Horizon Fitness Exercise Bike Review

Quality & Reliability
Customer Service & Support

Horizon Fitness is a home exercise machine brand owned by Johnson Fitness. It features two lines of exercise bikes: the Comfort Series and the Elite Series. These lines include upright stationary bikes, recumbent bikes, and an indoor cycle trainer (spin bike). While the Comfort Series emphasizes accessibility and convenience, the Elite Series feature heavier flywheels and focus on intense workouts with lofty goals.

What makes Horizon bikes stand out? Well, one exciting feature is compatibility with Passport Player. Passport Player can work with a home TV to display interactive video workouts. These scenic videos automatically adjust to the speed and intensity of a workout.  Another benefit is ViaFit connectivity. ViaFit makes it easy to track your workouts not only with a Horizon exercise bike, but outside of your home too. It provides a useful overview of your athletic activity.

Here are some pros and cons of choosing this brand.

The Great:

Horizon exercise bikes are especially strong in terms of workout programming and data management. Here are some specific features that customers appreciate.

  • Steel Frames: Horizon bikes have steel frames with lifetime warranties.
  • Smooth Resistance: Horizon bikes operate virtually silently thanks to magnetic resistance. On their recumbent and upright bikes, tension is adjusted electronically. With their indoor cycle trainer (the IC7) tension is controlled manually.
  • Flywheel Weight: Flywheel weights for Horizon bikes range from about 15 pounds (for beginners) to 44 pounds (for pros). The middle ground isn’t covered so well. Johnson’s mid-range flywheels are found in their other brand: Vision Fitness.
  • Built-In Programs: Horizon bikes offer a strong range of programming. On the Comfort Series bikes, riders get workout guidance with 10 quick-start programs that target calorie burn, distance goals, and performance goals. On the Elite Series exercise bikes, consoles have up to 25 preset programs. That includes a few interactive workout videos (no Passport Player required).
  • Passport Player: Passport Player is an optional feature on the Elite U7 Upright Bike and other Horizon Fitness products. It is used with a television. Passport Player lets the trainee virtually bike through scenic settings such as a Parisian boulevard, a Californian desert, and the glacier-studded coast of British Columbia. Passport’s high-definition videos adjust to the rider’s speed and intensity for a realistic immersive experience.
  • Data and ViaFit: All Horizon bikes show distance, time, speed, RPM, and pulse along with an estimate of calories burned. Some of the bikes show additional data too. The screens are large and well-lit (except for the Horizon IC7 spin bike). For advanced data tracking, Horizon exercise bikes can be used with ViaFit. ViaFit can integrate and chart fitness information from throughout your day to help build an overall picture of your health.
  • Interchangeable Pedals: Horizon bikes come with standard pedals. Owners can easily exchange these pedals for SPD pedals or others if desired.
  • Heart Rate Monitoring: Horizon exercise bikes have Polar wireless receivers and contact grips.
  • Adjustable: Horizon bikes have adjustable saddles and adjustable handlebars.
  • Audio: Speakers for an MP3 player are included on Horizon recumbent and upright bikes.
  • Water Bottle Holders: A water bottle holder is affixed to each bike frame.
  • High Capacity: These home fitness machines can support up to 300 pounds.
  • Compact Size: Sized for home use, Horizon bikes are relatively compact.
  • Generous Warranties: Warranties from Horizon Fitness offer fair deals for consumers, especially when paired with sale prices for the bikes. Buyers typically get lifetime frame protection, three years on parts, and one year of labor.

The Not-So-Great:

Why wouldn’t you choose a Horizon exercise bike? Here are some possible drawbacks:

  • Extra Expenses: Passport Players are not included with these bikes. A new Passport Player normally costs $199 and video libraries cost $99 each. Also, most Horizon bikes have long parts warranties, but see the details for the particular bike that interests you.
  • Customer Service: Horizon Fitness doesn’t have a good track record for customer service. At times it’s earned an ”F” rating from the Better Business Bureau. We know they’re working diligently to earn back customers satisfaction, so hopefully that will change in the future.

Who Should Choose Horizon Fitness Exercise Bikes?

Horizon exercise bikes primarily serve people who like bells and whistles. These bikes generally have good program variety and support advanced data tracking.

With the exception of the Horizon IC7 with 44-pound drive, the resistance on Horizon exercise bikes is light to moderate. Intermediate and advanced athletes might prefer bikes from Vision Fitness, which is owned by the same company as Horizon.

The Bottom Line

Horizon exercise bikes tend to be smooth-running and moderately priced with good warranties. As customer service is improving significantly, we’re becoming more enthusiastic about this brand.