Between confinement to our homes and gym closures, we're all finding that working out at home is the way to go - especially if you've started to notice you're carrying a few extra 'lockdown lbs'. One way to tackle this issue is by getting an at-home exercise bike. And if you're looking to do this without breaking the bank, the JTX Cyclo Studio could be the item of home gym equipment for you.
The full JTX Fitness range of home cardio machines (they also make rowers, ellipticals and treadmills) features a wealth of quality models at accessible price points. The JTX Studio Cycle takes cues from models such as the high-tech Peloton bike - the top premium option on our list of best exercise bikes - offering a decent cycling experience for fraction of the price. But whilst it may be affordable, it does have its limitations. So is it worth your hard earned money? Let’s find out.
JTX Cyclo Studio: price and main features
In the UK, the recommended retail price of the JTX Cyclo Studio Bike is £1,299, although it's sometimes possible to pick one up on sale for around the £750 mark. It can be purchased directly from JTX Fitness.
For the price, you get a heavy (25 kg) flywheel, 'infinity resistance' system, multi-position handles, training computer, hand pulse sensors, fully adjustable seat and handles, and a twin-drink rack. The JTX Cyclo also comes with a one-year commercial and a three-year home warranty.
Product dimensions (cm): 132(l) x 51(w) x 128(h)
Max user weight: 160 kg
Machine weight: 70 kg
Assembly and build quality
Admittedly, you’ll face one of the biggest hurdles of owning an exercise bike straight after it's delivered: putting the machine together. The Cyclo Studio is a big machine, but happily it comes complete with the tools and manual needed to put it together. That said, considering the weight and the size of the chassis, I highly recommended getting at least one person to help you get the bike out of the box at the very least.
After the cardboard shell has been peeled off, putting the machine together is fairly straightforward. I used my own tools, but those provided by the manufacturer will work fine too. Don’t let the ‘exploded drawing’ at the front of the manual fool you; there isn't an excessive amount of cables that need to be connected, and the guide is easy enough to follow too.
The Cyclo Studio is sturdy and therefore rather heavy, but thanks to the transport wheels it’s relatively easy to move around, so long as you have the strength to tip it. The parts look durable, although the handlebar post was scuffed straight out of the box so some manufacturing inconsistencies are to be expected. In general, it felt like it won’t fall apart anytime soon.
Once all has been put together, it’s time to use this exercise bike. Unlike with a Peloton or Echelon bike, buying the JTX Cyclo Studio doesn't grant you access to a library of studio classes to choose from. If you want to follow an exercise program, you'll need to sign up for a third party app or follow YouTube videos on your tablet. There is, helpfully, a holder that allows for this.
The JTX Cyclo Studio is a highly customisable indoor bike. Both the handlebar and the seat can be adjusted horizontally and vertically to find the most comfortable riding position for you - a major plus.
The dual pedals can be used with either sneakers (the ‘caged’ side) or with cycling shoes. Plus there are cleats in the box too, so you don’t have to buy them separately.
The heart rate monitor sensor points are placed at the tip of the handlebar and they are quick to read heart rate too.
Finally, there are two bottle holders conveniently positioned on the handlebar, both big enough to hold average to large sized water bottles.
After all the adjustments have been made to ensure you are sitting comfortably on the JTX Cyclo Studio Bike, you are ready to work out. The bike has a hefty 25-kilo flywheel that is surprisingly quiet, yet provides ample resistance.
There's also an ‘infinity resistance’ knob placed just under the handlebar on the frame, with which you can micro-adjust the resistance level. This manual system of increasing or reducing the resistance is fairly basic when compared to more advanced models on the market, but it works well enough. It also means there are no set levels, so you are free to tweak the resistance as much or as little as you wish.
Onto the Advanced Computer Console, as the brand call it, which is where you can track your workout stats. Whilst the LCD display shows all the key data you'd want to monitor during your workout, including time, heart rate, distance travelled, speed and calories burned, it's not the most advanced of screens. Plus, given that you can't enter personal stats such as age or weight, the 'calories burned' data can't necessarily be taken as gospel.
Should you buy the JTX Cyclo Studio Bike? If you are looking for a good value, sturdy, studio-style exercise bike that does the job just fine, you should definitely consider this model.
The shortcomings of the bike – most notably the LCD display and the resistance system – might put some people off, but taking into account the very friendly price point, for anyone looking to workout at home on a budget, the JTX Cyclo Studio is not a bad choice at all.
- Peloton Bike
When it comes to indoor studio cycles for home, it's pretty much impossible not to mention the Peloton Bike. Even the standard model is over a grand more expensive than the JTX Cyclo Studio, but for that it offers an impressive 22" HD touchscreen and sleek design - not to mention the extensive library of live workouts available to stream on the big screen.
- Echelon Connect EX3
The Echelon Connect EX3 is closer in price to the JTX Cyclo Studio and offers similar functionality. The magnetic resistance works better than the full-manual variety found on the Cyclo Studio, and it also offers dual-function pedals. Just like the Cyclo Studio, the Connect EX3 doesn't have a built-in screen either, hence the friendlier price point.