3G Cardio Elite RB Recumbent Bike
|3G Cardio Elite RB|
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Parts: 7 years
Labor: 1 year
Frame: 5 years
Parts: 2 years
Labor: 1 year
The 3G Cardio Elite RB is a light commercial recumbent bike, featuring a sturdy construction. In terms of specs and durability, it can be compared to the ProForm 740 ES or the Fitness Reality X-Class 410. It does not have online connectivity, though. However, its console offers plenty of programs to keep you motivated.
This recumbent bike also has a rather different placement of the internal components compared to other similar bikes. For example, its flywheel is situated at the rear, under the seat, while the jack for the power cord is also at the back. There’s a lot more to be said about this 3G Cardio exercise bike and in this review, we’ll try to cover each and every important aspect in detail.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 49L x 27W x 43H inches (124L x 69W x 109H cm)
- Assembled weight: 115 lbs (52 kg)
- Supported weight: 350 lbs (159 kg)
- Handlebars: Fixed, with pulse sensors
- Seat: 4-way adjustable
- Pedals: With adjustable straps
- Resistance: Motorized magnetic, 16 levels
- Exercise meter: 16 programs (plus manual mode), 4 user profiles
- Amenities: Bottle holder, accessory holder, tablet shelf
In-Home: Frame lifetime / Parts 7 years / Labor 1 year
Light Commercial: Frame 5 years / Parts 2 years / Labor 1 year
Since it’s a light commercial exercise bike, it’s built around a heavy-duty steel frame which can support users up to 350 lbs (159 kg). All the steel parts in its construction feature a durable, corrosion-resistant powder coating, dark gray for the base section and light gray for the upper parts. The bike has quite a few PVC covers, though; the ones at the front which shroud the pulley are light gray, while the ones at the rear, which protect the flywheel are black.
The 3G Cardio RB recumbent bike has a smaller footprint than other similar bikes. It’s actually 18″ shorter than the Nautilus R618. With the frame fully assembled, it is 49″ (124 cm) long and 27″ (69 cm) wide. Therefore, it does not take too much storage and usage space.
The bike’s frame is not foldable. But its front base is equipped with rollers which facilitate its relocation. Also, the rear base has a large handle; so, it’s easy to use the rollers and take it to a storage location once you have finished your workout.
This 3G Cardio exercise bike isn’t extremely heavy but does weigh approx. 115 lbs (52 kg) which is more than twice the average weight of a road cycle. This weight plays an important role in its overall stability, though. You can be sure that it won’t rock, slide or tip even if you engage in a more demanding workout. Plus, the rear base bar is equipped with rotating polygonal caps which can serve as stabilizers.
Due to the rear placement of the flywheel, the bike doesn’t have a step-thru design. However, entry and exit are far from being difficult.
Seat and handlebars
The bike’s seat is 4-way adjustable. First of all, the seat assembly slides on an oblique adjustment rail so you can lock it closer or farther from the pedals. It also offers 5 tilt positions. The lever under the seat allows you to move it back and forth, while the lever on the right side controls its angle. These being said, the adjustment span of the seat is really ample. The bike can accommodate users between 5’0″ and 6’4″ (153 – 193 cm). It’s also durable enough to support users up to 350 lbs (159 kg).
The seat is approx. 16″ (40.6 cm) wide. It has a contoured surface and integrates a thick layer of padding, providing excellent comfort. The backrest features an Infinite Airflow Mesh Flex construction; it’s constructed on a durable frame, it’s flexible, and provides superior breathability.
The 3G Cardio Elite RB is equipped with two sets of handlebars, one attached to the seat assembly, and one on the console mast. The seat handlebars integrate metallic EKG pulse sensors and resistance controls. Also, since they’re attached to the seat frame, their angle will adjust as well when you tilt the seat. The front handlebars have a pretty simple construction, without any extras. They are non-adjustable. Both sets of handlebars have rubberized grips for extra comfort.
Drive and resistance
As we’ve mentioned above, the 3G Cardio Elite RB recumbent bike has a drive system with a slightly different construction that most other recumbent bikes. The pulley with the crankset and pedals are placed at the front, while the flywheel and the magnetic brake are placed at the rear, under the seat.
The bike uses a long transmission belt which connects the pulley and the flywheel. Evidently, since it’s a belt transmission not a chain, the bike’s operation is almost silent, while the belt doesn’t require any lubrication.
The flywheel’s weight isn’t specified. However, its weight is somewhere between 16 and 20 lbs (7-9 kg). It’s a perimeter weighted flywheel, though, so it provides a very consistent momentum and a smooth pedaling motion.
The bike has a narrow Q-Factor (spacing between the pedals), which means that you won’t experience any lateral stress on the knees and ankles when pedaling. The crank arms are made of solid steel, with a chrome finish, while the pedals also have a metallic core, with a durable nylon coating. The pedals are equipped with adjustable straps; they’re self-leveling, meaning that they have a small weight at the bottom which enables them to always turn face-up when you remove your feet from them. They have standard threads, thus, compatible options are widely available in case you will need or want to replace them.
