Roger Black exercise bikes have become popular in recent years - especially for people who want home exercise equipment on a budget.
But which is the best Roger Black exercise bike? And are there any you should avoid? Keep reading to find out!
Who is Roger Black?
Roger Black (MBE) is a retired professional sprinter who specialised in the 400m. His athletic career was a successful one, and included a silver Olympic Medal along with a variety of golds in world championships. He now has several other jobs and businesses, including working on TV, giving motivational speeches and running a company called BackleyBlack.
It's difficult to find information about Roger Black's involvement in Roger Black Fitness range. This is probably because the the brand "Roger Black Fitness" is actually owned by Argos. As far as we're aware, the entire Roger Black brand of exercise equipment is available exclusively on Amazon - you can't buy it anywhere else (similarly to Pro Fitness exercise bikes). Click here to view the current Roger Black exercise bike range at Argos.co.uk.
List of Roger Black Exercise Bikes
Listed below is the current range of Roger Black cycling machines in order of price (the first is the most expensive). Prices change regularly though, so treat it as a rough guide.
|Name||Type||Max. User Weight||Flywheel Weight||Pre-Set Workouts?||Resistance Type||View Price|
|Roger Black Programmable Platinum||Upright||125kg||7kg||Yes||Magnetic||View Price|
|Roger Black Gold||Upright||125kg||6kg||Yes||Magnetic||View Price|
|Roger Black Plus||Upright||125kg||3.5kg||No||Magnetic||View Price|
|Roger Black Gold Folding||Folding||100kg||3kg||No||Magnetic||View Price|
|Roger Black Manual Aerobic||Indoor Cycling/Spin||125kg||18kg||No||Frictional||View Price|
|Roger Black Folding Exercise Bike||Folding||100kg||3kg||No||Magnetic||View Price|
1. Roger Black Programmable Platinum
The most expensive Roger Black exercise bike is the Programmable Platinum. It costs a lot more than other models on this page, but is still at the lower end of what we'd call "Mid-Range" when it comes to bikes. It also has a number of features not found on cheaper models.
Starting with the build, the Programmable Platinum comes with a 7kg flywheel and a magnetic resistance system. There are 16 levels of resistance for adjusting the difficulty of your workout, along with adjustable handlebars and seat. The maximum user weight is 125kg, which is around average for a mid-range bike.
The 7kg flywheel is relatively light for a bike in this price range, so don't expect it to be the smoothest ride. For comparison, the cheaper Reebok ZR8, which made our list of the best exercise bikes, has a 9kg wheel and 32 resistance settings. While a 7kg flywheel is fine for beginners or intermediates, we wouldn't recommend the Platinum to advanced riders or people who want high intensity training.
As you would expect, the Platinum comes with a built-in console. This shows statistics such as distance, calories burned and pulse, along with a scan mode. There are also pre-set exercise programs and the option of creating your own using the magnetic resistance system. This provides much greater scope for variety in your workout.
A common problem with mid-range models is an uncomfortable seat. The Platinum isn't the worst bike in this regard, but for long cycling sessions you'll probably want to replace it with a gel seat.
The Roger Black Programmable Platinum isn't the best exercise bike in its price range, but it's a solid model that can provide a great workout for beginners or intermediates. If you're looking for a more intense workout, check-out the mid-range options on our best home exercise bike page.
2. Roger Black Gold (BEST VALUE!)
The next model down in terms of price is the Roger Black Gold exercise bike. It's a magnetic bike that has most of the features of the Platinum - and we think it provides greater value for money.
It's built with a 6kg flywheel, which is slightly lighter than the Platinum. The Gold's flywheel matches up better with other models in a similar price bracket though - even if it's still a little light. Like the Platinum, it's a magnetic model with 16 resistance levels for adjusting workout difficulty.
The biggest difference between the Gold and Platinum is the cheaper model doesn't allow you to program your own workouts. There are pre-set programmes, including body fat and a target heart rate options, but it doesn't come with the programmable resistance system. The on-board console is also a lot more basic than the Platinum.
Despite this drawback, we think the Roger Black Gold is a decent exercise bike and provides better value than the Platinum. It's still not the best choice for people looking for an intense workout, especially with the 6kg flywheel, but it's a sturdy model with a smooth pedal action and wide range of resistance levels.
3. Roger Black Plus
The Roger Black Plus exercise bike is another magnetic bike with a slightly cheaper price tag than the Gold model. It has the same maximum user weight (125kg) and a similar design, but with fewer features and a lighter flywheel we don't think it provides as much value as the Gold.
The Plus only has a 3.5kg flywheel. This is considerably less than the Platinum and Gold Roger Black exercise bikes, so it can't match the smoothness of these models. The lighter flywheel also reduces the intensity of the workout, which is why we wouldn't recommend this model for advanced riders.
It's built with an LCD display that shows basic statistics about your workout, including distance, speed, time and calories burned. Like other Roger Black bikes, this is a magnetic model but it only has 8 tension settings. There also aren't any built-in programmes.
While the Roger Black Plus exercise bike is a durable piece of equipment, we don't see why anyone would buy it ahead of the Gold. It's only slightly cheaper, yet has a much lighter flywheel and no pre-set workouts.
