XTERRA’s SB2.5r is easily one of the best budget recumbent bikes on the market… there, I said it.
And yes, I know that’s a bold statement, especially with more well-known brands like Schwinn and Nautilus in the mix, but I stand by my original declaration.
And if you stop and take a close look at what the SB2.5r has to offer, you might see that I haven’t completely lost my mind.
For starters, the SB2.5r comes with a 22 lb flywheel, which is pretty unheard of for this price range, but it also comes with 24 resistance levels, a heavy-duty frame, and 24 built-in workout programs.
And the console isn’t fancy or anything, but it’s in color and brightly-lit for easy viewing (something that shouldn’t be taken for granted in this price range).
The only real downside I see is that the warranty could be longer, but given the price range, even that isn’t that bad.
So yea, overall, I think XTERRA’s SB2.5r is a great buy, but you shouldn’t just take my word for it – after all, you have to make your own decisions.
But I’m here to help.
In this review, I’ll go over all the specs and features this recumbent has to offer; I’ll also compare it to some of the other top options in its price range to see how it stacks up.
After reading, you’ll know whether or not the SB2.5r is worth investing in.
Well, let’s do this already.
The XTERRA SB2.5r Recumbent Bike
XTERRA’s a budget-friendly brand that probably doesn’t get the respect it deserves.
I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong here, but I just get the impression XTERRA isn’t all that well-known… I mean they certainly don’t have the kind of brand recognition as some of the other budget brands out there.
But I’m tellin’ ya, they’re a legit brand.
Which shouldn’t be too surprising if you keep in mind that they’re part of the Dyaco family, the same company that owns brands like Sole and Spirit Fitness.
Anyway, XTERRA’s an interesting brand because they mostly offer really affordable cardio machines, but they’ve also got some higher-end, more expensive models too.
When it comes to their recumbent bikes, the SB2.5r is actually one of their mid-range models, as they offer a few more affordable recumbents to choose from.
But I think we can all agree the SB2.5r is quite budget-friendly as home recumbent bikes go… but more on prices later.
Let’s start this review off with a rundown on this bike’s performance specs… which just happens to be where this bike shines most brightly.
- 22 lb flywheel
- 24 magnetic resistance levels
- 24 workout programs
- Heavy-duty frame
- 300 lb weight limit
- Heart rate monitoring
- Built-in speakers
- Great price
- Warranty could be longer
- Very simple console
Recumbent bikes are great because they offer a more comfortable sitting position to ride in, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still offer a good workout.
As long as a recumbent bike is equipped with a solid flywheel and a decent magnetic resistance system, it should be able to offer enough resistance for a worthwhile workout.
And these are 2 areas where the SB2.5r scores quite highly.
The most impressive feature on this recumbent is its 22 lb flywheel – which is massive for a recumbent bike in this price range.
That’s actually heavy enough to hang with the higher-end recumbents that cost north of $1k, but it’s literally the heaviest flywheel I’ve come across in this price range.
To their defense, most recumbent bikes in this price range have flywheels under 15 lb, but still, having more weight under the hood is almost always a good thing.
The extra flywheel weight usually makes for a smoother ride because the extra weight builds more momentum as it spins, reducing lag between pedal strokes.
This rule isn’t written in stone or anything, but heavier flywheels can usually offer a little more overall resistance too.
Speaking of resistance, the SB2.5r comes with 24 levels of resistance too, giving you a lot of play over the intensity of each workout.
Having more levels doesn’t necessarily mean more overall resistance, but it does allow you to make smaller adjustments between levels.
Giving you the ability to fine tune the intensity for your workouts.
The 270 and R618 mentioned above each come with 25 resistance levels, so no big differences there.
Overall though, the SB2.5r scores very highly with such a heavy flywheel. Folks looking for an affordable recumbent that can perform should certainly keep this in mind.
That said, there’s more to a recumbent bike than a flywheel and resistance levels, there’s also the overall feel it offers when sitting on it and using it.
I don’t think any of us are looking for an exercise bike that’s gonna feel wobbly every time we work out and unfortunately, this is an issue with a lot of really affordable bikes.
And it can be tough to spot a lightweight frame without trying a bike out first, but I think there are a few things we can look for to get a better idea as to how “heavy-duty” a bike is before purchasing.
The first spec to look for when doing this is the assembled weight.
This spec tells us exactly how much the bike weighs after it’s out of the box and put together and seeing higher numbers here is always a good thing.
Well, maybe not “always”… if you plan on carrying the bike up/down stairs every time you use it, you might actually prefer a lightweight bike…
But for the rest of us, heavier is better because the extra weight is going to make for a more stable piece of equipment.
The way I see it, heavier things are harder to move, so the heavier a bike is, the less it should wiggle and wobble during use.
