XTERRA’s MBX2500 is an interesting indoor cycle and I say that for a few reasons.
First of all, it’s rare to see a rear-mounted flywheel in this price range – this is a feature often found in significantly more expensive cycles.
Also, the MBX2500 uses a leather friction brake pad and comes with 8 resistance levels, which is a bit odd considering most friction brake systems use micro-adjustable resistance knobs.
Otherwise, this cycle comes with a very heavy, 48.5 lb flywheel, a robust frame, and a generous warranty.
Overall, I think the MBX2500 could be a worthwhile investment, but it depends greatly on what price you find it for.
So if you’re interested in this cycle, keep reading.
In this review, I’ll be going over everything you need to know before purchasing – we’re talking specs, features, price, and how it compares to other bikes in its price range.
After reading, you’ll know once and for all whether or not the MBX2500 is the right bike for your home.
Alright, let’s do this.
The XTERRA MBX2500 Indoor Cycle
XTERRA specializes in budget-friendly fitness equipment, although they do offer a few higher-end products as well.
If you’re not familiar with this brand, they’re certainly worth exploring.
They easily offer some of the best warranties in their respective price ranges and their products are often a little heavier-duty than usual.
This isn’t too surprising though, when we consider that XTERRA is owned by the same parent company (Dyaco) that owns Spirit Fitness, one of the best home brands around.
They also parter with Sole Fitness, another personal favorite of mine.
Anyway, back to XTERRA.
They offer a pretty generous selection of cardio machines to choose from, but they actually only offer 2 indoor cycles: the MBX2500 and the MB550.
Both of these cycles are pretty similarly priced, costing well under $1k.
- 48.5 lb, rear-mounted flywheel
- Belt drive
- Heavy-duty frame
- 300 lb weight limit
- Heart rate monitor compatible
- Fully adjustable seat
- Fully adjustable handlebars
- Toe cage pedals
- Good warranty
- Friction brake resistance
- Only 8 resistance levels
- No water bottle holder
I mentioned in the intro that the MBX2500 comes with a rear-mounted flywheel.
It’s true you don’t see many bikes in this price range come with this feature, but to be honest, it’s more of a cosmetic issue than anything else.
Some marketers will tell ya that having the flywheel in the rear of the bike protects it from sweat damage and I guess that’s true – but I’ve never heard of a front-mounted flywheel getting damaged from sweat in the first place.
Let’s be real – they put the flywheel in back of the bike because it looks cool.
And I agree, I do like the look of a rear-mounted flywheel, but it doesn’t change the way a bike performs one bit.
It all comes down to flywheel weight, drive trains, and resistance mechanisms.
The MBX2500 comes with a 48.5 lb flywheel, which is big enough to be considered heavy in even the most discerning cyclist’s book.
With such a heavy flywheel, this cycle is well-equipped to provide a smooth, consistent pedaling motion throughout workouts.
It also comes with a quiet, maintenance free belt drive, which is great.
What I find most interesting about this bike though, is that it uses a leather pad friction brake, but only comes with 8 resistance levels.
This is different because most bikes that use a friction brake come with unlimited resistance settings controlled via a turn dial.
I’m personally not a big fan of friction brake systems because I find magnetic systems smoother and easier to use, but one benefit of friction brakes is that you get total control over your resistance settings.
But on the MBX2500, you only get to choose between 8 resistance levels, controlled through a lever.
It seems to me like you’re kind of losing the advantage of using a friction brake by doing this.
That said, at least with this system you don’t have to guess how many times to turn the dial to replicate workout conditions – with 8 settings, it certainly makes it easier to keep track of how much resistance you’re working against.
As I think about this, I don’t hate the fact that XTERRA paired their friction brake system with distinct resistance levels, but I think it may’ve been better if they offered more levels to choose from.
Maybe 12-16, that way riders would have more control over the intensity of the resistance and wouldn’t have to make such drastic jumps between levels.
Which is something some users have complained about.
Overall, I like that this cycle comes with such a heavy flywheel and I find it interesting that it uses a friction brake, but still comes with resistance levels.
I just think it would be better off with more resistance levels to work with.
Moving on, let’s take a look at the MBX2500’s frame.
One of the biggest disadvantages of going with a budget cycle is that most of ’em are very lightweight and kinda flimsy.
