When it comes to looking your best, it will involve some workout at some point. For those who are looking to lose weight, having an indoor exercise bike is the first thing to do.
You have to make sure that you get fit by using the exercise bike rather than taking shortcuts with unproven methods. The best thing about the home exercise bike, you would be using it indoors and no one has to see you. Not all people are always comfortable with working out in crowded gyms.
The best exercise bike will have many best features that make it worthwhile using it. We get to look at a buying guide for a good exercise bike you can buy for yourself today on the market.
Types of Exercise Bike
Just like any other product, there are also various types of exercise bikes you can get today on the market. Each bike type will have various features that make them great, probably a few weaknesses and their applications.
Below are some of the most popular types of exercise bikes.
1. Recumbent Bike
The recumbent exercise bike is for those who are in need of back support while exercising on the bike.
The recumbent bikes are easily identified from the chair-like design comprising of larger seats and backrests. The position of the rider will also be partially reclined by having the bike pedals in front of the seat instead of being below the seat. Such a feature will make the bike to have additional comfort, better support for the back and effective blood flow for the rider.
The workout involving the recumbent bike provides better cardiovascular workout and lower body workout. The difference with the upright bike is that you would be working out different muscles.
- It is great for back support when working out
- It offers efficient blood flow to the rider
- It is comfortable to use when working out
- It eliminates the upper body from the workout
- It would need more space to store it
2. Upright Bike
The upright exercise bike can easily be described as the standard or traditional bicycle that most people use. The reason why they are called upright bikes is because of the feeling you get when riding the bike. It would feel like a real bike just as you would be done outdoors.
The upright bike is important for providing impressive cardiovascular and lower body workout. The upper body might receive a mild workout as compared to the lower body. It is still better rather than lacking one.
The upright bikes would not have lots of additional features, but they come with important amenities for tracking the distance and adjusting the resistance. This type of exercise bike is ideal for those looking to maintain outdoor experience but on an exercise bike.
- It is easy to use
- It is great for working out both the upper and lower body
- It is affordable
- Does not have many additional features
3. Spin Bike/Indoor Cycling Bike
The indoor cycles have gained popularity over the years, thanks to the introduction of spinning classes at most gyms and health clubs. These bikes have a similar orientation as the upright bike, but the mechanical components are even closer to those found in regular bikes.
The resistance of the pedals is easily adjustable, but the riders should expect to have more intense workouts with the indoor cycle.
Since they can easily be adjusted by the seat and bar, it should be a perfect fit whenever you want. You can tune it to your personal taste so that it feels comfortable. The bike is ideal for those who are looking for intense bike workouts.
- Easy to use
- More adjusting options
- Offers intense workout options
- Lacks common accessories
4. Dual Action Exercise Bike
The dual action bikes are great for those who want to achieve a better full body workout more efficiently. The reason is that the bike helps you achieve a full body workout and cardiovascular health too.
This type of bike would have its handlebars move back and forth in sync with the pedaling.
With the constant motion of the arms, it should be able to increase the overall aerobic intensity of the exercise. In general, you get additional toning of the upper body workout while the lower body at the same time.
The dual action bikes would include built-in fans important for cooling the rider and still act as a resistance mechanism.
- The bike helps achieving full body workout
- Comes with fans for cooling and resistance
- Easily adjustable resistance levels
- Often be expensive
5. Other Types Of Exercise Bike
Other than the top types mentioned above, there are still other types of exercise bikes you can get on the market too. Here are some additional types you might find useful.
Desk Exercise Bike
The desk exercise bike can be quite simple for anyone to use. They are often seen as a type of recumbent bikes that are just a pedal box.
The pedal box would be placed under your desk or sofa. You can now use the bike whenever you feel like taking a break and workout for a few minutes.
The bike is for those who want to keep on working out even when at work.
- Easy to use
- Only good for lower body workout
Work Station Exercise Bike
This type of exercise bike would be part of your workstation too. It is just like with the treadmill workstation where you can run when working, but now you ride a bike from your workstation.
With many people always spending long hours at the office, you can have them have excuses why they cannot workout more often. With this type of workout bike, it can be ideal for people who are always working at the office for long hours.
- Makes workout easy, even at work
- Easily adjustable
- Can take up more working space
Comparison Between Types of Exercise Bike
Recumbent vs Upright
These two bikes all have benefits that they can offer to the person who would be training on them most of the time. We get to look at how the two compare when it comes to their features and operations.
The recumbent bike has the rider’s body sitting well into the frame. There would be a back support that helps to keep you working out easily. The upright bike will have the rider’s body sitting above the frame like the traditional bike most people use outdoors.
There is no doubt that the rider using a recumbent bike will always feel more comfortable and still naturally inclined. With such a position, there should be reduced body fatigue and also as a way of eliminating muscle soreness for the upper body. Things are different as compared to the upright exercise bike. For this bike, the rider would often be slightly hunched thus causing some muscle fatigue and soreness.
The seat for the recumbent bike is often more comfortable as you have a larger seat that is still well padded. The seat you get with the upright bike is smaller. This often causes pain and aches in the buttocks. This is often called saddle soreness.
