Life Fitness C1 Life Cycle Upright Bike

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Life Fitness C1

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300 lbsMotorized
20 levels
16 preset,
12 custom,
4 user
Frame: Lifetime
Parts: 3 years
Labor: 1 year

If you’re looking for a gym-grade upright exercise bike, the Life Fitness C1 is definitely one that meets this standard. Not only that it features a very sturdy construction, it also comes with a versatile console with a wide array of programs and online connectivity to keep you challenged.

Before proceeding with the full presentation of this exercise bike, though, there’s an important aspect to mention. Life Fitness offers several upright bike models, so in order to be clear with regards to the identity of this bike, we’re going to specify here that it is the Life Fitness C1TC-XX00-0105 upright bike, the one that comes with the Track Connect console.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 45L x 27W x 56H inches (115L x 69W x 143H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 105 lbs (48 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Seat: 2-way adjustable
  • Resistance: Eddy current, 20 levels
  • Console: Track Connect, 16 workouts, 12 custom workouts, 4 user profiles, Bluetooth, USB port
  • Amenities: Tablet holder, bottle holder
  • Warranty: Frame lifetime / Parts 3 years / Labor 1 year

Frame construction

The Life Fitness C1 upright bike features a very sturdy construction, in order to meet any commercial club standards. Its frame is made of heavy-duty steel tubing, the only PVC parts in its construction being only the side guards of its internal mechanism, and the covers of the bases. All the steel bars within the frame construction are double coated with a corrosion and scratch resistant paint, gray in color. However, even though the bike’s paint finish is corrosion-resistant, the bike is made for indoor use only. By storing and using it outside, moisture may eventually damage the internal components.

This Life Fitness exercise bike is fairly heavy for an upright bike. It weighs 105 lbs (48 kg), and due to this fact, its transport (while it is still boxed) may require two people. However, once it’s assembled, its relocation can easily be done as the front base caps rotate, fulfilling the role of transport wheels.

On the other hand, the bike’s weight plays quite an important role in its overall stability. It’s actually approx. three times heavier than most road bikes, so even if you engage in the most demanding exercising routines, it won’t wobble or rock. Plus, its rear base has a curved shape and is equipped with adjustable levelers which considerably enhance its stability.

This upright exercise bike isn’t extremely large compared with other cardio training machines. Its footprint is only 45″L x 27″W (115 x 69 cm), while a treadmill, such as the AFG 5.3AT for example, has footprint of 77″L x 35″W (196 x 90 cm). This being said, the bike can fit well even in a smaller room. But nonetheless, it is recommended to assign a workout area for it of at least 60″ x 50″ (152 x 127 cm).

Handlebars and seat

The Life Fitness C1 exercise bike is equipped with a non-adjustable handlebar. However, it has a multi-grip design, allowing you to adopt several exercising postures. Its transversal section integrates two stainless steel grip pulse sensors and by holding on to them, the console can track your pulse. It’s also fully covered by a layer of high-density foam, which not only that improves your grip, it also maximizes comfort.

The bike’s seat is only 2-way adjustable (up, down) which can be seen as a minus for a commercial grade bike. Other, less expensive models, such as the Nautilus U618, do offer a horizontal slider for the seat. But nonetheless, the bike’s upright post is slightly oblique, which means that the higher you set up the seat, the longer the distance between it and the handlebars will be. The seat’s upright post offers multiple adjustment positions; thus, the bike can accommodate users between 5’0″ and 6’5″ (153 – 196 cm) with no problem, promoting a healthy posture and a complete leg extension.

The saddle itself isn’t extremely large, such as for the Exerpeutic GOLD 500 XLS, for example. However, it does integrate a thick layer of padding, delivering optimal comfort. Its upholstery is made of highly durable vinyl and with proper care, it can last a lifetime.

Resistance and drive

The Life Fitness C1TC-XX00-0105 C1 upright bike features an eddy current resistance system. This means it requires to be connected to a power circuit in order for its console to become operational. Its resistance can only be adjusted from the console, so, without connecting it to a power outlet, you can only get the level 1 of resistance. Also, since the resistance is motorized, depending on the console program that you use, the bike will adjust its resistance automatically, depending on the segment of the program.

This Life Fitness exercise bike offers 20 levels of resistance, similar to the Star Trac E-UB model. The first several levels provide a very light workout, great for users who require rehab training. Conversely, the last five levels of resistance offer the possibility to undertake intense workouts, simulating a steep climb. Evidently, you can alternate intensity levels to put a lot of diversity in your workouts, whether you use a custom program or the manual program.

Like most exercise bike with a magnetic resistance system, the Life Fitness C1 LifeCycle upright bike features a belt drive system. It uses a high-grade poly V belt, which delivers a very smooth, almost silent pedaling motion. Also, as opposed to a chain drive, it doesn’t require any lubrication.

