The Weslo Pursuit CT 2.0 R Exercise Bike is designed to provide a low impact cardio workout, with performance tracking and workout apps to help add variety to your workouts.
This review takes an in-depth look at the design features, console functions, ease of assembly, and customer reviews to help you decide if this is the bike that best suits your budget and workout requirements.
We’ll also be making some important comparisons between the Pursuit CT 2.0 and one of the popular recumbent bikes from Exerpeutic, which is available for a similar price.
If you’ve already started researching various different recumbent bike designs, one of the main variations you’ve probably come across is the seat adjustment system.
There are really two main types to choose from, which tend to be dependent on the price.
Lower priced bikes, including the Weslo Pursuit CT 2.0 R require you to adjust the length of the base frame if you want to affect how far you sit from the pedals.
Higher priced designs and some of the models in the Exerpeutic range will instead rely on a much simpler method of a sliding rail and locking pin mechanism.
This is much more like the design you’ll find on the Schwinn collection of recumbent bikes, and is generally considered much more convenient for situations when more than one person will be using the bike for their workouts.
For an entry level recumbent bike, the Pursuit CT 2.0 also provides you with a seat that offers a high level of comfort and support, with handles that are within easy reach (no integrated heart rate sensors).
The base frame is also incredibly compact, making it easier to store this bike away when not in use. It also features a Step Thru design, allowing you to easily get on and off the bike by eliminating the traditional bike base.
This is ideal if you don’t have a lot of space to dedicate to fitness equipment, but still want to burn calories and improve your level of fitness.
Weslo Pursuit CT 2.0 R – Features Summary
- Recumbent chair-like design offers plenty of back support
- 4 quick workout apps – Automatically adjusts the resistance of the bike, designed by a certified personal trainer
- Adjustable, oversized seat for a more comfortable workout
- Easy-to-read LCD window tracks speed, time, distance, pulse, RPM and calories burned
- Step Thru design allows you to easily get on and off the bike
- Innovative design eliminates the traditional bike base
- Target pacer with indicator light alerts you when it’s time to work harder or slow down
- Thumb sensor reads heart rate
- Built-in transport wheels quickly move the bike to your workout area
Display console design
Despite being slightly different in its design, the functions offered by the Weslo Pursuit CT 2.0 R are surprisingly similar to the Stamina 5325.
Although both provide a series of workout profile icons to act as a quick reference guide, it’s the basic form of workout tracking and motivation that we found to be most interesting.
The Pursuit CT 2.0 uses what Weslo refer to as a ‘Pace Guide’ to prompt you to increase or decrease your pedal speed, so that you are constantly maintaining a pace close to what’s required by your chosen workout program.
During your workout, either ‘Go Faster’ or ‘Go Slower’ will be lit up, depending on what’s required.
Similarly, the Stamina bike uses what they call a ‘Target Zone’ indicator, which will again provide a visual indication of the changes you need to make to your cycling speed to maintain the required pace.
Both bikes actually retail for around the same price, at a little under $200, which probably makes these two bikes the earliest upright and recumbent models to offer preset workout programs and performance tracking.
Aside from the Pace Guide, the display console offers a number of other important features, including an LCD screen for displaying workout feedback, and a basic form of heart rate measurement.
The display screen itself is fairly small, so instead of all the information being displayed at once, you’ll need to press the Display button until the information you require is highlighted.
This can include the number of calories burned, heart rate, speed, RPM, time, and distance. The unit of measurement for distance can even be switched between miles and kilometers, depending on your personal preference.
Variety of Quick Workout Apps
The Weslo Pursuit CT 2.0 R offers 4 Quick Workout Apps, which are based on variations in cycling speed as well as resistance.
The Pace Guide is used as a visual indicator as to how quickly you are cycling in relation to your target level for the current workout, which could follow any one of 4 profiles.
The first profile is a mix between hill climb and interval training, with a gradual increase in speed followed by alternating periods of faster and slow cycling.
Profile 2 is very similar, but without the interval segments. This is much more of a pure hill climb program, where you gradually build up to a set speed and maintain it for the majority of your workout.
