Slim Cycle Reviews (As Seen on TV) | Hands-On Testing From a Spin® Instructor

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kathlene pierson spinning instructor and writer
By Katie Pierson

Spinning® Instructor & Personal Trainer

 Katie holds ten different fitness certifications, including Group Fitness, Spinning Elite, Rockstar Spinning, and Personal Training.

Is the SlimCycle Legit? 

slim cycle in action
Katie tests the Slim Cycle Bike

One doesn’t honestly know how something works until they try it for themselves. That is why we at GirlBikeLove decided that we wanted to buy the SlimCycle and test it ourselves to give you the best information possible. We can’t wait to share our findings.

Original Slim Cycle (As Seen On TV)
4.7

Slim Cycle is a well-known brand endorsed by many famous figures. It provides a full-body workout with top-of-the-range heart rate technology to help you reach your goals. 

Price & Reviews Buy from Official Site

The Order & Delivery Process

The order process was straightforward, and we quickly bought the SlimCycle from this page. After clicking on the “As Seen on TV” icon, we were prompted with two order choices. The first option included only the cycle, and the second offer also had a slimming belt, cup holder, cushioned seat, and mat for an additional $80. Finally, we selected just the cycle itself, and it took less than 10 minutes to finalize our order from start to finish. We chose FedEx as our delivery method, and within a week, the bike was delivered to my door. 

Slim Cycle Assembly: Is Slim Cycle Easy to Put Together?

(Images Copyright©: GirlBikeLove.com)

I found the SlimCycle incredibly easy to build on my own. The 45-pound box includes 12 different pieces to assemble in addition to the washers, screws, batteries, and tools to get the job done. I built the bike in less than an hour from start to finish, even with a few interruptions during that timeframe. The only component I had difficulty attaching was the pedals’ foot straps since they are made from thick plastic. If you wish not to assemble the bike yourself, professional assembly is available for $89.

*Note: As I tightened a couple of pieces, a sharp piece of metal also came out. I removed the parts to ensure I didn’t strip anything and couldn’t identify why this happened.

Included in the box was an easy-to-follow instruction manual with pictures accompanying step-by-step instructions. For those that are more visual learners, YouTube videos are also available that provide assembly instructions.

Included in the box were the following items:

  • Main frame
  • Seat post
  • Rear foot
  • Front foot with rollers
  • Seat handles
  • Handlebars
  • Seat
  • Backrest support
  • Backrest
  • Control panel
  • Pedals
  • Pedal straps

Check Our Hands-On Testing Video!

YouTube video
Katie shares her opinion after testing the Slim Cycle for 1 month.

Types of Exercise Bikes

There are three different types of exercise bikes: a spin bike, an upright cycle, and a recumbent bike

  • A commercial-grade indoor cycling bike, also known as a spin bike*, has an exposed, weighted flywheel located in the front or the back of the cycle. The flywheels usually range in weight from 30-50 pounds for front flywheels and are much lighter for rear flywheels. These upright indoor cycling bikes allow riders to ride in or out of the saddle.
  • Upright exercise bikes resemble your regular road bike due to the saddle position. However, unlike a spin bike, there is no large rotating flywheel, and the workout is meant to be completed entirely in the saddle. 
  • A recumbent bike allows the rider to sit in a laid-back riding position, and the pedals are located in front of the rider. This style of bike is great for older riders or those with balance or range of motion issues. 

The SlimCycle is a unique piece of exercise equipment because it converts to either an upright or recumbent exercise bike.  

