|Body Champ BRB5872|
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The Body Champ BRB5872 has been on the market for over a year, but so far it remains one of the most affordable recumbent exercise bikes with automatic resistance that you can find at the moment. It’s not full-range, light commercial cycle, but it’s perfect for home use, for anyone who wants to undertake light to medium cardio workouts. On the other hand, it has quite a bit more to offer than a basic bike in this price range. Thus, in this review, we’ll address each and every feature regarding it.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 60L x 24.5W x 43H inches (152.4L x 62.2W x 109.2H cm)
- Assembled weight: 76 lbs (34.4 kg)
- Supported weight: 300 lbs (136 kg)
- Handlebars: Recumbent and front (with pulse sensors)
- Seat: Adjustable
- Pedals: With straps
- Resistance: Motor-assisted magnetic, 16 levels
- Exercise meter: 12 pre-set workouts, target settings, recovery and BMI functions
- Warranty: 90 days
The Body Champ BRB5872 features a body made mainly of steel tubing. It’s a two-piece frame; the rear part with the seat connects to the front part which holds the motor, at the middle, via several bolts. The frame is quite sturdy, being able to support users up to 300 lbs (136 kg). All steel parts in the frame construction are coated with corrosion resistant silver paint. The covers of the flywheel and the motor are made from PVC material, though.
The bike features simple base tubes, with plastic caps on their ends. The rear plastic caps have a polygonal shape and can rotate, acting as stabilizers. The front caps also rotate, but they fulfill the role of transport wheels. The mid section of the frame also features a small stabilizer which enhances the contact with the floor.
The bike is not extremely heavy. However, as it weighs over 70 lbs, it’s still two times heavier than the average road bike. This weight, plus your own weight result in excellent stability during more intense workouts. The bike shouldn’t wobble or tip.
When it comes to dimensions, this Body Champ recumbent bike is not extremely large. However, it’s not a small fitness machine either. It’s 60″ (152.4 cm) long, 24.5″ wide (62.2 cm), and requires at least one foot of clearance on each side for safe operation.
This recumbent exercise bike doesn’t have a folding frame, but does, however, have a step-through design, which makes it quite easy to take position on the seat and start pedaling. This may be a plus for elderly users or users with disabilities.
Seat and handlebars
The Body Champ BRB5872 recumbent bike features an adjustable seat. The lower bar of the seat assembly has several adjustment holes and can slide forward or backward. It’s secured to the rear part of the frame via two knobs. In case you’re wondering, the seat offers an adjustment span long enough to accommodate comfortably users between 5’2″ and 6’5″ (157 – 195 cm).
The seat is approx. 16″ (40 cm) wide, featuring 2″ (5 cm) of foam padding, and synthetic, durable upholstery. It’s sturdy, yet comfortable, while its backrest delivers an excellent lumbar support. The upholstery and padding on the backrest are similar to the ones on the seat. The backrest does not adjust independently from the seat. It’s connected directly to the seat assembly via a steel tube.
This exercise bike features two sets of handlebars. The recumbent handlebars are welded directly to the seat assembly and will move along with the seat as you adjust its position. Their angle cannot be adjusted, though. The front handlebar is given by a simple, straight steel tube, attached directly to the console mast. Its grips integrate stainless steel pulse sensors, so by holding onto them, the fitness meter can track your pulse. The fact that the sensors are mounted on the front handlebar and not on the recumbent bars, is a bit awkward. Most recumbent bikes have their sensors on the recumbent bars. However, the console mast is slightly curved inward, towards the user, so by holding the front handlebar while pedaling, the position is not uncomfortable at all.
The grips on both handlebars are made of rubber foam material. They provide the optimal amount of comfort and a sure grip.
Resistance and drive
This Body Champ recumbent bike features a motorized, magnetic resistance system. Therefore, resistance can only be adjusted from the control unit. Resistance can be adjusted “manually” from the Up / Down keys on the console unit. However, if you choose to train by using one of the pre-set programs, the bike will adjust resistance automatically, depending on the current segment of the program in use.
Needless to say, the machine requires being connected to a 120V power circuit. An A/C adapter with cable is supplied with it.
