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View Full Version : Those who have ridden Keiser M3s, please respond asap!



sharimiranda
04-03-2011, 01:16 PM
Hi everyone,

Some of you might remember that a few months ago I mentioned one of the clubs where I teach is in the market for new bikes. We had a few reps bring samples in, and the majority of us felt that the Keiser M3s were the way to go. Btw, this is a high-end club with very discerning members. At the moment, we have VERY old V-bikes and the GFD is in agreement that we need to take the cycling program up to the level where it belongs.

Anyway, the club was ready to spend the money in January. After testing the Keisers, though, there was concern about the non-adjustable handlebars (remember what I said about "discerning" members? we don't want to give them any reason to complain...). The GFD and club manager thought it best to wait what was supposed to be just a couple months for the new adjustable-handlebar model.

Welll....now it's April and we've apparently been told it'll be another 6 mos until we can get that type of M3. We really can't wait any longer. The bikes we have are terrible. The maintenance crew does what they can, but some bikes are beyond fixable.

So, after all that back story, here are my questions:

Despite the issues that might arise from shorter members feeling like they can't get a good handlebar adjustment, do the benefits of the M3 outweigh the cons of that problem? In other words, should I push the club to get the M3s anyway and do a retrofit when the adjustable handlebars are available? How can we make shorter riders comfortable in the meantime? I'm not short (I'm 5-8), so tell me--how bad is it? Will they be so happy to have working bikes with the benefit of power that they'll be willing to overlook a less-than-perfect handlebar for a little while?

I'm looking for some good info here that I can bring to the GFD and club manager. I'd REALLY rather get the M3s than NXTs, for example, bc I think in the long run they will be better bikes AND, like I said earlier, bring a more cutting-edge feel to this high-end club's cycling program. The members deserve the latest technology--they pay for it in their monthly dues!

I'm hoping to contact the folks at the club early next week (Mon or Tues--April 4 or 5), so your quick responses are much appreciated.

Thanks everyone!
:) Shari

sharimiranda
04-03-2011, 03:11 PM
Correct--but on the new ones, apparently you can also move the handlebars themselves fore and aft, like the seat...

I want these bikes so bad! :eek:

bikingcasteel
04-03-2011, 03:47 PM
Sharimiranda - I have been teaching on the Keiser M3's for over a year after having taught on the original Spinning bikes and Trek. We have 30 bikes and the members love them! My class is a mix of men and women, all heights and sizes. Out of the 30, I have only one lady who has any trouble with the distance of the handlebars. I am 5'6" and am guessing she is 5' or an inch less. In the seated position, she makes herself more comfortable by laying her forarms down on the bars for short amounts of time. This being said, she has never complained, changed gyms or missed a class.
I also have 2 very tall men.....very tall. They also adjust and do just fine.
The M3's have a very high end feel to them and have held up very well to the abuse of multiple classes a day. The computers on the M3's give great info to the riders and also helps me to be more creative in class (example - just teaching off the rpms).
If you can wait for the adjustable handlebars, great......but if you cannot, I cannot imagine that you or your members will be disappointed.
Hope this helps and good luck!

jpaoli
04-03-2011, 04:37 PM
Hey Shari
Thanks for reaching out...I teach at the same club and we NEED bikes--- yesterday!! Any insight we can pass on, to get these bikes in our club ASAP, would be much appreciated.

JPaoli

Vivienne
04-03-2011, 04:56 PM
I've been teaching on the Keisers since the start of the year (did Gene's training workshop at the ICI/PRO conference last Fall) and I love the bike.....it rides smooth, the power console is great.

Hate the geometry.

I'm 5'5" and even on the lowest, the handlebars are still higher than I'd care for and a touch too far forward for me. None of my shorter class members complain as much as I do (come to think of it, no-one seems to!).....but maybe they'd have a "regular" Spin bike set up like a beach cruiser given the choice. My daughter who's a touch over 6' and rides something like a 60 (62?) cm frame road bike also had a hard time getting a decent set-up oddly enough but I think she was really noticing the wider bottom bracket set-up thingie.

