3G Cardio Elite Upright Bike Review: Here is a Better Alternative

Some people want the best that they can get. This can extend to exercise equipment or any number of extra topics. When looking at exercise equipment, this desire for the best can get quite expensive if you simply go by the cost. However, sometimes that cost can pay off. We’re going to be looking at the 3G Cardio Elite upright bike today and see whether or not its high price is worthy of our recommendation.

After a while of using this bike, now we’ll check out all of the elements that this bike offers individually, like the resistance, monitor, saddle, and so on. Then we shall compare all of these features to the price that it will cost anyone who might want to pick it up.

Lastly, we shall give our opinion on whether or not it would be a good purchase. And of course, as always, we will tell you which upright exercise bikes are better alternatives. So with all of that out of the way, let’s get into our review of the 3G Cardio Elite Upright Bike!

Cost and warranty

We’ve mentioned the cost of the 3G Cardio Elite stationary bike a couple of times now, so it only makes sense that we start there with our examination. Considering that this is the first factor that many people look at when deciding on which exercise bike to buy, it makes sense to compare everything to said price.

As we’ve said, it is an expensive bike. The 3G Cardio Elite upright bike will set you back around $1,200 normally, however when I ordered, it was $50 discounted. For such an expensive bike, you might expect some extremely generous warranties.

Fortunately, your expectations would be fairly correct in this regard. You will get a lifetime warranty on the frame, with a 7-year warranty on the parts and a 1-year warranty on the labor. This is better than a lot of warranties out there, even better than what Schwinn and Nautilus offer which is good. Anything else and it would be a travesty. More than a year passed and I didn’t need to use the warranty which brings us back to why they trust their bike to give such an awesome warranty.

Shipping and assembly

The shipping process of the 3G Cardio Elite bike shouldn’t take too long, perhaps 1-2 weeks. For us it took 8 days from when we put the order in place and it arrived to the door, the currier was nice and even helped to bring it inside the home.

If you live alone or can’t have someone to help you bring it, it’s worth giving a tip and asking the carriers to help bring the bike because it’s a pretty heavy box that weighed around 105 lbs. The box that came with the bike was also in good shape and I folded and kept it for a while in case needed to return the machine.

Once it does arrive, you get to assemble the piece. Fortunately, this upright exercise bike is not that hard to assemble, especially compared to some of the cheaper ones I had to assemble like Marcy and Sunny upright bikes.

The instructions that you get are fairly straightforward and will allow you to easily put together the machine even without a lot of experience. I got it done fairly quickly, I think it took 30 minutes and then hopped on the new bike with everything nice and proper.

There are all the assembly tools including the pedal tool, a screwdriver, and a wrench to assemble the base. I used my own tools as they are sturdier and easier to use. So, I suggest you keep your own set of tools close to 3G Elite upright bike assembly, especially since the base and pedals need to be tightened well.

A few parts that I had to assemble were the pedals, seat, handgrip, console, and frame stabilizers (front and rear). The consequence of which one to install first is clearly explained in the manual. The main parts of the bike such as a flywheel, resistance, and transmission, all came factory assembled. Remember that the left pedal installs counterclockwise.

Technology and console

One of the largest elements that people have to consider with modern upright stationary bikes comes in the form of technology with it. The monitor can deliver so much in the modern day, or it can also just be a random piece of mediocre tech onboard.

With the 3G Cardio Elite upright bike, it tends to fall closer to the former category. It has a large LCD screen that is backlit, making it easier to see in darker settings. All the metrics are shown simultaneously, so you don’t need to use a scan function to see all the stats.

These statistics include your time, RPM, watts, distance, calories, and heart rate. You can see them in both metric measurements and English measurements. It can read your heart rate through telemetric connections with the chest strap it comes with.

There are also 16 programs to choose from on the monitor, as well as the manual mode. You can set up 4 different user profiles if there are multiple users at home. Each person can save their personal data to receive more accurate calorie-burning feedback and of course save their daily workout so you can compare your progress at the end of the month.

Other programs include interval training, weight loss, statistical goals, and more. I used them all, especially the weight loss program, it has helped a lot to reach some of my fitness goals.

The only real weakness that the 3G Cardio Elite upright bike’s monitor has is the lack of any sort of online connection. Unlike on some other monitors that can be found on cheaper options like Schwinn upright exercise bikes, you won’t be connecting to any apps or anything via Bluetooth.

