Fitness Tips

Expresso Bike Review

Exercise bikes have evolved into interactive fitness stations. Gone are the days when you had to plug in your iPod to pep up your mood while exercising indoors.

Most bikes now feature full-sized screens and come bundled with cloud-based fitness programs and virtual courses that let you ride on scenic trails and compete with buddies, all from the comfort of your home.

But they generally come with steep price tags too, which some people may find hard to justify. A case in point is the Expresso Go Upright Bike which is pricier than a used car. Not kidding!

We are pretty sure you’ve seen one of these ‘video game’ bikes in a fitness center somewhere. They are swanky and loaded with more bells and whistles than you can imagine.

The question you must ask yourself is, how many of those bells and whistles do you really need to get a great workout? Today we are going to answer that for you, along with a whole bunch of other things about the Expresso Bike.

So strap in and hop on.


What is the Expresso Go Upright Bike?

This Expresso Bike Review dives into detail on all you should learn

The Expresso Go Upright Bike is an interactive exercise bike that boasts of best-in-class features like a 26.5” Full HD touchscreen console, moving handle bars & seats, 30 gears and a ton of customization options.

One of the big draws is the interactive fitness bundle. The other is a breakthrough magnetic resistance system, that auto-adjusts the resistance based on the terrain on screen. Essentially, you don’t have to manually do anything. Nor does a trainer have to remotely control the resistance, as is the case with many competitor bikes.

The Expresso will automatically adjust everything.


The Different Expresso Bike Models

Expresso gives you a wide range of options when it comes to models

While writing this, there are two Expresso Bike Models available for sale.

  • The Expresso Go Upright Bike
  • The Expresso Recumbent Bike


The Best Features of the Expresso Bike

This bike is also packed full of awesome features

Gears and shifting handles apart, what are the primary features that make the Express Go Upright bike so popular and so pricey? Here’s a look.


A 26.5” Touchscreen Console

The screen is crisp clear, and with an immersive feel

That’s a beefy console and in all probability, the biggest one that’s available in the market currently. It’s 3” larger than the console on the previous iteration of the Expresso bike. Regardless of whether you are using to stream a live workout or a studio spinning session, you are going to be up close to the action. Also, it’s a touchscreen one. So you can make changes on the fly without ever having to pause your workout.


Moving Handlebars

The Expresso boasts moving handles that feel like the real thing

Touchscreen consoles are not novel. But how many competitor bikes boast of moving handlebars that can simulate a real bike ride outside? Not many. The Expresso Go Upright has handlebars that move left and right, and are motion control enabled. So if you fancy riding off the trail and into a valley, you can choose to do that. Just saying!


Laser Cut Steel Frame

The solid steel frame is built like a tank for ultimate performance

The Expresso Go Upright features a laser cut steel frame. We are not sure about the exact gauge of steel. But it’s a very beefy unit that weighs 165 lbs. when fully assembled. Even when you are pedaling at full steam, you won’t find the frame croaking or groaning under the weight. By the way, it has a maximum weight load recommendation of 350 lbs.


Adjustable Saddle

The Expresso has an adjustable saddle for ultimate comfort

The Expresso Bike features the Velo Plush Gel Saddle with a shock-absorbing ArchTech suspension system. There are 9-horizontal-adjustable positions, as well as an adjustment lever that allows you to choose one of 20-positions for seat height. This is a great bike for tall people since regardless of how tall you are, you can find an ergonomic position without locking your knees while pedaling. You can always swap these with a saddle of your choice since the Expresso is compatible with all standard saddles, which makes it a great exercise bike for beginners who are just starting out.


Pedals

The Expresso also boasts top-of-the-line pedal design

The Expresso features dual function pedals. One side of the pedal features a strap adjustment mechanism while the other side is for use with SPD compatible shoes. Once again, you are not shoehorned into subscribing for a proprietary upsell. The bike works fine with any standard pedal.


