You may already be familiar with recumbent and upright bikes, but what about mini bikes? One of the current bestselling designs is the MagneTrainer-ER, which provides a range of simple workout options from home.
This review takes a closer look at the reasons behind its popularity, and whether there are any similar designs that might offer a similar workout experience for a lower price.
Compact design features
In terms of the different cardio equipment available, your standard upright exercise bike is already fairly compact in the amount of space it takes up. Particularly when compared with some of the variable stride ellipticals and treadmills with larger running belts.
Recumbent bikes are certainly another option, but what they lose in height they tend to gain in frame length.
Upright bikes with a foldable frame do provide you with more space when the bike isn’t in use, but these tend to stop at a certain price range, and often aren’t designed for taller users.
So what if you could find an exercise bike that was compact, required no folding or moving between workouts, was suitable for all user heights, and was still available at an entry level price?
This is exactly the goal behind the design of the MagneTrainer-ER Mini Bike, which also provides a smooth internal twin belt drive system that makes it extremely quiet to use.
With such a compact size, convenience is clearly the main benefit that this bike brings to your workouts.
You can be up late working from home, but still be cycling under your desk without worrying about the noise waking your family or neighbours.
The wider 15 inch steel base also keeps the bike from rocking side to side when you pedal it, while the pedals have adjustable Velcro straps to accommodate all foot sizes.
MagneTrainer-ER Mini Exercise Bike – Features Summary
- Compact, lightweight commercial grade arm and leg exerciser
- 15 inch wide base and sturdy steel frame
- Patented magnetic resistance
- More than twice the resistance range of the other magnetic pedal exercisers
- Sturdy steel base and wide footprint for excellent stability
- Both legs are over 15-Inch wide
- Adjustable Velcro straps on pedals to accommodate all foot sizes
- Pedals work with both feet and hands
- Electronic monitor displays Speed, Distance, Time and Calories. Runs on single AA Battery (included)
Display console functions
Before we take a closer look at the functions provided with the display console, it’s worth bearing in mind that you shouldn’t compare its design with that of traditional upright bikes.
You don’t have the ability to track your heart rate, sync your workout statistics with a training app or website, and don’t have any preset workout programs to follow.
But what you do have is an easy-to-read display screen that keeps you updated with your distance, speed, time, and calories burned.
Adjustable magnetic resistance system
Another reason why you can experience such quiet workouts with the MagneTrainer Mini Bike is the fact that the resistance is controlled by magnets.
This is compared to fan driven systems or studio style bikes, where they rely on a buffer rubbing against a friction pad to slow down the movement of the perimeter weighted flywheels.
In terms of the different resistance settings, the maximum this particular bike can be set to is 170 Watts.
Although only a subtle design feature, we felt it was also important to point out the placing and design of the hand wheel used to control the resistance, and its position in relation to the display console.
The hand wheel has been clearly marked with the different levels of resistance you can expect according to how much you rotate it.
But no matter which level you choose, the console and display screen are always kept within easy reach.
This is a little easier to appreciate when you compare the MagneTrainer design to its closest competitor; the Stamina 15-0125 InStride Folding Cycle.
On the Stamina bike, while it’s true that the console is closer to you, the resistance adjustment is controlled using a smaller rotating pin, with no indication of what level of resistance its current rotation relates to.
In this way, the MagneTrainer-ER Mini Bike does make tracking your workout and progress slightly easier.
Upper and lower body workouts
Apart from its compact size, there is another major benefit to buying a high quality mini bike. The lightweight flywheel and range of motion that the pedals move through also makes it ideal for training your arms and shoulders.
The low profile and extra grip provided by the feet design means you can stand this bike on a desk in front of you, then hold onto the thinner pedals which have been ergonomically designed to double as handles.
Due to the range of motion and number of resistance settings, this can actually prove to be an even more challenging workout than your conventional seated cycling.
Ease of assembly
Usually we would dedicate an entire section of our review to covering the quality of the user manual and assembly instructions. Because there are so few parts to put together, we’re simply going to say that it’s almost effortless to setup, and should be ready to use within 10 minutes of removing all the parts from the box.
Despite being considerably smaller than an upright exercise bike, the MagneTrainer-ER Mini Bike is still priced around the same level as some of the entry level upright designs.
The price doesn’t seem to have a huge effect on the customer reviews though, where hundreds of reviewers have provided feedback on how much they love this machine.
With over 200 reviews rating this bike at the full 5 stars on Amazon, and such a tiny number of low ratings, we wanted to find out more about what makes this design so special.
That’s why we’ve already read through many of these reviews for you, in order to provide honest feedback on the quality and effectiveness of this mini bike.
But is it enough to justify paying the extra $100 over the Stamina 15-0125 model?
To finish up this review, you can find lists of the most frequently mentioned pros and cons under the headers below.
- Quiet twin belt drive and magnetic resistance system
- Challenging levels of tension available for all levels of fitness
- Straps available to ensure the feet remain stationary on carpet when cycling at higher resistance settings
- Smooth, low impact pedalling motion
- Upper and lower body workouts available
- Compact design makes it a convenient bike to relocate if required
- Forward and reverse pedal motions available
- More convenient option than a treadmill desk for getting some low impact cardio while you work
- Monitor displays some basic but important feedback on your workout stats
- Normal desks don’t allow for a full range of cycling motion when the bike is placed underneath
(If you have an average sized desk, you should take a look at their DeskCycle. The DeskCycle works with desks as low as 27 inches)
- Heart rate tracking would have been a nice feature to have built into the handles for upper body training
- Display feedback for calories burned has been known to be inaccurate at times
- Straps to attach the bike to your chair are required if you intend to use this bike on carpet at higher resistance settings
Does the bike come with a warranty?
The MagneTrainer-ER Mini Bike is sold with a 1 year warranty.