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The Life Fitness Club Series+ Recumbent Lifecycle – Designed For Comfort [A Review]

life fitness club series + recumbent lifecycle review

As the name might suggest, the Club Series + Recumbent Lifecycle is one of Life Fitness’ highest-end recumbent bikes to date.

This bad boy is commercial grade from top to bottom and comes with all the top of the line features you’d expect.

Highlights include a ridiculously heavy-duty frame, a deluxe seat with almost unlimited positioning, and a quiet belt driven, magnetic resistance system.

And with 3 different console options, you get some say in which additional features are included.

Overall, if you’re looking for a commercial grade bike to add to your home gym, the Club Series + Recumbent Lifecycle is one of the finest out there.

But before you buy, it’s a good idea to find out as much as ya can – you know, to avoid disappointment and whatnot.

Well, that’s what this review is here to help with.

In this article, I’ll go over everything you can expect from the Club Series +.

After reading, you’ll know whether or not this is the right recumbent bike for your home gym.

Let’s do this.

The Life Fitness Club Series + Recumbent Lifecycle

life fitness club series + recumbent lifecycle

Image courtesy of Life Fitness

Life Fitness is a well-known commercial brand that’s providing the best gyms around the world with top of the line equipment for years.

They’ve got a great lineup of residential machines to choose from too and even though they’ve added plenty of more affordable models lately, when I think Life Fitness – I think luxury.

To me, it’s the Club Series + and Platinum Club Series machines that come to mind when I think of this brand.

These are Life Fitness’ highest-end home models and they’d fit right in in any commercial gym without skipping a beat.

The Club Series + Recumbent Lifecycle (long name, great bike) we’re here to discuss now is the second highest-end recumbent in Life Fitness’ lineup.

Believe it or not, they do have an even more luxury model, the Platinum Club Series Recumbent, which comes with even more upgrades.

Both of these bikes come with significant upgrades over the more affordable RS3 and RS1, which are both very nice recumbents in their own rights.

The Club Series + is a commercial grade recumbent and as such, comes with a commercial grade price.

If you decide to purchase this bike, expect to pay somewhere between $5 – $7.5K, depending on which console you choose.

Pros

  • Smooth, magnetic resistance system
  • Self generating power
  • 25 resistance levels
  • Heavy-duty frame
  • 400 lb weight limit
  • Comfort Curve Plus seat
  • Easy seat adjustments
  • Choice of console
  • Self-balancing pedals
  • Heart rate monitor compatible
  • Handlebar resistance controls
  • Great reputation

Cons

  • SE3 HD console expensive
  • Parts warranty could be longer
  • Long wait time

Resistance

A bike’s resistance system is what gives it its “feel”. And by this, I’m really talking about how smooth the pedal motion is.

Most home bikes use a heavy flywheel to create a smoother pedal motion because adding weight to the flywheel is a pretty inexpensive way to achieve this.

Basically, the extra weight builds more momentum as it spins, which helps keep the pedals moving pedal pedal strokes.

And even though recumbents aren’t known for having massive flywheels like spin bikes are, it’s usually beneficial for a recumbent bike to have a heavier flywheel too.

The Club Series + comes with a 16 lb flywheel, which isn’t particularly heavy for a home recumbent bike, but I wouldn’t let that scare ya.

When combined with Life Fitness’ sophisticated magnetic resistance system, this recumbent is still capable of providing a smooth pedal motion.

Users don’t seem to have any complaints when it comes to performance.

And with a belt drive train, the Club Series + is nearly silent during operation.

This recumbent comes with 25 resistance levels, giving you a lot of control over the intensity of each workout.

And even though this is a recumbent bike, it’s still capable of providing as intense a workout as you’re interested in getting.

With a max resistance of 500 watts, even gifted athletes will be able to challenge themselves on the this bike (I have to stand up and go all out to reach a 500 w output on my Peloton and I can only maintain for seconds, not that I’m sayin’ I’m a gifted athlete).

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that the Club Series + comes with a smooth acting pedal motion and an advanced magnetic resistance system that’s capable of providing a ton of resistance.

Frame

This bike can perform like a commercial grade recumbent, but it looks like one too.

One of the biggest differences between most commercial grade and residential grade bike is size and weight – commercial bikes are bigger and heavier.

This is why they tend to feel more spacious and more stable.

If you compare the assembled weights of commercial bikes to residential bikes, you’ll see what I mean.

The Club Series + comes with an assembled weight of 215 lb, which is crazy heavy for a home recumbent bike.

For the sake of comparison, Nautilus’ R618, which I think is one of the best budget recumbents around, weighs in at 107 lb.

And Sole’s LCR, one of the heaviest-duty home recumbents, only weighs in at around 145 lb.

All this extra weight makes the Club Series + feel more stable during use.

And when you check out the dimensions, the Club Series + isn’t really any longer, but it is a few inches wider than most.

This bike also comes with an impressive weight limit of 400 lb, allowing folks of all sizes to ride safely.

