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Exercise bicycles are one of the most ubiquitous home gym implements on the market, and it’s not hard to understand why this is the case. Riding a bike is, after all, one of the best ways to do cardio, and being able to do that in your own home is just extremely handy, to say the least.
Enter the CAROL AI-Powered Exercise Bike: an apparent evolution of the home exercise bicycle concept.
Featuring a number of cutting-edge features that set CAROL apart from virtually every other competitor, the makers of this AI-driven indoor bike make some really lofty claims about its usefulness. This review will go over said claims and explain whether the product delivers.
Considering its hefty price tag and claims of highly advanced AI implementation, there’s definitely an element of excitement to CAROL. Can it live up to the hype?
Table of Contents
What Is CAROL?
As you may have realized by now, ‘CAROL’ isn’t just a cheeky name that someone thought would be funny to the end-user. Instead, it’s an acronym for ‘Cardiovascular Optimisation Logic’, which is the technology that helps CAROL do what it does.
And, on that note, what CAROL does is that it offers a highly optimized workout plan which, according to its creators, has ample health benefits without the downside of forcing you to spend hours actually riding the bike.
In fact, the default workout is only 8 minutes and 40 seconds long, and it’s supposed to be repeated only three times a week. Results apparently make themselves known within 8 weeks of sticking by this regiment, and they include:
- Lower blood pressure
- Weight loss
- Higher maximum oxygen uptake
If that sounds a bit like black magic, we’ll concede and agree. That said, the science behind CAROL is sound, and there’s a good reason why the workout sessions are organized the way they are. We’ll get to explaining all of that shortly, of course.
As we had previously suggested, there’s an AI element to CAROL, too. Its ‘artificial intelligence’ is dedicated specifically to fine-tuning and optimizing the users’ specific training regiment even further.
Of course, you can use CAROL solely for its default 9-ish minute training plan, but that sells the whole thing short, we feel. Instead, getting the most out of CAROL is the recommended course of action, and to do so, you’re going to need to get acquainted with its algorithm.
The first thing you’ll want to do after setting CAROL up and turning it on, is to go through its initial setup phase. You’ll need to input all sorts of relevant data, such as your age, your weight, and your height. This is necessary for the software to prepare the groundwork for its future use.
After the manual input of data, CAROL will generate an introductory workout session that consists of six fine-tuned rides. Simple enough, right?
The data collected here will be combined with your biometrics and the starting information to assess your fitness and health, offering a comprehensive starting point for using CAROL effectively and efficiently.
CAROL offers seven unique workout modes for you to toy around with after you’re done with your initial setup process:
- Constant Power
- Continuous Ramp-Up
- Fat Burn 30
- Fat Burn 60
- Free Ride
Each of these has a specific purpose, and depending on what you’re trying to get out of using CAROL at any given moment, you’re probably going to switch these modes around a fair bit. Let us explain.
This is the basic 8:40 workout session recommended by the creators of CAROL. It’s broken down into the following sections:
- 2-minute warm-up
- 20-second sprint
- 3-minute recovery
- 20-second sprint
- 3-minute cooldown
And that’s all there is to it. Apparently, this won’t even break a sweat with most users, while still achieving its goal of helping you lose weight and making you healthier.
It’s a permutation of one of the many popular HIIT training regiments, really, so we’ve got no doubt that it’s going to have some effect on the vast majority of people investing in CAROL.
A shortened ‘Intense Mode’ type of exercise, Energizer is perfect for off-days and for those who want to do something to keep their body in motion without wasting too much time on casual riding sessions.
For the most part, it’s the same as Intense, except that it replaces the 20-second sprints with 10-second sprints.
Constant Power Mode
Constant Power is one of the more fun exercise modes offered by CAROL, and one that makes full use of its dynamic AI capabilities.
CAROL offers a whopping 1,000 different resistance levels, and in Constant Power, the bike will analyze your cycling performance to automatically adjust the difficulty as you progress with your workout.
As your RPM changes, so will the difficulty of pedaling, and all you need to do is to let CAROL take the proverbial wheel, so to say. Great fun for those looking to challenge themselves, we feel.
Continuous Ramp-Up Mode
If Constant Power just doesn’t cut it for you, Continuous Ramp-Up probably will. Here, CAROL will start your exercise at a nice and easy level, but it’s also going to increase the cycling power by 1 Watt for every 3 seconds that pass.
This is meant to be a tough endurance test, with the end goal being long-term improvements to your maximum oxygen uptake.
Fat Burn Modes
If you’re not building your stamina, however, you might be more interested in CAROL’s two dedicated Fat Burn modes of exercise.
Depending on whether you select Fat Burn 30 or Fat Burn 60, you’ll be treated to a crisp two-minute warm-up followed by two rounds of explosive 30 or 60-second sprint, with a 12-second rest time between them.
These are both a heck of a ride, and we’ve no doubt that they’ll get results if you keep up with them. Do expect to break a sweat.
Free Ride Mode
Finally, CAROL might be mostly about optimizing your home bicycle sessions, but that’s not all that it offers.
