L NOW LD-501 Professional Indoor Cycling Bike
|L NOW LD-501|
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If you’re looking for a heavy-duty indoor cycle trainer, the L NOW LD-501 is definitely one to put on your list. This is also one of the newest trainers, released in the second part of 2016. It’s an exercise bike with a high user capacity, extremely solid construction, superior comfort elements, and also comes with a fitness meter.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 46L x 26W x 50H inches (117L x 66W x 127H cm)
- Assembled weight: 140 lbs (63.5 kg)
- Flywheel weight: 55 lbs (25 kg)
- Weight capacity: 500 lbs (226.8 kg)
- Handlebars: 4-way adjustable
- Seat: 4-way adjustable
- Pedals: With toe cages
- Drive: Belt
- Resistance: Friction
- Fitness meter: Time, speed, distance, calories, pulse, recovery test, RPM
- Accessories: Bottle holder (with bottle), resistance cords
- Warranty: 1 year limited
Since it’s a heavy-duty exercise bike, its frame is evidently made of thick steel tubing. It’s a rather heavy items of fitness equipment, weighing 140 lbs (63.5 kg). However, this is actually a plus, as the bike is extremely stable. You can be sure it won’t rock or wobble even during the most intense spin workouts. It’s construction is definitely made to support all kinds of spin workout routines. On top of that, its stability is enhanced by the adjustable levelers, which are equipped with rubber caps, ensuring a superior grip onto the floor. The bike’s front base also integrates a set of transport wheels, which facilitate its relocation, once you’ve finished your workouts. By leaning it forward on its wheels, you basically will handle less than half its weight when moving it for storage.
The frame is double coated with corrosion and scratch resistant paint, mostly black, this being the only color available at the moment. The seat and the handlebar posts feature a chrome finish though. There are only a few non-metallic elements in the bike’s construction. These are the belt guard and the covers of the resistance elements.
This L NOW exercise bike, although it’s a bit larger than other models, such as the Ancheer SP-4013, it’s definitely far from being a huge fitness machine. It’s footprint is approx. 46″L x 22″W (117 x 56 cm), but its total width is given by the handlebar, which is 26″ wide (66 cm).
Seat and handlebars
One of the most important elements that require mentioning here, is the seat construction. It’s sustaining post integrates a liquid-spring shock absorption element, which considerably alleviates the workout impact on your lower back. The seat offers 4-way adjustability (up, down, back and forth). Its post offers several adjustment position, thus it should be able to accommodate comfortably, users between 5’0″ – 6’5″ (152 – 195 cm).
The saddle features the shape and structure of the average spin bike seat. It’s rather slim, but does integrate some padding. If you’re new to spinning, you might find it uncomfortable at first. However, due to its suspension system, its overall comfort is considerably higher than in other spin bike models.
The handlebar assembly integrates a set of unified aerobars, and also two elbow rests, elements that other models don’t have. The main grips have built-in, stainless steel pulse sensors, thus the fitness console unit can track your heart rate. The whole handlebar is covered by a layer of rubber foam, to prevent any damage to the hands during exercising.
Just as the seat, the handlebar features 4-way adjustability. It has a multi-grip design, offering the possibility to adopt various postures for your training. Both seat and handlebar adjust via small levers, their adjustment being done quickly and effortlessly.
Resistance and drive systems
This exercise bike features a simple, direct-contact resistance system. It consists of a felt pad connected to the adjustment knob on the main tube of the frame, pad which comes in contact with the flywheel in a top-to-down manner. By turning the knob to the right, the resistance pad will apply pressure on the flywheel, increasing drag. Since it’s a friction brake, it doesn’t have resistance levels or “clicks”, like the magnetic exercise bikes, such as the FitLeader FS1 or Keiser M3 Plus. You simply tighten the knob until you feel you’ve reached the adequate resistance for your training. Also, the resistance knob doubles as an emergency brake. By pressing it down, you can automatically stop the flywheel from spinning.
As a general idea, since the L NOW LD-501 is equipped with heavy flywheel, it’s overall resistance is quite consistent. It’s actually a bike that you can use for strength training as well, not just for cardio workouts.
When it comes to its drive system, the first aspect to mention is its transmission. It’s a belt-drive bike, which means its operation is quiet and smooth. Also, the belt doesn’t require periodic lubrication as a chain transmission normally would.
