The pooboo Indoor Cycling Bike must be doing something right because it’s rapidly become one of the better selling exercise bikes on Amazon.
My first impulse is to assume that this is the case because it’s really affordable, but there are literally tons of affordable bikes online.
Plus, users seem to be really happy with the pooboo cycle – at the time of writing this, 89% of users are giving it at least a 4/5 rating.
After taking a closer look, it gets easier to see why so many people are opting for the pooboo bike.
With a 35 lb flywheel, a micro-adjustable magnetic resistance system, and a 300 lb weight limit, this bike is sporting some pretty impressive performance specs for such an affordable cycle.
There isn’t much of a warranty to speak of and quality control could certainly be an issue, but to be fair, this is true for any cycle in this price range.
Long-story-short, if you’re in the market for a really affordable indoor cycle, I think the pooboo D525 is a pretty solid buy.
But if you’re interested in the longer story, keep reading.
In this review, I’ll go over everything this exercise bike does and doesn’t have going for it; I’ll also compare it to some of the other top competitors in this price range to see how it stacks up.
Well, let’s get to it already.
The pooboo Indoor Cycling Bike (D525)
It’s taking every ounce of control I have not to capitalize the ‘p’ in ‘pooboo’, but I’m trying to abide by their logo and if you look closely, you’ll see they prefer to keep everything lower case.
But I have to admit, ‘pooboo’ is pretty fun to say (and even type).
Anyway, as far as I can tell, pooboo is a foreign brand specializing in super affordable fitness equipment – seems like we’re getting a lot of these brands these days.
I know Amazon seems to be flooded with ’em, but they all must be doing alright because we seem to continue getting more and more of these brands every day.
It doesn’t look like pooboo has a website or anything, so it’s hard to find any real background info regarding the brand itself.
They seem to sell solely through retail sites like Wal-Mart and Amazon and their lineup consists of a few different exercise bikes, including some folding models, and an affordable rower.
We’re here to discuss one of their more popular models, the D525 Indoor Cycle.
- Very affordable
- 35 lb flywheel
- Magnetic resistance system (micro-adjustable)
- 300 lb weight limit
- Built-in grip heart rate sensors
- Fully adjustable seat
- Very well-reviewed by users
- Lightweight frame
- Simple console
- Short warranty
- Only fits riders up to 6’3″
Indoor cycles were designed to mimic the feel of riding a road bike, while offering folks the option to get an intense workout from the safety of indoors.
Indoor cycles come in a lot of shapes and sizes these days, but their mission is still the same.
And when it comes to providing a great workout, it really comes down to the size of the flywheel and the type of resistance mechanism the bike uses.
Most home cycles are designed so that they benefit from having a heavier flywheel (and I say ‘most’ because Keiser’s M3i proves you don’t need a heavy flywheel if your engineering is on point).
And that’s because adding weight to the flywheel is an affordable way to provide a smoother pedaling motion – the extra weight builds more momentum as it spins, which in turn reduces lag between pedal strokes.
This is especially true when talking about indoor cycles in this price range.
The pooboo Indoor Cycle comes with a 35 lb flywheel, which is pretty heavy by bike’s standards, so we shouldn’t have to worry about flywheel weight here.
So on to resistance mechanisms.
A lot of bikes in this price range still use friction brake resistances and I have to admit, I’m not a fan of these.
With these systems, you have a felt brake pad that makes physical contact with the spinning flywheel and you adjust your resistance by changing how much pressure the pad makes with the flywheel.
These systems can be quite effective (especially on higher end cycles), but I prefer magnetic systems because there’s no contact necessary to create the resistance.
Plus, with magnetic resistances, you don’t have to mess around with replacing the brake pads.
Anyway, the pooboo cycle does use a magnetic resistance system, which is a pleasant surprise.
Like other budget cycles these days, the pooboo cycle uses a micro-adjustable magnetic system, meaning there are no set resistance levels.
This is good in the fact that it allows you to make really small adjustments to your resistance; but on the other hand, it makes it harder to replicate conditions for future workouts.
It can also make it a little harder to follow along with fitness apps and whatnot, but with a little practice, you’ll likely get a hold of how many turns it takes to get the resistance where you need it.
Overall, I don’t have much to complain about when it comes to pooboo’s resistance system.