Anyway, the SB2.5r comes with an assembled weight of 108 lb, which is heavy for an exercise bike in this price range.
Especially considering Schwinn’s 270 only weighs in at around 87 lb.
Nautilus’ R618 weighs around 107 lb, making it very similar and Schwinn’s newer 290 weighs around 108 lb as well.
So, the SB2.5r isn’t in a league of its own here or anything like that, but it’s still easily one of the heaviest recumbents under $1k.
The other spec I suggest you look at when trying to figure out how stable a bike is, is the weight capacity.
Again, seeing a higher number here is a good indicator of overall frame stability.
The SB2.5r comes with a 300 lb weight limit, which is pretty standard for home exercise bikes, especially in this price range – so nothing too crazy here, but definitely high enough to suggest a solid build.
Overall, I like how heavy this recumbent bike is because it’ll make for a more secure feel.
XTERRA backs their SB2.5r Recumbent Bike with the following home warranty:
- 5 year frame
- 1 year brake
- 1 year parts
The warranty department is really the only area where I think XTERRA falls a little short with this bike.
The above guarantee isn’t awful for this price range, but there’s certainly room for improvement.
5 years on the frame is quite a bit better than the 1 – 3 years many budget brands offer, but it’s a lot shorter than the 10 – 15 years Schwinn and Nautilus offer, respectively.
And again, 1 year on parts is standard procedure for many budget brands, but Schwinn and Nautilus offer 2 and 3 year parts warranties.
Those brands also offer labor warranties, which XTERRA doesn’t offer at all.
So, overall, not an embarrassing warranty, but it would be nice to see a more generous guarantee.
The XTERRA SB2.5r Recumbent Bike comes with the following included features:
5″ LCD console- the console on this bike is very simple, making it straightforward to use, but it’s lacking the higher-end functions like bluetooth compatibility with fitness apps or USB charging. The display is in color and backlit, so it’s easy to see all your stats during workouts.
24 workout programs- speaking of which, this recumbent comes loaded with a bunch of workouts to choose from. These include 12 profiles, 4 heart rate controlled programs, 4 user created workouts, 1 target heart rate mode, 1 watt controlled program, manual mode, and a body fat measuring program.
Heart rate monitoring- there are built-in grip monitors and the console is compatible with strap monitors for more accurate readings (one not included).
Speakers- there’s an audio jack too, allowing you to plug your mp3 player up to the console and listen to your workout jams through the built-in speakers.
Padded seat- the seat is padded and easily adjustable, but otherwise nothing too special going on in this department.
Ok, before we wrap things up here, I want to go over this bike’s price in a little more detail.
As I’m writing this, XTERRA has the SB2.5r selling for $650, which isn’t crazy given the weight of that flywheel, but still, not exactly a great price either.
However, as I’m writing this, Amazon has this bike listed at $340.
Now I have no idea how long this price will last (so don’t hate me if it’s changed by the time you read this), but I think that’s an amazing price for this bike.
I’ve been comparing the SB2.5r to Schwinn’s 270 and Nautilus’ R618 throughout this review because those are historically, 2 of the most popular recumbents under $1k.
The 270 usually goes for somewhere around $650 (although may be harder to find now that the 290 is out) and the R618 usually costs somewhere in the $700 – $800 range.
The 270 and R618 both have nicer consoles (bluetooth) and longer warranties, but the SB2.5r has a much heavier flywheel and an equally heavy-duty frame as the R618.
I also want to mention Diamondback’s 910sr because that’s another heavy-duty, high performing recumbent that shouldn’t be overlooked.
The price on the 910sr tends to fluctuate a little, but as I’m writing this, it’s selling for around $800.
The 910sr comes with a 32 lb flywheel, 32 resistance levels, an an assembled weight of 130 lb. It’s only backed by a 5 year frame warranty, but the parts guarantee is a full 3 years.
Overall, an awesome bike for the price range.
Anyway, back to the SB2.5r.
I think this recumbent bike has a lot to offer, especially when it comes to performance.
With 22 lb under the hood, the SB2.5r easily has one of the heaviest flywheels you’ll see on any recumbent bike under $1k and it’s frame is also quite heavy-duty.
The console is very simple, which could be a great thing if you’re just looking for a bike that’s easy to use, but if you’re looking for a more tech-savvy bike, this could be a deal breaker.
The warranty could also be longer, but it’s not that bad, all things considered.
Based on the comps mentioned above, I think this recumbent bike holds its own well against the other top recumbents in its price range.
Overall, I think the SB2.5r is a good recumbent bike for $600 and a freakin’ amazing one for $300.
So, if you’re looking for an affordable recumbent bike with impressive performance specs, I think the SB2.5r is a great option.