If you are looking to get in shape, but you don’t want to join a gym, an exercise bike is one of the best pieces of equipment that you can purchase for use in your home. They provide you with high resistance and cardio workouts, both of which burn a lot of calories. While they can help you trim your waistline and improve your cardiovascular health, exercise bikes are also low impact, as they are easy on your joints, including your knees and back. In addition to providing an excellent workout, exercise bikes are also easy to store, making them a great piece of equipment to own if you don’t have a lot of space, or if you don’t want to devote a huge area to it.
There are a lot of exercise bikes to choose from, which is great; however, it can make finding the best one for your needs a bit challenging. With so many options, it can be tough to determine which one will work the best for you. Choosing the best model for you depends on a lot of factors. To help you make the best decision, we have assembled this handy buyer’s guide, which is full of a lot of valuable information that you will find useful when shopping for an exercise bike.
Types of Exercise Bikes
There are several different types of exercise bikes, and each type offers different benefits. To find the best exercise bike for your needs, it’s important to understand the difference between each type of bike, and what each one has to offer.
There are four main types of exercise bikes:
- Upright exercise bikes
- Recumbent exercise bikes
- Spinning exercise bikes
- Dual action exercise bikes
To gain a better understanding of what each one offers, keep on reading for a more detailed look.
Upright Exercise Bikes
If you are looking for an exercise bike that will give you the closest experience to riding a traditional bike, this one is the way to go. The upright exercise bike offers hand positioning that is located in the front of the bike and the pedals are located directly underneath the body. Because of the positioning of the handles and the pedals, they put much less stress on your body while you are working out. If you are looking to reap the benefits of bicycling without having to leave your home, the upright exercise bike is the right choice for you.
Recumbent Exercise Bikes
The recumbent exercise bike has a wide seat than an upright exercise bike. Your back is also fully supported by the seat and the pedals are designed in such a way that they take the pressure off of your back. Recumbent exercise bikes are a great choice if you have problems with your back, suffer from arthritis or have an orthopedic condition. The added support of the seat and the design of the pedals puts less stress on your knees, back and other joints than other exercise bikes.
Spinning Exercise Bikes
A spinning exercise bike offers the most intense workout of all exercise bikes. They are designed to give you the feel of a road racing bicycle, and they provide a very similar experience. The seat is positioned higher up and the handlebars are positioned lower, which gives you the feel of riding on a road racing bike. A spinning exercise bike provides a really intense full body workout.
Dual Action Exercise Bikes
Dual action exercise bikes are designed so that their handles move together with the pedals. This design allows these exercise bikes to work a tremendous amount of muscles in your body at one time, giving you an intense workout.
Factors to Consider When Buying an Exercise Bike
If you want to find the best exercise bike for your specific needs, there are certain factors that you are going to want to take into consideration before making your purchase. These factors include things like the type of workout you want to achieve, the amount of space you have and the ease of assembly. Keep on reading to find out more about the important factors that should be taken into consideration to help you find the best exercise bike for your needs.
Your Fitness Goals
What are your fitness goals? This is one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing an exercise bike. If you are looking for a bike that will provide you with an experience that is similar to bike racing, then a spinning exercise bike is the best pick for you. However, if you are looking to lose weight, but you don’t want to put excess strain on your joints, a recumbent or upright bike will be a better option for you.
You want to be as comfortable as possible while you are using your exercise bike, so make sure that you choose one that will allow for that. Test the bike out before you buy it so you can be sure that the seat is comfortable and that the position of the handles and pedals are also comfortable.
You should also take the size of the exercise bike into consideration. If you are limited on space, or you don’t want to devote a lot of space to the bike, then this is something that is particularly important. Take measurements before you shop of the space where you plan on using it, and then take measurements of the bike when you are shopping so that you can be sure you will choose one tha twll fit in the space you have chosen to use it.
The flywheel, which is usually located in the front of the bike (though sometimes they are located in the back,) is another factor that is worth taking into consideration. Generally, the larger the flywheel, the smoother the ride will be.
You should also take the price of the exercise bike into consideration. Exercise bikes can vary widely in their prices. Depending on the type and the features, exercise bikes can run anywhere from around $100 to upwards of $250 or more. Generally, the more features the bike offers, the more it will cost.
You also want to make sure that you are choosing an exercise bike that is well constructed. The last thing you want to do is have the bike fall apart while you are using it. Look for a bike that is made of high quality materials so that you can ensure your safety.
You should also consider the assembly of the bike. How easy will it be to put together? Make sure you take a look at the instructions before purchasing, and make sure that you can easily understand the instructions and that you have the necessary tools available to put the bike together.
Exercise Bike Features
Exercise bikes can come equipped with a lot of different features. These features are meant to improve your workout, your comfort, or both. The more features a bike has, though, the more expensive it will likely be. For that reason, it is important to understand what the features are all about so that you can determine whether or not you need them.
Toe straps can attach around your toes, securing your feet to the pedals. This can be very helpful when you are going at high speeds, as they can prevent your feet from flying off. Toe straps can increase your comfort and can make the exercise bike easier to use.
Adjustable Seat and Handlebars
An adjustable seat and handlebars will allow you to get the best and most comfortable position on your exercise bike. An exercise bike that features a fore / aft and an up / down adjustment for the seat will allow you to get the best position, and handlebars that can be moved up and down and can be moved to accommodate different arm lengths will be the most comfortable.
An LCD console isn’t a necessity, but it sure can be nice. It can make it easier to see things like how many miles you have ridden, how many calories you have burned, and how fast your heart rate is.
Water Bottle Holder
An exercise bike that has a water bottle holder will sure make it more convenient to keep your water at arm’s reach while you are working out. This feature, again, isn’t a necessity, but is sure can be nice.
Another handy feature that some exercise bikes offer is an MP3 dock. With this feature, you can not only play your MP3 player, but you can charge it so that you can be sure you will have plenty of power to listen to your favorite tunes while you are working out.
If you want to protect your investment, look for an exercise bike that features a warranty. Should anything happen to your exercise bike during the lifespan of your warranty, you could have it replaced, repaired, or your money refunded. The details of the warranty should be looked at before you make your purchase, though, so that you fully understand what it covers.
Some exercise bikes also feature programmable settings. These settings allow you to set your workout so that you can increase the intensity, or time your workout.
Best Exercise Bike Brands
There are a lot of manufacturers that make exercise bikes, which is great, because it gives you a lot of options; however, it can also make finding the best exercise bike for your needs a bit of a challenge because it can be hard to tell who makes the best bikes. After our careful research and after testing out several brands, we have determined that the following are the best of the best in exercise bikes.
Sunny Health and Fitness
Sunny Health and Fitness produces a wide range of exercise bikes, offering various features. They are easy to assemble and they are easy to use – and comfortable too. They are also constructed of high quality materials.
Schwinn is known for producing some of the highest quality traditional bikes, and their exercise bikes like up to their reputation. They make several types of exercise bikes that offer an array of features, and are suited for various price ranges.
Exerpeutic Fitness is a fairly new producer of exercise bikes, but just because they are new, it doesn’t mean that they don’t know what they are doing. In fact, this company produces some of the highest quality exercise bikes on the market.
SOLE produces some of the highest quality exercise bikes available. They produce the bikes that are made for the cutting edge and well received workout program SOLE CYCLE.