NordicTrack VR25 Recumbent Bike Review – Pros & Cons 2020

Last Updated: April 9, 2020

NordicTrack VR25 Recumbent Bike Review

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The NordicTrack VR25 is one of our favorite recumbent bikes! This comfortable bike is ideal for anyone looking for low-impact training on a bike that is reclined and easy to use. With a padded seat and vented backrest, you can work hard and still stay cool. The step-thru design works great for those with mobility or joint issues.


Who It’s For: Riders who want a joint-sparing workout in a reclined position on a bike that is easy to mount and ride

The VR25 is designed for users who:

  • Prefer to sit reclined rather than upright while they ride
  • Are looking for extra lumbar support
  • Want a padded seat with extra-wide pedals
  • Desire a well-rounded conditioning and recovery option
  • Want something stable that won’t rock while pedalling
  • Need equipment that is easy to get on and off
Pros
  • Good for riders with low back or knee mobility issues
  • Rider sits low and behind the pedals rather than up and over the top, which creates less tension on the knees and ankles
  • Relaxed design reduces upper body tension and muscle fatigue
  • Vented backrest allows for comfortable air-flow and offers good support
  • Wide, padded seat reduces “saddle soreness” typical of traditional bike seats
  • With 26 digital resistance levels, you can find the right personalized exercise challenge
  • Excellent for injury rehabilitation or those who need to increase joint mobility
Cons
  • Larger footprint than upright studio bike
  • A bit heavy and does not fold up

FeaturesSpecifications
  • Recumbent Frame with StepThru™ Design
    The recumbent design allows users to exercise in a comfortable, supported position. StepThru design makes it easy to get on and off the bike. This is especially helpful for those with limited mobility or who may be recovering from an injury.
  • Oversized Seat with Lumbar-Support and Easy Seat Adjustment
    One of the best features on a recumbent bike is the nice, large seat! You can pedal comfortably without tension in the lower back. With Easy Glide seat adjustment it is easy to just reach underneath the seat and slide it to the correct position. Multiple users can adjust the seat per their comfort.
  • Ergonomic Pedals with Adjustable Straps
    The VR25 can be ridden with any athletic shoe. Wide pedals provide a stable foothold and the adjustable straps will keep your foot in the correct position.
  • 26 Digital Resistance Levels
    The 26 digital resistance levels are preset so you always get the same resistance at the same level. Other indoor cycling bikes just have a tension knob that is hard to measure and regulate. Digital resistance sets the tension the same each time, so you can moderate and calibrate your workout appropriately.
  • 35 On-board Workouts
    35 onboard routines for cardio, HIIT, hills, or sprints are all available. A graph display on the screen lets you know what the routine looks like, so you know when you expect an upcoming hill or interval.
  • 25 Lb. Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel
    The flywheel is weighted to produce enough inertia for a smooth pedal stroke. As you pedal, the force is transmitted into the flywheel which then gains speed and spins gently, so there is no jerkiness or heaviness in the pedal stroke.
  • AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan
    A must have on any bike, it’s especially nice to have a fan on a recumbent bike! Since you are sitting back and down rather than upright, it can be hard to feel the breeze from fans in the room. The workout fan built into the console offers nice air flow with adjustable controls.
  • OneTouch® Controls
    OneTouch controls feature presets for speed and resistance that are just a finger touch away. This makes managing your workout easy and provides several training variables.
  • Integrated Tablet Holder
    The tablet holder on the console will hold most phones or tablets snugly with an adjustable clip. You can watch your device while the LCD screen keeps track of your stats.
  • NordicTrack iFit® Membership Enabled
    Should you desire an iFit membership, users can subscribe online and then download the app to a compatible device. You can then select any iFit program to watch on your device in the integrated tablet holder. iFit features several programs for cardio conditioning, strength building, and recovery classes.

