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NordicTrack Commercial VU 29 Upright Bike

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UnitSizeSupported
weight
Flywheel
weight
ResistanceConsole
NordicTrack VU 29

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L:41.49"
W:24.86"
H:55.29"
325 lbs19 lbsEddy current,
24 levels
14"
display,
iFIT enabled

The NordicTrack Commercial VU 29 is one of the exercise bikes released in 2021. It’s basically the upright bike version of the R 35 model. Although it only offers 24 levels of resistance and has a slightly lighter flywheel, the console is pretty much the same. For reference, this is the NordicTrack bike part number NTEX12921.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 41.49L x 24.86W x 55.29H inches (105L x 63W x 140H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 115 lbs (52 kg)
  • Flywheel weight: 19 lbs (8.6 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 325 lbs (147.4 kg)
  • Resistance: Eddy current, 24 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 VU 29 upright bike is constructed on a steel frame. Most of the tubes in its construction are oval for improved sturdiness. They’re all double-coated with a rust-resistant and abrasion-resistant paint finish. The main color used is gray, this being the only color available for this bike, at least for the moment. The only exception is the seat post which is chrome-plated.

Of course, the bike also integrates several plastic parts. The most notable ones are the guards of the drive and resistance elements, the base stabilizers caps, the console casing, and the bottle holder. These are made from a durable thermoplastic polymer.

Similar to other upright bikes, such as the LifeSpan Fitness Cycle Boxer, for example, the VU 29 model has a fairly small footprint. With all the parts assembled, it is approx. 41.49″ (105 cm) long, and 24.8″ (63 cm) wide. Plus, it is recommended to allow at least two feet of clearance all around it for safe usage and easy access.

The bike is pretty heavy and has a low center of gravity which considerably improves its stability. Its net weight is approx. 115 lbs (52 kg), so the transport of the packaged unit may require two people or at least a box trolley. However, once it is assembled, it is easy to move as its front base integrates transport wheels. Also, its rear stabilizer is equipped with adjustable levelers.

Seat and handlebars

The NordicTrack VU 29 exercise bike is equipped with a four-way adjustable seat (up, down, front, back). Its upright post features several adjustment holes while its top slider adds a few inches of horizontal adjustment. This being said, the bike should be able to accommodate users between 5’1″ and 6’5″ (155 – 196 cm). The seat assembly is also pretty sturdy, rated for a maximum user weight limit of 325 lbs (147.4 kg).

The included saddle is considerably larger than the average bike saddle. Its top features a layer of padding for extra comfort. It has a ribbed texture to prevent the user from slipping backward. It also has a large groove at the rear for improved breathability.

The bike’s handlebars have a pretty simple design. The top sections of their grips have thick sleeves made of rubber foam material for improved contact. They do not integrate pulse sensors but the console can read your pulse via Bluetooth and a heart rate chest strap. Also, unlike the seat handlebars of the R 35 bike, these do not have resistance and console volume controls.

The bike’s handlebars are non-adjustable. They attach directly to the front mast of the bike. Their height is approx. 55.2″ (140 cm) for a comfortable upright posture. The console mast is also curved towards the users which considerably improves the overall ergonomics of the bike and provides an optimal visibility angle for the console display.

Resistance system

The NordicTrack Commercial VU 29 upright exercise bike is equipped with a silent magnetic resistance system. It is motorized which means you will have to connect it to a power source. A power adapter with a standard US prong is included with the bike. The connector for it is above the front base stabilizer.

The bike’s resistance system involves a servo motor and a magnetic brake. The motor mediates the connection between the brake and the console. This being said, when you adjust the resistance from the console, or when one of the workouts adjusts the resistance automatically, the motor changes the pull of the magnets on the flywheel which increases or decreases the pedaling difficulty.

This type of resistance comes with a few advantages. First of all, since the magnets do not touch the flywheel, the pedaling motion is very smooth and quiet. Second of all, there is virtually no wear and tear on the brake’s magnets, so you don’t have to worry about replacing brake pads or their lubrication.