On balance, for the price as compared with the CycleOps, I'd be tempted to go with the Keisers if I were purchasing for a club......and I write HATE THE GEOMETRY all over the check.

Vivienne

Dellphinus
04-03-2011, 05:17 PM
The power meters and cadence readouts are great. The smoothness and feel are great.

The geometry is the pits for short coupled folks (me- 5'8" short legs). With the seat adjusted to proper height for my leg length, the HBs all the way down, when standing I feel like I'm on a sitting at a table. The bars need to go another two or three inches lower. We have several others that do not like them for that reason. Most do NOT have a problem with them.

Only other complaints- computers need a backlight, and the bottle holder needs to be a hloder, not a shelf. Very easy to bump off, and can't transport the bike without the bottle falling off.

All that said, they're tons better than our other bikes, and we're getting more next year.

Moot
04-03-2011, 08:50 PM
I have been teaching for almost a year at an average of 3 classes per week at a Y with 40 Keiser M3s.

I feel lucky to have the chance to teach with power bikes, it is great.

Out of all the classes so far, only about 5 people that I remember that had a problem with the handlebar due to their height and the fact that it goes away as it goes up.

As mentioned already, it would be nice to have a better water holder and a backlight for the screen would be nice.

Other than that, they are much better than spinning bikes.

But, I know that there are at least 2 other power bike options on the market, if i remember correctly. Did you look at them by any chance?

Or, if you guys can work out a deal with Keiser to rent the present bikes for 6 months until you get the new ones? Not sure if that will be possible?

Moot

sharimiranda
04-03-2011, 10:15 PM
Great info, you all--keep it coming!!!!

(and hi, jpaoli! ;) )

Shari

Moot
04-03-2011, 11:31 PM
here is a new power bike to consider by freemotion that will be out soon:

http://www.freemotionfitness.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_-1_10001_10002_68501_175503

And here is an electronic brochure:

http://icipromedia.s3.amazonaws.com/FM_Sseries_brochure.pdf

In my opinion, when Real Ryder come out with their power bike, i think that will be awesome.

Moot

Vivienne
04-04-2011, 07:54 AM
That would be amazing! :) I would agree that I never did quite get 100% comfy handlebar wise... I usually like my handlebars up higher, because I have upper back issues, but I found I had to keep putting the handlebars down so that I could reach them better.

But I bet that would be something to get used to, as by the 2nd day I was pretty used to it already!

Thing is....you can get used to pretty much anything in the short term. That's how repetitive stress injuries etc. happen.

I'm not trying to suggest that the "folding tray-table" geometry of these Keisers is so bad that riders are going to injure themselves with one or two 45 minute classes but, if you're trying to emphasize sound biomechanics, "getting used to....." is a bit counter-intuitive.

If, along with a fore-and-aft adjustment, there was the ability to lower the handlebars by a mere* 3 or 4 inches you'd have as good a machine as you could wish for.


Vivienne

*.........maybe this sort of re-jigging of the bike isn't as "mere" as it seems to me but it'd make all the difference.

EuroD
04-04-2011, 11:58 AM
I've had these since the beginning of the year, and have not had any problems in setting people up. In fact most prefer them as they feel more comfortable.

I believe that the handlebar changes are already in the works.

Mlabich
04-08-2011, 12:50 PM
The good outweighs the bad with the Keisers. Like anything, people resist change. I love the Keisers as an instructor because I feel people can really challenge themselves b/c the computer holds them accountable! In a normal class, cadence checks work but they are not something you can do 5x/minute. With the computer in front of the rider, they can work to maintain a certain cadence etc. They are the best. I think if you and your fellow instructors are confident and excited about the bikes, the members will feed off your enthusiasm. I absolutely love teaching on them and wish every gym had them!

liveon2wheels
04-09-2011, 06:21 AM
As one of the "insiders" for Keiser's development (not because we are exclusive Keiser shop, but only because we latched on to them early in their design process and they needed good feedback), I can tell you the fore-aft adjustment is coming. I saw the prototype at IHRSA in one of their "off-show" rooms. It will address most of the problems mentioned on this forum.

