In depth Guide to Buying an Exercise Bike
When it comes to the health and fitness of your body, one of the best equipment to try out immediately is an exercise bike.
But as the market is full of different brands and models, it might get quite tough to zero in finding the best exercise bike according to your needs and preferences.
Below, we have discussed every little aspect related to an exercise bike so that it becomes super easy to pick just the right one for you. This article will also help you to understand a workout bike thoroughly.
What is an Exercise Bike
An exercise bike (or a stationary bike, however you call it) is a piece of indoor workout equipment used to tone your body and strengthen the muscles.
This special exercise equipment looks exactly like any regular bicycle with saddle, pedals, and hand bars. Still, the only difference is that it remains stationary in one place rather than moving around when you pedal. And this is the specialty of a stationary bike.
As a stationary bicycle stays in one place and doesn’t move around, it requires you to insert more pressure on the pedals to spin the wheels.
When you provide such immense amount of pressure during the pedaling, this tool ensures that you experience the same workout results that you would be achieved while riding a bike on the streets.
Aside from toning the body and straightening the muscles, an exercise bike also helps to boosts cardio fitness and burn body fat.
History of Exercise Bikes
Even though an exercise bike might feel new and advanced gym equipment, it has a long history than you might have ever imagined.
The first stationary bike was invented and patented in the year 1796 by a man called Francis Lowndes. It was called a "Gymnasticon" back then and was referred to as "Machine for exercising the Human Body."
Orthopedics was a big deal in the late 1700s, and a vast majority of the elderly population was suffering from this painful phenomenon. To treat orthopedics as well as to cure rheumatism, debility, palsy, etc.
Francis Lowndes thought of this machine, which would apply motion and pressure to the joints and muscles of the human body and relieve pain.
The early exercise bike or "Gymnasticon" looked nothing like today's stationary bike. It was constructed using wood and metal parts and had two wheels placed at the side of the frame. This equipment looked a lot like modern elliptical but wasn’t as comfortable.
Users used to give themselves a full-body workout with this machine by just pressing down the large wooden pedals and rotating the top crank repeatedly.
The Anatomy of Powerful Fitness
You might be wondering how a simple, grounded bike can deliver so much impact and power to reform your body. Well, it’s engineering is super simple, and below we have discussed every part of a stationary bicycle so that it’s easier for you to understand.
The saddle or the bike seat is one of the most important aspects to look after as it ensures your comfort. Good quality bikes come with well-cushioned saddles to provide a soft and plush seating area.
However, if you want more comfort and coziness, you can always install a new saddle on your existing bike.
Similar to any regular bike, the pedals of an exercise bike work in the same way. You have to insert pressure on the pedals to get the gear moving.
The pedals are connected to the cranks and move the wheels or chain when you start inserting pressure on them.
The wheel is what draws the line between a regular bicycle and an exercise bike. While the wheels of a standard bike move forward as you turn the pedals, the ones of the stationary bike remain grounded in the same place as they are usually housed inside of the body.
We all know what the handlebar is; it is the bar at the front of the bike where you place your hands while peddling. The primary purpose of the feature is to provide a cushioned resting place for your hands while you work out.
The body is probably the most important part of your exercise bike. The durability, comfort, performance all depends on the body.
While a few of the manufacturers use durable plastic to construct the bike's body, others still use different types of metal. You should choose the one that suits your budget and needs the most.
The stabilizer is as important as any other part of a bike. It helps to balance the weight of the users to the weight limit of the equipment. Even though it helps to stabilize the weight limit, don’t forget to check the weight limit before buying your ultimate exercise bicycle.
Making it all Work
When you pedal the stationary bike, its wheel spins in either of the two ways.
- The wheel is connected to the chain and only rotates when the chain is pulled due to the pedaling.
- The wheel is connected directly and doesn’t require a chain to spin.
The directly connected wheel involves 1-2 gears to provide an extra level of resistance to the wheel during the pedaling.This extra resistance ensures an excellent workout session for the users.
What is Resistant? Resistant Types
In simple words, resistance is the number of revolutions the wheel makes per minute. It is one of the most vital features of a stationary bike that prevents it from accelerating when you are pushing the pedals.
Without proper resistance, an exercising bike is just a set of wheels fitted on an amazing body. Resistance is measured in RPM.
