Keiser M3i Review: What You Should Know
Keiser M3i Overview
The Keiser M3i indoor bike isn’t like many other spinning bikes, it’s a bike completely designed and built in the US and it was interesting having the opportunity to review it. The first thing to note is it doesn’t look like your standard exercise bike. It has the flywheel on the rear and is shaped like a giant V instead of replicating an indoor bike look. The current range has three bikes in, and they are all very similar, so make sure you know what you’re looking at. Firstly the M3 is the most basic and doesn’t support Bluetooth, and Handlebars move only vertically. The M3i Lite does support Bluetooth, but Handlebars also only move vertically, and the M3i supports Bluetooth, and the Handlebars move all four ways. They’re all very similar, but I will be talking about the M3i indoor cycle in this article. Price-wise they are much cheaper than most indoor bikes. With this technology, it has come in at £1375 but has add ons that you might need, such as the Bluetooth Media Converter, to connect to certain Apps. Assembly will take longer than most exercise bikes and require a torque wrench and a few other tools not provided, such as spanners. Allow a little bit longer, Kaiser say a couple of hours should be fine. The warranty is generous on this bike and is three years, though wearable parts are charged. It offers the same technology as higher-end bikes and has an impressive specification sheet, but can it keep up?
The monitor is backlit and is automatic, so when the lights go down, the backlight comes on, which is a nice touch. It tracks all your standard data fields for a bike at this level. Revolutions per minute, Calories, Power, Heart Rate, Average totals, and a lap counter. It also gives data averages for each lap for data such as Power, RPM, and Heart Rate. This bike produces power figures not from a power meter like most high-end bikes but a calculation from the gear and RPM, so it might not be as accurate as most bikes. It has Bluetooth Compatibility so that you can link a heart rate monitor to the cycle. One thing to make a note of it’s not ANT+, so you have limited choices of Heart Rate monitors. I like this monitor because it shows what gear you are in on the resistance. It may seem like such a small thing, but it’s a fundamental way to show how you are improving for new riders. They have an app themselves, but really, it’s only for saving and tracking your workouts. It doesn’t offer classes. Other applications are compatible with this, but you do need to buy the M Series Bluetooth converter. Usually the machine can only receive the data, not send it. The M series converter lets you send it to a tablet to run apps like Peloton or Zwift and send the data across. This does come in the bike bundle, which is £1480, and I’d recommend getting it instead of the standard bike for £1375. The monitor does look basic on the surface but has a lot of technology inside. It comes with a media tray for your phone or tablet with a nice touch and the only Kaiser model that has this.
The indoor cycle is well designed for durability and extremely low maintenance, which I would expect in a Spin bike, primarily if they focus on these being in studios. It has a magnetic resistance system kept to the rear of the bike over the flywheel to protect it from sweat. The resistance will build and reduce as you use the dial smoothly. Although completely smooth when adjusting resistance, the levels will change and display on the screen 1-24. It has a Poly V Belt drive and is self-tensioning, so it requires no maintenance to keep this bike feeling tight. I like this as it’s something you can put to the back of your mind, unlike some magnetic spin bikes that do need general maintenance from time to time. Although compared to its competitors it is not as efficient as they use carbon or toothed belt drives. You would see these on the Life Fitness IC7, Stages SC3, Spinning Chrono Power, or Schwinn Performance Plus.
The pedals, Kaiser have done something special here, and to start, I thought it was a gimmick. After actually looking closely at it, it’s genius. They have designed them on one side to suit an everyday trainer shoe in a few particular ways. Firstly they are not flat. They are a very light semi-circle to match modern-day trainers and grip better. Secondly, the straps have a double loop at the bottom which means it won’t come loose. Thirdly the grip notches angle one way making your foot easy to go into the strap but lock in better when the toe straps are tightened. The other side is the SPD clip in, and they use stainless steel components instead of aluminum to strengthen. The bearings are uprated and more robust than other bikes. You can tell they have put a lot of time into these, and I think it will make lots of difference. The Keiser M3i indoor bike has something very different also when it comes to the Q Factor. This is the size of the bracket where the crank’s arms attach. I look for 140mm to 170mm, which is very similar to road and mountain bikes. This bike is 197mm, so it’s pretty broad compared to most. I can’t see this being too much of an issue for most,,, but it would probably be noticeable on the bike’s pedal rotation for road cyclists. The flywheel is 8lbs, so it’s incredibly light and works in a brilliant way. It has a large front chain wheel meaning it will spin much faster, but the resistance will still be able to cater for anyone, as this can compensate for the lighter flywheel. Having the more lightweight flywheel helps pedal stroke as you can work at higher and lower cadences more smoothly. I can see what they are doing here, and I like it. It’s very different, and it will work.
The indoor cycling bike itself in pictures looks pretty tiny, don’t be fooled it’s pretty big. 51” L 26” W 49” H. It’s not tiny by all means, but this is ok because the user height range is enormous because of this. It can go all the way from 4ft 10” to 7ft. The user weight can be up to 159kg also. That’s the most extensive range I have ever seen and can cater to so many indoor cyclists. The next thing to think about is the weight. Because of the Flywheel and transmission system, it’s light coming in at 40kgs. Unlike other bikes in the range, the handlebars and saddle move vertically and horizontally. It uses a standard pin system which is what I’d expect on a bike in this range. It’s smooth and very stable, and well built while still being easy to move around.
Keiser M3i Indoor Bike Features:
- Q-Factor: 197mm
- Pedals: Dual-sided Unique Technology
- Flywheel: 8 Pounds
- Resistance: Magnetic
- Transmission: Poly V Belt
- Weight capacity: 159kg
- Height capacity: 4ft10″ – 7ft
- Bike weight: 42kg
- Bike dimension: 26″W x 49″H x 51″L
- Monitor: Backlit
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Applications: Zwift, Peloton many others
- RPM tracking: Yes
- Speed tracking: Yes
- Watt tracking: Estimation (not direct)
- Power Source: Batteries
Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle Pros:
- Unique Design and completely made in the USA
- The capacity for riders is great
- Very light bike and easy to move
- Zero to no maintenance required
- Compatible with cycling Apps
- Strong and Sturdy built
- Much cheaper than other bikes
- Keiser Revolutionary pedals are great
Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle Cons:
- Relatively difficult assembly
- For full capabilities add ons needed
- Power is Calculated, not on a meter
- Carbon/toothed transmission would have been better
The Final Verdict
Keiser M3i is a fantastic indoor cycling bike there’s no doubting that. It’s a unique design and can cater to so many. The quality is excellent, and it’s backed by a generous warranty too. It can connect to apps and is very fun and stable to ride. The technology is outstanding, with unique pedals and transmission with a small Flywheel. It’s not even costly for what you’re getting. It all does seem a bit too good to be true. A few things are missing for me. Personally, The power is estimated, which is fine, but an elite athlete wouldn’t cut it. For a typical spinner, it’s ok, but it depends on how much power data means to you as the user. The Q Factor is very big, 197mm, although fine for most serious cyclists. This would mean you would drive more from your hips more and could change the feel of the ride you will get from this Spin Bike. That aside, it is a great bike and full of capabilities. It’s good value for money and fun to ride. I would highly recommend it for any indoor cyclist or spinner, though if you are an avid cyclist on the road, I think something like the Stages SC3 would suit you more.
Keiser M3i is good value for money and fun to ride. I would highly recommend it for any indoor cyclist or spinner, though if you are an avid cyclist on the road, I think something like the Stages bikes would suit you more.