Magnetic Resistance

The other thing we couldn't miss in this Expresso Bike Review is the whisper quiet magnetic resistance

The Expresso is deceptively-quiet. As you hop on the bike and start one of the high intensity spins, you expect it to create a din. Instead, that magnetic resistance drive works butter smooth. It automatically kicks in depending on the grade. There are 30-resistance levels to choose from, if you prefer doing it manually. For instance, if you pick one of the rope bridge trails, you’ll find that there’s a slope at the start, followed by a flat patch in the middle and ascend again towards the end. The resistance will automatically change whenever the trail changes.


eLive Plus

The eLive membership comes in handy if you want to really enjoy what this bike has to offer

The Expresso Bike comes bundled with an eLive Plus membership, which is an interactive fitness program. If you choose to buy the bike only, you’ll have to subscribe to this to really enjoy the workouts. It’s currently priced at $199/mo. For the price, you get access to tons of content. There’s 300+ miles of interactive trails including one in outer space. There are 43-different tours ranging from 1 to 20 miles in distance, there are 10-on-demand classes, new classes are added each week, 9 maps to play and a lot more.


Is eLive Plus worth it – Pros & Cons

The first thing to ask yourself is whether the Expresso eLive is really worth it

The first question that pops up in your mind is, ‘Is the bike worth the price’?

To answer that, you’ll need to understand what you get with eLive Plus, because that’s the big draw here. The interactive rides, the immersive trail experience, the leaderboard, the on-demand classes, that’s what make these bikes fun.

Here’s a detailed look at what you get with an eLive Plus membership.


 Pros

The eLive membership comes with a treasure trove of benefits

300+ Miles of Road Riding

One of the pros is being able to venture far and wide into new frontiers

Expresso claims to have nailed the on-road ride simulation to the T, with the moving handlebars and the automatic resistance levels. To add to that, you get 300+ miles of riding trails to choose from. From bustling streets to snowy mountains, you can choose your terrain and difficulty. Turn the handlebar to make turns. When clubbed with the 26.5” screen, it is an incredible experience. No doubt about it.

Competing with fellow riders

The competitive nature of the ride brings out the best in you

If competing with fellow riders spurs you to put up your best performance, then you’ll love the 243 time and discipline combinations that the Expresso offers. You can compete against anyone who’s using eLive Plus. So you have an extensive pool of competitors to choose from.

Ghost Rides
Ghost riding allows you to compete against yourself

On the other hand, if you are a perfectionist, then you can compete against the best version of yourself. In the Ghost ride, you will try to beat your own previous best. This is one of the most popular features of the Expresso Bike.

Group Rides
Even better, you can ride along friends and family

If you have friends and family who also use Expresso Bikes, you can ride as a group. Up to 32 people can participate in group rides.

Studio Classes
you also get in-studio spinning classes for better results

Expresso has partnered with Studio SWEAT onDemand for the In-Studio spinning classes on eLive Plus. You will be trained by Cat Kom, an ACE (American Council of Exercise) certified fitness instructor from her spinning studio called ‘Studio Sweat’

Games
And then there's the option to play games in three different world

The Games are another terrific feature of the eLive Plus fitness bundle. You can choose from three worlds. There’s Treasure World, Dragon world & Explorer world. All with different terrains and topographies. Each world has 3 maps. So in total, you have 9 games to play. As you pedal through the worlds, you’ll encounter fellow riders and meet various challenging trails. All the while, the Expresso will record your vital parameters. Heart rate, speed, calories, incline %, every bit of granular data is collected.


Cons

The eLive Plus doesn't come without its downsides as well

The eLive Plus software will automatically draw comparisons with Peloton and iFit (NordicTrack’s fitness program). While it does tick most of the boxes and offer some exclusive perks, there are a few things that we don’t agree with.

Pricing

The price is a bit high

eLive Plus is priced approximately at $400/year if you subscribe for the 3-year bundle. That’s roughly $34/month. The monthly subscription cost will be slightly higher though. In comparison, iFit is priced at $180/yr for the individual plan and $396/yr for a family plan. So it’s a cheaper alternative. Peloton digital costs $12.99/mo. Now, you definitely get more bang for your buck with eLive Plus. But if you are willing to let go of the fancier features, then you might find it a little expensive for a cloud-based fitness program.

Not Spinning Focused

Another problem with eLive is that it doesn't focus much on spinning

eLive Plus offers tons of interactive features and perks to keep the home fitness buff immersed. But it’s not a studio-class focused software. A lot of fitness buffs are drawn to the idea of an interactive bike because of the Peloton Hype. If that sums you up, then you might find the on-demand classes a little lackluster.


What My Wife and I Liked About the Expresso Bike

This Expresso Bike Review  wouldn't be complete without my objective observation

All things said and done, there are a lot of things that the Expresso Bike gets right. But to justify that price tag, we must look at it objectively. At times, even without the eLive Plus fitness bundle. Does it manage to hold its own as a standalone exercise bike in the offline world?