4. Roger Black Gold Folding
If you don't have much space in your home for a large bike but still want a convenient way to workout, a folding exercise bike could be the perfect option. The Roger Black Gold Folding is a great example, as it provides good value and an effective workout.
In terms of price, the Gold Folding has a cheaper RRP than the non-folding Plus model, but has similar features. These include a 3kg flywheel (which is only 0.5kg lighter than the Plus), magnetic tension and 8 difficulty settings.
The key feature is the folding design. This saves a lot of space compared with other Roger Black exercise bikes. It's also relatively lightweight at 17.6kg.
There are a few drawbacks to buying a folding bike though. It's obviously not as sturdy as other Roger Black models, which is why the maximum user weight is only 100kg. The seat can only be adjusted vertically - you can't move it horizontally in relation to the handlebars. There's also no option to adjust the handlebar height.
Even so, the Roger Black Gold Folding exercise bike is a good choice if you need a light workout from home. While we don't recommend folding bikes for intense exercise, the Gold Folding bike is a decent option for beginners or intermediates. If you don't mind a slightly lighter flywheel, however, the standard Folding model (see below) is over £100 cheaper yet has almost identical features.
5. Roger Black Manual Aerobic
For those looking for a more intense workout than upright Roger Black exercise bikes can provide, there's the Roger Black Manual Aerobic. It's a spin-style bike that lacks advanced features, but has a heavy flywheel and a stable design for serious workouts.
The Manual Aerobic is built with a heavy 18kg flywheel. This is considerably heavier than any other Roger Black exercise bike, which is one of the reasons this model can provide a more intense workout. The bike also has a heavy 50kg total weight, so it's stable even when cycling at high speeds.
It uses a frictional resistance system instead of magnetic. This makes it louder than magnetic bikes, although it's still not a noisy model. It also has a simple console showing time, speed, distance and calories burned, along with an adjustable handlebar and seat.
As you would expect from a relatively cheap spin bike, the seat isn't very comfortable. We recommend replacing it with a high-quality gel seat for extra comfort - especially for long riding sessions. It also doesn't come with any pre-set programmes like the Gold or Platinum models. This is common for spin bikes, but means it's more difficult to get variety from your workouts.
As you've probably guessed, there's no doubt the Manual Aerobic is the best Roger Black exercise bike for intense workouts. But the real question is whether it's better than other indoor cycling bikes with a similar price?
Frictional resistance is standard for a spin bike in this price range - you usually need to pay a lot more to get a magnetic indoor cycle - so this isn't an issue. It also has a heavier flywheel than other spin bikes in its price range and feels stable even when standing up. In short, if you're looking for your first spin bike and don't want to spend more than £250, the Roger Black Manual Aerobic is a solid choice.
6. Roger Black Folding Exercise Bike
The cheapest Roger Black exercise bike is the basic folding model. It's a magnetic bike that's not suitable for intense workouts, but is great if you're on a tight budget and want to do light or moderate exercise from home. The folding design also makes it suitable for small homes or flats.
Let's start by comparing the basic Folding bike and the Gold Folding model. The biggest difference is the flywheel - the basic model has a 2.5kg wheel compared to 3kg on the Gold Folding. This means the cheaper bike isn't quite as smooth. The Gold Folding can also provide a slightly greater challenge, although the 0.5kg difference in flywheel weight doesn't make a huge difference.
Aside from this, the two bikes are very similar. The Roger Black Folding is built with a magnetic resistance system, has 8 tension levels and an adjustable seat. There are also self-levelling pedals and a simple display (showing statistics such as pulse and calories). Like the other Roger Black folding exercise bike, this model has a maximum user weight of 100kg.
If you're looking for a compact exercise bike that's available for a very reasonable price, the Roger Black Folding Exercise Bike one to consider. We think it provides better value than the Gold Folding model - as it's over £100 cheaper yet the only major difference is a 0.5kg lighter flywheel. As with all folding bikes, it's important to have realistic expectations though. This isn't a bike for intense workouts or advanced riders, but for staying in shape from home it does a good job.
Are Roger Black Exercise Bikes Any Good?
Roger Black Fitness doesn't have the pedigree of brands such as Reebok, Schwinn and other popular exercise equipment manufacturers - so this is a fair question. Overall, we think Roger Black exercise bikes are solid and durable models that can provide an effective workout for beginners or intermediates.
There are a few caveats though. Some of their bikes provide greater value than others, so make sure you read through our mini-reviews above to find the best option for your home. While some provide decent value compared to competitors, we think others (such as the Gold Folding) are overpriced. Also, aside from the Manual Aerobic, we would have liked heavier flywheels on many of the bikes.
If you want a piece of fitness equipment that can provide a solid workout from home, but don't have the budget for more expensive models, a Roger Black exercise bike could be a good option. The company's bikes are durable, feel solid when in use and are usually built with magnetic resistance. They also all cost less than £400 - although some provide greater value than others.
We think the Roger Black exercise bike that provides greatest "bang for your buck" is the Roger Black Gold. It has many of the same features as the Programmable Platinum, yet is considerably less pricey. The Manual Aerobic is the best choice if you want a more intense workout.
Do you have any questions about the Roger Black home exercise bike range? Or do you own one of the models on this list and want to provide your opinion? Let us known in the comments!