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Last Updated: May 12, 2023
If you’re looking for a gym-quality exercise bike, then the Keiser M3i is the way to go. This bike is engineered to be extremely versatile and accommodating to riders of most sizes and fitness levels. From the unique V-shaped frame to the lightweight rear flywheel, the Keiser M3i Indoor Bike is all-around impressive. The M3i is geared toward homes, public gyms, and boutique fitness studios. Whether you’re looking for a single bike for yourself, or several to fill your studio, the Keiser M3i is durable to handle a lot of use. Now, I’m going to shed some light on my experience using the Keiser M3i Indoor Bike in this review.
Why You Should Trust Our Review Of The Keiser M3i Indoor Bike
Unfortunately, we don’t have the Keiser M3i in our studio yet, BUT I’ve spent years using Keiser M3i Bikes while teaching indoor cycling classes. So, I’m here to share my experience and knowledge of this bike in order to provide you insight into determining if it is for you or not. Once we have this bike at Treadmill Review Guru, we will update this review with our own photos as well as create a review video. For now, though, join me as I walk you through my experience and thoughts about the Keiser M3i.
- M Connect Display reads time, cadence, watts, kilocalories, heart rate, RPMs, distance, speed, and resistance level
- Optional $6.99 per month subscription to The Ride for guided workouts
- Connect to third-party apps like Zwift, Peloton, PaceLine, Wahoo, Kinomap, and more
- Connect to Keiser M Series App for more workout tracking
- Battery-powered backlit console
- Included device rack for your phone or tablet
- Included floor mat to protect your floor from sweat and water
- Rear-placed stretch pads for calf stretching
- Built-in water bottle holder
- Four-way adjustable seat and handlebars
- Transportation wheels for easy moving
- Included M3i tool kit (for assembly and maintenance)
- Gel seat cover, dumbbell holder, and Polar H9 heart rate monitor (sold separately)
- Footprint: 51” L x 26” W x 49” H
- Bike Weight: 92 lbs
- Weight Limit: 350 lbs
- Height Range: 4’10” up to 7’
- No Maintenance Poly-V Belt Drive System
- 8 lb Rear Flywheel
- 24 Levels of Adjustable Magnetic Resistance
- Hybrid Pedals (SPD Clips & Adjustable Toe Cages)
- Multi-Position Handlebars
- Narrow, Lightly-Padded Saddle
- Warranty: 3-years all inclusive, and 90 days for wearable parts
In-depth Review of the Keiser M3i Indoor Bike
The battery-powered console on the Keiser M3i Indoor Bike can be a pro or a con depending on what you’re looking for in an indoor cycling experience. If you want an exercise bike with an attached touch screen, then check out bikes from NordicTrack. If you’re not looking for a touch screen on your bike, then keep reading.
For a simple, straightforward display, the Keiser M3i has everything you need. It displays all your essential riding metrics: RPMs, watt output/kilocalories, heart rate, time, resistance level, and distance. The numbers are large and the console is backlit, so it has great visibility even if you’re in a darker room. In my years of teaching classes on the Keiser, I’ve never experienced a problem with the console or had a client have any issues. I’ve even had numerous clients place their sweat towels over the console when they just want to ride and not track their workout.
One aspect of the console that makes it so easy to use, is that it has a touchless design. The console turns on when you start pedaling and tracks all of those metrics I listed. There aren’t any buttons for navigation or onboard workout programs.
The console on the M3i does have Bluetooth connectivity. You can connect to the Keiser M Series App to track your workouts, and even connect to third-party apps. Some of these apps include the Peloton app (mobile version), Zwift, Wahoo, and more. Conveniently, the device rack above the display can hold your phone or tablet for viewing these apps. This gives you some options when it comes to tracking workouts and entertainment in general. With the device rack, you can stream whatever you want, or simply place the Keiser Bike in front of a television.
Keiser also offers the chance to use their subscription platform: The Ride. You can try it for free for 30 days and it is only $6.99 per month (a bargain compared to other fitness subscriptions). The classes are led by a few instructors in an indoor studio setting. This is a nice option to have, but it isn’t required to use the Keiser M3i.
For teaching group classes, Keiser offers group and instructor apps that connect several Keiser M3i Bikes to use for cueing students and encouraging challenges and competitions among a group. The Keiser Bikes are also EN957-10 Certified to be accurate when reading watt output and cadence/speed, too.
Right in front of the seat is a built-in ledge to place your water bottle on. This keeps your bottle within reach, but often times your bottle can get kicked off the ledge when you get on and off the Keiser Bike. I’ve done it and I’ve seen many people knock their water bottles onto the floor. There isn’t a cage or anything to hold your drink in place. Over time, you get used to the water placement though.
Construction Quality & Durability
The Keiser M3i Indoor Bike is designed to be versatile for users of all sizes and ideal for public and personal use. Keiser nails this with its unique design and durable, corrosion-resistant construction. I’ve seen the M3i handle countless people from beginners to road cyclists while being consistently covered with sweat. I’m pleased to report that every bike in the studio has held up well and has required little maintenance.
What makes the Keiser Bike so accommodating to users of a wide range of heights is the V-shaped design. Keiser states that this design is best for the seat and handles to be raised together to fit riders better. The M3i is said to handle users from 4’10” up to 7’0” tall. I agree. I’m 5’1” and I can fit well on the bike with room to lower my seat and handles. I’ve seen riders shorter than me, and much taller than me (over 6’3”) have no problem getting a good bike fit.
The saddle and handles can be adjusted up/down and forward/back, making it easier to fit your body. Most exercise bikes with attached touch screens only allow the handles to be adjusted vertically.
