NordicTrack R65 Exercise Bike Review

NordicTrack is one of the best-known names in home fitness and they’ve got a reputation for producing machines that deliver amazing bang for buck.  Their current range of exercise bikes provides for just about every type of person you can think of so regardless of if you’re starting out or are a seasoned fitness enthusiast, there’ll be something suitable for you. The R65  is a recumbent bike that we’ve wanted to test since it came out and having finally found the time to get hold of one and put it through its paces the time has come to share our thoughts on it.

Assembly was a little more fiddly than an upright bike but not by much and was all done in just under an hour. The instructions are clear enough to make this something that can be attempted by almost anyone, though if you struggle with flat pack furniture you’ll probably want someone that’s handy when it comes to such things lending a hand. It’s definitely a 2 person job and we wouldn’t recommend trying to build this alone.

Aesthetically the R65 looks stylish and modern with some really futuristic lines and unique styling. While the colours remain predominantly various shades of dark grey through to silver, somehow it’s not boring and looks quite striking. If you’re going to take up space in your room, may as well do so with a good looking machine and the R65 scores well in this respect.

Getting a comfortable position is fairly easy due to the quick release mechanism on the seat. This allows for the seat to slide back and forth on a single lever and lock into position while you’re actually sitting on the bike. Notably, it’s not possible to adjust the angle of the back of the seat as Nordic have instead opted to make it possible to adjust the angle of the console instead. All in all, it’s easy enough to make yourself comfortable fairly quickly and the system works well though not being able to adjust the back of the seat may bother some people.

In terms of actual performance the 9kg (19.8lbs) flywheel certainly does its job and delivers a nice, smooth motion and a feeling of quality. This R65 might be priced as a mid-point machine but it definitely feels like a premium one. There are 25 levels of electronically controlled resistance that at the top end should be more than enough for most people to stay challenged. The transition from min to max resistance also takes place fast enough to make interval training a realistic prospect rather than a frustrating one.

The console features a 5″ backlit LCD display that does a good job of making it easy to see your training data during your workout and is instantly recognisable as an iFit Live compatible console, featuring all the now very familiar iFit buttons, although to use iFit Live you’ll need to purchase a module separately. For more information on iFit Live visit the iFit web site 

Not that you need iFit Live to get your money’s worth out of the R65. The console functions perfectly well without plugging a module in and comes packed with a good range of built-in programmes that are broadly divided into preset workouts that run from start to finish on a predefined format and target based workouts which are in turn divided into calorie, distance or time-based targets. Just set your target and start pedalling! All your training data including calorie expenditure, distance covered, pulse rate, current resistance level, speed and time elapsed are all displayed during your training session making it easy to see if you’re working hard enough. Just to make sure that you are definitely working hard enough there are up and down arrows on the screen and a target RPM figure. Stay as close to the target RPM figure as you can to gain maximum benefit from the workout. This is a nice little touch that should make sure you don’t slack off or work too hard during your session.

The large range of different workouts does mean that there’s plenty to keep you occupied here without the addition of an iFit module. A number of adjustments are available on the console settings so you can set things up how you like them. Screen contrast can be adjusted to suit ambient lighting conditions and you can (thankfully) turn the audio coach virtual trainer voice off if you’ve had enough of being told to pick up the pace! It’s also very easy to switch between imperial and metric settings (mph/kph).

Despite the numerous buttons, the console on the R65 is actually really easy to use once you get used to it. It also features a cooling fan which is a nice addition and not something that’s all that common on exercise bikes while there’s also BlueTooth smart receiver that’s compatible with all BlueTooth Smart heart rate monitors. Also featured are speakers and a 3.5mm jack to plug in your music player.

Overall the R65 is smooth, comfortable and challenging. It’s got a lot of programmes and you can extend even those by the addition of an iFit Live module while it’s built to NordicTracks usual standard and is covered by a 5 years frame, 2 years parts and labour warranty (if registered within 28 days of purchase). There’s a lot for your money here. It’s not often you’ll find a recumbent bike of this build quality, with this many programmes and features at this price point.

Best Price

The NordicTrack R65 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

The NordicTrack R65 is a lot of bike for the money being asked. It's smooth and comfortable, is highly customisable, provides a stiff workout at the upper end of difficulty and programmes can be increased with the addition of an iFit Live module. It's also covered by a good warranty and is worth thinking about.

NordicTrack R65 Specifications

    • Flywheel: 9kg (19.8lbs) inertia enhanced flywheel
    • Resistance: 25 levels of digital Silent Magnetic Resistance with Onetouch™ controls
    • Console: 5″ backlit display
    • Console Feedback: Calories, distance, pulse, resistance, speed, time
    • Programmes: 32 Workout Apps, iFit® Live compatible (module sold separately)
    • Heart Rate Measurement: Dual-Grip CardioGrip™ hand pulse sensors, Bluetooth Smart chest strap optional
    • Seat: Oversized lumbar supported, overmolded seat with Easy Glide seat adjustment
    • Pedals: Extra wide ergonomic pedals with adjustable straps
    • Audio: Compatible Music Port for iPod®, Intermix Acoustics™ 2.0 sound system
    • Transport Wheels: Yes
    • Additional features: Autobreeze™ workout fan, adjustable console angle, water bottle holder
    • Dimensions: Length=149cm (58.6”), Width=63cm (24.8”), Height=132cm (51.9”)
    • Maximum User Weight: 135kg (297.6lbs)
    • Product Weight: 64kg (141lbs)
    • Power Supply: Mains
    • Warranty: 5 years frame, 2 years parts and labour warranty (if registered within 28 days of purchase)

NordicTrack R65 Exercise Bike - Console / Display Unit

NordicTrack R65 Exercise Bike - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Lots of workouts
  • Customisable console settings
  • Build quality

The Cons

  • Seat adjustments a little limited
NordicTrack R65 Exercise Bike Reviewer Ratings

 

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

The NordicTrack R65 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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