When a product starts making a lot of noise on social media, it can be attributed either to good marketing or sheer customer curiosity. This is the reason why the FlexBike’s popularity across social media intrigued me.
I was excited to try out the product on three counts.
One, it has been launched by an Indian start-up, a Gurugram-based fitness technology start-up called Flexnest. Capitalising on the at-home fitness trend, the start-up offers multiple fitness equipment — from equipment stands, kettlebells, barbells, a fitness scale and the most popular one, a Bluetooth-enabled smart bike called FlexBike.
Two, I am a fitness enthusiast and since the pandemic took over our lives, I have been wary of heading to a gym. If you’re someone who is counting on at-home workouts to keep up with your fitness levels, then this review is for you.
Three, the simple offering of a smart bike with preloaded workouts is hard to resist. Especially when the fitness industry has overwhelmed us all with terms like HIIT, strength training, AMRAP, and what not. The Flexbike is more than just a cycle, it’s a workout experience.
Who shouldn’t bother reading this review? All those who have resumed their gym memberships and are habitual runners in the great outdoors. No matter how many features I propose, this is not for the outdoor fitness enthusiast or iron-pumping gym rat.
The FlexBike is priced at INR 29,990 which is steep for an indoor cycle. But do note it is cheaper than quite a few popular fitness smartwatches that are in the market currently.
I was pleasantly surprised to see a compact box make way into my living room which had different parts of the FlexBike. Once it’s set up, you’ll be surprised to see how chic and sturdy it looks. It won’t be an eyesore in your interiors. It’s all black with orange accents and doesn’t look like those clunky, intimidating exercise bikes which you find inside gyms. The wheels at the front make it easy to lift and move around the house, depending on where you want to exercise. You can set it up by watching the tutorial online or ask the company to send someone to set it up for you. There is a tablet stand in the front, where you can easily park your tablet or smartphone. This stand can be adjusted manually to suit your preference.
So why would you put an exercise bike in a confined space when you can invest in a superior bike and head outdoors? In this case, for the motivation and easy accessibility. The FlexBike comes with a Bluetooth sensor which connects with a user’s smartphone or tablet. You’ll have to download the FlexNest app and then start peddling. You’ll then be introduced to a series of rides with instructors. You can choose between a Quick Ride, a Virtual Ride and a Class Ride. There is a resistance lever at the bottom of the bike to increase or decrease the difficulty levels.
If you’re trying to get a good cardio workout in, I would recommend opting for a “Class Ride”. A fitness instructor will yell in your ear — assuming you’re cycling with earphones on — to increase the intensity from time to time. There’s something about having a personal coach take you through an intensive workout with variations that keeps you motivated and that is where the FlexBike excels.
Cardio workouts are great for heart health and indoor cycling has seen great popularity with especially during spinning sessions. I also loved the “Virtual Ride” where you can ride through the beautiful, scenic landscapes from Provence in France to the Apline mountains in Switzerland and Italy. So you can burn the calories while watching the beautiful scenes pass by. Trust me, it makes it easier to wrap up a 30 minute workout without looking at the clock. If you buy the bike, you get a free subscription of classes on demand for a year which is a great value addition for all those who want to hit their fitness target with a little bit of support from a certified instructor.
Should you buy an exercise bike for nearly INR 30,000?
In 30,000 rupees you can probably buy an annual membership at a decent gym or even sign yourself up for online fitness coaching.
However, in my experience, consistency is key when it comes to fitness. So ask yourself, will you head to the gym regularly? If the answer is “maybe”, then the FlexBike is a great addition to your routine. Even a 30-minute ride, three times a week, will be a great start, I say.
Since the pandemic forced us to stay indoors, there has been a rise in demand for at-home fitness equipment and services. Products like the FlexBike have entered the market at a time when people are starting to adapt to stay-at-home workouts. Some have begun to prefer them to noisy gyms. The FlexBike makes a simple ride enjoyable with its interface and Bluetooth connectivity. Its sturdy yet portable form factor makes it easy to move around rooms and floors.
Also, if you are planning on indulging in the festive treats, there’s a strong chance that a new year fitness resolution is being jotted down somewhere in your calendar. The FlexBike can nudge you in the right direction.
If you are someone who is just starting their fitness journey and find the grunts and smells of a classic gym too overwhelming, the FlexBike is a great product for you.
If you can’t travel to Paris and New York right now, you can cycle to the scenic locations virtually, while burning some calories. Just make sure you start pedalling instead of using the bike as a towel rack.