About Slim Cycle
Advertised as a two-in-one breakthrough that gives you twice the results in half the time, the Slim Cycle fitness bike make exercising fun by combining cardio with upper body strength training.
Additional features include the ability to transform from an upright position (for an intense workout) to a recumbent position (for a relaxed workout), eight levels of ultra-quiet magnetic resistance, and a large digital display that tracks calories, distance, and speed. You’ll also be able to see your pulse using the heart rate monitor built directly into each of the handles.
These handles, along with its large opening, also make getting on and off the Slim Cycle easy, while the 2.5-inch thick memory foam seat—which is adjustable and can accommodate heights between 4' 11" and 6' 4"—and backrest provide comfortable support for those up to 300 pounds.
When you're finished, it folds up like an ironing board for easy storage, whether in the closet or under a bed.
These certainly sound like some useful features, but will you find that slimming down and losing weight is as easy as hopping on the Slim Cycle and starting pedaling? Will you be able to “sculpt and tone your body in as little as 10 minutes a day,” as claimed on the website?
We gathered some facts you’ll want to keep in mind during your research, starting with how biking could lead to better health.
The Health Benefits of Cycling
While there are arguably hundreds of potential benefits related to cycling, Harvard Health lists the top as:
- Aerobic Workout – Otherwise known as cardiovascular exercise, this raises the heart rate and if performed regularly, can help burn extra calories and improve cardiovascular health, to name just a couple of benefits.
- Muscle & Bone Building – Each time you turn those pedals, you use many different lower body muscles (including many above your waist as well, such as the abdominals, arms, and shoulders), which can help them—as well as the bones they’re connected to—grow stronger and bigger.
- Joint-Friendly – Despite these aerobic workout and muscle building capabilities, cycling is low-impact; that is, it’s easy on the joints.
- Everyday Benefits – Harvard Health reports these benefits can carry over into different aspects of everyday life as well, such as “balance, walking, standing, endurance, and stair climbing.”
Another potential advantage is that you can accomplish these benefits whether outside on a traditional bike, or inside on stationary models like Slim Cycle (such as when the weather’s not so great, or you just need a quick early morning spin session).
If you’ve already decided that a stationary version is the best option for you, how can you go about choosing the right manufacturer and model? First, let’s quickly cover what you’ll pay and who you’ll pay it to.
How Much Does Slim Cycle Cost?
Slim Cycle is priced at five payments of $39.99, plus $19.99 S&H, bringing your total to $219.90.
Your purchase will automatically come with an app containing a library 10 free, on-demand virtual rides, some of which include instruction. During checkout, you can upgrade to a full year of unlimited access to these videos for an additional $5.
You can also upgrade to the Deluxe Slim Cycle version, which includes a water bottle and holder, a heavy-duty floor mat, a metallic gunmetal finish, a double padded seat, upgraded handle grips, and a two-year extended warranty for $19.99.
All orders come with a 30-day refund policy, less S&H charges, which you can request by calling customer support at 855-668-1655.
Note: After several calls to customer support, none of the representatives we spoke with could provide additional details about how long the app’s videos are available without upgrading, the bike’s weight, or warranty information. As such, we can’t know how much you’ll have to pay when shipping it back if you request a refund or process a warranty claim.
What Do We Know About Telebrands?
Telebrands has been in business since 1983, making them the longest-running As Seen on TV company in existence. They’re also the largest company in the industry, with hundreds of releases to their name, including popular recent ones like Hurricane Spin Broom, Air Dragon, Pocket hose Brass Bullet, and Atomic Lighter.
The company held a D+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, based on 315+ closed complaints, as of 2/26/18. Most of these referenced ordering and customer service issues, although a company representative responded in most instances.
Slim Cycle vs. the Competition: What Are Important Features In a Stationary Bike?
If you just started researching stationary bikes like Slim Cycle, it’s possible to spend anywhere from less than $200 to well over $2,000, spanning all types of designs and features. Generally, though, you get what you pay for. Here are just a couple of examples of what this means in the real world:
Materials Quality – Often, the more you pay for an exercise bike, the better quality materials you’ll receive, including aluminum construction, heavier-weight flywheels; wide, adjustable bases, and high-quality electronics (including the various sensors we’ll discuss in a second).
Resistance – Magnetic resistance is the gold standard, which uses a flywheel and strong magnets to provide the widest variety. At the other end of the spectrum, fans might be more budget-friendly, but can be loud and not very customizable.
Tracking Features – These include the ability to monitor heart rate and mileage on budget models, to higher-end versions that can monitor power output, cadence, and actual calories burned.
Some models even offer live, interactive classes and leaderboards like Peloton, while some ‘smart’ trainers (devices that attach to real bikes) can even connect to games like Zwift, allowing you to experience automatic resistance, custom courses, and the ability to compete with other riders around the world.
Pro tip: We encountered very few models that also featured a ‘rope system’ for the upper body, as with Slim Cycle. However, we called customer support, who advised this resistance is not adjustable (in contrast to the pedaling resistance).
They also weren’t able to provide additional details as to how wide the base is (regarding stability), what the on-demand videos involve, or what the specific difference is between the 10 free videos received with every purchase, and the upgraded year-long subscription.
How to choose which stationary bike is best for you? As with most purchases, WebMD recommends starting with those features most important to you, which will likely directly impact your budget. For example, unless you plan on competing online or achieving the most realistic indoor experience possible, higher-priced options like Peloton and Zwift-enabled trainers might not provide a higher level of value.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a piece of equipment that will withstand years of regular use and can grow with you as your skill level increases, then investing in a higher-priced model with better build quality and materials might be worthwhile.
In addition to starting with the budget and those features most important to you, Consumer Reports emphasizes that one of the most important factors when buying a stationary bike is trying before you buy, since they can vary widely in fit and comfort.
Obviously, isn’t something you’ll be able to accomplish when it comes to online purchases like Slim Cycle. Does this mean you should keep it on your list?
Our Final Thoughts About Slim Cycle
The HighYa team’s goal is to provide you with the information you need to make a more empowered purchasing decision—not to necessarily decide for you.s
But based on what we learned from the Slim Cycle website and commercial, as well as from third-party resources like Harvard Health and Consumer Reports, cycling seems to provide many potential health benefits, including those related to cardiovascular and strength. And Slim Cycle also comes with a competitive price and many must-have features for indoor fitness bikes, such as:
- Adjustable magnetic resistance
- The ability to track heart rate and miles via a large digital display
- Two operating positions (upright and recumbent)
- Access to free cycling videos, including instruction
- Can accommodate a wide variety of heights
- Includes backrest
- Competitive price
We also think it’s important to balance these potential benefits with realistic expectations. In other words, while Slim Cycle might be able to provide you with an easily accessible cardiovascular workout, successfully losing weight is just as much about what you eat as about how much you exercise. And since no meal plans are included with the bike, this is something you’ll have to research on your own.
Also, with only eight pedal resistance levels and no adjustable arm resistance, Slim Cycle’s ability to meaningful grow along with your fitness level might be limited.
Finally, while it’s positive that Telebrands stands behind Slim Cycle with a 30-day refund policy, keep in mind that you’ll lose your initial $20 S&H charge, plus whatever it’ll cost to ship back to the company, if you’re dissatisfied. And since customer service couldn’t provide the bike’s weight, there’ no way to know how much this might be.