Katie Pierson, Spinning Instructor & Personal Trainer

SlimCycle Dimensions & Specs 

Slim Cycle Overview
  • Amazon Bike Rating: 4.6 out of 5 (Out of 13,000 reviews)
  • Price: $199.99
  • Payment Plan Available: Yes
  • Open Dimensions: 42” x 21.5” x 43” 
  • Foldable Dimension: 52” x 21.5” x 22”
  • Weight: 39 pounds 6 ounces
  • Drive System: Belt
  • Flywheel Weight:  N/A -Even after calling Customer Service
  • Resistance Type: Magnetic
  • Resistance Levels: 8
  • Height Range: 4’11”-6’4″
  • Max User Weight: 300 pounds
  • Manufacturer: BulbHead
  • Warranty: Limited 1-year manufacturers warranty

Our Rating Criteria

When deciding how to rate this bike, we selected our top factors for the SlimCycle that we felt would provide a clearer picture. Our rating, which we will go into a little bit later, factors in construction quality, the smoothness of the pedal stroke, resistance, App availability, adjustability, portability, and storage.

Slim Cycle Review Based on Hands-On Testing

After being a Spinning Instructor for almost 20-years, I absolutely love trying new cycles and jumped at the opportunity to test the SlimCycle with my other teammates at GirlBikeLove. I have been testing the SlimCycle for a little over a month and can’t wait to share what I learned about this bike.

Main Features of the Bike

  • Digital Display: The LCD digital display includes time, distance, speed, and calories. Your heart rate will also show on the digital display if you have your hands in the correct position on the pulse sensors located on the handlebars. Unfortunately, the display is not backlit, so you cannot clearly see your metrics in a dim room.
  • Magnetic Resistance: Eight levels of magnetic resistance are offered with this cycle from Bulbhead. Although there are only eight levels, the amount of resistance between level 1 and level 8 was surprising.
  • Resistance Bands: The resistance bands located below the handlebars provide the opportunity for strength work to be done in conjunction with your cardio. After following along in the owner’s manual, I found it easy to increase the resistance of the bands. However, due to the placement of the resistance bands, certain body parts cannot experience resistance during the full range of the exercise. An example would be that the bottom half of a traditional bicep curl cannot feel any tension in the bands. 
  • Frame: Made from solid steel, the frame provides a relatively sturdy riding experience.
  • Cushioned Seat: The wider seat provides an astounding 2.5 inches of cushioning. The extra cushioning makes the workout more comfortable compared to other cycles that offer a competitive style saddle or are made of more rigid plastic.
  • Apps: The marketing materials for the SlimCycle promoted a free SlimCycle App that was included in the purchase where riders could take ten free classes. This was the only thing that confused me throughout this entire testing experience. When I tried to look up this free SlimCycle app in both the Play and Apple stores, nothing came up and resulted in not one but two calls to Customer Service. The actual app is not called the SlimCycle App but the Echelon FitNation App. After speaking with Customer Service, they told me to select Echelon out of the three options, but that was actually incorrect. Therefore, you must click FitNation to find the SlimCycle. Although all the SlimCycle promotional materials touted about ten free classes, that is not what you receive. You can try the Echelon app free for 30-days after creating an account and providing your credit card number.

    Note: I love that the bike doesn’t lose any functionality if you decide not to purchase the $14.99 per month Echelon app. 
echelon app on slim cycle
Slim Cycle Echelon App

SlimCycle Performance

We decided to rate our top six features for the SlimCycle on a scale from one to ten. One being the lowest, and ten being the highest. So let’s take a look at how this cycle stacks up. 

Construction Quality: 7/10

The construction quality is relatively good for the price. However, this is not a piece of equipment that would be ideal for a very vigorous workout. This bike is designed for seated workouts only. Even pedaling in the saddle, the bike would still rock slightly.

Smoothness of Ride: 8/10

I was pleasantly surprised by the pedal stroke of the SlimCycle. The pedal stroke is exceptionally smooth for this type of cycle.

Resistance: 7/10

This bike offers eight levels of magnetic resistance. In addition, the resistance knob is easy to access, which is ideal for older riders, beginners, or riders with a limited range of movement. 

