The LiveStrong LS6.0R Recumbent Bike has been designed to offer a quick, convenient, and low impact way to workout at home, which also provides some much needed lumbar support.
In our review we take a look at the overall design – including the upgraded features, customer reviews, ease of assembly, and the LiveTrack Fitness Journal System. This is to help you decide if the LiveStrong LS6.0R is the best recumbent stationary bike for your own home workouts.
If you’re considering buying a new recumbent exercise bike, there are a few features that are likely to be near the top of your list in terms of your ideal design.
The first is a high weight limit. Although you may not need to take full advantage of this, it’s a sign that the frame is strong enough to support a decent amount of weight.
The second is a challenging range of resistance levels. You want to make sure that it can provide workouts that are challenging enough to improve your fitness level and help you achieve your goals.
Fortunately the LiveStrong LS6.0R includes both of these features, with a 300 lb weight capacity and 20 levels of magnetic resistance thanks to the 20 lb internal flywheel.
Heart rate monitoring is also available thanks to the set of integrated heart rate hand sensors you’ll find in the closest set of handles.
Unlike certain models of spin bike, the LS6.0R recumbent bike also uses FreeSpin technology to ensure that the pedal crank stops moving as soon as you stop cycling.
The flywheel will then come to a stop on its own, whereas you would need to flow your cycling pace down to stop the flywheel on a spin bike. This helps to avoid sudden stops and certainly feels safer in the recumbent position.
Livestrong LS6.0R Recumbent Bike
- Recumbent exercise bike with comfortable step-thru frame
- Exclusive FreeSpin technology eliminates sudden, jarring stops
- 20 levels of magnetic brake resistance
- 11 pre-programmed workouts
- LCD display and 2 LED windows
- Contact heart rate grips
- Flywheel weight: 20 lbs
- Seat type: Padded mesh back with lumbar support
- Pedal type: QuickZip pedal straps
- Built-in speakers: Yes
Comfort and ergonomics
It’s worth mentioning that the LiveStrong LS6.0R is actually an upgrade over their earlier LS5.0R model.
Although there have been various improvements made, including an increase in resistance levels and the length of the frame warranty, it’s the seat design that really stands out.
It’s not that there was anything particularly unusual about the seat for the LS5.0R, it’s just that the thick padding meant that the flow of air wasn’t able to cool your back, and the back support itself was a lot more rigid.
These are things that have been changed with the LS6.0R, where you can now find a contoured mesh seat back that offers greater lumbar support at the same time as keeping you cool.
Display console design
As soon as we saw the display console for the LiveStrong LS6.0R we instantly recognised some similarities with the EX-59-02 Elliptical from Horizon Fitness.
Much of the fitness equipment from LiveStrong and Horizon is of course manufactured by the same parent company (Johnson Health Tech), so it’s no surprise that some of the design features and the formatting of the user manual looks familiar.
But this is certainly no bad thing, as you still have the subtle design features like the reading shelf behind the company logo, and the slim storage area for your MP3 player or mobile phone.
In terms of entertainment options, LiveStrong have included the built-in speakers for listening to your favourite music while you workout, and the reading rack.
This can also double as a tablet shelf for smaller tablets if you don’t mind the workout information being obscured.
You also have a choice of quick-select resistance settings for when you want to workout at a specific resistance level, but don’t want to spend time with the smaller increments that the plus and minus buttons can provide.
One thing that we did notice about the LS6.0R display console that we really liked was the addition of the mountain range style image below the LCD screens.
Although this is quite a simple feature, it still does an excellent job of showing the different types of real-world terrains that you could expect to cycle over.
In our opinion this is much clearer than the standard dot matrix style icons of the workout profiles that you sometimes see instead.
As well as the level quick keys and workout program buttons, you also have the functions you need to navigate through the different LiveTrack screens.
If you’re only interested in your current workout performance then this probably won’t have much of a benefit to your training, but it’s certainly something we’re going to take a closer look at later in this review.
The final and most obvious feature of the console is its LED display windows. These can be used to show your time, distance, speed, calories burned, heart rate, and current resistance level.
