The Ultrasport F-Bike is seen as setting the benchmark for other budget exercise bikes to follow. With some of the highest user ratings seen across all price ranges of exercise bikes and with numerous iterations of the now famous F-Bike range, we take a thorough look at the Ultrasport F-Bike in this in-depth review.
The original Ultrasport F-Bike model is the 150 and we will centre our review mainly around this, but with four other models to consider it would be a little scant of us to ignore the others altogether.
Ultrasport claim to be the number one fitness manufacturer on Amazon and whether or not that is true they certainly have thousands of impressive reviews – so they are doing something right. We had heard about the F-Bike 150 but never tested one up close and personal so we were pretty excited about taking it for a spin. The basic model comes without a backrest and there is no app connectivity – but the very fact that you can choose a model that gives you everything you need and none of what you don’t will appeal to those on a tight budget and makes perfect sense. The other thing to note is that there is a wide range of choice when it comes to colours, so matching it to your existing home setup is not a difficult task.
F-Bike 150 First Impressions
Upon taking delivery of the F-Bike 150 the first thing we noticed was the light weight of it. At just under 18kg it is hard to believe there is so much packed in to such a light frame, especially considering the F-Bike 150 can withstand up to 100kg of user weight. It was pretty simple to put together as most of the mechanical elements are hidden within the frame, and once set up manoeuvring it around your home is easy thanks to its folding mechanism.
The 150 version of the F-Bike measures up at 80cm x 45cm x 121cm when in use but when folded this comes right down to a height of 142cm and a width of just 30cm meaning you really can store this bike in a cupboard or under a bed quite easily. If you have previously owned a non-folding exercise bike or know anyone who has then you will certainly appreciate this function.
Upon first impressions, the 150 model looked and felt sturdy to sit on although we were not particularly keen on the green colour we had chosen. Luckily, there are 10 colours to choose from in total so you can choose one that best suits your own tastes.
Even this basic model is fairly well equipped with 8 levels of magnetic resistance that are changeable through the addition of a twistable controller on the main stem of the bike, whilst the handle bar area features a simple but effective LCD screen that displays vital information such as time, speed, distance, calories and pulse rate. That’s right, even the most basic model (at a very budget friendly price) includes pulse rate sensors built in to the sides of the handle bars.
Comfort and Build Quality
The build quality of the F-Bike is exceptional and is probably the reason why it gains such highly rated user reviews. The curved metal frame looks good and is functional too and has large base legs that provide a very good degree of stability. The height of the seat is fully adjustable with 8cm of flexibility in the total height. We tested the bike with a 6ft male and the height was more than adequate, although anyone under 5′ 3″ might struggle to reach the pedals comfortably so keep this in mind.
The position of the handlebars and the design of them provides a comfortable experience and the padding along the handlebars means that you will ride in comfort no matter what your preferred hand position.
The seat is perhaps the most important aspect when it comes to exercise bike comfort and we are pleased to report that this is one area that Ultrasport have clearly focused on. The seat is among the comfiest we have tested and that coming from a budget bike such as this is pretty impressive to say the least. The shape and the padding are more than conducive to a comfy ride – we tested the F-Bike 150 on three separate occasions for a period of 30 minutes at a time and there was no saddle soreness whatsoever.
The final element to mention when it comes to comfort is the pedals. They are not going to win any awards but they are comfortable with an appropriate sized adjustable strap and feature an anti-slip design. Overall, we give top marks for comfort to the F-Bike series and if you need extra back support you can opt for the 200, 300 or 400 models which all come supplied with a back rest.
Using the Ultrasport F-Bike
Of course, an exercise bike is not just about how comfortable it is to ride, it also has to serve its main purpose pretty well – which of course is to provide a good overall workout for your legs as well as having potential to bring in stabiliser muscles and your core. The F-Bike 150 does a decent job of this and the F-Bike 400 takes it to the next level with added resistance bands that are designed to provide an upper body workout and some added leg workouts – more on that later.
The 8 levels of resistance are pretty effective at providing a range of difficulty levels although we would suggest that even the highest difficulty setting of 8 would not give a stern enough test to an experienced rider in good shape. That being said, the F-Bike is not designed for advanced users, it is designed as a very beginner friendly exercise bike that is affordable and has few barriers to entry. This it achieves very well and anyone who is looking to add some cardio to their weekly fitness regime will benefit from any of the F-Bike models.
One of the real pulls of the F-Bike when it comes to usability is that it operates very quietly – for anyone with young children who might be sleeping or for people who just don’t want to use a noisy exercise bike this is a great selling point. The fact that it folds down to an ultra-compact size is also a real advantage and is yet another reason why it fares so well in user reviews.
As we have stated, there are a number of versions of the F-Bike. So far we have really focused on the 150 model, so let’s take a look at the variations and additions you get with the other models in the F Bike series.
The F-Bike 200B is pretty much the exact same model as the 150 with the exception that it has an added back rest. This does of course add a little bit of weight to the overall bike so just be aware of this if you are planning on moving it around a lot, but for the extra 1kg of weight you get a well padded back rest that is adjustable in height. This model has also received an award from Plus X for design, ease of use and ergonomics.
F-Bike 250 With App
The F-Bike 250 usually comes in at around £25 more than the 150 model and for that extra cost you get a newly designed centre console with mobile app connectivity and also a slightly differently designed bike frame. We are not sure why the frame design has changed for this model and as we haven’t tested this exact frame type we cannot judge the comfort levels afforded – user feedback does seem positive though.
There is an app that can receive the vital stats shown on the display and that includes heart rate so if recording and monitoring this information is important to you then this model could be worth the extra investment. There are apps available for both Android and iOS mobile operating systems.
The F-Bike 250 is still completely foldable despite the slightly different design with unfolded measurements of 74cm x 41xm x 111cm and folded dimensions reading 39cm x 41cm x 129cm.
The next model up is identical to the 250 and again comes supplied with the app – the main difference here is that it also includes a back rest. Other than that, the dimensions and design are exactly the same as the F-Bike 250 with app.
The F-Bike 400BS model is where things go from basic to a little more advanced in this budget bike range – and somehow Ultrasport still manage to keep the price pretty low when compared to other brands. The 400BS is like a hybrid of an exercise bike and a multi-gym with upper and lower body targeted resistance pulleys with handles designed to provide an opportunity to undertake a full body workout.
This version comes with everything you see on the other models; it retains its folding ability, has the backrest included and also features the mobile app connectivity with enhanced centre console display. The real difference lies in the tensioned resistance ropes that allow for a range of exercises. The resistance level for the band can be adjusted to alter the intensity of your workout. The upgrade doesn’t stop there either, the resistance band also features a lower position that can be used for legs which greatly increases the range of exercises you can use to target the lower body as well as upper body.
The final point to note here that is linked to the performance of the bike itself is that it has an aluminium 2kg flywheel that reduces the noise level even further and provides an even smoother ride.
F-Bike Series Summary
The F-Bike 150 is without a doubt one of the best budget exercise bikes we have used. We like the fact that there is a range of models so you can choose to pay more for the functionality you need but still being able to benefit from the F-Bike concept, design, comfort and practicality. The folding nature of these bikes means they hold mass appeal to home fitness users and the fact they have so many top rated reviews by real users instills a lot of faith in the longevity of the bikes.
If you are a beginner or intermediate on a tight budget then you won’t find much better than the F-Bike series from Ultrasport.