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|Included||Frame: 5 years
Mechanical: 3 years
Seat & pedals: 1 year
Labor: 1 year
The LifeCycle GX from Life Fitness is a commercial grade indoor cycling bike, featuring an eddy current resistance system similar to the Keiser M3 Plus. However, it has a different frame construction than the Keiser model, being heavier and more compact. It’s definitely an exercise bike designed for spinning, being able to support all the existent spin workouts.
There are several versions of the LifeCycle GX. The one that we are going to present here is the GEC-ALLXX-01C, the model that includes the exercise meter.
Key Features and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 54.6L x 23W x 39.5H inches (139L x 58W x 100H cm)
- Assembled weight: 111 lbs (50.3 kg)
- Flywheel weight: 45 lbs (20.4 kg)
- Supported weight: 350 lbs (158.7 kg)
- Handlebars: 4-way adjustable
- Seat: 4-way adjustable
- Pedals: Dual-sided, SPD and toe straps
- Drive mechanism: Belt
- Resistance: Eddy current, manual, 20 levels
- Bottle holder: Included
- Fitness meter: Included
- Warranty: Frame 5 years / Mechanical 3 years / Seat and pedals 1 year / Labor 1 year
Frame and parts
The LifeCycle GX Group Exercise Bike features quite a different frame construction than other indoor cycling trainers, such as the L NOW LD-577 or the ASUNA 5150. Its flywheel is situated at the rear, while the main sustaining tubes are in the middle of the frame, rather than at the front and rear. Therefore, most of the frame weight is located in its lower middle area.
Evidently, since it is a cycle trainer designed to support spin workouts, its frame is made of thick, heavy steel tubing. When fully assembled, the bike weighs 111 lbs (50.3 kg), which is almost three times more than the weight of an average mountain bike. This means the bike offers superior stability, even for the most demanding workouts. On top of that, both of its base tubes are equipped with adjustable, rubberized levelers, so that you can perfectly stabilize it even without a rubber mat.
The bike’s front base also integrates a pair of transport wheels. Therefore, relocating or handling the assembled bike isn’t too difficult.
All the steel tubes in the frame construction feature a rust and scratch resistant e-coating, silver in color. The only plastic parts are the side covers of the drive mechanism, the heat injected caps of the base tubes and the bottle holder. These, however, don’t play any role in the bike’s frame sturdiness.
Seat and handlebars
Most spin bikes feature a slim seat, which typically doesn’t offer too much comfort. However, the LifeCycle GX is equipped with a slightly thicker and larger seat, featuring a thick layer of padding, a contoured surface and a groove along its midsection and a small hole, designed to improve blood circulation and reduce stress during long workouts. The saddle connection to the adjustment post is a standard type, though, so you can easily find a replacement for it if you want another seat. Also, its comfort can always be increased by a gel cover. But as a general idea, for an indoor cycling bike, this seat delivers optimal comfort.
The seat is 4-way adjustable, up, down, front and back. Both its upright and horizontal adjustment bars feature 19 adjustment positions, approx. 0.4″ (1 cm) apart. In other words, the seat’s horizontal and upright adjustment span is approx. 7.5″ (19 cm).
The bike’s handlebar is also 4-way adjustable, featuring 19 adjustment positions on its upright bar, and 16 adjustment positions on its horizontal bar, with the same increments as for the seat. These being said, the bike offers an ample adjustment span, being able to accommodate users between 5’0″ and 6’7″ (153 – 201 cm).
The handlebar features a multi-grip design, integrating a unified aerobar. It’s also equipped with two bottle holders.
Both seat and handlebar feature large adjustment knobs, easy to grab, pull and turn; therefore, it takes less than a minute to adjust the bike to your own requirements.
Resistance and drive
As we’ve mentioned above, this exercise bike features a resistance system similar to the Keiser M3 Plus. This resistance system consists of two opposing magnets placed one on each side of the flywheel. But since it’s not an electromagnetic brake system, the resistance of the bike is adjusted manually. The bike also does not require to be connected to a power circuit, such as the Schwinn MY16 130 upright bike, for example. Its resistance is adjusted by moving the small lever on the handlebar post, which changes the position of the magnets in relation to the flywheel, exposing it to a magnetic field of lower or higher intensity.
The bike offers 20 distinctive levels of resistance, from very light, to a level which simulates a steep climb. Differently put, it offers workout difficulties for users of all levels, and for spin workouts of all levels.
The LifeCycle GX is equipped with a multi-ribbed belt drive, which comes with several advantages. First of all, the belt does not require lubrication. And second of all, the pedaling motion generates very little noise, actually being almost silent.
