An exercise bike is a versatile cardio machine that makes a great first choice for a home gym. It offers several benefits, such as affordable cost, limited space usage, and multitasking capability. Exercise bikes generally fall under three groups: upright bikes, recumbent bikes and indoor cycles. It’s important to take into account what each exercise bike offers before deciding on one.
Out of the three main types of exercise bike, the upright bike most resembles riding a classic bicycle. The pedals are aligned under the user’s feet, while the seat supports the user’s weight. In addition to cardio and lower body, some upright bikes engage the core and upper body muscles. The user’s core must keep the body upright, while arms are engaged with special moving handlebars. Upright bikes do tend to leave their users with soreness on the rear and back. They typically have the smallest footprint thanks to their minimal design, and are easier to transport. Some models come with customizations such as TV’s that require electricity. Popular models include the Life Fitness Integrity and Precor 846i Experience upright bikes.
The recumbent bike’s main trait is its recline design. The seat is more of a chair that allows the user to lean back comfortably, and its pedals are in front of the user’s feet instead of below. This type of fitness bike gives the rider the most support. Handlebars are also at the sides instead of the front. This design helps reduce stress on joints. Like upright bikes, recumbent bikes can be outfitted with extra features such as monitors and TV’s. Recumbent bikes usually offer the lowest intensity workout and fewest engaged muscle groups, but are the most helpful for those with back/knee problems or recovering from injury. The Technogym 700 Excite and Life Fitness 95R Inspire recumbent bikes are examples of this type.
Indoor cycles are somewhat similar to upright bikes, but with a few differences. Their handlebars are farther away from the seat, shifting riders forward. Indoor cycles even allow users to stand while cycling, engaging more muscle groups in the process. As a result, indoor cycles tend to promote the most calorie burn from all the exercise bikes. Indoor cycles usually lack certain features such as heart monitors. This does allow indoor cycles to run without electricity. Gyms and fitness clubs frequently use indoor cycles in spin cycle classes, such as the Keiser M3+ and Star Trac Spinner Blade.
Fan or Air Bike
Another category of exercise bike is the fan or air bike. Some classify this type as an upright bike or indoor cycle, but it’s unique design deserves a classification of its own. It works with wind resistance; the harder you pedal, the harder the resistance. This type is the only style that has moveable arms. Upper and lower body workouts can be done independently or simultaneously. Examples of this type are the Schwinn Airdyne and Star Trac Turbo Trainer.
Which Exercise Bike is Best for You?
Ultimately, the best exercise bike is the one that you most enjoy using. Having fun while using your bike will make it more likely you use it and improve your fitness. At Primo Fitness, we carry all types of these exercise bikes in our warehouse! We encourage you to try our bikes for yourself; our sales team can help in picking the best one to fit your budget and goals.