Keiser M3i Review From a Group Instructor

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By Robbie Ferri, Cyclist, Personal Trainer, and Group Exercise Instructor.

If you have been looking into spinning bikes, you would have probably come across the Keiser M3i. Many cyclists ask, is it worth the money? Yes, it is, and in this article, we’re going to tell you why and what makes it so unique.

Things I liked:

  • American Made: No outsourcing, the Keiser M3i is made in the USA to a very high-quality standard.
  • Design: A beautiful rear-facing flywheel design that just looks incredible.
  • Adjustability: It will suit a wide range of users and is very easy to adjust so all the family can use it.
  • Application Connectivity: Get straight to all your favorite applications, such as Zwift, Peloton, and many other fitness applications.
  • High-End Intelligent Components: Innovative technology such as the 8lb intelligent flywheel and power function.
  • No Power Cable: No trailing cables are required to use this bike.

Things To Consider:

  • Price: It’s not the cheapest bike, but it’s got value for money.
  • Assembly: To do it properly can be a bit of a nightmare.

Can you use the Keiser M3i with the Peloton Application?

Many indoor cyclists ask if they will be able to use the Peloton application with the Keiser M3i, and the answer is yes. You will have to use the application on a tablet or device, and it does come with some limitations. You will get all your on-demand classes, and you will be able to access the class library, but you will miss out on the leaderboard and some performance metrics that the bike offers. 

The application is much cheaper though, and many people choose the route as to when you buy a Peloton, you are tied into that application. Peloton built the application to give indoor cyclists a taste of the bike. Many cyclists tried both and preferred the application with their own choice of bike.

keiser m3i review

Detailed Review & Bike Features

The Keiser M3i is an incredible bike, and in this next section, we want to tell you all about what makes it stand out from the crowd. Although many bikes on the market can offer all the essential functions, the Keiser is on another level, and it’s the fine details that set this bike apart.

Sale: $200 Off + Free Apparel (Only on Keiser.com)
Keiser M3i Bike Keiser M3i Bike
4.9

The App takes the cycle to another level, and with compatibility and connectivity, the bike offers all of the latest conveniences the digital age has to offer. 

Specifications

  • V-Shaped Design and Rear Facing Flywheel
  • Construction Quality
  • Portability
  • Adjustability
  • Comfort
  • Self Tensioning Poly V Belt Drive System
  • Resistance System
  • Monitor with Power Function
  • Connectivity and Applications
  • Revolutionary Pedals
  • Great Accessories

V-Shaped Design and Rear Facing Flywheel

This bike is gorgeous. If I’m honest, I think it is one of the best designs on the market, and I have ridden many spinning bikes in my time. The V-shaped design has had a lot of time put into it, and it has not just been made to look great but also to be very functional. 

The other stand-out part we see when we look at this bike is that rear-facing flywheel. Keiser hasn’t just put it there for fun. It is a brilliant design feature and has some incredible benefits. Why would you mount the flywheel on the rear instead? Firstly it means that the weight of the bike is better balanced. So in those sprints, it sticks to the ground solid, and there’s more weight on the rear for stability. 

v shaped design keiser m3i
Keiser M3i V-Shaped Design

Secondly, to avoid sweat hurting any components. We all sweat, and typically on a modern front-facing flywheel, when we ride, the sweat falls into the front wheels and can destroy the bearings. On the Keiser M3i, this isn’t an issue, and the flywheel is protected and out of the way. 

The flywheel is also much lighter than most on the market and spins the quickest of any bike that I have ever ridden. It feels incredibly smooth, and you can tell a lot of time has gone into designing and manufacturing this. The flywheel system is magnetic and completely frictionless. If you wonder what the red ring is on the rear, this is for protection if a pet or child gets too close.

Construction Quality

One thing that I think sets this bike apart is its construction. It’s solid and just a cut above the rest. Many spinning bike brands just throw parts on to say they feature them but don’t look into the quality of what they are putting on. Keiser has put so much time into the design, and it just feels so well put together, and nothing feels cheap. Nothing is flimsy, and I feel I can throw anything at it, and it will handle it.

