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Is The Spirit Fitness XBR25 Recumbent Bike A Smart Buy? [A Review]

spirit fitness xbr25 recumbent bike review

The XBR25 is one of 3 impressive recumbent bikes in Spirit’s current residential lineup. And even though it’s the lowest-end model of the bunch, it’s got the specs to outperform most brands’ highest-end machines.

But hey, this is Spirit Fitness we’re talking about here- that’s just how they roll.

Highlights of the XBR25 include a 20 lb flywheel, 20 levels of magnetic resistance, and a 350 lb weight capacity.

And this being Spirit, of course it’s backed by an amazing warranty.

There’s really no denying that the XBR25 is a fantastic recumbent bike, but it finds itself in a rather interesting price range.

With so many amazing recumbents at this price point, does it make sense to go with the XBR25?

Well, that’s what I’m hoping to help you answer with this review. In this article, I’ll go over everything this bike has to offer. I’ll also compare the XBR25 to the other biggest competitors in this price range.

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

The Spirit Fitness XBR25 Recumbent Bike

Spirit has earned a stellar reputation for both their residential and commercial grade equipment. That’s what happens when you provide heavy-duty equipment that works great and then back it with industry-leading warranties.

It’s their warranties they really set them apart from the rest- without exaggeration, these guys offer the most generous warranties I’ve ever seen.

But more on that in a bit.

I mentioned that Spirit offers both residential and commercial equipment. And they’ve got an impressive selection of machines to choose from in each category.

When it comes to home recumbents, there are 3 to choose from.

The XBR25 is their entry-level model (which is insane considering how baller it is) and then there’s the upgraded XBR55 and highest-end XBR95.

At the time of writing this, the XBR25 costs about $1400.

Pros

  • 20 lb flywheel
  • 20 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Heavy-duty frame
  • 350 lb weight capacity
  • Large, comfortable seat
  • Telemetric heart rate monitor compatible
  • Great warranty

Cons

  • Only 6 workout programs
  • No bluetooth

Frame

I always start with the frame when talking about recumbent bikes because I think this is the part that can make or break a bike.

If a recumbent comes with a lightweight frame, you’re gonna know it.

It might feel insecure or even wobble a little when getting on and off it. Either way, having a durable, sturdy frame is crucial to having a good workout experience with your bike.

It can be hard to tell how “heavy-duty” a bike is without trying it out and looks can be deceiving.

The next best thing to actually taking it for a test spin is to look at 2 key specs- the assembled weight and the weight capacity.

These 2 specs will tell you a lot regarding how heavy-duty and durable you can expect the bike to be. And as you probably guessed, heavier is better in both cases.

A heavier bike is less likely to wobble, shimmy, shake, or feel flimsy during use.

And a bike that can hold heavier users has to be more structurally sound than one that can’t.

I recommend going for a bike that weighs at least 100 lb and that has a weight limit of at least 300 lb when possible because these numbers are high enough to ensure a stable frame.

With that in mind, consider that the XBR25 weighs 132 lb and has a max weight capacity of 350 lb.

Both of these numbers are great for a home recumbent bike and very indicative of a heavy-duty, durable frame.

Another key performance spec you’ll want to consider in this category is the flywheel.

You’ll hear a lot of talk about flywheel weight when talking about indoor cycles, but I think it’s just as important to consider this spec when talking about recumbents too.

Regardless of the bike style, the heavier the flywheel is, the smoother it’s going to feel.

A heavier flywheel builds more momentum as it spins, which creates a smoother pedaling action. Heavier flywheels can usually offer more overall resistance too.

The XBR25 comes with a 20 lb flywheel, which is pretty impressive for a recumbent bike, especially in this price range.

Overall, when it comes to the frame, the XBR25 scores very highly with a heavy total weight, high weight capacity, and heavy flywheel.

Seat

Recumbent bikes are so popular because they offer a more comfortable way to exercise. Folks who may not be able to use other types of exercise equipment can usually still use recumbent bikes.

This is because of the horizontal orientation of the bike, but it’s also because of the seat.

Recumbent seats are larger than traditional bike seats and they come with backrests, making them significantly more comfortable than other machines.

