York Excel 310 Upright Exercise Bike Review

York are most commonly known for their bikes in the ‘Active’ and ‘Perform’ ranges, so we were intrigued by this ‘one-off’ bike placed in an ‘Excel’ category all of its own with only elliptical trainers for company (in the rage)! The Excel 310 bike is more expensive than their other cycles too, so we were eager to see what you can expect from York and the extra investment!

The Excel 310 is designed to offer exceptional comfort. The Large gel padded saddle not only looks superbly high quality white stitching contrasting with the black upholstery. The generous size and contoured gel padding mounted on concealed integrated springs ensure your posterior is well protected from the dreaded ‘numb bum’ that can plague long cycle sessions.

There’s also loads of adjustability to ensure a tailored riding position for all shapes and sizes. The seat stem has 10 adjustment holes and slides all the way up to 43″ (109cm) from saddle to floor down to a minimum setting of 32″ (81cm) for shorter users. The seat is also reach adjustable with 3″ of travel and there’s also tilting handlebars so you can achieve a comfortable distance and arm position.

The Excel 310 has a flywheel almost doubling the weight of anything we’ve seen on a York bike before. With a heavy flywheel weighing in at nearly 30lbs, it’s no surprise that the pedal action is wonderfully smooth.

This model also has superior adjustable base stabilizers, which are levelled by simply twisting the exposed dial protruding through the side of the stabilizer (No need to lift the bike up and reach under!). This base combined with a well-constructed chunky frame, mean that the Excel 310 feels very solid and stable in use.

As soon as you begin pedalling the matt black console bursts into life by pedal power! Being self-generating has two main benefits for the home user – You can position the bike anywhere in the home without needing to be near a power socket. Plus, there’s no need to have unsightly cables lying around either.

The way the backlit buttons illuminate in vibrant blue against the matt black console, combined with a simple no-nonsense layout makes the console very clear and easy to use. There’s 5 buttons (Recovery… Mode… Reset… Total Reset… and Start/Stop) located around a neat shuttle dial so it’s all very intuitive. Having a control button that ‘twizzles’ means that skipping through programs or changing levels is as easy as a dial of a finger!

The display screen is nice and large measuring 6cm x 13cm with about a third of it being a row with all the important training feedback such as Time… RPM/Speed… Distance… Calories… Pulse… and Watt/Load. The dot matrix display showing the course profile segments is rather small at only 2 cm x 9cm, but you can still see the courses and your progress during the sessions. It also leaves plenty of space for a big vibrant yellow display of whatever training data is highlighted at 6 second intervals, keeping you well informed at a glance.

The Excel 310 has an adequate selection of programs, but sadly nothing more than we’ve seen from York on less expensive models. There are 12 Pre-set options and you can set the maximum resistance level and the workout duration from 1 minute up to 99, so there’s plenty of scope to keep things challenging. The User program is also a nice addition for anyone that wants to customise and save a bespoke session.

We are big fans of heart rate controlled programs as they take all the guess work out of whether you are training within the right ‘zone’ for your goals, so it’s great to see that the ‘310’ has 4 of these sessions (55%, 75%, 90% or set your own Target heart rate figure). Usually we strongly advocate the need to wear a chest belt transmitter to ensure accurate pulse readings, however, that sadly isn’t an option with this model as it doesn’t have an inbuilt receiver. This is a real shame, as although using the pulse grip sensors is fine, the accuracy of the readings will always be questionable.

Despite that disappointment, we still found ourselves wanting to use the pulse sensors a great deal. These allowed us to check out the Recovery button which is another neat feature on the ‘310’. The idea is that once you finish your workout, you enter the ‘Recovery’ mode, hold onto the sensors for a 60 second long countdown, and during that time the computer monitors how efficiently your pulse rate returns towards normal. Once the minute is up, a score appears on the display from 1 – 6 (a score of 1 being ‘Outstanding’ and 6 being ‘Poor’!). Obviously this isn’t ever going to be a ‘gospel’ in terms of a true measure of your fitness level but it is a bit of fun and can be rather motivating in a quest for self-improvement! In view of that, we were a little disappointed to note the absence of the ‘Body Fat’ monitor button that we have enjoyed on York bikes in the ‘Perform’ range, being as this is a more expensive bike with a similar array of features, it seems a shame that they didn’t keep the Body Fat one in there!

That’s about it as far as motivational features go – there’s no Mp3 docks, speakers systems, internet connectivity or any such gadgetry, in fact, aside from the nice levelling feet to improve stability, transport wheels at the front and a bottle holder on the console mast, the 310 didn’t have any ‘extras’ to speak of. This means that if you are prone to boredom and the idea of popping this bike in front of the tv etc won’t suffice, then maybe this isn’t the bike for you. However, if you get your kicks from self-improvement and challenges, then the Resistance capabilities alone may keep you smiling (and certainly keep you fit!) The Excel 310 has 32 levels of Resistance which go gradually change from Heaven to Hell!! (That description seems fitting due to the burning sensation you can feel in your thigh muscles during the top levels!) York have got the magnet resistance just right with this bike – it’ll be ideal for beginners all the way up to advanced users.

 So what’s the overall verdict?

Well we can start off by reaffirming what we said about ‘gadgets’ – if you’re a fan of inbuilt technological and motivational tools then this bike is not for you. If that’s the case then we’d probably point you towards brands like DKN or Nordic Track for their feature-rich offerings. Where this machine will truly ‘Excel’ is when it comes down to sheer muscle-toning, fat-burning performance! The 32 Resistance levels ensure the scope for long-term challenges go beyond ‘long-term’ and into the realms of ‘LIFE TIME’! Plus the high quality of parts, durable construction and 130kg Maximum user capacity suggest that it’s built to last too.

Best Price

The York Excel 310 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

This is York's top of the range exercise bike and they've clearly made a design decision to invest the whole production model into the bike itself, rather than the console. So, for those looking for a quality exercise bike with little in the way of bells and whistles, then the Excel 310 has to be a serious contender on your shopping list!

York Excel 310 Specifications

    • 32 levels of magnetic resistance
    • 13.5kg (30lbs) flywheel
    • Computer with 5.75’’ lcd display
    • 18 programmes including 12 pre-set, 4 hrc, 1 user and 1 manual programme
    • Feedback: Time, speed, RPM, distance, calories, pulse, watts
    • Pulse measurement via grip sensors
    • Max user weight: 130kg /287lbs
    • Dimensions (L x W x H): 104cm /23” x 59cm /19.7” x 163cm /60”
    • Conveniences: Bottle holder, transportation wheels, ergometer,
    • Warranty: 2 years

York Excel 310 Exercise Bike - Console / Display Unit

York Excel 310 Exercise Bike - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Self-generating (no plug!)
  • Heavy flywheel is super smooth
  • 32 Levels of resistance means you won’t ‘out-grow’ this bike!
  • VERY comfortable saddle
  • Fully adjustable for all shapes and sizes

The Cons

  • No inbuilt heart rate receiver.
  • Rather basic - no ‘bells & whistles’ extras
  • Shame that York didn’t include their usual Body Fat program
York Excel 310 Exercise Bike Reviewer Ratings

 

Appearance - 9
Smoothness - 9
Comfort - 9.5
Programmes - 7
Ease Of Use - 8.5
Warranty - 8.5
Value for Money - 5
Best Price

The York Excel 310 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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