Sole Fitness R92 Recumbent Bike
Check Discounted Price
Parts: 3 years
Electronics: 3 years
Labor: 1 year
One of the highest rated recumbent bikes that you can find on the market at the moment, is the Sole R92. This model is actually a light commercial model, such as the Sole LCR. Its weight capacity is slightly lower than for the LCR model, it features only 20 levels of resistance and it’s not self-powered though. But nonetheless, the R92 model from Sole is also a top-quality bike, pretty close to the specs offered by most commercial grade bikes.
There’s a lot to be said about this Sole recumbent bike model, that’s why in this review we aim to cover in detail as many aspects as possible regarding it. Therefore, let’s see what it has to offer.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 57L x 30W x 50H inches (144.7L x 76W x 127H cm)
- Assembled weight: 152 lbs (69 kg)
- Flywheel weight: 26 lbs (11.7 kg)
- Supported weight: 325 lbs (147.4 kg)
- Handlebars: With pulse sensors
- Seat: Foam cushioning, contoured, adjustable
- Pedals: With straps
- Brakes: Eddy current
- Resistance: Adjustable, 20 levels
- Performance computer: 10 workout apps
- Bottle/accessory holder: Yes
- Speakers: Built-in console
- Fan: Built-in console
- Warranty: Frame lifetime / Parts 3 years / Electronics 3 years / Labor 1 year
The Sole Fitness R92 exercise bike features a solid, steel frame with aluminum / plastic shrouds for compact design. The bike has a really solid construction, being rated for users up to 325 lbs (cca 147 kg). The frame and seat themselves can actually withstand users of higher capacity, but depending on a user’s body shape, the distance between the recumbent handlebars may not be wide enough.
Compared with other fitness machines, such as the Sole E95 elliptical trainer for example, this recumbent bike is not that large. Its footprint is 57″L x 30″W (cca 145 x 76 cm), and should fit even into a smaller room. It’s a rather heavy piece of equipment though, weighing 152 lbs (69 kg), thus you might need another person to help you to carry, unpack and assemble it. Weight adds to its overall stability though. In other words, the bike won’t rock or tip even if the user is pretty close to the maximum supported capacity, and/or engages in a more consistent workout. On top of that, both bases of the bike are equipped with adjustable levelers, thus you should be able to stabilize it perfectly even on irregular surfaces. Stabilizers are finished with rubber caps, in order to prevent any damage to the floor.
The front base features transport wheels and the rear base incorporates a handle to facilitate the tipping of the bike forward on its wheels, for easier relocation. Both bases have plastic covers, which add to the compactness of the bike. In fact, the frame has quite a sleek, professional aspect, which can always serve as a great motivation factor to workout on it.
Seat and comfort
The Sole R92 exercise bike comes with a contoured seat, with foam cushioning, offering a grade of comfort similar to an armchair. The backrest, although non-adjustable such as the one equipped on the Diamondback 510sr, supplies excellent support, without cutting at your shoulder blades, promoting a comfortable posture, yet a firm back support. Also, the angle of the backrest enables it support quite an important part of the weight of your upper body, relieving some of the stress on the lumbar and pelvic area. Differently said, the seat is designed to uniformly accommodate the users upper body weight. Thus, you can be sure that this bike is an excellent choice for just about anyone with back problems, recovering from various related injuries, or elderly users.
The fabric on the seat and backrest is synhetic leather, pretty thick and resistant to wear and tear.
Evidently, the seat is adjustable. It features an oblical rail with 14 adjustment positions. The distance between the adjustment locking positions is approximately 1 inch. In other words, this bike is adequate for a wide range of users, when it comes to height. It’s actually viable for users as short as 4’8″, and up to 6’5″ (142 – 195 cm). Taller users can also use the bike, but they may not benefit from a complete leg stretch, and this may have a negative impact on their overall workout.
Last but not least, the recumbent handlebars are actually attached to the seat. They move with the seat when you adjust it, but they are not angle-adjustable. The handlebar assembly incorporates two cup holders, one on each side. The angle of the hand-grips is roughly 45°, and they’re furnished with pulse sensors.
Resistance and drive systems
The Sole R92 recumbent bike features an electronically assisted magnetic resistance system. This means the resistance is adjusted from the bike’s console. Since the bike has several on-board workout programs, these will automatically adjust resistance. Of course, since the brake system involves magnets, the resistance generating elements (the flywheel and the magnetic brake pads) do not touch. Therefore, there’s virtually no wear and tear concerning these parts. Also due to this fact, the bike is particularly quiet, and the pedaling motion is smooth, without any jarring or dragging feel.
