What Are The Types Of Exercise Bikes – Detailed From An Expert!

If you are on the market looking for an exercise bike, you will notice that there are many models to choose from. Knowing each of these bikes in detail is essential to help you pick the right one. Each of these bikes has unique aspects that make them suitable for different kinds of users.

So, what are the types of exercise bikes available? We made this detailed guide to give you reliable information to help you pick a suitable exercise bike for you. Learn the features, advantages, and disadvantages of each of these exercise bikes to help you attain your specific workout goals.

Different Types of Exercise Bikes

Exercise bikes can give you proper cardio workouts if used well, and they are suitable for people of all fitness levels. They also make a great choice for homes since you can store them compactly after use. Understanding the different types of exercise bikes is great to help you know which one is suitable for your workout goals. I will take you through the various types of exercise bikes that you should consider buying.

Recumbent Exercise Bike

This is a great exercise bike that provides support and comfort. Unlike other exercise bikes, a recumbent exercise bike provides a relaxing workout position because the pedals extend further. More features a recumbent bike include the following:

Comfort- Recumbent bikes give you a relaxing posture. They have a larger and cushioned seat and backrest to promote user comfort. On top of that, they have extended pedals that keep you a good pedaling position without straining your joints and muscles. 

Easier on joints- You can still enjoy low impact workouts even if you cannot stand on recumbent bikes. This makes them great for people with joint problems because they are safe and comfortable to use.

Advantages:

  • The bikes don't take up much space, and this makes them great for home workouts.
  • Recumbent bikes are stable hence safe for elderly and overweight people.
  • The bikes provide effective cardio workouts, and they do not stress your joints.
  • Recumbent bikes are easy to use, which makes them suitable for beginners. 
  • They have a larger seat and backrest, which gives you a comfortable workout position.

Disadvantages:

  • Unlike other bikes, recumbent bikes are expensive.
  • You cannot stand when riding a recumbent bike.

Upright Exercise Bike

These are the most popular exercise bikes you can find. You need to bend forward slightly when using the bike while your hands are on the handlebars. Majority of upright bikes have pre-programmed workouts to help you pick the ideal resistance level. More features and benefits of upright bikes include:

Riding Position- The bikes resemble a normal bike, but the handlebars are higher than the seat. This position is comfortable for people who do not plan to ride over a long time. The seats of the bikes are also large and comfortable as compared to those of spin bikes.

Resistance- The bikes provide resistance through electromagnetic induction. You can change the resistance electronically by pressing the buttons on the console. So, you just need to press up and down to get the desired resistance level.

Advantages:

  • They are convenient because they take up little space so they can fit in most places.
  • The bikes are easy to use by almost any rider.
  • They are versatile because you can use them in standing and sitting positions.
  • Offer great workouts, which makes them ideal for strength training and cardio workouts.
  • The bikes come at pocket-friendly prices.

Disadvantages:

  • They can be uncomfortable because some users find the seat hard.
  • The bikes cause neck and back strain because of the hunched-over posture.

Spin Bike

A spin bike is also known as an indoor cycling bike. They have a similar design to the upright bikes and give resistance in various ways. These bikes use a weighted flywheel that you should connect to the pedals via a transmission system. Here are some features of spin bikes that you should know.

Stand or sit up riding position- Spin bikes allow you to stand or sit when you are pedaling. You can adjust the resistance using a knob just as you switch gears on a bike. The handlebar and the seat are close to your body hence giving you a lower riding profile.

Pedaling- They have dual-sided pedals so you can fasten your feet using tight toe straps. Additionally, you can choose to use the SPD clips found in cycling shoes. 

Resistance-Spin bikes provide either magnetic or friction resistance. In magnetic resistance, you can increase it by moving the magnets close to the wheel to create a drag.
Friction resistance works by turning the knob on the flywheel, just like the brakes of a bike.

Advantages:

  • Gives you intense workouts
  • Easy to pedal when standing or sitting
  • The resistance and handlebars are adjustable
  • Has a weighted flywheel that gives the feeling of a real bike

Disadvantages:

  • Majority don't have pre-programmed workouts
  • Leaning forward can strain the back
  • Not ideal for intense workouts for older people

Folding Exercise Bike

Well, this is not a specific type of exercise bike. It is one of the features that you will in many exercise bikes. For instance, you can find recumbent and upright bikes that are folding. These bikes add functionality because they have a folding frame. Read our popular Best Folding Exercise Bikes Reviews here.

Advantages:

  • Bikes are easy to store because they fold effortlessly
  • Convenient to use because you just need to unfold it and use
  • You can get the bikes in various forms, sizes, and shapes
  • The bikes come at affordable prices
  • Offer great workouts for lower strength training and cardio

Disadvantages:

  • The bikes can be unsteady because of their folding design.

How To Choose An Exercise Bike:

Before you choose an exercise bike, there are several things that you should remember. You want a good bike with all the necessary features. Here are a few essential things that you should consider when buying an exercise bike.

Console:

Exercise bikes have consoles that show important information regarding your workouts. You can see information like the speed, time, distance, and calories burned. With such information, it is easy to analyze your workout performance and how you are progressing. Some bikes also have a heart rate monitor that provides accurate readings of your heart rate.

Noise:

Exercise bikes are designed differently. Some models are noisy than others. Also, depending on the type of resistance, the noise level varies from bike to bike. Exercise bikes with fans are noisier because of air resistance. When you pedal hard, you will get a stronger breeze, and this also makes it noisy.