The bike integrates a fairly heavy flywheel (45 lbs), placed at the rear, not at the front, as for most other spin bikes. It generates a consistent momentum and a smooth pedaling motion, as there is no friction between it and the resistance elements.
Since the LifeCycle GX is an exercise bike designed for spinning, its crankset is extremely sturdy, featuring solid steel crank arms, which can support the full weight of the user, in a standing up pedaling routine. The bike is actually rated for a weight capacity of 350 lbs (158 kg), and this is exactly the weight that the crankset can support. The crank arms are equipped with dual-sided pedals, with SPD clips for spin shoes on one side, and toe straps on the other, for extra thrust.
The bike’s Q-Factor is quite narrow compared to other exercise bikes in this category. The spacing between the pedals is only 170mm (6.69″), which means that the foot positioning on the pedals is natural, and the workout won’t put any additional lateral stress on your knees.
Pedaling in reverse is also possible on this exercise bike, but you cannot coast on it, as it doesn’t have a derailleur system like road bikes. When pedaling in reverse, the pedals will retain the same resistance, given by the selected setting. Also, the meter will continue to measure your workout statistics when you pedal in reverse.
The exercise meter supplied with this bike, although it does not have any pre-set programs, it does offer much more than the average basic fitness meter. First of all, it offers the possibility to input user-specific data, such as gender, weight, and age; therefore, the reading of the calories burned is much more accurate than for other similar units. Second of all, it’s equipped with a multi-panel display, and shows several workout stats simultaneously, so you won’t have to use a SCAN function to rotate them. Third of all, the display has a blue LED backlight and large digits, offering excellent readability.
The monitor can track your pedaling speed, max. RPM, average RPM, calories per hour, heart rate, time, distance, and speed. Speed can be calculated in MPH and km/h, while distance can be monitored in miles or kilometers.
The console unit is telemetric; it has a built-in HR receiver and is compatible with most Polar HR chest strap transmitters. However, an HR chest strap accessory is not included with the bike.
The unit requires being connected to the bike’s internal wiring. It can also display the selected resistance level once it’s calibrated (the manual will instruct you how). The language set by default is English, but Spanish, German, Italian, French, Dutch, and Portuguese are also available.
The operation of the meter unit is simple and straightforward. It features 4 buttons: User, Up, Down and Ok/Backlight. Pressing the User button will access the user related functions. The Up/Down arrow keys allow you to change values and navigate through menus, and the Ok button covers the confirmation function for various user data, and also covers the On/Off function for the unit’s backlight.
Since the bike is not motorized and does not require to be connected to a power source, the fitness meter unit is battery powered. It requires 2 D-cell batteries, which should last for approx. 800 hours of use.
Assembly and Maintenance
Most of the bike comes pre-assembled. In other words, the flywheel, the resistance elements, the belt, and crank gear are already attached to the frame. Therefore, the assembly requires you to connect the frame to the base tubes, add the seat post, the saddle, the handlebar, the crank arms with the pedals, and the console. This shouldn’t take more than one hour. The process is straightforward, but the manual also provides pretty clear step-by-step assembly instructions.
Maintenance doesn’t require much. All you have to do is periodically inspect the bike for loose bolts and parts, and re-tighten them if necessary. Also, remove the dust, sweat or water drops from the frame and console.
- Solid frame construction, 350 lbs weight capacity;
- Bases with adjustable, rubberized levelers;
- 4-way adjustable seat;
- 4-way adjustable handlebar, with a multi-grip design;
- Frictionless, wear-free, magnetic resistance with 20 levels, offering a workout range for users of all levels;
- Balanced flywheel for a smooth pedaling motion and solid momentum;
- Heavy-duty crank made for spin workouts;
- Hybrid pedals, with toe cages and SPD clips;
- Narrow Q-Factor, minimizing the lateral stress on the knees;
- Fitness meter included, being able to track speed, time, distance, calories, pulse and RPM;
- Console has LED backlight and large digits, being easy to read;
- Console is telemetric; can read pulse via wireless Polar transmitters;
- Bottle holders included;
- Really easy to assemble;
- Little maintenance required;
- Smooth and quiet operation, great for apartment use;
- Excellent warranty.
- Polar HR chest strap transmitter not included;
- No pre-set programs on the console;
- No online connectivity.
The Life Fitness LifeCycle GX is an indoor cycle trainer designed for spin workouts. It features a commercial grade construction, a mechanical magnetic resistance system with 20 distinctive levels, and a mid-range fitness meter. It’s a bike for light to intense cardio workouts, weight loss, stamina and strength building, and interval training. Finally, it’s a rather expensive exercise bike, but nonetheless, since it’s built for commercial gym usage, the quality of its components definitely match the price.