Portability

With the flywheel at the rear, many people ask if it is easy to move around? The answer is yes. The flywheel is so light, and the design on the bike is very well weighted, so when you need to move it around, it’s easy and even has wheels to help you do it.

Adjustability

With a design like this, will it be suitable for your bike fit? The bike has this unique design, so it is made to fit a variety of users. The higher the seat, the further it sits you back and spreads you out at the top, which seems to do an excellent job of getting the fit pretty close, providing the saddle height is correct. 

Another great feature of this design is that the seat and the handlebars are four-way adjustable, unlike many other bikes on the market, such as the Peloton. It can suit users from 4ft 10” all the way to 6ft 5”. This is an incredible range and plenty enough to fit a variety of different users. Not only does it cater for a wide range of users on the height front, but the weight front too and has a maximum user weight of 350lbs.

Best Value with 4-way Adjustable Handlebars
Bowflex C6 Bike Bowflex C6 Bike
4.8

An excellent alternative option to Peloton or other streaming bikes. A quiet magnetic resistance bike, proficient enough to link with the many available streaming devices such as Peloton® and Zwift®.

Comfort

As far as comfort goes, I thought the bike was actually pretty good. The handlebars have a few different positions and providing you set it up correctly, you shouldn’t have any issues. The saddle the bike comes with is pretty good and even so, if it doesn’t suit you is easy to change.

Self Tensioning Poly V Belt Drive System

You might have heard of this term on a few other reviews of high-end spinning bikes and it is revolutionary as far as features go. A belt drive system is what some spinning bike companies use instead of a chain. The advantages are that it lasts longer, requires no maintenance, is smoother, and handles heavy resistance better, and the best thing is, unlike chains, it doesn’t require any oil or lubrication. Not only does the Keiser have one of these belts, but it also is self-tensioning, so unlike on other bikes, it won’t ever need adjusting either.

Resistance System

The resistance system on this bike is incredible, and it is silky smooth and very challenging. This is the choice of exercise bike from many cycling professionals, and I can see why. The bike has 24 levels of resistance, and they range from the first 10 feeling like you’re riding on a flat road to 10-20 climbing up hills and the last 4 feeling like the pedals are made of stone. 

One thing that really impressed me with the Keiser was that the resistance isn’t done on a dial like many bikes, it’s on a lever. It is situated right in front of you, and you can switch it up and down to select the resistance level quickly and efficiently. I have only seen this on the Keiser, and it makes it incredibly easy to get in and out of sprints or climbs.

Internally it uses a frictionless resistance system which is the way all spin bikes should be. It means that instead of using a brake pad to create resistance on the bike, it uses magnetic eddy currents. This means you’re not wearing down the flywheel and need to replace brake pads regularly. It makes the resistance smooth and very quiet while still challenging you simultaneously.

Monitor with Power Function

Like many bikes in its price range, the Keiser doesn’t have a big screen on the front, and the instructor isn’t going to shout you out anytime, but that’s not what this bike is about. It only has a small monitor, but this still packs a punch. It will tell you all the metrics you need to know, such as RPM, Heart Rate, Time, Distance, level, and even Power. A common question is about the power function, is it a proper strain gauge or an estimation? It is an estimation, but I found it one of the most accurate I have ever used.

YouTube video

The monitor is basic, but it is very advanced inside. On the front, it looks simple, and yes, cheaper bikes do look flashier, but it will tell you everything you need to know and connect to heart rate monitors and applications such as Zwift. Keiser hasn’t tried to make it too much, and I like that. Some people don’t want a massive screen in front of them, and I know people that regularly cycle indoors who find a screen too intrusive and just want to be in their own head.

Connectivity and Applications

The first thing I feel it’s vital to speak about is the connectivity of this bike because many people don’t know how adaptable it is. This is perfect if you’re looking for a bike to connect to applications like Zwift and Peloton. It has Bluetooth Connectivity which can bring you into a whole new spinning world. What’s great about this, though, is that it doesn’t tie you into one single application like the Peloton or Echelon. You can use any application you wish to.