Training with the LiveTrack Fitness Journal System
While it’s certainly useful to have a variety of workout programs available to keep your workouts feeling fresh and interesting, it’s equally as important to be able to measure your progress over time.
Writing down your results in a journal is definitely one way to achieve this, but it’s prone to errors, such as writing down the wrong number next to a piece of feedback
LiveStrong have tried to make this process a bit more reliable by developing a piece of software called LiveTrack.
This isn’t anything that you need to install on your computer, and comes already built into the display console in a similar way to the preset workout programs.
YouTube video showing the benefits of the LiveStrong LS6.0R:
If you’re not interested in collecting this data, then you can always choose to workout without it, but it does help provide some useful insights into your past and current performance.
All that’s needed from you is to select one of the two user profiles to store data against before you start your workout. Once this is done, you just need to start cycling, and remember to insert the USB drive into the console when your workout is complete.
At any point during your workout you can scroll through 4 different screens of data:
1: Personal Best – Allows you to view your personal bests for previous workouts. This includes your fastest 5km time, fastest mile, longest workout, and most calories burned in a single session.
2: Last 5 workouts – Whereas the ‘Personal Best’ screen analyses data from all of your previous workouts, this screen only shows you stats from the last 5 workouts.
This includes your time, distance, calories burned, and pace.
3: Workout Totals – Similar to the ‘Personal Best’ screen, this will look at data from all of your previous workouts, but provide you with lifetime totals for the stats instead.
The USB you inserted at the end of your workout can then be used to transfer your data from the console to the LiveStrong website, where you can also download additional workout programs.
Ideally we would liked to have seen some way for the information to sync with popular fitness apps, so all your fitness and diet information is kept in the one place.
Although this isn’t an option with the LiveStrong LS6.0R, this does happen to be possible with the ProForm 6.0 ES. It all depends on what level of workout tracking you really need.
Ease of assembly
To speed up the process, the LiveStrong LS6.0R actually ships with the front shroud and seat slide already assembled. This means that you only have to attach the base stabilizers before you have a stable platform on which you can attach the seat, pedals, console mast, and display console.
The bolts and washers you need for each step have even been packaged in groups so you can always be sure you have the correct parts.
Each assembly instruction in the user manual is clearly explained using a combination of diagrams and text, so that you can get started on your first workout as soon as possible.
This is the kind of efficiency and ease of assembly we’ve come to expect from the companies that fall under the Johnson Health Tech name, and results in an assembly time of 30 to 40 minutes.
While the majority of the assembly is quick and straightforward, it could take closer to the 40 minute mark if you are doing this alone, due to the process of connecting the cables through the console mast.
While recumbent bikes at this price point usually offer many more features and longer warranties than their entry level counterparts, this does often mean there are fewer reviews.
Fortunately we were still able to find a collection on Amazon that provided us with enough information to build a clear picture of what people thought of the bike after buying it.
Although there are a number of reviews that stated issues with the packaging, this tends to be as a result of the vendor that advertises the product on Amazon or the courier that delivers it, not Amazon itself.
If possible, it’s worth asking in the customer questions section to find out which vendor people had good experiences with in terms of shipping and packaging, then ensure that your Amazon order goes through that company.
- Mesh seat backing is a useful upgrade and helps provide better support for your lower back
- Step-through design makes it easier to workout if you have limited mobility or have taken up recumbent bike cycling as rehabilitative exercise
- Challenging choice of resistance levels
- Wide range of realistic workout programs
- QuickZip pedals speed up the time it takes to start your workout
- Magnetic resistance system is quiet to use
- Smooth cycling and stopping motion thanks to FreeSpin
- No cooling fan, although these tend not to be very powerful on most bikes even when they are included
- No dot matrix display or visual indication of which profile segment you’re currently following
- Poor packaging tends to be a fairly common complaint
- Fabric for the back mesh has started to come away from the frame for a couple of reviewers
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame: 10 years
- Electronics: 1 year
- Parts and labor: 1 year