Profile 3 is more challenging, with more of your workout spent cycling at a faster pace, finishing with a challenging peak in speed at the end.
The final workout is profile 4, which is similar to the first profile but with much higher speed settings to challenge your cardiovascular fitness.
The resistance can be adjusted manually at any time during these profiles to ensure that the target speed settings provide enough of a challenge.
Ease of assembly
A quick read through the assembly instructions in the user manual shows that each step provides exploded drawings, annotations, and part numbers with more detail for the difficult sections.
For the most part it’s an extremely simple process, and something you would expect to follow for any recumbent bike you buy.
Once the base stabilizers are attached to the pre-assembled flywheel casing and base frame, there’s really only the seat assembly and display console support left to assemble.
Most reviewers tend to have difficulties with connecting the cables from the main upright to the base frame and display console.
This is usually when connecting the upper resistance cable to the lower resistance cable, which also requires the movement of metal brackets and the use of pliers to close parts that can be difficult to keep hold of.
If you have a second person available that can assist with this step then that will make it much easier, but this will usually still result in an assembly time of around 45 minutes.
Weslo Pursuit CT 2.0 R Vs. Exerpeutic 900XL
For less than $200 you actually have quite a large range of recumbent bikes to choose from, including designs from Exerpeutic, Velocity, and of course Weslo.
We’ve chosen the Exerpeutic 900XL for our comparisons, due to the bike being available for a similar price, and its high average rating and popularity.
The first thing we noticed was the seat adjustment. This is probably the issue that’s responsible for most of the negative comments in the reviews, due to having to adjust the length of the base frame.
This isn’t the case with the 900XL, which offers a system much more like the Schwinn and ProForm bikes, where you can simply adjust the seat while the base frame remains stationary.
The weight capacity is also higher for the Exerpeutic bike, which is rated to 300 lbs compared to 250 lbs for the Weslo bike.
In terms of measuring your heart rate, the Weslo bike relies on you stopping your workout and pressing your thumb against a button on the console for several seconds.
This obviously isn’t ideal, and is something the Exerpeutic bike manages to avoid by integrating heart rate hand sensors into the main set of handles that wrap around the back of the seat.
The warranty is also much more impressive, with the 900XL providing 3 years of coverage, compared to the 90 days offered by the Weslo Pursuit CT 2.0 R.
Unfortunately the Exerpeutic bike doesn’t come with any workout profiles like the Weslo design does, but it does offer a slightly more reclined back support position, for a more comfortable cycling experience.
Despite its low price, being a recumbent exercise bike produced under the Weslo brand we expected the reviews to be mostly positive.
This is certainly the case, with a range of benefits and high review ratings, but not without a number of important issues.
These are mainly relating to the difficulty that some people had getting the bike setup, and the fact that the seat adjustment is only possible via the base frame instead of a sliding rail.
With dozens of these reviews to read through on Amazon alone, we’ve produced the following lists of pros and cons to act as a quick reference guide to the points that were mentioned most often.
- Ergonomically designed to provide a low impact workout, which is ideal for rehabilitative exercise
- Excellent customer service
- Mixed reviews on the assembly but most find it to be straightforward
- Quiet to use
- Good variety of exercise programs
- Basic workout information is clearly displayed on the LCD screen
- Compact frame design reduces the space needed for workouts
- Seat adjustment has been found to be quite cumbersome – this isn’t necessarily an issue if you will be the only person using the bike, but something to bear in mind if it’s going to be used by the whole family
- Tension levels are high enough for rehab work, but probably not challenging enough for people with a few years of cycling experience already
- Thumb pulse rate is sometimes unreliable in terms of feedback accuracy
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Parts and labor: 90 days
For this warranty to take effect the bike also has to be registered with Weslo within 30 days of the purchase.
Although this feels like a very limited amount of coverage, this is fairly typical of the warranties offered by Weslo, and doesn’t appear to detract from their popularity, particularly when it comes to their bestselling collection of treadmills.