HFB 2012: Ride on, on any number of stationary cycles

Stationary bicycles continue to be a popular item on the Health & Fitness Business Expo show floor and SNEWS wraps up what’s new for you.
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Stationary bicycles continue to be a popular item on the Health & Fitness Business Expo show floor.

One of the biggest superstars in the stationary bike category was FitWet’s Jet Bike, which combined the stationary cycle workout with a Jacuzzi experience. The MSRPs on the FitWet products aren’t set yet, but bank on them being on the more expensive end of the spectrum because the products are geared more toward clubs, gyms and rehabilitation facilities.

A workout on the Jet Bike includes the effects of water resistance, jets, ozone and chromatherapy. Officials from the company say the workout is 10 to 12 times more efficient than a simple stationary cycle workout on its own.

Richard Vance, sales representative for Jet Fitness, which manufacturers FitWet’s products, said this hydrotherapy/workout combination is a concept new to the United States though its been prevalent in Europe for a number of years. Buyers have the option to hook up the units to an LED screen, enabling users to watch TV, read books or listen to music. Plus, the water temperature is adjustable and ranges from 40 to 104 degrees. Its hypoallergenic system helps with healing and the water is flushed after every use so bacteria and mold can’t grow easily.

Veteran stationary cycling company, Schwinn, showcased its A.C. Performance Plus product that is more ergonomically correct and comfortable, officials said. The product has an enhanced, lighter weight handlebar design for improved grip comfort, easier adjustability and increased range. The unit also features a wider step-through space and upgraded chain-tensioning hardware with easier access.

Schwinn also debuted its MPower Console V2, which provides data measurement for watts, time, calories burned, cadence, speed, distance and telemetry heart rate. Riders can capture their data on a USB memory stick or any ANT+ wireless device.

Last HFB, Relay Fitness Group made a splash with its swaying Evo stationary cycles and while the units with the sway feature are still popular, not everybody wants to sway. To capture that latter part of that market, the company released its Evo CX, which sways but has pivot lock to allow users to turn the sway function off. The unit, like ones before, has Relay’s Orb Gear Drive, a single-axis design that doesn’t need a belt, chain or external flywheel. The drive is simply an enclosed three-piece crank with an aligned sungear and a flywheel with an equivalent intertia of 55 pounds.

BH Fitness bought to the show its new SB2.0 light-commercial indoor cycle bike with a design and road-bike style chain drive system for a true outdoor cycling feel. The unit is an upgrade from the company’s popular SB2 bike, it has a 50-pound flywheel, Polar compatible cycling computer, and top-down friction braking system. Both the unit’s seat and handlebars feature vertical and fore-aft micro-adjustments with convenient friction levers.

Kettler brought its three-piece Giro series that includes the Giro R (MSRP $699) recumbent bike and its two upright bikes, the Giro P (MSRP $499) and the Giro GT (MSRP $799). The Giro R features a motor-adjustable magnetic brake system with a 9-kilogram flywheel mass. Plus its backlit training computer comes with eight programs. The Giro P also has a motor-adjustable magnetic brake system with a 9-kilogram flywheel mass and eight programs. The Giro GT is a manually adjustable magnetic brake system and has a permanent display that has seven functions.

Vision Fitness brought its new revamped line to HFB, which included three new upright bikes and three new recumbent bikes. The upright bikes include the entry-level upright the U10, which has the company’s Comfort Arc seat, multi-position handgrips and a 21-pound (or 9.5-kilogram) balanced flywheel. The entry-level recumbent bike, the R10 has all the same features of the U10, only the recumbent bike includes a reading rack.

Bodyguard Fitness showcased its V Series, self-generating vertical bikes the V6X and the V9X. The commercial units both feature a 12-guage steel frame, heavy-duty drive system, silicone keys, four-direction adjustable seat with easy locking positions and easy-to-adjust pedal straps. The units have a 350-pound weight capacity and a heart-rate monitoring option.

--Ana Trujillo

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