For comfortable biking with a low upfront cost, the NordicTrack Commercial VR21 is a new top choice in 2017. At just $699 on sale ($999 full price) the VR21 is the lowest-priced recumbent bike in NordicTrack’s three-member series. Key features are a high-backed mesh seat, a 23-pound resistance system, 32 workout apps and an iFit Coach Ready console. Read our full VR21 bike review for help deciding whether it’s the best recumbent exercise bike for your budget.
|Resistance Type||Balanced Flywheel|
|Drive System||23 lb. Flywheel|
|Seat||Adjustable w/ Lumbar Support|
|Pedals||Extra Wide Ergonomic|
|Heart Rate||Pulse Grips & Wireless Chest Strap|
|Display||5" Backlit iFit Display|
|Max. Weight||350 lbs|
|Dimensions||59" x 22.25" x 52"|
Parts: 2 Years
Labor: 1 Year
Rating: 80.1/100. The easy-to-ride Commercial VR21 debuted as the most affordable NordicTrack recumbent bike for 2017. Sale priced at just $699, it’s also one of NordicTrack’s cheapest solutions for cross-training that puts minimal pressure on your joints. With the VR21 you can expect to get a year or two of comfortable workouts for calorie burn, strengthening your cardiovascular system, and toning your lower body. The bike may also be useful for physical therapy after an injury. It has an effectively 23-pound flywheel and lets you alternate among 25 resistance settings.
With the Commercial VR21, NordicTrack provides a drive that’s heavy enough to be respectable, yet not so heavy that it jacks up the machine price. The same goes for the electronics: You won’t pay for a flashy console, but 32 workout apps are included — plus you can add your own tablet computer to run iFit Coach and other apps.
Here are pros and cons to consider about choosing the NordicTrack Commercial VR21.
- Commercial steel frame
- Step Thru™ recumbent frame design (Easy on, easy off)
- Low impact exercise
- Padded seat with airflow and back support
- 23-pound resistance system
- 25 resistance settings (Digitally controlled)
- 32 workout apps
- Ready for iFit Coach (Shown on your mobile device)
- iPod-compatible (Port and 2” speakers)
- Wireless heart rate receiver (Chest strap sold separately)
- Grip pulse sensors on handlebars
- Workout fan (AutoBreeze)
- High weight capacity (350 pounds)
- Low sale price ($599)
- Two-year parts warranty
- Not the best match for advanced cyclists
- Not built for long-term durability
- NordicTrack’s customer service frequently gets negative reviews
Pedal through an effective workout without hurting your sensitive joints or back! Recumbent exercise bikes like the new NordicTrack Commercial VR21 let you burn calories, tone your lower body and build cardiovascular endurance… all with low impact and high comfort compared with upright stationary bikes.
The VR21 is one of the cheapest recumbent bikes of 2017, just $699 on sale, but it provides a useful mix of power and workout programming. It’s also entertainment-friendly with a tablet shelf and iPod-compatible sound system.
Nordictrack VR21 Workout Programs
Bike with the wisdom of a pro trainer’s knowledge. The VR21 has 32 workout apps designed with a certified personal trainer. Each app can control the bike’s pedal speed and resistance. For each bike session you can focus especially on a calorie goal, cardio endurance or performance training.
The Commercial VR21 is also ready for iFit Coach. With an iFit Coach membership you can get ever-evolving coaching not only about biking, but for your fitness-related activities around the clock. iFit Coach also lets you download new customized programs every day, access a library of HD video workouts featuring celebrity personal trainers, and virtually ride outdoors along any Google Maps™ route. If Google Street View is available for your route, it can stream to your tablet computer as you ride.
Special features on NordicTrack bikes can bring extra motivation and enjoyment to your fitness regime. On the VR21 you’ll get an eye-level shelf for your tablet computer, so your computer can serve as an iFit Coach monitor and/or run your favorite mobile apps. For the extra push of music, you can connect your MP3 player to the bike console. A set of 2” speakers with digital amplification lets you leave headphones or earbuds behind.
To help you train in your target heart rate zone, the VR21 has grip pulse sensors on the handlebars. For better accuracy you can wear a wireless chest strap. (Chest straps are sold separately here, but are included with the VR23.)
Other console features to note are a 5” data window with crisp display, an auto-adjusting fan and a water bottle holder.
Warranty & Guarantee
The NordicTrack Commercial VR21 recumbent bike warranty includes:
– Frame: Lifetime
– Parts: 2 Years
– Labor: 1 Year
A 30-day money back guarantee is provided for factory-direct purchases.
At the very low end of the price spectrum, shoppers shouldn’t expect very long-lasting exercise bikes. For the $599 sale price though, the NordicTrack Commercial VR21 looks like one of the best recumbent exercise bike deals of 2017. This brand-new model provides comfortable seating and joint-friendly pedaling; has useful and varied workout apps; and can integrate iFit Coach, your tablet computer and your favorite audio files.
Owing to its so-so resistance system, the VR21 is most suitable for light and moderate intensity cardio training. To get a more powerful and durable bike, generally you’d need to spend at least $999.