This model has been discontinued. See our best alternative option, the Sole R92.
Keep fit without risking injury! The recumbent Sole R72 is an entry level bike built for comfortable low-impact exercise.
Key points are its slung-back recumbent frame, quiet magnetic resistance, ten workout programs and iPod compatibility.
Now priced at just $799, the R72 is affordable for most exercise bike shoppers too.
Read our full review of the Sole R72 to decide whether it’s the best recumbent bike for your budget.
Rating: 83.6/100. The recumbent Sole R72 bike can be your main cardio trainer or a supplement to your usual routine, adding some cross-training variety. It’s a top choice when avoiding strain is a priority, and it’s a nice choice for home use because it’s compact and operates quietly. Features for comfort include the general recumbent design, smartly designed pedals with an ergonomic slope, and a padded seat with lumbar-supporting back. You can easily set fitness goals and track your progress with help from 10 built-in programs and a large data display. It’s a good deal at $799, which includes shipping, a warranty and a money-back guarantee. Here are pros and cons to consider about the Sole R72.
- Commercial steel frame
- Pedals slope inward to support natural motion
- Padded seat with back support
- 7.5” backlit display
- 10 built-in workouts
- Wireless heart rate control (Chest strap sold separately)
- iPod-compatible (Port and 2” speakers)
- Workout fans
- Low sale price ($799)
- Customer service from Sole Fitness has a good reputation
- Short warranty for the price
- The 18-pound drive isn’t forceful enough for advanced trainees
Sole bikes are generally well-built; we don’t often see complaints about breakdowns. Still, the one-year parts and electronics warranty is a bit skimpy. An alternative is the Sole R92. This recumbent bike costs $200 more but has a three-year parts warranty.
The $799 Sole R72 is a compact version of the Sole R92, which costs a bit more. This recumbent exercise bike supports weight loss and cardio training sessions that put minimal strain on your body. Whereas an upright bike can lead to joint pain and back pain, a recumbent bike reduces impact by keeping your legs out front and providing lumbar support.
The 18-pound drive makes this particular model a good choice for lighter workouts.
Read on for details about the included workout programs and other features.
Sole R72 Workout Programs
Train efficiently with guidance from the Sole R72’s 10 built-in recumbent bike workouts. Six are classic programs such as Hill and Incline. Two are heart rate programs. Using data from a wireless chest strap (not included), these two programs can automatically control the bike’s resistance to help you maintain your target heart rate during exercise. The final two programs are user-designed.
Recumbent Bike Features
The hallmark of any recumbent bike is its reclined frame. The Sole R72 lets you lean back for a truly comfortable ride. You can burn calories, tone your lower body and treat your heart well — without stressing your spine, hips, knees or ankles. The bike seat is nicely padded, is adjustable, and includes lumbar support. Also contributing to comfort are Sole Fitness’ patented pedals. These have a 2º inward slope designed for good biomechanics.
Because it lets you stretch out, a recumbent bike takes up more space than an upright exercise bike does. However, the Sole R72 is relatively small for a recumbent model. Its footprint is 52” x 29”.
If music motivates you, you’ll like how this exercise bike is iPod-compatible. It has a port and speakers for an MP3 player.
Also promoting endurance is a cooling fan built into the console.
To help you train in your target heart rate zone, the Sole R72 can be used with a wireless chest strap (sold separately). As mentioned above, your heart rate data can be used to control two of the included workout programs.
Warranty & Guarantee
The Sole R72 recumbent bike warranty includes:
– Frame: Lifetime
– Parts: 1 Year
– Electronics: 1 Year
– Labor: 1 year
Sole also provides a 30-day money back guarantee.
The Sole R72 is among the most solidly built recumbent bikes under $800. It’s designed for comfortable low impact training and has useful workout programming. It serves well for weight loss and cardio training. However, if adding bulk is your goal, a recumbent bike with more resistance would be a better fit. You might also feel better choosing a recumbent bike with a longer parts warranty, but that might involve spending more upfront. Overall this a top option for $799.