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HCI Fitness Monark 827E Upright Bike

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weight
DriveResistanceConsole
Monark 827E

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L:44"
W:25"
H:51"
550 lbsChainFrictionTime,
Distance,
Speed,
RPM,
Pulse

Although the HCI Fitness Monark 827E has been around for more than 10 years, it is still available at the moment. It’s a trainer between a spin bike and an upright bike offering commercial-grade quality. However, since it’s a rather old model, it does not have online connectivity.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 44L x 25W x 51H inches (112L x 64W x 129H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 104 lbs (47 kg)
  • Flywheel weight: 44 lbs (20 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 550 lbs (250 kg)
  • Seat: 2-way Adjustable
  • Drive system: Chain
  • Resistance: Friction
  • Fitness monitor: Time, speed, distance, RPM, pulse
  • Warranty: 1-year commercial warranty

Frame construction

The HCI Fitness Monark 827E upright exercise bike features a frame made of steel tubing. It combines oval and rectangular tubes in its construction which are double-coated with a corrosion-resistant, white paint finish. The only exceptions are the seat post and the handlebar post which are chrome-plated. Also, most of the bike’s body is protected by a set of large covers made of durable thermoplastic material.

The bike is pretty heavy. Its net weight is 104 lbs (47 kg). Thus, the transport of the packaged unit may require two people. However, once the bike is fully assembled, it can easily be moved by only one person. That’s because its front stabilizer is equipped with a set of large silicone wheels, similar to the ones on rollerblades. Also, both base stabilizers integrate adjustable levelers.

The Monark 827E is not a very large fitness machine. With all the parts assembled, it is approx. 44″ (112 cm) long, and 25″ (64 cm) wide. Some clearance (at least two feet) should also be allowed all around the bike for ease of access and safe usage.

Seat and handlebars

The HCI Fitness Monark 827E exercise bike is equipped with a pretty standard saddle featuring an internal shell made of nylon material and a gel top cover. It’s not a super comfortable seat but does offer optimal comfort.

Although it’s a pretty expensive bike, the seat only offers two-way adjustability (up, down) it does not have a horizontal slider for front-to-back adjustment. Its upright post features 18 adjustment positions, so the bike can accommodate users between 5’0″ and 6’4″ (153 – 193 cm). It is also rated for a maximum user weight limit of 550 lbs (250 kg) which is quite impressive even for a spin bike.

The bike’s handlebar features a multi-grip design. It offers the possibility to adopt a close grip, a standard grip, and a climbing grip. It features gel sleeves for an improved grip and superior comfort. It does not integrate pulse sensors or other controls; however, the included fitness monitor does have a pulse reading function.

The bike’s handlebar is adjustable. It attaches to its post with a knob. Therefore, you can untighten it, adjust its angle to the desired position, and re-tighten it back. Its post is quite short, though, so it does not offer vertical adjustment.

Drive system

As we’ve mentioned above, the Monark 827E is an exercise bike between a spin bike and an upright bike. Its design reminds of an upright bike, but the bike integrates an extra-heavy, 44 lbs (20 kg) flywheel, similar to the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1735. Many spin bikes actually have lighter flywheels than this particular bike. The weight of the flywheel is important for motion stability and consistent momentum. Plus, the flywheel is perimeter-weighted which enhances inertia.

The bike is equipped with a chain drive system. It basically uses a standard bike chain that can last a lifetime with proper care. The chain is totally concealed by the large plastic guards of the bike for maximum safety. Therefore, it shouldn’t need cleaning or lubrication for a long period of time. However, chain lubrication is a bit of a hassle, as you will have to remove the crank and side panel of the bike.

The Monark 827E bike is equipped with a heavy-duty crankset featuring solid steel, flattened arms. However, the pedals are similar to the ones in most upright bikes. They’re not metallic; they’re made from a pretty durable thermoplastic material but they may not withstand pedaling while standing up too well, like the pedals of a spin bike. So, pedaling while standing up and spin workouts are not recommended.

On the other hand, the pedals have standard 9/16 threads so you can always replace them with other models; compatible options should be widely available. Also, they have adjustable straps and weight elements so they always turn face-up when you remove your feet from them.

