Currently available for £184.99 from Amazon.co.uk
V-Fit PMUC-1 Exercise Bike Review
V-Fit is one of the more senior manufacturers around and has been producing reliable fitness equipment for decades. With a particular focus on the more inexpensive part of the market, their machines tend to offer a way to get your hands on a bit of kit without breaking the bank. We took a look at the V-Fit PMUC-1 upright bike to see how it stacks up. Here’s what we found….
Like most exercise bikes these days the PMUC-1 comes in pieces and needs assembling. The instruction manual is a little different to most in that it has several different stages of assembly packed into each diagram making it look like there’s a lot to do in each step, but the written instructions are good enough to ensure that it’s a simple enough task that takes around 20 minutes to complete.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it’s true that one persons like is another’s dislike, but few would argue that it’s easy to like the looks of the PMUC-1. It’s certainly a case of function over form here and while that’s not entirely surprising given the price tag, the look and feel are disappointing. This model could be put next to a model out of the late 1980’s/early 1990’s and it would be nigh-impossible to tell which was which if the consoles were removed. While the need to keep costs down is understandable due to the selling price, we’ve come across cheaper bikes than this that look more up-to-date and this feels a bit like a lack of effort on V-Fit’s part. So this is not a great looking bike. That’s OK. After all, this is a tool built to do a job and not a toy and it’s relatively cheap, so how does it perform?
Before jumping on to test it, a quick glance at the basic specs of the PMUC-1 reveals that it utilises a 3kg (6.6 lbs) flywheel. Most exercise bikes typically feature flywheels weighing between 5 and 7 kg, and sometimes more. So seeing a 3kg one being employed here resulted in more than one or two raised eyebrows. The question is whether it’s really possible to make a bike feel silky smooth while using such a light flywheel. Sadly, albeit somewhat predictably, the answer, is no. Well, not in this case anyway. While the action on the PMUC-1 is smooth in terms of there being no unwanted noise or undue stickiness as you cycle, that lack of weight can be felt as you pass the point of no return if you happen to be putting any pressure on the pedals, say for example at higher resistance levels. There’s a slight change in the rythm of the cycle as you pass the point of no return. This isn’t all that detectable at low resistance levels but once the resistance is cranked up and pressure is being put onto the pedals then it’s hard not to notice it. The riding position is pretty good here and the seat adjusts both horizontally and vertically and the handlebars adjust too, enabling you to get comfortable easily. The ergonomics are good so everything is comfortable enough, though the saddle could be a little wider. The main issue is that the PMUC-1 is let down by not having a consistent feel throughout the actual cycle itself which is down to that under-weight flywheel V-Fit has opted to use here.
The console on the PMUC-1 is a basic affair and like the rest of this bike looks as if it’s been teleported through time straight out of a bygone era. The upside of this basic design is that it’s very easy to use. The downside is that it features some slightly odd colour schemes. Red and green are colours typically reserved on fitness machines for specific functions. Typically this would be green for start and red for stop. Here the green button is start/stop and directly underneath it there’s a red button which enables the body fat analysis mode. There are blue buttons either side for up and down, and mode, and one to start the recovery test. Like a few other elements of this bike it seems that not a lot of thought has gone into it and while the console is easy to use, it just feels a bit odd with those particular colours being used. Feedback from the console is more conventional and easy to understand. There’s a single screen LCD display that gives you live data on calorie burn, distance, pulse, programme info, resistance level, speed and time and there are 16 levels of resistance. Onboard workouts include 10 preset, 4 user-defined (you can create and save your own workouts), a body fat analysis test and 4 heart-rate-controlled programmes. The issue that we’ve got with the heart rate control workouts is that the PMUC-1 does not have a wireless receiver to work with a chest belt for accurate heart rate readings, relying instead on the handgrip pulse sensors on the handlebars. At best, these are inaccurate and should never be relied upon to give you an accurate reading. At worst, relying on them to tell you when you’ve reached your maximum safe heart rate is playing with fire. This somewhat devalues having heart rate control workouts in the first place and we’d say you should never use the HRC programmes on this model unless you’ve got an accurate stand-alone pulse monitor set to beep if you exceed your maximum rate to warn you to slow down.
Other features of this bike include a respectable max user weight of 115kg (18 stone), self-balancing pedals with adjustable toe straps, and a 1-year manufacturers warranty.
The V-Fit PMUC-1 is one of the more disappointing bikes we've tested recently. There seems to be a lack of effort here in terms of product development and it feels like it's simply be put together to formula, with more consideration given to keeping overheads down and making it sound cool than to producing a bike that actually delivers a great workout. The truth is that even compared with some manual resistance bikes at this price point, the PMUC-1 comes up short. As such we'd advise steering clear of this particular model (which, we have to point out is not the norm we've come to expect from V-Fit). You're better off either opting for a good manual bike at this price or better still, spending just a fraction more to get something like the DKN A-ME which has an 8kg (17.6lbs) flywheel to deliver a silky-smooth ride, wireless heart rate receiver so you can safely use the HRC programmes it offers, and a warranty that's double the length!
V-Fit PMUC-1 Specifications
- 3kg (6.6lbs) flywheel
- 16 levels of magnetic resistance
- 20 programs (including 1 manual, 10 pre-set, 4 heart rate control, body fat measuring, and 4 users profile)
- The single multi-function LCD display
- Heart rate measured via pulse grips
- Feedback: time, distance, RPM, calories burned, watts, resistance, speed, and pulse
- Extras: Transport wheels, Auto-tension System, and foam padded handlebars
- Oversized pedals with adjustable toe straps
- Padded, height and adjustable saddle
- Max. User Weight: 115kg (253.5lbs)
- Product Weight: 23.5kg (51.8lbs)
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 88cm (34.6”) x 49cm (19.3”) x 136cm (53.5”)
- Mains Adapter
V-Fit PMUC-1 Exercise Bike - Console / Display Unit
Currently available for £184.99 from Amazon.co.uk
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