Cycling has always been an integral part of exercising. Though not all of us are blessed to venture out to different places on our cycles due to different reasons, the passion that’s reflected in working out on stationary exercise bikes is undeniable.
An exercise bike is a piece of versatile cardio equipment that’s one of the most potent choices for home gyms as they are affordable, occupy a compact space, and are also priced just right.
But people are always confused by the ocean of choices available to buy an exercise bike as there aren’t only different models available. Still, four different categories of exercise bikes further exaggerate the concerns over choosing the right one.
Four Types of Exercise Bikes
The major four types of exercise bikes include spin bike, recumbent bike, upright bike, and air resistance bike.
A spin bike is a stationary bike generally found in gyms and fitness centers, helping people to experience full-body workouts and focused on strength-training their hips, thighs, calves, abs, and shoulders.
The amazing feature here is that you can stand up while exercising, which improves your calorie-burning abilities by as much as 750-1000 calories for 60 minutes of cycling.
Hence, seats are rarely padded here, but you are provided with reinforced pedals that support people of different heights and weights.
The frame is sturdy and well-designed to keep you stable even when you stand and pedal.
Handlebars are integral to spin bikes as they give ample support while standing and pedaling—they are textured for comfort and for protecting the user’s fingers.
Use a spin bike if you want to experience rapid weight loss, workout multiple muscles simultaneously, boost energy levels, and do full-body workouts but be wary that these bikes lack certain features such as heart monitors (this makes them beneficial to use without electricity).
A recumbent bike’s reclining design is the first trait that attracts our attention when we look at it.
One cannot but be amazed by the recumbent bike’s design as every part of the equipment is carefully chiseled to make it as comfortable as possible to the exerciser.
You might be surprised to find a comfy seat in a piece of exercise equipment, but the seats are more like a chair that helps users stretch back comfortably.
The pedals are designed in front of the user rather than right below to give maximum support.
The handlebars are also situated at the side rather than on the front, as this helps reduce stress on the joints.
So, if you suffer from joint/knee-related problems, this is the bike to choose from.
Enjoy your fitness routine by simply fitting extra accessories such as monitors/TV.
Recumbent bikes are well-known for their low-impact workouts and also for engaging minimum muscle groups making it apt for those recovering from injuries or those with back/knee problems.
If you love bicycles and are looking for a bike that mimics your regular bicycle, the upright bike should serve your purpose.
These bikes give you the experience of riding a bicycle as the pedals are right under the user’s feet, and the seat is ergonomically designed to support the user’s weight.
You can stay upright using your core strength, and your arms would be thoroughly engaged in managing the moving handlebars.
However, be cautious of soreness on the back and rear while riding an upright bike!
If you love bicycles and have minimal space to fit a home gym equipment, you can blindly purchase an upright bike as they have the smallest footprint but ample advantages.
You could even enjoy viewing TV as there are a couple of models that are customized with TV provisioning.
Air Resistance Bikes
Also called assault bikes, these are one of the best equipment to get full-body workouts, especially if you love HIIT training.
You get to enjoy all of this without any impact on the joints, as this is a low-impact exercise bike.
Unlike other types that come with fixed handles, in an air resistance bike, the handles too move with your pedaling action.
So, by now, you would have rightly guessed the ease with which this type of exercise bike fulfills requirements of both upper and lower body workout routines.
As the name suggests, the air resistance bike uses wind resistance with the help of a fan—the harder you pedal, the harder the resistance generated.
The working principle is simple, and you also get to stay cool from the air coming through the fan.
Whether you decide to lose weight, gain strength, or tone up, the variable resistance offered helps every type of user achieve his/her goals effectively.
How to Choose an Exercise Bike?
Exercise bikes come in different ranges with cheaper ones having basic features, and expensive models have advanced features with precise metric displays.
Irrespective of the budget or your interests, every model that you consider for purchase must have a few features based on which you can choose an exercise bike. These include the weight of the bike, noise generated, user weight limit, safety mechanisms, and accessories included.
There might be various bikes that impress you. At this juncture, you must differentiate models based on their extra accessories, which would help you finalize a product.
List down your priorities if a cooling fan is indispensable while you work out or if you enjoy listening to music while going through rigorous exercise routines, you need to choose models that provide you such options.
Another simple but most useful accessory that’s loved by users is the water bottle holder.
While you might think of stepping down to drink water in between exercising, it’s not so simple as it sounds.
Whereas, having the provision of a bottle holder helps you drink a couple of sips from your water bottle keeping you hydrated.
There are even some bikes coming with remote control cups or magazine stands to enhance your overall experience while cycling.
Stability is integral for exercising safely. A wobbling bike puts you at a higher risk of injury while using it.
In such cases, the weight of the bike determines its stability level, helping you choose the right one, especially when you are going to make an online purchase.
Greater the weight of the bike, the more stable it will be but ensure that the bike has transport wheels for easy movement within your home, failing which transporting it from one room to another becomes impossible.
Also, check on the maximum user weight limit that could be accommodated on the bike. There is no use in purchasing a model that doesn’t support your weight.
Home gym users always feel the stress of having to work out without disturbing others, especially members of the family who stay in the same house.
Though you get the privilege to exercise any time of the day in a home gym, the excessive noise generated could ruin your experience as well as the peace of mind of your family members too.
The bike’s resistance decides upon noise levels generated. Some bikes operate quieter than others, depending on their resistance levels.
It is usually those bikes that come with fans that are noisier comparatively, which is mainly because they come with air resistance—harder you pedal, noisier the equipment.
Indeed, most bikes don’t generate disruptive levels of noise, but if you would love to exercise listening to some good music or watching television, the noise generated might disrupt your joys of entertainment.
Safety is a concern for each of us, especially those who live in a household that has small kids living with them.
We have statistical data showing that there are thousands of injuries happening to children every year due to the use of exercise equipment.
Small kids are inquisitive and tend to explore various parts of the equipment that might cause injuries.
You must ensure that the bike’s mechanics, including the flywheel and the chain, are covered. This avoids kids from getting their fingers, or any other body part stuck in between these mechanical parts.
It is necessary to consider your primary goals before you purchase any bike.
Buying an expensive model that consists of all advanced features but failing to use most of them is not worth the money invested.
Comfort holds equal importance while choosing a product. If seats of your bike aren’t great, you could buy a seat cover to cover up the discomfort.
Pedals must have straps for your safety, and the console must feature basic metrics to help you recognize the goodness of your efforts.
Buy a bike that satisfies your requirement and budget while promising durability and comfort.
Like any other product, the price influence the quality to a degree. Some cheap exercise bikes are made of lightweight material. But there are also other more budget while high-quality choices.
One important thing to look for when choosing this price range of bikes is to read customer reviews.
What Exercise Bike is Best for You?
Each of us has different goals in mind when we wish to set up an exercise bike in our home gym.
While every type of bike has its pros and cons matching up to our needs, none of us can give a say on the best exercise bike.
The best bike is the one that you enjoy the most while using it. Only when you have fun and enjoy what you do, will you be inclined toward using it regularly and achieving your goals.
Try each of the bike types, prioritize your goals, realize which mimics the pleasures of bicycling outside (if you love venturing out on the roads on a bicycle) and pick the best one that suits your goal and budget.