This 3G Cardio recumbent bike features a motorized magnetic resistance system which consists of a magnetic brake and a small servo motor. The resistance can only be adjusted from the console or the controls integrated into the seat’s handlebars. Also, in order to adjust the resistance, the bike requires to be connected to a power circuit, the voltage requirements being 100V – 240V – 50/60Hz. A power cord is included with the bike; the input for it is placed at the bottom, above the rear base stabilizer.
The bike offers 16 levels of resistance. As you turn the knob on the console or use the + / – controls in the handlebars, the magnetic brake will move closer or farther from the flywheel, generating more or less resistance. The first 1-3 difficulty settings offer a light resistance, great for warming up or for users who require recovery training. The final, 15-16, difficulty settings simulate a steep climb and provide enough resistance for an intense cardio training.
Since the bike’s resistance is motorized, by using some of the on-board programs will adjust the resistance automatically, depending on the current segment of the workout.
The console included with this exercise bike is quite an advanced one. To begin with, it features a large LCD display with blue LED backlight and large digits which provides excellent readability. All the readings are shown simultaneously, so you won’t have to use a SCAN function to alternate them. The workout metrics displayed are time, distance, speed, RPM, watts, calories, and pulse.
The unit has user data input settings, including gender, age, height, and weight; therefore, it can calculate your calorie burned levels and the energy output with a much higher accuracy than other exercise meters. Plus, the speed and distance data can be calculated in both imperial or metric units.
The unit can track your heart rate via the EKG sensors integrated into the seat handlebars, but it’s also telemetric. In other words, it can read your pulse via a wireless HR chest strap transmitter, and this accessory is also included.
The 3G Cardio RB recumbent bike does not have any online connectivity features. However, its console offers 16 programs to keep you motivated, plus the manual mode which basically allows you to freely adjust the resistance as you exercise. Among the included programs we can count 12 preset programs, which offer different workouts focusing on weight loss, peak performance, intervals, etc. There are also 3 heart rate programs and 1-watt program available.
Along with these workout programs, these also are goal settings, 4 user profiles and a recovery function available. The goals function gives you the possibility to select a countdown target for time, distance, calories, and pulse, and exercise until you have reached the selected goal. The 4 user profiles allow you to create and save four custom programs, and use them whenever you like; or, if up to 4 persons use the machine, each one can save their own personal data and program. The recovery function measures your heart rate at the end of your workout and will provide a recovery status between F1 (best) – F6 (worst), which basically gives you an idea with regards to your fitness level.
The console is very easy to operate. The resistance adjustment, as well as giving values to your goals, is done by the turn-knob on the console. The Start / Stop button offers the possibility to pause and resume your workout without interrupting the program, a function which you may find useful if you alternate bike workouts with other workouts. The Reset key speaks for itself; it clears all the values on the unit to zero if needed. And finally, the recovery function has its own button.
Among the non-fitness features of the console unit, we can count a small tablet tray placed right under the unit’s display. There’s also a small compartment under the console’s keypad which can serve as support for small accessories if needed. Unfortunately, the unit doesn’t have a built-in cooling fan or sound system.
Assembly and Maintenance
The core of the bikes comes pre-assembled. Therefore, you will only have to attach the main base tubes, the seat with its backrest and handlebars, the console mast, the front handlebars, the console, and the pedals. This shouldn’t take more than an hour. All the tools required for the assembly are included. Also, the manual provides very clear assembly instructions.
Since it’s a belt drive bike with a magnetic resistance system internal maintenance is almost inexistent. Unless an internal part sustains damage and requires replacement, you won’t ever need to remove the flywheel or pulley guards. As for the external maintenance, all you have to do is keep the bike clean, periodically check the bolts and other parts and re-tighten them if necessary, and keep liquids away from the console.
- Durable, commercial-grade construction;
- Good-looking design which can also be a motivation factor;
- Can support users up to 350 lbs;
- Adjustable stabilizers;
- Transport wheels at the front;
- Transport handle at the rear base;
- Cushioned and contoured seat;
- EKG sensors and resistance controls integrated into the seat’s handlebars;
- Flexible, breathable, and durable backrest;
- 5 tilt positions for the seat assembly;
- 25 forward-back adjustment positions for the seat assembly;
- Motorized magnetic resistance system with 16 settings available;
- Very smooth, almost silent belt drive;
- Balanced, perimeter-weighted, mid-range flywheel for a consistent momentum;
- Weighted pedals with adjustable straps;
- Large LCD display with backlight;
- 12 preset programs, 3 heart rate programs, 1 watts program, and 1 manual program;
- 4 user profiles;
- Countdown settings for time, distance, calories, and heart rate;
- Telemetric console (can read pulse via an HR chest strap);
- HR chest strap included;
- Tablet holder included;
- Bottle holder included;
- Basically maintenance free;
- Excellent warranty.
- No step-thru design;
- No cooling fan;
- No sound system;
- No online connectivity.
The 3G Cardio Elite RB is a light-commercial, motorized magnetic recumbent bike, offering 16 resistance levels and 16 workout programs. It has a sturdy construction being able to support users up to 350 lbs. It’s equipped with a reclining seat with 5 tilt positions and 25 front-back adjustment positions. It’s an excellent bike for light, medium and even intense cardio training sessions, stamina training, weight loss, and intervals. And finally, even though it does not have any online connectivity features, and is rather expensive, it still does offer excellent value for the price.