Building muscles and losing weight by bicycling is an effective method of increasing and maintaining fitness, but there are many occasions when climbing onto a bicycle and going for a ten-mile ride over rolling hills or along pleasant, tree-shaded city streets is simply impossible.
Lack of a bicycle – or lack of skill in riding one, work schedules that leave only late-night hours open for exercise, winter weather, high rates of crime in the area, or the need to stay close to home to care for young children are only a few of the many factors which may conspire to prevent many people from making use of this healthful exercise.
Fortunately, there are now many stationary exercise bikes on the market which can be set up anywhere in the home where a few square feet of floor are open, and which offer pedaling exercise just as invigorating and calorie-burning as a ride on an actual bicycle, without the constraints of time and that prevent many people from bicycling on the open road.
No-Frills Fitness on a Recumbent Bike – the Stamina 4545
While there are many excellent models on the market – some of the best of which feature self-adjusting fan-based resistance, which also cools the bicyclist with a breeze – these are often quite expensive. Everyone’s health is priceless to them, but for those who are unfortunately unable to purchase these top-of-the-line models, are there any options allowing people to gain the exercise they need without needing to skip two months of groceries to pay for an exercise machine?
Having been compelled to budget carefully at various times during my life, I asked myself exactly this question – is there a solid, no-frills, inexpensive exercise bike that will give a reliable workout for a reasonable price? I found my answer in the Stamina 4545 Magnetic Fusion Recumbent Bike.
Features of the Stamina 4545 Recumbent Bike
In basic construction, the Stamina 4545 is a typical recumbent exercise bicycle – one which is meant to be used while leaning back to pedal, rather than sitting upright. Lying back to pedal removes stress from the spinal column and shoulders while exercising. The padded seat is chair-like, meaning that you won’t have to balance on a narrow pad to work out with the bike. There is a pair of handrails mounted alongside the seat, which have a dual function – steadying you during your bicycling session, and feeding information to the recumbent’s heart rate monitor.
The seat adjusts to several different positions, making it comfortable for people of different heights and weights, and allowing you to find the angle of pedaling best suited to you. With no chain between the seat and the front flywheel, there is nothing to tangle your feet when you are seating yourself or standing up from the device when you have finished your latest exercise period.
Size and Assembly
The bicycle weighs 80 pounds, is 52 inches long, and features wheels to move it easily to a storage area. The maximum user weight is listed as 300 pounds. Assembly is quite easy, and takes about 30 minutes with a minimum of tools and knowledge required. Parts are warranted for 90 days, while the frame has a 3-year warranty.
The Stamina 4545 Magnetic Fusion Recumbent Bike uses a magnetic resistance flywheel. This means that an electromagnet housed in the flywheel casing changes the resistance – or how hard it is to pedal the machine.
There are three common ways of providing resistance – with a mechanical resistor, a magnetic one, or with wind resistance against fan blades built into the flywheel itself. Of the three, the mechanical resistor – basically, a brake pad – is the most easily broken or compromised by wear.
Wind resistance models, on the other hand, are the peak of the design pyramid, being almost impossible to break, requiring no electricity, automatically adjusting resistance to effort, and cooling the user with a steady draft of moving air.
Magnetic Resistance Flywheel and Heart-Rate Monitor
As one would expect from its solid, yeomanly design, the Stamina 4545 bike opts for the magnetic resistance method – the middle-of-the-road technique. Magnetism is superior to the mechanical brake pad, since there is no physical friction to wear parts out. The magnetic head may eventually wear out internally and require replacement, but usually not for a long time. However, it does require household current to run, and will add a tiny amount to the monthly electricity bill.
Surprisingly for a low-cost model, the Stamina 4545 Recumbent Bike also includes a heart rate monitor and touch-pad control which adjusts the level of resistance to meet your needs. Heart rate, time, speed, distance pedaled, calorie consumption, and the like are tracked on a screen easily seen and reached by the user. The hand-grip heart rate sensors are probably not as accurate as belt-mounted systems, but still provide a close approximation that lets the user keep within their target range.
Is the Stamina 4545 Magnetic Fusion Bike for You?
The Stamina 4545 Bike is a robust entry to the exercise bicycle market and well worth its low price. People without budget constraints would probably be better served with a more expensive model that features fan resistance, more varied monitor readings, chest-strap heart rate monitor, and a longer warranty, but for those who need to be thrifty, the 4545 Magnetic Fusion Bike offers an excellent and economical workout.
With a sturdy frame, comfortable recumbent position, quiet and wear-resistant magnetic flywheel, informative monitor, and built-in heart rate sensors, the Stamina 4545 Bike is a highly useful, well-designed, if somewhat plain exercise machine that will help to build fitness, burn off fat, and improve cardiac health and circulation generally.
Like all exercise bikes, it occupies little room and can be used while watching television or movie. It can be adjusted to a wide range of user strengths and sizes, and features the step-through design that makes it exceptionally safe when mounting and dismounting from the machine. All in all, it is a very good deal for the budget-conscious health-seeker.
Where Can You Buy the Stamina 4545?
As usual, Amazon has the best price, which, in this case, is a few bucks cheaper than CSN stores.