Two other things that really bother me with 3G Cardio Elite upright bike are the lack of a cooling fan for summer rides and speakers to connect my phone and listen to. Even Circuit Fitness AMZ which costs only $350 has speakers and they are pretty good quality. But otherwise, it is quite a good monitor.

Resistance and drive mechanism

Resistance is the other major factor of modern exercise bikes. After all, if you want to get fit, a good resistance system is crucial. The 3G Cardio Elite upright bike uses a magnetic resistance system that can only be adjusted from the aforementioned console.

Specifically, it is called a motorized eddy current resistance system. It requires a connection to a power circuit to provide resistance. When you select one of the 16 different levels of resistance, the motor will adjust the position of the magnetic brake pad to provide more or less resistance. For me personally, the upper levels are quite challenging, while the lower levels will still provide the type of lower-intensity workout that I want when doing a relaxed longer cardio workout.

I like the fact that it is almost silent but what I don’t like is the lack of resistance control buttons on the grips. Every time I want to change resistance, I need to take my hands off the handlebars and reach to the resistance dial on the console. Unfortunately, it’s an issue I have seen on many lesser expensive upright exercise bikes and wasn’t expecting for this price. If you look at Nordictrack stationary bikes or Nautilus U618, you will see they all have resistance controls on the girps and they cost much less than 3G Elite bike.

It has a belt drive inside to make for an extremely quiet workout, which is always nice. It makes very little noise and has way less maintenance than chair drive stationary bikes. The 3G Cardio Elite upright bike also uses a 3-piece crank system to hold the pedals together, which is quite nice.

This means that it is more than just a piece of metal welded together (like 1-piece cranks are). Instead, it is more durable and simply feels better. I don’t know the specific weight of the flywheel and I really didn’t have the time to put the bike apart and weigh its flywheel but based on it’s smooth pedaling motion, I would say it weighs around 10-lbs.

The Q-Factor of the bike is 220mm which is not bad for upright cardio bikes. For those who are unaware, the Q-Factor is the distance between the pedals. If it is too wide then you can end up getting quite uncomfortable. If it is too narrow, the same can happen in addition to some injuries.

Considering that no one else has really complained about the Q-Factor in both user reviews and official ones, it seems to be at an acceptable range for everyone. Normally those bikes that have a bigger q-factor feel like riding a fat bike and give ankle pain which I have never felt on this specific model. That said, I would have liked it more if it was less than 200mm.

Weight support and dimensions

Many people also typically want to know how much their potential new bike weighs, as well as how much space it takes up. The 3G Cardio Elite upright bike weighs 91 lbs (41 kg) when fully assembled, while it can support a hefty 350 lbs (159 kg).

Meanwhile, it measures out to be 41 inches (104 cm) long, 22.5 inches (57 cm) wide, and 55 inches (140 cm) tall. It isn’t the biggest bike you’ll ever see, but it still takes up a decent amount of room. I moved the bike a couple of times in the last two years and it was pretty easy and doesn’t take too much space. Definitely less space than my rowing machine and elliptical machine.

There are small transport wheels on the front that help a little bit with transportation, but they aren’t the most useful, they should have been taller and probably silicon to avoid leaving traces on wooden floors. The stabilizers on the rear of the bike are also quite small and unassuming.

You might feel some shaking on those more intense rides this way. But otherwise, it has a firm steel frame that will keep it together. I have been using an exercise bike floor mat and it has helped a lot. It keeps the floor clean, makes the bike more stable, and reduces the noise. Do spend the extra $30 to get a mat, you won’t be disappointed.

Handlebars and Saddle

We’ll round everything out with the rest of the physical elements of the 3G Cardio Elite upright bike, starting with the handlebars. I am not crazy about the handlebars and I think they miss three major things that I will explain here. The foam-covered handlebars are not adjustable, but they do offer multiple grip positions.

First of all, the handlebars are not angle adjustable which is the minimum 3G could do for this bike considering its high price tag. Then, there is lack of a set of padded elbow pads which is really annoying when you are trying to push the last couple of minutes of your interval and cardio workout. And of course, lastly, there is no resistance or program controls (button) to change these settings without reaching to bike’s console.

These are major cons mainly because upright exercise bikes half 3G Elight’s price such as Nautilus U618 and Schwinn Fitness 170 come with these features. For 2022, these are not really huge things to ask from a stationary bike manufacturer.

