I''m posting this same review for three closely related products: the MagneTrainer-ER Mini Exercise Bike, the Quick-Connect kit for the MagneTrainer, and the Ergonomic Hand Pedals for the MagneTrainer. I bought all three and together they effectively become a single...
I''m posting this same review for three closely related products: the MagneTrainer-ER Mini Exercise Bike, the Quick-Connect kit for the MagneTrainer, and the Ergonomic Hand Pedals for the MagneTrainer. I bought all three and together they effectively become a single product.
Background: I''m a 62 y.o. COPD patient going through a pulmonary rehab course. One of the machines used in the course is an "arm bike" which you use by cranking some handles with your hands/arms using the same motion your feet would make on a bicycle. This makes you push and pull with your arms, shoulders, upper back, etc. I noticed that this felt like an efficient way to work a lot of muscles that I usually don''t work in a short period of time, and it can be as tough or as easy as I choose since the resistance is adjustable. How to get that experience at home without spending big bucks on a gym-quality machine the size of a small car?
I read lots of reviews and decided to try out the MagneTrainer and I am sold. It has the feel and performance of the pricey equipment you find in hospitals, rehab centers, gyms, etc. The action is silky smooth and consistent throughout the range of motion, regardless of the resistance. It''s nearly silent. You don''t need to plug it in (it runs off of one AA battery). The machine is heavy and well-balanced enough that I''ve experienced no wobbling...it feels like it''s nailed to the table or floor when used as they tell you to use it.
The standard foot pedals are substantial and comfortable and have Velcro straps to keep your feet from slipping off, and they can be used as hand grips. I bought the optional hand grips ("Ergonomic Hand Pedals") because I liked the similar feel of the handles on the equipment in rehab. The hand grips are substantial, durable and so heavy you could fling them at a burglar and knock him cold. Likewise the optional Quick Connects that allow you to swap the foot pedals for the hand pedals are very solid, well machined, industrial quality stuff.
Assembly: the process is easy to understand but you need to put some muscle behind the wrenches when putting this together. All the tools needed are included.
You can buy the hand pedals and the quick connects later if you''re not sure about the machine, just be prepared to go through something of a second installation when you add them. You don''t need the hand pedals but if you buy them, you absolutely need the quick-connects as well. Otherwise if you wanted to switch between hand and foot pedals, you''d have to break out a wrench and risk stripping threads and by the time you were done, you''d be so aggravated you wouldn''t want to use the thing! I plan to use it mostly for upper body exercise, but decided to just bite the bullet and outfit the thing completely as I expect I''ll have this for some time.
With the quick connect adapters installed I find it easy to swap the handlebars for the foot pedals and vice versa. I also find it easy to move the MagneTrainer between the table and the floor if I''m switching from hands to feet (it has a handle). My take is that if you''d find those tasks difficult, you most likely have a helper available who could do it for you.
I have two nitpicks. Resistance is adjustable from nothing to plenty with the turn of a dial, but when you find a setting you like there''s nothing to let you remember that setting. If you and I were sharing the same machine it would be neat to know that I''m working at, e.g., Level 6 and you''re working at Level 9. That way if you used it last, I could dial back to my comfort zone of Level 6. No such luck. Resistance is easy to adjust but it''s like a garden hose. "Hey, how far did you have it turned on?" "I dunno, about half way or something." Not precise, but not a huge deal to work around.
The other nitpick is the electronics module. It does exactly what it needs to do but given the overall quality of the rest of the machine and attachments, it feels a little cheap. No backlight, tiny display, no memory. On the other hand, this device has NO POWER CORD and those fancy items take power. This thing runs off of a single AA battery inside the electronics module.
This isn''t cheap, but for something that feels this sturdy and durable it''s worth it to me.