To be fair, this is kinda expected because let’s face it, affordable bikes are usually affordable for good reason.
But even so, no all budget cycles are created equal.
I like to compare assembled weights because this spec gives us a good idea as to how stable we can expect the bike to feel during workouts.
With heavier assembled weights being a good thing because heavier bikes will be less likely to wobble and wiggle around when using them.
The MBX2500 has an assembled weight of 110 lb, which is very heavy for a bike in this price range.
For the sake of comparison, let’s look at some of the other top cycles in this price range and see how heavy they are.
Schwinn’s IC3 is priced almost identically the MBX2500 and it weighs in at 100 lb.
There’s also Echelon’s EX-15, which is about $100 cheaper, and that weighs in at around 80 lb.
Full retail, Sole’s SB700 costs about $100 more and it weighs in at an astounding 141 lb.
Long story short, the MBX2500 is a little heavier than most bikes in its price range and realistically speaking, anything weighing over 100 lb is pretty good for a spin bike.
The MBX2500 also comes with a user weight limit of 300 lb, allowing it to safely hold most folks interested in riding.
Overall, the MBX2500 scores highly with its heavier-than-normal frame and generous weight capacity.
XTERRA backs their MBX2500 Indoor Cycle with the following residential warranty:
- Lifetime frame
- 1 year parts
- 1 year labor
You can’t beat a lifetime frame warranty and there aren’t that many brands still offering this these days (regardless of price range).
One year on parts is pretty average for this price range, although some brands (like Schwinn) offer 2-3 years on parts.
One year on labor is also standard operating procedure, although in this price range, you don’t always see a labor warranty.
Overall, XTERRA’s warranty is better than most.
The XTERRA MBX2500 comes with the following features:
LCD console- the console on this cycle is small (3.8″ diagonal) and simple, but it displays all the basic workout metrics most of us are concerned with (time, speed, distance, calories, RPM, pulse). The RPMs are displayed in a speedometer style meter, which is kinda fun.
Heart rate monitoring- something a bit surprising, is that the console is compatible with wireless heart rate monitors (one not included), allowing you to get pulse readings during workouts.
Fully adjustable seat- you can adjust the height and fore/aft position of the seat, making it easier to find a comfortable riding position.
Fully adjustable handlebars- you can also adjust the height and fore/aft position of the handlebars, allowing folks to find the optimal fit during workouts.
Toe cage pedals- the pedals are designed for sneakers, so you won’t have to worry about finding compatible riding cleats. And if you want to use cleats, it would be pretty easy to swap the pedals out for a different kind.
Before we wrap things up here, I think we need to discuss cost a little.
At the time of writing this, XTERRA has this cycle listed on their site for $649, which honestly, doesn’t sound unreasonable given the heavy frame and longer warranty.
However, I see that Amazon has the MBX2500 available for $374 (keep in mind these prices change all the time, so I apologize if this isn’t accurate by the time you read this).
This is where things get interesting.
At $650, I think there are better cycles out there, including plenty with magnetic resistance systems and more resistance levels.
But at $374, I think the MBX2500 could make a lot of sense.
The X2 uses a magnetic system with a micro-adjustable turn dial, but it isn’t as heavy-duty and again, doesn’t have a warranty nearly as good as XTERRA’s.
Oh, there’s also YESOUL’s G1, which comes with 100 magnetic resistance levels and is designed for streaming workouts, but it’s very lightweight, has a lightweight flywheel, and a very short warranty.
In other words, the MBX2500 could quite possible be one of the best cycles under $400.
It’s funny – the farther I get into this review, the more I like this bike.
The MBX2500 is a unique indoor cycle for a few reasons, but mostly because of that rear-mounted flywheel and friction brake system with only 8 resistance levels.
The heavy flywheel and heavy-duty frame are great, as is the warranty for a bike in this price range.
The console is far from fancy, but again, still better than most consoles in this price range (its bigger, plugs in, and can track heart rate).
All that said, at its full retail price, I’d likely pass on it because at $650, it’s within range of cycles with more sophisticated, magnetic resistances and nicer consoles.
But at under $400, I could see the MBX2500 making a lot of sense because bikes in this price range aren’t this heavy-duty and they don’t come with lifetime frame warranties (or any labor warranties).
So, all things considered, I think the MBX2500 is a very good buy if you can find it for under $400.