If you’re in the market for an indoor bike you’ve probably come across at least a few different types. Although this can lead to some confusion, there’s no need to worry – this is where we can help you out. What’s the difference between spin bike and exercise bike? What about recumbent bikes? We’ve put together this article to clear up the differences and allow you to make an informed decision when it comes to your purchase.
What Similarities Are There Between Spin Bikes And Exercise Bikes?
Even though they’re different types of machines, there are a lot of similarities between spin bikes and exercise bikes. Both are built to be used indoors, so you’ll find them at the gym, the local sporting centre and in private homes. Both are stationary, so no matter hard or fast you pedal, you won’t be going anywhere! Both spin bikes and exercise bikes work the legs and strengthen the lower body muscles while raising your heart and breathing rates. If you’re looking to lose weight, build muscles, improve endurance, and work up a sweat, either of these stationary bikes can be an integral part of your exercise program.
Exercise bikes are the more traditional of the two. They’ve been around a lot longer and have actually gone through several iterations of change over the decades. However, the exercise bike is still based on the basic principles of bicycle riding and although it may not look like a bike you’d ride down the road, the physical movements are entirely similar. You’ll sit upright similar to as you would on a mountain bike rather than a road racer. This makes it good for those who are concerned about their back and its posture. In lieu of gears, hills, and other terrain, the exercise bike has a tensioner which makes it more difficult or easier to pedal. It might be possible to fold up and store the exercise bike, although not all models will have this feature.
Recumbent bikes are actually a type of exercise bike. What makes a recumbent bike different from a regular, exercise bike is the way in which the user sits. Whereas on a regular exercise bike you’d be sitting upright with pedals directly below your body, a recumbent bike has you seated in a reclining position with the pedals positioned in front of your body. This reduces pressure on your back and is therefore a favourite position for those who suffer from back and joint problems. Recumbent bikes also typically have a much bigger seat than an upright exercise bike. All these features can make recumbent bikes somewhat safer, especially for those with mobility issues or neurological conditions. One position that you can’t assume with a recumbent bike is standing up on the pedals which may make it more difficult to attain a high-intensity workout.
Spin bikes are the newest types of stationary machines on the market. They were first introduced in the 1980s, but their popularity has really exploded over the last decade or so with the advent of spin classes. Spin classes typically involve a group of riders who follow the directives of a class instructor. The classes create a sense of group motivation and rely upon team spirit and peer pressure to intensify what could otherwise be a lonely, solitary workout. A spin bike looks and acts much more like a road racing bike than upright or recumbent exercise bikes. Your body position is much more hunched over the top of the handlebars allowing for explosive movements. Spin bikes also make it very easy to stand on the pedals to allow high-intensity sprints. The flywheel on a spin bike is specially calibrated to provide a very similar sensation to how an outdoor road bike would feel.
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