NordicTrack’s Commercial VR25 has a lot to offer for a home recumbent bike. Yes, it’s designed to pair with their streaming service, iFit, but it’s what’s going on under the hood that I’m more impressed by.
Like the fact that it comes with a 25 lb flywheel and 26 levels of magnetic resistance.
I also like that the VR25 comes with a heavy-duty frame and high weight capacity – both of which are indicative of superior build quality.
This recumbent comes with a few extra tech features that are nice as well, including bluetooth capabilities, one touch controls, and even an included chest strap.
NordicTrack’s warranty could use a little work, but overall, I think the Commercial VR25 is a very nice recumbent bike.
If you’re looking for a higher-end recumbent, the VR25 might be a good fit, but with so many options to choose from, it can be hard to tell.
Luckily, I’m here to help.
In this review, I’ll go over everything this bike does and doesn’t have going for it.
After reading, you’ll know whether or not the VR25 is the right recumbent bike for your home.
The NordicTrack Commercial VR25 Recumbent Bike
NordicTrack’s one of the biggest names in the home fitness game.
I don’t have any numbers to back this up, but I can’t really think of any brands that are more well-known (especially considering the company that owns NordicTrack also owns ProForm and iFit).
Name recognition alone doesn’t necessarily mean a brand is reputable, but in this case it does.
NordicTrack has been a trusted brand for decades and most of their customers these day still swear by ’em.
The brand always finds its products on bloggers’ “best of” lists year in and year out as well.
These days, NordicTrack, like pretty much every other fitness brand in the world, is pushing their streaming services pretty hard, but most of their machines can perform well too.
The VR25 is one of 2 recumbent bikes you’ll find in their current lineup (the other being the more expensive R35).
- 7″ HD touchscreen console
- 25 lb flywheel
- 26 levels of magnetic resistance
- 35 built-in workouts
- Heavy-duty frame
- 350 lb weight capacity
- iFit compatible (30 days included)
- Automatic trainer control (via iFit)
- Bluetooth compatible
- Bluetooth speakers
- Chest strap heart rate monitor included
- One touch controls
- Cooling fan
- Warranty could be longer
Recumbent bike are great because their horizontal orientation puts less stress on the back and leg joints and the larger seat and seat rest make for a significantly more comfortable workout experience.
But that doesn’t mean a quality recumbent can’t still provide an awesome workout.
The key is finding one with a legit resistance system that can provide smooth pedal action and substantial resistance to work against.
When comparing bikes, I always like to start by checking out the flywheel.
Heavier flywheels are usually a good thing… even on recumbent bikes.
That’s because a heavier flywheel usually provides a smoother feel (I say “usually” because some bikes are designed specifically for lighter flywheels, but most aren’t).
The extra weight on a heavy flywheel builds more momentum as it spins- this momentum helps keep the flywheel moving between pedal strokes.
The result is a seamless feel during workouts.
The VR25 comes with a 25 lb flywheel, which is quite heavy for a recumbent bike.
Now the VR25 is significantly more expensive than both of those bikes, so we should expect a heavier flywheel because more times than not, flywheel weight and price go hand in hand.
NordicTrack pairs that heavy flywheel with a magnetic resistance system with 26 levels.
Magnetic systems are a given in this price range, but having 26 levels is nice because it gives you a lot of control over the intensity of your workouts.
Keep in mind that more levels doesn’t necessarily mean more overall resistance (although a heavier flywheel usually does provide more overall resistance), it just means you can make smaller changes to the resistance.
Overall, I think the VR25 scores very highly with regards to its resistance system. The flywheel is heavy and there are plenty of smooth acting resistance levels to work with.
We all want a heavy-duty bike for our home gyms. Or at least I’ve never met anyone specifically looking for a flimsy bike to call their own.
Bigger, heavier bikes are preferred because they’re going to feel more secure during use.
And I realize the term “heavy-duty” gets thrown around a lot by fitness bloggers, so much to the point where it tends to lose all meaning whatsoever.
But when I use the term, I mean it literally.
The best way to tell if a bike is heavy-duty or not is to look at its assembled weight.
This inconspicuous little spec tells you exactly how heavy-duty it is.
That said, NordicTrack makes it hard on us because they don’t specify an assembled weight for their products. Instead, they give us the “in box weight”, which of course includes all the packaging too.
So, the VR25 comes with an in box weight of 192 lb.
How much of that is packing?
Hard to tell. I usually estimate 50 – 60 lb of packaging, but I know that isn’t necessarily accurate.
According to Amazon, the VR25 has a product weight of 112 lb, but again, Amazon’s product details aren’t always that accurate either.
So, my best guess would be to say this bike has an assembled weight somewhere in the 112 – 140 lb range.
