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LifeSpan Fitness C5i Upright Bike

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UnitDimensionsSupported
weight
Flywheel
weight
ResistanceConsole
programs
LifeSpan C5i

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L:40.5"
W:28"
H:56.5"
400 lbs18 lbsEddy current,
Self-powered,
16 levels
22 programs,
Bluetooth

The LifeSpan C5i is one of the LifeSpan Fitness upright bikes released in 2018. It’s a bike designed for commercial use featuring a heavy-duty construction and an impressive weight capacity of 400 lbs (181 kg). It’s equipped with the same type of console as the LifeSpan R5i that we’ve already reviewed offering multiple workout programs and Bluetooth connectivity.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 40.5L x 28W x 56.5H inches (103L x 71W x 144H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 92.59 lbs (42 kg)
  • Flywheel weight: 18 lbs (8.1 kg)
  • Supported weight: 400 lbs (181.4 kg)
  • Seat: Adjustable
  • Resistance: Self-powered, eddy current, 16 levels
  • Console: 22 programs, Bluetooth
  • Extras: Tablet holder, bottle holder
  • Warranty:
    Residential: Frame lifetime / Parts 5 years / Labor 2 years
    Commercial: Frame 5 years / Parts 2 years / Labor 1 year

Frame construction

The LifeSpan Fitness C5i upright exercise bike features a durable steel frame combining ovalized and cylindrical tubes in its construction. Although it’s a pretty small bike, it weighs over 92 lbs (42 kg) which is more than twice the weight of the average mountain bike. Plus, due to its construction, it has a low center of gravity, so it provides excellent stability.

All the steel parts in the bike’s frame are double-coated with a corrosion-resistant and abrasion-resistant paint finish. The color used is black, this being the only color available for this exercise bike. The only exception is the seat post which is made of stainless steel (or has a chrome finish). Of course, the side covers of the drive and resistance elements are made of durable thermoplastic material. They are also black with a silver panel for the pulley.

The fully assembled bike only takes 40.5″L x 28″W (103 x 71 cm) of floor space. However, it is recommended to allow at least two feet of clearance all around the unit for ease of access. Its highest point is given by the top handlebar grips. These reach approx. 56.5″ (144 cm) above floor level.

The front base stabilizer of the bike is v-shaped and has a pretty wide span compared with other upright bikes. Needless to say, this feature also plays an important role in the bike’s overall stability. Plus, it is equipped with two large adjustable levelers. Conversely, the rear base bar is equipped with a set of small wheels for easy relocation.

Seat and handlebars

The LifeSpan C5i upright bike comes with a large seat, designed for superior comfort. It is approx. 11″ (28 cm) wide so it provides plenty of contact surface. It integrates a thick layer of foam padding while its top is made of durable vinyl material. The saddle is also slightly contoured to provide better breathability.

The bike’s seat is only two way adjustable (up, down). It does not have a horizontal slider for front-to-back adjustment, like the seat of the Sunny Evo-Fit SF-B2969, for example. However, the seat post is oblique, slightly inclined forward, so the higher you set the seat, the greater the distance between it and the handlebar.

The upright post of the seat features 19 adjustment positions with increments of approx. 1 cm (0.39″). The bike is designed to accommodate users with an inseam between 28″ and 37″ (71 – 93.8 cm). In other words, it should fit users between 5’2″ and 6’6″ (157 – 198 cm) comfortably, allowing a complete range of motion. It is also designed to support users up to 400 lbs (181 kg).

The C5i upright exercise bike is equipped with a multi-grip handlebar. It offers the possibility to adopt a parallel grip, a standard grip, and a climbing grip. Its main grips are covered by a layer of high-density foam material for improved comfort. Also, its lower grips integrate metallic pulse sensors, so by holding on to them, the console can track your pulse or run a heart rate based workout program.

The bike’s handlebar is non-adjustable. It connects to the front upright mast of the console via screws so you cannot adjust its angle. Also, unlike the seat post, the front upright bar is not height-adjustable.

Resistance and drive

The LifeSpan Fitness C5i bike features an eddy current automatic resistance system and one of the best parts about it is that it does not require an external power source or a power adapter. The bike incorporates a small power generator and you basically produce enough electricity as you pedal, in order to power-up the console and adjust the resistance.

Apart from the power generator, the bike’s resistance system also integrates a magnetic brake and a servo motor. Therefore, as you adjust the resistance from the console, or as the console changes the resistance automatically, the motor adjusts the magnets’ pull in order to increase or decrease the workout load.

The LifeSpan C5i exercise bike offers 16 resistance levels. The 1-3 levels provide a light pedaling difficulty which makes them great for recovery training and muscle toning. Conversely, the top resistance settings a considerably higher promoting a high-level cardio workout. The console makes available controls for gradual resistance adjustment and quick resistance adjustment for levels 4, 8, 12, and 16.