The integrated Free Ride option is perfect for those times when you just feel like riding a bike, and don’t want the device’s AI to run ridiculously advanced optimization routines for your betterment.
Of course, you can fully customize every aspect of your Free Ride with CAROL, and its advanced features come in handy even if you’re not pushing yourself to your limits.
Aside from the various training regimens, the innate optimization of one’s use of CAROL is definitely its main draw. The bike will continuously update your user profile with your latest scores and biometrics, and this will allow it to better fine-tune its usage for continued progress.
Plateauing is much less of a risk when your bike is smart enough to keep pushing you harder all the time. No other home gym bicycle has quite as many smart features built into it, and none really come close to using them as cleverly as CAROL does, we believe.
Other Important Features
While the focus of this review remains squarely on CAROL’s advanced features, we’ve not forgotten that it is, in fact, an indoor bicycle. Here’s a summary of its other features:
- Built-in safety features (and algorithms)
- 8 customizable user profiles for CAROL to keep track of
- Full web and mobile app implementation
- Gym-grade quality construction featuring a stainless steel frame
- 14-kilogram flywheel
- A silent mechanism, even while in use
- On-board heart-rate monitor
- Fully adjustable handlebar and seat assembly
The Science behind CAROL
CAROL is, for the most part, an obvious evolution of the indoor bike systems we all know and love.
On a conceptual level, it takes the classic indoor cycle frame and embellishes it with a highly advanced biometrics-driven artificial intelligence which then uses the science behind modern HIIT to optimize the user’s riding experience on the fly.
More specifically, CAROL leans heavily into REHIT (Reduced Exertion High-Intensity Training) to maintain its efficient 8:40 training regiment. The goal is to rapidly deplete the user’s glycogen stores to bolster their health and stamina, but without tiring them out entirely.
The nuance lies in the difference between maximum and high-intensity training, with the latter being far more efficient and effective in practice. Up until now, however, maintaining this balance has been a major issue in non-laboratory conditions.
Since CAROL has an onboard AI that fine-tunes your cycling experience exactly right, REHIT is always within reach. It’s the key to CAROL’s practical success, really.
CAROL Pricing Packages
Of course, such advanced tech does not come cheap. Depending on which pricing package you might be interested in, you’re looking at an expense of about $3,000 or more. Here are the details:
CAROL Essentials Bike Bundle – $2,995.00
- The CAROL Indoor Bicycle
- 1-Year Warranty
CAROL Standard Bike Bundle – $3,303.00
- The CAROL Indoor Bicycle
- 2-Year Warranty
- Chest Belt
- Tablet Mount
CAROL Premium Bike Bundle – $3,601.00
- The CAROL Indoor Bicycle
- 3-Year Warranty
- Chest Belt
- Tablet Mount
- Floor Mat
- Bottle Holder
Now, it’s worth pointing out that, depending on when you go looking, you may come across some really great discounts on the official CAROL Shop itself. Since these are completely situational from what we can tell, your mileage may vary, however.
Who Is The Intended Audience?
The million-dollar question: who is CAROL for? The answer is actually rather simple: anyone, long as they’re in somewhat good shape and don’t mind spending a good chunk of change for an indoor bike.
The kicker, of course, is that CAROL’s AI is only as useful as you allow it to be. If you see yourself using this indoor bike week in, week out, and if you’d like to put its software to good use, then by all means – snag it. You’re bound to be happy with what you’re getting.
If you’re just looking for a bike to ride casually, though, and if you’re likely to disable CAROL’s advanced biometrics and customization features, then you’ll be better off with a cheaper and simpler product.
CAROL does deliver, from what time we’ve spent with it. Its only real downside is that it’s prohibitively expensive for most users – and especially casual users – to even consider getting. Pricing is understandable, of course, considering the features on offer.
Final Thoughts on CAROL, the AI-Powered Indoor Bike
If you’re looking for a simple breakdown of what CAROL is and what it isn’t, this is the section for you. Here’s what we think about CAROL, in the simplest terms possible.
If you’re anything like us, you’re at least somewhat vary of science-sounding buzzwords and lofty claims that home gym implements love to make. It’s simple marketing, of course, we get that, but it doesn’t mean it’s any less annoying when said claims turn out to be total duds.
In CAROL’s case, virtually all of its loftiness is held up by science and practical use. CAROL delivers, simple as that, with the only real downside being that it’s really expensive. So much, in fact, that it’s straight-up out of consideration for most users.
Granted, it’s not hard to see why CAROL is as expensive as it is. Not only does it offer everything you’d expect to find in a really high-end indoor bike, but it’s also bolstered by science and technology that feel downright sci-fi in some respects.
We believe that it’s the tech and science behind CAROL that are going to be its true legacy.
It’s easy to tell that this particular model of indoor bike is highly unlikely to be popular with the general public, but it’s only a matter of time before its incredible AI and self-tuning make their way into cheaper, more readily accessible models.
If you have any questions, drop me a comment and I’ll be sure to get back to you.