And if we go with the low end of that range, it’s still pretty heavy-duty when compared to other recumbent bikes that weigh in the 80 – 90 lb range.
But honestly, I find it hard to believe there’s 80 lb worth of packaging, so I would still think the actual assembled weight is even higher.
Moving on, the VR25 also comes with an impressive weight limit of 350 lb, allowing it to safely hold folks of all sizes.
Seeing such a high weight capacity is another good sign of superior frame strength and overall stability.
This bike takes up a footprint of roughly 68″ x 22″ (L x W), making it a little longer than most recumbents, but it’s not that much larger than average.
Overall, I think the VR25 scores highly with a fairly heavy-duty frame and weight capacity.
NordicTrack backs their Commercial VR25 Recumbent Bike with the following residential warranty:
- 10 year frame
- 2 year parts
- 1 year labor
Ok, so this warranty isn’t awful, but when compared to other top recumbents in this price range it does fall a bit short.
I’d like to see a lifetime guarantee on the frame (as Sole offers on their similarly priced LCR) and 3-5 years on parts would also be nice.
A year on labor is pretty standard, so no complaints there.
It’s also worth mentioning that NordicTrack’s customer service doesn’t exactly have the best reputation.
As is the case with many larger fitness brands, customers have complained that they’re hard to reach and that there’s often a lot of waiting involved.
Not that that’s necessarily a deal breaker, but certainly something to be aware of.
The Commercial VR25 comes with the following included features:
7″ HD touchscreen console- the screen on this bike is fairly small for a touchscreen, but it’s still an HD touchscreen. This makes selecting and viewing all workouts a piece of cake and it pairs nicely with iFit.
iFit compatible- iFit is NordicTrack’s streaming service. With a monthly subscription ($39 last time I checked) you get access to unlimited instructor-led workouts, scenic rides, and metric tracking galore. With iFit, you get access to all of their other workouts too, not just the bike related ones. An iFit membership is completely optional, you can still use this bike without one. You get a 30 day trial included with purchase.
Automatic trainer control- this feature is only accessible through iFit, but it’s a pretty cool one. With automatic trainer control, your resistance will change automatically during your workouts as per the instructors instructions. This allows you to simply sit back and keep up without having to keep changing the resistance settings. This is a feature most users seem to love.
35 built-in workouts- this is a ton of included workouts to choose from, so if you don’t want to keep up with an iFit membership, don’t worry, you’ll still have plenty of workout options. I think it’s awesome that NordicTrack includes this many workouts for the folks who don’t want iFit (something many streaming bikes don’t offer).
Bluetooth speakers- you can connect with the built-in speakers wirelessly via bluetooth or plug into the audio port.
One touch controls- this feature allows you to instantly set your resistance with the push of a button instead of toggling the up/down buttons repeatedly.
AutoBreeze fan- the cooling fan will help keep ya comfortable during more strenuous workouts.
Bluetooth chest strap- this bike comes with grip heart rate monitors, but NordicTrack includes a chest strap as well for more accurate readings.
Water bottle holders- finally, there are 2 water bottle holders beside the seat, putting your beverage of choice within convenient reach during workouts.
Alrighty, let’s talk numbers.
The Commercial VR25 comes with a full asking price of $1199 (at least at the time of writing this), making this a moderately priced home recumbent bike.
It’s more expensive than the budget-friendlier bikes costing under $1000, but it’s also a lot more affordable than the luxury recumbents costing north of $2000.
Is it worth the price?
That’s a personal question and it depends a lot on what you’re looking for, but I would say yes – I think the VR25 is priced fairly.
The fact that it comes with an HD touchscreen console is enough by itself to warrant an asking price above $1000.
But more on that below.
Ok, that about does it for the VR25.
I think this recumbent scores highly in most categories.
In terms of performance, I like that it comes with a heavy flywheel and lots of resistance levels to work with – this allows this bike to provide smooth, substantial workouts for folks of all fitness levels.
I also like that this bike is fairly heavy-duty when compared to other recumbents (even though we still don’t have an exact weight for this bike).
In terms of features, the VR25 scores very highly.
It’s compatible with iFit, but even if that’s not your thing it still comes with 35 workouts, bluetooth, and an included chest strap heart rate monitor.
The only real complaint I have is with regards to the warranty – for a bike in this price range, it would be nice to see a lifetime frame guarantee, but realistically, I’m not too worried about the frame breaking down.
Speaking of price, as mentioned above, I think this bike is priced fairly considering what it has to offer.
So, to answer my original questions – yes, I think the VR25 is a smart buy (if you’re looking for an advanced recumbent bike with lots of features).
All things considered, I think the VR25 is a very nice model and easily one of the best home recumbent bikes around.