Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Exercise Bikes

Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle Review

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The Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle is an upgrade over their popular M3 spin bike, with several major improvements to the ergonomics and adjustment options, Bluetooth connectivity, and enhanced group cycle benefits.

This review takes a closer look at the design features, display console options, and why this particular design has achieved a world first in workout feedback accuracy.

World’s First

Before we take a closer look at the design features and cycling technology that set this bike to be one of the bestselling indoor cycles for 2015, we first wanted to mention one very important point.

The Keiser M3i has already set new standards for indoor cycling by being the first indoor cycle to pass EN ISO 20957-1 for accuracy testing of its power display.

Tested by European safety organization ‘TUV Product Services’, this is based around the accuracy in data reporting for an indoor group exercise cycle.

This means that the maximum variation allowed for any randomly sampled production M3i must consistently perform within 10% (plus or minus) of accuracy.

Thoughts from Keiser Vice President-Europe:

“It is important to everyone at Keiser that our customers know they are getting the best bike in the industry and the most accurate reporting system as this designation confirms.”

With accurate feedback on your workouts being considered such an important part of any indoor cycle or group cycle routine, this is a huge improvement over most of the bikes that are currently available.

Stability, position adjustment, and transport

Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle (2015 Model)

If you’re thinking about buying a new exercise bike to use at home, you generally have 4 main types to choose from; upright, recumbent, studio, and combination (exercise bike and elliptical in the same machine).

Although its design is completely unique, and with the flywheel positioned at the back of the frame instead of the front, the Keiser M3i falls into the ‘studio’ category.

This means the frame will be heavier than most upright bikes, with the bulk of the weight kept low to the ground to enhance stability and prevent any unwanted sideways movement when cycling.

If you’re already familiar with the earlier Keiser M3 model, you’ll notice that the new M3i has an added area of adjustment.

You can now alter the distance that the handlebars are from the seat, as well as their angle and height.

As well as the handlebar adjustment options, you can also adjust the position of the seat, both horizontally and vertically.

Each one of these adjustments is important on its own, but when you add them together you can now create a configuration that closely matches your own outdoor road bike, or simply better suits your preferred cycling position.

As with the earlier M3 design, the Keiser M3i clearly labels the height settings of the seat, so that you can quickly switch between specific positions if there’s going to be more than one person using it.

It’s also important to notice the ease with which you can adjust the height of the seat and handlebars, with Keiser opting for a pull-pin style system, rather than a screw-in hand wheel. This helps cut down the time it takes to make minor height adjustments.

One final feature worth mentioning is the transport wheels attached to the front base stabilizer.

At 85 lbs in weight, this isn’t a particularly heavy piece of fitness equipment compared to some treadmills or ellipticals, but having the wheels there certainly makes it easier to move the bike between rooms if required.

Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle (2015 Model)

Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle – Features Summary

  • Intelligent cycling and the most technologically advanced indoor group cycle ever
  • Featuring Bluetooth wireless
  • Partners up with a wireless phone or tablet
  • The computer can transmit to a receiver for projection onto a screen

Ergonomic handlebars and magnetic resistance system

Another of the differences between the Keiser M3i and the earlier M3 design is in the ergonomic shape of the handlebars.

With a design that’s much more similar to the M3 Plus Parent model, by having the handlebar flow start at the front instead of by the display console, Keiser have actually created an entirely new grip position.

You now have 4 main grip positions to choose from:

  • Overhand front grip (either side of display console)
  • Extended grip (furthest point from the seat, horizontal)
  • Time trialling (close together, either side of console)
  • Hook or Middle grip (further apart, at a slight incline)

Having these options not only caters for a wider range of heights and personal preferences, but also provides greater support for if you want to switch from low intensity to high intensity cycling.

Keiser M3 handlebars
Keiser M3 handlebars

Keiser M3i handlebars
Keiser M3i handlebars

The eddy current (magnetic resistance) system is actually based around a series of gear changes, rather than a free wheel.

This is controlled via a resistance shifter (red lever positioned just below the console), which affects how much of the magnetic field comes into contact with the flywheel.

Moving the resistance shifter away from you will increase the gear, making your workout more challenging. Likewise, moving the lever towards you will lower the gear and reduce the resistance.

Also, if you were wondering whether or not the M3i has a water bottle holder, it does. The frame section that runs between the pedals and the handlebars has a slight recess moulded into it, which is enough to comfortably hold a water bottle while you cycle.

Display console design

Although it may look similar to the console used on the earlier M3, the Keiser M3i display console has one major difference; its Bluetooth wireless connectivity.

The screen itself is backlit, and can still be used to provide feedback on a number of important workout statistics while you cycle.

This includes your RPM, power output in watts, heart rate, time, gear (1-24 gears), and distance.

Bluetooth connectivity to phones and tablets

With the increase in the number of mobile fitness apps and personal fitness trackers, it’s becoming more important to be able to track your workout away from the display console that’s attached to the machine.

Bluetooth connectivity allows workout information for group classes to be displayed using a projector

The Keiser M3i can now connect to your phone and sync the data from your workout, which acts as a more accurate way to measure your progress between multiple workouts.

While this is a feature best suited to single users for their home gyms, it can also be a major benefit for commercial gyms and group cycling sessions.

This is because each bike can be synced to a projector, which can then display your workout information on a screen in front of you.

Having the entire cycling group’s workout stats displayed in one easy-to-read format can help create a greater sense of competition, encouraging you to push yourself more and see greater improvements in your fitness as a result.

Ease of assembly

Something that has a considerable influence over the rating left in customer reviews for any piece of fitness equipment is how easy it was to assemble.

In our opinion, Keiser are currently one of the best fitness companies to buy from in terms of the quality of their user manuals, with step-by-step instructions for how each individual part fits together.

Unlike some manuals that try to save space by combining several steps in the same diagram, Keiser use a combination of colour photographs and textual explanations to explain exactly what’s needed to get setup quickly.

The manual also does an excellent job of providing you with useful information on the level of maintenance required and solutions to basic issues that may require troubleshooting.

Customer reviews

Being such a new addition to the Keiser range, there aren’t currently a large number of reviews available like there are for the earlier M3.

However, the reviews that we have been able to find through online marketplaces such as Amazon have provided some very encouraging feedback.

As more reviews start to appear we’ll be sure to update this review to give you a greater idea about how the bike is performing over a longer period of time, and for a larger number of reviewers.

What’s covered by the warranty?

  • Parts: 3 years

As with most fitness equipment warranties (not just Keiser), the coverage is warranted exclusively to the original purchaser. This means you won’t have any coverage at all if you were to buy this bike used instead of new.

Review Overview

Overall Review Rating

5 / 5

If you're serious about your indoor cycling, you need to find a bike that will stand up to high intensity workouts on a regular basis, while still managing to provide accurate feedback.

Being the first indoor cycle to pass EN ISO 20957-1 ensures the Keiser M3i is highly accurate, while its popularity in commercial gyms such as David Lloyd proves that it has the durability and build quality to withstand heavy, frequent use.

With similar adjustment options and handlebar design to the M3 parent plus, it's really the Bluetooth connectivity that pushes this bike over the top in terms of quality and workout tracking.

Overall, if you're looking to invest in an indoor exercise bike that can provide commercial gym class quality workouts for years into the future, this is a bike that's currently top of our recommendations.

Product dimensions: 45" (H) x 26" (W) x 49" (L) Product weight: 85 lbs

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