iFast Fitness Magnetic Exercise Bike Review

ifast fitness magnetic exercise bike review

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It seems that every fitness equipment company out there has its own version of an exercise bike, and among them is IFAST Fitness. So how does its magnetic exercise bike compare to the rest of the market?

The IFAST Fitness magnetic exercise bike is an entry-level bike that does a great job with the basics, from getting a warm-up in before you lift, to longer cardio sessions of 30-60 minutes at a time. With varying pedal resistance and a sturdy frame, it’s a decent option for home gym owners.

If you want a 12% discount, use the code “powerlifting” when checking out.

But that only scratches the surface of what to look for in the IFAST Fitness magnetic exercise bike, or any exercise bike for that matter, so let’s get into the real details. 

In this article, I’ll provide:

  • A detailed overview of the IFAST Fitness Magnetic Exercise Bike
  • The pros and cons of this bike
  • The key features and benefits of this bike
  • A look at what other athletes have to say about this bike
  • Alternative bike options

IFAST Fitness Magnetic Exercise Bike: A Detailed Overview

ifast fitness magnetic exercise bike a detailed overview

IFAST Fitness provides low-cost home gym equipment through its online store.

The magnetic exercise bike is marketed as a home gym exercise bike. It gives you the ability to adjust the pedal resistance with the use of a large magnet in the vicinity of the metal front wheel.

The closer you adjust the magnet to the edge of the wheel, the more resistance you experience and the harder it is to pedal, simulating a road bike or mountain bike that becomes more difficult to pedal uphill or in a lower gear. 

In my experience with 50+ workouts on the bike, it serves as a decent addition to my home gym as I use it for short warm-ups and cardio HIIT sprints for 15-20 minutes at a time.

I’ve also tested IFAST Fitness’s squat rack for all of my squat workouts over the past few months. Check out my review: IFAST Fitness Power Cage with Lat Pulldown Review.

Things to Consider Before Buying an Exercise Bike

things to consider before buying an exercise bike

When shopping for an exercise bike, it’s important to understand and define a few things for yourself in order to put yourself in the right market for the right bike. Here are my top things to consider:

  • Exercise goals
  • Electronic display features
  • Bike style

Exercise Goals

First and foremost, ask yourself what your goal is in adding an exercise bike to your home gym.

Do you want to do full, dedicated cycling workouts indoors when riding outdoors is not an option or not convenient? 

Do you want to have an exercise bike for short warm-ups, cooldowns, and other assistance use cases for other exercises you do at home?

Do you want to do consistent 60+ minute rides on your exercise bike to improve your endurance and cardiovascular system?

Answering this question first will set you up to think about the features and benefits that will be most important to you in your shopping experience.

Cycling is one of my favorite forms of cardio for powerlifters. Check out the other types of cardio I recommend for powerlifters in 10 Best Cardio For Powerlifters (Science-Backed).

Electronic Display Features

electronic display features

One key differentiator for exercise bikes is the electronic display. Some riders will see little value in it, while others may base their entire decision on the quality of the electronic display. 

For example, someone who only uses the bike for warm-ups and short stints of cardio under 20 minutes may have far less concern about things like the electronic display features, internet connectivity, and pre-programmed workout options. 

Alternatively, someone whose workouts primarily center on an exercise bike may emphasize the features of the electronic display and internet connectivity, as they plan to monitor it and rely on it for entertainment and performance indicators during long rides.

There can be a significant cost difference in bikes that do and don’t feature robust displays, so establish for yourself how important this feature is early in your shopping decisions. 

Bike Style

Finally, there are several styles of exercise bikes out there, and each has different pros and cons. 

Personally, I’m a big fan of the Airdyne style bike, where the wheel is a large fan that creates wind resistance the harder you pedal. It also incorporates your arms moving forward and backward on independent handles (similar to an elliptical machine) to assist your feet in pedaling.

This style of bike helps me engage and warm up most of my muscles before a workout and is an excellent option for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio sessions after lifting. It’s also frequently used in CrossFit or other general physical preparedness (GPP) workouts.

Alternatively, reclined exercise bikes place the pedals in front of the rider rather than immediately below the rider, like a standard bike. This allows riders to engage only their feet and legs to move the pedals while keeping their upper body in a comfortable, disengaged, reclined position. 

Additionally, like the IFAST Fitness Magnetic Exercise Bike, there are stationary exercise bikes that mimic the look and feel of road and mountain bikes. 

