Experience a great workout at home with an exercise bike

December 26, 2014

Exercise bikes give you a cardiovascular workout from the comfort of your own home. Whether you’re training for a triathlon or shedding a few pounds, here are some things to consider when buying an exercise bike.

Types of exercise bikes

There are four types of exercise bikes, each designed for different kinds of workouts and training.

Upright stationary bike: On standard upright bikes, you’re positioned with a forward lean as you would a regular bicycle. There’s a wide price range from affordable, basic models to expensive, quality machines with all the latest features.

Recumbent exercise bike: By putting you in a reclining position, recumbent bikes take all the pressure off your knees and back for a no-impact leg workout. Perfect for cross-training and injury recovery, recumbent bikes offer comfortable, low-intensity workouts.

Spin bike: A spinning bike feels like riding a road bike. You lean further forward than you would on an upright bike, peddling from a dead stop is harder and inertia will keep the wheels spinning when you’re not peddling. They have little in the way of features, but the reinforced frame lets you stand while exercising, engaging your whole body and varying your workout.

Elliptical bike: Think of this bike as an elliptical machine crossed with an exercise bike, so your arms get an elliptical workout while your legs keep peddling. They’re still rare, so expect them to cost a bit more.

Exercise bike features

Exercise bikes come with a number of features that offer better workouts while beating boredom.

  • Resistance: Most exercise bikes let you increase the resistance for strength training and more intense workouts.
  • Console: Your console should be easy to read with intuitive and responsive controls. Most display basic information like heart rate, RPMs and speed, but others can track calories burned and more.
  • Programming: Training for a big race or want a consistent workout? Find a programmable machine to customize your workout based on your age, weight and fitness goals.
  • Docking stations: Many bikes now come with docking stations for MP3 players and smart phones so you have some entertainment while you ride. Always ensure your new bike supports your electronics.

Factors to consider when buying an exercise bike

Exercise bikes are smaller than treadmills or elliptical trainers, so you can fit them in tighter spaces, but be sure to measure your available space before settling on the one you want. If you’re working on losing weight or training for bike races, consider a more expensive upright or spin bike with extra features. If you’re focused on weight maintenance, an affordable and smaller model will work and save you money.

A stationary exercise bike offers a low-impact cardio workout that can strengthen your legs and hips. Now that you know more about exercise bikes, think about your budget and fitness goals and look for a bike that ticks all the boxes.

Experience a great workout at home with an exercise bike
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