Construction:

  • StepThru™ Design
  • Oversized, Lumbar-Supported Cushion Seat
  • EasyGlide™ Seat Adjustment
  • Extra-Wide, Ergonomic Foot Pedals with Adjustable Strap
  • AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan
  • Front-mounted Transport Wheels
  • 68″ L x 21.75″ W x 60″ H Footprint
  • AC Adapter Included
  • 25 Lb. Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel
  • Commercial-Gauge, Solid Steel Construction
  • 350 Lb. User Capacity

Console:

  • 7” Smart HD Touchscreen
  • Includes 1-Year NordicTrack iFit® membership**
  • Integrated, Pivoting Tablet Holder
  • Auxiliary Music Port
  • Two 2” Digitally Amplified Bluetooth® Speakers
  • Bluetooth® Smart Enabled
  • 35 On-board Workouts
  • OneTouch® Controls

Functionality:

  • 25 Lb. Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel
  • SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance
  • 26 Digital Resistance Levels
  • EKG™ Grip Pulse
  • iFit Bluetooth® Smart Chest Strap Included
  • Low-impact workout
  • Easy on joints
  • Easy to use and get on and off

Warranty:

  • Frame: 10-Year
  • Parts: 2 Years
  • Labor: 1 Year

In-depth Review of NordicTrack VR25 Recumbent Bike

Construction

Steel Frame with protective overlay

NordicTrack VR25 Recumbent Bike Frame

The VR215 is a stable bike that sits squarely on the floor. Steel support beams with plastic overlay in key areas keeps moving parts protected.This bike does not rock when placed on a level floor. Although it is slightly larger than a studio bike, the footprint is long and narrow so you should be able to tuck it in the corner of a room or under a window.

Two Sets of Handlebars

Vertical upright bars wrap the console and horizontal bars flank the saddle. Both handlebars are powder-coated black with molded grips that are sweat and germ resistant. Handlebars won’t absorb moisture and can easily be wiped off when you are finished. The upright bars are connected to the console.
NordicTrack VR25 Recumbent Bike Handlebars
Saddle handlebars have manual volume and resistance buttons. Resistance is on the right and volume is on the left. These lower handlebars are attached to the seat, so they move in line with the position of the seat. EKG pulse grips are also on the lower handlebars, which will transmit your heart rate to the console screen. The VR25 also comes with a heart rate chest strap for improved accuracy.
NordicTrack VR25 Recumbent Bike Seat

Saddle

The VR25’s innovative saddle design includes a wide, padded base that ensures maximum comfort. The wide saddle design has several benefits: it more evenly distributes the user’s weight over a larger surface, so you are less likely to suffer from saddle soreness or sit bone discomfort (pain in the ischial tuberosities).
NordicTrack VR25 Recumbent Bike Backrest
The vented backrest allows for airflow so even as body temp increases during riding, you don’t end up leaning against a sweaty backrest. The backrest and seat are also smooth and germ-resistant, so they clean up easily and won’t harbour bacteria.

Pedals

NordicTrack VR25 Recumbent Bike Pedals
The pedals are wide and flat with a gentle tread to keep your shoe from slipping. An adjustable strap on the top of the pedal also holds feet securely. These pedals are comfortable and will work with any athletic shoe.

Console/Controls

7” Smart Touchscreen

NordicTrack VR25 Recumbent Bike Screen
The VR25 console features a nice 7” full-color touchscreen that is a significant step up from the LCD screens found on lower-end models. Via the touchscreen, you can control the digital resistance, adjust fan speed and volume, and select from hundreds of iFit cycling classes and programs. The inclusion of a touchscreen enhances the VR25 functionality by adding a database of content that is not available without iFit. We also love how the touchscreen is simple and easy to use. 7” isn’t huge and there were a few times I wished for a slightly larger screen, but since you are sitting directly in front of the screen it is easy to reach.

Console Layout

The 7” touchscreen is at the top of the console. A speaker panel sits beneath the screen with a nice lip underneath that will easily hold a phone. The lower portion of the console has buttons for fan speed and volume control as well as preset digital resistance buttons and a manual -/+ button for more precise resistance adjustments. The fan rests at the bottom of the console and provides nice air flow directly onto the rider.
NordicTrack VR25 Recumbent Bike Console

Fans

There is a fan at the bottom of the console (as noted above). This is especially useful since riders are sitting low and probably won’t get much air flow from an overhead ceiling fan or other standing home fan. Fan settings are adjusted on the console, which is an easy reach from the saddle. The small fan button turns the power down and the large fan button turns the setting up. The fan is a welcome addition on the VR25 bike.