Finally, there are stations you can buy to convert a working road bike or mountain bike into a stationary bike by mounting the bike on the station and placing the rear wheel off the floor.

This style allows avid cyclists to perform indoor, stationary workouts on the same bike they use outdoors, keeping them comfortable and familiar with the very bike they use on their outdoor rides. 

Each of these (and others) can be great options, but it’s important to define which one interests you and serves you best as you start searching.

IFAST Fitness Magnetic Exercise Bike: Pros

iFast fitness magnetic exercise bike: Pros

Readers here should know how I like to use exercise bikes, as this is how I tested the IFAST Fitness Magnetic Bike. 

I’ve touched on it already, but for my powerlifting style of exercise, the stationary bike serves as my first stop to warm up when I head to my home gym to work out. Once I am done with my lifting (about 1.5-2 hours later), I use the bike for some HIIT cardio, usually 15-20 minute rides while I watch something on TV.

These rides vary from riding hard and fast, about 90% of my top speed for 30-60 seconds at a time, and then pulling back to about 50-60% of top speed for 30-120 second intervals. 

One of the things I enjoy most about the IFAST Fitness magnetic bike is that it’s simple to use for both purposes that I need it for. There’s no power switch and no waiting for the display to kick on to press start. I just get on, pedal, and I’m off.

Due to how I do my HIIT workouts, I need to adjust the resistance of the wheel constantly throughout the workout – about every 60 seconds, on average. Because of this style of exercise, the varying resistance knob is important. 

When it’s time for me to sprint, I can crank the knob to the right a few turns, allowing me to pedal harder with fewer revolutions of the wheel so my legs aren’t spinning 100 miles an hour as I push my heart rate up. 

After a minute or so, I can twist the same knob to the left a few times and pedal with less effort while I try to quickly bring my heart rate back down for a 45-60 second reprieve. 

review about ifast fitness magnetic exercise bike

The magnetic brake/resistance mechanism provides the basic need to adjust the resistance for my style of exercise. 

The initial setup out of the box was similarly simple. There are just a few total pieces to assemble. The entire frame and wheel mechanism were pre-assembled. All the buyer needs to do is attach the two base pieces to the frame, attach the pedals, and then place the seat and handlebars into their place. 

From the time I opened the box, the bike was assembled in 15 minutes.

Over the course of my 50+ rides on this bike, I noticed it’s pretty dang sturdy. I’ve never felt like it wobbles at the base or is at risk of tipping over or getting off balance when I’m pedaling at a sprint speed. 

I’ve wheeled it around my home gym to place it where I need it for a workout or move it out of the way to facilitate other exercises, and the wheels and other components have all held up great over the last while. 

I have no expectations that the bike will break down or give me headaches in the near term. 

Lastly, I appreciate that the seat on this bike is pretty comfortable. Granted, it’s a standard, upright-style stationary bike, so take this for what it’s worth. At the end of the day, it’s still a bike seat and won’t be as comfortable as your living room sofa.

That said, since sitting on a bike seat is the price of admission when performing cycling exercises, this seat does a much better job keeping me comfortable than others I’ve owned and used. 

It looks like a standard mountain bike or road bike seat, but with decent padding and firmness. It’s not the wide-set beach cruiser style seat you sometimes see on exercise bikes, but I personally prefer this narrower style for my type of exercise on a bike. 

For my 20-minute rides (and a few 30-minute rides), I can’t say I’ve wanted to quit due to butt discomfort. No news is good news, so this seat passes the test of being functional and comfortable.

IFAST Fitness Magnetic Exercise Bike: Cons 

ifast fitness magnetic exercise bike cons 

Now in addition to my positive experiences with the bike, there are certainly some things I found where it just isn’t that great, or at least leaves me wanting some immediate improvements. Not the least of which is the terrible electronic display that comes with it. 

I have a TV mounted on my wall in my home gym, so I can watch or listen to whatever I want. I’m not judging the bike’s electronic display by its ability to entertain me for a few minutes during my ride. I accept that this is not a Peloton, and frankly, I don’t want it to be. 

However, I do get value out of being able to easily monitor my heart rate, elapsed time, and revolutions per minute (RPMs) or other speed/resistance metrics while I ride.