They had planned to release it, but the rigorous stress testing revealed some fatigues in the metal and this forced them to not accept what was supposed to be the production ready model. I have 10 MORE bikes on order myself, but have decided to wait - so I want them as badly as anyone else. Nevertheless, I'd rather they continue to stress test the HE_ _ out of them before releasing them. It's a tough business to be in, but doing quality work, always will take longer.

taowave
04-09-2011, 11:02 AM
I called Keiser the other day and they informed me it would be apx 3 more months of testing before they make any decisions the handlebars.The good news is they are very high on quality control.

sharimiranda
04-09-2011, 06:47 PM
Thanks Gene and taowave--this is EXCELLENT info! I will keep talking to the folks at my club and see what we decide to do.

Meanwhile, subliminal messages...*keiser...keiser...keiser*

:)

taowave
04-17-2011, 09:18 PM
Spoke to Keiser again and they informed me when the new bikes come out,the price will be increased.Needless to say,I wasnt thrilled to hear that.They also could not give me an estimate of what it would cost to retrofit the current design.

As much as I like Keiser,I am now going to check out the Freemotion Fitness line of bikes.


Thanks Gene and taowave--this is EXCELLENT info! I will keep talking to the folks at my club and see what we decide to do.

Meanwhile, subliminal messages...*keiser...keiser...keiser*

:)

CycleGuy
04-18-2011, 12:47 AM
Spoke to Keiser again and they informed me when the new bikes come out,the price will be increased.Needless to say,I wasnt thrilled to hear that.They also could not give me an estimate of what it would cost to retrofit the current design.

As much as I like Keiser,I am now going to check out the Freemotion Fitness line of bikes.

I was talking with a Keiser sales rep the other day (he lives in our city but represents another region). Asked about a retrofit kit and he said it wouldn't likely be possible - the whole frame design was being changed.

taowave
04-18-2011, 02:09 PM
Hi CG,
From the company



You will be able to retrofit the handle bars but I do not know what the cost will be. I hope this helps

I just recieved another email from the company,and they stated in no uncertain terms,the handlebars will be able to be retrofitted.

I am waiting for some info if the new bikes will be identical with adjustable handlebars,or a new design.

They have no info on pricing.




I was talking with a Keiser sales rep the other day (he lives in our city but represents another region). Asked about a retrofit kit and he said it wouldn't likely be possible - the whole frame design was being changed.

jkruzer
05-01-2011, 03:26 PM
We just got the Keiser M3 at our facility a month ago. Previous to this we had Schwinn IC Pro/Elite. I must say that the ride on the Keiser's are great. The ride is extremely smooth and love the fact of the console which keeps member accountable to the workout.:rolleyes:

HeatherG
05-02-2011, 06:19 AM
I ride on the Keiser M3 2-3 times a week and I am 5'2" on a good day :). Initially I thought that the handlebars would be an issue for me, but they are not a problem at all for my very short frame (and legs). I get a much better ride and feel better compared to my ride on other models. I do love the smooth ride, the ability to discuss power ouput with my classes and the fact that the flywheel is in the back. I tend to sweat on the flywheel on bikes with flywheels in the front if I am not careful. The water bottle holder is annoying, but tolerable. If you must purchase soon, I would definitely go with the current model and your riders will be thrilled.

sharimiranda
05-02-2011, 11:04 AM
Thanks for the continued posts from you guys. It's fun to check back and see that more folks have commented.

Here's an update...

**We're getting the bikes!!!!!!!!!**

I. Cannot. Wait.

:DShari

the5nichols
05-04-2011, 09:53 AM
I teach at a facility with Keisers and I LOVE them. We used to have LeMond's and a lot of those were messing up, so we went with Keiser this time around. The first few weeks I taught on these bikes, I thought I was going to throw up after class because I was working so much harder on them than I did the LeMonds. Something about seeing the "gear: you're in and watching the computer just mentally makes you want to go harder. I've taught 3/4 classes a week for 6 years and after switching to these bikes, I feel like I've got a whole new "workout".

robinlyn
05-23-2011, 08:28 PM
It's nice to see that they plan to remedy the handlebar issue! The only other complaint I have with them is that having them at our facility for several years now, gearing does vary quite a bit from bike to bike now. I'm not sure if that's us not giving them adequate maintenance and fine tuning or not, but I hear from a lot of members that depending on the bike, their base gear ('flat road') can be off by as much as 3 or 4.

