Recumbent Bike with Sufficient Back Support and Features
The comfortable Commercial VR23 is a mid level recumbant bike good for a variety of user types with a multitude of options and features.
New for 2015, the recumbent NordicTrack Commercial VR23 recumbent exercise bike is similar to top-of-the-line Commercial VR25 Elite. The main differences are that the Commercial VR23 has a simpler console and a slightly lighter flywheel. This unit in this recumbent bike review has a standard 7″ LED screen, a 23-pound flywheel, 32 preset workouts and iFit wiring.
The MSRP is $1299 but the Commercial VR23 is often sold online for just $799. That includes a lifetime frame and brake warranty, three years of parts protection and no labor costs during the first year of ownership.
Here are pros and cons of buying the NordicTrack Commercial VR23 recumbent exercise bike.
- Recumbent Frame: Exercise with less stress. Unlike an upright bike, a recumbent bike lets you recline and takes pressure on your back. Plus, the VR23 and most other stationary recumbent bikes are very easy to mount and dismount; there’s a step-through design and no bar in your way. Handgrips are provided for stability.
- Seat with Lumbar Support: The NordicTrack VR23 supports your lower back with a ventilated chair-like seat. The seat is cushioned for comfort.
- 26 Resistance Levels: This bike provides a good range of resistance levels for beginners and mid-level exercisers. Changes are made digitally with One-Touch buttons. (On older designs the resistance is changed with a knob.)
- 32 Built-In Workouts: Benefit from the guidance of a certified personal trainer! The 32 programs included on the NordicTrack Commercial VR23 were designed by an expert to target three objectives: calorie burn, endurance and performance.
- iFit: An iFit subscription costs extra ($99/year at last check) but transforms the machine. With iFit you can virtually ride your stationary bike anywhere mapped by Google Street View! Sync the machine with your tablet computer to see the streaming images. You’ll also get to download a customized iFit workout every day, access personalized nutrition advice and more.
- Attach Your Tablet: Bring your own technology. You can use your favorite apps and files during workouts by adding your tablet computer to the Commercial VR23 bike. A bracket can hold your tablet at eye-level without obscuring your view of workout data.
- Extra-Wide Pedals: Extra-wide pedals allow you to reposition your feet during workouts. This can help you endure for longer. Straps are included to help prevent slippage.
- Wireless Heart Rate Monitoring: A Bluetooth heart rate receiver makes it easy to monitor your pulse and make the most of workout time. The required chest strap is sold separately. You can also use the grip heart rate system built into the bike’s handlebars.
- Self-Adjusting Fan: Get the perfect breeze! The NordicTrack Commercial VR23 has an AutoBreeze fan that responds to your speed. Manual override is an option too.
- Water Bottle Holder: Hydration is made easy with a convenient water bottle holder.
- Transport Wheels: Move the VR23 from room to room with ease. Wheels are mounted to the front.
- High Capacity: The official user weight limit is 350 pounds.
- Size: This bike doesn’t take up too much space. Its footprint measures 61.2″ x 23″.
- Warranty: The warranty is very good if you only spend $799. It includes lifetime coverage for the recumbent frame and brake, three years for parts, and one year of labor.
- 23-Pound Flywheel: A 23-pound flywheel doesn’t match a machine with “Commercial” in its name. Heavier flywheels provide smoother rides and can support more challenging workouts. However, heavier flywheels also add significantly to the price of an exercise bike. With the NordicTrack Commercial VR23 you’re paying for other features, particularly the built-in programs and iFit.
- Workout Screen: The 7″ LED isn’t problematic but it’s nothing special given the model year. Recumbent exercise bikes with full-color touch-screens and web browsers are becoming common. The Commercial VR25 Elite offers that technology. On the other hand, you can add your tablet computer. That might be even better than a built-in option because it can always be updated.
Who Should Use The NordicTrack Commercial VR23 Recumbent Bike?
The Bottom Line
The combination of a tablet holder, 32 built-in programs, wireless heart rate monitoring and optional iFit upgrade makes this bike attractive at first glance. It has a pretty good warranty too. If you just want to kick back and burn some calories, then this might be your ride! But with only a 23-pound flywheel the NordicTrack Commercial VR23 might disappoint someone seeking a truly “commercial” feel. If you’re seeking a recumbent bike with more serious power, then look to brands such as Lifespan and Sole.
NordicTrack Commercial VR23 Specs:
|Resistance:||25 Resistance Levels|
|Weight Capacity:||350 LBS|
|Dimensions:||61.2" L x 23" W x 68" H|