The eSpinner is the flagship commercial spin bike from Spinning; the worldwide leaders in indoor cycling. The eSpinner aims to bring the excitement, intensity and expertise of the Spinning programme to gym floors and cardio areas in facilities without owners having to invest in specialist spinning studios, dozens of bikes or expensive instructors.
By combining a quality bike, similar to the award winning Spinner NXT, with a state of the art 15" high resolution touch screen, the eSpinner provides a fully customisable selection of programmes and video options that allow users to train under the direction of an on-screen Spinning Master Instructor.
This week at Origin Fitness we've spent some time testing the eSpinner to bring you this eSpinner spin bike review.
The specifications of the bike are similar to those of our best selling commercial spin bike, the NXT. It features a 17.2kg perimeter weighted flywheel, chain drive system and narrow Q factor of 158mm, which gives the bike a realistic riding feel similar to that of a road bike. We opted to use the SPD pedal option, which kept our feet securely fastened to the bike pedals while Spinning. The bike's fore and aft handlebar and seat adjustment options meant we were able to set the bike up perfectly.
The presence of a red flywheel on a Spinning bike indicates that it is fitted with a Smart-Release (SR) system. This makes it ideal for the gym floor as it doesn't come with the injury risk ordinary fixed flywheel spin bikes pose to inexperienced riders. As quite experienced riders, we were unsure about how this would affect the ride quality, but were glad to find that unless you made a significant effort to stop abruptly there was next to no difference between the SR and ordinary models.
One of the best features we found on the eSpinner, was the ability to plug an iPod or iPhone into the docking station at the top of the monitor. At the bottom of the console, there is a rubber coiled headphone jack which gives you both the extra cable length when required and the peace of mind of not having to store your device in your pocket.
The computer screen angle is adjustable, which we found quite useful so that you can move the screen to avoid glare when you are in both a seated and standing position on the bike.
The computer console is not self-powered and requires a mains power source, but the power cable connects to the bike at the front of the base meaning there are no dangling cables. The cable provided isn't particularly long, but it was easy enough for us to connect an extension.
The final hardware feature that we found useful was the cooling fan, similar to the kind you often get on commercial treadmills or exercise bikes. We imagine in cardio areas of some gyms this would be a very useful feature when temperatures are high at busy periods of the day.
Display and User Interface
During our workout we had a few options regarding the on-screen display. When we had our iPhone connected, we were able to both listen to music and watch the videos stored on our device, which is great if you have media already stored on your phone or iPod. If not, there is the option to connect a TV aerial to receive terrestrial TV channels. There is also the option of watching Spinning Videos which feature Master Instructor Josh Taylor leading classes which are synchronised with the workout you have selected.
The home screen during a ride will allow you to choose between the Spinning videos and a graph mapping your ride in relation to heart rate zones. On this default screen you can also see body and hand position indicators as well as target cadence and heart rate zones. These were great for making sure we had real time information about how hard we were working.
There are over a million personalised workout combinations that the eSpinner can provide the user. The options on the home screen when you first get on the bike are: Setup and Safety, Spinning Videos, Ride to My Media and Build my Workout.
Setup and Safety is great for first time users and it takes you through everything from how to change the seat and handlebar heights to how to load different workout programmes and media sources.
Spinning Videos and Build my Workout give you the option to choose between four types of pre-made workout; Endurance, Interval, Strength, and Race Day before customising the length and intensity of the ride. Each is equally challenging and monitors your work rate in relation to cadence and heart rate.
The eSpinner is a truly unique machine that can bring the benefits of the Spinning programme to your home or commercial gym. It can tackle some of the barriers and fears some people have when considering getting involved with indoor cycling, letting them ease themselves in with tutorials and customisable workouts.
It provides a perfect opportunity to let your gym users reap the benefits of spin classes on their own terms. Eventually we could see these individuals being converted into class attendees further down the line.
With an RRP of £3499, it's an expensive piece of fitness equipment, but we guarantee that a large percentage of users that will fall in love with this machine after they use it for the first time.