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Horizon Fitness RC-30 Recumbent Exercise Bike

Bike NameNumber of programsResistanceMaximum user weightWarranty
Horizon Fitness RC-30

Horizon Fitness RC-30

Check current price and customer reviews
88 levels275-lifetime on frame
-20 years brake
-1 year on parts and labor

Check out other recumbent bike reviews

Exercise bikes are one of the most popular types of home exercise equipment and are probably the most ubiquitous of all gym machines. Their relatively small size and ease of use have made them a mainstay among athletes, fitness buffs, and average Joes alike. Unlike other exercise machines that might require special care to use (weights, barbells, etc.), exercise bikes provide a fun and effective workout that anyone can do – even without knowing how to ride an actual bike.

rc-30The problem with most exercise bikes, however, is that using them for extended periods of time can cause back pain due to the high impact nature of the motions involved and the typical seated posture used on most bikes. Horizon’s RC-30 is designed to solve this problem with its ergonomic design that allows for a more comfortable posture that puts far less strain on the back – allowing for better workouts without bad after-effects (or at least that’s the intention). Horizon Fitness is a leading brand among fitness equipment manufacturers so it would be reasonable to expect that the RC-30 would live up to the expectations. We’ll see how it performs overall and talk more about the ergonomics a bit later.

Assembly

Like most exercise equipment, the Horizon Fitness RC-30 comes disassembled for shipping efficiency reasons and requires some assembly on delivery. As inconvenient as this might sound, the manufacturer instructions for home assembly are very clear and most people won’t have a lot of trouble putting it together. Less than an hour should be enough to get it from box to work-out ready and all the necessary tools are included in the box.

Product Features and SpecificationsRC-30 seat and pedals

  • Product Dimensions: 66”, 52”, 26”
  • Maximum user weight: 275lbs.
  • Flywheel: 10 pounds / 4.5 kilograms
  • Seat: Padded with back support, horizontally adjustable.
  • Frame Type: Step Through
  • Product Weight: 106lbs

The Horizon RC-30 is the most inexpensive model from its series, aimed at people who aren’t interested in spending a lot of money on advanced features they’ll never utilize. This model is straight-forward and you should consider it if you need the fundamental things you’d expect out of a practical bike.

This recumbent bike is all about ergonomics. Its big selling point is its user-friendly design that offers a more comfortable “laying-down” riding posture. This puts far less strain on the lower back and allows for longer more intense workouts without the risk of back pain later on. This – combined with the padded wide seat and built-in lumbar support – makes for a more comfortable workout than with most exercise bikes.

The next comfort feature on this model is its step through mounting design, i.e. instead of struggling to climb onto it like with many other exercise bikes (and actual bikes too) you simply step through the space provided between the seat and the front of the bike and sit back comfortably. This avoids the uncomfortable stretching and climbing ordeal it sometimes entails to get onto other exercise bikes – especially for those of us who aren’t very fit (which is the whole point of buying the bike in the first place for many people). This recumbent bike does quite well in the area of ergonomics and comfort.

As far as improving workout quality, there are quite a few features in this area as well that make managing an effective workout much easier for beginners. For example, it comes with a heart rate monitor in the handle bars that helps users keep track of how hard they’re working and decide if they need to step up the difficulty level to reach their target heart rate. Eight distinct levels of resistance are built into the machine and it also comes with eight pre-programmed workouts tailored to everything from weight loss to fitness building.

This model also provides the typical set of workout information that come with most exercise bikes including workout time, distance travelled, speed, calories burned, and – of course – the heart rate feature mentioned earlier. Topping off the rest of the features is a convenient water bottle holder – another staple among exercise bikes and treadmills – but convenient and appreciated nonetheless.

Ease of Use

rc-30 lcd monitor

This recumbent bike was designed to be comfortable and – from a physical point-of-view – it’s pretty easy to use. The step-through mounting design mentioned earlier makes it easy to mount and dismount the bike and the comfortably wide seats make it easy for the average sized person to stay balanced while working out.

Workout management is done via the LCD screen and is pretty straight-forward for anyone who’s used similar gym equipment before. The workout time, distance “travelled”, calories burned, and heart-rate, are all plainly visible and configuring the desired workout program is as easy as could be expected. Adjusting the resistance level is done via the handle-bars and is also very straight-forward to use. Those of us who are experienced in using gym equipment will find everything perfectly intuitive but the RC-30’s simplistic and well documented user interface means that even newcomers shouldn’t take more than a minute or two to get the hang of everything.

Drawbacks

The only noticeable drawback of the RC-30 lies in the setting up process. While not overly difficult, it’s somewhat time-consuming and the parts to be assembled can be a bit on the heavier side. This, in turn, can be problematic when moving the machine around the house or moving it to an upstairs room. The best way to minimize the effect of this drawback is to make sure you only have to do this once. Try to take everything into account when deciding where to set it up including (i) difficulty of moving it there (ii) whether or not it will be in the way and have to be moved later on (iii) whether or not the location is conducive to exercising, and so on.

Summary

The Horizon RC-30 is a great recumbent bike at what it’s designed for – comfort and ergonomics. In all other areas, it’s your typical high quality exercise bike and should serve most people’s workout needs quite well.

It should be noted however, that although this is a high quality and highly rated bike, people that prefer models with lots of workout programs and resistance settings should also consider other models such as the Schwinn 220 and the Exerpeutic 4000 that for the same price offer more workout programs and twice as many resistance levels.