In this review we’ll be taking an in-depth look at the overall design features, together with the console functions, feedback metrics, workout programs, and customer reviews to help you decide if the 910SR represents the best value for your budget.
One of the biggest attractions for recumbent bike cycling is its suitability for all age ranges and fitness levels.
The reclined position created by the seat angle and pedal crank placement helps to distribute weight more evenly, which in turn reduces any stress placed on knee joints or muscle tendons.
In addition to the ergonomic design of the frame, you also have a well padded seat that’s been contoured to support your lower back while allowing unrestricted movement in your legs.
In contrast, the back support hasn’t been contoured in the same way as for the Sole LCR or tapered in the same way as the Schwinn 230.
Instead you have an extra-wide, height-adjustable mesh section that helps to provide much needed ventilation, and combines with the built-in fan to keep you cool during your workouts.
But perhaps one of the most noticeable improvements over lower priced bikes like the Schwinn A20 is the way in which you can adjust the seat.
Seat adjustment and heart rate monitoring
Not only do you have the various height settings for the back support, but the distance the seat is from the pedals can also be adjusted quickly using a simple adjustment lever.
This is something that can be done in seconds, even when you’re seated. In comparison, bikes like the Schwinn A20 use a hand wheel and locking pin that slides through pre-drilled holes in the frame. If more than one person will be using the bike then this could become both frustrating and time consuming.
Staying with our A20 comparison, and although there’s quite a big difference in their prices, the 910SR has the added benefit of a walk-through frame design, whereas the A20 requires you to step over the seat rail.
This may not make a big difference to some people, but if you’re buying a recumbent as a form of exercise due to having poor mobility, then this is certainly something worth bearing in mind.
With an Eddy Current braking system that offers 32 levels of resistance, you can also be guaranteed a quiet workout, allowing you to watch TV or listen to your favourite motivational music while you cycle.
Heart rate touch sensors are conveniently integrated into the handles on either side of the seat to stay within easy reach. If you’re not wearing a telemetry chest strap, such as the H7 or T31 from Polar, then these can transmit your heart rate reading to the console for use in the Heart Rate Control workout programs and fitness test.
Diamondback 910SR – Features Summary
- 910Sr LCD display delivers real-time feedback
- Console has built-in speaker with mp3 connectivity, 35 workout programs, 32 levels of resistance, Target heart rate programs
- Diamondback Fitness’ personal cooling fans allow you to vary the fan speed during your workout
- Foldout magazine rack holds your favorite magazine during your workout and folds away when not in use
- Built-In Wireless Heart Rate Receiver, Compatible with Lifecore and Polar Chest Straps
Display console design
Although the console for the Diamondback 910SR may not be the most visually attractive we’ve seen, it does have a variety of useful features.
To simplify the 20+ options available, Diamondback have grouped them together into six main sections; the media bay, quick-select program keys (left), quick-select resistance keys (right), LCD screen, input control keys,
and the adjustable fan and stereo speakers.
This represents a major upgrade over the earlier 510IC model, which didn’t have the quick-select resistance, offered a more limited collection of quick-select program options, and was missing the numeric keypad.
You also didn’t have the scrolling lower display as part of the screen, which is now used to show your distance, number of calories burned, RPM, and cycling speed.
The remaining sections of the screen are used to keep you updated with your heart rate, resistance level, time, and watts level.
Reading rack and media center
But one of the features we rarely see on bikes at this price range is a media center, capable of supporting an iPad, iPhone, or iPod via its built-in docking station.
This is one of the clearest advantages over the Sole LCR bike, which has a very narrow shelf that is best reserved for smartphones, although even these can obstruct the display screen.
That’s not the case with the 910SR, where the docking station and USB / charging ports have been built into the top of the console, away from any screens or buttons.
We actually noticed a feature we’re more used to seeing on rowing machines, which is that the console can tilt to provide a more direct view of the feedback. Although rowing machines will often do this via a monitor arm, the 910SR console pivots at the base, and can be adjusted at any point during your workout.
You also have the option of using the conveniently placed reading rack for holding your book or magazine while you cycle.
One final feature that we wanted to mention is the dot matrix display. This is a section of the screen that shows the profile of your current workout program, as well as your current progress.
Preset workout programs
- Quick start – If you’re not looking to follow any specific profile, this is the program to choose. It will start you with a default workout duration of 30 minutes (configurable via the options menu), then it’s entirely up to you which resistance levels you cycle at.
- Interval (6) – Six variations of interval training, which is a workout broken down into segments of equal length. Each segment will have a work and recovery stage, with the variation being based on the ratio of work to recovery.
For example, a 30 minute workout could be made up of 10 segments, with a 1 minute work stage followed by 2 minutes of recovery.
- Hill climb (6) – The training profile for the hill climb is less dramatic than the interval programs, but still follows a similar pattern.
The resistance level will automatically adjust to emulate the feeling of cycling up and down hills.
- Strength (6) – Each of the six strength programs is designed to be more challenging than the last, with less time spent at lower resistance levels compared to the Hill Climb or Interval options.
- Fat burning (3) – Despite offering some of the lowest resistance levels, the Fat Burn programs will keep your heart rate at a constant level with steady-state cardio.
This type of workout where your heart rate is closer to 70% of your maximum is considered to be optimal for fat loss.
- Random (5) – If you want to keep making progress towards your fitness or strength goals, muscle adaptation is something you’re going to want to avoid.
That’s why the Diamondback 910SR also features five workout programs that incorporate levels of resistance and a profile that’s much more varied than the programs we’ve mentioned so far.
- Laps (2) – The display matrix splits into 84 segments and your progress is displayed by the one that’s flashing. These segments can either represent a 5km or 10km distance, depending on the Lap program chosen.