Rather than relying on my perception of how hard I’m working as I bounce between sprints and lower heart rate intervals, I like to use a measure of my heart rate, wheel RPMs, watts generated, or even arbitrary resistance level (level 1-10, or similar) to keep my intervals consistent and push myself to do better the next time. 

The bike’s display is about as useful as a calculator watch you won from a nickel arcade when you were 10. Sure, it tells the time elapsed and an estimate of distance traveled, but that’s about it. If you tap the single button to advance from one reading to the next, you’ll feel like you’re seeing information, but most of it is inaccurate. 

When I compared the display’s reading of my heart rate (based on my hands being placed on the metal sensors on the handlebars), it varied from my wearable monitor’s heart rate reading by at least 20-30%, and sometimes wasn’t even close (showing 60-70 BPM while I sprinted while my wearable showed 160-170 BPM). 

There is no connection between the manual crank resistance knob on the frame of the bike and the display, giving me no feedback or metrics on how much resistance I was setting it to, aside from the physical feedback I got in my feet and legs. 

Ultimately, if you want to track these types of metrics in your cycling workout, you’ll need to rely on wearables or other sources to make up for this shoddy display. You can buy cadence sensors on Amazon to tell you your RPMs, but you’ll still have to rely on your own judgment to get an approximation of the resistance level.

And as much as I appreciate the ability to adjust the pedal resistance on the bike, it’s pretty clunky and inconsistent. The knob is quite literally a hand-twist knob with a threaded screw connecting it to the magnet plate below the frame just above the top of the metal wheel. 

To increase resistance, you twist the knob, just like you would a pop-pin or a bolt, to put the magnet closer or farther from the metal wheel. The closer the magnet is to the wheel, the more resistance you get, and vice versa. 

But as I explained above, there’s no indicator of how much resistance I am getting.

Because I’m focused on progressing my workouts (ideally, sprinting with heavier levels of resistance over time), I really want to be able to define and measure what level of resistance I am using at any point in time. 

This leads me to often just guessing and “wandering” as I crank it right and left to find a sweet spot. 

Finally, if you want to make a drastic change to the resistance level, the threading of the bolt is so fine that you may wind up twisting the knob 5-6 half turns to get it where you want it. 

The bottom line is that the resistance knob is a guessing game and kind of a pain to get right, and not being able to see resistance levels on the display is frustrating.

Additionally, while the overall sturdiness and stability of the bike are good, the more I used it, the more I noticed the handlebar unit was wobbly. Not to the point that it felt dangerous or broken, but enough to bug me every time I ride it. 

The handlebar unit attaches to a vertical post that slips into an open sleeve of the bike frame in the front. There’s a pop-pin to adjust it up and down within about 8-10 inches, similar to the seat. But no matter what setting you place it in, it’s just loose in the sleeve of the bike frame and wobbles. 

When I lean forward and put more weight on the bike during my sprints, I’m frustrated by the play between the handlebar unit and the sleeve it sits in, even with the pop-pin twisted and fastened tightly. 

I don’t believe it will get worse, but it’s not getting any better, either. 

As I think about my experience with the bike, it’s pretty generic and there’s really nothing special about it. If you search for a similar exercise bike on Amazon or anywhere else, you’ll find dozens of alternatives offering the same features and price point with a similar level of quality. 

For that reason, if I were shopping for one for myself, there’s nothing about the IFAST Fitness Magnetic Exercise Bike that commands my attention and shows why it’s better than the next option. 

IFAST Fitness Magnetic Exercise Bike: Key Features & Benefits

In addition to the pros and cons I discussed above, there are 3 key features of the IFAST Fitness magnetic exercise bike that stood out to me:

  • Easy setup, easy use
  • Competitive price point
  • Durability of the magnetic resistance knob

Easy Setup, Easy Use

easy setup, easy use

My favorite thing about this bike is that it was easy to set up in the first place, and it’s easy to get started with each workout. 

As I explained earlier, I use the bike for warmups to start my workout and quick cardio sessions at the end of my workout. I’m either in a hurry to get warmed up and start doing what I love (lifting heavy weights and chasing PR’s), or I’m in a hurry to wrap up my workout and get my cardio done so I can shower and get on with my day. 

For those reasons, I love that I can just jump on the bike and go. No need to select a workout from a complicated display, no need to join a live class through internet connectivity, no need to even hit a power button. I can just jump on and get pedaling. 

