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Vanswe RB-3 Recumbent Bike

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UnitSizeSupported
weight
ResistanceConsoleWarranty
Vanswe RB-3

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L:45"
W:20"
H:40"
380 lbsManual
magnetic,
16 levels
Time,
Distance,
Speed,
RPM,
Calories,
Pulse,
Scan,
Goals,
Frame: 3 years
Parts: 90 days

The Vanswe RB-3 features a similar design to the Body Champ BRB2866. However, it is one of the very few recumbent exercise bikes with a manual magnetic resistance system that offer 16 levels of adjustment. Most similar models only make available 8 levels, so this difference is quite a plus. It’s also an affordable exercise bike, currently available for less than $179.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 45L x 20W x 40H inches (114L x 51W x 101H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 53 lbs (24 kg)
  • Flywheel weight: 4.4 lbs (2 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 380 lbs (172 kg)
  • Seat: Adjustable
  • Pedals: Weighted, with straps
  • Resistance: Magnetic, 16 levels
  • Console: Time, distance, speed, calories, pulse, goals, SCAN
  • Warranty: Frame 3 years / Parts 90 days

Frame construction

The Vanswe RB-3 recumbent bike features a steel frame construction. Its main chassis is a one-piece element, as opposed to the Marcy ME-1019R and other models which have a two-piece frame. This one-piece construction provides extra sturdiness to the construction of the bike. Its specified weight capacity is actually 380 lbs (172 kg). However, most bikes in this feature range only offer a weight capacity between 250-300 lbs (113-136 kg), so 380 lbs might be a bit too much. This being said, we recommend this bike to users up to a maximum weight of 280 lbs (127 kg).

All the steel bars in the bike’s construction are coated with a rust-resistant powder finish. The color used is black, but there actually are two versions available so far, these being black/red, and black/yellow. The red and yellow colors are only for the console, seat, and logo sticker on the front unit of the bike, though. For both versions, the frame paint finish is black.

Compared to other recumbent bikes, this Vanswe model isn’t too large. With the frame fully set up, it only measures 45″L x 20″W (114 x 51 cm). It is recommended, though, to leave a usage area for it of at least 70″ x 60″ (177 x 152 cm), for safe usage and ease of access.

Speaking of ease of access, the bike features a step-through frame design. This being said, taking position on the seat is considerably easier, as you don’t have to step over the front unit of the bike. This can be quite a plus for users with certain disabilities.

The bike isn’t extremely heavy. It only weighs approx. 53 lbs (24 kg). This means it can be transported and assembled by only one person. Plus, its front base has small wheels which facilitate its relocation once it is fully assembled.

Seat and handlebars

The Vanswe RB-3 is equipped with a fairly large and comfortable seat. To begin with, the seat pad dimensions are 13″D x 16.5″W (33 x 41 cm), while the backrest pad is 12″ (30 cm) at its widest point, and 16″ (40 cm) long. Both the seat and the backrest pads integrate 2″+ of foam cushioning in order to provide optimal comfort. The covers of both cushions are made of durable vinyl material which is also sweat proof.

The backrest does not recline, nor it adjusts independently from the rest of the seat, as for the Tunturi Endurance E80-R bike. It is attached directly to the backbone of the seat frame, being designed to provide superior lumbar support. On the other hand, the whole seat is adjustable. It can be locked in a position closer or farther from the pedals. This being said, the bike can accommodate users between 5’2″ and 6’4″ (157 – 193 cm).

The seat adjustment system is lever-based. This means you can easily adjust its position while seated, simply by pulling the lever under it, on the right side. For most recumbent bikes that have a knob-based adjustment system, it is more difficult to adjust the seat while seated.

This Vanswe recumbent bike is equipped with two sets of handlebars; one is attached to the seat, the other is attached to the front mast. Both handlebar sets are non-adjustable and have rubberized grips. The seat handlebars integrate pulse sensors and the bike’s console has a pulse reading function. Also, in case you’re wondering, the distance between the grips of the seat handlebar assembly is 24.8″ (63 cm).

Resistance and drive

The Vanswe RB-3 recumbent bike features a mechanical magnetic resistance system. This means it does not have an internal servo motor and does not require an external power source. Also, the adjustment of its resistance is done only manually; the bike cannot adjust its resistance automatically and does not have any preset programs.

The bike’s resistance system consists of an internal magnetic brake which is attached to the dial on the front bar. By turning this dial clockwise, the magnetic brake moves closer to the flywheel which results in an increased pedaling difficulty.

