The XBR25 is Spirit’s entry-level recumbent bike, although it’s kinda hard to tell by looking at the performance specs this bike’s packing.
With a 20 lb flywheel, 20 levels of resistance, and a 350 lb weight capacity, the XBR25 puts most brands’ entry-level models to shame.
It also comes with a great warranty, although not quite as generous as the warranty Spirit offers on their higher-end models.
The biggest downside I see is that the console on this bike only comes with 6 workout programs and is lacking some of the higher-tech features found on other models, like bluetooth and USB charging.
But otherwise, I think the XBR25 has a lot going for it – however, there are plenty of recumbent bikes in this price range with a lot to offer.
With so much competition, does the XBR25 have what it takes to stand out? Does it really make sense to buy this bike?
Well, these are the questions I hope to answer for ya.
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 XBR25 is the right bike for your home.
Well, let’s get to it.
The Spirit XBR25 Recumbent Bike
Even though we tend to see the same few fitness brands advertised on tv all the time (NordicTrack, Bowflex, ProForm, etc), there are actually a lot of other quality brands out there.
And Spirit Fitness happens to be one of ’em.
Spirit is owned by the same parent company (Dyaco) that owns Sole Fitness, which happens to be one of my favorite home brands.
Like Sole, Spirit focuses more on performance than cramming their products full of hi-tech console features.
This is great for the folks who are more interested in getting a bike that’ll last, but the folks out there looking for touchscreen consoles and streaming services should look elsewhere.
As I mentioned in the intro, the XBR25 is their entry-level recumbent bike, but they also offer the upgraded XBR55 and highest-end XBR95 as well.
Each comes with subtle upgrades over the previous model, although I would say the upgrades you get with the XBR95 are a bit more substantial.
Regardless, we’re here to discuss the XBR25, so let’s start with a rundown on the performance side of things before transitioning to the console features and cost.
- 20 lb flywheel
- 20 magnetic resistance levels
- Heavy-duty frame
- 350 lb weight limit
- Backlit console
- Chest strap heart rate monitor compatible
- Cooling fan
- Great warranty
- Strap heart rate monitor not included
- Only 6 workout programs
- No bluetooth
- No USB charging port
Recumbent bikes, like pretty much every other home exercise bike, utilize weighted flywheels and magnetic resistance systems to create the resistance you pedal against.
Some of the higher-end, commercial grade models don’t need heavy flywheels because their resistance systems are advanced enough to provide smooth pedaling motions without ’em, but the rest certainly benefit from having heavier flywheels.
And that’s really because the extra weight creates more momentum as that flywheel spins, which actually helps keep the pedals moving between pedal strokes.
The result is a more seamless pedaling motion.
Recumbent bikes don’t pack the massive kind of flywheels that indoor cycles do, but you’ll notice that some recumbents have much heavier flywheels than others.
With a 20 lb flywheel, the XBR25 falls in the middle of the pack in terms of flywheel weight.
It’s significantly higher than the 13 lb flywheels found on more affordable bikes (like Schwinn’s 270 or Nautilus’ R618), but it’s also quite a bit less than the 30 lb flywheels found on bikes like Sole’s LCR.
Is 20 lb heavy enough to provide a smooth feel?
Yes, I would say it is.
I actually think of 20 lb as a proverbial line in the sand, across which it’s a pretty safe bet you’ll be happy with the pedaling motion of the bike.
Not to say that Schwinn’s 270 doesn’t offer a solid ride (especially for the price), but the XBR25 is going to offer a nicer feel.
So, the XBR25 scores pretty well in the flywheel department, but it also comes with 20 resistance levels, which gives you a decent amount of play over the intensity of your workouts.
Having more resistance levels doesn’t mean you get more total resistance, it just means you get to make smaller adjustments to the resistance that’s available to ya.
I hope that makes sense.
Twenty levels is pretty average when compared to other comps – some offer more, some less.
But I think it’s certainly enough to give you a good handle on the intensity of your workouts.
Overall, I think the XBR25 scores pretty highly when it comes to the resistance department for a recumbent in this price range.
But we all know there’s more to a recumbent bike than its resistance system, after all, most of us want a recumbent bike because they’re more comfortable to use.
And the last thing we want is a flimsy, lightweight bike that’s gonna feel like it might fall apart at any moment.
Well, I don’t think you’ll have to worry about that when it comes to the XBR25.
Like pretty much all Spirit machines, this recumbent bike is built solid.
And yes, I realize me saying that doesn’t really mean anything, especially considering every fitness brand in the world markets their products as being “heavy-duty”.
And we all know that there are a lot of bikes out there that are far from “heavy-duty”…
Well, I feel comfortable calling the XBR25 solidly built because this bike comes with an assembled weight of 132 lb, which is literally heavier than many home recumbent bikes.