Exercise Bike vs Elliptical Trainer
Both the elliptical machines and exercise bikes will help in burning calories. For this to happen, you have to use the machines at an elevated pace. It is, however, possible that you can burn more calories and easily when using an exercise bike. The reason is that you can pedal an exercise bike faster as compared to using the elliptical machine.
If you are looking to workout later on a more intense cardio or weight training routine, you have to consider the exercise bike. The work of the exercise bike is to help you warm up well before going into another intense workout.
The elliptical machine, on the other hand, is a workout itself. Once you are done with the elliptical, you would not want to start another workout immediately.
For those planning to invest in such equipment, space is always an issue. It is possible to see that having the exercise bike will take up less space as compared to using the elliptical machine. The bikes are often compact in size.
Why Choose An Exercise Bike?
It is possible that at some point you get influenced into thinking about getting yourself an exercise bike. Before all that, you must also think about what type of benefits you are getting from the exercise bike first.
Below are the benefits you can expect when you start bike exercises today.
Training, both Indoor and Outdoor
- You could be training for a cycling event coming up soon. It is not always that you can train outdoors because of the weather conditions. When the outdoor conditions are harsh, you would always opt for choosing the indoors for working out.
- This is where you get an indoor bike and keep on training to meet your objectives. When others are not working out, you would be training more often without going outdoors.
- Even with the weather being great, you simply have to get your bike out and go for a trail. You train even better whenever you are outdoors than indoors. The training would even be better when you have a training partner who keeps pushing you.
- It is often a dream of most people to keep themselves fit, but they end up with disappointment because they cannot access the necessary equipment.
- You do not need the fancy equipment to get fit, as you can easily choose an affordable exercise bike and start working out easily.
- Set yourself realistic goals and start using the exercise bike. It is no time you will realize that with a few hours of training each week, you become fit.
- If you are going to lose weight, you have to be ready to get on the exercise bike today. The bike serves an important role in helping you with dealing weight issues. Whenever you get to use the bike more often, you get to increase the chances of burning more calories in the body.
- We all need calories for energy needs but when they are in excess, they become trouble. The best way of dealing with them would be burning them more often each day.
- Whenever using the bike for working out, you can expect to burn up to 260 calories in just 30 minutes. This is when you are going at a moderate pace. It will be more calories being burned when you choose to go at a faster pace.
Recovery From Injury
- Sometimes you can end up in an accident that leaves you having trouble moving your legs. As part of therapy, the patient is advised to use the bike. This will mostly be the stationary type of bike where you get to be also supported by a training partner.
- After using the bike for a while, you might just end up feeling it is working for the coordination of the limbs. You can also use the bike for daily workouts as a way of lowering the risk of ending up with injuries.
- The exercise bike definitely has some important cardiovascular benefits that anyone can enjoy. Whenever you do a regular cardio exercise on the bike, it will help with lowering the high blood pressure, regulate the blood sugar, and even prevent future cases of heart attacks.
- If you have suffered a heart attack before, you should keep this type of exercising in mind. You need to do a simple ride of 30 minutes a day and you will end up having better health.
How To Choose The Best Exercise Bike?
By doing a simple Google search of the best exercise bike, you should end up with so many models to choose from. Most manufacturers would always say that their bike is the best and you should get it. This often presents a problem to the person looking to buy the exercise bike. We get to look at some of the considerations to keep in mind while making the choice.
Questions Before Buying An Exercise Bike
Who will use your exercise bike?
You have to think about who will have access to the bike for the workouts. If it is a senior, then the bike should be designed for the seniors, or if it is a lady, then it should have some considerations too. Not all the exercise bikes would be perfect for certain people.
Do you/other users have any health problem preventing you from riding a bike?
It is possible that the users of the exercise bike might have been involved in an injury preventing him from using the bike. For such cases, it is important to get the recommended type of bike for a person with the specified injury.
What are your (and other users’) goals?
Your goals will often affect the decision you make about choosing the best exercise bike. For those looking to lose more weight, it is important to go for a bike that leads to full body workout each time they get to use it.
What type of workouts will you perform on your exercise bike?
Even before you can buy the exercise bike, come up with the type of workouts you expect to do on the bike. It is from the workouts that you can know which type of bike would help you achieve them easily.
How often will your stationary bike be used (daily, seasonally, year-round)?
There is no point of getting yourself an expensive exercise bike when you are not looking to workout more often. You have to check your schedule and understand just how many times you would be using the bike before buying it. If it is daily, then get a reliable bike with an impressive reputation for durability.
Where will you put your exercise bike? How much space do you have?
The amount of space you have for storing the bike can still be an influencing factor most of the time. The best way would be choosing the bike based on the space available. If you have a large space, then this should not be the issue. You simply have to get the right bike based on where you be putting it.
16 Factors to Consider When Buying Exercise Bikes
1. Resistant Types
- There are a couple of different resistance systems when it comes to the exercise bikes. All these resistance types would have their own advantages and disadvantages. It is important that you get to choose the best model that delivers the right type of resistant that works great for you.
