08 July, 2011
Review of the Fitness Quest Recumbent Bike
Fitness Quest as a company is mostly known for popular products marketed through television infomercials, such as Tony Little’s Gazelle machines and the Ab Lounge. The company also markets a value-priced line of recumbent bikes. This equipment is predominantly sold through Fitness Quest’s website or through third-party retailers.
As of September 2010, Fitness Quest markets five types of recumbent exercise bikes on its website: 280 Edge, 437 Edge, 396 Excel Magnetic, 426 Magnetic and the 491 Programmable. At the low end of these recumbent bikes, the 280 Edge offers six workout programs. At the other end of the spectrum, the 491 Programmable has 14 programmed workouts.
Each of the Fitness Quest recumbent bikes come with an ergonomic seat to provide lower back support that is lacking in upright bikes. Most of the models use magnetic resistance, which the Galt Tech consumer buying guide website says is the most consistent type of resistance available for exercise bikes. Each model of Fitness Quest recumbent bike is equipped with a digital display console to program workouts, and the high-end models also offer heart rate, distance, calories burned, speed and time monitors. The features of the high-end Fitness Quest models are comparable to other bikes in their price range, such as Proform and some models of Schwinn.
When comparing Fitness Quest recumbent bikes against other models by Fitness Quest or other manufacturers, you should consider the comfort, features and overall value of the product. According to TrainerSecrets.com, recumbent exercise bikes that do not use magnetic resistance should be avoided, thus ruling out the low-end Fitness Quest models as a good purchase.
The same website recommends that you purchase a recumbent bike with at least five different workouts programmed in to prevent boredom when using the machine. Each of the Fitness Quest recumbent bikes come with this many or more workouts, so variety is not an issue with these bikes.
As of September 2010, the price on Fitness Quest recumbent bikes ranges from $219 for the 280 model to $349 for the 491 model. This small range of price places Fitness Quest firmly in the entry level category of recumbent exercise bikes. When purchasing a bike at this level, it is important to note that the overall quality of the machine may be lessened to keep the price low. While Fitness Quest recumbent bikes offer a fair number of features, some reviewers find them to be less sturdy than Schwinn, Reebok or Nordic Track models. Additionally, the warranty on Fitness Quest bikes is only 90 days.
Brett Spottke, certified fitness trainer and webmaster for ExerciseEquipmentExpert.com, does not recommend the Fitness Quest 491 recumbent bike when compared to similarly priced models from Schwinn. While Spottke acknowledges that the bike is feature-packed for its price range, he states that the Schwinn 213 or 230 are a better value and are more durable in the under $400 price range of recumbent bikes.