York Perform 215 Recumbent Exercise Bike Review

York Fitness have been manufacturing fitness equipment for the UK market longer than most brands. Over the years, they’ve produced a huge variety of upright exercise bikes which have ranged from the seriously cheap (and a bit nasty!), right up to the best quality domestic machines available.  The new Perform 215 is one of the few recumbent exercise bikes that York have produced, so we were keen to give it a try to find out what it’s like!

As with all recumbent bikes, assembly is a bit more time consuming than an upright bike, but with the help of a 2nd person, it shouldn’t take any longer than 45 minutes and the instructions are relatively clear.

Once assembled, we were inspecting our handiwork and have to say that this is one good looking machine! It’s great to see that a fitness brand has paid so much attention to the visual design of a piece of fitness equipment and taken into account that the product is going into the home.

One of the main reasons that people purchase recumbent bikes is for the additional support provided by the seat, so its comfort is rather important. We’re pleased to report that the Perform 215 has a nice, comfy padded seat with a nice and high back rest, meaning that you’re fully supported when using this machine. The clever, step-through design makes getting on and off the bike particularly easy and this feature will be appreciated by both elderly users as well as those with injuries wishing to use a recumbent exercise bike for rehabilitation purposes.

So, moving on from the physical characteristics of the machine, what’s it like to use? Well, the pedaling action is smooth and the bike feels like one with a much heavier flywheel than the 9 kg advertised! At its top level of resistance, it’s certainly extremely hard work, but still quite smooth. This York recumbent offers 32 levels of friction-less magnetic resistance, so finding just the right level of resistance will be possible and the resistance is controlled electronically through the console.

The console itself is one of the gems in this exercise bike, with a clear, back-lit 3-colour LCD display at its center. This display provides a permanent display of essential exercise feedback such as time, resistance level, distance and calories burnt. We’re happy to see that the console has the facility to store profile information (age, gender, weight and height) and this information, among other things, is used to provide more accurate calorie consumption figures.

In terms of exercise variety, there is little chance of boredom due to the good selection of programs: there are 12 pre-set programs, each of which can be used for a variable duration and intensity level. This scalability is a nice benefit as it enables users to start gently and increase the duration and intensity of their sessions as their fitness levels improve. Speaking of fitness levels, there is also a recovery test function which is accessed by hitting the recovery test button on the console at the end of an exercise session and grabbing the pulse grip sensors. The console then measures the rate at which your heart rate recovers from the post-exercise, elevated level towards normal resting level over a 60 second period and based on this evaluates a fitness rating of between 1 (for ‘outstanding’) and 6 (indicating ‘poor). Whilst a heart rate recovery test isn’t exactly the most scientifically sound method, it does provide a useful means of gauging progress over time.

A pleasant surprise we found was the presence of a watt control program, which enables an exercise session to be carried out at a constant exertion level (measured in watts, the same units as light bulbs) with the computer adjusting the resistance levels, depending the pedaling speed.  A quick check of the specs shows that the Perform 215 is actually certified as an ergometer, which means the resistance levels are calibrated to a level to make a constant watt program possible.

There is also a selection of heart rate controlled programs and whilst we’re big fans of heart rate control training, the console’s lack of of a wireless receiver means that HRC programs can’t really be used effectively on this exercise bike (pulse grip sensors aren’t really accurate enough for this purpose).

Finally, if all the other program options weren’t enough, there is even a user defined program for those seeking very specific resistance profiles not provided by the other options and even a body fat test that works out your BMI!

York seem to have thought of almost everything when designing the Perform 215 recumbent and not forgotten the little details like leg levelers to ensure the bike is stable on slightly uneven floors, transport wheels (though wouldn’t recommend moving this too often!) and even a water bottle holder!

In terms of warranty, the machine comes with a pretty respectable 2-year parts and labour warranty in the unlikely event that something should go wrong with this well-built exercise bike.

 

Best Price

Currently available for £389.99 from Sweatband.com

Review Summary - In Brief

York Fitness have a good bike here with the Perform 215 recumbent. It's stylish, well-built, smooth to use and has a clear console. However for a bike at this price things like a wireless heart rate receiver should be a given but the 215 recumbent lacks one. It also lacks other features that the competition has. So at this point we would recommend looking at the DKN RB-4i. Yes, it does cost a bit more, but for that investment you get a much superior piece of kit. The RB-4i boasts an excellent range of resistance levels, multiple user profiles, a wireless HR receiver for heart rate control, tablet compatibility and a premium seat. We think it's well worth the extra!

York Perform 215 Recumbent Specifications

    • 9kg (19.8lbs) flywheel weight
    • 32 levels of magnetic resistance
    • Console with 5.5″ 3 colour LCD display
    • Feedback: Time, speed, distance, calories, pulse, RPM, Watt, manual, programme, user, HRC
    • 18 workout programmes
    • Heart rate measurement via pulse grips
    • Conveniences: transportation wheels, bottle holder, adjustable seat
    • Size (L x W x H): 157cm (61.8″) x 63cm (24.8″) x 116.5cm (45.9″)
    • Weight of the product: 35kg (77lbs)
    • 130kg (286.6lbs) maxiumum user weight
    • Guarantee: 2 years

York Perform 215 Recumbent Bike - Console / Display Unit

York Perform 215 Recumbent Bike - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Comfortable & stable
  • Smooth to use
  • Good resistance
  • User profiles

The Cons

  • Lack of wireless heart rate receiver
York Perform 215 Recumbent Bike Reviewer Ratings

 

Appearance - 8
Smoothness - 8
Comfort - 7.5
Programmes - 8
Ease Of Use - 8.5
Warranty - 8
Value for Money - 8
Best Price

Currently available for £389.99 from Sweatband.com

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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