Keiser does have its application (M Series App), and it is fantastic. You can download it to your phone or tablet, and it will show all your metrics on the screen, and you will be able to spin away with a small data center in front of you and then check back later to see how your workout went.

Revolutionary Pedals

Although it’s not something we go into a lot when reviewing a bike, the pedals are something extraordinary. They are designed not just to be good bike pedals but with spinning in mind. So one side, you have the SPD clip in that you expect to see on a spinning bike, and on the other side, they have a trainer option. 

YouTube video

Unlike most pedals, the standard shoe side is quite unique. Firstly it is not flat. It is curved, so it bonds with your trainer better. Secondly, the toe strap is built into the pedals, not just a cheap add-on. Lastly, the bearings are upgraded and are much smoother and will last much longer than a typical spin bike pedal. They say 30 x longer. Even the blots are made of stainless steel.

Accessories

Another thing I thought was pretty epic was the accessories that Keiser offers compared to other brands. You have stretch plates for the feet, and you have a seat cover, a tool kit, a media tray, and even a floor mat. They are of incredible quality and just finish the bike so well. If you purchase the bundle, you will get a lot of these accessories with it.


Keiser M3 or M3i: What’s the Difference

You might have come across the two different models of Keiser on the market, the Keiser M3 and the M3i. They are very similar, and both are very good, but there are some significant differences you need to know about.

  • Bluetooth Connectivity: The Keiser M3i has inbuilt Bluetooth connectivity, and for the Keiser M3, you need to buy a special box to make it work. If you are looking at doing anything interactive, you will want to be using the Keiser M3i. You can upgrade the M3, but it isn’t cheap to do so.
  • Handlebars: They have entirely different handlebars. The M3 has the classic style spinning handlebars, and the M3i has the new butterfly handlebars. The butterfly bar, in my opinion, is much better and just feels great to use. Also, the handlebars on the M3i handlebars can adjust four ways, and the M3 can only be adjusted two ways.
  • Media Tray: The media tray is only with the Keiser M3i. If you plan to use a tablet or a phone and want it on the bike with the Keiser media tray, you will need the M3i.
  • Price: The M3i is more to buy, but it does open the bike up to be a much better machine in the long run because of the connectivity. I personally think that the M3i is a much better value product.

Read Also: Keiser M3 vs M3i Detailed Comparison

Assembly

The assembly of the bike, if you want to do it properly, can take a bit of time. In my professional opinion, they say 45 minutes but allow a couple of hours. The tool kit isn’t cheap, but I highly recommend getting it as it will help. If not, you will need to source a list of a few new different bits, which are listed on the Keiser website. It’s not the most straightforward assembly, and I would get someone who has some experience building a bike to help.

How does it hold up to its competition?

There are many spinning bikes on the market, and Keiser is up there with the best, so how does it compare to the best bikes we currently have on the market?

Keiser M3i vs. Bowflex C6 / Schwinn IC4

Bowflex C6 Bike Bowflex C6 Bike
4.8

An excellent alternative option to Peloton or other streaming bikes. A quiet magnetic resistance bike, proficient enough to link with the many available streaming devices such as Peloton® and Zwift®.

$200 Off + Free 1-Year JRNY!
Bowflex C6 Bike Schwinn IC4 Bike
4.8

Comes equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to link to several apps such as Peloton® and Zwift®. The Schwinn really does offer excellent quality at a very affordable price.

The Keiser M3i is a fantastic bike, and when you step it up against the Bowflex C6 and the Schwinn IC4 (The same cycle just branded differently), you will see some significant differences. The Keiser, in my opinion, has a better look to it. The technology in the Keiser is better, the power meter function is more accurate, and the build quality has had a bit more time put into it. For more information, check out the article with their detailed comparison.

Keiser M3i vs Echelon EX-7S

Echelon EX-7s Smart Connect Bike Echelon EX-7s Smart Connect Bike
4.7

The Echelon EX-7s is designed to be strong and durable for use in hotels, apartments/condos, boutique gyms, and other fitness facility spaces. The bike’s heavy-duty infrastructure, adjustable features, and a rotating 22” class HD touchscreen help you to give your maximum effort in every workout.