Applications: 9/10

The SlimCycle comes with the opportunity to try the Echelon app free for thirty days. After the trial, this application is $14.99 per month until you cancel. Four class categories are available on this application led by knowledgeable instructors that include cycling, strength, toning, and stretch. Some of the formats in these categories are cycling, kickboxing, HIIT, yoga, meditation, barre, and Pilates. We like that the instructors are leading the cycling classes on the SlimCycle. Also, it is nice not to need any additional resistance conversion charts, so riders can easily follow the instructor’s resistance level request. 

echelon app live class on slim cycle
Slim Cycle Live Classes on Echelon App

App users can select between OnDemand and live classes. Like the Peloton, this streaming service also offers a leaderboard option. Leaderboard ranking is based on pulse rate points on this platform. During live classes, participants can receive instructor shoutouts and have the opportunity to high-five other participants. The application also monitors your progress by tracking the number of workouts you have taken, the total minutes you have exercised, the total calories burned, and badges that you have earned throughout the week. This application also links with Strava, Fitbit, and Spotify. 

Handlebar and Seat Adjustability: 5/10

Unfortunately, the handlebars and seat are not adjustable beyond the manufacturing preset. However, at 5’4″, I could still find a comfortable riding position.

Portability & Storage: 9/10

This bike is super easy to move with the rollers located on the front foot of the cycle. This bike also folds for easy storage. 

*My main cycling bike is located downstairs, but I loved that I could easily store and pull this cycle out of the closet for a quick ride while my family and I watched a movie upstairs.

Mechanics & Parts of the Bike

Frame

slim cycle frame
Slim Cycle Frame

This foldable frame is constructed from solid steel and provides great stability when riding upright or recumbent.

Monitor

Slim Cycle Monitor
Slim Cycle Monitor

The console features basic metrics such as calories, distance, pulse rate, and speed.

Handlebars

The handlebars include a heart rate sensor, which is helpful since this model doesn’t offer Bluetooth connectivity. 

Seat & Backrest

Slim Cycle Seat
Slim Cycle Seat & Backrest

Featuring 2.5 inches of cushioning, the SlimCycle’s seat offers an extremely comfortable riding experience. The backrest of this bike also features memory foam to provide maximum comfort.

Recumbent Handles

Soft foam handles gently wrap around the bottom of the seat for comfort and stability when riding in the recumbent position.

Pedals

slim cycle pedals new
Slim Cycle Pedals

The non-grip pedals also offer a shoe strap to keep your foot in place. Unfortunately, only regular athletic shoes may be worn since the pedals do not provide cleat options.

Drive

A belt drive is featured on the SlimCycle, helping make the riding experience virtually silent.

Resistance Bands

Slim Cycle Elastic Bands
Slim Cycle Resistance Bands

Two resistance bands are located under the handlebars. The resistance bands also feature foam handles making them easy to grip to maximize your strength exercises.

Pros & Cons of Slim Cycle

Things I Loved

  • Convertibility: One of the unique features of this bike is how it can easily switch from an upright bike to a recumbent model. The bike slides into your desired position by adjusting the knob on the frame.
  • Workout: The SlimCycle not only offers a cardio component but resistance bands are also included with this model. The resistance bands are located on the handlebars, making them highly accessible.
  • Portability & Storage: We loved how easy this bike was to move and store. Weighing shy of 40 pounds, this bike isn’t difficult to pick up and transport. However, that isn’t even needed with the rollers located on the front foot of the cycle. This bike also folds so it can be easily placed in a closet.

Things that could be Better

  • Backrest for Recumbent: Due to the seat position when riding this bike in the recumbent setting, we wish that the backrest was just a little taller for more significant support. However, the backrest is excellent when riding upright.
  • Stability: Even after ensuring everything was tightened, the bike is slightly shaky if riding on a wood floor. Adding a mat under the cycle helped with the stability.

What Sets the SlimCycle Apart From its Competitors?

  • Price: The SlimCycle is incredibly affordable, coming in at only $199 if purchased from BulbHead. However, if you decide to purchase through Amazon, the price is much higher.
  • 2 Bikes in 1: By purchasing this bike, riders have the versatility to select either a recumbent or upright workout. Most other exercise bikes are only designated to be recumbent or upright, not both.
  • Echelon Fit Application: Bikes usually do not have access to a fitness application at this price point, but that is not the case with the SlimCycle. Instead, a 30-day free trial of the Echelon FitNation app is available. 
  • Cushioned Seat: The 2.5″ cushioned seat is incredibly comfortable and wider than a standard bike saddle. 