The good thing is most exercise bikes do not make an annoying noise when exercising. You can listen to your favorite music or watch TV shows so that you don't feel bothered by the noise.

Resistance:

What type of resistance does the bike have? Do you want a bike with mechanical or magnetic resistance? Magnetic resistance works by rotating the adjustment wheel on an exercise bike while magnetic resistance is easy to modify on the console of the bike. With magnetic resistance, it is easy to enjoy pre-defined workouts, and you can change the resistance.

Safety:

Safety should always be your major concern when you are dealing with an exercise bike. Ensure that the bike you want to get features enclosed mechanics to keep you safe always. This is important to avoid bike parts like the flywheel or the chain from injuries to children and adults.

Accessories:

There are other optional accessories that you should look in an exercise bike. Some models feature an in-built fan that offers air resistance and also keeps you cool when working out. You can also find some bikes with an acoustic sound system to keep you entertained as you train.
Another optional feature that you can check is a water bottle holder so you can always stay hydrated during training. You might also want to look out for remote control cups or magazine stand among others.

Style And Design:

Exercise bikes also feature different styles and designs. It is great if you consider the material before you buy so that you can get a durable bike. Also, get a bike that you like to motivate you to exercise in your living room or any convenient part of your house.

Flywheel:

The weight of the flywheel is essential because it determines the fluidity and cycling comfort. More weight means more comfort and more fluid when you are cycling an indoor bike. If the flywheel is too lightweight, you might experience jolts when you are pedaling. Therefore, choose a flywheel weight depending on your workout goals.

Seat & Handlebar:

Nobody wants to work out with an uncomfortable bike. Ensure the seat is comfortable and easy to adjust vertically to suit your height. This means you will not hurt your hips, joints, and back when you are exercising. You can also consider seats that allow horizontal adjustment.

When it comes to the handlebars, get a good exercise bike to adjust the handlebar weight. This will help you achieve an optimal workout position.

User Weight Support:

What is the maximum user weight that the exercise bike can accommodate? Different exercise bikes have varying user weights, so you need to check the limit first before buying the bike. Most of the stationary bikes can support from 130 to 150 kg, while other cheaper models can hold a weight of 90 to 100 kg.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Q: What is the best exercise bike for home use?

A: Based on the level of comfort, budget, and your fitness goals, there are various types of exercise bikes that you can buy for home use. These include and upright bike, a recumbent bike, an indoor cycle, and dual-action stationary bikes. 

Q: What should I look for when buying an exercise bike?

A: Before you buy an exercise bike, you should consider essential factors. These include the maximum user weight limit, the price, display, comfort, safety and the types of resistance that the bike provides.

Q: Can you lose weight just by riding a stationary bike?

A: Yes you can. If you engage in one hour of reasonable exercise on a stationary bike daily, you can lose around one pounds in a week. Make sure you are consistent with your workouts and you will achieve your weight loss goals.

Q: Is a heavier flywheel better on an exercise bike?

A: Yes, a heavier flywheel is great on exercise bikes. This is because it increases comfort when cycling as compared to a lighter flywheel, which might bring about jolts when cycling.

Q: How long does it take to see results from riding a stationary bike?

A: Of course, you don't expect to see your workout results within a day. It can take a couple of months to notice changes in your body. If you are engaging in workouts and easting well, you can notice a change within a month.

Q: What does a flywheel do on an exercise bike?

A: The main purpose of a flywheel on an exercise bike is to store energy, which is later used to smoothen the cycling motion. This brings about consistent cadence when using the bike.

Q: Which style of exercise bike is better?

A: I would say all bike styles are great, depending on the comfort and workout goals that you want to achieve. However, I would recommend recumbent bikes because they are easy on your back, and they also promote better spinal posture. Additionally, these bikes are gentle on your joints.

Q: What burns more calories walking or stationary bike?

A: According to research, a person weight 70 kg and walking 5 km at a moderate speed of about 6kp/h can burn up to 225 calories. On the other hand, biking at a moderate rate of 21 km/h can burn up to 130 calories.

Q: Is 30 minutes on an exercise bike enough?

A: Working out 30 minutes on an exercise bike daily can help you lose two pounds of your body weight. It will also help you burn more calories.

Q: Is it OK to ride an exercise bike every day?

A: Yes, you can. Cycling daily will help boost your cardiovascular health. It also enhances your fitness and lifts up your mood. It is great if you cycle at least one hour daily and also eat a healthy diet.

Q: How much should I spend on an exercise bike?

A: The price of exercise bikes varies depending on the brand, features, size, and other things. Basically, with a budget ranging from 200- 2000 bucks, you can get a suitable exercise bike that suits your needs. A pricey bike is sturdy, durable, and offers more features. You can also enjoy great workouts from mid-priced exercise bikes.

Conclusion:

Most people have busy schedules, and this makes it hard to visit the gym. However, with an exercise bike, you can enjoy effective workouts from the comfort of your home. If you were wondering which kind of exercise bike to invest in, I believe you now have an idea.
We have given you a detailed review of the features, benefits, and drawbacks of different types of exercise bikes to make it easier for you to pick the right one. After making comparisons and weighing your workout needs, I hope you will find it easy to pick a suitable exercise bike.

  • Updated August 12, 2020
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