As an avid gym person I’ve had the opportunity to try lots of different indoor cycles, and the Livestrong S Series Spin Bike is the one I’ve been using a lot lately.
I’ve been using it on and off for a couple of years and it’s really dawned on me that I don’t care for it much.
If you’ve never tried or heard of the Livestrong S Series Spin Bike it’s regarded as one of the best indoor cycles on the market. And for the most part, I can understand that, but there are key aspects of the bike that don’t work for me, and for these reasons, it’s not an indoor bike I would ever buy.
Let’s talk about what it does have.
Pros of Livestrong S Series Indoor Cycle
The Livestrong S Series is undoubtedly a heavy-duty indoor bike that is made to be used for hours at a time. I feel like it really is geared towards an avid rider that knows their body and is willing to push their capabilities.
Here are the specs on the bike:
· 40-lb Flywheel
· Cantilevered brake resistance system
· Kevlar belt system
· Combination SPD-compatible Pedals
· Indoor Cycling Computer™
· Fore/aft saddle adjustments
· Telemetric Heart Rate Monitoring (strap not included)
· Water bottle holder, transport wheels
· Max User Weight: 290 lbs
· Dimensions/Weight: 47.2″L x 21.2″W x 40.9″H / 113 lbs
· Warranty: 10 years frame, 3 years brake system, 1-year brake pads, and labor
What I do like about this bike is its adjustability. The seat can be adjusted up and down, forward and back. The handlebars are adjustable too. All these capabilities make it a bike that can fit just about anyone. And for anyone that has tried using an indoor spin bike that doesn’t fit them well, will appreciate the comfort and usability of an indoor cycle they can adjust to fit their body.
In no way does my overall displeasure with this bike have anything to do with the ability to make the bike fit your body.
The other interesting point about this S Series Cycle is the Lance Armstrong endorsement. A portion of each purchase goes towards the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Again, this is something I can get behind.
But there are a few things I don’t like about this bike.
Cons of Livestrong S Series Spin Bike
Now we get to the items I didn’t like so much about the S Series, and I’m guessing you wouldn’t notice these things unless you’ve actually used the bike.
1) The first one is the tensioner on the flywheel. There is no number on the dial showing you how much resistance the tensioner/brake is applying. For example, I like to warm up my legs on a lower setting, and then I tighten down the tensioner/brake to really get a good workout. Granted you can do this blindly and just go off how tired your legs are, but something is comforting about knowing exactly how much resistance you’re working with.
For example, starting with a 1-3 resistance and then cranking it up to 4-7, and maybe 8+ on the final minute or two of your workout. Since there are no numbers on the knob, you might be starting 1 or you might be starting at 3. There’s no way to know how much resistance you’re using because there are no numbers on the dial.
As I mentioned above, this is the main reason this indoor spin bike is probably better for a very experienced rider vs a beginner.
If you’re new to spin bikes, having a number on the spin dial is an instrumental feature. Otherwise, you’re completely unaware of the amount of resistance you’re using. This could lead to ineffective workouts.
Just about any cardio machine has some kind of number showing the intensity level. You usually increase or decrease the intensity to a number you’re familiar with and know exactly how hard you’re pushing yourself. With this S Series Indoor bike, you won’t have this feature.
2) The second item isn’t a big concern for me personally, but it could be for you. The adjustment knob for raising and lowering the seat height is off-center. It sticks out to the right a bit vs being directly behind the bike. With the knob sticking out, if someone in your family is taller or has bigger feet, the knob can hit your shoe with every pedal. Obviously, this makes the bike unusable or only usable for people of a certain height or shorter.
Even if you use the bike for a short time and try to resell it, this could be a factor. A friend of mine is six feet tall and has a shoe size of 11.5. He’s not a big guy but his shoe is centimeters away from hitting the adjustment knob if not hitting it. As you can see his foot is all the way forward in the pedal and it’s still hitting the knob.
If you’re taller than 6 feet or have a shoe size of 12 or higher (which just about any person over six feet has) this bike most likely won’t work for you. If you’re seriously pigeon-toed meaning your heels naturally gravitate out you’ll almost inevitably hit the knob.
3) The third item that doesn’t jive with me is the lack of digital display. I’m guessing this might be an add-on feature that you might be able to purchase, but this bike I’ve been using doesn’t have any display at all. Looking at the specs, I do see an optional 3”x2” display showing all the stats, but that is a pretty small digital display. For some, this might be a minor inconvenience, but to others, you may want a larger display showing your stats.
Again, for me, not a big deal, but I didn’t want to leave it out of my review.
Cost Of Livestrong S Series
I did a bit of research and it was difficult to determine the true cost of the Matrix S Series spin bike. The Matrix website doesn’t have it listed, but via other websites, it seems to range from as low as $400 up to over $1,000.
Alternatives to Matrix Spin Bikes
There are a ton of spin bikes on the market so finding the right one to fit your body type, budget, availability of space, and needs shouldn’t be a problem. You might be interested in my posts about other spin bikes here.
If you’re more into recumbent exercise bikes, read this post.