Like most other magnetic resistance exercise bikes, the C5i uses a belt drive system. It is equipped with a poly-v belt resistant to stretching. Since it’s a belt, not a chain, it does not require lubrication. It also generates less vibration than a chain drive.

The bike is equipped with an 18-lb (8.1 kg) flywheel, which is pretty heavy for an upright bike. It has a balanced structure designed for maximum motion stability. It is also bi-directional. Therefore, you can pedal in reverse if you want to focus different muscle groups. Of course, for reverse pedaling the bike offers the same resistance as for pedaling forward.

Although the bike is not meant for standing up while pedaling or spin workouts, it is equipped with a heavy-duty crankset. It features durable steel crank arms longer than for the average upright bike, similar to road bikes. This being said, the bike promotes an ampler range of motion and a better workout.

The included pedals are self-balancing. They integrate weight elements so they always turn face-up when you remove your feet from them. They have a textured, non-slip surface and adjustable straps.

Console

The LifeSpan Fitness C5i upright exercise bike is equipped with a fairly decent console. Although it does not have a sound system or a cooling fan, it does have Bluetooth connectivity and multiple workout programs to choose from. It features an LCD display with LED backlight divided into multiple sub-sections in order to show as many workout metrics as possible. It tracks time, calories, RPM, speed, distance, pulse, and watts.

For speed and distance, you can select either metric or imperial units. For the pulse reading function, you can either use the sensors integrated into the lower grips of the handlebars, or an optional HR chest strap (not included).

The console offers 22 workout programs, including 1 manual, 17 pre-set, 2 heart rate, and 2 user-defined. Each program category has its own quick selection button on the console. The manual program gives you the possibility to workout freely, adjusting the resistance as you like during your workout. The 17 pre-set programs cover various workouts. Each one of them has two modes (beginner and advanced) that’s why some sources state that the bike has 34 programs (and a total of 40). Each pre-set program has a matrix of 16 rows and 20 columns to which you can make adjustments.

The two heart rate programs are Constant and Interval. For each one of them, you have to set your target heart rate and the console will automatically adjust the resistance depending on your current heart rate, in order to keep you at the selected constant level, or alternating between the selected low and high level. Finally, the two user-defined programs give you the possibility to create your own workout from scratch and save it for re-use.

As we’ve mentioned above, the bike’s console has Bluetooth connectivity. Therefore, you can sync your smartphone or tablet with it via the LifeSpan Fitness app. The app is free, available in the Apple App Store and Google Play. It allows you to track your workout history online and put all your workout data into a comprehensive fitness profile.

The console does not have a USB port to connect your smartphone but does have a tablet holder. This accessory consists of a shelf at the base of the main display which is large enough to accommodate any type of tablet.

Assembly and Maintenance

The bike’s drive and resistance elements come pre-assembled, already guarded by the two plastic covers, and attached to the base frame. The rest of the parts do require user assembly, though. As a general idea, you will have to attach the two base stabilizers, the front mast, the handlebar assembly, the console, the seat post, the saddle, and the pedals. This shouldn’t take more than an hour of your time and it’s a fairly easy task. Plus, the manual provides very clear assembly instructions and diagrams, and all the necessary tools are included.

Once the bike is assembled, you don’t have to worry too much about maintenance. The internal parts don’t require any lubrication. The seat rail may need a bit of lubricant from time to time. Other than this, it is only recommended to check the bike for loose bolts and parts and keep it clean.

The Pros

  • Heavy-duty construction, superior user weight capacity (400 lbs);
  • Adjustable stabilizers on the front base;
  • Transport wheels on the rear base;
  • Multi-grip handlebar;
  • Pulse sensors integrated into the side grips of the handlebar;
  • Large, padded, and contoured seat
  • Weighted pedals with adjustable straps;
  • Eddy current resistance system (16 difficulty levels);
  • Self-generating power system (no adapter required);
  • Telemetric console with an LCD display which can track time, distance, speed, RPM, Watts, calories, and pulse;
  • 22 workout programs (1 manual, 17 pre-set, 2 HRC, 2 user-defined);
  • Each pre-set program has two workout modes (beginner and advanced);
  • Bluetooth connectivity and compatibility with the free LifeSpan Fitness app (for iOS and Android);
  • Tablet holder included
  • Fairly easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • HR chest strap is not included;
  • No sound system;
  • No USB charging port.

Summary

The LifeSpan Fitness C5i is a commercial-grade upright exercise bike. It is equipped with a self-generating eddy current resistance system with 16 difficulty levels. It features a multi-function console with 22 workout programs and Bluetooth online connectivity. It includes a large padded seat with 19 adjustment levels on its post and has an impressive 400 lbs weight capacity. It’s an excellent upright bike made for light to high-intensity cardio workouts, muscle toning, stamina development, and weight loss. Of course, since it’s a commercial bike, it is not exactly one of the most affordable, but definitely offers great value for the price.

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