Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Bladez Fitness Fusion GS II Indoor Cycle (Review)

I didn't realize how important indoor cycling had become to my training as a trail runner until I was without a bike. I first incorporated spinning into my workout schedule in 2011 after purchasing a Bladez Fitness Velopro S600. It began as a way to keep my body moving longer during the winter months when perhaps I wasn't running quite as much as I would have liked. Eventually, when I was running at full capacity I would hop on the bike for a couple hours, after the run, to extend the workload without much risk of injury. Lo and behold, during the next few years I made significant gains in my endurance. Eventually, mounting mechanical issues and a lack of available parts led to the bike becoming inoperable, and for most of 2015 I was without a bike. That was the same year I suffered multiple running injuries and an assortment of other medical problems.

Having a bike during this period would have kept me moving during those months when I could not run, but without it my fitness dwindled, and I found myself entering 2016 with a lot of work to do to rebuild my body.  For this reason I began shopping for a new bike, and in mid February settled on the Bladez Fitness Fusion GS II Indoor Cycle (Amazon.com).

My first bike from Bladez was sturdy, quiet and smooth, and although it did eventually break down I considered it to be quite dependable. That being the case it seemed only logical that I purchase another Bladez bike. With a list price of $600, and a closeout sale price of just under $300, the Bladez Fitness Fusion GS II Indoor Cycle was similarly priced to the Velopro, and I expected similar quality.

My Bladez Fitness Fusion GS II Indoor Cycle shipped FexEx and arrived on time and undamaged. Assembly was easy and took less than half an hour. The frame of the bike, including 40lb flywheel and chain drive mechanism come as one piece. Assembly requires only attaching the legs with bolts, threading the pedals into place, inserting some adjustable mounts and then attaching the seat, handle bars, and a simple digital display to those mounts. After making some simple adjustments you'll be ready to ride.

On a carpet floor with the feet/legs adjusted to their lowest setting, the Bladez Fitness Fusion GS II Indoor Cycle remains stable even at a high cadence. The chain drive is a little louder (a bit like a road bike) than my previous bike, and just a hair less smooth. These differences were noticeable to me at first, but as they do not effect the performance of the bike I have quickly adjusted to them.

The fit of the bike is different than my first bike, which took some getting used to. At first it seemed like I couldn't bring the handle bars close enough toward me (I am 6' 1"). My previous bike had elbow rests on the handle bars allowing me to tuck into an aero position, which I quite liked for changing things up during long sessions. To be fair, the redesigned Bladez Fitness Fusion GS II Indoor Cycle encourages better posture, which after 500 miles of riding, has become like second nature for me.

If you're looking for a solid indoor bike at a very affordable price (go price top end new bikes and you'll see what I mean), you can't do much better than Bladez Fitness Fusion GS II Indoor Cycle 

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