Whether you attend a spin class on the weekend or are training for your next triathlon, you’ll know that there’s nothing like the endorphins after a good bike ride. Before you purchase an exercise bike, it’s important to understand the features you want, how often you intend to use it and, most importantly, where you’re going to put it. With so many different exercise bike models on the market, we’ve done the hard work for you and created an extensive exercise bike buying guide. In this article, we discuss the key features and benefits to look for so you can find the right exercise bike for you.
Different Types of Exercise Bikes
Before you begin shopping around, a good place to start is deciding on whether you want an upright, recumbent, or air exercise bike.
Upright Exercise Bikes
The most common style of exercise bike, upright exercise bikes mimic a standard pushbike where the pedals are below the elevated seat. If you’re looking for your first exercise bike to complement your home gym or living room, look no further.
Recumbent Exercise Bikes
Recumbent exercise bikes have a natural seated position with the bike pedals in front of you rather than underneath the seat. They are often more stable than upright exercise bikes and ideal for injury recovery, rehabilitation, and those suffering from joint pain. Due to the comfortable seat, recumbent bikes can reduce tension on the back and eliminate the risk of falling off. However, unlike upright bikes, recumbent bikes do not engage core or arm muscles and thus burns fewer calories. We recommend recumbent bikes for beginners who are wanting to sweat it out and engage in some lightweight physical activity, or those recovering from injuries.
Air Exercise Bikes
Air bikes are the latest trend in fitness equipment, where the bike pedals and handles are attached to a large fan. They have become increasingly popular in High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for their effectiveness in creating lean muscle and burning calories due to the resistance that is produced from the fan. This means that the harder you work and peddle, the more resistance is created. Due to the fan, air bikes tend to generate more noise than upright and recumbent bikes, something to keep in mind if you live in an apartment or with housemates.
What To Look For In An Exercise Bike?
Here are a few things to consider when choosing an exercise bike:
- Comfort and adjustability: When shopping around for an exercise bike, one of the most critical things to look for is the adjustability of the seat height and pedals. Having a bike that can be customised to your height will maximise comfort and ensure that you’re getting the most out of your exercise.
- Saddle: The saddle, otherwise known as the seat, is where you sit on the bike. This is only applicable to upright and air bikes where the size of the saddle can vary depending on the style of bike. ‘Performance’ saddles tend to be long with minimal padding, in contrast to ‘plush’ saddles which are significantly larger and more padded.
- Technology: Some exercise bikes, such as those from NordicTrack, will come with a free 6-month iFIT membership subscription, an interactive fitness platform that provides you with maps and pre-programmed workouts. Although not all bikes are compatible with iFIT, the majority of bikes are fitted with an LCD screen that display the watts output, calories burnt, rotations per minute (RPM), time, heart rate and distance.
- Size and space: Unless you have endless space, or even maybe a home gym, the size of the bike is another important factor to consider. For those restricted with space, we suggest opting for an upright bike, as recumbent and air bikes can tend to be quite bulky and heavy.
Benefits Of An Exercise Bike
So why choose an exercise bike over a treadmill or rowing machine? Compared to most conventional forms of cardio exercises, such as running or team sports, exercise bikes are much more forgiving on your back, knees and other joints. This is ideal if you are recovering from an injury or have weak joints, but still want to stay keep your body moving. Exercise bikes are also a great option if you struggle with balance, or simply want to watch TV while working out!
Kickstart your home gym and help take your fitness to the next level with our wide range of exercise bikes, including recumbent, upright and air at rebel now.