As we’ve mentioned above, this L NOW cycle trainer is equipped with a one of the heaviest flywheels you’ll ever find in a spin bike. It’s even heavier than the one supplied with the Schwinn AC model. It weighs 55 lbs (25 kg), which means the bike supplies a consistent momentum. It also means that even the lightest workout is not that light, thus the bike may not exactly be the best choice for users who require recovery training.
The bike’s crankset is made of solid steel parts, and can definitely support the user in standing up pedaling routines, or just about any other spin workouts. The crank arms are finished with durable pedals, made of metallic alloy designed to support all kinds of workouts. Not only the frame, but the crank system and pedals too, are actually able to support users up to 500 lbs (226.8 kg).
The pedals don’t have SPD inserts, however they’re equipped with toe cages for extra thrust when pedaling. Also, their threads are standard and you should be able to find replacement for them easily, in case you want to replace them with SPD pedals.
Last but not least, this L NOW indoor cycling bike allows reverse pedaling. However, since it’s a simple transmission system, unlike for road bikes, when pedaling in reverse the resistance remains constant, given by the pressure applied onto the flywheel.
The meter unit supplied with the L NOW LD-501 is a bit more advanced than the average, basic fitness meter. It’s similar to the one supplied with the Exerpeutic LX905. First of all, it has a 6-panel display, thus you can view all your workouts stats on screen simultaneously. It tracks speed, time, distance, RPMs, calories and pulse. It also has an ODO function which indicates the total distance traveled on the bike. It offers goal setting functions for time, distance and calories, and also has a Recovery Test program which can evaluate your level of fitness.
The meter unit is fairly easy to operate. First of all, it requires 2 AAA-type batteries. It features 4 buttons: RESET, SET, RECOVERY and MODE. The SET button allows you to input values for time, distance, calories and pulse. RESET is evidently for clearing values. MODE is used for confirming a certain value given to one of the stats. And finally, the RECOVERY button covers the unit’s recovery test.
Finally, the bike’s meter unit can read pulse, but only through the sensors integrated in the handlebar. It’s not Bluetooth enabled, so it doesn’t work with HR chest strap transmitters.
Assembly and Maintenance
This L NOW bike model comes partially assembled. In other words, the flywheel, resistance pad, crank-set and chain are already assembled. The parts that require assembly are the bike’s bases, seat, handlebar, pedals and console. This shouldn’t take longer than 30-45 min. The manual supplied provides pretty clear instruction for assembly. The required tools are also included.
In terms of maintenance, the transmission does not require any, as it’s a belt-driven bike. However, the brake pad may need a bit of lubrication, if it emits squeaking noises when in contact with the flywheel. For that, applying a bit of silicone lubricant on the flywheel should do the trick. Other than that, you will need to periodically inspect the joints, bolts and nuts of the bike, to make sure they’re still tight in their places.
- Extremely solid construction, definitely made to withstand 24/7 usage in the premises of a gym;
- Bases with adjustable, rubberized levelers;
- Suspension design for the seat, which alleviates an important part of the impact on your lower back;
- 4-way adjustable, padded seat;
- 4-way adjustable handlebar with a multi-grip design;
- Elbow rests and aerobars;
- Pulse sensors integrated in the handlebar;
- Adjustable resistance;
- Balanced, ultra-heavy flywheel, for a consistent momentum and strength training;
- Heavy-duty crank, able to support any user up to the maximum listed weight, in upright pedaling position;
- Durable, metallic pedals with toe cages;
- Fitness meter included;
- Bottle holder (with bottle) included;
- Quiet belt drive, great for apartment use.
- Easy to assemble;
- Little maintenance required.
- No backlight on the fitness meter, so its display may be a bit difficult to read in a darker room.
The L NOW LD-501 is definitely an indoor cycling bike designed for commercial use. It features an extremely sturdy construction, and a weight capacity of 500 lbs. It offers superior comfort factors and micro-adjustability. It also comes with a fitness meter unit, which can help you track your progress, and can also be a great motivation factor.
It’s equipped with an extra-heavy flywheel, thus being an excellent bike for strength training, intense cardio training, intervals, stamina building and losing weight. It’s a bike for users of all levels, from beginner to pro. And finally, even though it’s not exactly an affordable exercise bike, it definitely has a great price / value ratio.