The bike makes available 24 levels of resistance. The lowest (1-3) resistance settings deliver a fairly light pedaling difficulty great for a workout warm-up or even for recovery training. Conversely, the top resistance settings simulate a hill climb and provide quite a challenge even for the most seasoned users.

Drive system

The NordicTrack VU 29 bike is equipped with a 19 lbs (8.6 kg) internal flywheel, which is pretty heavy for an upright bike. It has a perimeter-weighted design for improved inertia and consistent momentum.

The flywheel is bi-directional. In other words, you can pedal in reverse on the bike. When pedaling in reverse, the console continues to monitor your workout data. However, coasting is not possible.

The bike is equipped with a heavy-duty crankset. It features two long crank arms with a chrome finish, similar to the ones for road bikes. The pedals have a metallic core and an outer shell made from a durable thermoplastic material. They also have adjustable straps and weight elements for self-leveling. Overall, the whole crankset should be able to support pedaling while standing. However, this is not recommended as it may lead to pedal damage. The VU 29 is not a spin bike and it is meant for seated workouts only.

The bike’s exact Q-Factor (distance between the pedals) is not specified but it is pretty narrow (lower than 200mm). This being said, the positioning of your feet on the pedals is pretty natural. This promotes a comfortable pedaling motion without extra lateral stress on the knees and ankles.

The bike is equipped with a belt drivetrain. It integrates a poly-v belt designed for superior traction. As opposed to a chain drive, you don’t have to worry about its lubrication. It also generates less vibration than a chain so the overall pedaling motion is smoother.

Console

The NordicTrack Commercial VU 29 is equipped with a 14″ display smart console with touchscreen technology. However, it still has quick controls for resistance, sound adjustment, and fan speed adjustment. The fan is placed at its base while its top section integrates a set of two 2″ speakers.

The console is iFIT enabled. This means that it requires an existing iFIT account and a Wi-Fi connection. In case you don’t already have an iFIT account, it will prompt you to make one as you start the console. The bike also comes with a 30-day free iFIT membership, but once this expires, you will have to pay a monthly fee to continue to use the iFIT features.

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.

In case you choose to discontinue your iFIT subscription, the console still has you covered. It has its own built-in program base which cover the standard workouts. It also tracks a wide array of metrics such as distance, speed, calories, pulse, time, and more. As we’ve mentioned above, the pulse reading function requires a Bluetooth heart rate chest strap or armband device which is not included with the bike. Also, the speakers can also function via Bluetooth but the console also has an AUX port so you can connect your phone, tablet or MP3 player to it via cable and play your music through the integrated speakers.

Assembly and Maintenance

The main body of the bike with all the drive and resistance elements comes pre-assembled. You only have to add the two base bars, the front mast with the top frame cover, the console, and the pedals. This shouldn’t take more than 30-40 minutes of your time. The manual provides clear, step-by-step assembly instructions. A set of hex keys are included, but you may also need an adjustable wrench and a Phillips screwdriver.

For maintenance, you only have to keep the bike clean, and periodically check for loose bolts and parts. The internal parts do not require periodic lubrication.

The Pros

  • Heavy-duty construction – can support users up to 325 lbs;
  • Aesthetic design and a small footprint;
  • Transport wheels on the front base bar;
  • Adjustable levelers on the rear base;
  • High-comfort, 4-way adjustable seat;
  • Quiet eddy current resistance system with 24 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 holder included;
  • Fairly easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • The handlebars are non-adjustable;
  • The handlebars do not have pulse sensors;
  • iFIT requires a paid subscription once the free trial expires.

Summary

The NordicTrack VU 29 is a heavy-duty commercial-grade upright bike. It is equipped with a 24-level motorized magnetic resistance, a 19-lb internal flywheel, and a comfortable seat with 4-way adjustability. It also includes a 14″ display smart console which is iFIT enabled, integrates a workout fan and 2-inch speakers. In all, it’s an exercise bike for users of all levels, for light to high-intensity cardio training, interval training, stamina development, and weight loss.

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