- Heart rate control (3) – Two user profiles are available from the ‘User Setup’ mode, against which you can store information such as your name, age, weight, and gender.
The age is what’s used in the Heart Rate Control (HRC) programs to help calculate your maximum heart rate more accurately.
The three HRC programs then let you either perform a heart rate interval workout, maintain a set percentage of your maximum pulse rate (based on goal), or set and maintain a target pulse rate (beats per minute).
Testing your physical fitness
Despite the lack of workout tracking software or USB port for data download, the Diamondback 910SR does include a fitness test as one of its preset programs.
Although there are several different types of test available in the fitness equipment industry, the 910SR uses the YMCA protocol, which is the same as the higher priced LCR bike from Sole. This means it has the same requirement for you to pedal at 50 RPM for the duration.
The YMCA Protocol differs from the Recovery Fitness Test in the sense that you don’t need to have just completed a workout to start it.
Following a quick 3 minute warm up (the length of one stage), the resistance will start to increase until you maintain a heart rate of over 110BPM for two consecutive stages.
When the beep sounds to signify the end of the test, instead of your VO2 max being used to calculate your score like with Sole’s LCR, your functional capacity for aerobic exercise is displayed instead (METS).
METS is a scale of physical activity that matches a score to different levels of physical activity. This usually ranges from 0.9 (sleeping) through to 8 or 10 for running, jogging, and calisthenics.
This means that you’ll still see a score at the end of the test that can be used to measure your improvements, but it’s a score that’s transferable between activities and not limited to cycling on a recumbent bike.
Ease of assembly / Maintenance required
The most common reason we came across for lower rating reviews was the assembly instructions. Unfortunately, despite Diamondback providing a combination of diagrams and textual instruction, the diagrams tend to be unclear and the instructions try to cover too many changes in a single step.
As it is, there’s no real distinction between sections, and the list of changes continues page after page, with 26 different changes merged into just 5 diagrams.
What we would like to see is at least twice the number of diagrams, with the different steps broken into distinct sections that give you a sense of achievement once each one is complete. Something similar to the assembly instructions we’ve seen for recumbent bikes from Tunturi or Precor.
Quality of instructions aside, the bulk of the base frame arrives pre-assembled, together with the seat rail, pedal crank, and resistance system.
Despite weighing in excess of 150 lbs, after the parts have been carried through to the room where you intend to workout, there’s not a lot of heavy lifting involved.
Once you get the front and rear stabilizers attached this does reduce the time it takes to get setup, but we recommend you allow 1 to 2 hours to get everything in place. Most of the tools you’ll need are included.
Transport and storage
If you do need to move the bike at any point, Diamondback have fitted the front stabilizer with a large central transport wheel.
Although the wheel is fitted into a recess, we’ve seen none of the issues reported with the Sole LCR, where the stabilizer covers caught on carpet when rolling on transport wheels.
As with most of the cardio equipment we review, Diamondback are keen to emphasise the importance of wiping down the covers after a workout.
This is due to the corrosive nature that perspiration can have if it’s allowed to accumulate in the same place over a period of time. The warranty doesn’t cover the discolouring, fading, or rusting of parts that this can cause, so it’s worth keeping a mild soap solution and towel nearby.
As the upgraded model of the earlier 510IC recumbent, which itself has been awarded a number of best buy awards and high review ratings, we were keen to discover how the 910SR was matching up.
Although we found slightly fewer reviews, this is to be expected due to the higher price and more recent release date.
The reviews that we did find were overwhelmingly positive, with an average rating that rivalled that of the earlier 510IC.
However, we also noticed a slightly higher proportion of ratings below 4 stars on Amazon, which is something we wanted to check up on.
After reading through the reasons behind the ratings, we discovered that they weren’t rating the bike poorly because of its quality, but rather due to the poorly drawn diagrams in the assembly manual, or in one case the damage to packaging prior to delivery.
As with all of our reviews we try to provide you with unbiased feedback so that you’re free to form your own opinions based on facts and other people’s experiences. This is why we’ve put together the following lists of pros and cons, based on feedback from other customers who have bought and used this bike.
- Smooth and quiet cycling motion
- MP3 compatibility lets you listen to your favourite music while cycling
- Step-through design makes it easier to get on and off the bike without lifting your legs. This was especially beneficial for several customers who had mobility issues after surgery or injury, but still wanted to exercise.
- Wide variety of workout programs cater for different fitness goals
- Wide range of adjustment options helps you find the most comfortable position for your height and body type
- Well padded seat improves comfort, while the ventilated mesh back support helps keep you cool
- Backlit console makes feedback easy to read in low light conditions
- Assembly instructions tend to combine a number of steps into a single diagram, making it difficult to clearly identify all parts
- Interface isn’t as intuitive compared to bikes like the Sole Fitness LCR
- The fan isn’t particularly powerful
- Excellent response time from Diamondback customer service
- Much of the bike arrives pre-assembled, cutting down on assembly time
- Angle of the seat isn’t adjustable, only its distance from the pedals
Several features were mentioned from different perspectives, so rather than include them in both lists, we felt it was better to explain them a bit more here.
The most important of these is the weight. At over 150 lbs this is similar to Sole’s LCR, but considerably heavier than recumbents like the Exerpeutic 4000 (71 lbs) or Horizon Fitness RC-30 (105 lbs).
Although this is beneficial for improving the stability of the bike during high intensity workouts, it can make transport and assembly a little more difficult. Overall we view this as a positive feature, but recommend minimal movement of the bike once it’s all setup.
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame: Lifetime
- Parts and Electronics: 3 years
- Labor: 1 year
- Wear Items: 90 days