Spirit’s CR800 is marketed as a commercial recumbent bike, but with an asking price well under $3k, it’s priced reasonably for home use.
Especially considering the impressive specs and features this recumbent has to offer.
Highlights of the CR800 include a 30 lb flywheel, 40 levels of resistance, a self-generating power source, and a solid frame that can handle users weighing up to 450 lb.
It’s also got a huge, easy to use console that doesn’t require a credit card number to access (something that’s becoming increasingly rare these days).
This is all great and all, but for me, it’s the warranty that sets the CR800 apart from pretty much any bike in this class – simply put, you aren’t going to find a longer guarantee.
Long-story-short, if you’re looking for a straightforward recumbent bike that’ll likely last you a lifetime, I think Spirit’s CR800 is a great choice.
If you’re interested in the longer story, keep reading.
In this review, I’ll go over everything this recumbent bike has to offer, as well as where it falls a bit short; I’ll also compare it to some of the other top options in this price range so we can see how it stacks up against the competition.
After reading, you’ll know whether or not the CR800 is really worth investing in.
Ok, let’s do this.
The Spirit CR800 Recumbent Bike
Spirit’s an understated brand with a great lineup of cardio machines to choose from.
I rarely see any advertising for the brand and I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen any of their equipment in any brick and mortar stores either.
Although I do come across their CRS800S Seated Stepper from time to time in some of the assisted living/senior living facilities I go to.
Anyway, Spirit’s a great home fitness brand and they’re known for creating durable equipment that’s backed by really long warranties.
They do offer light commercial warranties on some of their machines, but most of ’em are still priced like residential models (which is always a great combination).
As is the case with the CR800 we’re here to talk about now.
The CR800 is one of Spirit’s highest-end recumbent bikes to date, with only the CR900 out-ranking it.
Let’s start things off by going over some of the most important performance specs this recumbent has to offer.
- 30 lb flywheel
- 40 levels of resistance
- Heavy-duty frame
- 450 lb weight limit
- Self-generating power source
- USB charging
- Cooling fan
- Comfortable seat
- Large pedals
- Amazing warranty
- Rather simple console
I like to start off with a rundown on the resistance system because I think this is the most important spec to consider before making a purchase.
I say that because this system isn’t only responsible for creating the resistance you work against, but it’s also largely responsible for determining how smooth your pedaling motion is (even when against low resistance).
And it doesn’t matter what else a recumbent has to offer, if the pedaling feel is clunky, you aren’t going to enjoy using it.
Now most home recumbent bikes, like any other exercise bike, operate by pairing a weighted flywheel with a magnetic system.
And just like other exercise bikes, most recumbents benefit from having a heavier flywheel because that extra weight helps create a smoother pedaling feel.
I say “most” because some of the nicer recumbents have resistance systems that can provide smooth feels without the need for heavy flywheels (like Matrix’s Cycle R50).
Anyway, a heavy flywheel is an easy way to create a smoother feel and when it comes to flywheel weight, the CR800 scores highly.
This bike is packing a 30 lb flywheel under the hood, so it’s got more than enough weight to ensure smooth operation.
FYI, when it comes to recumbent bikes, I like to see at least a 20 lb flywheel to be confident about the pedaling motion.
And Spirit pairs this heavy flywheel with 40 levels of resistance, giving you a lot of control over your workouts.
Keep in mind, having more resistance levels doesn’t mean you get more total resistance, but it does mean you can make smaller adjustments to that resistance.
And personally, I like being able to make small adjustments because it allows you to fine tune the intensity of each workout.
Spirit’s CR800 comes with a heavy flywheel and smooth acting resistance system, but there are other recumbents out there with heavy flywheels.
But there’s more to recumbent bike than just its flywheel weight.
If the resistance system is the most important spec to consider, the frame is a close second.
And more specifically, I’m talking about how durable (or not durable) the frame is.
I’m assuming we’re all looking for a sturdy exercise bike that isn’t going to feel wobbly or shaky while we’re riding it – if this assumption is incorrect, by all means disregard what I’m about to say.
Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell how a bike’s going to feel by looking at pictures and I’ve never met a brand who out right admits that their bike is lightweight and flimsy.
Because according to product descriptions, all exercise bikes come with a “heavy-duty steel frame”… well, turns out that isn’t true.
The best way to confirm that an exercise bike feels secure is to take it for a test spin, but with so many of us shopping online now, this isn’t always doable.
Luckily, there are a few other things we can look for to get a better idea as to what we can expect from the bike’s frame.
I like to look for the assembled weight because this spec tells us exactly how heavy the bike is and seeing a heavier weight is a good thing.
Heavier bikes have more material in their frame, making them feel more stable and secure while riding.
With all of this in mind, the CR800 comes with an assembled weight of 163 lb, which is quite heavy for a recumbent bike.
With this much bulk, you won’t have to worry about this recumbent feeling flimsy, it’ll feel secure as you get on/off it and workout on it.
For the sake of comparison, Sole’s LCR weighs in at 152 lb, Matrix’s R30 weighs in at 154 lb, and Life Fitness’ RS1 weighs 133 lb.
In other words, the CR800 is really heavy.
This extra bulk will make moving it around a little more challenging (but not too bad with the built-in transport wheels), but it also allows this bike to safely hold riders weighing up to 450 lb.