- The common types of resistance are the brake based system, direct contact resistance, magnetic resistance, and fan-based resistance.
2. Stability, Durability and Frame Construction
- The stability, durability and frame construction make up the most three important components of having an exercise bike.
- Stability means that you will get an easy time working out on the exercise bike without worrying about falling over anytime soon.
- The frame construction often affects the durability of the bike. For a good frame construction, you can always expect that it will deliver the best durability over time.
3. Weight Rating
- The weight rating is another thing to consider, as the various bikes would come with various weight ratings.
- If you are overweight and looking to lose weight, you have to choose the best bike that can handle your weight. There is no shame in getting a bike that can handle more weight as you would still end up losing the weight.
- Take the time to check out several models and their weight ratings before making up your mind.
4. Flywheel Weight
- The flywheel weight is important for making sure that you end up with the best resistance based on what you need to workout. It is easy to note that the more the flyweight, the more the resistance. Simply choose the right bike with the best flywheel weight for your workout program.
5. Height Adjustment (Adjustable handlebars and saddles)
- The bike should have the option of making some adjustments so that it easily suits you. The height adjustments for both the handlebars and saddles can come in quite handy.
- You need to make sure that you are always sitting comfortably at the right height so as to work out better. Whenever you are training all the time, it becomes worse with time.
6. Comfortable Seat
- The comfortable seat will always act as motivation to get on the bike and work out even more. It is not always entertaining when you get to end up with saddle soreness each time you are working out.
- You can now enjoy a comfortable seat by making sure the first bike you buy is all great. Having more padding or cushion on the seat is a sure way of knowing that you have the best comfortable seat that you need for working out.
- The pedals are what will be used for rotating the wheel and also working out. It means that it is still an important part of working out.
- You need to make sure you have the best pedals that can easily contour to the feet for easy cycling. Some come with locking mechanisms where you can lock them onto the feet and workout easily.
8. Workout Programs
- The workout programs are all important when choosing the exercise bike. Not all workouts can be done on a certain type of bike. Choosing the best bike for the workout means that you will always end up doing the workout correctly.
- Some workouts would need recumbent bikes while others would need the use of a different bike. Talk to your trainer about the right bike for the workout before making the purchase.
- The display is where you will be getting all the information about how you are working out. The display will have information such as the amount of distance covered, the amount of calories burned, the heart rate monitor, and much more. The display is your best friend when it comes to learning more about just how you are doing.
- Choose a model with a display that is easy to use. You do not want to end up with a model that takes forever to get the settings done for the display. Also, it should not have too much information that it starts to get confusing.
10. Heart Rate Monitor
- Having a heart rate monitor as part of the exercise bike is a nice add-on, but not always a must. The heart rate monitor will get you checked out your heart rate when working out.
- It is important to raise your heart rate and maintain it at a perfect rate when working out. What a nice way to keep yourself monitoring the heart other than using the heart rate monitor. It is possible to get that sometimes it is will be integrated into the display or made to be separate.
- As part of working out, it is always crucial to have some form of entertainment. It will keep you working out better and feel the need to keep going. Most of the time, some people work out in silence and it ends up being boring.
- As part of entertainment, the bike can come with docks where you can place your MP3 players or iPods for music. Some can come with speakers where you connect your music and listen to it while working out. With all such features, you can expect that the price will also increase.
12. Foldable or Not
- For someone who is going to have less space for storing the exercise bike, then choosing one that is foldable could prove to be advantageous.
- Different types exist today that can help with making sure you end up with the best exercise bike depending on the amount of space available for bike store. You can choose the non-foldable bike if there is a lot of space in your workout area.
- The safety of the exercise bike is another thing to keep in mind when making the purchase. Having a bike with important features that deliver on safety, then you can be sure to have a great time enjoying the ride more often.
- Check out what the manufacturer offers as the best safety features. Only the best safety features are the assurance that you will be safe each time you get to workout on the bike. It is rare for people to end up with injuries, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.
- Different manufacturers would offer the exercise bikes with different warranty periods. It is important to understand the warranty requirements so that you do not end up with a broken bike that cannot be serviced.
- The manufacturer would always come up with warranty requirements for the client to abide by before the repair can be made. You will need to read the terms of the warranty before you can proceed to sign the warranty form.
- Every person has a budget when it comes to buying anything. The price of most exercise bikes is likely to guide the buyers on which model to buy. You need to make sure that you get the best exercise bike depending on the price range.
- Sometimes you might get that some models are just expensive because they come from a high-end brand. As much as the brand is important, you need to also consider what you are getting for the money. It can be an affordable bike but still delivers the best performance and features.
16. Test Drive
- Whenever it is possible, you can always take the exercise bike for a test drive. This should give you a general feeling of what you expect when you finally make the purchase of the bike.
As you can see, when it comes to working out, the exercise bikes play an important role. You simply have to make sure that you make the right decision about choosing the best exercise bike. Do not always choose the one that would end up making you pay for something that is not worth using. This guide will always give you pointers on how to choose the right bike for you.