Overall, the Keiser M3i has a sleek, yet solid frame. It’s made of steel and feels very stable. There’s no rocking or shaking while you’re riding, no matter your size. The M3i has a nice weight capacity of 350 lbs, too. In relation to other exercise bikes, this is typically the highest limit that we see when testing.
Keiser is the first brand to design a rear-flywheel exercise bike. This placement keeps the flywheel out of the “sweat zone”. Many home exercise bikes have front-mounted flywheels that catch sweat when you ride. Over time, this can lead to damage and corrosion to the flywheel and other components on the bike. The M3i’s rear flywheel doesn’t get dripped with sweat or water because it is positioned behind the rider.
Many home exercise bikes also have heavy, perimeter-weighted flywheels that are required for the bike to generate a smooth pedal stroke. Unlike these bikes, the Keiser M3i has a lightweight flywheel that is only 8 lbs.
Keiser is also the first to use magnetic resistance on an exercise bike. The magnetic resistance is adjustable with 24 levels of resistance. The belt drive system (which I’ll get into in a moment) is designed to handle a large amount of tension. Although the Keiser doesn’t offer 100 levels to choose from like the Peloton bikes or Bowflex bikes, I’ve found 24 to be plenty. Plus, the tension offered is great enough for even strong road cyclists to be challenged.
In order to adjust the resistance, the M3i has a small red lever that is positioned at the base of the handles. There’s no reaching down to adjust a knob, and this lever allows for precise adjusting. I can get to a specific level easily using this mechanism, unlike some resistance knobs which are too sensitive and hard to get to specific resistances like Peloton’s bikes.
The singular Poly-V drive belt is engineered to be compatible with magnetic resistance. This belt is appealing because it doesn’t require any tightening or maintenance, and it’s quiet. The belt is what connects the pedals to the flywheel, so it contributes to the incredibly smooth pedal stroke that the Keiser M3i has, too.
Speaking of the pedals, the M3i has my favorite type: hybrids. One side is toe cages to use the bike with regular tennis shoes, and the other is for SPD clips. The toe cages are deep enough for most sized users to pedal on the ball of their foot, unlike the toe cages that can be purchased separately for the Peloton Bikes. Those are too shallow and uncomfortable.
SPD cleats are commonly used for outdoor cycling, so road cyclists will be able to have a clipped-in experience on the M3i, too. I love hybrid pedals like these and think all indoor cycling bikes should have them. It makes the bike more accommodating for different riding preferences and wonderful for multi-user households.
Another factor that makes the Keiser Bike appealing to a wide range of users is the q-factor (distance between the pedals). A narrow distance is great for slim builds and advanced cyclists. The Keiser’s pedal cranks are curved to be slightly wider. This design makes the Keiser better for all types of athletic shoes, including cycling shoes, and users with wider hips. This way, the M3i can be more comfortable for a majority of users.
Out of all the miles that I’ve spent on the Keiser, I’ve never experienced knee pain or discomfort.
The handlebars have a smooth texture that doesn’t feel sticky or slippery. The coating also can be easily wiped clean after every ride. I like the shape of the handles. They provide multiple grip options. The handlebars are also lightly padded so you don’t get any hand fatigue. Plus, even when they’re raised up high, they remain still and don’t shake. Other exercise bike handles can get a little unsteady when they’re raised up, especially ones with large touch screens attached.
Drop handles like the Life Fitness Ride CX has, might be a nice addition for a future upgrade, but all in all, most should find these handles to be plenty sufficient.
Performance & Functionality
In my years of teaching indoor cycling classes to a wide variety of clients, I can say that the Keiser M3i Indoor Bike performs as expected. Not only is the design unique and streamlined, but the bike feels incredibly well-engineered. I’ve seen people of all abilities, ages, and sizes get great bike fits and workouts on the M3i in a commercial setting.
For home use, there’s no doubt that this bike will last. Everything from the high-quality flywheel, durable pedals, nicely-coated handles, and narrow, lightly-padded saddle make the M3i perfect for long rides and logging lots of miles. This saddle won’t give you saddle sores, unlike wider saddles. Beginners might feel a slight discomfort in their seat bone region after the first few rides in the saddle. I know I get this if I haven’t cycled in a while, but after a few rides, the discomfort goes away. This can happen with pretty much any indoor cycling bike. They all take some getting used to.
Something I want to elaborate on is the difference between the light flywheel on the Keiser Bike and heavy flywheels on other popular exercise bikes. The biggest difference I notice between the two is that a heavy flywheel tends to require a bit more effort for me to initially get moving, even with light resistance. When I have little to no resistance on the Keiser Bike I can simply just spin my legs with very little effort. However, when the resistance is increased, the load is significant and challenging.
It’s said that light flywheels can be friendlier on your joints because they require less effort when you start pedaling. I think ultimately, it is up to you and your preference and one isn’t necessarily better than the other. The most important thing to consider is that bikes with light flywheels tend to be more expensive than ones with heavy flywheels. This is true with the Keiser, it isn’t a great option if you have a limited budget. However, if you come across an exercise bike that is less than $1000 with a flywheel that is under 10 lbs, don’t bother purchasing it. In order to have a light flywheel the bike needs to be engineered for it, otherwise, it won’t feel durable and stable. The Keiser is absolutely engineered for this flywheel, which is why it is a splurge, but one that is worth it if you have the budget.
The M3i is lightweight at 92 lbs, making it easy to move around. The front transportation wheels engage when you tilt up the back end of the bike. There are also adjustable leveling feet under the stabilizers so you can plant the bike on the floor.
Keiser includes a 3-year all-inclusive warranty with the purchase of the M3i. There’s also a 90-day warranty for wearable parts. The Keiser M3i is available to purchase individually for home use and in bulk to fill your fitness studio. For setup, Keiser has a video featured on their product description page.