The Gist feels a little industrial out of the box, but there’s nothing functionally wrong with the rugged steel frame, and assembly is easy.
The magnetic resistance unit has a substantial flywheel and a remote lever; the remote wouldn’t fit on the top of my oversize bars, but it clung quite happily to the bottom section of the drop where it was easily accessible. Fitting the bike is straightforward, with a twist lever that holds the QR securely.
Contact adjustment is basic but straightforward, and once you’re riding it’s clear that the Gist punches above its weight. The remote lever gives about 20 incremental positions, from free spinning to impressive drag, and has by far the best range of the cheaper magnetic units, almost as good as the £400 Elite Real Tour. It’ll give plenty enough resistance for some serious climbing workouts, and even at the highest setting the flywheel is weighty enough to keep the ride smooth.
Okay it’s not the prettiest out there, and it sounds a bit rattly when it’s pushed, but in terms of ride quality versus price it’s excellent, comparable to units twice its price, and for that it comes highly recommended.