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Merax 1020 Recumbent Bike 2020 Model

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Merax 1020

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L:48"
W:20"
H:39.7"
380 lbsMagnetic,
8 levels
Time,
Speed,
Distance,
Odometer,
Calories,
Pulse,
Scan,
Goals,
Bluetooth
Frame: 3 years
Parts: 90 days

We’ve already reviewed the older version of the Merax 1020 recumbent bike which although was released in 2017, might still be available today. However, in 2020 Merax has released a new version. This particular exercise bike basically has the same frame construction but includes a superior exercise meter with Bluetooth connectivity and has a greater weight capacity.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 48L x 20W x 39.4H inches (122L x 51W x 100H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 52 lbs (23.5 kg)
  • Max. user weight: 380 lbs (172 kg)
  • Seat: Adjustable
  • Drive: Belt
  • Resistance: Magnetic, 8 levels
  • Console: Time, distance, speed, calories, odometer, scan, goals, Bluetooth
  • Warranty: Frame 3 years / Parts 90 days

Frame construction

The Merax 1020 features a one-piece steel frame combining rectangular and cylindrical tubes in its construction. It is fully coated with a corrosion-resistant paint finish. The color used is black, similar to the 2017 model. The covers of the drive and resistance elements are also black to match the rest of the bike, with the “Merax” logo in yellow. These are the only colors available for this Merax exercise bike.

Compared to other recumbent bikes, the Merax 1020 is not an extremely large one. However, it still is 48″ (122 cm) long, and 20″ (51 cm) wide, plus, it is recommended to allow at least two feet of clearance all around it for ease of access. Therefore, it may not fit too well into a small room.

The bike is not too heavy. Its net weight is only 52 lbs (23.5 kg). Thus, it can easily be carried and assembled by only one person. Also, its front base integrates transport wheels for easy relocation, while its rear base features rotating polygonal levelers.

It’s important to mention that bike has a step-through design. This can be quite a plus for users with certain disabilities as it allows an easy entry and exit.

Seat and handlebars

The Merax 1020 recumbent bike is equipped with a fairly large seat designed for optimal comfort. To begin with, both its cushions integrate a 2″ (5 cm) thick layer of foam. Also, their top covers are made of durable vinyl material which is also sweatproof.

Although the seat base only features one support bar, it is rated for a maximum user weight limit of 380 lbs (172 kg). This may be a bit over the top. However, users up to 350 lbs (158 kg) have reported that the bike holds pretty well even up to that weight.

The seat is adjustable. It can slide forward and backward on its support bar. Thus, the bike can accommodate users between 5’2″ and 6’5″ (157 – 196 cm) allowing a complete leg extension. Its adjustment system involves a lever so you can adjust its position while seated. It’s important to mention, though, that the backrest does not have a reclining function, nor it can be adjusted in any way independently from the rest of the seat.

The bike is equipped with two sets of handlebars. One attaches to the seat assembly, the other to the front mast of the bike. The seat handlebars feature long grips and integrate pulse sensors. They’re fairly wide apart so even a larger user can seat and hold on to them with no problem.

The front handlebars feature short, straight grips. They don’t have pulse sensors but they do have rubberized grips for extra comfort. None of the handlebars are adjustable.

Resistance and drive

The Merax 1020 recumbent exercise bike is equipped with a manual magnetic resistance system. This being said, it does not require an external power source for resistance adjustment and you don’t need a power adapter for it. But on the other hand, its performance monitor cannot adjust the resistance automatically.

The bike’s resistance system consists of a magnetic brake connected to the tension knob on the front upright bar of the bike through a steel cable. When you turn the knob clockwise, the cable pulse the brake close to the flywheel which increases the pedaling resistance. Conversely, if you turn the knob counterclockwise, the cable is loosened, and the brake moves farther from the flywheel which results in less pedaling difficulty.