Overall, the Club Series + is built like a tank – and I mean in the best way possible. It comes with the same type of heavy-duty frame you’d expect from a bike in this league.

Seat

Recumbent bikes are known for being more comfortable and this is mostly due to the larger seats (and the fact that they come with backrests).

That said, all recumbent seats aren’t equally comfortable.

Luckily, comfort shouldn’t be an issue on the Club Series +.

This bike comes with Life Fitness’ Comfort Curve Plus seat – the most comfortable seat they produce.

The seat itself is heavy-duty and comes with more cushion than you find on most residential models. It’s contoured and also comes with a groove in the back for a little more comfort in the lumbar area.

And like a lot of commercial bikes, the height adjustment bar goes all the way around the front, making it easy to grab for position changes.

Speaking of which, with 41 different seat positions available, you shouldn’t have any problems finding a comfortable riding position.

Unlike the seat on the RS3 though, the backrest isn’t adjustable.

Overall, the seat on the Club Series + is heavy-duty, comfortable, and comes with a lot of height positions.

Features

The features you get with this bike vary greatly depending on the console you choose, so let’s start there.

SE3 HD console

This is Life Fitness’ most advanced console and is made up of a 16″ HD touchscreen display.

It can connect with the internet wirelessly (or wired) and is also bluetooth friendly. It comes with many of the top entertainment apps already loaded and unlike most, can even hook up with live tv.

This console comes loaded with all the standard workout profiles (like manual, hills, random, etc), but you can also access instructor-led workouts through Life Fitness’s On Demand program.

This hi-tech console comes with a ton of other features as well and is compatible with Apple and Samsung watches too.

It also comes with a lot of cool workout features, like saving previous workout performance so you can try to improve performances and whatnot.

For more info on the SE3 HD, check out this page from Life Fitness.

The SE3 HD is certainly a very nice console, but it’s an expensive one too – opting for this console increases the price by almost $3k.

ST Console

The ST console is also a 16″ HD touchscreen, but it doesn’t come with quite as many features as the SE3 HD mentioned above.

It’s internet and bluetooth compatible and it also can hook up with live tv, but it isn’t compatible with entertainment streaming apps or watches.

It also doesn’t come with an internet browser like the SE3 HD.

It is compatible with chest strap heart rate monitors and comes with lots of workout options though.

Choosing the ST console will save ya about $1500 as compared to the SE3 HD.

SL Console

The SL is the simplest console option you have for the Club Series + and it consist of a more standard LED display.

It isn’t fancy, but it makes it easy to see all your workout metrics at the same time and it comes with a large selection (17) of workouts.

It’s also bluetooth and ANT+ compatible and can connect with Apple Watches.

Opting for the SL console will save ya about $1200 as compared to the ST console.

Additional features include:

  • Self-balancing pedals
  • Accessory tray
  • Grip heart rate monitors
  • Handle resistance controls
  • 2 water bottle holders

Overall, the advanced features you get with this bike depend on which console you go with.

If you don’t want to mess with a hi-tech console, you can save a lot of money by going with one of the simpler consoles.

Assembly

If you’re worried about having to assemble this bike yourself, don’t – Life Fitness requires their white glove installation with this model.

And white glove installation includes delivery and professional assembly and costs around $499.

Which is probably a good thing – I mean, do you really want to invest in a bike like this and then risk messing something up during assembly?

I know I don’t.

I say let the professionals do their job.

Warranty

Life Fitness backs their Club Series + Recumbent Lifecycle with the following residential warranty:

  • Lifetime frame
  • 3 year parts
  • 1 year labor

Ok, so this warranty isn’t bad, but for the price I think it could be better.

The lifetime frame guarantee is great of course, but that should be a given at this price range.

What surprises me is that Life Fitness only offers 3 years on the parts. At this price range, I’d like to see at least 5 years because that’s what a lot of the other top home brands offer (Sole, Horizon).

It also surprise me because Life Fitness does offer 5 years on parts for their more affordable RS3… so who knows.

Anyway, a year on labor is pretty standard, so no big deal there.

Overall, not a bad warranty, but I do think that parts guarantee could be longer.

Final Thoughts

Alrighty, that about does it.

I really don’t have much to complain about here when it comes to the bike itself.

When you look at the specs and features, it’s evident this is an elite recumbent bike that’s truly commercial grade.

The heavy-duty frame, the deluxe seat, and the smooth resistance system are what really makes the Club Series + the type of bike you’d find in a Club gym.

And I like that Life Fitness gives us the option to choose between the 3 different consoles, and I can appreciate that the SE3 HD console is quite advanced, but it still feels a bit too expensive to me.

I mean is the SE3 HD really $3k nicer than the SL console? (that’s a rhetorical question – I can get like an 80″ HD tv for that).

Anyway, I gotta find something to complain about.

Overall, if you’re looking for a luxury recumbent bike for your home gym, I highly doubt you’ll be disappointed with the Club Series +.

This is about as good as it gets.

 

Will

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