The bike features 20 levels of resistance, offering a wider array of training possibilities. The highest resistance settings actually offer quite a workout, simulating a rather steep climb. Obviously, since it features an advanced console and an eddy current brake, it requires to be connected to a 120 VAC power circuit. It comes with an adapter, but this bike model does not feature an ON/OFF switch. To turn it off, you have to unplug it. Also, in case you’re wondering, this bike is not self-powered. In order to benefit from the resistance, you have to plug it in.
The bike’s drive system is belt-powered, involving a heavy-duty belt, and a solid crankset that sets the flywheel in motion. The flywheel actually weighs 26 lbs (11.7 kg), pretty heavy for a recumbent bike, supplying a steady and consistent momentum, and eliminating the “stair climbing” effect which some bikes feature.
The bike features a rather narrow Q factor for an exercise bike, similar to the Q factor in most mountain bikes. The crank arms are finished with weighted, self-adjusting pedals, with toe straps.
Console and amenities
The bike’s console is quite multifunctional, including several other accessories, apart from the performance computer. First of all, its angle can be adjusted, featuring several positions, meant to offer a better visibility of the screen.
The upper part incorporates a sound system, consisting of two speakers, and a cooling fan with one speed setting. The sound rendered by the speakers isn’t extraordinary sharp, in other words they can’t be compared to the speakers of a dedicated sound system. However, these give you the possibility to exercise while having your music close, and without using headphones or earplugs, which may become uncomfortable or even unbearable during exercising. Evidently the front part of the console has a port for your MP3 player, phone or tablet.
The console also has a compartment for small accessories, such as keys, remote control, or phone. Above the workout keys there’s a tablet or magazne rack, pretty insignificant but useful accessory, in case you want to watch a movie on your tablet while exercising, or browse the web.
When it comes to the fitness functions of the console unit, the first aspect to mention is that it can track time, distance, speed, calories, watts, RPM and pulse. There are 6 standard workouts on the console, including Manual, Hill, FatBurn, Cardio, Strength and Interval, each one having its own direct key. Two heart rate oriented programs are also available. However, the console also offers two custom user profiles, which give you the possibility to configure your own workout programs, and save them for future workouts. For the Manual and custom user modes, the console gives you the possibility to insert data such as your age and weight, in order to quantify your values with higher accuracy.
The console unit of this bike features quick keys and keys for the gradual adjustment of the resistance. There’s also a Stop button for times when you need to interrupt your workout, but without losing all the values. And lastly, the console is telemetry enabled, meaning that it can read pulse via a heart rate chest strap. A HR chest strap is actually included with the package.
Assembly and Maintenance
The Sole R92 is a rather heavy bike, and you may need another person to help you with the unboxing and assembly process. Most of the frame comes already assembled. You do however, have to attach the seat, backrest, pedals, bases, the cosmetic covers for the bike’s bases, console mast, seat and mast handlebars, and finally connect the console. The assembly process is far from being complicated though. It shouldn’t take more than one hour. The box is includes a well-written, step-by-step assembly manual, and all the tools for this task.
The bike pretty much doesn’t require any maintenance. For this part, all you have to do is remove the dust that may accumulat on it, and make sure all the bolts and nuts hold tight in place.
Although so far we’ve focused on most to the positive aspects regarding this bike, you may have missed some of them. Therefore, here’s a summary for what’s best about this Sole exercise bike model:
- High-quality, sturdy frame, able to support users up to 325 lbs;
- Superior aesthetics;
- Superior ergonomics;
- Cushioned seat and backrest;
- Highly resistant material on the seat and backrest;
- Adjustable seat, accommodating a wide range of users;
- Pulse sensors;
- Heart rate chest strap transmitter included;
- Eddy current brake, for smooth and consistent resistance;
- 20 levels of resistance;
- Self-leveling pedals, with straps;
- Multiple accessories, including bottle holders, accessory holders, tablet rack, sound system, fan;
- 10 on-board programs, including 6 standard, 2 custom user, and 2 heart rate;
- Quiet bike;
- Fairly easy to assemble;
- Excellent warranty plan.
There are several aspects regarding this bike that can be considered downsides. None of them should be a deal breaker though.
- Fan isn’t extremely powerful. It’s more like a bigger computer cooler;
- The bike doesn’t have an On/Off switch. To completely shut it down, you must unplug it.
- A tablet placed on the console’s tablet rack will cover at least a part of your screen, which may be an inconvenience.
The Sole R92 may not exactly be the most affordable recumbent bike out there, however quality almost never comes cheap. This model actually has an excellent price/quality ratio, and offers a range of features pretty close to the commercial grade bikes. It’s a great fitness machine for a light and medium cardio workout, easy on the joints and back, also being a well-constructed exercise bike, with high ergonomics and aesthetics. It’s a perfect choice for anyone who needs to get back into shape, lose weight, build stamina, or undergo a recovery training regimen.