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Body-Solid BFRB1 Recumbent Bike

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weight
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Body-Solid BFRB1

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L:52"
W:26"
H:39"
220 lbsMagnetic,
8 levels
Speed,
Time,
Distance,
Pulse,
Calories,
Recovery,
BMI,
Goals
Frame: 3 years
Parts: 1 year
Electronics: 3 months
Wear: 90 days

The BFRB1 is one of the recumbent bikes released by Body-Solid in 2010 but it’s still available at the moment. Unlike the Endurance B4RB model, this is a bike made for home use. It’s basically the recumbent version of the Body-Solid BFUB1 upright bike.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 52L x 26W x 39H inches (132L x 66W x 99H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 73 lbs (33 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 220 lbs (100 kg)
  • Seat: 2-way adjustable
  • Drive: Belt
  • Resistance: Manual magnetic, 8 levels
  • Console: Time, speed, distance, calories, pulse, BMI, recovery, goal function
  • Warranty: Frame 3 years / Parts 1 year / Electronics 3 months / Wear parts 30 days

Frame construction

The Body-Solid BFRB1 features a steel frame made of rectangular and cylindrical tubing. It’s a two-piece frame. The larger front piece supports the drive and resistance elements, while the rear smaller piece holds the seat. The two pieces connect at the bottom via several bolts.

All the steel frame parts are double-coated with a corrosion-resistant paint finish. The main color used is red, this being the only color available for this bike. The guards of the drive and resistance elements are made of durable thermoplastic material, as well as the console casing.

The bike is not super large. With all the parts assembled, it is approx. 52″ (132 cm) long, and 26″ (66 cm) wide. It is recommended, though, to allow at least two feet of clearance all around it, for easy access and safe usage.

The bike has a step-through design. There is a bit of a gap between the drive unit and the seat for easy entry and exit. Also, the bike is not too heavy either. Its net weight is approx. 73 lbs (33 kg), so it can be carried and assembled by only one person. Once it is assembled, it can be moved even easier as its front base features a set of transport wheels.

Seat and handlebars

The Body-Solid BFRB1 is equipped with a comfortable seat. The bottom pad is approx. 14″ (35 cm) wide, so it provides plenty of contact surface. Both the seat and the backrest are padded and contoured featuring an ergonomic design.

The seat is two-way adjustable (front, back). Its bottom slider has a few adjustment holes and you can secure it in the desired position with a large knob. Although the slider is not very long, the bike should be able to accommodate users between 5’2″ and 6’4″ (157 – 193 cm) with no problem. The backrest does not adjust independently from the seat; it does not have a reclining function or a vertical slider. Also, the bike is rated for a maximum user weight limit of 220 lbs (100 kg), which needless to say, applies to the seat.

The bike is equipped with two sets of handlebars. One attaches to the seat frame piece, the other to the front mast of the bike. The seat handlebars integrate pulse sensors. They attach to the base frame of the seat via two screws each. They also have PVC foam sleeves for improved comfort.

The front handlebars also have PVC foam covers but they are not equipped with pulse sensors. They are adjustable, though. They attach to the front upright bar of the bike via a small knob which allows you to loosen them up, adjust their angle, and re-tighten them in the desired position.

Resistance system

The Body-Solid BFRB1 recumbent exercise bike features a manual magnetic resistance system. Therefore, you don’t need to connect it to a power source, and you don’t need a power adapter for it. But on the other hand, the included console does not have pre-set programs and does not adjust the resistance automatically.

The bike’s resistance system features a magnetic brake that is connected to the tension knob on the front upright bar (or front mast) of the bike through a steel cable. Therefore, when you turn the knob clockwise, the magnets move closer to the internal flywheel creating magnetic drag, and the bike provides a higher pedaling difficulty. Conversely, when you turn the knob to the left, the gap between the brake’s magnets is increased which results in less resistance.

The main advantage of the magnetic brake is that the magnets do not touch the flywheel. Therefore, there is no internal friction and the pedaling motion is very smooth and quiet. Also, you don’t have to worry about brake pads replacements, maintenance, or lubrication.

Like most other magnetic recumbent bikes, the BFRB1 offers 8 levels of resistance. The first few levels deliver a fairly light pedaling difficulty, great for recovery training, or a quick warm-up. Conversely, the 7-8 tension levels provide considerably more resistance, simulating a hill climb.

