A Recumbent Indoor Cycle for Weight Loss & Rehab
The comfortable Switchback 4.5r invites riders to recline as they ride. With a 22-pound flywheel and nine preset workouts, it supports daily aerobic exercise as well as rehabilitative strength training, weight loss and sculpting the legs.
The recumbent XTERRA Switchback 4.5r Recumbent bike is designed for low-stress rehabilitation, weight loss and toning. It features a comfortable reclined frame, a chair-like seat for lumbar support, and smart ergonomics on the handlebars and pedals. The owner’s manual clearly explains how to use each feature and make the most of built-in heart rate monitoring.
Specs on the Switchback 4.5 r include nine preset programs, 20 resistance levels, and a 22-pound flywheel. A heart rate monitor built into the handlebars can be used in conjunction with two of the workouts, automatically adjusting their challenge level to your needs.
Originally the XTERRA Switchback 4.5r Recumbent Bike is sold for $999. Now it’s priced $799 at xterrafitness.com. The sale price includes standard indoor delivery, a 60-day money-back guarantee, and a standard warranty.
Here’s our point-by-point review of the XTERRA Switchback 4.5r recumbent cycle.
- Steel Frame: Many of XTERRA’s competitors cut corners by using cheap materials, but XTERRA works with heavy-gauge steel. The Switchback’s durable frame weighs just over 100 pounds and has a lifetime guarantee. Altogether the bike weighs 126 pounds and has a 300-pound weight capacity.
- Quiet Operation: XTERRA exercise bikes are truly “whisper quiet.” Owners don’t complain about noise like they do with some other indoor bikes.
- Easy Assembly: This bike can be assembled by two people in about 30 minutes.
- Custom Programs: With two custom programs, different users can each design and save a favorite workout routine.
- Preset Workouts: A good variety of workout routines is built into the console. Some brands have lots more, but here you get the standard types of workouts found on fitness machines in health clubs, but with creative titles like “Sunrise,” “Journey” and “Wild Ride.” You can also use manual mode at 20 levels of resistance. Data feedback includes speed, distance, time, RPM, calories burned and heart rate. To help trainees visualize their progress, movement is shown around a ¼-mile track.
- Pedals: XTERRA is mindful of the “Q factor” and uses the industry’s narrowest spacing between pedals. This is important for ergonomics and preventing injury. Additionally, the Switchback’s pedals are slightly tilted for biomechanics and are extra-wide to allow for repositioning of the feet.
- High Capacity: The maximum user weight capacity is 300 pounds
- Comfortable Seat: The Switchback bike has an adjustable chair-like seat rather than a traditional bicycle saddle. This provides good lumbar support and is naturally ventilated with its mesh design.
- Adjustable Handlebars: Adjustable ergonomic handlebars let almost any rider get the perfect grip.
- Good Size: The Switchback 4.5r requires just 55″ x 28″ of floor space. It is 47″ high.
- Transport Wheels: The Switchback is easy to move thanks to transport wheels at the back end.
- Standby: This bike relies on an external power source. In order to save energy, it will automatically shut off if it hasn’t been in use for 30 minutes.
- Engineering Mode: The owner can set the console to Engineering Mode in order to lock the machine, change data to the metric system, reset the odometer, run diagnostics, and more.
- Warranty: The Switchback’s discount price of $799 includes a lifetime guarantee on the frame. Then it goes downhill, providing just one year of coverage on the deck, parts and labor. Double the length seems more appropriate for the price. Admittedly though, we haven’t heard complaints about these bikes breaking down.
- Grip Heart Rate Monitoring: The XTERRA Switchback 4.5r uses handlebar grips for monitoring your heart rate. This isn’t as convenient or accurate as wireless monitors.
- Lighter Flywheel: The Switchback 4.5r has a 22-pound flywheel. In order to produce the feel of a real road bike, it would need a flywheel about twice the weight.
Who Should Ride the XTERRA Switchback 4.5r Recumbent Bike?
XTERRA also manufactures the Mountain Blazer 8.5 Indoor Cycle. Compared with the Switchback 4.5r, that model has a heavier flywheel to replicate the sensation of outdoor training. It also offers greater resistance for elite athletes.
The Bottom Line
The XTERRA Switchback 4.5r offers above-average value to people working on weight loss, body toning or rehab. We’d love to see a longer parts warranty, but this bike is likely to outlive its paperwork.
Testing this bike at home is low-risk: Delivery is free, assembly isn’t a headache, and there’s a 60-day money-back guarantee.