Fitness Reality X-Class 520 Magnetic Tension Indoor Cycle Exercise Bike
|Fitness Reality X-Class 520|
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Parts: 3 years
Labor: 3 years
Electronics: 1 year
Wear: 1 years
Paradigm Health & Wellness used to share a partnership with IRONMAN Fitness, but as this partnership has come to an end, some of their products which were sold under the IRONMAN brand were rebranded. One of them is the IRONMAN H-Class 520 indoor cycling bike. This exercise bike is now available under the name of Fitness Reality X-Class 520.
Although there aren’t any significant differences between the two bike’s that we’ve mentioned, in this review we’ll cover the Fitness Reality X-Class 520 Magnetic Tension Indoor Cycle Exercise Bike, offering all the information possible regarding its features and functions, pros and cons, etc.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 49L x 24W x 53H inches (125L x 61W x 135H cm)
- Assembled weight: 136 lbs (61.6 kg)
- Flywheel weight: 44 lbs (20 kg)
- Weight capacity: 300 lbs (136 kg)
- Handlebars: 4-way adjustable
- Seat: 4-way adjustable
- Pedals: With toe cages
- Drive: Belt
- Resistance: Manual magnetic
- Fitness meter: RPM, speed, time, distance, calories, pulse, Bluetooth capable
- Accessories: Tablet holder, bottle holder
- Warranty: Frame lifetime / Parts 3 years / Electronics 3 years / Labor 3 years
The Fitness Reality X-Class 520 is constructed around a heavy steel frame. Its overall assembled weight is 136 lbs (61.6 kg), weight which along with the bike’s 24″ (61 cm) base width results in an excellent stability. On top of that, the bike’s base bars are equipped with rubberized, adjustable stabilizers which give you the possibility to perfectly level the cycle on any type of flooring.
The bike’s assembled footprint isn’t extremely large. However, it’s a few inches larger than other exercise bikes, such as the Spinner S3 or Spinner S7, for example. It takes 49″L x 24″W (125 x 61 cm) of floor space, and requires a workout area of at least 60″L x 50″W (153 x 127 cm), for safe operation, or even more space on each side, if you’re going to perform spin workouts that require you to repeatedly mount and dismount.
Although the bike is fairly heavy, weighing approx. three times more than the average mountain bike, its relocation is far from being difficult. Its front base integrates a set of wheels, which facilitate its transport for storage, once it is fully assembled.
The main frame and its bases are double coated with corrosion resistant, silver paint, which is the only color available for the moment. The seat and handlebar posts have a chrome finish.
Seat and handlebars
This Fitness Reality exercise bike doesn’t have the generic, slim saddle, commonly found in most spin bikes. It is wider and integrates a generous layer of cushioning. However, its attachment point to the adjustment bar is standard; thus, compatible replacements for it are highly available, in case you want a different model. But as a general idea, this seat delivers considerably more comfort than the average spin bike seat.
The seat offers 4-way adjustability, meaning that it can be adjusted up, down, forward and backward. Its post offers several height adjustment positions, being able to accommodate users between 5′ and 6’4″ (153 – 193 cm). Also, the seat is solid enough to support users up to 300 lbs (136 kg).
The bike’s handlebar is also 4-way adjustable. It features a multi-grip design, integrating long aero bars offering the possibility to perform a wide array or spin workouts. It features a layer of rubber foam material to deliver a comfortable and secure grip.
The seat and the handlebar feature large adjustment knobs which can be gripped, pulled and turned with ease. This being said, it takes only a few seconds to adjust the bike to your own size.
Resistance and drive
Unlike most indoor cycling bikes, The Fitness Reality X-Class 520 indoor cycling bike features a manual magnetic resistance system. However, this resistance system is rather simple. It consists of a magnetic brake pad, connected to the turn-knob on the main tube of the frame. By turning this knob, the magnetic element changes its position in relation to the bike’s flywheel, increasing or decreasing tension.
The brake system is manually adjusted; it doesn’t integrate a motor, and thereby it does not require to be connected to a power circuit.
The resistance knob doesn’t have any levels or “clicks” specified on it, like most upright bikes with magnetic resistance. Therefore, you will have to “guesstimate” the resistance for your workout. But on the other hand, the resistance pad doesn’t touch the flywheel, so you won’t have to worry about wear and tear, about replacing it, or about any friction generated noise. Also, since there’s no friction, on a higher resistance setting the pedaling motion is much smoother than for a bike with a felt pad brake.