There are four types of resistance offered by bike manufactures. They are:
Brake-based Systems Resistance
Brake-based resistance or Flywheel-based resistance features a heavy metal weight that is placed near the front end of the bike wheel.
The reason for making the wheel heavy is to provide enough resistance to the rider for an intensive workout. Because of such weight, the first several rotations extremely hard; this encourages you to apply more energy and power to the pedaling.
Maximum brake-based system provides 40 or 50 pounds of resistance for a successful workout session. But for athletes who want to push their limit, this resistance limit is not enough, which inspires them to look for heavier resistance level.
Stationary bikes use the principle of friction to provide direct-contact resistance to its users. Exercise bikes with this type of resistance are usually very accurate because they can reduce the rotational speed by applying brake directly to the flywheel.
The brake pads of this bike are strong, sturdy, and are fitted alongside and above the wheel to provide an intense braking effect. The moment these pads come in contact with the wheel, they decrease the rotation, and this is when the resistance is applied.
Because of such an advantage, you can choose between several different resistance levels and design a custom-fit work out for yourself.
Exercise bikes with magnetic resistance offer a huge benefit to its users- their parts do not suffer from wear and tear as they don’t use any direct-contact method. Instead, these bicycles use electromagnetic induction to provide the required resistance to the users.
The Magnetic Resistance system uses two extremely powerful magnets to provide an alternate charge to the wheel, which causes the magnets to attract the wheel and stop it forcibly. When this happens, the wheel experiences increased resistance without even touching it.
The bikes with magnetic resistance generally incorporate a display interface or a monitor to adjust the resistance level anytime you want during the workout session.
The most exciting factor of a fan-based stationary bike is that, instead of a flywheel, this bike comes with a huge fan to provide the necessary resistance. The fan is connected to the pedals with a belt and pulley hence it starts to spin as soon as you begin pedaling.
As you increase the speed of your pedaling, the air resistance on the blades also increases, making sure that you have a fruitful workout. Similarly, when the speed of the pedal decreases, the resistance level is reduced, giving you a more relaxed, laid-back feel.
Although this resistance system might seem old-school, it is very effective as well as efficient.
Core Benefits of Exercise Bikes
The main reason you work out on an exercise bike is to take the best care of your health and body. Below we have listed the numerous benefits that you can enjoy exercising with your stationary bike.
If you are looking forward to losing some extra weight, then a stationary bike is your best ally.
This excellent piece of equipment can burn more than 600 calories in an hour, depending on your body mass and how intensely you ride the bike.
Burning more calories than you consume ensures a faster and more effective weight loss regime.
Want sexy toned legs like your favorite celebrity? Hop on a stationary bike and start exercising. Exercise bikes are great for shedding off fat from your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves and result in lean muscle mass and toned legs.
Moreover, if you use the handlebar efficiently, you can give your upper body an intense workout too.
Working out on a stationary bike regularly gives the major muscle groups of your body an intense makeover.
From supporting the back muscles to the thigh, leg, and hamstring muscles, these workout sessions help you to strengthen and improve all your lower body muscles effectively.
When you push down the pedals, it enhances the quads while pulling them up assists you to strengthen the hamstrings.
Improves Joint Mobility
When you start pedaling the bike rigorously, aside from giving your body an intense workout, you are also actively working on your joints.
Lower body joints like the knees, ankles, and hip joints rotate with each pedal, which not only improves their range of motion but, at the same time, also strengthens them.
Cycling is a great way to boost your cardio fitness. This workout technique helps to work on the heart and improves the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body.
It also helps to regulate blood sugar, lower high blood pressure, and prevent heart attacks so that you can enjoy a risk-free, healthy life thoroughly.
Working the Abs
Even though a stationary bike is excellent exercise equipment for the lower body, it also works precisely in shaping your abs. When you keep pedaling, your abdominal muscles move and work to keep your body in the right cycling position.
This constant movement helps to burn belly fat and results in a flat and more toned down stomach.
Improve Your Sport
As stationary bikes have resistance, you have to pedal harder to get the wheel moving. The constant high-pressured pedaling not only helps to strengthen your legs and lower body but also ensures improved sport.
With strong legs and muscles, you would never feel the pressure to attend a running or cycling championship.
Low Impact Exercise
A stationary bike is a piece of excellent exercise equipment for low-impact workouts. With smooth, light movements, this tool strengthens your bones and joints so that you can endure more impact.
