Currently available for £249.99 from Argos
Roger Black Programmable Platinum Exercise Bike
Essentially an Argos own-brand, the Roger Black range features a number of affordable exercise bikes at the budget to mid-priced levels of the market. With prices ranging from under a hundred pounds to over £300 there’s a fair number of models to choose from so we opted to see what you get from their mid-range models. The Roger Black programmable platinum exercise bike is a model we picked based on the price alone, here’s what we found.
Like all exercise bikes the programmable platinum requires assembly and like most other modern bikes assembly is painless. There are only a few steps involved and while we appreciate that we’ve built a lot of bikes, it still bodes well that we were able to put this together in about 10 minutes. For the average person who doesn’t build exercise bikes regularly, you should expect it take around 30 minutes. The build quality of this bike is pretty good. Once assembled, give it a good shake and there are no rattles with all the components fitting together nicely.
Getting a good riding position is easy thanks to the number of adjustments you can make. The saddle adjusts for height and distance and the handlebars are also adjustable by tilting them towards and away from you. The saddle itself is gel padded but even so, some users may want to swap the saddle for a wider one with more padding. If you’re already used to riding a bike then this stock saddle will be fine. There are 16 levels of computer-controlled resistance with the maximum setting providing enough resistance to ensure you stay challenged as you get fitter. The transition speed between resistance levels isn’t that fast, but it’s fast enough for all but high-intensity interval training. Overall it’s quiet and smooth with a good riding position and a good range of resistance.
The 7kg flywheel does seem a bit light and while we’d prefer to see something a bit heavier it does an adequate job and we’re not complaining. The console is a basic affair with a backlit LCD screen, 4 buttons and a dial. All training data is displayed using nice large characters and the screen is bright and easy to read. Navigation and controlling the resistance is done via the central dial on the console and this is a set up that works well, making it much easier than having to repeatedly press a button over and over again. There are 12 workouts to choose from and each of them is helpfully printed onto the console itself either side of the screen. There’s also the facility to create your own programmes, though like on many other bikes at this sort of price, it’s quite a clunky and long-winded process. There are 4 heart rate control programmes (55%, 75%, 90% and custom target) but as there is no wireless receiver rather only hand pulse sensors it’s necessary to take these percentages with a huge dollop of salt. Pulse sensors are known to be inaccurate so we’d suggest not pushing yourself to 90% max as in truth you may well go over this without knowing it and that, obviously, is not good. The lack of a receiver here is a let-down, there’s no doubt about it, especially when you look at bikes vying for your business in this class.
Other goodies include a USB port for charging your device. This port charges devices but it doesn’t allow you to connect your device to the bike for interactive training. There’s a water bottle holder which is good to see and something often missed by bike manufacturers. A one year (12 month) warranty covers you for parts and labour but at just 12 months that’s literally half of what most manufacturers offer. Yes, it’s possible to extend this to 3 years cover but the cost for that is an additional £70 which accounts for a significant portion of the cost of the bike to start with. We’d prefer to see a free 2-year warranty as that’s very much the industry standard.
All in all, this is a pretty good bike that you can buy from a household retailer for a relatively modest budget. It’s smooth and quiet and fairly well built and will do a job for most domestic users.
The Roger Black Platinum exercise bike is good looking, built well, has plenty of adjustments and is easy to use. Overall it's really not bad but it does come up short in a few areas once you start seeing what other choices there are out there. Take the Viavito Satori for example. It has a heavier flywheel, double the number of resistance levels, almost double the number of programmes, also has a dial on the console and crucially for those heart rate control programmes a wireless heart rate receiver. The thing is that the Satori comes in at well below the two hundred pound mark, making the Roger Black Platinum look pricey by comparison. It's not a one-off either. For example, there's the DKN AM-E which also has a wireless receiver and a heavier flywheel and also has a whopping 140kg max user weight reflecting its superior build quality - and that too is also available for a fair bit less.
Roger Black Programmable Platinum Specifications
- 7kg (15.4Ibs) Flywheel
- 16 levels of SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance
- The backlit LCD display with system easy-to-read
- Feedback: calories, time, distance, pulse, RPM, speed, and scan
- Programmes: 12 user programmes plus pre-set
- Programmable resistance system
- Heart Rate Measurement via the pulse grips sensor
- Adjustable handlebar and PU seat
- Self-levelling pedal with safety straps
- Transportation wheels: available
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 95cm (37.4”) x 55cm(21.7”) x 133cm(52.4”)
- Max. User Weight: 125kg (275.6lbs)
- Product Weight: 29kg (64lbs)
- Power Supply: Mains;
Roger Black Programmable Platinum Exercise Bike - Console / Display Unit
Currently available for £249.99 from Argos
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