Sometimes it’s really easy to spot the differences between different models of the same brand, other times, not so much.
In the case of Sole’s R92 and their LCR, I think it’s fairly easy to find the differences between these recumbents – all you have to do is take a quick peek at their spec sheets.
Key differences between the R92 and LCR can be found when it comes to flywheel weight, the amount of resistance levels, their weight limits, and even their warranties.
But the real question is whether or not these differences make enough day to day difference to justify going for the more expensive LCR…
Well, that’s what I’m here to help you answer.
In this article, I’ll compare Sole’s R92 and Sole’s LCR head-to-head with regards to all their key performance specs and features so you can see exactly where they differ.
I’ll also add my 2 cents regarding which one I think makes more sense in the long run.
After reading, you’ll know which recumbent is the better fit for your home.
|Sole R92||Sole LCR|
|Resistance||20 lb flywheel|
20 resistance levels
|30 lb flywheel
40 resistance levels
|Frame||134 lb assembled weight|
300 lb weight limit
|145 lb assembled weight
350 lb weight limit
3 year parts
1 year labor
5 year parts
2 year labor
* plus Light Commercial warranty
|Features||9" LCD console|
10 workout programs
Included chest strap
|10.1" LCD console
10 workout programs
Fitness test program
Included chest strap
The Sole R92 vs The LCR
Sole’s one of my favorite home brands because they offer a nice selection of well-made cardio machines to choose from.
Their products are usually quite a bit heavier-duty than most comps in their price range and Sole offers some of the longest warranties in the biz.
All good stuff.
And I know this is gonna sound strange coming from a happy Peloton owner, but I like that they keep their machines pretty simple.
Most of their bikes and treadmills don’t come with huge touchscreen displays and monthly streaming fees (although now Sole is pushing Studio, their fitness streaming app, but it’s completely optional).
Anyway, Sole only offers 2 recumbents – the R92 and LCR we’re here to discuss now.
Well discuss prices and numbers a little later, but the R92 is their entry-level model and their LCR is their upgraded recumbent.
I always like to start with a rundown on the resistance systems because I think this is the most important aspect to consider – for any type of exercise bike really.
A bike’s resistance creates the force that you’ll work against during each workout, but it also largely determines how smooth it’s gonna feel to pedal (regardless of how much resistance you put on it).
Most home recumbent bikes work pretty much the same way as upright and spin bikes – you’ve got a weighted flywheel paired with a magnetic resistance mechanism.
Magnetic resistance is great because it offers a frictionless way to provide resistance, which means very little noise and really no maintenance.
But flywheel weights can vary greatly, even in recumbent bikes.
And even though recumbent bikes aren’t usually purchased for high-intensity interval style training like indoor cycles are, having a heavy flywheel can still be beneficial.
Mostly because heavier flywheels tend to provide a smoother pedaling motion (more weight = more momentum = less lag between pedal strokes).
With all of this in mind, let’s look at the R92 and LCR.
The R92 comes with a 20 lb flywheel, which is very respectable for a recumbent, especially in its price range.
The LCR comes with a 30 lb flywheel though, which is about as heavy as any recumbent flywheel you’re going to find (I don’t think I’ve ever come across a bigger flywheel on a recumbent, although there are a few out there that match it).
So, right off the bat the LCR is packing a heavier flywheel, but is 10 lb enough to notice a difference in feel?
If you plan on keeping the resistance at low levels and are looking to just keep your legs moving, you might not notice that much difference.
But if you plan on working against higher resistances, I think the flywheel weight will be more noticeable.
A 10 lb difference in flywheel weight is pretty significant and will increase the smoothness factor during pedaling, especially against higher resistances.
Speaking of resistances, there’s a pretty big difference between these 2 recumbents in terms of how many levels they come with.
The R92 comes with 20 levels, the LCR comes with 40.
Now having more resistance levels doesn’t mean you get more total resistance to work against (although a heavier flywheel usually does), but it does mean you can make finer adjustments to the available resistance.
With 40 levels, you can make smaller adjustments to your workout intensity than you can with the 20 levels – which in itself is a good thing in my book.
Otherwise, both of these recumbents use belt drives and both are very quiet during use.
But with a 10 lb heavier flywheel and 20 additional resistance levels, I would say the LCR has some significant upgrades over the R92 when it comes to their resistance systems.
But there’s more to a recumbent than just its resistance system, so let’s move on and compare frames.
The physical dimensions of these recumbents (and most for that matter) are pretty similar, so differences in footprint aren’t usually that big of a deal.
Instead, I like to concentrate more on assembled weight and weight capacities because I feel these specs tell us more about the structural integrity of the bikes.
And for me, seeing a heavier bike is always a good thing because it means it should feel more stable during workouts.
And the same goes for weight capacities – seeing higher limits tends to be indicative of more stable bikes, although you’d be surprised at some of the flimsy bikes out there that are touting higher weight limits.
