Stamina makes cheap recumbent exercise bikes that are extremely popular. Its appeal lies in an attractive combination of price, build, and feature list. However, when buying cheap fitness equipment, there will be some negative points. Here are some ratings of the company’s recumbent models.
The Stamina Magnetic Resistance Recumbent Bike (15-4600A) retails for around $200 and is the cheapest model. For $200, it seems like good value for money, but when you take a closer look, you really have to wonder if this piece of equipment will give you a decent cardio workout. For starters, although there is magnetic resistance, there are only 8 levels and you have to manually change the resistance using a knob. While this may not be a crucial design flaw, the absence of a built-in heart rate monitor is. To get the best workout you really need this feature and the 15-4600A not having it is a major negative. Finally, the build seems pretty basic and a bit flimsy. This machine has a poor rating of 1 out of 5.
For a mere $30 increase, the Stamina Silent Magnetic Resistance Bike (15-4800A) is a much better buy. Its design and construction is better than the 15-4600A. There are 6 preset training programs and with this model you get hand grip pulse sensors. The resistance still only comes with 8 levels and you have to manually adjust it with a knob, but that’s what I’d expect at this price. For its price, build, and features, it’s not too bad, earning a 3 out of 5 rating.
Next up is the EMR Conversion II Recumbent/Rowing Bike (15-9002) which retails for around $600. I like the idea of combining the bike and rowing machine as they both provide exercises for different parts of the body and for many buying and using two separate machines is expensive and impractical. However, the 15-9002 is not a good team. While it is very easy to convert, it lacks presets, the build quality could be better, and the resistance is still only 8 levels and requires manual adjustment. It doesn’t measure up and only gets a 2 out of 5 rating.
The Stamina Conversion II Recumbent Rower/Bike (15-9003) is the best option. It retails for around $800. When compared to the 15-9003, the better design and construction is very apparent and the LCD screen is larger and easier to read. But again, it lacks preset training programs and there are only 8 resistance levels. Of the two bikes/rowing machines, this is the better one. Is it worth the extra $200? Probably. It gets a rating of 3 out of 5.
The most expensive model is the Elite Total Body Bike (15-9100). It retails for a non-cheap price of $900. I am disappointed with this machine. While I like the idea of ’pedal’ handlebars, the machine lacks a lot of features. It has hand grip sensors, a console that gives you the usual data feedback, etc. But, it lacks many that you would expect a machine at this price to have. There are no preset programs, the resistance levels are still only 8 and still require manual adjustment! Compare this to the Tunturi E60R recumbent exercise bike that retails for $1,000. The Tunturi comes with one of the most feature-rich consoles you can get, 8 motivational and scalable training profiles and 8 user profiles to suit individual fitness goals, electronically controlled brake that produces a wide range of effort and allows for easy switching exercise settings while you train – no manual adjustment, and it comes with a much better warranty. The Tunturi simply outperforms the Resistance on all counts. This Stamina bike leaves a lot to be desired and only gets a 1 out of 5 rating.
A Stamina recumbent bike is cheap, but it’s really only suitable for first-time or occasional users. For those who already have a bike or who really want to get a good workout, it is recommended to look at other brands.