Your ankle, knees, hips, and other joints can be under a lot of pressure due to everyday stress and movements.
This cycling machine would help you to get rid of such joint problems easily without forcing you to put much pressure on them.
Convenient and Cost-Effective
One of the best benefits of a stationary bike is that with this piece of exercising equipment, you can enjoy a super successful workout session at the comfort of your place at your convenient time frame.
You don’t need to go out for running or jogging or road cycling to enjoy such health benefits. An exercise bike is also cost-effective because to use it, you won’t have to pay gym membership or other fees. Just purchase the one you like and use it at home.
Type of Exercise Bikes as Per Individual Needs
Manufacturers of exercise bikes didn’t limit their selves from producing only one type of stationary bike. Keeping in mind about various users and versatile needs, there are quite a few types of exercise bikes available in the market.
The recumbent bikes are designed in a reclined position with adequate back support and front-mounted pedals to provide a comfortable yet effective workout session.
Aside from regular health enthusiasts, this bike is also an excellent option for weight loss and injury recovery.
Because of its low-impact nature and the sit-back design, a recumbent exercise bike implies low stress and pressure on the knees, ankles, back, neck, and other joints so that you can bounce back from your injuries comfortably.
Recumbent bike suitable for seniors as well as young who want to lose a large amount of weight at the comfort of their own home.
In addition to providing mobility and flexibility, this exercise equipment also offers excellent calorie-burning cardio for quick weight-loss and healthy lifestyle.
Check recumbent bike buying guide to know more how to select.
Upright Exercise Bike
The uses and appeal of upright exercise bikes are endless; people prefer this bike for all sorts of reasons. They are the most common type of stationary bike used for different types of workouts.
One of the many advantages of this exercise bike is that it is a great equipment to lose weight, build muscles, and get into shape quickly.
This bike offers a low-impact cardio exercise to strengthen the muscles while toning down your body for a greater outlook.
Moreover, as an upright stationary bike is extremely similar to any traditional road bike, it provides a great training session for regular cyclists in off-seasons. This training helps them to be in shape without even going out.
Stationary Bike Stand
If you don’t want to invest your money on an exercise bike, still want to enjoy every benefit of indoor cycling, then the stationary bike stand would be just the perfect choice for you.
A stationary bike stand is a simple stand that helps you to mount your outdoor bicycle indoors. That means that with this simple stand, you can use your favorite bicycle as a road bike as well as an exercise bike.
The mechanism behind this stand is also super reliable. It helps to lift the wheels off the ground (both front and rear) to hold the bike in place.
This uplifting helps you to pedal the bike without allowing it to roll from its mounting position and providing you a fruitful workout session at the comfort of your own home.
Folding Exercise bike
Before going into the in-depth discussion, you must know that a folding exercise bike is not exactly a “type” of a stationary bike; rather, it’s a feature that different types of exercise bikes can have.
An upright bike or a recumbent bike can also be a folding bike.
The main feature of this type of bike is that they do not come with a fixed seat; instead, they have a foldable seat that allows you to fold up the bike into a smaller unit for easy and efficient storage.
The folding exercise bikes are particularly popular among seasonal athletes and cyclists who want to train indoors in the offseason.
Indoor cycling / spin bikes are similar to upright bikes, with just a few differences. Their handlebars are shifted farther away from the seat so that the user has to lean forward to pedal the cycle efficiently.
And because of such design, an indoor exercise bike also allows the rider to stand while cycling for a more energetic workout.
These types of stationary bikes are excellent for weight loss, spin classes, and cycling training.
As you can try several of standing and seating exercise positions with this stationary bike,
it ensures that you not only strengthen your muscles but also have super effective body movement for quick weight loss. This is also the reason indoor cycling bikes are immensely popular in spin classes too.
Air or Fan Bike
Fan or air bikes are the unique types of stationary bike available in the market. Instead of a traditional wheel, this bike comes with a fan attached to its body that spins when you pedal the bike.
Its “one of a kind” air resistance system helps you to keep your body cool and relaxed while you’re working out.
Aside from the comfort factor, this bike is also an amazing option for injury recovery.
It enables you to enjoy a safe workout session without putting excess pressure and strain on your already injured leg or muscles and allows you to stay active and healthy.
Dual Action Exercise Bike
A dual-action stationary bike is nothing like a regular road bicycle. It looks more like an elliptical and less like a bicycle.