Anyway, the R92 comes with an assembled weight of 134 lb, which is great for a home model (Schwinn’s 270 weighs 87 lb) and easily heavy enough to feel stable.
The LCR weighs in at 145 lb, making it about 10 – 11 lb heavier.
Which is about how much heavier the LCR’s flywheel is than the R92’s.
And considering these 2 recumbents have the same assembled dimensions and the same console design, I think it’s safe to say the extra weight is coming from the flywheel.
Which is fine, heavier is heavier, but it’s not like the LCR comes with a significantly more robust frame or anything – it weighs more because it has a heavier flywheel.
That said, the LCR does come with a higher weight limit – 350 lb vs 300 lb, which is pretty significant.
This could be enough for larger users to want to go with the LCR over the R92 by itself.
But folks who fall well beneath both weight limits likely won’t feel much of a difference in the feel of frames – both bikes are very heavy-duty and should feel rock solid during use.
Even though both of these bikes are Sole products, they come with different warranties.
Sole offers the following home warranty on their R92:
- Lifetime frame
- 3 year parts/electronics
- 1 year labor
Ok, pretty impressive, you can’t beat a lifetime frame guarantee and 3 years on parts is about as good as any other brand in this price range offers.
And a year on labor is pretty standard across all brands.
But Sole offers this residential warranty on their LCR:
- Lifetime frame
- 5 year parts/electronics
- 2 year labor
So, with the LCR Sole offers an extra 2 years on the parts and provides an extra year on labor.
I would argue this is a pretty significant warranty upgrade, but it’s also one of the best home warranties you’re going to find on any recumbent bike in this price range.
Sole backs their LCR with a light commercial warranty as well:
- Lifetime frame
- 3 year parts/electronics
- 1 year labor
Overall, the LCR comes with 2 extra years on parts and an extra year on labor when compared to the R92.
Is this enough to justify the extra cost? Probably not, but you have to look at the whole picture…
That about does it for the performance side of things, so let’s switch over and see how these bikes compare with regards to their features.
The R92 comes with a 9″ LCD console with 10 built-in workout programs (all the basic profiles, plus some heart rate and custom options).
This console comes with bluetooth speakers and a USB charging port, as well as a tablet holder and bluetooth compatibility with fitness apps (like Studio).
There’s also a cooling fan and an easily adjustable seat (height only).
Ok, pretty good stuff, but let’s check out the LCR.
The LCR comes with a slightly larger, 10.1″ LCD console, but otherwise its console is very similar to the R92’s.
The LCR also comes with bluetooth speakers, USB charging, a cooling fan, and bluetooth compatibility with fitness apps.
And it too has a conveniently located tablet holder and height adjustable seat.
The LCR also comes with 10 standard workout programs, but it also comes with a Fitness test program.
Oh, both bikes also come with included chest strap heart rate monitors, which is always a nice touch.
Otherwise, unless I’m missing something, I don’t see any real differences between the consoles or features on these 2 recumbents.
We’ve taken a look at the performance specs and features for these 2 recumbent bikes, but now it’s time to talk dollars.
Prices can change, so I apologize if these stats aren’t accurate by the time you read this, but at the time of writing this, these bikes cost the following:
Sole R92: $1,099
Sole LCR: $1,599
So, the LCR basically costs $500 more than the R92.
Inflation must be doing its thing, because I remember not too long ago when the R92 was $999 and the LCR was more in the $1499 range, but hey, what can ya do?
Based on their performance specs, features, and warranties I think Sole has both recumbents priced pretty competitively.
Spirit’s XBR95, which is more comparable to the LCR is priced around $1899 and NordicTrack’s Commercial VR25 is priced around $1199, making it a decent comp to either.
But the real question is whether or not the LCR is worth the extra cash
That’s a personal question of course, but here’s my take on it.
Looking at these 2 recumbents side by side, the biggest differences are found in their performance specs and warranties – there aren’t many differences when it comes to the console features or seats.
Both bikes also look pretty identical – without the model number on the side I don’t think you’d be able to tell ’em apart.
The LCR comes with a flywheel that’s 10 lb heavier and comes with 20 more resistance levels; it also comes with a weight capacity that’s 50 lb more than the R92’s.
The LCR also comes with an extra 2 years on its parts warranty and double the labor guarantee (not to mention its light commercial warranty).
Any one of these facts alone may not be enough to justify an extra $500, but when you combine them together I think they do.
Hell, buying an extended parts warranty alone would easily add a couple hundred bucks to the cost…
But just because the LCR is priced fairly, still doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the better option for ya.
I think it comes down to how you plan on using your recumbent.
If you’re simply looking for a bike that can provide a comfortable, low intensity workout (more for range of motion than anything else), I think you’d be fine to save the cash and go with the R92 because the performance upgrades aren’t going to make that much of a difference in this case.
But if you’re planning on using higher resistances and getting more strenuous workouts, I think the LCR is the better buy.