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NordicTrack Commercial R 35 Recumbent Bike

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UnitSizeSupported
weight
Flywheel
weight
ResistanceConsole
NordicTrack R 35

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L:68.2"
W:23.7"
H:53.4"
350 lbs25 lbsEddy current,
26 levels
14"
display,
iFIT enabled

The NordicTrack R 35 is one of the recumbent bikes released in 2021. It’s a commercial-grade exercise bike just like the VR21 model, but offers a superior range of features. For example, it includes a smarter console with a larger display, offers a greater user weight limit, and comes with a 30-day free iFIT membership. For reference, this is the NordicTrack part number NTEX14921.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 68.2L x 23.7W x 53.4H inches (173L x 60W x 136H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 191 lbs (86.6 kg)
  • Flywheel weight: 25 lbs (11.3 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 350 lbs (159 kg)
  • Resistance: Eddy current, 26 levels
  • Console: 14″ display, iFit enabled
  • Extras: Bluetooth, workout fan, built-in speakers, bottle holders
  • Warranty: Frame 10 years / Parts 2 years / Labor 1 year

Frame construction

The NordicTrack Commercial R 35 recumbent exercise bike is built on a steel frame made of thick oval steel tubing. All the steel parts are double-coated with a durable paint finish gray in color. The only exception is the seat’s adjustment rail which is made of extruded aluminum. The bike also integrates several plastic parts. The most notable ones are the seat base covers, the drive system covers, and the backrest. These are made from a durable plastic polymer (probably polypropylene).

The bike has a step-through frame design. This can be quite a plus especially for users with certain disabilities. That’s because it improves the access to the seat making entry and exit considerably easier.

The NordicTrack R 35 is pretty large for an exercise bike. With all the parts assembled, it is approx. 68.2″ (173 cm) long, and 23.7″ (60 cm) wide. It is also recommended to allow at least two feet of clearance on each side and at least one foot of clearance at the front and rear, for easy access.

The bike is also pretty heavy. Its net weight is 191 lbs (86.6 kg). Thus, the transport of the packaged unit requires at least two persons. But once the bike is assembled, it can easily be moved by only one person as its front base features two transport wheels.

Seat and handlebars

The NordicTrack R 35 recumbent bike is equipped with a seat designed for superior comfort. Its bottom pad is cushioned and contoured. It is approx. 14″ (35.5 cm) wide, so it provides plenty of contact surface. The backrest is made mostly from thick ABS plastic. It is not padded but does have an ergonomic structure for improved lumbar support. It is pretty similar to the backrest of an office chair.

The bike’s seat is adjustable. It attaches to an aluminum rail and its adjustment system is lever-based. This means that you can change its position while you are seated. The rail offers a fairly long adjustment span, so the bike should be able to accommodate users between 5’2″ and 6’6″ (157 – 198 cm). It is also rated for a maximum user weight limit of 350 lbs (159 kg).

It’s also important to mention here that the bike’s backrest does not adjust independently from the seat. It does not have a reclining function like the seat of the Spirit Fitness XBR55, or a vertical slider.

The bike is equipped with only one set of handlebars that attach to the seat assembly. The front section of the bike does not have handlebars, just the console. The seat handlebars feature thick grips with foam sleeves for improved comfort. They do not have integrated pulse sensors, but do have controls for resistance adjustment and console volume adjustment. The volume adjustment controls are integrated into the left grip, while the resistance controls are integrated into the right grip.

Resistance system

The NordicTrack Commercial R 35 recumbent bike is equipped with an eddy current resistance system. This means that you need an external power source for it and the bike comes with an adapter. It also means that the console can automatically adjust the resistance.

The bike’s resistance system consists of a servo motor and a magnetic brake integrated into the flywheel system. The motor makes the connection between the console (or seat’s resistance controls), and the brake. Thus, when you adjust the resistance, the motor changes the magnets’ pull on the flywheel, which increases or decreases the pedaling difficulty.

Of course, this automatic magnetic resistance system comes with a few advantages. First of all, the magnets do not touch the flywheel and the pedaling motion is very smooth and quiet. Second of all, there is virtually no wear-and-tear for the bike’s brake. And finally, since the resistance is automatic, it can sync with the training videos or the scenic rides on iFIT.

The bike offers 26 levels of resistance. The lowest resistance levels deliver a light response, great for a workout warm-up or recovery training. Conversely, the highest tension levels offer quite a challenge even for the most seasoned cyclists.

