With over 20 years experience in the field of health and wellness, Body Champ have created the Body Rider Fan Bike (BRF700), which has proven to be one of the most popular entry level indoor cycles currently available.
This review aims to discover the reasons behind the hundreds of highly rated reviews by taking a look at the design features, display console, overall build quality, and of course the feedback in the reviews themselves.
If you’re already used to indoor cycling as part of a studio spinning class or home fitness workout, you might not be familiar with the design behind the Body Rider Fan Bike.
The height adjustable seat and conveniently positioned foot pedals are both in the same place that you would expect to find them on a standard upright bike, but there is one important difference; the moveable handles.
The moving handles are similar to a number of different pieces of workout equipment in themselves, ranging from elliptical trainers to 2-in-1 machines, and even Schwinn’s popular Airdyne collection.
But whereas the Airdyne design doesn’t strictly allow you to manually adjust the resistance, the Body Rider Fan Bike does, through using a small tension adjustment hand wheel directly in front of the seat.
One final design point worth mentioning is the size of the footprint. Due to being a fixed design rather than foldable, the BRF700 Fan Bike does tend to take up slightly more space, but also has the added benefit of increased stability.
Body Rider Fan Bike – Features Summary
- Dual-action handlebars engage an upper and lower body workout
- Tension adjusts easily with the turn of a knob
- Fan wheel provides a gentle breeze as you exercise
- Tension easily adjusts with the turn of a knob
- Digital display tracks your time, speed, distance, and calories burned
- Sturdy steel frame design
Friction belt resistance system
Although you will never find the same wide range of resistance settings on any manual adjustment system as you would on many electronically controlled systems, this does make it much quicker for you to switch between training intensities.
There’s no need to wait for the resistance to adjust to your chosen setting or wait for the belt to catch up in the event of using a treadmill.
Instead, you can quickly switch from a relatively low workout intensity, to something altogether more challenging, which can be ideal for interval workouts.
If you do happen to find that the resistance provided by the tension control isn’t challenging enough, the internal Friction Belt can be re-strapped slightly tighter to create greater tension and a much higher range of resistance settings (replacement tension belts are available).
Display console design
As you might expect from any machine approaching the $100 mark, the display console for the Body Rider Fan Bike is extremely simplistic in its design.
A single button has been added to allow you to scroll through the various workout statistics, including time, speed, distance, and an estimation of the number of calories burned.
Although ‘calories burned’ is a metric measured by the console throughout your workout, it doesn’t always provide correct feedback.
This is the same with almost all entry level cardio machines, and is due to the fact that your age and weight are used in the calculations, but cannot be stored in the built-in computer.
But one of the main benefits of having such a compact console is that it requires very little power. This means that with the resistance system running from a friction belt and the console powered by 2 AA batteries, there’s no need to feel restricted with where you place the bike.
As with most of the exercise bikes available at this price range, there usually needs to be some compromise in the range of display console functions and workout programs.
If you’re looking for a low cost exercise bike that still has the resistance system and ergonomic design in place to provide an effective cardio workout, then the Body Rider Fan Bike still does that well.
But you don’t have any preset workout programs or fitness tests built in to keep track of your progress, or create the training variation for you.
Instead, you can create your own workout plan before you start your cycle, which includes variations in resistance and speed.
This is where even the basic feedback provided from the console and marked resistance settings prove useful.
For example, if you were looking for an interval workout, you could plan to cycle at resistance level 8 for 30 seconds, then switch to resistance level 4 for 90 seconds.
This is part of the reason the higher priced bikes cost as much as they do, because they do all the workout planning and tracking for you.
If you do happen to be looking for a bike that offers this type of functionality, we would have to recommend one of the Schwinn upright bike models.
Ease of assembly
As soon as your new exercise bike gets delivered, the first thing you want to do is get started on your new fitness routine by starting your first workout.
Unfortunately, before you can do so, you first need to get the parts out of the packaging and complete the assembly.
With some fitness equipment this is certainly easier said than done, resulting in assembly times being anything from 30 minutes to 4 hours.
It’s true that the complexity of the machine plays a major role in how quickly you can get everything setup, but unless you have a good quality manual available then even the simplest assembly can take much longer than it should.
This is why we wanted to quickly review the quality of the assembly instructions for the Body Rider Fan Bike, based on the user manual itself (you can view a copy for yourself by clicking the link).
The frame base, flywheel housing, and large fan used for creating resistance arrive already pre-assembled, but this still leaves you with the seat, handles, console, stabilizers, and pedal / crank system.
Weighing in at just 45 lbs, the bike isn’t particularly heavy, and once you have the base stabilizers attached the whole process gets a lot easier.
Each of the steps combines a textual explanation, exploded drawing showing how the parts fit together, and a parts list complete with reference numbers and drawings of the parts.
Due to the simplicity of design, this is a bike that should take less than 30 minutes to get fully setup.
Part of the reason we wanted to write a review on the Body Rider Fan Bike was due to the impressive number of customer reviews. Not just the number of reviews, but the fact that this bike has managed to maintain such a high average rating.
As with most of our research into customer reviews, we used Amazon as a source, due to their excellent trust record and having the largest number of reviews and answered questions online.
Although Amazon have recently made it possible to leave a rating without completing a full review, most of the feedback for the Body Rider bike was left when you had to add a full review to your rating.
This means that the hundreds of review ratings currently left on the site for this bike are full of important information about the pros and cons of using this bike in your own home workouts.
But having hundreds of reviews can also make it difficult to really find those key important pieces of information that can have a big influence on your design to buy.
That’s why we’ve read through a large proportion of these reviews ourselves, putting together the following lists of pros and cons in the process.
- Handlebar design makes it possible to create a full body workout, involving upper and lower body muscle groups
- Quick and easy to assemble
- Wide range of adjustable seat height settings makes the BRF700 bike ideal for users up to and over 6 feet tall
- Internal fan creates a cooling breeze that keeps you energized during your workouts
- Compact footprint and no reliance on mains power means you have much more flexibility in where it’s positioned
- Competitive price means it can be bought as a sole source of exercise, or to compliment an existing outdoor cycling routine
- Low impact protects your joints and can be a great source of rehabilitative exercise
- Some people find the seat uncomfortably hard during longer cycling workouts. (A Sunlite Cloud-9 Bicycle Suspension Cruiser Saddle is usually recommended to make the seat more comfortable, but some reviewers claim this is difficult to fit)
- The large internal fan does create a bit more noise than magnetic resistance cycles, but this hasn’t been something that’s had a huge impact on people’s ability to listen to music or watch TV while they workout
- Lack of preset workout programs
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame: 1 year
- Parts: 90 days
As with most fitness equipment, this warranty only covers the bike for the original purchaser. Although it won’t be an issue if you are thinking about buying the Body Rider Fan Bike new, it’s something worth bearing in mind if you are looking for a used model.
The warranty is also based around a certain level of maintenance being applied while you own the machine. Although the level of maintenance is much less than for treadmills or ellipticals, Body Champ still provide a detailed guide of what’s required in the owner’s manual that accompanies the bike.