3G Cardio Elite RB Recumbent Bike Review: Sturdy But Overpriced
When buying pieces of exercise equipment, you want the very best that you can get based on your budget. If your budget happens to be fairly small, then you want a bike that performs like a medium-budget bike. If you have a budget that is large, you want a bike that absolutely blows everything else out of the water. Such is the case with the 3G Cardio Elite RB Recumbent Bike.
This is an extremely costly bike, which means you want some top-tier quality from it. What we’re going to do today is check out the 3G RB Elite recumbent exercise bike and see if it actually delivers on the promise that comes with the price.
The electronics, resistance, and comfort are just some of the factors here that we’ll be looking at. So with all of that out of the way, let’s hop right into our review of the 3G Cardio Elite RB Recumbent Bike!
3G Elite Recumbent Bike Alternatives
3G Elite Recumbent Bike Alternatives 3G elite is an excellent recumbent exercise bike. However, there are a few alternatives exercise bikes that offer a better value than the 3G RB Elite bike.
One of the best alternatives is the Nautilus R618 which has more features and costs half the price of 3G. It has everything the 3G RB does, plus, it has several additional features such as gel seat, speakers, dual-screen, Bluetooth, and a cooling fan.
The other awesome alternative is the Nordictrack R35 which cost $400 less and it comes with a 14-inch touchscreen display, cooling fan, and speakers.
If you want to save money on a recumbent exercise bike, then 3G Elite RB recumbent bike alternatives are definitely worth considering.
What I think of 3G Cardio Elite Rcumbent Exercise Bike
We’ve stressed the price point of the 3G Cardio Elite recumbent bike multiple times now, so it only makes sense to start there. This bike will set anyone back a mighty $1,600. That’s quite a bit of money compared to many other recumbent bikes available on the market.
The warranty package that comes with this bike is a good one, although that is also to be expected at this price. If it were anything but, we’d have an outrage. There is a 7-year warranty on the parts, 1 year on the labor, and a lifetime warranty on the frame of the bike. These should all offer a long guarantee for you, even the labor warranty (which typically doesn’t exist or is extremely short).
The shipping process of the 3G Cardio Elite recumbent bike should only take about a week or two to arrive. Once it does, there are some extremely helpful instructions and tools that will allow you to put the bike together. Even those who aren’t particularly experienced at such things should be able to assemble it fairly easily.
Up next is a crucial aspect of modern exercise bikes. The electronics are what make up an ever-increasing amount of the features on the bikes, and the case is the same here. The electronics on the 3G Cardio Elite recumbent bike shows itself in the form of the advanced LCD monitor.
All of the workout statistics are displayed on the screen simultaneously, so you won’t have any need to use a scan function. You can track your time, distance, speed, RPM, watts, calories, and pulse. All of these can be seen in either metric or English measurements. Before beginning the workout you input your gender, age, height, and weight in order to more accurately calculate your calories burning.
Your heart rate is tracked through EKG sensors on the handlebars next to the seat or telemetric connections with a chest strap, the latter of which it happens to come with. You can set up 4 different profiles on the bike, which makes it good for those with multiple people in the home.
There are 12 preset workout programs to choose from, with another 5 including the manual mode and others. The biggest weakness of this otherwise strong electronic component of the 3G Cardio Elite recumbent bike is the lack of any sort of online connectivity.
You would expect a machine that costs this much to have some sort of connection to an app or something. But no. This is actually a pretty big strike against the system, as bikes that have half the price offer these options (like the Nautilus R618). But other than that, it is a pretty good system.
The other key part of these recumbent stationary bikes is the resistance. If it has a poor resistance system, you get no real fitness benefits. The 3G Cardio Elite recumbent bike has a motorized magnetic resistance system with a belt drive system, which makes the entire process a lot quieter than you otherwise might get with a chain drive.
Because of the motorized nature of the resistance, you will also need to have the bike plugged into an outlet in order to change the resistance levels. There are 16 levels of resistance available, which isn’t actually a huge number (again, the Nautilus recumbent bikes have a fair few more). Still these should provide a decent variation and challenge for most.
