The Horizon Fitness M4 Indoor Cycle is an indoor bike whose sturdy build and easy-to-assemble design has made it a favorite among avid indoor cycling class enthusiasts and the casual cyclist. Released on the market in 2012, the Horizon Fitness M4 Indoor Cycle comes with adjustable handle bars and an adjustable seat, a dynamic crank-operated resistance gear, an LED marking distance and time, and a 42-lb flywheel. The machine can support up to 285-lbs and is currently on the market for $399.99 at the time of review.
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The best features of this indoor bike include:
- Excellent warranty: 10 years for the frame and 1 year for other parts
- Heavy flywheel for price range
- Toe clips and water cage included
- Adjustable handle bars and fore-and-aft adjustment of seat
- Intuitive design and assembly
- Exceptionally quiet while in use
- Able to accommodate other pedals and if needed
- Dimensions of bike: 110 x 47 x 90 cm / 43 x 19 x 35″
The Horizon Fitness M4 Indoor Cycle is an excellent investment for several reasons. First, upright recumbent bikes with flywheels of more than 38-lbs, the average weight of a flywheel, often cost between $500 to $1500. With a flywheel of 42-lbs, the Horizon Fitness M4 Indoor is under $500. A heavy flywheel enables the cyclist to create workouts that more reproduce the experience of biking of a hill, performing intense intervals, and biking across more rugged terrain. A heavy flywheel also adds a sturdiness to the overall design of the bike, which is crucial to its longevity.
Second among indoor cycles within this price range, the Horizon Fitness M4 Indoor Cycle offers an exceptional warranty. The initial 1 year warranty includes labor and bicycle parts while a 10-year warranty covers the frame of the machine. While a 10-year warranty is common among indoor cycles of the $1000 and more range, such a warranty is unique for a cycling machine of the Horizon’s price range.
Third the Horizon Fitness M4 offers great versatility and is ideal for in a home or gym setting with users of diverse needs. The handlebars allow for easy, crank-driven adjustment and the seat allows for fore-and-aft adjustment. This means that the bicycle may be adjusted for optimum sense of balance and stability. For individuals who cycle indoors several times a week, this versatility is crucial. Ensuring that a bicycle whether indoor or outdoor, suits the user’s size and height also helps to prevent wrist, lower back, and hamstring injuries.
Finally Fourth, the Horizon Fitness M4 Indoor cycle is quiet. For individuals who enjoy watching television or reading a magazine while working out, this is a great feature. While toe clips are included in the model, allowing the user to create a racing experience, the pedals are adjustable and can be replaced. Again, this feature is important in that it provides comfort and functions as a step towards ankle and hamstring injury prevention.
While the Horizon Fitness M4 Indoor Cycle has many noteworthy features for an indoor cycling machine in its price range, the product comes with several significant drawbacks. First, while Horizon has made strides to improve its packaging, many purchasers report receiving damaged, dented, or missing parts upon receipt. The indoor bicycle is quite heavy and the company’s packaging has, at least in the past, been insufficient. If you are seriously considering purchasing this spinning machine, getting one at a nearby sports store is a preferable.
Second, although the Horizon Fitness M4 Indoor Cycle contains a non-lit LED and computer that reports time, distance, speed, and other parameters, it is severely limited and functions more like a basic timer. In addition, although many bikes in the same price range have a heart monitor, the Horizon Fitness M4 Indoor Cycle does not. For individuals who must monitor their heart rate or are pursuing a strict training regimen that requires such information as daily heart rate, distance, and revolutions per cycle (RPM), the Horizon Fitness M4 Indoor Cycle may not be a good fit.
Third, tall individuals or individuals who are obese and beginning a training program may not be able to use this machine. The maximum user capacity is 285-lbs. The bicycle seat’s adjustment length is limited in vertical length by its chain drive system. In order words, a very tall individual might find the indoor bicycle uncomfortable to use and even rickety, though he may ostensibly “fit” the bicycle.
Lastly the bicycle seat is quite narrow, rigid, and uncomfortable. For more dedicated cyclists or athletes, this may not be an issue. However, for fitness enthusiasts or individuals who are beginning to use spinning machines, competitors’ models may be more appealing. Unlike the pedals, the seat cannot be removed and exchanged for another model.
While other machines offer more options to record spinning parameters and track calories, distance, heart rate, and other such parameters, the Horizon Fitness Indoor Cycle M4 distinguishes itself through its solidity, reliability, and simplicity. Its 42-lb flywheel means even the most experienced cyclists can get a great workout and its quiet hum allows home users to exercise with little disruption.
Its 10-year warranty is unparalleled for indoor cycling machines in its price range. The adjustable pedals, which come with a toe clip, and the water cage are added perks. Like the lone winter long-distance cyclist, the Horizon Fitness M4 Indoor Cycle stands apart not through its high-tech features, but through its grit, sturdiness, and simplicity. Beginning cyclists and those for whom a heart monitor or RPM tracker is crucial will find the Horizon Fitness M4 a wonderful investment.
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