This is in the same league as Sole’s R92 (assembled weight 134 lb), which is also one of the heavier-duty bikes in this price range.
For the sake of comparison, the Schwinn 270 and Nautilus R618 weigh 87 lb and 107 lb, respectively.
(I know that the XBR25 costs quite a bit more than these 2 bikes, but they’re 2 of the most popular home recumbents around, so I figure it makes sense to use them as comps too…)
Anyway, with such a higher assembled weight, the XBR25 is going to feel rock solid during workouts – you won’t have to worry about it wobbling or wiggling around during use.
This bike also comes with an impressive weight limit of 350 lb, another fact that indicates superior frame integrity.
Like pretty much all recumbents these days, the XBR25 has a walk-through frame, making it easy to access the seat from either direction.
Overall, this bike’s heavy frame is one of the most prominent features that set it apart from most competitors…well, that and the warranty.
Spirit backs their XBR25 Recumbent Bike with the following residential warranty:
- Lifetime frame/brake
- 5 year parts
- 1 year labor
This is a great warranty, but believe it or not, it’s not as good as what Spirit usually offers – but that says more about Spirit than anything else.
You can’t beat a lifetime frame warranty, especially considering so many other brands are stopping at 10 years on the frame these days.
5 years is also great for parts, especially considering most stop at 2-3 years in this price range (Spirit offers 10 year parts warranties on their XBR55 and XBR95, fyi).
A year on labor is standard stuff.
Overall, this warranty is right up there with best of ’em and easily one of the biggest motivators to opt for this recumbent over some of its competitors.
The Spirit XBR25 comes with the following included features:
7.5″ console- the console on this model is pretty much the same as the one found on all their recumbent bikes. Nothing too special going on here, but it’s large enough to be seen clearly during workouts and the fact that it’s blue backlit makes for better visibility. You can also adjust the angle of the console a little, ensuring a more comfortable viewing angle.
6 workout programs- the XBR25 doesn’t come with many workout options, so if that’s something you’re looking for, it could be a deal breaker. This recumbent only comes with the most basic workout modes: manual, fat burn, cardio, hill, interval, and a heart rate guided workout.
Mesh seat back- the backrest on this bike is mesh, which I suppose could make for better airflow to your back during workouts, but let’s be real, it doesn’t make much difference. The backrest on this bike isn’t adjustable like it is on the XBR55 and XBR95 either (but most recumbent bikes don’t offer this feature anyway).
Heart rate monitoring- you can use the built-in grip monitors to get an estimate of your heart rate, or you can use a strap monitor for more accurate readings (one not included with purchase).
Cooling fan- there’s a built-in fan to help keep ya cool and comfortable during workouts.
Water bottle holders- there’s a place on each side of the seat to hold a beverage of your choice.
At the time of writing this, Spirit has the XBR25 listed on their website for $1699, which is kind of a ridiculous price for this bike.
Luckily, you can find it quite a bit cheaper through sites like Fitness Factory ($1399 at the time of writing this).
At roughly $1400, its biggest competitors are likely Sole’s R92 (~$1300) and NordicTrack’s Commercial R35 ($1500).
The R92 also comes with a 20 lb flywheel and 20 resistance levels and it’s almost identical in terms of assembled weight, although its weight limit is a bit less at 300 lb.
Sole only offers 3 years on parts for the R92, but its console is more advanced though, offering bluetooth speakers and a USB charging port.
The R35 comes with a much more advanced, 14″ touchscreen console that’s designed for streaming workouts via iFit.
It also comes with a 25 lb flywheel, 26 resistance levels, and a 350 lb weight limit.
But the R35’s warranty is much shorter – 10 year frame, 2 year parts.
Based on these numbers, I would argue the XBR25 is priced fairly (at the Fitness Factory price anyway) and that it holds its own and then some against its most obvious competitors.
But is it still a smart buy?
Well, that’s the real question and unfortunately, I can’t answer that one for ya – it really depends on what you’re looking for.
The XBR25 is a simple, straightforward recumbent that’s well-built for its price range.
Folks looking for an easy to use bike will appreciate how simple its console is, however folks expecting a little more flare will likely be disappointed.
Based on the performance specs, I think it’s fair to say the XBR25 is a pretty safe bet when it comes to the quality of the pedaling motion and the feel of the resistance.
But Sole’s R92 is pretty identical in terms of performance and it comes with a nicer console and an included chest strap heart rate monitor…
Something else worth thinking about is Spirit’s XBR55 – for an extra $200, but get a 24 lb flywheel, an adjustable backrest, and an extra 5 years on your parts warranty…
My point is, there are plenty of nice recumbent bikes in this price range, so you’ve certainly got some thinking to do.
Long-story-short, I think the XBR25 is a nice recumbent for the cost, but I think Sole’s R92 is probably a better buy.