The reason for such an innovative design is to not only ensure an intense workout for your legs but at the same time also provide an excellent exercise session for your upper body.
The dual-action stationary bikes are used for all sorts of versatile exercise regimes. From weight-loss to injury recovery and a mandatory full-body workout, this bike will never fail to provide just what you need.
Moreover, as it offers a low-impact workout, this exercise equipment is an excellent option for elderly and injured people.
Desk Exercise Bike
A desk exercise bike (or a pedal exerciser, however you call it) is the best option to shed some weight and tone down your thighs while working on a desk
This is a compact piece of equipment that comes only with two pedal mounted on a body so that you can place it under the desk easily.
It ensures an intense workout session even without leaving your work station and without visiting the gym.
A pedal exerciser is great for overweight people who find it tough to run on a treadmill or pedal on a stationary cycle.
You can just sit on your sofa and chair and keep on pedaling it to burn some calories and lose a whole lot of weight.
Work Station Exercise Bike
If you are looking forward to exercising and work at the same time, then a work station exercise bike is just the right one for you.
This kind of bike comes with a work station attached to it so that you can work as well as exercise at the same time.
A work station bike looks just like a treadmill, but instead of a runner, this exercise equipment comes with a bike for a full-body workout.
Also, because of its recumbent nature, a work station stationary bike not only helps you to strengthen your legs but also provides a killer cardio session to tone down your muscles and tummy as well.
Things to Consider Before Buying an Exercise Bike
Purchasing the best exercise bike might not be as difficult as you might think if you know what to look for exactly. In this part, we have discussed the features you must keep an eye on before buying your ultimate stationary bicycle.
A console or a display fitted in an exercise bike helps you to view information about your workout session. It offers you the opportunity to monitor your workout data (calories burnt, heart rate, the speed, RPM, etc.) while exercising.
And this is why an excellent quality display is incredibly necessary.
We would recommend you to look for an LCD display with easy to use controls so that you can not only view your workout matrix easily but at the same time, it is also effortless and convenient to operate.
Not everyone owns a mansion or a separate gym area. Keeping in mind about every type of user with every size of homes, manufacturers of stationary bikes offer quite a few different bike sizes to fit every home or apartment.
In addition to the bike size, don’t forget first to measure the space where you want to fit it before making your final decision; It’s nothing less than a nightmare after you brought the equipment home and later discover that it doesn’t fit in perfectly.
The more the weight, the steadier an exercise bike would be. And we all know that a steadier bike is a lot safer and makes sure that you don’t fall off during the workout sessions. This is the reason experts always advise to choose a heavyweight exercise bike for all type of users.
On the other hand, if you are someone who likes to move furniture around the house frequently, we would recommend opting for a lightweight model for effortless portability.
The budget or the amount of money you want to spend on your stationary bike is also an important aspect to keep in mind before buying a stationary bike.
If you have a moderate budget, we would suggest you look for a bike under $200 and vice versa.
But keep in mind that, even with a low or moderate budget, you can still score one of the best exercise bikes if you keep in mind the other features we have discussed.
Stationary bikes can be noisier sometimes, especially the fan or air bikes. That is because the harder you pedal, the quicker the fan spins, making more intense noise.
Then again, fan stationary bikes are not bad; if you can bear the sound they make, air bikes can prove to be an amazing option for you.
On the other hand, if you don’t want any noise and desire to enjoy a peaceful, noise-less workout session, select a bicycle that doesn’t make any annoying sound.
When you buy a stationary bike, you want it to last for an extended period, and that’s why the warranty period is important.
Whenever you purchase your exercise equipment, check the warranty, and make sure that it provides at least two to three years of coverage on major moving parts and a year for labor.
A warranty ensures that your bike is well protected and would be replaced soon after you find it to be faulty or not working properly.
As stationary bikes are exercise equipment, they come with several moving parts and can be dangerous if not handled properly.
Make sure that it incorporates a locking system before purchasing the one for you. Apart from looking for the locking feature, you must keep young children away from the bike for additional safety measures.
The pedals of an exercise cycle are super important as they help you to ride the bike easily and comfortably.
But remember that the comfort level of the pedals directly depends upon the weight of the wheel, the weight distribution, and the drivetrain.