The Fitness Reality X-Class 520 exercise bike is equipped with a belt drive, not a chain. This type of drive has a few advantages. First of all, it’s quieter than a chain drive, generating almost no noise whatsoever. And second of all, it doesn’t require lubrication. The belt equipped on the bike is a heavy-duty model, designed for many years of use.
The flywheel equipped on the bike is one of the heaviest, weighing 44 lbs (20 kg). It’s a perimeter-weighted flywheel, which means it delivers a steady motion and consistent momentum. This flywheel is bi-directional; in other words, you can pedal in reverse as well. However, due to the flywheel’s weight, when changing the way of pedaling it’s important to stop it from spinning using the emergency brake, in order to avoid injuries.
The Fitness Reality X-Class 520 is equipped with an extremely solid, 3-piece crankset. The crank arms are made of solid steel, and just like the seat, able to support the full weight of a 300 lbs (136 kg) user. Differently put, the crankset is designed to support any type of spin workout. You can stand up on the pedals during your workouts without the fear that it will break, as long as you don’t exceed the recommended weight capacity.
The pedals included with this indoor cycling trainer are made of a durable metallic alloy. They do not integrate SPD elements for spin shoes. However, they are equipped with toe cages for maximum foot stability and extra thrust. Also, they have standard threads, so replacements for them are widely available.
The pedals’ Q-Factor is a bit wide, 230 mm, actually wider than for the average mountain bike. For a taller person with wider hips, this might not be an issue. But for a short user, a wide Q-Factor like this can cause additional lateral stress on the knees.
The fitness meter unit supplied with this exercise bike has no control whatsoever upon the resistance of the bike. As we’ve mentioned above, the resistance adjusts manually from the knob on the main tube of the frame.
The meter unit features a 5-panel LCD display which tracks time, speed, distance, calories burned, pulse and RPM. Speed and RPM are on the same panel and will rotate.
The meter reads your pulse wirelessly via an HR chest strap transmitter. It’s also Bluetooth-enabled, so you can sync it with your iOS or Android device, in order to access the free online trainer app. This app offers a much better interface than the bike’s fitness computer. It also gives you the possibility to track your progress, target a specific HR interval, or set up goals for time, distance, calories or other values.
The fitness meter unit is battery-powered; it requires 4 AA-type batteries which are included. It also integrates a tablet holder.
Assembly and Maintenance
Like for most spin bikes, the flywheel, the belt, crankset and resistance system are already attached to the frame. Thus, for assembly, you only have to connect the frame to its bases, add the seat and handlebar with their posts, the console and finally the pedals. The supplied manual offers comprehensive instructions for assembly, while the tools required are also supplied. The whole process shouldn’t take more than 30-45 min. But on the other hand, since the bike is rather heavy, two people may be required at least for its transport.
Since the bike features a belt drive system and a magnetic brake, these basically don’t require any maintenance. Therefore, in terms of maintenance, you only need to remove the perspiration that may fall onto the frame and console, and periodically check the bike’s joints to make sure they’re still holding tight in their places.
- Solid frame construction, 300 lbs weight capacity;
- Bases with large, adjustable stabilizers;
- 4-way adjustable seat (up, down, front, back);
- 4-way adjustable handlebar (up, down, front, back), with a multi-grip design;
- Frictionless, wear-free, magnetic resistance;
- 44 lbs heavy, balanced flywheel for a smooth pedaling motion and solid momentum;
- Heavy-duty crank made for spin workouts;
- Metallic alloy pedals with toe cages;
- Bike computer included, being able to track speed, time, distance, calories, pulse and RPM.
- Bluetooth capable fitness meter, compatible with iOS and Android devices;
- Meter unit is telemetric (can read pulse via a wireless HR chest strap);
- HR chest strap transmitter included;
- Bottle holder included;
- Really easy to assemble;
- Little maintenance required;
- Smooth and quiet operation, great for apartment use;
- Super warranty plan.
- No backlight on the monitor;
- Wide (230 mm) Q Factor.
The Fitness Reality X-Class 520 is a heavy-duty indoor cycling bike, designed for spin workouts. It features a frictionless, manual magnetic resistance and silent belt drive, and superior micro-adjustability for the seat and handlebars. It’s definitely a bike made for intense cardio workouts, stamina and strength development, interval training and of course, weight loss.
The bike also includes a fitness meter, which is Bluetooth enabled; despite this, it is still a few $100s cheaper than other bikes of this caliber, which don’t include any fitness meter whatsoever. Thus, this Fitness Reality cycle trainer offers quite an exceptional price/value ratio.