The bike makes available 8 levels of resistance. The first level is fairly light, great for recovery training, or muscle toning. The 8th level does not provide a super difficult pedal tension, but definitely offers more resistance than the first level, simulating a hill climb.

This Merax exercise bike is equipped with a 22 lbs (10 kg) flywheel. The flywheel has a balanced structure in order to provide a smooth pedaling motion. It is also bi-directional, so you can pedal in reverse if you want to put some diversity into your workouts.

The Merax 1020 recumbent bike features a fairly sturdy 3-piece crankset. However, since it’s not a spin bike, it’s not meant for pedaling while standing up. The included pedals have a non-slip surface and adjustable straps. They’re also weighted, in order to always turn face-up when you remove your feet from them.

Like most other magnetic recumbent bikes, the Merax 1020 features a belt drive system. This type of drivetrain comes with a few advantages. First of all, you don’t have to go through the hassle of lubricating it every few months. Second of all, the pedaling motion is very smooth. And third of all, the bike generates almost no noise when in use.

Performance monitor

As we’ve mentioned above, the 2020 version of the Merax 1020 bike includes a better performance monitor than the older version. To begin with, it has an LCD display that tracks time, distance, speed, calories, and pulse. It’s not telemetric, though, so it can’t read your pulse from a chest strap transmitter. So, in order to have your pulse read, you have to hold on to the sensors integrated into the seat handgrips.

The monitor unit offers several functions. For example, the Set button allows you to set up workout targets (or goals) for time, distance, and calories burned. When a goal is selected, the display will show the remaining value for that particular workout metrics until you reach your set goal. The Mode button gives you the possibility to select the workout metric that you want to view on the display, or select the scan mode which rotates them all, showing each one for a few seconds. And finally, the Reset button clears all the values to zero.

One of the important functions included with the new workout monitor is the Bluetooth connectivity. This gives you the possibility to sync your smartphone with the monitor via the free app, in order to monitor your workout progress online, see your workout history, and more.

The monitor unit is battery powered. It starts up when you press one of the buttons or when you begin pedaling. It also automatically turns off after a few minutes of inactivity on the bike.

Finally, the performance monitor integrates a device holder. Its top section can be used as a support for your tablet or smartphone. However, it’s important to mention that other than the Bluetooth connectivity, the monitor does not have other ports (no USB, no AUX) to connect your phone.

Assembly and Maintenance

The base frame of the bike comes pre-assembled. You only have to attach the base bars, the seat, the handlebars, the front mast, the performance monitor, and the pedals. This shouldn’t take more than one hour of your time. The included manual provides clear assembly instructions and all the necessary tools are provided as well.

Maintenance doesn’t require much. All you have to do is keep the bike clean and periodically check for loose parts. The internal parts shouldn’t need any maintenance for a long period of time.

The Pros

  • Sturdy construction – can support users up to 380 lbs;
  • Adjustable stabilizers on the rear base;
  • Transport wheels on the front base;
  • Cushioned seat with a large and firm backrest;
  • Adjustable seat – can accommodate users up to 6’5″;
  • Quiet magnetic resistance system;
  • Adjustable resistance offering distinct 8 levels;
  • Self-leveling pedals with straps;
  • Exercise meter that can track time, distance, speed, pulse, and calories burned;
  • Goal settings for time, distance, and calories;
  • Bluetooth function for online workout data tracking and backup;
  • Device holder included;
  • Fairly easy to assemble;
  • Little to no maintenance required.

The Cons

  • No backlight on the LCD display of the performance monitor;
  • No bottle holder.

Summary

The Merax 1020 is a recumbent exercise bike made for home use. It offers 8 levels of manual magnetic resistance, a large adjustable seat, and a performance monitor with Bluetooth connectivity. It also has a great weight limit of 380 lbs. It’s an excellent exercise bike for light to medium-intensity cardio workouts, stamina development, muscle toning, recovery training, and weight loss.

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