York Active 120 Exercise Bike Review

York Fitness are one of the oldest brands in the home gym equipment market and over the years have made many different models of home exercise bikes. Some have been amazing machines such as the rather expensive, but impressive Diamond C302, whilst others have been a total disaster! So, knowing the Active 120 was a budget priced machine had us rather concerned.

Having reviewed it, we’re were pleasantly surprised!

First impression was positive: The York Active 120 is quite a stylish bike and actually more substantial than we had expected for a bike of this price point. The bike itself weighs nearly 30 kilos, which contributes to the feeling of stability and quality when using the machine.

It’s easy to find the right position for most users with the seat being both adjustable for height as well as horizontally and the handlebars can be adjusted too. The seat itself is quite comfortable as well 🙂

So, most importantly, what does it feel like to use? The pedaling action is very smooth, more so than one would assume from a 7kg flywheel. We can only assume that heavier duty components have been used in the construction of the drive system than would normal feature on a budget priced exercise bike.

Another attribute that makes the Active 120 stand out from the crowd is the fact that it features an electronically controlled magnetic resistance mechanism. Most bikes at this sort of price point offer only manually adjusted magnetic resistance, which typically involves turning a knob on the upright. But, with an electronically controlled resistance mechanism, normally found on more expensive models, there is more refinement possible in the step-changes of resistance and it’s possible for the console to offer programmes that automatically adjust the resistance.

The console on the Active 120 has a large LCD display and is simple and intuitive to use. Whilst exercising, all the key data such as exercise time, speed, distance, calories, resistance level and heart rate are continuously displayed in dedicated segments on the display. The handlebars have a pair of sensors built in and gripping these for a few seconds enables the console to make a heart rate reading for display on the console.

In terms of programmes to take advantage of the that computer controlled resistance mechanism, there is no shortage here! There are 12 pre-set ones with the profiles printed on the console itself for ease of selection. The ‘manual’ programme is actually a target one that allows a target time, distance or calories to be specified, and for the resistance to be controlled manually during pedaling, whilst the target levels count down from the specified levels. There are heart rate control programmes available and whilst we’re normally big fans of this type of training, we do question the usability of this feature on this particular machine, given that there isn’t a wireless heart rate receiver built into the console to get accurate heart rate readings.

As if all of these weren’t enough, there is also a watt control programme that allows the level of effort during a session to be specified and the computer adjusts the resistance automatically to compensate for the pedaling speed in order to maintain a constant watt output level. Finally, for real flexibility, there is a user defined programme option, using which a totally bespoke resistance profile can be setup.

Apart from all these programmes to provide variety during exercise, there is a body fat test function that can provide a user’s BMI as well as a heart rate recovery function. This is effectively a rudimentary fitness test: upon completing an exercise session, you press the recovery button and hold onto the pulse grip sensors for a minute. The computer makes multiple readings of your heart rate during this time to work out the rate at which your heart rate is returning to its resting state. Based on this, it works out a fitness rating of between 1 and 6 (the lower the better). Whilst not the most comprehensive measure of fitness, heart rate recovery test does provide an indication and seeing improvements in fitness levels following regular exercise with the bike can be very motivating!

The maximum user weight is a respectable 110 kgs and there is a one year parts and labour warranty in the unlikely event of a problem.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that there are transport wheels on the front of the machine, making it relatively easy to move around and there are independent leg levellers on the back to ensure that the bike will be stable on uneven floors. A nice little finishing touch to this excellent product is the addition of a water bottle holder!

Best Price

The York Active 120 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 York Active 120 has proven to be a really nice surprise. A sturdy bike, with a decent flywheel providing a smooth pedalling action that features computer controlled resistance and has a console packed with programmes, whilst remaining simple to use. If this bike appeals you definitely need to take a look at the Viavito Satori which features user profiles and also has a built-in wireless heart rate receiver and heart rate control programmes. We'd suggest that the Satori is the way to go here.

York Active 120 Specifications

    • 16 levels of magnetic resistance
    • 3-piece crank system
    • Mains powered
    • 7kg (15.4lbs) flywheel
    • Computer with 5.75’’ lcd display
    • 18 programmes including 12 pre-set, 4 hrc, 1 user and 1 manual programme
    • Feedback: speed/rpm, time elapsed, distance covered, theoretical calorie burn, watts/energy expended and heart ratePulse measurement via grip sensors
    • Max user weight: 110kg /242lbs
    • Product weight: 30kg /66lbs
    • Dimensions (L x W x H): 91cm /35.8” x 50cm /19.7” x 130cm /51.2”
    • Conveniences: Adjustable handlebars, adjustable padded seat, self-levelling pedals with straps, bottle holder, transportation wheels
    • Warranty: 1 year parts and labour warranty

York Active 120 Exercise Bike - Console / Display Unit

York Active 120 Exercise Bike - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Fluid pedaling feel
  • Decent level of resistance at higher levels
  • Easy to use console

The Cons

  • No wireless heart rate receiver
  • No use profiles
York Active 120 Exercise Bike Reviewer Ratings


Appearance - 8
Smoothness - 7.5
Comfort - 7
Programmes - 7.5
Ease Of Use - 8
Warranty - 7
Value for Money - 7
Best Price

The York Active 120 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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