The Stamina 15-0120 Instride Cycle XL is a mini exercise bike, or more commonly known as a portable pedal exerciser. This kind of mini portable exercise bikes are designed for home users who do not have much space for a normal exercise bike, but yet want to enjoy the benefits of owning such an exercise equipment.
Strictly speaking, this kind of mini bike is not possible to fully substitute, for example, what a typical recumbent bike can offer. The mini bike is not meant for any vigorous workout, and it usually does not come with features like calories burn or heart beat monitoring functions. It definitely should not be used to replace your daily workout plan.
In this aspect, is it worthwhile to invest in this kind of mini portable pedal exerciser?
I have my doubts at first, and have done much research, both online and offline, to find out the pros and cons of such exercise equipment. I have also compiled this detailed Stamina 15-0120 Instride Cycle XL review as this particular model is one of the best selling mini exercise bike that is very popular at Amazon.
First of all, let us understand the main purpose of mini bikes. They are designed such that only the pedals and resistance of a normal exercise bike is available. There is usually nothing more that comes with it. There is no seat, no handlebars, no frames, and definitely no preset programs. The idea is for it to be small and handy enough so that it is highly portable, and at the same time able to fit under a desk for you to get some exercises done while working at your desk.
It is also for anybody who wants to complement their workouts on a normal exercise bike or elliptical machine. On a standard exercise machine, the workout is usually longer, more strenuous and it may not happen every day, but maybe once every two days, depending on how intensive you want. On days that the full exercise machine is not used, this is when the mini exercise bike comes into action. You can work on it while watching your favourite TV programs, or use it while reading your morning papers at the sofa, or simply use it as and when you feel like it. Because it is so mobile, you can use it almost anywhere you want when you feel like going for a short spin. Research has shown that mild exercises done frequently are more effective than strenuous exercise done in small amount.
For a much lower price (less than $100) as compared to a normal exercise bike, the mini exercise bike like the Stamina Instride Cycle XL is definitely worth investing into if you are just looking for a mild workout machine, with the flexibility of taking it with you to outdoors, your office, to the backyard, or anywhere you want for that workout that you need.
Take a look at this short video clip from a user on how he uses the Stamina Instride Cycle.
The InStride Cycle XL has a tension control that allows a wide range of pedal resistance to set your workout intensity. It can be easily adjustable via a knob just between the pedals. The design of the knob is simple and straight forward, without getting into the way of the pedalling motion at all.
Just note that this equipment is not designed for intense workout. For that, most probably you will need a heavier and more expensive machine. For a general and light workout, the resistance provided by this machine will fit most of the bill for most users.
The Stamina Instride Cycle XL comes with a battery (3V CR2032) operated display that monitors the time of your workout. That’s about it. It doesn’t measure things like speed, calories, distance covered, etc.
Some users find the timer to be quite useless as they can simply use their own watches to monitor the time instead. A feature to monitor the distance covered makes more sense in this case.
As this kind of mini exercise bikes are not designed for serious cardio trainings, it is understandable why the manufacturer did not include such comprehensive monitoring features into it. If they were included, you may never get it at this low price.
This ultra light weight machine comes with non-slip pedals with strap to firmly hold onto your feet comfortably when you are pedalling away. The sturdy rubber feet prevent the machine from slipping.
To increase your comfort level when doing your workout with the Stamina Instride Cycle, make sure you are sitting on a soft and well padded seat preferably with a back support. Place the machine slightly in front of you rather than directly under you. By doing so, you can actually reduce the stress on your joints as you are pressing forward and not down. This will be great for the elderly.
There is a slight noise due to the pedalling, but it can be easily covered up with some soft background music. Some users did not even notice it when they were watching TV programs while pedalling.
Heart Rate Monitor
The Stamina 15-0120 Instride Cycle XL does not come with a built-in heart rate monitor. If there is a need to monitor the heart rate, I would suggest that you use a mobile monitor instead like the very popular Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor.
There is no preset program on this machine either.
This machine weighs 9 lbs and measures 19 x 12.25 x 15.25 inches (W x H x D).
Since the rider does not sit on the machine itself, the Stamina Instride can practically be used by anybody with no weight limit.
The machine can be used not only for the legs, but for the arms as well. Simply put it on a table, and insert your hands into the pedal. It instantly becomes a hand peddler for your upper body workout.
The Stamina Instride Cycle comes with a choice of pewter grey or black colour at the moment.
There is no accessory that comes with this machine.
The Stamina Instride XL is a simple to assemble and simple to use machine. It comes almost fully assembled, with very few things needed to be put together. There are no complicated settings or configurations to be made before you can use this machine.
It has a relatively small footprint, and can easily fit under the table for cycling or easily put away into the storage when not in use. It is very portable and can be easily carried to anywhere without much problem. This machine is also very easy to handle if you have limited space.
The body is lightweight with a sturdy tubular steel frame structure. It is very steady due to the wide base that prevents it from tipping to either side.
It has high quality and reliability. One user bought this machine 3 years ago, and even with heavy usage, there has been no repairs or maintenance performed so far.
This machine provides an extremely affordable option to complement your exercise routine. It is also a great choice to use as therapy for leg injuries. Many users bought this exercise equipment exactly for this reason.
One common problem of this equipment is that after pedalling for about 20 minutes, the pedal arms will start to get too hot and start to squeak. This can be resolved by adding some amount of liquid graphite to it. Alternatively, you can also put some silicon tapes on the arms of the pedals to prevent overheating.
Another issue to take note of is that if you are working out on a wooden or smooth surface, the machine will tend to slip while riding. The problem is aggravated if you are sitting on a chair with wheels. One suggested solution is to place the machine in front of a wall or other heavy object to prevent it from slipping. One user actually cemented the foot grippers in place to prevent the machine from any unwanted movements. Another user solved the problem by tying the machine to the legs of the chair. Very cheap and effective method!
The average rating from users at Amazon for this equipment is 3.5 among almost 300 reviews. In general, many users are happy with their purchase.
Amazon offers the best price as there is no shipping cost and taxes.