Drive system

The Body-Solid BFRB1 exercise bike is equipped with a belt drive system. It uses a poly-v belt designed for superior traction. As opposed to a standard chain drive, the belt does not require lubrication, which is a plus. Also, it contributes to the overall smoothness of the ride as it generates slightly less vibration than a chain.

The internal flywheel is perimeter-weighted. This type of flywheel construction is meant to improve inertia and stability, in order to provide a smooth and consistent pedaling motion. Its exact weight is not specified, but since the whole bike weighs only 73 lbs (33 kg), the flywheel probably doesn’t weigh more than 20 lbs (9 kg).

The flywheel is bi-directional. This being said, the bike allows you to pedal in reverse. Therefore, you can alternate reverse pedaling sessions with forward pedaling sessions, in order to put some diversity into your workouts. Coasting is not possible on the bike, though. If you stop pedaling while your feet are still on the pedals, the flywheel will also stop from spinning.

The bike is equipped with a pretty solid crankset, featuring stainless steel crank arms similar to the ones on road bikes. The pedals are made from durable thermoplastic material with a metallic core. They have weight elements for self-leveling. They also have adjustable straps, so you can perfectly secure your feet on them.

Console

The Body-Solid BFRB1 recumbent bike is equipped with the same console as its upright counterpart. It features an LCD display divided into 5 sub-sections, so it can show up to 5 workout metrics at once. It tracks time, speed, distance, calories, and pulse. Speed and distance are shown in British Imperial units (MPH and miles), and there is no option for changing them to metric units. The pulse reading is grip-only; the console can only read your pulse if you hold on to the sensors integrated into the seat handlebars. It cannot read pulse from a heart rate chest strap or armband.

The bike does not have pre-set workout programs but does offer the possibility to set workout goals for time, distance, and calories. If a workout goal is selected, the console will count down from the selected value until it reaches zero.

A Body Mass Index (BMI) function and a Recovery function are also available on the console. They both have pre-set controls. The BMI function will prompt you to input your data such as age, sex, weight, and height, and based on your input, it will calculate your body fat percentage. The Pulse Recovery function requires you to hold on to the integrated sensors. It will count your pulse at the end of the workout and determine how fast your heart rate returns to normal. Based on the result, it will give you a score between F1 (excellent), and F6 (poor).

The console is battery-powered. It requires two AA batteries. It starts up when you begin pedaling or when you press one of the buttons. It also has a sleep mode; it will enter sleep mode if it does not detect any activity on the bike for more than 8 minutes. In sleep mode, it indicates room temperature.

Assembly and Maintenance

The front unit of the bike with all the drive and resistance elements comes pre-assembled. You only need to connect the rear frame section, the two base bars, the console mast, the console, the seat, the backrest, and the pedals. This may take more than one hour of your time, but the whole task is pretty simple. Plus, the manual provides clear assembly instructions and all the necessary tools are included.

For maintenance, you only need to keep the bike clean, wipe the sweat that might fall on the frame at the end of the workout, and periodically check for loose bolts or parts. The internal mechanism does not need lubrication or other maintenance.

The Pros

  • Sturdy construction, elegant design;
  • Small footprint;
  • Ergonomic seat with a sturdy and large backrest;
  • Frictionless and whisper-quiet magnetic resistance (8 levels);
  • Handlebars with pulse sensors;
  • Maintenance-free belt drive;
  • Large weighted pedals with straps;
  • 5-panel feedback console – it tracks time, speed, distance, calories, and pulse;
  • Workout goal function for time, distance, and calories burned;
  • BMI function;
  • Recovery function;
  • The console shows room temperature when in idle mode;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • The tools for the assembly are included;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • No bottle holder;
  • No tablet holder;
  • No backlight on the console display;
  • No online connectivity.

Summary

The Body-Solid BFRB1 is a recumbent bike made for home use. It features an 8-level manual magnetic resistance system, a comfortable seat, and a console that tracks time, speed, distance, calories, and pulse. The console also has a pulse recovery function and a body mass index function. In all, it’s a pretty sturdy bike, great for light to medium intensity cardio workouts. It’s not exactly the most affordable recumbent bike in this feature range, but comes with an excellent warranty and offers a fairly decent value for the price.

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