurate.

Talking of inaccuracies brings us to another couple of functions that can be utilized via the hand sensors – ‘Body Fat Measurements’ and ‘Recovery’. Whether the results are good or bad, they are undoubtedly inaccurate and inconsistent! So our advice is simple – unless you can simply laugh off the incredulous figures that these functions can sometimes throw up, then please don’t risk demotivating and demoralising yourself by using them too regularly!

We’d recommend a better way of motivating yourself by utilizing the handy jack plug on the console, which allows you to hook up your iPod or Mp3 and listen to your music through the inbuilt speakers. There wasn’t a great deal of volume but thankfully that meant that there was no distortion and the music was fairly clear and crisp. Unfortunately there is little in the way of accessory storage, only a small curved slot (about 4”x0.5”) at the bottom of the console that could perhaps accommodate a slim Mp3/iPod player and there is no bottle holder either.

A feature that should be complimented on are the self-leveling feet incorporated into the rear stabilizer. By turning a plastic dial at either end of the stabiliser, a small block extends down to ensure that the bike will be stable on uneven floors. Plus there are transport wheels at the front making this 40kg machine, nice and easy to move and store.

 

Best Price

The Fuel Fitness 4.0 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

Overall, we found the Fuel Fitness 4.0 to be a well-built, user-friendly bike that offers plenty of adjustment, resistance and programmes.  We had to mention a couple of grumbles such lack of accessories space, but in all the important areas like having a heavy flywheel and riding position adjustability the 4.0 delivers the goods. The only real problem is that price tag - at £434.77, it's too high for what you get when you consider other bikes out there. Take the DKN AM-5i for example, which is available for only £279 and is a really impressive piece of kit. Or the NordicTrack U60 for £75 less and also featuring interactive training. With this in mind, we can't see why you'd pay more for the 4.0.

Fuel Fitness 4.0 Specifications

    • 24 levels of electro magnetic resistance
    • 10kg (22lbs) flywheel
    • Console with dual colour backlight LCD display with dot matrix profile
    • 24 programmes including manual, 12 pre-set, watts control, body fat, target heart rate, heart rate control, 4 user profiles
    • Feedback: scan, speed, distance, time, calories, RPM, target heart rate, pulse, body fat, recovery, calendar, clock, indoor temperature
    • 130kg (286lbs) maximum user weight
    • 40kg (88lbs) product weight
    • Dimensions (L x W x H): 100cm (39.4”) x 64cm (25.2”) x 146cm (57.5”)
    • Conveniences: iPod/MP3 player compatible sound system, adjustable saddle/handlebars/pedals, transportation wheels, cooling fan, leg levellers
    • 2 years warranty

Fuel 4.0 - Console / Display Unit

Fuel 4.0 - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Easy to assemble and well built
  • Smooth ride from the 10kg Flywheel
  • Intuitive console with a good selection of programmes
  • Lifetime frame and 2 years parts and labour warranty

The Cons

  • No bottle holder and only a tiny accessory slot
  • Pricey for the spec
Fuel 4.0 Reviewer Ratings

 

Appearance - 7
Smoothness - 7
Comfort - 8
Programmes - 8
Ease Of Use - 8
Warranty - 8
Value for Money - 4
Best Price

The Fuel Fitness 4.0 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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