When it comes to quality, mid-range home recumbent bikes, NordicTrack is one of the best brands around.
And the 2 recumbents we’ll be comparing in this article, the Commercial VR25 and the Commercial R35, are both prime examples of why NordicTrack has become one of the top home fitness brands today.
And the VR25 and R35 are very similar too – both come with legit resistance systems, heavy-duty frames, and comparable console features.
So if you’re stuck between these two bikes, it’s easy to see why.
But don’t fret, I’m here to help.
In this article, I’ll compare NordicTrack’s VR25 and R35 with regards to all the performance specs and features each bike has to offer.
I’ll also focus in on the key differences between them and provide my 2 cents regarding which bike I think is the better buy.
After reading, you’ll know which recumbent bike is the better option for your home.
Alright, let’s do this.
|NordicTrack Commercial VR25||NordicTrack Commercial R35|
|Resistance||25 lb flywheel|
26 magnetic resistance levels
|25 lb flywheel
26 magnetic resistance levels
|Frame||192 lb in-box weight|
350 lb weight limit
|192 lb in-box weight
350 lb weight limit
|Warranty||10 year frame|
2 year parts
1 year labor
|10 year frame
2 year parts
1 year labor
|Features||7" HD touchscreen console|
Heart rate monitoring
Tons of built-in workouts
|14" HD touchscreen console
Heart rate monitoring
Some built-in workouts
The NordicTrack Commercial VR25 vs The Commercial R35
I still remember that old school cross country skier machine that had back in the day and funny enough, one of my patients had one of these in her house the other day.
It was set up and still worked!
I realize you can still buy these these days, but I have a feeling the one she had was a few decades old…
Regardless, my point is NordicTrack is still quite relevant and going strong.
They change up their lineup pretty regularly, especially now that everything’s about iFit and workout streaming, but you can still find a lot of their older models through retailers like Amazon.
Actually, as I write this, the R35 is the only recumbent bike they’re offering directly through their website.
Anyway, we’re here to talk about the VR25 and the R35, so we should probably get to it already.
Let’s start this comparison off by checking out how the resistance systems on the VR25 and the R35 compare.
A bike’s resistance system is responsible for providing the uh, resistance you work against (duh), but it’s also responsible for providing the feel of the pedal motion.
And with recumbent bikes in this price range, it mostly comes down to the weight of the flywheel.
This rule isn’t written in stone or anything, but heavier flywheels tend to provide smoother pedaling motions because the extra weights builds more momentum.
And this helps reduce lag between pedal strokes.
There’s also the resistance mechanism itself, which should always be magnetic at this price range, but you can always consider how many resistance levels a bike comes with too.
Having more resistance levels can be a perk because it gives you more control over the intensity of your workouts; just know that more resistance levels doesn’t necessarily mean more overall resistance.
The VR25 and the R35 both come with a 25 lb flywheel, so no difference there.
And when it comes to recumbent bikes, a 25 lb flywheel is pretty legit. I think the heaviest I’ve come across is a 30 lb flywheel, so both bikes score highly here.
Both bikes also come with 26 resistance levels to work with, so no difference there either.
Overall, when it comes to performance the VR25 and R35 are pretty identical.
Both bikes come with the same flywheel and the same amount of magnetic resistance levels, making them equal in their ability to provide a smooth pedaling motion.
Ok, so these recumbents score evenly when it comes to their resistance systems, but what about their frames?
Is one bike bigger or heavier-duty than the other?
Well, let’s find out.
In terms of dimensions, there’s very little difference between the VR25 and the R35 (68″ x 21″ x 60″ and 68″ x 24″ x 53″ respectively).
The R35 is a few inches wider and the VR25 is a few inches taller, but nothing significant enough to really matter in terms of space required.
When it comes to determining how heavy-duty a bike is, I like to look at the assembled weight spec because this stat tells us literally how much the bike weighs.
And a bike that weighs more is a lot more likely to feel stable during workouts.
NordicTrack doesn’t provide the assembled weight spec unfortunately, but they do offer the in-box weight.
This stat includes the weight of the packaging, but since we’re comparing 2 NordicTrack bikes, I think it’s ok to use this stat because both bikes should have more or less the same amount of packaging.
According to NordicTrack, both bikes come with the same in-box weight of 192 lb.
So, no difference whatsoever there.
When thinking about frame integrity, I also like to look at the weight capacities because more secure bikes should come with higher weight limits.