The higher levels in particular will make sure you feel the burn. They can only be changed via the console or controls on the handlebars. Sometimes the resistance will also change on its own, depending on whether or not you are using one of the preset workout programs.
The crank system on the 3G Cardio Elite recumbent bike is a 3-piece one, which is good. These types are always superior to the 1-piece ones thanks to their better durability and independence. We don’t know the exact Q-Factor of the bike, which is unfortunate. The Q-Factor is the distance between the pedals and if it is too wide or too narrow, then you can risk discomfort or even injury.
Most people want to know how large their potential bike is, so we figured we’d tell you. The 3G Cardio Elite recumbent bike measures out to be 49 inches (124 cm) long, 27 inches (69 cm) wide and 43 inches (109 cm) tall. Meanwhile, it weighs 115 lbs (52 kg) and can hold an impressive max weight of 350 lbs (159 kg).
There are wheels on the front of the bike in order to help with transportation around the home, while the frame of the bike itself is actually fairly small for one of these bikes. There are no really good floor stabilizers, which you might have expected here for the price. Though this seems to be offset by the weight, so you probably won’t be sliding or moving around too much. The design of the bike isn’t a step-thru one, which is unfortunate.
We’ll finish out with the rest of the physical elements of the 3G Cardio Elite recumbent bike, starting with the handlebars. There are 2 pairs, one besides the seat and another next to the console. We’ve already mentioned how the ones next to the seat have EKG sensors and allow for control of the resistance, while the others that sit next to the console don’t really do anything outside of giving your hands a different place to rest.
These are similar to other bikes like the Schwinn 270, although it still doesn’t really make up for the price difference. Both pairs have rubberized grips in order to make more comfortable rests. The seat of the 3G Cardio Elite recumbent bike is actually 4-way adjustable, which is not very common on recumbent bikes.
The angle of the back of the seat is also adjustable, which is another positive. This is good, as it allows for more customization and more people to get comfortable onboard. Officially the bike can accommodate users between 5’0” (153 cm) and 6’4” (193 cm), which is a pretty good range and can be an ideal recumbent exercise bike for shorter people.
As for the comfort of the seat itself, it seems to only have the occasional complaint in user reviews, which is a good look. The pedals do absolutely nothing special here. They have an adjustable strap to make sure that your feet don’t go flying all over the place. That’s it.
Finally, there are the bonus elements tossed into the package. There are a couple of media trays/holders on the console and a water bottle holder underneath, but that’s about it. Again, you would expect some sort of sound system or cooling fans for a bike of this price.
- Motorized design and belt drive make for a smooth and quiet experience
- There are 16 resistance levels
- There are 4 profile options and 16 different workout programs
- Seat is adjustable 4-ways and can have the angle moved around too
- EKG handles and connection with telemetric chest straps enabled
- Comes with a chest strap
- Comes with a water bottle holder
- Comes with a media tray
- Lifetime frame warranty, 7 years on parts and 1 year labour warranty is a great package
- No cooling fans or sound system implemented
- The monitor has no online connectivity
- This is an expensive bike compared to Nautilus R618 that comes with the same set of features
- No step-thru design so it might not be as easy to mount and dismount for those on recovery and senior users
The 3G Cardio Elite Recumbent Bike is not a bad machine. In fact, it happens to be a very good recumbent bike. However, the price is what’s going to hold many people back. It just seems like way too much to pay for a bike that shares many of the features with cheaper bikes (like those from Nautilus or Schwinn). Those bikes cost half or even less of 3G Cardio’s bike and even have more features sometimes (like online connectivity. There are many good features here, like the resistance system and monitor. But they just are nowhere near good enough to justify the price. One of the only areas that this bike easily outperforms the others is the warranty package that it comes with. But a good warranty package simply isn’t enough to justify spending such a large amount of money on one of these bikes. Instead, we would recommend you look at some of those options from Nautilus or Schwinn.