Although they might not be built to challenge an avid cyclist, BodyFit exercise bikes can help the average Joe or Jane meet the American College of Sports Medicine's recommendations for exercise: 20 minutes of vigorous cardio exercise three days a week, or 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week. The BodyFit exercise bikes, available through Sports Authority and some online retailers, are simple, low-budget models designed for basic exercise use.
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BodyFit bikes are available in both recumbent and upright models. The main difference between the two models is seat design. The upright model comes with a padded seat that's broader than, but still greatly resembles, a conventional bike seat. The upright seat adjusts up and down to fit a range of body sizes.
The recumbent BodyFit bike comes with a step-through frame design. The recumbent seat is wider and flatter than an upright seat, and it comes with a backrest. The seat adjusts forward and back, instead of up and down, to accommodate different leg lengths.
Handlebars and Heart Rate Monitors
The upright BodyFit bike comes with handlebars that curve out, then up, to either side of the console. Silvery metal patches on the handlebars indicate handgrip heart rate monitors. Grasp both of these and, after a few seconds, the bike console will display your heart rate. Note that although some product descriptions may describe these as "EKG" pulse monitors, they are not medical-grade equipment.
The recumbent model comes with two sets of handlebars: Horizontal handlebars mounted just below the console and a second pair of handlebars on each side of the seat, parallel to the edges of the seat. The handgrip heart rate monitors are mounted on the seat handlebars.
The BodyFit console is mounted directly in front of you. The console displays speed, rotations per minute, distance traveled, time spent and a rough estimate of calories burned. It also contains the controls that allow you to manually adjust between the bike's 16 levels of resistance, or select one of its six preprogrammed workouts.
Adapter and Pedals
Most promotional images don't display it, but this bike comes with an AC/DC adapter. It must be plugged into the wall socket to function. The counter-weighted pedals come with toe straps. For maximum calf involvement, slide your feet into the straps, then flex and extend your ankles as you pedal.