Slim Cycle Alternatives

Let’s take a look at three bike alternatives to the SlimCycle.

XTERRA Fitness FB350 Folding Exercise Bike 

Best Value
XTERRA Fitness FB350 XTERRA Fitness FB350
4.7

It provides a comfy ride with its padded seat, backrest, and handlebars. Its 3.3lb precision balanced flywheel also produces a smooth and noiseless cycle.

The XTERRA Fitness FB350 Folding Exercise Bike is an upright cycle priced at only $148.99. It offers eight levels of magnetic resistance and a 3.3-pound flywheel. The maximum weight recommendation is 225 pounds and accommodates riders between 4’10”-5’10.”

Fitnation – Flex Bike Ultra

The Fitnation-Flex Bike Ultra looks almost identical to the SlimCycle, except for a different color frame. This bike comes with a price tag of $329.99 when not on sale. The Flex Bike Ultra includes the Echelon Fit Pass that provides riders with a wide array of fitness classes, including HIIT, cycling, yoga, and strength training. This bike also features eight levels of magnetic resistance. 

FitQuest Upright Flex Express

Like the SlimCycle, the FitQuest Upright Flex Express also provides the ability to convert this bike from recumbent to an upright cycle. This bike offers four weeks free to the Echelon Experience App and costs $199.99. This bike offers magnetic resistance and has a max user weight of 300 pounds. A unique feature for this bike is selecting your frame color. Frame color options include a choice of red, teal, black, royal, or purple.

Slim Cycle Support / Customer Service

I was impressed with the speed of the SlimCycle Customer Service team in answering a question I had about where to find the free app that is advertised. I had a response within 24 hours of sending my inquiry. However, I did have to make a second call since the information I was initially provided was not exactly correct.

Conclusion: Is the Slim Cycle Legit?

GirlBikeLove Choice
Original  Slim Cycle (As Seen On TV) Original Slim Cycle (As Seen On TV)
4.7

Slim Cycle is a well-known brand endorsed by many famous figures. It provides a full-body workout with top-of-the-range heart rate technology to help you reach your goals. 

This bike is advertised as a strength and cardio fitness cycle, and the BulbHead’s SlimCycle delivers on those claims and is also highly affordable. However, we believe that the key customer will be budget-conscious. Therefore, this product perhaps is best suited for those just beginning to work out again instead of someone looking for a commercial-grade, high-performing piece of exercise equipment. Nevertheless, there is definitely a market for this type of exercise bike, and that’s the Slimcycle was rated as one of our best recumbent bikes with resistance bands.

slim cycle working with resistance bands
Katie Pierson

Katie is the creator of MT Girl Fitness and has been a certified fitness professional for almost twenty years. She currently holds ten different fitness certifications, including Group Fitness, Spinning Elite, Rockstar Spinning, and Personal Training. Fitness is her passion, and she loves seeing her clients reach goals they never imagined.

2 thoughts on “Slim Cycle Reviews (As Seen on TV) | Hands-On Testing From a Spin® Instructor”

  1. Katie, I am an 85-year-old award-winning nonfiction writer, former professional athlete and sport psychologist. I write a column for an aviation magazine (for pilots) and my June-July column is an evaluation of the Slim Cycle (see http://www.midwestflyer.com). My evaluation is a little stronger than yours (plus mine included the results of one-month usage), mostly because my readers are older than your readers. The machine is the best exercise decision I ever made. Thirty minutes, five days a week (doing 15 minutes twice a day) meets all CDC exercise guidelines and will keep a busy person in excellent physical shape, very conveniently. Check out my review when it is published, it is a digital publication. Dr. Bob Worthington

    Reply

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