Getting the right equipment for your daily workout may seem daunting. An exercise bike is one of the best ways to get in your cardio indoors.
A stationary bike mimics an outdoor bicycle but has no wheels and is fixed so that it can only be used in one place. It is a great piece of machinery because it allows for either a gentle exercise or an intense session, and in a controlled, safe, convenient environment.
Which type of Exercise Bike would suit you best?
First and foremost, you need to work out your needs and priorities.
Do you need an exercise bike that is similar to your regular bike? Or do you need it for getting your cardio in? Whatever the reason is, it will allow you to narrow down which type of bicycle you need.
Upright Exercise Bike
The most commonly used, and the one that you have most likely seen, is an upright exercise bicycle.
A great feature of this bike is that it can be used while standing or sitting, whichever one you prefer. This means that you can get in a full-body workout just by using this one piece of equipment.
It most closely resembles an actual outdoor, riding bicycle. So, on days when you can’t ride outside such as in the rain or snow, you can opt for an upright bike.
This bike also takes up less space and weighs less so it can be transported easily which is definitely a plus!
Recumbent Exercise Bike
As the name suggests, this bike allows the user to work out in a reclining position. This allows for a more comfortable and relaxed experience where the rider has a lot of support.
It doesn’t resemble the classic bicycle but that’s on purpose. By its unique design, anyone can use it – fit or unfit, obese or underweight, old or young – as it puts very little stress on your body.
Dual-Action Exercise Bike
Dual-action exercise bikes can be combined with other exercise equipment such as elliptical, stair-climber etc.
It’s great for both upper-body and lower-body workouts with low intensity. It is like an upright bike so the pedals allow you to work your legs. Where they differ are the moving handlebars which are for your arms. The handlebars can be locked for when you don’t want to have a full-body workout but they are a very useful feature.
Indoor Exercise Bike
Indoor bikes or spin bikes have risen to popularity with the onset of spin classes.
They are for somewhat experienced people who want a fast-paced, intense workout that can be used for HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training). These bikes also offer smooth transitions to different levels of resistance.
Air Exercise Bike
A different kind of exercise bike is the air or fan bike. It can be distinguished by a fan near its pedals.
The way it works is that you basically pedal against the wind resistance so the faster you pedal, the more the resistance.
It can be a really strong contender for a good cardio workout.
What are the components of an exercise bike?
An exercise bike is made up of multiple parts that in many cases are adjustable.
Therefore, you need to know which parts you will use and tune them to your liking.
Saddle and Pedal
The seating and pedals are the most important part of riding your bike.
You need to make sure that the adjustment is right otherwise it will cause you great discomfort. Your saddle height should be parallel to your hip and your knees shouldn’t bend too much.
This works on all kinds of exercise bikes because even though the positioning of pedals may be different, the principle is the same.
If the seat feels too hard then you can also invest in a padded one. Also, you can change the pedals into a strap-in kind if you feel like your feet keep slipping off of it. But be careful not to cut off your circulation by strapping it in too tight.
The general rule is that the handlebars should be about a forearm’s length away from you.
You shouldn’t have to extend out or crouch to reach them. It should be just within reach so that the elbows bend a little and aren’t locked in place. Most equipment will be adjustable for different body sizes.
There is a difference between speed and resistance on an exercise bike.
Many bikes offer incrementing levels of resistance from 1 to 10 and even up to 20.
Speed just means that you are getting one cycle in a quicker time. Resistance, on the other hand, refers to how much pressure you have to put on the pedals to move, and higher resistance allows you to build muscle mass as you are pushing through an opposite force.
You should build your resistance levels as you would with weights. Start off slow then build up to it. It’s a great feature to have on your exercise bike.
It’s important that your posture is right otherwise you will be really uncomfortable and the workouts wouldn’t work very well. The pictures in this article are quite helpful if you want a visual representation.
How much space do you need?
According to the type of exercise bike you choose, you will need to make space accordingly.
An upright bike would take up less space compared to a recumbent one. An air bike would require more space because you have to give space to allow for the fan to work.
Usually, an exercise bike should take up around 10 square feet which is considerably less than other gym equipment. You also need to set aside some space for the pedals to work well to prevent any accidents.
If you are short on space then getting a foldable bike might be a good option for you. After use, you can stow it away into a corner. However, foldable ones don’t last as long due to more wear and tear caused by the constant movement. It’s a better option for an occasional user rather than a daily user.
The bottom line is that if you decide to get any equipment, you will have to give it space. It depends on you and your living area which one you choose to get.
Are there any extra features you would like?
Continuously doing the same workout can get repetitive and boring.
One way to boost that feeling can be using the additional features of gym equipment such as:
- Touch-screen display
- Tray or rack
- Integrated heart rate monitor
- Bottle holder
- Odometer (measure distance travelled)
- Compatible with phone
- Bluetooth connect
- Phone holder
How much does it cost and what is your budget?
You must have a budget in your head before considering buying an exercise bike.
Fortunately, exercise bikes don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. They start from as low as £80 for one with the basics.
Settle on which features you want and cannot compromise on. Then look for bikes with those particular features. If they come within your budget then you can even get some additional accessories.
On the other hand, if money is not an issue then spend all you want to get the best of the best!
Research your options and check out the reviews
You have decided on the exercise bike of your choice. Or maybe you have narrowed down a few options. There is a chance that you are very confused about how to settle on one.
The good news is that we have done the research for you! We have reviewed many options and selected the best ones that are easily available in the UK so you don’t have to do all the legwork.
There is a wide variety of options in the market and we understand that it can get overwhelming. To get more clarity, read our reviews and pick out whichever one works best for you!