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|300 lbs||Magnetic||8||Frame: 2 years
Although the Marcy ME 709 has been around for quite several years, up to this date it’s still considered one of the best models (if not the best) among the most affordable recumbent bikes. It’s a simple, yet effective model, with a basic set of features, but nonetheless, it’s an excellent machine for a light cardiovascular training, stamina building and muscle toning.
There’s a lot to be said with regards to this recumbent bike, though. Therefore, in case you’re looking for a low-cost bike but with a decent build, and this Marcy model has come to your attention, the following part of this review should bring forth just about everything that you need to know about it.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 55.5L x 25W x 37.5H inches (141L x 63.5W x 95.25H cm)
- Assembled weight: 64 lbs (29 kg)
- Supported weight: 300 lbs (136 kg)
- Seat: Adjustable
- Pedals: With straps
- Resistance: Magnetic, 8 levels
- Performance monitor: Basic
- Warranty: 2 years limited
The Marcy ME 709 features a steel frame with a simple, walk-through design, powder-coated with anti-corrosive paint. The frame is made of two main pieces which connect in the middle. The rear part features adjustment holes, while the front part has a quick-adjustment knob, which secures the connection between the two parts, at your desired length setting. In other words, the whole rear has fore to aft adjustability, supplying a length-wise modification of the frame. The bike can actually fit users between 5’2″ and 6’6″ (152 – 198 cm) comfortably. Users shorter than 5’2″ may not able to reach the pedals even if the bike’s frame is at minimum length setting. However, this can be fixed by cutting a couple of inches from the rear frame bar, and drilling a few more adjustment holes in it.
Even though this recumbent bike seems rather simply built, the steel tubing that connects to the seat is actually really solid. The bike is listed to support users up to 300 lbs., but many heavier users (up to 350 lbs. or even more) have reported that they have been using it without any problem.
The rear part of the frame, along with the main bar feature squared tubing for more durability. However, the console mast and the bases of the frame are made of cylindrical tubing. The bases feature plastic caps on their ends, to supply a better stability for the bike, while the front base incorporates transport wheels. Since overall the bike isn’t that heavy, weighing only 64 lbs (cca 29 kg), it’s easy to be tilted on its front wheels in order to be moved. This being said, moving the bike for storage shouldn’t be a problem even for an elderly user, or someone with a disability.
Last but not least, this Marcy exercise bike model isn’t exactly the biggest recumbent bike out there, however it still does have a rather large footprint. At maximum length setting, it measures 55.5″L x 25″W (141 x 63.5 cm). Therefore, make sure you have the available space for it before purchase.
Seat and comfort
The most important comfort factor in a recumbent exercise bike is the seat. The ME 709 model comes with quite a comfortable seat, featuring cca 2″ foam cushioning, for both the seat and backrest. It doesn’t have a contoured design, but the cushioning does supply the required amount of comfort that you would expect from a recumbent bike seat. The seat has a triangular shape, 16″ (40.6 cm) wide and 10.25″ (26 cm) long, standing at cca 19″ above floor level. The backrest is 11.5″ (29.2 cm) wide at the bottom and cca 9″ (22.8 cm) at the top.
The seat doesn’t have an adjustment rail like other recumbent bikes such as the Reebok 610 or Schwinn 230 models have. However, as we’ve mentioned above, the whole rear-set of the bike is adjustable, with the possibility of moving it closer or farther from the pedals.
The recumbent handlebars of the bike are simple, non-adjustable and padded with rubber foam material for a comfortable grip. The distance between them is 22″ (56 cm), and they stand about 5″ (13 cm) above the seat, if attached to the seat in the position specified by the manual. However, you should be able to attach them upside down if you want, and this way you will obtain a cca 45° tilt for the handgrips.
Resistance and drive systems
This recumbent bike model features a magnetic resistance mechanism. The resistance is manually adjustable, involving a magnetic brake pad connected to a knob, via a solid wire. By turning the knob, the magnetic pad is moved farther or closer in relation the bike’s flywheel, creating more or less resistance. There are actually 8 levels of resistance specified on the knob, and you should be able to find at least a few which feel more suitable for your training. But as a general idea, the maximum level of resistance isn’t extreme. It does provide though, the required amount of tension for a more consistent workout.
The drive system of the bike involves a small, magnetic flywheel, a heavy-duty belt, and a solid pulley, with steel crank arms. The bike’s crank arms ar finished with weighted pedals, featuring straps for securing feet during workouts. The whole drive/brake assembly is shrouded in a case made metallic and plastic material.
Since the bike features magnetic resistance, the elements that generate its resistance, such as the flywheel and the magnetic pad, do not touch, resulting in virtually no wear and tear. On top of that, the bike is really quiet, suitable for apartment buildings.
Since it’s a basic recumbent bike model, the Marcy ME 709 features only a basic performance tracking monitor. This unit can track speed, time, calories, and distance, also having an odometer function. Distance is measured in Miles, while the speed is counted in MPH. It doesn’t have any built-in training programs.
The console is really easy to use. It features only one button, and has a SCAN function which can cycle throughout all the values that it can track. Each value will remain on screen for 4 seconds. However you can also track only one of the values, such as distance, or time if you want. The console will automatically turn on as you pedal, and will also automatically turn off after 8 minutes of inactivity on the bike, in order to save energy.
The console requires 2 AA-type batteries. All the values saved on the console are reset when the batteries are replaced or removed.
Assembly and Maintenance
The ME 709 Marcy exercise bike is easy to assemble. It shouldn’t take more than an hour. There are several steps for the assembly process which require you to connect the two main pieces of the frame together, attach the rear and front base, the seat, backrest and the console mast, the recumbent handlebars, the pedals, and connect the tension wire and the speed sensor to the console. Documentation and tools for assembly are supplied as well.
Since the bike features a magnetic resistance system, maintenance doesn’t require much at all. You basically need to remove the dust and potential dirt with a damp cloth from the frame, and re-tightent the bolts if it’s the case.
There are quite many positive aspects regarding this simple recumbent exercise bike. And even though so far we’ve pretty much spoken about each one of them, here’s a summary that will put the most important ones into view, in a more distinctive manner.
- Sturdy frame, able to support users up to 300 lbs;
- Adjustable frame length;
- Magnetic brake system with basically no wear and tear;
- Cushioned seat and back support, providing excellent comfort;
- Weighted pedals, with straps;
- Console included;
- Easy to operate and transport;
- Extremely quiet;
- Basically maintenance free;
- Great price and quality ratio;
Considering that this bike has a price lower than $150, there’s isn’t much to be said regarding its minuses. The only downside that can be mentioned for this bike is that it cannot accommodate users shorter than 5’2″.
If you’re looking for a really affordable recumbent bike, with a decent construction, the Marcy ME 709 should definitely be one to put on your list. This bike offers the required training setting for a comfortable cycling workout. Even though it’s made for light cardiovascular training, it can also help you regain stamina and some strength, required for a more intense training regimen. Like any other recumbent bike, it’s great for elderly users or user who recover from injuries. And with a controlled diet and a strict workout routine, it can also help you lose weight. All in all, it’s a 5-star bike, with a super quality/price ratio.