A Reclining Exercise Bike with Passport & ViaFit

Horizon Elite R7 Recumbent Bike Review

9Total Score
Horizon Elite R7 Recumbent Bike Review

A Reclining Exercise Bike with Passport & ViaFit

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Horizon Elite R7 Recumbent Bike Review
Horizon Elite R7 Recumbent Bike Review

The easy-to-ride Horizon Elite R7 is especially strong on workout programming and data tracking. Highlights include 25 built-in program modes, ViaFit tracking, and compatibility with scenic videos that adjust to biking speed and intensity.

The Horizon Elite R7 Recumbent Bike offers comfortable essentials and some appealing extras. First off, the bike is easy to access because of its step-through recumbent frame, and it has a very supportive seat with mesh backing for airflow. Next, as part of the Horizon Elite series, this ride has 25 built-in programs and is also compatible with interactive high-def videos from Passport Player. Park the bike in front of your TV and watch the video synchronize with your speed!

For data management the Horizon Elite R7 has ViaFit connectivity. ViaFit can even track workouts done away from the bike, helping riders get a holistic picture of their fitness activity.

The bike’s list price of $1,029 includes a lifetime frame warranty and the parts are covered for three years. Note though that the Passport Player is sold separately. Here are pros and cons to consider about buying the Horizon Elite R7 Recumbent Bike.

The Great:
This bike’s resistance levels and programming are well suited for weight loss, cardio training and toning the lower body. Because of the recumbent design, it can also be helpful for certain physical therapy patients. Here are some features that riders appreciate.

  • Comfortable Seat: A comfortable seat is essential for a great workout on a recumbent bike. The Elite R7 has an adjustable chair-like seat that’s easy to access. The seat’s high back provides good lumbar support and is made from a mesh material to help keep the rider cool.
  • Adjustable Handlebars: Combined with the adjustable seat, multi-position handlebars let almost any adult find a good fit.
  • Standard Pedals: The R7 has pedals like those on a regular bicycle, but with cages and toe straps for better support. These are interchangeable with standard street bike pedals too, so an owner can add SPD pedals if desired.
  • 25 Preset Programs: Preset programs help trainees make the most of workout time. Efficient workouts built into the Horizon Elite R7 Recumbent Bike target goals for distance, performance and calorie burn. Additionally, this bike has manual mode and lets trainees save custom-made routines.  
  • Passport Player Compatible: The Passport Player connects the Horizon Elite R7 to a home TV. It can play interactive video from scenic places worldwide: the French riviera, the Gaslight district in Vancouver, a national park in Maine… These high-definition videos automatically adjust to the rider’s speed and intensity to provide immersive experiences.
  • Data: The Horizon Elite shows workout data on an 8.5″ LCD with pleasant blue lighting. Readouts include time, distance, calories, speed, RPM, heart rate, watts and resistance level. Additionally, ViaFit can be used to simplify workout tracking inside and outside of the gym. ViaFit can chart data, work with other apps such as RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal (a food journal), and help you get an overall picture of your physical activity.
  • Heart Rate Monitoring: Whatever your preference, here it is! The Elite R7 has a Polar receiver and contact grips. The chest strap for wireless monitoring is sold separately.
  • Quiet Gear Changes: Horizon Elite bikes use magnetic resistance. Magnetic resistance is frictionless — components don’t actually come into contact with each other — so the operation is quiet. This is contrasted with direct contact resistance systems that can be noisy and eventually require brake pad replacement.
  • Audio: Speakers and a jack are included for an MP3 player.
  • Bottle Holder: A water bottle holder is built into the bike.
  • Sturdy Frame: The Elite R7 Recumbent Bike has a steel frame that’s under lifetime warranty. Altogether the bike weighs about 115 pounds. It has a 300-pound user weight capacity.
  • Warranty: Included with purchase is lifetime protection for the recumbent bike frame, three years of protection for parts and electronics, and one year of labor.  

The Not-So-Great:

The Horizon Elite R7 has lots of perks, but it isn’t for everyone. Here are some possible drawbacks.

  • Lighter Power: This bike has an 18-pound flywheel. For many riders it offers more than enough resistance, but others would prefer a bigger challenge — especially if they’re looking to bulk up the leg muscles or train for outdoor bike competitions. The 18-pound drive makes the Elite R7 best for weight loss, cardio and toning the lower body.
  • Size: The Elite R7 isn’t a space hog, but it takes up more space than some other recumbent bikes do. Its footprint is 66″ x 27″. The bike is 49″ tall.
  • Passport Costs More: Passport Player compatibility is one of this bike’s most eye-catching features, but it adds considerably to the price. The players sell for $199 and the video collections are $99 each.

Who Should Ride the Horizon Elite R7 Recumbent Bike?

The Horizon Elite R7 Recumbent Bike is a great trainer for weight loss, cardiovascular fitness and sculpting the lower body. It has a not-so-heavy flywheel; instead, resources were poured into this unit’s tech features: 25 workout modes, interactive Passport video workouts, and ViaFit tracking.  The Elite R7 is a good choice for people who will take advantage of these features.

The Bottom Line

The Horizon Elite R7 Recumbent Bike is a great-feeling ride with lots of motivating features. It is gentle enough for many rehab patients and has programming for a variety of fitness goals. While this isn’t a trainer for bulking up the body, it can be very useful in cardiovascular fitness, muscle toning and weight loss.

Horizon Elite R7 Recumbent Bike Specs:

Overall Score:9
Resistance:Magnetic Resistance
Flywheel:18 LBS
Weight Capacity:300 LBS
Dimensions:66" L x 27" W x 49" H