Resistance system

The HCI Fitness Monark 827E upright exercise bike is equipped with a friction resistance system with manual adjustment. This means that you don’t need to connect it to a power source, and won’t need a power adapter for it. But on the other hand, the bike cannot adjust the resistance automatically and there are no pre-set workout programs.

The bike’s resistance system uses a heavy-duty band, highly resistant to abrasion, that is wrapped around the flywheel and connected to the tension knob on top of the main oblique tube. When you turn the knob clockwise, the belt tightens around the flywheel which increases the pedaling difficulty.

The resistance system also has a dial that shows the current workout load. As a general idea, when the knob is tightened to maximum, the resistance belt provides quite a high pedaling difficulty. This being said, it’s a great bike for users of all levels.

One last important aspect to mention here regards the smoothness of the ride. Since the bike features a friction resistance system, the pedaling motion is not as smooth as for an exercise bike with magnetic resistance. That’s because the resistance belt actually comes in contact with the flywheel and creates drag. But on the other hand, the belt applies the resistance on a larger part of the flywheel than the standard brake pads found in most spin bikes. So, the resistance generated is somewhat smoother than for bikes that have a felt or leather friction pad.

Fitness monitor

The Monark 827E upright bike is equipped with a rather basic fitness monitor. As we’ve mentioned above, it does not have pre-set workout programs or Bluetooth connectivity. It features an LCD display divided into 5 sub-sections that tracks time, speed, distance, RPM, and heart rate. It does not show calories burned. Speed and distance are shown in MPH and miles, but the unit also has a switch on the back for displaying km/h and kilometers.

As we’ve mentioned above, the bike’s handlebar does not have pulse sensors. However, the fitness monitor is telemetric. Therefore, you can wear a Polar 5 kHz heart rate chest strap transmitter and the monitor unit should be able to read your pulse from it. The HR chest strap accessory is not included.

The monitor unit is easy to use. Apart from the km/h and km switch on the back, it only has one (Reset) button. As suggested, this button allows you to clear all the values on the display to zero.

The monitor unit is battery-powered. It requires two AA batteries which are included. It begins monitoring your workout metrics when you start pedaling or when you press the button. It also turns off automatically if it does not detect any activity on the bike for more than 30 seconds.

Assembly and Maintenance

The main body of the bike comes pre-assembled. You only need to attach the two base stabilizers, the pedals, the saddle, the fitness monitor, and the handlebar. This shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes of your time. All the necessary tools are included, and the manual provides clear assembly instructions.

For maintenance, you only have to keep the bike clean and periodically check for loose bolts and parts. The chain may also need periodic lubrication, but since it’s completely sealed by the side panels, it shouldn’t need to be lubricated as often as the chain of a road bike.

The Pros

  • Heavy-duty commercial-grade construction;
  • Can support users up to 550 lbs (250 kg);
  • Compact design;
  • Adjustable levelers on both base bars;
  • Transport wheels on the front base bar;
  • Standard gel saddle for optimal comfort;
  • 18 vertical adjustment positions for the seat;
  • Multi-grip and angle-adjustable handlebar;
  • Friction band resistance with a wide adjustability range;
  • Chain drive system designed to last a lifetime;
  • Extra-heavy, perimeter-weighted flywheel (44 lbs);
  • Large pedals with weight elements and straps;
  • Fitness monitor included – it tracks time, distance, speed, RPM, and pulse;
  • Metric / Imperial units switch on the back of the monitor;
  • Batteries for the monitor are included;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required.

The Cons

  • No online connectivity;
  • No pre-set programs;
  • The seat doesn’t have a horizontal slider for front to back adjustment;
  • No bottle holder or tablet holder.

Summary

The HCI Fitness Monark 827E is a heavy-duty commercial-grade upright bike. It is equipped with a friction band resistance system, a 44 lbs flywheel, a durable 3-piece crank, and a fitness monitor that tracks time, speed, RPM, distance, and pulse. It offers 18 levels of adjustment for the seat and a maximum user weight limit of 550 lbs (250 kg). It’s a bike for users of all levels, for high-intensity cardio training, muscle toning, and weight loss. Although it’s not exactly an affordable bike, it definitely offers excellent value for the price.

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