The IM Fitness Sprint Exercise Bike is one of the lowest priced spin bikes available. This of course brings with it plenty of appeal and as such we were keen to get our hands on this decently spec’d indoor studio cycle to see if such a budget offering could really deliver when pitted against some higher priced rivals. Our IM Fitness Sprint Exercise Bike review aims to do just that – and you can expect us to deliver a full and honest assessment to help you decide whether budget is best in this case.
We all know that spin bikes bring with them many advantages when it comes to cardio workouts and they are of course one of the options particularly well suited to home workouts as they are low impact and fairly quiet to operate. They also provide one of the most accessible cardio workouts for all levels of users as they have varying levels of difficulty but plenty of scope to progress.
If you are looking for a high quality home cardio workout and want to go a little further than bodyweight HIIT workouts then an exercise bike is a great place to start – cycling is one of the best indoor cardio exercises, and with plenty of spin classes available for free online, you can complete the ‘gym experience’ in the comfort of your own home and with the right bike it doesn’t have to cost the earth – the question is, is the IM Fitness Sprint Exercise Bike the right bike for you – let’s find out…
IM Fitness Sprint Specifications
The flywheel is a decent size (particularly considering the price point of this bike), 18kg to be precise, and is driven by a belt, rather than a chain like many other bikes in this price range. This is connected to a knob on the crossbar from which you can control the resistance, which can also be used as a brake when you press down on it.
In terms of the on-board computer, it may seem a little basic, but it is pretty standard for a bike like this. At the touch of a button you can adjust your workout, which is displayed on the large screen, which will measure distance, speed, calories etc – all the standard features.
Your heart rate is measured through the handlebars, via pulse sensors, so you can keep track of your pulse throughout your workout – again, this is pretty standard stuff but is worth mentioning as it does add an extra dimension to tracking your workouts.
You can get the perfect, and most comfortable setup by adjusting both the saddle and the handlebars. As well as moving up and down, the saddle can be moved forwards or backwards – there is no excuse for straining during your workout and this promises good levels of comfort for most users.
Another feature for your comfort; the pedals have straps and toe clips. This will make it easier for you to build up your speed, without straining your calves or ankles. There is a suspension system as well, which eases the transition from sitting to standing.
Measuring 94cm x 47cm x 97cm, it’s not a massive piece of kit – which means it won’t take up too much room, wherever you have it stationed within your home. It’s likely that wherever you put it, space will be at a premium, so this should not be overlooked. It’s also only 28kg, so is easier to move around than many of its competitors.
The maximum user weight is 100kg (about 15st 10lb), so be mindful of that when buying – if you’re close to that weight, it might be better to buy a more substantial bike – but again at this price this is a pretty solid bike.
What It’s Like To Use The IM Fitness Sprint Bike
Before we get into how it performs, a quick word on the assembly when it arrives. It is refreshingly easy to put together – most of the individual parts slot into each other easily, and all the tools that you will need are provided for you. You can get it all up and running in around 20 minutes.
You’ll notice straight away, as you’re climbing aboard, that it’s very sturdy. For a bike this light, it doesn’t feel like it’s going to buckle or wobble when you really get going, which is pleasantly reassuring.
The computer is incredibly easy and straightforward to operate – just a case of pressing the one button to find the correct display, and that’s all there is to it. We were a little disappointed that it doesn’t measure cadence or RPM, but this is a minor quibble, Everything else that you could possibly want to know is measured.
The adjustable setup means that you can find the most comfortable position for your workout. As a shorter gentleman (5ft6), I often find that it’s difficult to have the handlebars and saddle in a place that I can comfortably pedal, and there is nothing more frustrating than having to strain, even a tiny amount, when you’re trying to put all your effort into the exercise.
No such worry with this bike though, I was very comfortable throughout, other than gasping for breath and sweating buckets.
I did like the hand pulse sensors as well – it’s not something I’m always concerned with, but it was so easy to check my heart rate that I found myself checking more and more – it’s a great way to track your progress over time. There is no compatibility with a third party heart rate monitor so this might be limiting for some users who like to see this displayed all the time with the accuracy of a Polar heart rate strap.
One key selling point that really stood out for me, though, was how smooth the ride was. The belt driven 18kg flywheel makes it feel like you’re cruising on air, and it is so quiet as well. This is great as it means I can exercise after I’ve put the children to bed, without the fear of getting in trouble for waking everyone up!
I used this for a few different workouts that I found online, and found that it was compatible with pretty much everything I tried – it was easy to change the tension with the control knob on the crossbar, and I could track everything easily with the display.
When you are looking at buying an exercise bike, you will have a certain list of requirements that you want to satisfy from your purchase – these could be dependent on budget, available space, level of expertise etc.
The IM Fitness Sprint Exercise Bike won’t satisfy everyone, purely because it doesn’t offer the same level of features that some of the competitors do. However, if you are looking for an entry-level spin bike, which doesn’t take up much space and will fulfil most of your requirements, I’m not sure you can do better than this bike.
In this price range, I think it represents excellent value – it looks fantastic and does the job. You can customise it for any size, and it would suit any level of ability, from absolute beginner to advanced.
Put this bike on your shortlist, and use it as a base from which to compare all the other bikes that interest you. Many will have more features, but ask yourself whether you’ll use them and if they are worth the extra money. My guess is that it will take something quite special to beat this in terms of value for money.