Again, this rule isn’t written in stone, but I still think it’s worth considering when comparing bikes.
The VR25 comes with a weight limit of 350 lb, which is very impressive for a home recumbent.
And the R35 also comes with a 350 lb weight limit.
Overall, I see no significant differences between the frames of these 2 bikes.
Other than a small difference in their dimensions, these 2 bikes are pretty identical when it comes to the weight and stability of their frames.
I’ll save ya some time and cut right to the chase here – the VR25 and R35 both come with the same residential warranty:
- 10 year frame
- 2 year parts
- 1 year labor
And as home warranties go, I think this is pretty good.
Some brands offer lifetime frame warranties, but many don’t. And other than a lifetime guarantee, 10 years is about as long as you’re gonna get.
Two years on parts isn’t bad for this price range, but it could be better – there are recumbents in this price range that come with 5 year parts warranties (like Sole’s LCR).
A year on labor is pretty standard operating procedure.
Overall, I think NordicTrack’s warranties are pretty good, but in terms of comparing these 2 recumbents, there aren’t any differences in this department.
So far, the VR25 and the R35 are starting to look like the same bike. Let’s check out the features each has to offer to see if any significant differences pop up.
The VR25 comes with a 7″ HD touchscreen console that’s designed to pair with iFit (NordicTrack’s streaming service).
iFit isn’t mandatory, but through it you get access to unlimited instructor-led classes, metric tracking, scenic rides, and all that stuff.
Through iFit, you can also take advantage of the automatic trainer control feature, where your resistance level automatically adjusts to match the instructors instructions.
If you don’t like the idea of paying a monthly iFit membership fee, that’s ok because the VR25 comes with 35 built-in workouts too.
The VR25 also comes with bluetooth speakers, quick-touch resistance buttons, an AutoBreeze cooling fan, grip heart rate monitors, and is strap heart rate monitor compatible.
It also comes with a comfortable, mesh backed seat.
The R35 comes with a 14″ HD touchscreen console, which is 2x as big as the one found on the VR25.
This large screen makes it a better choice if you really are interested in going the iFit route.
And unlike the VR25, the R35 doesn’t seem to come with so many built-in workouts. You don’t have to join iFit to use the R35, but your workout options will be quite limited if you don’t.
Otherwise, the R35 also comes with bluetooth speakers, quick-touch resistance buttons, an AutoBreeze cooling fan, and grip heart rate monitors.
It too is compatible with strap heart rate monitors as well and the seat is pretty identical to the one found on the VR25.
You’ll also notice that the R35 doesn’t have the handles built-in around the console, only the ones down by the side.
Overall, even though the design is a little different, the biggest difference between these 2 bikes is the size of the touchscreen display.
Before we finish this comparison off, I want to discuss cost a little.
But before we do, just keep in mind that the prices for these bikes can vary quite a bit, so my numbers might not be completely accurate by the time you read this.
And if this is the case, I apologize.
Anyway, at the time of writing this, these bikes cost the following:
Commercial VR25: ~ $600
Commercial R35: $1499
The VR25 probably won’t be available directly through NordicTrack much longer, so the prices are going to vary a little more depending on where you find it.
The price quoted above is the average price I found when compared across a few different retailers.
The price on the R35 is what NordicTrack is offering it for directly through their website.
And I again, I apologize if these prices aren’t accurate by the time you write this, but that’s how it goes.
Alright, that’s about all I got.
After going through everything up above, I think it’s safe to say the VR25 and the R35 are very similar bikes.
In terms of performance, these bikes are pretty identical – they come with the same flywheel weights, the same number of resistance levels, and their frames weigh the same and come with the same weight limits.
They’re also backed by the same warranty, which is the same guarantee NordicTrack offers across all their lineups now.
The only real difference is that the R35 comes with a 14″ screen and the VR25 comes with a much smaller 7″ screen.
That, and the fact that the older VR25 comes with a lot more built-in workouts.
Which bike is the smarter buy?
I think that depends entirely on whether or not you plan on using iFit.
If you plan on using iFit, I say go with the R35 for the larger screen; if you don’t want to use iFit, I’d go with the VR25 because it comes with so many built-in programs.
If you’re still stuck, I say go with which ever one’s cheaper at the time you’re comparing prices because again, when it comes to performance, these 2 are pretty identical.
Regardless of which recumbent you choose, I doubt you’ll be disappointed.