I like that it uses a heavy flywheel and I like that it ditched the friction brake and uses a magnetic system instead.
This combination should make for smooth pedaling motion and give this bike the ability to provide pretty intense resistances (and it seems users would agree).
Ok, so the resistance system isn’t bad, but how about the rest of the bike?
When looking at a bike, especially a really affordable one, it’s a good idea to try to get an idea as to how “heavy-duty” it is before purchasing.
I say that because really affordable cycles are notorious for being lightweight and well, kinda the opposite of “heavy-duty”.
Speaking of which, that phrase has been used so much that it’s pretty much lost all meaning – according to fitness marketers, every bike on the planet is “heavy-duty”.
Well, when I used that phrase, I try to be as literal as possible.
When checking out a cycle, I like to check its assembled weight because this spec tells us exactly how heavy the bike is.
And heavier bikes usually feel more stable during workouts (makes sense when you think about it – heavier bikes are harder to move, so they’re less likely to move while you’re using it).
According to Amazon, the pooboo indoor cycle comes with an assembled weight of 75 lb.
If this info is accurate, that means the pooboo cycle is really light for an indoor cycle – even for one in this price range.
FYI, higher end cycles come with significantly heavier frames, coming with assembled weights upwards of 130 lb+.
Anyway, I think it’s safe to say the pooboo cycle is very lightweight, even as affordable bikes go.
But it does come with a weight capacity of 300 lb, which is pretty good for such a light cycle.
Overall, I think the pooboo’s light-weight-ness is a disadvantage, but users generally agree that this bike feels fairly stable during workouts.
The pooboo Indoor Cycle comes with the following home warranty:
- 12 month parts
Yup, that’s it.
True, this is pretty weak compared to the warranties we see on more expensive models, but this is what we should expect in this price range.
We have to keep in mind there are real reasons why some bikes cost a lot less and short warranties happens to be one of those reasons.
Overall, this bike has a very short warranty, but that’s how it goes when shopping for cycles in this price range.
The pooboo Indoor Cycle comes with the following features:
LCD console- the console on this cycle is very simple, but it can track the most basic metrics, like time, distance, speed, and calories burned.
Fully adjustable seat- you can adjust the height and fore/aft position of the seat, making it easier to find a comfortable riding position. Oh, according to pooboo, this cycle is best suited for folks who are between 4’9″ – 6’3″ tall, so taller folks might want to consider a more robust cycle.
Height adjustable handlebars- the handlebars aren’t fully adjustable, but you can still adjust the height position to help find the right fit.
Grip heart rate sensors- this bike comes with built-in grip heart rate monitors and even though we all know these things are notoriously inaccurate, it’s still better than nothing I guess.
Water bottle holder- yes, there is a place to put your water bottle.
Unfortunately, prices on these bikes tend to vary and they can change often (and usually prices only go in one direction), but at the time of writing this, the pooboo cycle is selling for $299.
This makes this a very affordable indoor cycle, especially considering many of the top models go for upwards of $2k.
Considering this cycle comes with a heavy flywheel and a magnetic resistance system, I think the $299 asking price is fair.
That said, there’s still a lot of competition at this price point.
I mentioned the Cyclace briefly earlier because that’s one of the top indoor cycles in the $300 range.
The Cyclace has an awesome name, but it’s also packing some impressive specs, like a 36 lb flywheel, a 330 lb weight limit, and a heavier-duty frame.
But, the Cyclace uses a friction brake resistance system (which I’m not a fan of).
Yosuda has a magnetic indoor cycle in this price range and it too comes with a 35 lb flywheel, but it’s weight limit only goes up to 270 lb.
Then there’s the Joroto X2, which costs about $100 more, but it comes with a heavier-duty frame, a 35 lb flywheel, and a magnetic resistance system.
And all of these cycles come with the same short 12 month warranty.
All things considered, I think the pooboo cycle is a solid buy at around $300.
I like that this bike comes with a heavy flywheel and a magnetic resistance system and I appreciate that they put a grip heart rate sensor into the handlebars.
Like all bikes in this price range though, the pooboo comes with a very simple console and a really short warranty.
Personally, I like the Joroto X2 better because it’s quite a bit heavier-duty, but if you’re looking to save a little extra cash, I could see the pooboo cycle making a lot of sense.
Especially considering how many happy customers this cycle has.