The Keiser and the Echelon share a lot of similarities. They both have a rear-facing flywheel, both look incredible, and are at a similar price point. Just like the Peloton, for the Echelon, you’re going to have to pay a subscription cost, and you’re locked in the Echelon application. If you are buying a bike for interactive classes, get the Echelon. If you want a bike for quality and to use multiple applications, the Keiser.

Keiser M3i vs Peloton

The Peloton is an iconic spin bike, and it will take a lot of bikes to step up to it. The Keiser does look completely different, and I feel it has a better build quality. The Peloton does have that giant screen and does offer more interactive services, but you would have to pay a subscription cost. They are entirely different bikes, for quality and ride the Keiser, for interactivity the Peloton.

Read Also: Keiser M3i vs Peloton Detailed Comparison

Keiser M3i vs Stages SC3

The Stages is an incredible bike and is mainly focused on road cyclists. It is a lot more expensive than the Keiser but does boast a strain gauge power meter, and it is designed to be like a road racing bike. If you are a lover of spinning, then the Keiser is the bike to go for. If you are mainly an outdoor cyclist, the Stages.

Keiser M3i vs. Nordictrack S27i

The Nordic track is a bike that does cost a lot more than the Keiser. Still, it has incredible features such as automatic inclining and declining, a fan, a giant screen, google maps integration, and also auto resistance. You will also need to pay for an iFit membership, but it will give much more than the Keiser, but you will be paying a lot more.

Read Also: Keiser M3i vs Nordictrack S22i Detailed Comparison

Keiser M3i vs Wahoo Kickr Bike

The Kickr bike is an incredible training tool. Most cyclists use this with the Zwift Application. It is an extremely accurate power meter bike, and it is the weapon of choice for pro cyclists in off-season training. It is nearly double the price on the Keiser, and although you get a lot more for your money, it’s nothing the Keiser can’t do on a more fundamental level.

What do customer reviews say?

It’s easy for me to have an opinion as someone who has used a lot of spinning bikes, but what about other people? The main comments about the Keiser M3i are just how good the quality is, and it is an incredible machine. The only negative I seem to read about is the saddle isn’t the most comfortable. That is an easy change though, and it’s great to see the fantastic feedback on this bike.

Warranty and Returns

What if you have any issues? Do you get a good warranty? Yes, you do two years, but that excludes labor and parts that wear out. This is a great warranty, but in my opinion, I don’t think it would get used as the quality is just so good.

FAQs

Why is the Keiser M3i so expensive?

The Keiser isn’t just your standard spin bike mass-produced overseas. The Keiser is an incredible machine that has been built to an excellent standard. It’s the kind of bike that can be situated in a gym, used for 5 hours each day, and still perform for years.

Is Keiser better than Peloton?

They are very different bikes. The Peloton doesn’t have the quality and is made more for entertainment purposes than general spinning.

Does the Keiser M3i need to be plugged in?

It doesn’t need to be plugged in and completely powers itself off your cycling energy. This is a fantastic feature and is why many gyms use Keiser.

Does Keiser M3i work with Rouvy?

Yeah, it has Bluetooth connectivity to link up to Rouvy and is a lot of fun to use on the application. Great for virtual riding.

How do I change the battery in my Keiser M3i?

You just need to unscrew the back and change the batteries out. It is a 2-minute job and very easy to do.

Conclusion

The Keiser M3i is a fantastic machine, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is in the market for a spinning bike. It isn’t like the Peloton though, and it’s not an entertainment center. It’s a simplicity is key spinning bike and is one of the best, if not the best build quality bike on the market.

Sale: $200 Off + Free Apparel (Only on Keiser.com)
Keiser M3i Bike
4.9

The App takes the cycle to another level, and with compatibility and connectivity, the bike offers all of the latest conveniences the digital age has to offer. 

Buy from Keiser Amazon Reviews
Robbie Ferri

A Personal Trainer and Ultra Cyclist living in King's Lynn in Norfolk, UK. From Ultra Cycling World Records to Bikepacking Races and a huge amount of time on the gym floor training myself and clients my experience when it comes to Health and Fitness is vast.

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