Matrix U30 Upright Bike Review
The U30 is the most affordable upright bike in a new high-end series from Matrix Fitness. Designed for home use rather than club use,…
Matrix U30 Upright Bike Specs
How We Reviewed This Model
The U30 is the most affordable upright bike in a new high-end series from Matrix Fitness. Designed for home use rather than club use, this bike features a relatively small frame (43″ long x 25″ wide) and carries a generous residential warranty. A choice of three adjustable-height consoles meets a wide range of preferences for workout support and digital entertainment.
The Matrix U30 bike features several exclusive technologies from its manufacturer Johnson Health Tech. One is ViaFit connectivity. The ViaFit app can automatically send workout data to fitness apps and tools already in use, such as iHealth, MyFitnessPal and FitBit. ViaFit can also export data to social media. All Matrix home bike consoles are Passport-ready as well. This makes it easy to virtually take interactive mini-vacations with your bike and a big screen TV. A third example of exclusive programming is Sprint8. This high-intensity interval training app provides short workouts that are extremely efficient at burning fat and building lean muscle.
A 23-pound flywheel with magnetic resistance makes the Matrix U30 best for riders through the intermediate skill level; advanced cyclists might find the similar U50 with induction resistance to be a better match. Here are some other factors to consider.
- High Quality Frame: The U30 upright stationary bike has a steel frame under lifetime warranty. The bike without console weighs 115 pounds (52 kg) and has a 350-pound (159 kg) user weight capacity.
- Magnetic Braking: The Matrix U30 uses magnetic resistance (eddy current braking) for quiet shifting. Magnetic braking helps promote a bike’s longevity because unlike older contact braking technology, it doesn’t wear down any parts through friction.
- Heart Rate Monitors: Matrix home cardio trainers support both contact and wireless heart rate monitoring. Contact grips are built into the handlebars of the U30, and for wireless telemetry two of the consoles are each packaged with a chest strap; for the third it’s sold separately.
- Console Choice: The Matrix U30 and U50 exercise bikes are compatible with the Matrix XR, XER and XIR consoles, all under five-year warranty. Console height is adjustable to suit all riders. The XR console with 8.5″ wide LCD screen has five standard biking workouts, the XER with 6″ touch screen has ten standard workouts, and the XIR with 10″ touch screen has 11. Additionally the top two consoles have popular mobile apps such as YouTube and Facebook, and the XIR has these apps plus a web browser. Shoppers also get the options of built-in eight-week training programs and immersive video workouts as described in the next bullet points.
- Sprint8: The XER and XIR consoles have the Sprint8 exercise app for eight-week high intensity interval training programs. These deliver results very efficiently with just 20 minutes of biking every other day. Some benefits of using the Sprint8 app are quick weight loss, an increase in lean muscle mass, and healthier cholesterol counts.
- Virtual Active: Virtual video tours are available with all Matrix home bike consoles. High-definition Virtual Active videos capture a “bike’s eye” view of exciting destinations around the world. Ride through national parks, along colorful city streets, through remote villages and more. A few Virtual Active videos are built into the XER or XIR consoles and can be watched on their touch screens. Another viewing option with any Matrix home bike console is watching Virtual Active on a big screen TV. This requires the separate purchase of a Passport Media Player, which is sold with a couple of tours included.
- Data Tracking: The Matrix U30 bike with any console has ViaFit connectivity for easy data sharing with other fitness apps and social media. Additionally the XER and XIR consoles have the popular tracking app MyFitnessPal built in.
- Audio: Add music or other audio to workouts. The XER and XIR make it especially convenient with integrated speakers, MP3 player ports and headphone jacks. These Matrix consoles also have YouTube and Hulu on board for entertainment.
- High Capacity: Just like stationary bikes built for health clubs, Matrix home exercise stationary bikes have 350-pound user weight capacities.
- Adjustable Seat: The molded bike seat can be moved up and down with a turn-and-pull knob. (The upgrade to this bike, the U50, makes adjustments even more convenient with a lever.) The seat can also be exchanged with any standard road bike seat.
- Multiposition Handlebars: Handlebars on the Matrix Stationary Upright Bike are multi-position for comfort and different riding poses.
- Interchangeable Pedals: The pedals are weighted to help support smooth riding. They can be swapped out for those of any standard road bike.
- Water Bottle Holder: Matrix exercise bikes have integrated water bottle holders and accessory trays.
- Compact: The U30 measures 43″ long x 25.2″ wide x 47.2″ high (106 x 64 x 120 cm).
- Warranty: The base price of $1499 during online sales includes lifetime protection for the frame, five years for parts and the console, and two years for labor.
- 23-Pound Flywheel: The Matrix U30 provides a very smooth ride but some riders would prefer even greater maximum challenge and/or more precise control over the machine’s resistance. Those options are provided with the U50, which typically costs $300 more.
- No Cooling Fans: Unlike exercise bikes from some other brands, the U30 doesn’t have workout fans on any of its consoles.
Who Should Ride the Matrix U30 Stationary Bike?
The Bottom Line
The Matrix U30 is an attractive choice for home use, being compact, quiet and customizable with versatile programming. Its adjustable-height console setup and 20 resistance levels (not to mention the option for on-board Internet) make it a good choice for most families.
The U50 is a bit better buy regardless of skill level though; it costs just $300 more but is under warranty for another two years (seven years total) while supporting riders through more pro-level workouts.