Speakers

The speakers are adjustable so you can control the volume for: Music, Trainer, and Total volume. If you want to turn the music down, but still hear the trainer, you can make that adjustment on the touchscreen. The control buttons on the console only adjust the Total volume, which is the selected balance between trainer and music. We love that you can manipulate volume settings like this! If you prefer, you can plug your phone into the auxiliary port on the side of the console to play your music through the speakers.
NordicTrack VR25 Recumbent Bike Tablet Holder

Tablet Holder

There is a tablet holder attached to the top of the console with an adjustable grip that will hold your phone or personal device securely. This is a welcome addition since those who ride recumbent may want the option to read a book, listen to audible, or even watch Netflix on their personal device. In addition to the wide array of content available on iFit via the touchscreen, an included tablet holder offers more ways to stay engaged while riding the VR25.

Cup Holders

NordicTrack VR25 Recumbent Bike Water Bottle Holder
There are two cup-holders that flank the seat on either side. These are an easy reach and provide plenty of space for an average water bottle.

Functionality

Benefits of Recumbent Riding

There are several benefits of riding a recumbent bike. The large saddle more evenly distributes the user’s weight across a wider surface which reduces the likelihood of posterior discomfort. Also, sitting in a slightly reclined position opens up the user’s airway since the chest is lifted rather than hunched over. This allows for better airflow and oxygenation as you ride. Recumbent riding also allows users to strengthen muscles with adjustable resistance without overly impacting the joints. Forget the old fear that recumbent bikes are less challenging than upright bikes. In fact, when in a recumbent position, you are strengthening several different muscle groups:

  • Heart and Lungs (Cardiovascular system):The heart is a muscle, so any exercise that increases heart rate strengthens the heart. Aerobic exercise also improves lung capacity, which can decrease heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Balanced Leg Muscles: The four large muscles that make up the front of your thigh are called “quadriceps.” (Quad meaning four.) These muscles are important in knee flexion and extension. Recumbent riding engages and strengthens the quads gently without creating tension or pressure on the knee joint. Hamstring muscles which line the back of the thigh work in conjunction with quadriceps to create a full pedal stroke. Calf and shin muscles are also engaged when riding and these help with the motion and stability of the ankle.

35 Preprogrammed Workouts

Riders can select from several different types of workouts that come preloaded on the bike. You do not need a subscription or WiFi to run these programs. They are simpler than the iFit classes and content but still provide excellent training and conditioning options. If you want to ride while you watch Netflix on your tablet, these preloaded workouts are great since the resistance is automated so you don’t have to adjust anything. Personal ride metrics are recorded for you so you know how long and far and how many calories you burn while riding.

Subscription Content: iFit

NordicTrack VR25 Recumbent Bike iFit
The VR25 includes a full color touchscreen that showcases a wide array of classes and content in iFit. Since iFit comes free for the first year, users can enjoy and assess the value of this subscription before you have to spend any money. We are impressed with the classes, content, and trainers in iFit. You can ride a long, slow outdoor route; or join a high energy studio class with other participants alongside you! The options are endless with iFit as content and classes are frequently updated and expanded.

Noise Level

The VR25 offers a quiet, smooth ride. The 25lb inertia-enhanced flywheel glides smoothly with no backend jerkiness or heaviness in the rotation. A protective casing over the flywheel and drive belt limits sound as well. Digital resistance — as opposed to friction resistance — is nearly silent. The loudest thing coming from the bike when you ride is likely to be your music volume!

Storage / Folding

NordicTrack VR25 Recumbent Bike Storage

The VR25 does not fold, and it has a rather long profile. But the large wheels on the front stabilizer make it so you can tilt the bike forward and roll it as needed.

Bottom Line:

The NordicTrack VR25 is a smooth, comfortable bike. Riders have the option to sit back and pedal gently while viewing their personal tablet, studying for a test, or even reading a book set on the lip of the console. For those who want more active engagement, iFit includes a wide array of classes and rides that will keep you interested and engaged! We love how NordicTrack engineered this bike to provide exceptional functionality for those who want to exercise without stress to their back or joints. The step-through design is ideal for any user, but will work especially well for anyone with range of motion limitations. You can strengthen the powerhouse muscles in your legs and enhance your cardiorespiratory conditioning while staying comfortable and reclined. It’s hard to go wrong with the VR25!

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