Top-of-the-Line Upright Bike with Exact Force Braking

Matrix U50 Upright Bike Review

9Total Score
Matrix U50 Bike Review

Top-of-the-Line Upright Bike with Exact Force Braking

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Matrix U50 Upright Bike Review
Matrix U50 Bike Review

The U50 leads the elite Matrix Fitness series of upright bikes for home gyms. Highlights include Exact Force™ induction braking, 30 resistance settings and an easy-to-adjust saddle. This exercise bike can be paired with a choice of basic and advanced consoles.

The Matrix U50 is the leading upright stationary exercise bike in a new series from Matrix Fitness. This high-end residential ride has appealing electronics, including but not limited to Passport-ready technology that lets riders virtually cycle through distant lands. It’s a solid bike too, built with a sturdy yet streamlined steel frame and a whisper-quiet induction braking system. An excellent warranty package for everything from the pedals to the programming suggests that the U50 bike means business.

The U50 is compatible with three consoles. Some common points among the consoles are wireless heart rate receivers, ViaFit connectivity for sharing exercise data, and readiness for immersive scenic video tours. Some differences are screen size, number and type of built-in workout programs, and whether music and Internet are supported. These and other features of the Matrix U50 are listed below.

The Great:
  • High Quality Frame: The Matrix U50 bike has a nearly 125-pound frame. Especially compact, it takes just 43″ x 25″ of floor space. Matrix home bike frames are under lifetime warranty.
  • Induction Braking: The Matrix U50 uses induction braking for smooth and quiet transitioning between resistance levels. Trainees get 30 resistance options rather than the standard 20, so exercise is more customized. Also compared with rides that use magnetic braking instead of induction braking, the U50 responds more quickly to commands to alter the challenge. Overall the drive helps make this machine a perfect match for many ability levels and for trainees who appreciate more precise control over their training.
  • Heart Rate Monitors: Matrix exercise bikes support both contact and wireless pulse monitoring. Contact heart rate sensors are built into the U50 handlebars, and a wireless chest strap is provided with purchase of certain Matrix monitors. The simplest console (XR) also has a wireless receiver but the chest strap is sold separately.
  • Console Choice: The Matrix U50 bike is compatible with the XR, XER and XIR consoles. These have different display screens and different programming for workouts and entertainment/multitasking. The simplest option is the XR with 8.5″ wide LCD screen, five standard biking workouts, and Passport technology for viewing immersive Virtual Active video on a big screen TV. Essentially Passport lets you virtually bike in scenic destinations worldwide, getting sights and sounds that match your motion. (A Passport Media Player is required.) The middle option is the Matrix XER console with 6″ touch screen, ten standard workouts, Passport technology and Sprint8 training programs, which deliver speedy results through eight-week programs. Additionally the Matrix XER has apps for Facebook, Hulu, YouTube and more. The top Matrix bike console is the XIR with 10″ touch screen. It has the same features as the XER but a wider screen, one additional preset workout program, and an Internet browser.
  • Sprint8: Built into the top Matrix consoles is the Sprint8 exercise app developed by the bike’s manufacturer. For multiple skill levels Sprint8 delivers eight-week high intensity interval training programs. These yield results very efficiently: Exercise just 20 minutes every other day to quickly see weight loss and more lean muscle mass along with a better cholesterol count.
  • Virtual Active: Immersive video tours are supported by all Matrix U50 bike consoles. Virtual Active videos capture high-definition “bike’s eye” views of varied destinations around the world: national parks, mountain villages, busy cities, island trails and more.  Virtual Active videos are supplied with the XER and XIR consoles and can be watched on their touch screens. Another viewing option with these consoles and the standard XR is watching Virtual Active on a big screen TV. This requires connecting a Passport Media Player, which is sold separately.
  • Data Tracking: Whatever console is chosen, the Matrix U50 has its manufacturer’s ViaFit app for easy data sharing with other apps and equipment. Additionally the Matrix XER and XIR have the popular fitness management app MyFitnessPal.
  • Audio: Speakers are aboard the U50 when it’s topped with an XER or XIR console. Connect your MP3 player or use an included app to enjoy music and podcasts without your earbuds.
  • High Capacity: Matrix upright exercise bikes have 350 pound (159 kg) weight capacities.
  • Adjustable Seat: A lever is attached to the bike seat for convenient up/down adjustment. Matrix home exercise bike seats are molded for comfort and have universal stems; you can attach any standard bike saddle if preferred.
  • Multiposition Handlebars: Handlebars on the U50 are multi-position to support various riding poses. Heart rate grips are integrated.
  • Interchangeable Pedals: Pedals on this bike are self-balancing and under warranty for seven years. They can be replaced with other standard bike pedals if desired.
  • Water Bottle Holder: Each Matrix home exercise bike has an integrated water bottle holder.
  • Compact: A big selling point for the U50 is its small size. This durable bike measures just 43″ long x 25.2″ wide x 47.2″ high (106 x 64 x 120 cm).
  • Warranty: The base price of $1799 includes lifetime protection for the frame, seven years for parts, and two years for labor. Matrix home bike consoles are sold with five-year warranties.

The Not-So-Great:
  • No Cooling Fans: Unlike stationary bikes from some other brands, the U50 doesn’t have a workout fan.
  • Passport Costs Extra: Virtual outdoor bike tours are viewable on the XER and XIR consoles, but watching the videos on your home TV for a more immersive view requires the additional purchase of a Passport Media Player.

Who Should Ride the Matrix U50 Stationary Bike?
The Matrix U50 upright stationary bike is a top option for trainees at any level. This high-end trainer supports weight loss and weight maintenance, lower body toning, strength training and cardiovascular health. While the slightly cheaper U30 is only ideal through the intermediate level, this model meets beginners’ needs while also allowing more precision and the option of greater resistance that advanced riders prefer.

The Bottom Line

This high quality bike has great features from end to end, plus it’s customizable in several ways and carries an excellent warranty. The Matrix U50 is a new top choice in its price class for riders at any skill level.

Matrix U50 Upright Bike Specs:

Overall Score:9
Resistance:Up to 30
Weight Capacity:350
Dimensions:43" L x 25.2" W x 47.2" H