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|1 year limited
If you’re looking for an affordable, yet well-constructed recumbent bike, the ProGear 555LXT is definitely one to have a look at. It’s an exercise bike with a manual magnetic tension system, in the same price category as the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4601 and Exerpeutic 900XL. When it comes to specs though, this exercise bike does offer a different type of console and 14 levels of resistance rather than just 8. However, it’s not equipped with pulse sensors. Thus, if you really need to track your pulse, you’ll have to use your own device.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 49L x 22W x 43H inches (125L x 56W x 109H cm)
- Assembled weight: 60 lbs (27.2 kg)
- Weight capacity: 250 lbs (113.3 kg)
- Seat: Adjustable
- Pedals: With straps
- Resistance: Magnetic, 14 levels
- Performance monitor: Time, distance, speed, calories, RPM, odometer, goal functions
- Amenities: Tablet holder, bottle holder
- Warranty: 1 year limited
The ProGear 555LXT recumbent bike features a one-piece steel frame, durable enough to support users up to 250 lbs (113.3 kg). The frame and seat are actually very sturdy, and would support users even heavier than the specified 250 lbs weight capacity. However, the seat locking system may not hold too well if the user exceeds this weight limit.
As opposed to other recumbent bikes, this particular model is not extremely large. It’s actually 11″ shorter in length than the IRONMAN H-Class 410, having an assembled footprint of 49″L x 22″W (125 x 56 cm). This being said, this particular recumbent bike model may be an excellent choice over other models, in case storage space is an issue.
Speaking of storage possibilities, the frame does not have a folding design. However, it’s not extremely heavy, featuring an assembled weight of approx. 60 lbs (27.2 kg). Its front base stabilizer also integrates transport wheels, thus if you need to relocate the bike after your workout, its transport is quite easy. By leaning it forward on its transport wheels, you will be handling less than 1/2 of the bike’s total assembled weight.
Both bike’s bases feature rotating plastic caps on their ends, which serve as stabilizers. Thus, it’s not necessary to place this exercise bike on a mat.
As we’ve mentioned above, the bike’s frame is steel-made, but nonetheless, some of the parts such as the protective shrouds of the bike’s drive mechanism, are made of heavy-duty PVC material. All steel parts in the frame are powder coated with corrosion resistant paint. The only available color (at least for now) is silver.
Last but not least, the frame features a step-thru design, making it easier for persons with disabilities to sit and use the bike.
Seat and handlebars
Since it’s an inexpensive recumbent exercise bike, its seat is not extremely sophisticated. It does have 2″ (5 cm) of cushioning on both the seat part and the backrest though, offering excellent comfort and lumbar support. The whole seat assembly is adjustable. Its adjustment mechanism allows you to change its position in relation to the pedals. Differently put, the bike can accommodate users between 5′ and 6’3″ (152 – 190 cm). If you’re taller, you can still use the bike, however you may not benefit from a complete leg extension.
The backrest itself does not offer any adjustability, such as for the IRONMAN Triathlon X-Class 410, for example. It attaches to its bar via 4 bolts, and moves backward or forward along with the seat, as you adjust its position.
The handlebars are also attached to the seat, and their angle and position cannot be adjusted. They’re covered by a thin sheet of rubber foam material to provide a more comfortable grip. However, they do not integrate pulse sensors like the handlebars of most recumbent bikes in this category. The console also doesn’t track pulse.
Resistance and drive
The ProGear 555LXT is equipped with a manual magnetic resistance system. In other words, the resistance mechanism involves a small magnetic plate, attached to the frame, close to the bike’s metallic flywheel. A steel wire makes the connection between the magnetic plate and the resistance knob on the console tube. Thus, by turning the knob, the magnetic plate will adjust its position in relation to the flywheel, increasing or decreasing drag.
Since the resistance system does not integrate a servo motor, being completely manual, the bike doesn’t need to be connected to a power source. Also, the console is battery powered, and does not control the bike’s resistance in any way.
