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Flexnest Flexbike

Firing up the quads

₹ 29,999

It’s that time of the year again when people make New Year resolutions to get fit, buy home gym equipment in January, and then use it as a hanger for drying clothes by mid-March. But the folks at Flexnest are on a quest to change that with their Flexbike, a smart bike that aims to make workouts engaging and interactive. Having spent the last couple of weeks riding around the Andorra Mountains from the comfort of our home, here’s our review of the Flexnest Flexbike.

Design: Contemporary and compact

Like most IKEA furniture, the Flexbike is minimalist, and also needs a bit of assembling when you get it home. The assembly itself is quite easy, and doesn't require an engineering degree. It involves putting a couple of pieces in place, and tightening the screws, and everything you need for the assembly is provided in the box.

The overall design is contemporary with a matte black finish and splashes of fluorescent orange. The build quality feels solid, and everything from the fit to the finish feels premium. The bike is also quite compact, so you don’t necessarily require a separate room to store it. With a net weight of 31kgs, it is also not too difficult to move it around.

Smart fitness

While the hardware largely steals the spotlight, it is the app that really brings the overall experience together. Once assembled, you download the Flexnest app on your phone or tab, with support for both the Android and iOS operating systems.
Initial setup is quite easy, with the app asking for a few personal details and permissions to read fitness data from compatible apps. You can then choose from three biking workouts – Quick Ride, Virtual Ride, and class. 
Quick rides are for the self-motivated, and you can simply start riding the bike without any goal or help from experts. If you need some motivation, then choose from various classes on the app led by Indian and international experts. 
These classes are further segregated into beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, and each of them have a specific kind of workout. These guided classes have the right kind of motivation and soundtrack to get you pumped for a hard workout.

Virtual rides, however, are the most fun, and so relevant in this pandemic time. You can take virtual rides in over 100 cities across the globe, and in the past couple of weeks, I’ve virtually travelled and taken a ride along the twisty slopes of Andorra Mountains, and Swiss Alps, and the touristy bylanes of Barcelona, Vatican, and Milan. All without stepping out of my house (and all the visa hassles).  
The overall experience is top-notch – especially the responsive rides. Here, the virtual ride matches up to your real-life cycling speed. You can even stop for a bit to enjoy the scenery. Needless to say, these virtual rides looked better on a tab than the phone. It is a pity that there’s no built-in casting feature. The experience would no doubt have been far better on a bigger TV screen. 

Performance: Engaging the core

I’m not particularly a big fan of self-workouts, but since getting the bike, I’ve worked out everyday. The various workout options available on the app has helped keep things interesting. 
Almost immediately after setting up the bike, I jumped into an intermediate level class called ‘MJ Special with Sheenu’. Almost six minutes into the class I would find myself huffing, puffing, and a sweaty mess – and here I was thinking Sheenu looked kind.

It’s been a steady progress, and I’ve felt a difference in the stamina levels. On days I don’t want to sweat like a pig, I take a leisurely virtual ride across foreign lands or a quick ride while watching food videos on YouTube.  
The fitness data collected by the app is quite accurate, and the calories burnt are on par with my Apple Watch. It is a pity, the app won’t use the Watch’s heart-rate monitor, and instead wants you to buy a separate heart-rate monitor. 
The app is also a bit buggy, and has crashed a couple of times in my time of use. Imagine my horror, when the calorie meter reset to zero in the middle of a gruelling class, just because I cut an incoming phone call.

Verdict: Should you buy?

The Flexnest Flexbike looks good enough to complement most home decors, and more importantly, is compact enough for easy storage. Yes, it is an expensive home gym equipment, but when compared to year long gym memberships with personal trainers that you’re probably going to skip, this is a far cheaper option in the long run.

Stuff Says

The hardware and app combo make this as good value as any gym membership.
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Contemporary and easy-to-assemble design

  1. Virtual riding experience

  1. Variety of expert-led online classes

  1. Overall workout experience

  1. Buggy app

Floor space: 1000 x 510 x 1165 mm
Net weight: 31kg
Max user weight: 120kg
Max user height: 6ft 4in