A wheel that weighs 3.5 kg may provide a much smoother and more comfortable pedaling experience than the wheel weighing 6 kg. Therefore, look at the wheel weight and load while buying a bike for your regular exercise regime.
Toe Clips or Pedal Straps
Most of the stationary bikes in today’s era comes with toe clips or pedal straps. This advanced pedal feature helps you to keep your feet in place and doesn’t let them slide off during heavy pedaling.
These straps also make it extremely to get on the bike, especially for those with reduced mobility or injury.
What is life without some great music, especially when you are working out?
During the exercise session, it’s important to have some source of entertainment to keep you motivated and put in place. Cycling in silence might be annoying and would discourage you from continuing your workout.
Many stationary bikes include docks where you can put your MP3 players or iPods for music. Others come with built-in speakers to play music loudly. Choose the one that best suits your needs.
In modern times, many exercise bikes include pre-set programs to make your workout even easier. If you are a newbie and have less idea about effective workout programs, our suggestion would be to choose a machine that incorporates more than a few pre-loaded programs.
These workout programs will help you to design an exercise routine based on your fitness level as well as your age, weight, and gender.
Foldable or Not
The foldable feature is vital for those who have a little home space but still want to own an exercise bike.
This incredible aspect helps you to store the bike easily and conveniently when it is not in use.
On the other hand, if you have space, it’s better to opt for a non-foldable model as they are more stable and hence, are safer than the foldable ones.
Maximum user Weight Supported.
Different users have different body weights. Also, different stationary bikes come with different weight capacities. Check the maximum weight capacity of the cycle and make sure that it can accommodate your body mass before buying the one for you.
Most high-end models can support 130-150 kg, whereas more affordable ones allow only 90-100 kg of body weight.
Would you enjoy your workout if you are not comfortable? The answer is No.
One needs to be very soft and cozy to experience a fruitful exercise session. While choosing a stationary bike, look for a saddle that comes with adequate and plush cushioning.
Also, make sure that the seat is adjustable so that you can fine-tune it according to your height and needs.
The Flywheel Weight: Comfort and Fluidity
The flywheel weight determines the comfort and smoothness of cycling. The higher the weight, the more comfortable and fluid pedaling it will provide.
When the flywheel is light and doesn’t have the necessary weight, you will feel shocked and impact while pedaling and will surely not experience a fruitful workout.
On the other hand, when the wheel has an adequate amount of load on it, it not only ensures a steady ride but also provides comfort as well as fluidity.
Therefore, when choosing an exercise bike, look for the one that has a flywheel of 7 kg or above.
The Resistance: Mechanical or Magnetic?
The resistance of a stationary bike is equally important as its size, design, and type, and hence, you must keep a sharp eye on it while buying your ultimate exercise bike. Stationary bikes usually come with either mechanical resistance or a magnetic resistance system.
While the mechanical resistance is activated by turning the adjustment wheel of the bike, the magnetic resistance can be directly altered from the bikes consol. Choose a resistance system according to your preference and expertise level.
Stability, Durability and Frame Construction
The stability, durability, and frame construction sums up to be the most important trio of an exercise bike because the whole bike and its performance depend on these three components.
A stationary bike with phenomenal stability means that you can enjoy an intense workout session without the fear of falling over and hurting yourself.
Similarly, an amazingly built frame not only provides a sturdy construction but, at the same time, also makes sure that the bike is durable and won’t collapse anytime soon.
An exercise bike should have some adjustment options. That is because not everyone would be comfortable in every height and depth of a stationary bike.
The adjustment options help you to change the positioning of the seat and handlebar so that you can accommodate them to an angle that is the most appropriate for you.
This feature makes sure to provide an effective as well as an enjoyable workout session.
How Will You Exercise
How to use a stationary bike or how to set its settings mostly depends on how you plan to exercise. Without the proper settings, your high intensity pedaling will only leave the wheel spinning without any actual workout results
Before starting your exercise, don’t forget to adjust the seat and handlebar (if your bike offers chances of adjustments).
No matter what type of workout you are looking forward to, uncomfortable seat and handlebar will result in a disastrous session.
In case of serious strength training, set the resistance of the bike to the right weight; this will help you to pedal with more pressure, and enjoy an intense exercise regimen.
On the other hand, if you are injured and looking forward to recovering, set the resistance to a minimum so that it doesn’t put any extra pressure on your legs and muscles and assist you to bounce back soon.