Competitive Price Point

As I shared earlier, one downside of this bike is that it’s just like dozens of other options from different brands. That said, I do like the price point of this bike, as it doesn’t seem to have much of a markup to account for big branding or heavy marketing. 

Compared to brand-name alternatives of similar quality and features, it comes at a low price point to get all the benefits without paying an inflated price to account for other business costs of larger brands. 

Durability of the Magnetic Resistance Knob

durability of the magnetic resistance knob

While I don’t like the daily use of the resistance knob, I do appreciate this style of resistance, as you never experience wear and tear the way you do with a traditional resistance braking system. 

In a traditional system, a brake physically contacts and squeezes the wheel to add resistance to the pedals, the same way brakes on a bicycle squeeze the wheel to slow its motion. Naturally, these mechanisms wear out over time and need replacing. 

Because the magnetic resistance mechanism never has to touch the wheel but instead relies on magnetic fields, I love that you’ll never need to replace or repair it for that reason. 

What Do Other Athletes Have to Say About the IFAST Fitness Magnetic Exercise Bike?

athletes say about the ifast fitness magnetic exercise bike

On the IFAST Fitness site, this product only shows two reviews, but both of them are 5/5 stars. 

IFAST Fitness does have a presence on Amazon with a few of its products, but this magnetic exercise bike is not one of them as of the time of this publication. Reviews of a similar bike that they sell are sparse but generally positive. 

Best Alternatives for the IFAST Fitness Exercise Bike

If the IFAST Fitness magnetic bike isn’t for you, below are a few alternatives I recommend.

Schwinn IC4 Exercise Bike

In my opinion, the Schwinn IC4 is the best option out there. Backed behind an excellent brand with high-quality components, you can’t go wrong with a Schwinn stationary bike. 

However, the price is significantly higher than the off-brand options you’ll see out there at about double the going rate. 

If you plan to ride your exercise bike a lot, or it’s the bulk of your home workout focus, I’d recommend putting more money into a product like the Schwinn IC4 and really being confident in your purchase.

Sunny Health Exercise Bike

Another option at the other end of the price spectrum is the Sunny Health Exercise Bike. Many of this bike’s features and benefits are similar or the same as the IFAST Fitness bike, but Sunny Health is a more well-known brand with more reviews that can aid in your decision-making. 

For me, when I’m rolling the dice on a lower-cost option, I always feel more confident when that decision is backed by the experience of others.

Since the overall reviews for the IFAST Fitness magnetic exercise bike are very sparse and lack detail, I’d feel much more confident spending my money on the Sunny Health exercise bike due to its high volume of high-rated reviews. 

Rogue Concept 2 BikeErg

Rogue Concept 2 BikeErg

Finally, if you really want to go all-in on your exercise bike, complete with a big brand name, quality components, and big features, you can check out Rogue’s Concept 2 BikeErg

This bike is a hybrid between the fan bike and the stationary bike. It uses a small fan wheel for resistance while removing the component of moveable arms. On this bike, your whole workout comes from your legs, unlike other air bikes, but puts you in the same seated position as the IFAST Fitness magnetic bike. 

The price is significantly higher than many other stationary bikes, nearly 4x the price of the off-brand bikes on Amazon, but the product is well-reviewed, showing nearly a full 5-star average on the Rogue site. 

If it’s true that you get what you pay for, you’re getting a high-quality option with Rogue. 

If cycling isn’t your preferred form of cardio, you may want to opt for a treadmill instead. Before you decide on one, check out these 15 things to consider when buying a treadmill.

Final Thoughts

There’s truly nothing unique or special about IFAST Fitness’ magnetic exercise bike, but that’s not a bad thing.

If you’re in need of a sturdy, comfortable, simple bike to jump on at home for a quick warm-up or the occasional short cardio workout, it’s a decent option.

With easy setup and no maintenance, you’ll be able to enjoy those workouts for a long time. You’ll get your money’s worth, but nothing more. 

If you truly want something unique or have other specific requirements in mind, you’re better off narrowing down what those requirements are and shopping for the alternatives that address them directly.

About The Author

Adam Gardner

Adam Gardner is a proud resident of Utah, where he lives with his wife and two kids. He has been competing in powerlifting since 2016 in both the USPA and the APF. For the past three years, he and his wife, Merrili, have coached beginning lifters to learn the fundamentals of powerlifting and compete in their first powerlifting competitions.