Let’s find out.

Here are the things that we liked the most.


#1 –It’s fun 

First things first, it's a fun bike to ride

No matter what we try to convince ourselves, home workouts are far from fun. You stare at the console on your bike, you miss the wind, you miss the surprises, the uneven terrain & the unexpected bumps. The Expresso Bike with its road-like ride simulation reintroduces the fun into your workouts. The handlebars are an enjoyable experience. Ditto with the automated resistance levels based on the grade. You’ll have one less excuse to hop on that bike every day.


#2 – The Manual Gear Changes

The bike allows you to make a whole lot of settings on the console

There’s so much talk about automation that we tend to forget that the Expresso Bike has a full-fledged LCD control panel for manual overrides. You can manually shift gears (resistance). This adds to the authenticity of the road-ride simulation.


#3 –it’s a Sturdy & Compact Bike

It's also a sturdy, robust unit

At 62” tall and 47” long, the Expresso Bike is one of the most compact ones in the market currently. This makes it perfectly suited for small spaces, like a basement gym or an apartment room. But it’s built like a tank. It weighs a hefty 165 lbs. when fully assembled and you won’t find it easy to move around the house.


#4 –You’ll enjoy the games

The different games will blow you away

The games and the 9 maps are a great way to introduce an HIIT workout into your routine. Also, with so many interactive options to choose from, it’s likely that your family will enjoy it too.


What We Didn’t Like About It

We also found a few things that didn't fascinate us as much

Despite the positives, the Expresso Bike starts to appear like a grossly overpriced fitness bike the moment you take away the eLive Plus fitness bundle. That’s one of our biggest concerns with the bike. But it’s not the only one.


The Price tag

One downside to this bike is the high cost

The Expresso Go Upright Bike can cost you anywhere from $4500-7000 depending on where you buy it from. Many resellers offer huge discounts on the bike. If you are looking to buy a used one, you can probably get it at 50% of that. But even then, it’s not cheap, is it? It’s about 10x the cost of a budget-priced indoor bike. The Peloton Bike is priced at $1,895 (And people look for alternatives to the Peloton, let alone a more expensive bike like the Expresso). The NordicTrack S22i is priced roughly around $2000 as well. Most people shy away from the Expresso Bike for this reason, and it might be justified too.


Poor Warranty

I also didn't like the fact this bike comes with only a 2-year warranty

For all the brouhaha about being the ‘Best Fitness Bike’ in the world, Expresso only offers a two year warranty on parts and touchscreen coverage. The warranty on labor is one year. In addition to this, you get 90-days of warranty for general wear and tear after installation. How does it compare with the competition? Peloton offers a 5-year warranty on frame, 12-months for touchscreen, 12-months for bike parts and components and 12-months for labor. So it’s definitely better than what you get for Expresso.

And that isn't the only difference between the two bikes, we have a full-detailed comparison between the Expresso bike and the Peloton bike, you can check it out here.


Warranty is tied to eLive Plus

Worse yet, the warranty is tied to the eLive membership

Here’s the kicker and probably our biggest quibble with the Expresso Bike. The Warranty is tied to an ‘All Access Pass’ with eLive Plus. Your bike must be registered and have an uninterrupted subscription to eLive Plus. You get a max warranty coverage of 3-years. So, you are forced to continue with eLive Plus even if you dislike the service. Else your warranty for the bike is voided.


Should You Buy the Expresso Bike? HereS What I Think

even though it costs a pretty penny, the Expresso is feature-rich

The Expresso Bike is a feature-rich option that costs a pretty penny. It brings road-like driving simulation, 300+ miles of trails, challenges, leaderboards, group rides, ghost rides and virtual games to the table. 

That large 26.5” HD console is unlike anything you’ve seen before. It amplifies the experience of the virtual rides. But, the warranty isn’t the best, nor is the price. Are you willing to overlook these for the best exercise bike in town?

Related Readings:

References:

  1. https://expresso.com/bikes.html
  2. https://expresso.com/recumbent.html

Ben Mayz

Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at Fitlifefanatics.com. I have been obsessed with Strength Training and Fitness for 16 years now. My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future. I went on to earn my Masters in Sports Training & Biomechanics. My passion for Strength training & fitness and my love of helping others is what made me start Fitlifefanatics. Here, myself, and a team of specialist aim to provide the most accurate, and actionable information possible in hopes to help foster the fitness community forward. You can learn more about Fitlifefanatics on our About Page