Mark’s Update: This bike is still ‘unavailable’ and has been for over a year now… don’t worry, there are some brilliant alternatives in the price / spec range.
My pick is the excellent Studio Pro 22 from ProForm – a serious piece of kit, which comes with a discount.
Summary: I’m going to have to be careful not to overuse the term – though it is the German engineering which makes the SportsTech SX500 Indoor Cycle stand out from the crowd. Comparing it to the flimsy, rattly budget exercise bikes is like comparing a Trabant to a Mercedes!
You’ll get a huge 25kg flywheel (directly relevant to the smooth action), silent action and stepless resistance changes. This bike looks the part too, with ‘studio bike’ good looks to match the spec. It connects with the ‘iBike’ app. That tracks your sessions and progress. Small touches like pads in the right places, an iPad holder and pulse monitoring complete the top-rated spec.
See the gallery and check the latest price now over on this dedicated amazon.co.uk product page.
You’ll get a great looking exercise bike, which is heavier and more robust than most home models. This does not take away from the design. Curves and adjustable components work together to give the SportsTech SX500 a unique profile.
Some assembly is required. Once together the SX500 measures 142cm x 62 cm x 1220. Note the bar across the bottom between the main support struts for extra sturdiness. There are small wheels at the front to move this bike around – you’ll need them, as the total weight of 70kgs is 3x a budget bike!
This indoor bike uses a belt system which attaches to a huge flywheel. This is a full 25kgs. For comparison, budget (£250 and under) bikes usually have 10kg max… As a rule of thumb, the bigger the flywheel the smoother the resistance (think momentum!).
Add to that some German engineering, and you’ll find ‘stepless’ resistance. This is a fancy way of saying that the change between easy and hard does not go in sudden jolts – you can smoothly increase and reduce the resistance to suit your fitness level / routine.
The pedals are often overlooked. This SportsTech indoor bike ticks the right boxes with those too. These include a click system (holds your shoes) and anti-slip platform too. You’ll find cushioned handlebars on this model. If you look closely, there are extra cushions for your forearms too – great for those intensive sprints.
One more practicality. You can adjust the position of the saddle and the handlebars. The max user weight is listed as 150kgs (that is more than 23 stone in old money).
On the gallery for the SX500, you’ll see the electronic console alone and then with a connected iPad on top.
Lets start with the regular console: This is a simple monochrome display, though packs in a lot of information. That includes the usual speed, distance, time and calories burned. It also includes your pulse (either through built in sensors on the handlebars or your own belt). You will see a road view, which shows where you are in your workout.
Smack in the middle is a dial. That can be used to manually control your resistance at any point.
Now the App: This bike comes with iBike app integration. You’ll need to get this from the Android of Apple app stores, and then connect to your bike using Bluetooth. This is a simple process, simply turn on the app, then look for devices in your area. Once done you can save data (great for tracking progress towards fitness over time). You can also use the display on your tablet to go with your workout routine.
It is unusual to see any fitness equipment with no negative (one or two star) feedback at all. The SportsTech SX500 has only 4 and 5 stars at the time of writing. This does tie in with their other products… a company with a rapidly growing reputation for quality home fitness equipment.
A lot of people note that this is a heavy indoor bike. This is definitely framed in a positive way – in comparison to those flimsy budget models. While not quite commercial spec, this is built differently to the ‘knock off’ or ‘no name’ bikes that flood the listings these days.
Quietness also got a few separate mentions. If you have ever owned an exercise bike with a noticeable hum, you’ll know this is a big advantage.
The SportsTech SX500 is a mid-range indoor bike when it comes to the price point. The big question is whether it is worth those extra ££’s over cheaper models.
For the build quality, this is a yes. You’ll get a big, heavy bike with the smoothest possible ride. It is attention to the small details which gives this bike my vote. Stepless resistance, belt / iPad compatibility, quiet action and even extra cushioning in just the right places.
Add to this (I know, saying it again) German engineering and a brand with a growing reputation for superior quality, and the picture is complete.
For quality without the ‘commercial’ price tag, this is one for your shortlist.
Check out the gallery, feedback and latest price for yourself now on this dedicated amazon.co.uk product page.
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