Drive system

The NordicTrack exercise bike R 35 is equipped with a 25 lbs (11.3 kg) flywheel, which is pretty heavy for a recumbent bike. Its structure is perimeter-weighted for improved inertia. It delivers a stable and consistent momentum which is doubled by the magnetic resistance.

The flywheel can move in reverse as well. Therefore, you can alternate forward pedaling sessions with reverse pedaling sessions if you want to focus different muscle groups. It is important to mention, though, that coasting is not possible on this bike. The pedals will move for as long as the flywheel is spinning, and if you stop pedaling, the flywheel will stop as well.

The bike features a fairly sturdy crankset. It is equipped with long and flat crank arms similar to road bikes. These are chrome-plated. The pedals have a metallic core and an ABS outer shell. They feature a textured surface, adjustable straps, and weight elements for self-leveling.

Last but not least, the bike is equipped with a belt drive system. This type of drivetrain comes with a few advantages as well. First of all, it does not need periodic lubrication. And second of all, generates slightly less vibration than a chain which contributes to the overall smoothness of the ride.

Console

The NordicTrack R 35 recumbent bike is equipped with a smart, multi-function console. To begin with, it features a 14″ display with touchscreen technology. It has a highly intuitive, easy-to-use interface, and can also be tilted by a few degrees.

The console is iFIT enabled. As you start it up, it will actually prompt your to create an iFIT account or connect to an already existing one. It requires a Wi-Fi connection to sync with your iFIT account. The bike comes with a 30-day free iFIT trial, but once this expires, you will have to pay a monthly fee to continue to use iFIT.

The iFIT base offers a wide array of features. It makes available live and on-demand cycling videos which sync with your bike and automatically make resistance adjustments. It offers the possibility to cycle in a variety of places in the world on virtual trails based on Google Maps. You can also manage your workouts, track your progress online, compete with other users, and even get nutrition, sleep, and overall health advice.

The use of the iFIT feature is not necessary, though. The console has its own base of pre-set programs. However, these come with the standard interface, without any virtual content. They cover various workouts such as intervals, hills, fat burn, etc. Also, the console shows a wide array of workout metrics including time, distance, calories, pulse, etc.

It’s important to mention that the pulse reading function is Bluetooth only. So, in order for the console to track your pulse, you will have to wear a Bluetooth HR chest strap or armband. This accessory is not included. Also, among other notable console features, we can count the two 2″ digitally amplified speakers, and the AutoBreeze workout fan.

Assembly and Maintenance

The bike’s base frame comes pre-assembled. The drive system is already attached to the front section of the frame. You only need to attach the two base stabilizers, the seat, the pedals, and the console. This may take more than an hour but the process is pretty straightforward. The manual provides clear assembly instructions and a basic toolkit is included.

For maintenance, you only have to keep your bike clean and wipe the sweat that may fall onto the frame at the end of the workout. It is also recommended to periodically check for loose parts. The internal mechanism doesn’t require periodic lubrication.

The Pros

  • Heavy-duty construction – can support users up to 350 lbs;
  • Aesthetic design and multiple covers for the frame;
  • Transport wheels on the front base bar;
  • Adjustable levelers;
  • Step-through frame design;
  • High-comfort seat with an ergonomic backrest;
  • Quick and easy lever-based seat adjustment system;
  • Quiet eddy current resistance system with 26 difficulty levels;
  • Weighted pedals with adjustable straps;
  • Multi-function smart console with a 14″ display;
  • The console is iFIT enabled;
  • Multiple on-demand training videos, scenic rides, online progress tracking, and more via iFIT;
  • 30-day free iFIT trial;
  • Multiple onboard programs on the console;
  • Bluetooth pulse reading function;
  • Integrated 2″ speakers;
  • Integrated AutoBreeze workout fan;
  • Bottle holders included;
  • Fairly easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • No handlebars on the front mast;
  • The seat handlebars don’t have pulse sensors;
  • iFIT requires a paid subscription once the free trial expires.

Summary

The NordicTrack R 35 is a commercial-grade recumbent bike. It features a sturdy construction, a 26-level eddy current resistance system, and an ergonomic seat with superior micro-adjustability. It also includes an iFIT enabled smart console with a large 14″ display, integrated speakers, and a workout fan. In all, it’s a bike for users of all levels, for interval cardio training, stamina development, muscle toning, and weight loss.

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