The internal flywheel is balanced and perimeter weighted, which adds excellent stability and steadiness to the pedaling motion. It’s not an extremely heavy flywheel, such as for spin bikes like the Spinner S5 or Star Trac ION. Its weight is not specified, but as an estimation, it should be something between 8 and 14 lbs, heavy enough to generate a consistent momentum.

The bike is equipped with a highly durable crankset, with heavy-duty, steel crank arms. Although it may support the entire weight of the user, standing up while pedaling is not recommended, as it may cause damage to the internal parts. After all, this is an upright bike, not a spin bike. The crank arms are equipped with weighted, self-leveling pedals. They have a ribbed surface for extra adherence and adjustable straps for maximum foot stability.

Console unit

As we’ve mentioned above, this Life Fitness LifeCycle exercise bike is equipped with the Track Connect console. This unit features a custom-etched LCD VA Glass display, with soft-touch controls. The display shows most important workout metrics including distance, time, speed, resistance level, calories burned, the profile matrix of the current workout program, and heart rate. Distance can be shown in miles or kilometers, while speed can be calculated in MPH or km/h.

The console unit integrates a wireless heart rate receiver and can read your heart rate via a wireless chest strap, which is included with the machine. However, if you don’t want to use the strap, you can always use the EKG grip sensors within the handlebars for your heart rate readout.

The console unit is Bluetooth enabled. Therefore, you can sync it with your tablet or smartphone in order to directly access your free LFConnect account. LFConnect gives you the possibility to create custom workouts, save them in your workout library and track your progress. It’s also compatible with various other fitness apps, such as Nike+, Garmin, and MyFitnessPal through Wahoo’s RunFit; and to Apple Health, Jawbone and Fitbit. Workout data transfer or software updates can be done via the USB port atop the console as well.

In case you don’t want to use any of the online features of the machine’s console, you’re still covered, though. The unit has several onboard workout programs including Manual, Random, Hill, Fat Burn, Cardio, Heart Rate, Heart Rate Interval, Extreme Heart Rate, Fit Test, Sports Training, EZ Resistance, Goal Workouts and HIIT workouts. It also offers the possibility to create your own user profile, inserting personal data such as age and weight so that the unit will provide a more accurate calorie burning readout. It can actually store 4 distinctive user profiles, a feature great to have if multiple persons use the machine.

In terms of extras, the console only has a tablet holder (or reading rack). This accessory is placed above the unit’s display, so you can view both your current workout readings and the display of the tablet at once. However, the Track Cycle console does not integrate a sound system or a cooling fan, such as the Schwinn MY17 170, for example.

Assembly and Maintenance

The main body of the bike, including the internal parts, motor and resistance system, comes pre-assembled. However, you will still have to add the rear base, the seat post, the seat, the pedals, the console mast, the handlebar and the console. All the necessary assembly instructions are provided in the included manual, so the task shouldn’t take more than an hour. The tools required for the assembly are also included.

This exercise bike doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. Basically, you only have to keep it clean and periodically check for loose bolts and parts. The internal parts are pre-lubricated from the factory and shouldn’t require any further lubrication for a long period of time.

The Pros

  • Commercial grade construction;
  • Elegant design;
  • Weight capacity of 300 lbs (136 kg);
  • Small footprint;
  • Adjustable levelers;
  • Generously padded, ergonomic seat;
  • Automatic resistance system, 20 levels;
  • Silent belt drive;
  • Perimeter-weighted flywheel for a steady pedaling motion;
  • 16 pre-set workout;
  • 12 custom workouts;
  • 4 user profiles;
  • Bluetooth connectivity;
  • Compatible with LFConnect and other online fitness apps such as Nike+, Garmin, and MyFitnessPal through Wahoo’s RunFit; and to Apple Health, Jawbone and Fitbit;
  • EKG pulse sensors in handlebars;
  • Telemetric console;
  • Wireless HR chest strap included;
  • Tablet holder (or reading rack) included;
  • Bottle holder included;
  • Very little maintenance required;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • No sound system;
  • No cooling fan.
  • No horizontal slider for the seat.


The Life Fitness C1 LifeCycle is an upright exercise bike featuring a commercial construction, motorized magnetic resistance and an advanced console with online connectivity. The console is actually compatible with various online apps such as Nike+, Garmin, and MyFitnessPal through Wahoo’s RunFit; and to Apple Health, Jawbone and Fitbit, offering a lot of versatility when it comes to tracking your progress and creating custom workouts. It’s an excellent bike for entry level to advanced workouts, perfect for interval training, HIIT workouts, weight loss, endurance training, or just a consistent daily cardio routine. It’s not a cheap bike but does offer excellent value for the price.

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