Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Different Types of Indoor Exercise Bikes Explained

There are several different types of indoor exercise bikes to choose from, each geared towards a different type of athlete, so knowing a little bit about each type of bike will help you to decide on which is the best bike to choose for your own individual exercise needs.

The main different types of exercise bikes are as follows:

  • Upright Exercise Bikes
  • Recumbent Exercise Bikes
  • Air or Fan Exercise Bikes
  • Spin or Indoor Cycle Bikes
  • 2-in-1 Exercise Machines
Let's take a look at each of the above exercise bikes in detail so you understand the differences between them:

Upright Exercise Bike
Upright Exercise Bike
Upright Exercise Bikes

When most people think of an exercise bike, it is usually a traditional upright exercise bike that comes to mind.  This type of exercise bike has a traditional-looking saddle that's height adjustable and as the name suggests, you sit in an upright position to pedal.

Most upright exercise bikes come with a fitness console that offers varying programs and/or resistance levels and typically displays your workout stats on an LCD screen such as time, speed, distance, calories and heart-rate.

Upright exercise bikes can vary in price considerably from basic models with few features for simple cycling up to more advanced models that offer premium features such as better build quality, ECB magnetic resistance, greater range of programs and resistance levels, iFit technology, Bluetooth connectivity, wireless heart-rate chest-strap connectivity, sound speakers for MP3 input, cooling fan and more!

Recumbent Exercise Bike
Recumbent Exercise Bike
Recumbent Exercise Bikes

Recumbent exercise bikes offer a completely different feel to upright exercise bikes.  The seat on a recumbent bike is larger, has a backrest for support, and sits lower to the ground so it is easier to mount and dismount.  Rather than the pedals being underneath the seat as with an upright exercise bike, the pedals on a recumbent bike are in front of you so overall you get a much more laid-back feel to your cycling.

Like upright exercise bikes, recumbent bikes can vary greatly in price, depending on build-quality and amount of features incorporated into the bike.  Recumbent exercise bikes also generally come with a workout console, offering a range of programs and resistance levels and an LCD screen that displays motivating workout stats.

Air / Fan Exercise Bike
Air / Fan Exercise Bike
Air or Fan Exercise Bikes

Air or fan exercise bikes are unique in that they having moving handlebars to work your upper body in unison with your lower body's cycling action, giving you a more effective workout overall than cycling alone.

Air or fan exercise bikes typically have a large fan wheel at the front of the bike and work on air resistance.  Air resistance works on the premise that the faster/harder you pedal, the harder the resistance will be, effectively putting you in control of the intensity of your workout and giving you virtually unlimited resistance levels.

One advantage of air resistance is that it creates a nice cooling breeze as you exercise!  The only downside to bear in mind with air bikes is that they tend to be a little noisier than a traditional upright exercise bike.

Most air/fan exercise bikes come with a small fitness monitor that displays motivating workout stats as you exercise.

Spin Bike, Indoor Cycle
Spin Bike, Indoor Cycle
Spin or Indoor Cycle Bikes

Spin or indoor cycle bikes are designed to closely mimic the feel of a real outdoor road bike.  Spin bikes are typically designed to look like a road bike with racing-style handlebars and you sit leaning forward on a spin bike in the same way as you would with a real racing bike.

Spin bikes are designed with a flywheel that's normally situated at the front of the bike and works on the premise that the heavier the flywheel is the more consistent and smooth the momentum will be.

You're in total control with a spin bike, i.e. you dictate the speed by how hard you pedal and through your use of the bike's top-down push-down braking system.  You can sit or stand as you cycle to mimic real road conditions and different terrains.

Spin bikes or indoor cycle bikes are designed for more serious athletes and don't usually come with any built-in workout programs like upright exercise bikes.  Some spin bikes may come with adjustable resistance and extras like a simple LCD fitness monitor that displays your workout stats, but not all spin bikes are supplied with this.

2-in-1 Exercise Machines

2-in-1 Exercise Machines offer great value for money and are great space savers.  They're ideal if you can't decide on which type of exercise machine to get or want more than one type but haven't got the space in your home.

2-in-1 exercise machines typically combine an exercise bike with another machine such as an elliptical trainer or rowing machine.  It's common to find a 2-in-1 machine combining an upright exercise bike with an elliptical trainer, or a recumbent bike with a rowing machine.

2-in-1 exercise machines give you a choice of workout, enabling you to work different muscle groups for a more effective workout.

2-in-1 Recumbent Bike & Rower
2-in-1 Recumbent Bike & Rower
2-in-1 Exercise Bike & Elliptical
2-in-1 Exercise Bike & Elliptical

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N.B. It's advisable to consult your doctor or health care professional before undertaking any new exercise regime.

*Prices/discounts indicated correct at time of writing/publishing and may be subject to change anytime.  E&OE.

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