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Spirit Fitness XBR55 Recumbent Bike

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UnitSizeSupported
weight
Flywheel
weight
ResistanceConsole
Spirit XBR55

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L:57"
W:30"
H:50"
350 lbs24 lbsEddy
current,
20 levels
10 programs,
Bluetooth,
Spirit FIT app
compatible

The Spirit Fitness XBR55 recumbent bike has a similar construction and design as the Spirit Fitness XBR25 model that we’ve already reviewed. However, it offers several extra features. For example, it has a reclining backrest, more workout programs on the console, and a heavier internal flywheel. It’s an exercise bike made for home use but definitely offers the sturdiness and range of features of at least a light-commercial one.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 57L x 30W x 50H inches (145L x 76W x 127H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 139 lbs (63 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 350 lbs (159 kg)
  • Flywheel weight: 24 lbs (10.8 kg)
  • Seat: Adjustable
  • Backrest: Mesh, reclining
  • Resistance: Eddy current, 20 levels
  • Console: 10 programs, Bluetooth, Spirit Fit App
  • Extras: Bottle holder, device holder, sound system, cooling fan
  • Warranty: Frame lifetime / Brake lifetime / Parts 10 years / Labor 1 year

Frame construction

The Spirit Fitness XBR55 recumbent exercise bike features a heavy-duty steel frame with the exception of the seat adjustment rail which is made of extruded aluminum similar to the rails of certain rowing machines. All the steel parts are double-coated with an abrasion-resistant and corrosion-resistant paint finish, gray in color. However, most of the base frame also has ABS guards for extra protection and improved aesthetics.

The bike has a step-through design. This can be quite a plus for users with certain disabilities as it facilitates entry and exit without having to step over the bike’s drive system.

The fully assembled bike is not extremely large. It is 57″ (145 cm) long, and 30″ (76 cm) wide. However, it is recommended to leave at least two feet of clearance all around it for ease of access and safe usage.

The bike is considerably heavy. It weighs 139 lbs (63 kg) with all the parts assembled. This weight can be considered a plus as well because it delivers excellent stability. You can be sure that it won’t rock even if you engage in a high-intensity workout. Plus, both its base bars are equipped with adjustable stabilizers.

Given its weight, the boxed unit should be carried by two people. However, once it is assembled, it can be relocated by only one person. Its front base features a set of transport wheels which considerably ease its relocation.

Seat and handlebars

The Spirit Fitness XBR55 is equipped with a high-comfort seat. First of all, the seat pad is fairly large (approx. 16″) so it provides plenty of contact surface. It integrates a thick layer of foam cushioning and is slightly contoured for improved comfort. Its top is made of durable vinyl material which is very easy to maintain and also sweatproof.

The backrest has a different design than most other recumbent bikes. To begin with, its frame is metallic, while its cover combines vinyl, synthetic mesh, and adjustable buckle straps. The vinyl sections are meant to improve the positioning of the backrest cover on its frame, the mesh center area gives it a good flex, and the buckle straps on the back improve its structural sturdiness. It’s quite an impressive backrest construction.

As we’ve mentioned above, the backrest of this Spirit Fitness exercise bike has a reclining feature. It has a hydraulic cylinder at the base and a separate lever from the seat adjustment lever, which gives you the possibility to adjust the angle of the backrest. This feature is quite a plus; most exercise bikes made for home use don’t have it.

Needless to say, the whole seat assembly is adjustable. It is attached to an oblique rail system that offers 14 adjustment positions. This being said, the bike can accommodate users between 5’0″ and 6’5″ (153 – 196 cm). The adjustment system uses a lever lock which allows you to change the position of the seat without standing up from it.

The Spirit Fitness XBR55 features two sets of handlebars, one is attached to the seat assembly, the other one to the front mast of the bike. The seat handlebars integrate pulse sensors and resistance controls. They are pretty far apart (approx. 28″) in-between. The front handlebars don’t have any controls or pulse sensors. They are attached directly to the upright bar via screws so they are non-adjustable. They are fully covered by a layer of rubber foam material for improved comfort.

Drive and resistance

The Spirit Fitness XBR55 recumbent bike is equipped with an automatic eddy current resistance system. This means you have to connect it to a wall power outlet to be able to adjust the pedal resistance. It also means that the console can adjust the resistance automatically, depending on the selected workout program.

The bike’s resistance system consists of an internal servo motor and a magnetic brake. As you adjust the resistance from the console controls or from the controls integrated into the seat handgrips, the servo motor changes the magnets’ pull which increases or decreases the pedaling difficulty.

Similar to the XBR25 model, the Spirit Fitness XBR55 offers 20 levels of resistance. The first few levels deliver a fairly light pedaling difficulty and can serve for recovery training. Conversely, the 20th tension level provides a pretty high pedal resistance simulating a steep climb.