As we’ve mentioned above, this exercise bike offers 16 levels of resistance. The lowest levels deliver a very light tension, almost like there is no resistance whatsoever. They’re great for anyone who needs recovery training. Conversely, the 16th tension level provides quite a bit of extra difficulty, offering the possibility to perform a more intense cardio workout.

The bike’s internal flywheel is pretty light; it only weighs 4.4 lbs (2 kg), this being one of the main reasons the first few levels of resistance are very light. But nonetheless, since the resistance is magnetic, the top tension levels still provide plenty of pedaling difficulty.

The bike’s internal drivetrain uses a durable v-belt which is resistant to stretching. This type of drive system comes with a few advantages over a chain drive. For example, you will never have to lubricate the belt, there is considerably less vibration, and the pedaling motion is almost completely silent.

In case you’re wondering, pedaling in reverse on this bike is possible. However, you cannot coast on it. The pedals continue to spin for as long as the internal rotating mass is spinning.

The included pedals are made of a durable ABS material. They feature a textured surface and have adjustable straps so you can secure your feet on them during pedaling. This can be a plus for users with certain disabilities who may not keep their feet on the pedals properly. The pedals are also weighted; this means they always turn face-up if you remove your feet from them.

Last but not least, the bike has a pretty narrow Q-Factor (spacing between the pedals); it is 170 mm (6.69″) which means your feet are naturally positioned on the pedals, without being too far apart. Therefore, there is no lateral impact on the knees and ankles.

Exercise meter

The Vanswe recumbent bike includes a console equipped with an LCD display which tracks time, distance, total distance, speed, RPM, calories, and pulse. The unit is not telemetric, though. In other words, it can only track your pulse if you hold on to the sensors integrated into the seat handlebars. It does not have an internal HR receiver and cannot communicate with wireless HR transmitters.

As we’ve mentioned above, there are no preset programs on the console, but you can select goals for time, distance, calories, and pulse. Once a target is selected, it will countdown from it until it reaches zero. A scan function is also available. If the Scan Mode is selected, the display will show all the workout metrics in a sequence; each metric will remain on-screen for several seconds.

The console unit is very easy to use. It has three touch-controls on the right side. These are Mode, Set, and Reset. The Mode button allows you to select one of the workout metrics to view on the display at all time, or to select the Scan Mode. The Set button covers the goal setting function for time, distance, and calories. And finally, the Reset button gives you the possibility to clear all the values on the console to zero, except the odometer function which can only be reset if you remove the batteries.

The bike’s console unit requires two AAA batteries as its power source; the batteries are included. It starts up when you begin pedaling, and also automatically turns off after a few minutes of inactivity on the bike.

Assembly and Maintenance

The drive and resistance elements of the bike are already assembled and attached to the main frame. Therefore, you only need to assemble the seat, attach it to its sliding rail, attach the two base bars, the console mast, the handlebars, the console, and the pedals. This may take more than an hour. However, the manual provides pretty clear assembly instructions, and a set of basic tools for assembly are included.

All the internal parts are pre-lubricated from the factory and shouldn’t need any maintenance for a long time. Therefore, once the unit is assembled, you only need to check for loose bolts and parts from time to time.

The Pros

  • Sturdy steel frame with a weight capacity of 380 lbs;
  • Transport wheels on the front base;
  • Adjustable stabilizers on the rear base;
  • Step-through frame design;
  • Seat handlebars with pulse sensors;
  • Front handlebars (other bikes don’t have this feature);
  • Padded seat and backrest, for optimal comfort;
  • Lever-based seat adjustment system;
  • Quiet magnetic resistance system;
  • 16 distinct tension levels;
  • Weighted pedals with adjustable straps;
  • Exercise meter that can track time, distance, total distance, speed, RPM, calories, and pulse;
  • Goal setting functions for time, distance, and calories;
  • Tablet holder included;
  • Lightweight, easy to handle;
  • Fairly easy to assemble;
  • Little to no maintenance required.

The Cons

  • No bottle holder;
  • The console doesn’t have backlight.

Summary

The Vanswe RB-3 is a recumbent bike made for home use, featuring a manual magnetic resistance system with 16 difficulty levels, a comfortable seat with a lever adjustment system, and a console that tracks the most important workout metrics. It’s a bike for light cardio exercising, recovery training, stamina development, muscle toning, and weight loss. It’s also an affordable trainer, offering excellent value for the price.

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