How to Make the Most of Your Workout
What’s the point of working out if you don’t make the most of it?
It’s important to take full advantage of your exercise session to not only use the machine properly but also to give your body a dose of movement for toning and strengthening.
Adjust Your Seat!
Adjusting the bike seat according to your height is important. This is because, without the right sitting position, you won’t be able to produce as much power and intensity as otherwise.
A un-adjusted seating positon also exposes you to the risk of injuries like knee strain and neck strain, or even back pain. Take some time to adjust your seat. Start by sitting on the bike, placing your feet on the pedals.
Then move the seat backward or forward until you find a position where your leg is fully extended with a slight bend in it. Lockdown this arrangement as it is just the right one for your exercise session.
Stretch First, Always
Just like any other exercise regimen, start your cycling with some dynamic yet stretches. These stretching movements will warm up your muscles and prepare them for the upcoming intense workout.
Take quite some time to do plenty of hamstring, knee, back, and neck stretches before you start riding your bike.
Aside from these stretches, you can also warm up your body by spinning gently with low intensity or hop on a treadmill to walk a mile or two. No matter what method you choose, never forget to warm up first.
Continuing Your Warm-up
After 10/20 minutes warm-up session, you might be eager to hop on the bike and start pedaling like crazy.
But it’s a big No, No.
After sitting on the cycle, start your exercise regime with slow pedaling and work yourself up to high-intensity exercise.
Slow pedaling is highly beneficial as it helps your body to get adapted to cycling and would also lead to better calorie burning. This method will also assist you to avoid any injuries and cramps.
Keeping Proper Form
The main fear of riding a stationary bike is to injure your back or muscles. One of the most effective ways to minimize this fear is by keeping your body aligned with the cycle.
No matter what type or which model of exercise bike you are using, keeping your body aligned and still would help you to enjoy fearless workout sessions by reducing effect and impacts.
Selecting The Right Resistance
Set just the right resistance level before hopping into the stationary bike and start pedaling it. Without the right level of resistance, you will never be able to exercise effectively, and on top of that, this will tire you up and break your motivation for a further workout.
For a satisfying yet efficient exercise regime, select a resistance level that you are comfortable using for more than 30 minutes.
You can always increase the level from here following your needs and capabilities.
Intervals, Intervals, Intervals
Don’t mistake intervals as the period of resting between exercises. Interval is a type of training that includes a combination of high-intensity workouts and rest or relief periods.
In the rest period, you actually won’t stop pedaling the cycle and take rest. instead, you will practice light, low intensity pedaling to not only keep your body moving but also to increase your strength and burn your calories at a steady rate.
Pick A Duration
It’s crucial to set a goal before you even start your workout. Without a goal, you are not going to make progress you have been aiming for.
Cycling the bike would surely help you to get an excellent workout, but a certain goal or time frame would enable you to track your performance and monitor how well you are coping up over time.
Take the time to create a personalized workout schedule for you according to your needs and your endurance level.
This will help you to achieve your goals gradually without putting any stress on your health and body.
Keep Your Mind Busy
When you start the intense exercise, and your calories start to burn, you might suddenly want to stop the workout and call it a day. To avoid such a situation, you must keep yourself distracted during the workout sessions.
Entertaining yourself with some good music or a movie will not only make the exercise regimen more enjoyable but at the same time would also motivate you.
Comparison between Types of Exercise Bike
We have discussed different types of stationary bikes above. Let’s now draw a comparison between these bikes to understand how one differs from the other and which would be the best choice for you.This cycle allows you to train in various positions to tone your body and burn fat effectively.
Recumbent vs. Upright vs. Spin bike
Are there any differences between these three types of exercise bikes? If yes that what are those?
Well, first thing first. Yes, even though all these are stationary bikes for a great workout session, they have some significant differences.
While a recumbent bike provides a naturally reclined body position for a more comfortable (because of its backrest) workout.
The upright exercise bike offers an angled body position which bends the neck and backs a little; this “slightly hunched over” positioning might create muscle soreness and severe pain.
On the other hand, a spin bike replicates a road bike in many ways. It is easy to ride and won’t feel uncomfortable if you are used to road cycling.
Exercise Bike vs. Elliptical Trainer
Is an exercise bike more effective and efficient than an elliptical trainer? Which equipment fits your needs best? Which one of these will help you to lose weight fast?