Nshort
05-23-2011, 10:34 PM
We got these in our club a couple months ago, and I love them so much I got one for home! The smooth ride and gear shifting is unlike any other I've experienced. Excellent engineering. Class feedback has been very positive, very few complaints on the handlebars, and mainly from those on the shorter side. They have a great thing going already, if they solve the handlebar challenge it's a home run!

meems0465
08-23-2011, 12:02 PM
When we made the transition from Lemond to Keiser - there were mixed reviews. People LOVE the bike overall - love the watt meter, etc. but not the inability to adjust the handle bars fore and aft. However, we had a member construct a pad for the bikes that is placed on the handle bars (much like the ones Lemond has) It allows the rider to get closer to the handle bars without having to raise them!

Spinningmoe
09-24-2011, 05:09 PM
I have been using the Keisers for a few years now and have never heard anyone complain about the handlebars. The only problem I can see, and it's a small one, is the shelf for the water bottle. Members (and instructors) often knock the bottles to the ground.

Vivienne
09-25-2011, 10:59 AM
I have been using the Keisers for a few years now and have never heard anyone complain about the handlebars..

Do they have anything to use for comparison.....a reasonably well set up road bike, for instance, or are the current Keisers and the stationary bikes on the cardio floor their only point of reference?

I don't know how long the gym I taught at had been using the Keisers before I started teaching there (long enough for the idea that "calories burned" and "miles travelled" were worthwhile numebrs to shoot was so ingrained, that no explanation could wean folk away) but I had only one member who recognised the sketchy geometry and handlebar "issue" (having ridden more "trad." IDC bikes in the past) and she accepted it as "it is what it is" since she didn't take that many classes per week anyway.

Having said that, I don't think anyone had been introduced to the idea of sound biomechanics, a plumb line and goniometer or the print out from the SPINNING website of Josh Taylor's bike set-up article either.

I think the changes that Keiser have made.....not just the fore-and-aft but the ability to drop the handlebars a couple of inches lower.....is going to make all the difference in the World to how these bikes feel. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that maybe they'll get a debut at the ICI conference.

Vivienne

bikingbrady
09-25-2011, 11:17 AM
Some of my people try to keep track of their "miles" on the M3. After paying attention to this for awhile, I knew the "miles" wasn't correct (either that or I was often doing 28-30mph). I called Keiser and they stated that every 20 revolutions was .1 in distance. Easy math will tell you 200 rpms is 1 "mile". It is used for maintenance of the bike and not really for distance traveled. It's a minor detail, but just in case you are asked.

CycleGuy
09-25-2011, 10:04 PM
Some of my people try to keep track of their "miles" on the M3. After paying attention to this for awhile, I knew the "miles" wasn't correct (either that or I was often doing 28-30mph). I called Keiser and they stated that every 20 revolutions was .1 in distance. Easy math will tell you 200 rpms is 1 "mile". It is used for maintenance of the bike and not really for distance traveled. It's a minor detail, but just in case you are asked.

Measure the circumference of the flywheel. 200 x circumference is less than a mile. It is also more than a kilometre. It is, as you mention, for maintenance purposes - and is an arbitrary number used to measure the usage of the bike.

bikingbrady
09-26-2011, 03:03 PM
That was exactly the response I received from them: "More than a KM but less than a mile". When I pushed I received the 20 revolutions per .1 "distance" response. Still great bikes, but tough for anybody trying to "log miles" unfortunately. I've told these individuals to keep track of time/calories/ave wattage to watch their progressions. It's also hard because all classes are not set up equal.