This is awesome because it allows folks of all sizes to safely use this bike, but it’s also just another indicator of how heavy-duty the CR800 actually is.
And in terms of physical dimensions, it’s pretty average-sized for a recumbent: 59″ x 29″ (L x W).
Overall, I love how heavy-duty this recumbent bike is – it’s certainly one of the features that stand out when compared to other similarly-priced options.
Spirit Fitness covers their CR800 Recumbent Bike with the following home warranty:
- Lifetime frame
- 10 year parts
- 2 year labor
They also offer the following light commercial warranty:
- Lifetime frame
- 5 year parts
- 2 years labor
FYI, light commercial use typically means places like apartment complexes, fire houses, or other places where there’s shared use, but you don’t have people paying to use the equipment (like at a commercial gym).
Ok, as I said in the intro, this warranty is amazing.
Lifetime on the frame is great, but it’s the 10 year part warranty that impresses me most here – mostly because most similarly-priced brands stop at 5 years on parts.
Examples include Sole (3 years), NordicTrack (2 years), and Life Fitness (5 years).
3G Cardio is close with their 7 year parts warranties, but Spirit’s still got ’em beat.
Two years on labor is also great, considering most brands only offer 1 year.
And the fact that Spirit offers a light commercial warranty as well is just another sign as to how well-built this recumbent bike really is.
Overall, easily one of the best warranties you’ll see on a recumbent bike of any price.
The Spirit CR800 Recumbent Bike comes with the following included features:
LED console- the console on this recumbent is large and brightly-lit, making it easy to see all your workout stats at the same time, but it’s pretty old-school. If you’re a fan of the classic, easy-to-use consoles that used to be the norm, you’ll appreciate this. If you’re looking for touchscreen consoles and workout streaming, this could be a dealbreaker. That said, Spirit offers the CR800ENT, which is the same bike but with a 15.6″ touchscreen console with built-in apps and all that stuff.
Self-generating power- this recumbent generates its own power as you pedal, so you don’t have to worry about plugging it in. This makes it eco-friendly, but it also means you can put it anywhere you want.
11 workout programs- this classic console doesn’t come with a ton of workouts, but it’s got enough to get the job done. Workouts include options like hills, fat burn, and cardio, as well as a fit test and a constant power output option.
Bluetooth- the CR800 is bluetooth compatible with a few fitness apps (like Zwift) and is also compatible with strap heart rate monitors.
USB charging- you can keep your phone/tablet charged up during workouts with the built-in USB charging port.
Cooling fan- and the included fan will help keep ya comfortable during those more challenging workouts.
Comfortable seat- the seat is contoured and made with a dense foam and the back rest comes with a little built-in lumbar support for added comfort. The seat is easily adjusted using the quick release lever.
Dual storage trays- there’s also a storage tray on each side of the seat, giving you a convenient place to put a water bottle or anything else you might need to store.
As I’m writing this, the CR800 is selling for $2,599, so this will be the price range we use to come up with some comps to compare it to.
And in this price range, there are several great recumbents that come to mind.
The first one I want to mention is Matrix’s Cycle R30, who’s price ranges between $2,199 – $3,599, depending on which console you go with.
Matrix’s consoles are awesome if you’re looking for touchscreens and lots of media options, but the bike itself is great too.
The R30 comes with a 23 lb flywheel, 20 magnetic resistance levels, and a heavy-duty frame that’s almost as heavy as the CR800’s.
It has a great warranty too (lifetime frame, 5 year parts, 2 year labor), but Spirit’s is better.
There’s also Life Fitness’ RS1, which costs somewhere between $2,300 – $2,900, depending on which console you opt for (personally, I think both their consoles are pretty weak for the price, but that’s me).
Anyway, the RS1 comes with a 20 lb flywheel, 20 resistance levels, and a fairly heavy-duty frame (133 lb). Life’s warranty is pretty solid too (lifetime frame, 5 year parts, 1 year labor), but again, Spirit’s is better.
I also want to bring up Sole’s LCR, which is much cheaper at around $1,800.
The LCR is similar to the CR800 in many ways – it comes with a 31 lb flywheel, 40 levels of resistance, and comes with an almost as heavy-duty frame (152 lb).
The LCR also comes with a touchscreen console with apps and screen mirroring capabilities, but its warranty is much shorter (lifetime frame, 3 year parts, 1 year labor).
I know there are a lot more comps we could come up with here, but overall, I think it’s safe to say that the CR800 holds it own (and then some) against any recumbent bike in this price range.
Alright, I think it’s about time to wrap things up here.
I think the CR800 is a great recumbent bike and is a pretty good deal at its current price.
I especially like how heavy-duty everything about this bike is – from the flywheel, to the frame, seat, and pedals, this recumbent is just built to last.
And of course I love the generous warranty Spirit backs it with.
The biggest downside is probably the console – it’s dated.
If you’re looking for a more technologically advanced console, the CR800 is not the right recumbent bike for ya.
But if you’re especially looking for an easy to use recumbent that doesn’t require any streaming subscriptions or any of that stuff, the simple console could be an advantage.
Either way, I think the CR800 is a quality bike and worth the investment for anyone looking for a recumbent that’ll last.