Aside from that, I never had any other issue with the 3G Elite upright bike handgrips. The lower section of the handlebars has pulse sensors in case you don’t want to use a chest strap for heart rate monitoring. It’s pretty accurate and comes in handy, especially if you have to stay in a certain heart rate range advised by your doctor.

Then there is the saddle. This is a fairly wide seat that has a lot of cushioning on it. I honestly find it pretty comfortable, especially when I compare it to some of the spin bikes I used throughout the years. However, you need to keep in mind that the seat is more of a personal thing and depends on body shape. An exercise bike seat that is comfortable to me may not be comfortable for you.

Probably, that’s why you might find occasional user reviews complaining about the comfort of 3G Cardio Elite UB upright bike seat. I like the fact that it can be adjusted both horizontally and vertically, which is always nice. Me and and my wife use different settings due to our height differences and it fits us both just fine.

Being able to adjust this bike’s seat means that more people can fit comfortably onboard. The tube of the seat is quite thin, which might add to that bouncing around on the more intense workouts. For a solid bike, they could probably do better but I never had any issue. You just need to tighten the seat properly to make sure the seat doesn’t slide down while exercising.

Pedals and extras

The pedals are pretty standard non-slip grippy ones with some adjustable straps to keep your feet in place. They are grippy and keep my feet in place but of course, I never stand up on the pedals as I do on indoor cycling bikes. Consider that 3g Cardio Elite UB is not built to exercise off the saddle and I don’t think its crank and pedals have the durability needed to support all your weight for too long.

As for any additional bonus features that you might be looking for, there is a water bottle holder beneath the console. If you want any sound systems or cooling fans, you’re going to be disappointed. They aren’t going to be found here.

There is also no phone charging USB device which I find pretty outdated and annoying considering that I use a big amount of my phone’s battery while I am on the bike listening to music. Honestly, quite disappointing for a bike of this price level.

I really think they need to work on a newer version of 3G Cadio Elite upright exercise bike because no matter how good the quality and warranty is if it doesn’t have the technology that we need these days, it won’t be able to compete in the current market.

3G Cardio Elite Upright Bike Pros:

  • Motorized magnetic resistance has 16 different resistance settings
  • Magnetic resistance combines with belt drive for quiet experience
  • Monitor has 16 different programs to add workout variety
  • Monitor is large, backlit and displays plenty of statistics
  • Monitor is compatible (and comes with) a heart rate chest strap
  • HR monitors located in the handlebars
  • The seat is 4-way adjustable, allowing for more customization
  • The warranties back up the bike for a long time
  • There is a water bottle holder for rehydration
  • The frame is of a commercial quality
  • Has an impressive maximum weight limit of 350 lbs

3G Cardio Elite Upright Bike Cons:

  • Monitor has no online connectivity via Bluetooth (or anything else)
  • Monitor has no speakers or USB charging port
  • No cooling fans on the console
  • Resistance can only be changed via the console, there is no controls on the grips
  • Handlebars aren’t adjustable and there is no elbow pads for cycling
  • Both the stabilizers and transport wheels are quite small
  • Extremely pricey (even overpriced)

3G Cardio Elite UB Alternative Exercise Bikes

There are at least two excellent upright exercise bikes that I would recommend as alternatives to the 3G Cardio Elite UB upright bike. One is the Nautilus U618 which costs around $500 less than the 3G UB and offers more features. Some of the superior features it has are elbow rests a better dual-screen, resistance controls on the grips, more programs, more resistance levels, a cooling fan, a USB charging port, and a speaker.

The other one is the Nordictrack VU 29 which has a 14-inch touchscreen and many other superior features like iFit compatibility and a cooling fan while it’s $50 less expensive than 3G Cardio UB stationary bike. I would say that either of these two models would be a great alternative to the 3G Cardio Elite UB, especially the U616 and U618 Nautilus upright bikes.

8Expert Score
Great quality but overpriced!

The 3G Cardio Elite upright bike is an extremely quality light commercial-quality bike. It has a quality monitor, offers excellent warranties and gives a solid resistance challenge for all who climb aboard. However, it does lack some of those more advanced bells, whistles and monitor features that you might expect from a bike of this price. No app connections, sound systems or cooling fans seems like a lot to sacrifice for the amount you’d be paying. Especially when other bikes like the Nautilus U618, which is about $500 cheaper, have such systems. If the price were lower, it would be an automatic recommendation. Otherwise, it’s more of a case of how much you are willing to spend for a long warranty.

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