Choosing an Exercise Bike
Many people know that cycling, indoor or outdoor, is an excellent way to get a full cardio workout and develop leg and hamstring muscles. Cycling is highly beneficial for individuals who seeking an alternative to high-impact cardio exercises like running. It can also help build up bone density thanks to the resistant nature of cycling. When purchasing in an indoor bike, you’ll need to choose between three distinct styles of bike. Each serves a specific purpose but all provide a fantastic cardio workout for you to enjoy all year round.
If you’re an avid spinner, having a spin bike at home makes total sense. To be able to exercise in your home rather than driving to and from a gym is much more convenient. Plus, with all the instructional videos and programs available online, there’s really no reason to pay for an in-person instructor. Most spin bikes are characterized by their highly adjustable features like seat and handlebar height and how far forward the seat is. These bikes are not computerized and require you to manually adjust the resistance.
Upright indoor bikes are a great option for individuals looking for an experience like riding a bike outside. Most upright indoor bikes come with built-in computers that have exercise programs built-in. The computer can also track how fast you’re going, how many calories you’ve burned, and how far you’ve biked. An upright bike is compact and won’t take up too much room in your home.
A recumbent bike is perfect for individuals with back issues or for those who fatigue easily. With a recumbent bike, you are in a reclined position with your feet out in front. Biking in a reclined position provides better lumbar support and is gentler on your joints. Because a recumbent bike stretches you out in a reclined position, the unit itself is longer and will require more space in your home.
Features to Consider
Before you purchase an indoor bike, you’ll need to measure the area in which you’re planning to put the bike. For those trying to have an indoor cycle in a small space, a spin cycle or an indoor bike will be best for you. If you have a dedicated gym at home or a larger space off to the side of a room, you could consider a recumbent bike.
Some indoor bike owners will want the option to store their bike in a closet or off to the side of a room. If you want to be able to store your indoor bike, check to see if it has wheels to make moving it around easier.
There really is no difference in calorie burn or heart rate change between the different types of indoor bikes. What really matters is the level of effort you put into each workout. Something else to consider is how much impact you can handle on your joints. While biking is a low-impact sport, an upright bike can cause fatigue faster than a recumbent bike, especially in your back. If you have back problems, a recumbent bike will be a better option for you.
Engaged Muscle Groups
Both upright and recumbent bikes will engage your leg and hamstring. However, upright and spin bikes will also engage your arm, shoulder, and abdominal muscles. Recumbent bikes will not engage your arms or abdomen but they do provide better lower lumbar support.
Most spin bikes only come with a small monitor to track your speed, RPM, time, distance, HR, and calories. They do not have programmable workouts for you to follow. Many upright and recumbent bikes come with monitors and programmed workouts for you to follow.
Upright and spin bikes will have a seat like an outdoor bike. This type of seat gets some getting used to and you might be sore after your first few workouts. A recumbent bike will have a wider, more comfortable seat which won’t make you fatigue as quickly. Recumbent bike seats are more similar to chairs.
Prices for spin bikes typically fall between $500 and $1,000 but you can find models for close to $2,000. Upright bikes will cost anywhere from $500 to $1,800, and some even more than that. Most recumbent bikes will be around $1,800 and up.
Research each bike’s warranty and ensure it covers the frame and the parts.