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LifeSpan R5i Recumbent Bike

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Flywheel
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ResistanceConsole
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LifeSpan R5i

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L:70"
W:27.5"
H:44.5"
400 lbs18 lbsEddy current,
Self-powered,
16 levels
40 programs,
Bluetooth

Although the LifeSpan R5i recumbent bike has been around for a few years, it’s still available. It has the same construction and dimensions as the LifeSpan R3i, but offers several extra programs and Bluetooth connectivity. It also has a self-generating power system so it doesn’t require an external power source. It’s a machine designed for commercial use and offers quite an impressive weight capacity and range of features.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 70L x 27.5W x 44.5H inches (178L x 70W x 113H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 146 lbs (66.2 kg)
  • Flywheel weight: 18 lbs (8.1 kg)
  • Supported weight: 400 lbs (181.4 kg)
  • Seat: Adjustable
  • Backrest: Adjustable
  • Pedals: With adjustable straps
  • Resistance: Self-powered, eddy current, 16 levels
  • Console: 34 programs, Bluetooth
  • Amenities: 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 R5i recumbent exercise bike features a heavy-duty steel frame with the exception of the seat sliding rail which is aluminum-made. It combines cylindrical, ovalized, and rectangular tubes in its construction for improved sturdiness and aesthetics. All the steel tubes are coated with a corrosion-resistant paint finish. The color used is black, this being the only color available for this exercise bike.

The R5i is quite a bit larger than other recumbent exercise bikes. With all the parts assembled, it is 70″ (178 cm) long, and 27.5″ (70 cm) wide. Plus, it is recommended to leave at least 24″ (61 cm) all around it for ease of access.

The bike is also fairly heavy. It weighs approx. 146 lbs (66.2 kg), so the transport of the boxed unit may require two persons. However, once it is completely assembled, it can easily be relocated by only one person; its front base integrates transport wheels. Also, the rear base is equipped with large, adjustable stabilizers.

It’s important to mention that the LifeSpan R5i recumbent bike has a step-through design. This can be quite a plus for users with certain disabilities as it provides much easier entry and exit possibilities.

Seat and handlebars

The seat of the LifeSpan R5i recumbent bike is designed for superior comfort. To begin with, its saddle is a bit larger than for other bikes. It is approx. 18″ (46 cm) wide and 11″ (28 cm) long. It integrates a thick layer of padding and its surface is contoured to provide a better positioning for the user.

The backrest features a vented structure. It’s made of durable, yet flexible polypropylene material on a steel frame. It also has a reclining feature; it has a small hydraulic cylinder with a lever at the rear which allows its angle adjustment. Many other recumbent bikes don’t have this feature, so it’s quite a plus.

The whole seat assembly is adjustable as well. It is attached to a heavy-duty aluminum bar rated for a weight capacity of 400 lbs (181 kg). This sliding rail provides a fairly long adjustment span for the seat. This being said, the bike can accommodate users up to 6’5″ (196 cm). Also, the seat adjustment system uses a lever. This means you can easily adjust its position while you are seated, without the need to stand up.

One last aspect about the seat regards its armrests. These are situated at a similar height to an office chair, designed to provide a comfortable placement for your forearms. They also integrate pulse sensors.

The bike is also equipped with a multi-grip handlebar, covered by a layer of rubber-foam material for a superior grip. The handlebar does not integrate any sensor and is non-adjustable. However, the front mast of the bike is curved towards the user so the handlebar is in reach.

Resistance and drive

The LifeSpan R5i recumbent exercise bike is equipped with a self-powered eddy current resistance system. This means you don’t have to connect it to a power source as all the necessary power required by the console and by the internal brake is produced as you pedal. It also means that the resistance is automatic. In other words, it can automatically adjust the resistance and its console has multiple workout programs.

The bike’s resistance system consists of an internal generator, a servo motor, and a magnetic brake system. As we’ve mentioned above, the generator creates all the necessary power as you pedal. The motor controls the brake and changes the magnets’ pull when you make resistance adjustments from the console, or when the program in use automatically changes the resistance.