The bike’s resistance knob features 14 “clicks”, or differently put, 14 resistance settings. The top resistance settings supply quite a bit of tension, offering the possibility to undergo a more intense workout. But as a general idea, since it’s a recumbent bike, it’s made for light to medium intensity cardio workouts.
Evidently, since the resistance is magnetic, the resistance elements do not touch, such as for a bike with a felt-pad brake. Therefore, the wear and tear of the the resistance parts is basically inexistent.
This ProGear exercise bike features a belt drive system, which comes with several advantages. First of all, the bike’s operation is extremely quiet. You can barely hear a soft whirring sound when pedaling. Second of all, the transmission (the belt) doesn’t require any lubrication like a chain would.
The flywheel is perimeter weighted, which means that the pedaling motion is extremely steady, not jerky, even if you use one of the top resistance settings. The flywheel is not too heavy, but does offer a pretty consistent momentum.
The bike permits reverse pedaling, and when pedaling in reverse you will still benefit from the current resistance setting. Also, the console will continue to track distance, speed and all the other workout indicators.
The bike is equipped with a durable, steel crankset. The pedals are nylon-made, featuring adjustable straps.
Fitness computer and amenities
The computer unit supplied with the ProGear 555LXT magnetic recumbent bike features a 3.5″ LCD display, with large digits, easy to read. It tracks speed, time, distance, calories burned, and RPM. It has a SCAN function that enables it to automatically cycle through the values, displaying each one on screen for several seconds. However, you can select any of the values to be displayed on screen at all times. It also has an Odometer function, which displays the total distance traveled up to the present moment. And finally, this fitness computer allows you to setup goals for distance, time and calories, function that actually place it a bit above the basic bike computer unit.
The computer is easy to operate. Has only 3 keys: RESET, MODE and SET. MODE is basically used for navigation, SET for selecting values, and RESET is evidently used for resetting all the values. The console uses 2 AAA type batteries, which are included.
In terms of amenities, the first to mention is the tablet holder integrated in the console. This element is wide enough to support any tablet. Also, the bike features a bottle holder, molded into top part of the drive mechanism enclosure.
Assembly and Maintenance
The drive and resistance mechanisms come ready-assembled and attached to the main chassis of the bike. However, there’s still some assembly required. You will have to attach the base tubes to the main frame, assemble the seat, add the console post, connect the tension wire, and finally add the console and the pedals. Assembly is far from being complicated and shouldn’t take more than 30-40 min. The manual supplied provides step-by-step assembly instructions, and tools for assembly are also included.
When it comes to maintenance, there’s very little required. You basically have to check the bike’s joints periodically, to make sure that the bolts still hold properly in their places, and re-tighten them if it’s necessary.
- Solid frame for a light recumbent bike;
- Adjustable seat position, for users between 5″ – 6’3″ ;
- Padded seat and backrest, providing excellent comfort;
- Quiet magnetic brake system;
- 14 levels of magnetic resistance;
- Pedals with adjustable straps;
- Fitness computer that tracks speed, distance, time, RPM and calories burned;
- SCAN, odometer and goal setting functions;
- Tablet holder included;
- Bottle holder included;
- Easy to assemble and operate;
- Lightweight, easy to handle;
- Little to no maintenance required.
- No pulse sensors – console doesn’t track pulse;
- No front handlebars;
- A tablet placed on the holder will cover the console display, which may be an inconvenience.
The ProGear 555LXT is a recumbent exercise bike with manual magnetic resistance, offering 14 distinctive tension levels. It features a solid frame construction, with a step-thru design, padded seat and backrest for maximum comfort, and a console offering several more features than the most basic fitness meter units. It’s an excellent bike for light to medium cardio workouts, muscle toning, and stamina building. It can also help you lose weight; you can actually burn 4-500 calories per hour on this bike, depending on how fast you pedal and the resistance settings used. And finally, considering that it costs less than $200, it’s pretty safe to say it offers an excellent value for the price.