Both of these workout machines are effective in their own right. An elliptical trainer is easy on the body and joints and provides a full-body workout.
But as this equipment doesn’t have a saddle, it’s doesn’t offer as much comfort and ease as a stationary bike.
Similarly, an exercise bike is a low-impact yet a high-performance tool that strengthens your muscles and legs and ensures a great lower body workout.
Available in more than a few different types, a stationary bike offers various workout positions to provide an active and impressive exercise regimen.
Trainers and Rollers: What You Need to Know
Bicycle trainers and rollers are both a piece of tool that helps to keep your regular bike stationary while you use them indoors.
Even though they serve a common goal, there are still some differences between these two tools.
Below we have talked about them in-details so that you know more about them and choose the one suitable for you.
A bicycle trainer is a piece of tool that makes it possible to ride a regular road bicycle while it remains stationary. It helps to keep the cycle in one place so that it doesn’t move forward when you start pedaling.
A trainer is most commonly used when you are training for an upcoming race, and the outside weather is not favorable.
A bicycle trainer not only provides a realistic road feel but also ensures an excellent level of support so that you don’t tip-off.
Bicycle rollers are also like trainers that help to keep your road bicycle mounted in one place while you pedal.
But unlike trainers, the rollers come in a set of three. Out of these three rollers, two are used to rest the back wheel and one to cradle the front one.
Unlike other types of equipment to hold a bike in place, rollers are not attached to the bicycle frame; instead, you just simply place the cycle on the top of the rollers to enjoy indoor cycling with an outdoor bike.
Trainers Or Rollers? Which Is Better?
The choice between rollers and trainers is entirely upon you. You would choose the one that best satisfies your needs and preferences.
But then again, you must keep in mind that while a trainer gives you more stability and safety, it is not compatible with every frame and wheel options in the market, and you have to be careful when buying one for yourself.
On the other hand, rollers are easy to set up and help to improve your pedaling form. But as they are less stable than trainers, riders need a higher level of skill and practice to balance on the rollers perfectly.
Even though your stationary bike comes with a warranty, you must maintain it properly to prolong its life and as well as to enjoy a smooth workout all year long.
Good quality exercise bikes usually come with an owner's manual, which has information about its maintenance. These maintenance instructions are specific to your bike and, therefore, are very effective.
Then again, with that specific guidance, it’s always good to know a few other necessary maintenance steps for even better care.
Start by cleaning the covers and the frame to remove dust from the bike's body and keep it in pristine condition. It’s better if you practice wiping off the bike after every workout session to remove sweat as well as dust and dirt.
After wiping the bike body with a soft cloth, vacuum the interior thoroughly to remove any clingy dirt and clean it properly.
Don’t forget to clean the friction belt and grease the pivots to eliminate any chances of unnecessary frictions.
Aside from all these wiping and vacuuming, keep an eye on the springs and cables to keep your bike going. Also, check the shocks and lubricant the chain to make sure they are running and won’t stop in the middle of the exercise.
Once all the above are done, clean the handrails and turn on the display monitor to check if there is any problem.
Answers you need to know before buying an exercise bike for home
What is better: an upright or recumbent exercise bike?
Both of these exercise bikes are good. While a recumbent bike is more comfortable and is the best choice for injured people, the upright one is more like a traditional bike, which provides an intense workout.
How much is a stationary bike?
A stationary bike can cost between 100 Dollars to 1500 Dollars. The market is full of both affordable and expensive bikes. Choose the one that best suits your budget and needs.
What is the flywheel on an exercise bike?
The flywheel is the heart of any stationary home bike. It is the weighted wheel that is placed in front of the cycle to provide more momentum. The heavier the flywheel is, the harder it gets to pedal, providing more resistance and an intense workout session.
Without this front wheel, the bike is so easy to pedal and, therefore, doesn't provide the user any workout, let alone an intense one.
What makes a magnetic exercise bike different?
Like other exercise bikes, magnetic resistance bikes do not need any direct contact to provide the required resistance.
Instead, it uses two powerful magnets and electromagnetic induction to provide resistance. The flywheel acts as a magnetic conductor and spins with the magnet.
One of the significant benefits of this revolutionary resistance system is that it doesn't wear and tear and hence, offers excellent durability to the bike.
Which exercise bike is best for short people?
