Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike
The Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike is one of the top CV machines on the market. CV machines are ‘cardiovascular machines’ that allow you to increase your heart health, burn calories and hopefully lose weight all form a single stationary machine. They include the likes of treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical trainers and recumbent bikes.
Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike Introduction
The Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike is a machine that falls into that final category. As a recumbent bike, it is a stationary bicycle that allows you to burn calories by riding on the spot, but which also has the advantage of letting the user lean back in their seat, with their feet out in front of them.
Recumbent bikes are ideal for anyone who wants to lose weight from the comfort of their home and especially for anyone who has any back pain or knee problems.
Stationary bikes of any kind offer the instant benefit of being ‘low impact’, meaning there is no jarring of the joints but rather the whole experience is a single smooth ride.
At the same time though, recumbent bikes take this advantage even further by allowing the rider to lean back slightly, with their legs extended out in front of them.
By taking any weight off the joints, this allows those with various health complaints to exercise in a manner that is comfortable.
But not all recumbent bikes are made equally of course. Let’s take a look at the Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike specifically, and see how it stacks up.
The first thing you’ll notice when the Exerpeutic 400XL shows up at your door is the design, so let’s start by taking a look at that aspect.
In terms of appearance, the Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike certainly takes a more functional and even somewhat industrial approach compared to a number of other modules.
This ultimately comes down to its folding capabilities, which limit what’s possible here. And it’s not to say that this is by any means a bad thing.
It’s just that if you were looking for a highly attractive-looking device… well this isn’t it. It’s gun metal grey, it has no colorful detailing and in general it’s just a very basic and simple looking mechanism.
That’s not a huge problem though, seeing as the whole point is that you’ll be able to hide this one away when you’re not using it.
What’s slightly more of a pain is that the seat’s comfort is also fairly ‘basic’. It is padded but it’s not as comfortable as something a little larger. Likewise, it doesn’t feel quite so stable as something bigger and more substantial.
The position is a little more cramped and might be less suitable for larger, taller people. It is adjustable though. The main difference that comes from the height here is the fact that technically, this is actually referred to as being ‘semi-recumbent’ rather than ‘true’ recumbent.
That means that you’re only leaning partially back and while the weight won’t be placing weight on your joints, it just won’t be quite as comfortable as bikes that are ‘fully’ recumbent.
For more information on recumbent bikes and the many benefits of using one, check out our ultimate guide to recumbent bikes here.
In terms of performance, the Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike is perfectly capable of keeping up with even the largest and most fully functional of machines.
That’s thanks in part to the magnetic resistance, which is found in all the best stationary bikes and recumbent bikes. As the name suggests, this means that the resistance is offered by magnets, rather than any form of friction applied by breaks or similar.
This in turn ensures a perfectly smooth and consistent experience. Whereas some lesser machines might stutter or struggle with more fast paced performance, this will provide a steady level of resistance no matter how hard or slow you are riding.
Having 8 different settings is also a big benefit here. This means that you’ll be able to choose the best setting for your current strength and fitness, as well as the best option for the type of training you have in mind.
For instance, if you set the resistance to one of the higher levels, you’ll be able to use ‘concurrent training’. This means you are effectively mixing cardiovascular exercise with resistance (like weight training) and that in turn has proven to actually be the most effective tool for burning weight quickly: especially when combined with a high-intensity interval program.
Another great feature is that the double-drive transmission system uses a very quiet V-belt. That’s great if you want to ride later at night and your walls are thin. Counterbalanced pedals and adjustable straps finish the deal.
The Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike weighs just 43lbs but is capable of handling users up to 300lbs. For its small size, it’s impressive that it is able to bear similar loads to the biggest and heaviest machines.
Features and Specifications
One thing you’ll notice right away is the inclusion of an LCD screen. This shows various readouts as you ride, including time, speed, calories and distance.
This is fairly standard but what’s more impressive is the inclusion of heart rate monitoring which tends only to be available on the slightly higher-end and more capable machines. Considering this is a folding, compact unit, this is particularly pleasing.
Heart rate monitoring allows you to use zone training. This means choosing to stay at 75% of your maximum heart rate for instance, knowing that that will give you greater ability to burn fat as it puts you in the most aerobic state. Alternatively, you can use heart rate monitoring to aim for targets like 90% and then 30% if you want to use HIIT.
The other thing to keep in mind is that having heart rate monitoring means that the calorie burn estimate will be much more accurate.
Calorie burn is calculated based on your performance and your exertion. If you are riding very hard and your heart rate is working hard to keep up, then you will be burning many more calories than if you are riding slowly and your heart rate stays low.
The other big feature of course is the fact that this is a folding recumbent bike. Yes, this is a feature in itself and it is highly beneficial for a lot of people, meaning that they can keep their device stored in a way that won’t take up unnecessary space and meaning that they can move it out the way when necessary.
Most of us unfortunately don’t have enough rooms to make one a dedicated gym. And when you add a recumbent bike to a spare room, it has a habit of changing the impact of the entire room.
That’s why having something you can put away when you don’t need it is so great and this unit is particularly easy to unfold and then pack away again. That’s pretty critical too, because if it took longer, it might leave you less inclined to actually use it.
The only thing missing is the option for pre-set programs. However, at this price point, that would be an unusual feature to expect.
Overall then, the Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike is an excellent choice of recumbent bike. For students and those with smaller homes, having a bike that folds might well be the only option for using it at all.
For everyone else, not having to look at an exercise machine 24/7 is going to be a large incentive.
The thing with folding devices like this, is that they often involve some kind of compromise. In other words, in order to use a bike that folds, you often have to accept that it’s not also going to have all the top-of-the-range features.
Granted, this is a ‘semi-recumbent’ bike and it’s not quite as comfortable as some others. It’s a little more cramped and perhaps not ideal for the larger users out there.
But in every other sense, this is a no-compromise option. You get a digital readout with options not even included in some permanent bikes and you get 8 settings and the best type of resistance.
For more information on other products by Exerpeutic, check out their Amazon store here.