The R5i recumbent bike offers 16 levels of resistance. The first few levels deliver a light pedaling difficulty which makes them great for recovery training and muscle toning. Conversely, the top resistance settings a considerably higher, simulating a hill climb. The console makes available controls for gradual resistance adjustment and quick resistance adjustment for levels 4, 8, 12, and 16.

The bike is equipped with an 18 lbs (8.1 kg) flywheel. Although it’s not as heavy as the flywheel of the average spin bike, it still has a perimeter-weighted structure for extra inertia. The bike uses a poly-v belt for its drivetrain, not a chain. This type of drive comes with several advantages. For example, the belt doesn’t require lubrication. It also contributes to the smoothness of the ride as it generates less vibration than a chain.

Last but not least, the bike’s pedals are weighted, so they always turn face-up when you remove your feet from them. They have a non-slip surface and they’re equipped with adjustable straps.

Console

The bike’s console is quite similar to the unit of the R3i model, but with several extra features. To begin with. it has a multi-color LCD display with LED backlight and large digits for superior readability. The display is divided into several sub-sections to show as many workout metrics as possible at once. Its side and bottom sections indicate speed, calories, RPM, heart rate, distance, watts, and time. The top section shows the name of the program in use, the selected user profile, and other data. The center display shows the profiles of the program in use.

The speed and distance values can be set either to imperial (MPH, miles) or metric (kmh, kilometers) at the beginning of the workout. Also, the console is telemetric. This means it can track your pulse from a wireless HR chest strap. This accessory is not included, but the seat’s armrests integrate pulse sensors.

The console makes available 40 workout programs. The list includes 4 heart rate programs, 2 custom user programs, and 34 preset programs. The HRC and custom programs share the same quick access button on the console. The preset workout programs are divided into three categories. These are Weight Management (10 programs), Healthy Living (10 programs), Sports Training (14 programs).

The console also has Bluetooth connectivity. Therefore, you can sync it with your smartphone via the LifeSpan app in order to transfer and track your workout data online. The Bluetooth function has its own quick access key on the dashboard.

As opposed to the console of the R3i model, the R5i console does not have a sound system, nor it has the USB port function. However, it does have a tablet holder.

Assembly and Maintenance

Although the base frame with the drive and resistance elements comes pre-assembled, the rest of the bike’s parts do require user assembly. Differently put, you will have to attach the two base bars, the seat rail, the seat pad, the backrest with its adjustment cylinder, the front mast, the console the handlebars, and the pedals. This may take up to two hours of your time. However, the task isn’t too complicated; the manual provides very clear step-by-step assembly instructions 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 can support users up to 400 lbs capacity;
  • Transport wheels on the front base;
  • Adjustable stabilizers on the rear base;
  • Step-through frame design for easy access to the seat;
  • Seat armrests with pulse sensors;
  • Cushioned and contoured seat;
  • Flexible and vented backrest;
  • Reclining function for the backrest;
  • Lever-based rail adjustment system for the seat;
  • Weighted pedals with adjustable straps;
  • Self-powered, eddy current resistance system;
  • 16 resistance levels available;
  • Multi-color LCD display console that tracks all the important workout metrics;
  • 40 workout programs;
  • Bluetooth connectivity and compatibility with the LifeSpan app for online progress tracking;
  • Tablet holder included;
  • Bottle holder included;
  • Fairly easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required.

The Cons

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

Summary

The LifeSpan R5i is a commercial-grade recumbent exercise bike. It is equipped with a self-powered eddy current resistance system (16 levels), a high-comfort seat with a reclining backrest, and a console with 40 workout programs. The console also has Bluetooth connectivity and is compatible with the LifeSpan app so you can track your progress online. It’s an excellent trainer for light to medium-intensity workouts, muscle toning, weight loss, interval training, and stamina development.

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