Some recumbents will come with adjustable angle backrests, but this feature is fairly rare.

The XBR25 does not come with an adjustable backrest (the XBR55 does), but the seat is easily height adjusted using the lever in front of the seat.

The seat itself is well padded and most customers agree it’s comfortable to sit on.

The backrest is mesh and designed with a little bit of lumbar support built-in.

Overall, the seat here is pretty standard. It should be comfortable to use for most folks.

Features

The Spirit XBR25 Recumbent Bike comes with the following features:

7.5″ LCD console- the screen on this bike is pretty basic, but it’s blue backlit and large enough to see all your workout metrics easily during use.

20 levels of resistance- the XBR25 comes with a generous selection of magnetic resistance levels to use during your workouts. Having more resistance levels is a plus, because it gives you more control to fine tune your resistance during workouts.

6 workout programs- there aren’t a lot of workouts to choose from, but you’ve got all the basics covered. Workouts include: hill, fat burn, interval, cardio, strength, and manual.

Heart rate monitoring- the handles on each side of the seat have a built-in grip heart rate monitor which you can use to track your pulse during your workouts. The console is also compatible with chest strap monitors, although one isn’t included.

Audio jack- you can connect your mp3 player up to the console and listen to your music through the built-in speakers.

Water bottle holders- there’s a water bottle holder on each side of the seat for convenient hydration.

Assembly

The actual assembly process for this bike shouldn’t be too bad, but I wish Spirit would update their manuals a little.

The biggest problem is that their images are a bit small and they combine too many tasks in each step.

I think it would be easier to follow if they broke the process up into more steps and had less going on in each step (and also make the images bigger).

That said, I think most folks will do just fine getting the XBR25 put together.

The main frame comes mostly pre-assembled, so you’ll be responsible for attaching the components- seat, handles, console, pedals, etc.

As always, take care not to pinch the console wires when you snake them through the console mast- it would suck to get the job done just to find the console doesn’t work.

Warranty

Spirit Fitness backs the XBR25 Recumbent Bike with the following residential warranty:

  • Lifetime frame
  • Lifetime brake
  • 5 year parts
  • 1 year labor

As I eluded to earlier, this is a fantastic warranty.

You can’t beat a lifetime guarantee on the frame/brake and 5 years is pretty darn generous for the parts (Spirit does even better on their XBR25 and XBR95, both of which come with 10 year parts warranties).

A year on labor is pretty standard.

Overall, Spirit lives up to their reputation for the best warranties around.

The Competition

Ok, so I wanted to include a quick comparison to a couple of other to recumbents in this price range because like I said in the intro, it’s kind of a no-brainer that the XBR25 is a nice bike.

But there are plenty of nice bikes in this price range.

The first model I want to mention is the Sole LCR, which on sale will cost ya about $1500.

For the extra $100, you get a 30 lb flywheel, 40 levels of resistance, a larger display, a few more workout programs, and bluetooth capabilities (plus an extra year on labor).

Personally, I think these upgrades are worth the extra $100, especially if you want a bike that can connect with fitness apps.

The other bike I want to mention is Spirit’s XBR55, which costs around $1600.

For the extra $200, you get a 24 lb flywheel, 4 more workout programs, bluetooth capabilities, and an included chest strap. That’s all great, but Spirit also doubles down and bumps that parts warranty up to 10 years.

Again, I would argue those upgrades are well worth the extra $200.

Final Thoughts

Ok, that about does it for the XBR25.

If you made it this far through the review without getting bored, you’ve got some thinking to do.

I think it’s pretty obvious that the XBR25 is a great recumbent bike- I mean it’s packing impressive performance specs all around and it’s backed by a great warranty.

The only thing really missing is bluetooth and I don’t consider that a deal breaker (but some might).

The real question is whether it makes sense to invest in this bike when there are 2 other great similarly priced options in the Sole LCR and the Spirit XBR55.

And honestly, unless you’re working with a strict $1400 budget, I think both bikes are better buys.

The upgrades you get with Sole’s LCR are definitely worth the extra $100, as are the upgrades $200 gets you with the XBR55.

But again, if the XBR25 is at the top of your budget, I wouldn’t worry- this is still one of the best home recumbents money can buy.

 

Will

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