Universal U10 Upright Bike
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|6||Frame: 3 years
Mechanical: 1 year
Electrical: 1 year
Wear: 60 days
Labor: 60 days
The Universal U10 is an affordable, entry-level upright bike, designed for home use. It’s in the same specs range as the IRONMAN H-Class 210 and ProForm 8.0. However, it features fewer resistance levels and workout programs. Nonetheless, it has quite a few extra features to offer over the average basic bike, as it includes a sound system, and its resistance is motorized.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 27.5L x 19W x 56H inches (70L x 48W x 142H cm)
- Assembled weight: 64 lbs (29 kg)
- Max. user weight: 275 lbs (124.7 kg)
- Seat: 2-way adjustable
- Pedals: With straps
- Resistance: Eddy current, 8 levels
- Fitness computer: 7 workouts
- Amenities: Sound system, tablet holder, bottle holder
- Warranty: Frame 3 years / Mechanical 1 year / Electronics 1 year / Wear 60 days / Labor 60 days
Frame and parts
Even though it’s a lightweight exercise bike, the Universal U10 has a considerably sturdy frame construction, being rated for a maximum user weight capacity of 275 lbs (125 kg). Its frame is made of steel tubing, all steel tube parts featuring a gray, corrosion resistant powder coating. The shrouds of the motor and flywheel are made of PVC material, though.
When it comes to dimensions, this Universal exercise bike is one of the smallest available. Its footprint takes only 27.5″L x 19″W (70 x 48 cm) of floor space, which means it’s a perfect choice for a cardio training machine if storage and usage space is a problem. The manual recommends two feet of clearance on each side of it, for safe and unhindered operation.
The bike is not a heavy either; its assembled weight is 64 lbs (29 kg), which means that its transport shouldn’t be a problem for most users. On top of that, its front base stabilizer is equipped with rotating caps, which can serve as transport wheels, to facilitate the machine’s relocation. Conversely, the rear base it also equipped with rotating caps, but these have a polygonal shape and serve as stabilizers.
This upright exercise bike is equipped with a simple seat, only 2-way adjustable (up, down). It’s not the most comfortable bike seat, as it’s a pretty standard model. But it does have a thin layer of padding and a contoured surface. On top of that, it’s quite a bit larger than the average spin bike seat, therefore it provides optimal comfort. Replacements for it are widely available, though; also, its comfort can be increased by applying a gel cover or a sheepskin cover on top of it.
The seat’s upright bar features several adjustment holes. It can accommodate users between 5’0″ and 6’1″ (153 – 185 cm) comfortably, supporting a full leg extension.
The handlebar is non-adjustable. It has a multi-grip design, being completely covered by rubber foam material, delivering a solid and comfortable grip. It integrates metallic pulse sensors; thus the console can pick up and track your pulse.
Resistance and drive
The Universal U10 features a resistance system similar to the Schwinn 130 MY16. It’s an eddy current resistance system, which consists of a magnetic brake pad and a small servo motor. This being said, the resistance can only be adjusted from the bike’s control unit. As you select as certain level on the console, the servo motor will adjust the position of the brake pad in relation to the bike’s metallic flywheel, increasing or decreasing drag.
Since it’s a motorized exercise bike, it requires a power source. Therefore, its control unit can be powered by 4D batteries or a 120V 60Hz input, 9VDC, 500mA output AC power adapter. A set of 4 batteries should last for approx. 1 year of daily use. Batteries and adapter are not included, though.
This exercise bike offers only 8 levels of resistance. The first three are fairly light, perfect for warm-ups or recovery training. Conversely, the 7-8 resistance levels are designed to simulate an ascension, offering the possibility to undertake a more consistent workout.
As we’ve mentioned above, the bike’s resistance can only be adjusted from the console controls. However, if you choose to exercise by using one of the pre-set programs, the machine will auto-adjust resistance, depending on the workout’s segment in progress.
Since it’s an exercise bike with magnetic resistance, its drive system integrates a drive belt not a chain. This aspect comes with a few advantages. For example, a belt does not require lubrication. Also, a belt-drive is considerably quieter than a chain drive. Differently put, the operation of the bike is almost silent.
The drive system also integrates a perimeter weighted, steel flywheel. Its weight is not specified, but it’s not a heavy one. However, due to the fact that most of its weight is on its perimeter, it delivers a smooth and steady momentum.
