Bicycling is often our first introduction to machine-based fitness, when we are given a childhood bicycle by our parents and build our youthful muscles pedaling through the streets in defiance of skinned knees, randomly speeding cars, and other hazards. I never had a childhood bicycle, but my teenage years witnessed major surgery whose follow-up rehabilitation included use of an exercise bicycle – my first foray into the world of exercise machines, and a demonstration of the effectiveness of indoor cycling exercise.
Today’s exercise bicycles are far more sophisticated, better-made, and versatile than the clumsy model I used, of course. Years of feedback, experimentation, and design have added some new features, improved existing ones, and honed the exercise bicycling experience into a smoothly-integrated part of the fitness and weight loss scene.
Many excellent exercise bicycles are now available for the user to choose from, ranging from economy models with mechanical brake pad resistance that differs little from the bicycle I used, to finely engineered pieces such as the Keiser M3 Indoor Cycle, whose almost sculptural lines complement a machine that gives a smooth, thorough workout with computerized tracking.
The Basics of the Keiser M3 Indoor Cycle
With a stable base of square steel beams shaped like a capital I, two angled posts – one supporting the seat and the other the handlebars, and two chrome-bright discs which make up the mechanism to which the pedals are attached, the outline of the Keiser M3 Indoor Cycle is elegantly minimalist, and highly effective at what it is supposed to do – provide a healthy, vigorous cycling workout to the fitness enthusiast or weight-loss seeker.
The exercise bicycle is very compact and will fit into nearly any available space. At just 49 inches long and 26 inches wide, it is space-saving even by the standards of exercise bicycles, which are typically smaller than rowing machines, weightlifting benches, and home gyms. Its solid 85-pound weight, heavily concentrated in the base, gives the machine sturdiness and stability, as do the four rubber shoes mounted at the ends of the base to rest on the floor. A pair of small wheels at the front makes moving the machine from one place to another easier.
Thanks to its simple, tough design and the friction-free arrangement of resistance (with magnetic resistance being used), the Keiser M3 Indoor Cycle requires very little maintenance.
The machine comes with a 3-year warranty, and since the flywheel features magnetic resistance, there is no brake pad to wear out, or to begin to squeal and skip when it becomes worn. Operation of the bike is nearly silent thanks to the magnetic flywheel, and users agree that the M3 is extremely smooth regardless of the exercise level, allowing long pedaling, free from impacts or sudden variations in resistance.
Initial construction of the bike takes anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes, depending on experience and the tools available. For best construction speed, over half a dozen different wrenches are needed, although it is possible to “fudge” the construction with less tools and more time.
Wide Range of Resistance Levels
The Keiser M3 Indoor Cycle offers a range of features that help you get exactly the indoor bicycle workout that you need, regardless of your level of fitness or your exact exercise regimen. Resistance on the magnetic flywheel is adjusted with an easy-to-use control, and ranges across 24 different ‘gears.’ The resistance level is infinitely adjustable, according to the manufacturer, but the 24 gears indicate the large range of different resistance levels available even without careful fine-tuning.
Most parts of the bicycle can be adjusted. The pedals are adjustable, and the seat can be adjusted in four different directions – raised or lowered, or moved backward or forward to be more comfortable for users of different weight and stature. The handlebars, which are ergonomically designed and comfortably padded, can also be moved up or down as necessary.
There is also a water bottle holder so that you can keep a refreshment on hand – a feature I believe adds to the functionality of the Keiser M3 Indoor Cycle nearly as much as the magnetic resistance flywheel or the monitor, since being able to slake your thirst in the midst of exercising without getting up from the machine means that you do not interrupt the rhythm of your workout. Remaining well-hydrated is also important to a healthy workout and greater stamina on the bicycle, especially during hot summer weather.
The Keiser Indoor Cycle’s monitor is well made and offers plenty of useful information, even if it is not as sophisticated as those with removable thumb drives to transfer information to your computer. The monitor is fairly small and straightforward, mounted between the handlebars, but features clear digital numbering that is easy to read while pedaling.
The numbers displayed include revolutions per minute (RPM) and cadence, power output in watts (a rather amusing detail), total expenditure of calories for the session (there is no separate per-minute measure), gear, distance, time, and pulse rate – everything you need to manage an effective workout and remain within the limits of effort that give you the best results.
What Others Are Saying About The Keiser M3
Here is what R. Enlow says:
I purchased a M3 from Keiser not too long ago and it has literally changed my life. I actually enjoy working out now because of the smoothness of the ride and the ability to watch TV or listen to music uninterrupted by bike sounds.
Enzo Itgoes had a similar experience:
None of the indoor bikes I had ridden ever had the smooth feel of riding outdoors – until I tried the Keiser M3 at a health club. I loved it so much, I bought one for myself for home use …
Michael Demmons, another reviewer on Amazon explains:
When I first started taking cycling classes, I thought these bikes didn’t look like much. But after using them everyday for the past several months, I can tell you without hesitation that they are fantastic.
Keiser M3 Indoor Cycle Best Price
Amazon offers one of the best prices on the Internet and also ships faster and more reliably than most of the other outlets that sell this exercise machine. Reviewers on Amazon have been very satisfied with the Keiser M3 and have given it 5/5 stars.