Like most other exercise bikes equipped with an eddy current resistance system, the XBR55 features a belt drive system. It is equipped with an 8-groove poly-v heavy-duty belt. This comes with three main advantages. First of all, you don’t have to take the covers apart to lubricate the transmission. Second of all, it generates considerably less vibration than a chain drive. And third of all, the pedaling motion is silent.

The bike is equipped with a fairly heavy flywheel. It weighs 24 lbs (~11 kg) and most of its weight is placed in its perimeter. This type of construction improves inertia and promotes a very smooth pedaling sensation. It is also bi-directional but you cannot coast on the bike. In other words, you can pedal in reverse, but when pedaling in reverse, you will get the same amount of resistance as when pedaling forward, depending on the selected tension level.

Last but not least, the XBR55 recumbent bike features a 3-piece, cold-forged steel, crankset with a case-hardened axle and commercial-grade sealed ball bearings. The crank arms are similar to the ones of road bikes, although they’re a bit shorter. The pedals are weighted, self-leveling, and feature adjustable straps.

Console

The Spirit Fitness XBR55 recumbent bike is equipped with a multi-function console. First of all, it features a large, 7-inch diagonal display with LED backlight for better readability. The display is divided into several sub-sections so that you can view most of the workout metrics at once, without the need to use a scan function. The top sections of the display indicate time, distance, calories burned, pace, and pulse. The center larger window shows the segments of the program in use, while the lower section of the display is a “message center” for the program and indicates the Watts workload, the laps completed, segment time, and resistance level.

The console has 10 workout programs, similar to the SOLE Fitness R92. Each program has its own quick selection button on the console. The list includes 1 Manual Program, 5 Preset Programs (Hill, Fat Burn, Cardio, Strength, and Interval), 2 User Defined Programs, and 2 Heart Rate Programs. The Manual Program allows free pedaling and manual resistance adjustment during the session. Each one of the preset programs covers a specific type of workout (as their name suggests). The workout load for each one can be adjusted.

The User Defined Programs give you the possibility to design, save and re-use your own custom programs. And finally, the Heart Rate programs are set for a maximum HR of 60% and 80%. Just like the other programs, they can also be customized.

The bike’s console also has online connectivity. It has an internal Bluetooth module and you can sync it with your tablet or smartphone via the Spirit FIT app available for iOS and Android. The app gives you the possibility to track your progress online, and share it on social media.

Among other console features, we can count a cooling fan, a set of speakers, and a tablet holder. The cooling fan is not a large one; it is integrated into the middle of the unit. The speakers are also pretty small but should provide a better, stereo sound for your music if you connect your smartphone, MP3 player, or tablet to the console. The tablet holder consists of a small shelf placed above the speakers and fan system. It is large enough to support any tablet.

One last aspect to mention here regards the console pulse reading function. Not only that it can read your pulse if you hold on to the sensors integrated into the seat handlebars, but it is also telemetric, so it can read your pulse from a wireless HR chest strap. A chest strap is included with the bike, but it can also read the pulse transmission from a Polar T34 transmitter.

Assembly and Maintenance

The bike’s main frame comes pre-assembled. However, the base bars, the seat, the front mast, the console, and several other small parts do require user assembly. This may more than one hour of your time. However, the task isn’t too complicated and the manual provides all the necessary instructions. All the tools required for the assembly are included as well.

Once the bike is fully assembled, you only have to keep it clean and 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 stabilizers on both bases;
  • Step-through frame design;
  • Pulse sensors integrated into the seat handgrips;
  • High-comfort seat with a thick layer of cushioning;
  • Large, flexible, and sturdy mesh backrest;
  • Reclining feature for the backrest;
  • Quick and easy lever-based seat adjustment system;
  • Quiet eddy current resistance system with 20 difficulty levels;
  • Weighted pedals with adjustable straps;
  • Multi-function console with a large LCD display (7.5″);
  • 10 programs on the console;
  • Each program has its own quick-access button on the console;
  • Wireless pulse reading function;
  • HR chest strap included;
  • Compatible with the Spirit FIT app;
  • Bluetooth connectivity;
  • Sound system included;
  • Cooling fan included;
  • Tablet holder included;
  • Bottle holders included;
  • Fairly easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • A tablet placed on the tablet holder will cover the console display;
  • The cooling fan is not too powerful.

Summary

The Spirit Fitness XBR55 is a heavy-duty recumbent bike made for home use. It features an eddy current automatic resistance system, a high-comfort seat with a reclining backrest, and a console with 10 workout programs. The console also has online connectivity (via Bluetooth) and is compatible with the Spirit FIT app. Although it’s a recumbent exercise bike made for home use, it definitely offers the sturdiness and quality of at least a light-commercial model. It’s an excellent trainer for light to intense cardio workouts, interval training, stamina development, weight loss, and recovery training.

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