The bike is equipped with a 3-part crankset, with solid steel crank arms. This part is quite durable, but the Universal U10 exercise bike is not meant for spin workouts, only seated workouts. Therefore, even though the crank may support you in stand-up exercising routines, these are not recommended, as they will put too much pressure on the bike’s drive system and definitely shorten its lifespan.
Last but not least, the crank arms are finished with weighted pedals, equipped with adjustable straps.
The console supplied with the Universal U10 upright bike is not the most advanced model. However, it does offer considerably more features than a basic exercise bike meter. First of all, it features a multi-panel LCD display, which means it can show most of the workout metrics at once; you won’t have to use a SCAN function to alternate them.
The unit keeps track of your workout time, speed, distance, RPM, Kcalories, and pulse. There’s the option to set up the distance to be shown in miles or kilometers, and speed to be calculated in MPH or km/h. You can pre-set a goal value for your workout time, and have it countdown to zero. The console is not telemetric; it can only read your pulse through the sensors integrated into the handlebars. You cannot sync it with a wireless heart rate chest strap transmitter.
One of the aspects that put this console unit above the basic fitness meters is given by its preset workouts. It offers three categories of preset workout programs, each category including two programs. These are Fun Rides (Rolling Hills, Ride in the Park), Mountains (Pike’s Peak, Pyramids), Challenges (Uphill Finish, Cross-Training). The workout time for each workout is by default preset at 15 minutes, but you can always change it. Also, even if you use one of the preset workouts, you can still adjust resistance as you like, during the program.
Of course, there is also the Manual program, which allows you to increase/decrease resistance as you like.
In terms of non-fitness features, this console unit offers two: a sound system and a media holder. The sound system consists of two speakers, situated in the bottom corners of the unit. The audio jack is in the middle of the console, right under the controls. This sound system, although it cannot be compared to a dedicated surround sound one, it does render a sound quality considerably superior to the speakers of any tablet or phone.
The media holder it situated right under the unit’s controls. It’s large enough to accommodate any tablet or phone.
The console operation is pretty much straightforward. The two arrow keys (up/down) on the right cover the speed adjustment function, but they’re also used to change the preset values for your workout, or scroll between programs. Each program category has its own key (being 3 in number).
The left side of the console features a Quick Start key and a Start/Stop key. The Quick Start button initiates the Manual Program allowing you to adjust resistance as you like. The Start/Stop button is great to have if you need to put your workout on hold, or if you want to alternate bike workouts with various other workouts, without losing the progress on the bike.
As we’ve mentioned above, the console works with an AC adapter or 4D batteries. It starts when it detects pedal movement, or when you press a button. If it doesn’t detect any activity on the pedals, it will automatically enter sleep mode to save battery life.
Assembly and Maintenance
The insides of the bike come pre-assembled from the factory. In other words, the flywheel, the drive belt, resistance elements, and crankset are already assembled, the bike’s “body” being within its plastic case. Therefore, the assembly requires connecting the base tubes to the frame, the console mast, the seat post, the seat, pedals, handlebar, and console. This shouldn’t take more than 45 min. All the tools required for the task are included, while the provided assembly manual contains well-written, step-by-step instructions.
The only maintenance required by this exercise bike is the periodic check for loose parts and bolts, and re-tightening them if it’s the case.
- Sturdy construction for a small bike;
- Small footprint;
- Easy to put together;
- Can be battery powered or via AC adapter;
- Motorized magnetic resistance, with 8 levels of difficulty;
- 6 pre-set workout programs;
- Target settings for time;
- Handlebars with pulse sensors;
- Sound system included;
- Media tray included;
- Bottle holder included;
- Smooth and quiet belt drive;
- Basically maintenance free;
- Excellent warranty plan.
- The console display doesn’t have backlight, so it may be difficult to read in low lighting conditions;
- AC adapter not included;
- A tablet placed on the media tray may block the view of the console display.
The Universal U10 is an entry level upright bike, with motorized magnetic resistance. It features a sturdy construction, and a console with 6 pre-set workouts, sound system and tablet holder. It’s a bike for light to medium cardio workouts, muscle toning, interval training and weight loss. It can actually help you burn up to 5-600 calories per hour, depending on the workout regimen. Finally, it’s an affordable exercise bike, with an excellent price/quality ratio.