I'm only 4 feet 11 inches. You can try out this Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Exercise Stationary Bike if you short in height.
This bike has an ergonomically designed adjustable seat that provides excellent comfort as well as the opportunity to fine-tune the seat position according to your preferences.
How to resolve the issue if my bike is too easy or hard to pedal?
One of the reasons your bike might feel easy or hard to pedal is because of higher or lower resistance. Try to increase and decrease the resistance to find the right pedaling pace.
However, if the bike chain is not lubricated enough, it might feel hard to pedal? Put on enough grease and let it sit a bit to ease the chain and pedal comfortably.
How to select a bike of right saddle height?
Setting the right saddle height is not as difficult as you might assume.
Sit on the saddle and extend your leg towards the ground. If your feet touch the ground with a 5-10 degree bend, then this saddle height is perfect for you.
But if your leg doesn't touch the ground or has a wider bending degree, then adjust the seat to find the right height.
Is it safe to work out on an exercise bike if my weight exceeds the maximum weight limit for the brand?
In simple words, it's not safe at all for you to ride on a stationary bike that exceeds the maximum weight limit.
If you are heavier than the bike, there is a high chance that you would tip-off and lost balance leading you to fall off and suffer from accidents.
Do exercise bikes require regular maintenance?
Like any other piece of equipment, exercise bikes also require regular maintenance to keep them running correctly and in pristine condition.
You can practice two types of maintenance; one is to take your bike to a servicing center once a year or every six months for professional care.
You can also clean them after every workout to make sure your bike is as good as a new one.
What happens if I choose the wrong machine?
If you choose the wrong exercise bike, you won't feel comfortable on it from the first use, and your workout won't be as effective.
Before making your final decision about a stationary bike, we would suggest you to try out the models in the showroom to find out which bike fits your needs and body type.
How do I find my perfect riding style?
Finding the perfect riding style greatly depends on the type of stationary bike you are riding. For instance, if you are using a more comfortable recumbent bike, you can get accustomed to a more comfortable, laid back riding style.
And in case of an upright bike, you have to bend forward for the riding, and over time you would get used to it.
What speed should I cycle at?
Similar to the riding style, the speed limit you should adopt depends on your endurance level and the type of workouts you are practicing. If you are injured or an elderly person, then a light speed of 45 and 50 RPMs would be just the right speed range for you.
It won't put a strain on your lower body but would provide you the workout you are looking for. On the other hand, for calorie burning, moderate-intensity exercises, you should ride your bike at medium speed of 50 and 60 RPMs.
With escalating speed, you are not only increase the resistance but also boosting body activities to burn more fat than light intensity workouts. Then again, if you are somebody who is familiar to high-intensity workout or is an athlete, then a speed range of 65 and 70 RPMs would be perfect for you.
Does the bike arrive assembled?
Yes and No
Some exercise bikes come fully assembled. But others come in part, and you need to assemble them to make it a proper stationary bicycle.
You can either do it yourself with the included instruction manual or can take the help of an expert.
What type of workouts will you perform on your exercise bike?
There are quite a few different workouts you can perform on your stationary bike to strengthen and tone your lower body.
Some of the most common exercises you can practice are: Conquer the hills, Interval Workout, Climb the pyramid, Cardio Tabata Workout, and Up the threshold.
Adopt any of these exercises above according to your needs and body condition.
How often will your stationary bike be used (daily, seasonally, year-round)?
If cycling is your passion and you are not following any intense workout regimen, you can ride your exercise bike daily with low resistance.
On the other hand, in case you are under an extreme workout plan, it's better that you use the bike 5 days a week and let your body rest in the remaining days.
We do not recommend using a stationary bike seasonally. What's the point of having exercise equipment if you do not work out regularly?
Where will you put your exercise bike? How much space do you have?
If you have a small house or limited free space, then we would recommend you to buy a folding version of your favorite stationary bike. Folding bikes can be folded away easily to save space in your home.
However, in case if you have a spacious apartment and have the luxury of space, don't hesitate to buy the regular version of an exercise bike as they are safer and provides more convenience than the folding ones.
Wrapping Up and Riding Out
We have talked about every little aspect and factors you need to know before buying an exercise bike online
From top to bottom and start to finish, you now know everything, and we are sure that after going through this article thoroughly, you would be able to buy the best exercise bike for you without the help of an expert because you are THE EXPERT now!