The resistance mechanism consists of a magnetic brake pad and a small servo motor. As you select a resistance level from the console, the command will be sent to the servo which adjusts the magnetic pad’s position in relation to the metallic flywheel, adding or reducing resistance. There are 16 distinct levels of resistance that you can choose from. The first resistance settings promote light workouts, great for users who require recovery training or light cardio training. Conversely, the top, 15-16 resistance settings will definitely help you break a sweat.
Most fitness bikes with a magnetic resistance system feature a belt drive system, and the BRB5872 does not make an exception. The flywheel is set in motion by a heavy-duty belt, resistant to stretching. The flywheel is not extremely heavy, but most of its weight is placed around its perimeter. Thus, it provides a consistent momentum and a smooth pedaling motion.
The crank assembly features solid steel arms, finished with durable, weighted pedals. The pedals integrate adjustable straps with 3 adjustment positions each. They also have standard threads, so you can easily find replacements for them. Also, the bike’s Q-Factor (the spacing between the pedals) is quite narrow. Therefore, the positioning of the feet on the pedals is natural, the pedaling motion offers excellent comfort, without any lateral stress on the knees.
Last but not least, pedaling in reverse is possible on this exercise bike. And while pedaling in reverse, the console will continue to calculate calories, speed, distance etc.
Although this recumbent bike doesn’t have an extremely advanced console, it does offer much more than a basic fitness meter. To begin with, it’s equipped with a multi-panel display, which shows time, speed, RPM, distance, total distance (ODO), calories, watts, heart rate and average heart rate, being able to show at least 6 of these metrics simultaneously, so you won’t have to use a scan function to scroll through them. The console allows the input of personal data, such as weight, height, and age, which means its calculation of calories burned is much more accurate than for a basic unit. Also, speed can be calculated in MPH or km/h, while distance can be calculated in miles or km.
Heart rate can only be read via the pulse sensors in the front handlebars. The control unit is not telemetry enabled and does not work with an HR wireless chest strap.
The console unit has 12 pre-set workout programs (P2-P13), the P1 program being the Manual Mode. It has goal setting functions for time, distance, calories burned or target heart rate. Just as the ASUNA 4200, this console unit also has a Recovery function and a Body Fat function. The Recovery program rates your performance based on your pulse at the end of your workout, determining your level of fitness. The Body Fat program, as its name suggests, measures your BMI (Body Mass Index).
The control unit is fairly easy to operate. The Start/Stop key starts and pauses your workout, also fulfilling the role of a reset key, in case you want to clear all the values to zero. The Up/Down keys are used to increase or decrease the value of the workout metrics, and to select a certain workout program. The Enter key confirms the desired value for a workout metric or workout program. Mode switches the display data from RPM to speed, distance to ODO, and Watt to calories. And finally, the Recovery key covers recovery function.
Assembly and Maintenance
The bike’s internal mechanism comes pre-assembled from the factory. Therefore, in terms of assembly, you only have to attach the two parts of the frame together, mount the seat and the backrest, the pedals, and the console. This shouldn’t take longer than an hour. The included manual offers comprehensive, step-by-step assembly instructions, and the tools required for assembly are also included.
Maintenance pretty much requires keeping the bike clean and checking its joints periodically. The internal parts do not require lubrication or any maintenance whatsoever.
- Sturdy construction, step-thru design;
- High user capacity (300 lbs);
- 2-inch padding on seat and backrest for optimal comfort;
- Adjustable seat;
- Automatic, magnetic resistance, with 16 available settings;
- 17 pre-set programs;
- Recovery function;
- BMI function;
- Pulse reading capable;
- Pedals with adjustable straps;
- Narrow Q Factor for a comfortable positioning of the feet;
- Smooth and quiet drive;
- Basically maintenance free.
- No pulse sensors on the recumbent bars;
- No bottle holder;
- No tablet holder.
- Console display doesn’t have backlight, so it may be a bit difficult to read in a room with low lighting
The Body Champ BRB5872 is a recumbent exercise bike designed for home use. It features automatic (motorized) magnetic resistance, with 16 available levels. Its console offers 12 pre-set workouts, goal settings and other useful fitness functions, such as pulse recovery and BMI. It’s an excellent bike for light to medium cardio workouts, muscle toning, building or regaining stamina, recovery training, and weight loss. You can actually burn up to 5-600 calories per hour on this bike, depending on the selected resistance setting. And finally, it’s one of the most affordable recumbent bikes with motorized resistance.