The Marcy ME 709 is an affordable magnetic resistance recumbent exercise bike that's ideal for aerobic exercise and light use at home. It offers performance that compares favorably with bikes costing twice as much, but its durability is hit or miss and customer service is unreliable.
Good performance for the price. While bikes with magnetic resistance systems are known for smooth and quiet operation, along with high price tags compared to air or friction systems, the Marcy ME 709 boasts magnetic resistance at a comparatively low cost. According to reviews, the Marcy recumbent is quiet enough to make activities such as TV watching possible. A few users report minor issues with the pedal motion, however, saying effort isn't always uniform.
User-friendly. Owners find the Marcy ME 709 simple and quick to assemble with clear instructions, with some claiming that assembly takes 20 minutes or less. The display is large and easy to read, showing just the very basics: speed, distance, time and calories burned. No heart rate monitor is included. Like most recumbent bikes, seating is comfortable and adjustable, and moving the bike around is simple thanks to its transport wheels and light weight. It's a good value for those wanting a no-frills bike that will see only occasional use. Still, some users wish the ME 709 had more resistance, saying it has less to offer those who are already fairly fit.
Hit or miss. Users like the Marcy ME 709, but report a few consistent problems such as the flywheel bearing failing or becoming noisy. The problem seems to be caused by improper bearing assembly at the factory. Another common complaint is that the display malfunctions, but it's often dismissed as being trivial considering the price of the machine. Some owners report reduced usability after extensive use, about 5,000 miles in one review. The frame is said to be strong and the bike boasts a weight capacity of 300 pounds. Most owners report relative satisfaction with their purchase.
Mixed reviews. Feedback concerning customer service varies. We spotted reports of rude and uncooperative agents as well as praise for others who went above and beyond to solve issues. The two-year warranty, which covers only parts, is relatively long for an exercise bike costing less than $200; many manufacturers cover parts replacement for three months to a year.
The Marcy ME 709 receives strong customer feedback at Amazon.com: After more than 600 reviews, it gets an overall rating of 4.2 stars out of 5. Many owners provide lengthy detailed accounts of their purchase and use experience. They call the bike stable and a great deal, but don't recommend it for shorter users of about 5 feet tall or less.
Review: Marcy Recumbent Mag Cycle, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of October 2013
Of the nearly 70 user reviews found at Buzzillions.com, only two give the ME 709 less than 4 stars out of 5. Most owners call the bike comfortable and quiet. One negative post reports a difficult assembly; the other blames a broken computer but says customer service was especially quick to send out a new unit.
Review: Marcy ME 709 Recumbent Bike, Contributors to Buzzillions.com , As of October 2013
The Marcy ME 709 is named the Best Budget Recumbent Bike by a certified personal trainer. Thares doesn't include the criteria he uses to rank products, however, and his write-up is brief and describes only a few positive points.
Review: Marcy ME709 Recumbent Exercise Bike, Arthur Thares, Not dated