There are absolutely wonderful perks of training at home. In many ways, an exercise bike is the best piece of home cardio fitness equipment. They are really helpful to get high-quality cardio workouts without the damaging impact on joints from running or jogging.
Pros of Exercise Bike:
- More Practical
If you’re looking for a practical way to build muscles on bike rides and increase your physical fitness to the max, indoor cycling might just be the best solution. The appeal behind it lies in the fact that you can tailor your workout routine after your own schedule, especially if you own an indoor bike yourself.
- Your Privacy is insured
Unless you choose to join a spinning class or engage in a personal training session, cycling indoors can be a completely private activity. You don’t have to worry about social drama or having to put on a cheerful visage to strangers when you feel down. By cycling at home, you can choose to make your bike session private, personal and introspective.
- Functional in Uncertain Weather Conditions:
Exercising in the great outdoors can be inspiring, but it can certainly put a damper on your mood when an unwelcome cloud decides to blot out the sun. And if that cloud brings rain along with it, then your exercise routine is pretty much over for the day. Therefore, cycling indoors can provide you with a great alternative.
- Create Fewer Distractions:
If you’re easily swayed by people and events in your general environment, it’s probably a good idea to consider cycling indoors. Distractions can be dangerous when biking on the road, and sometimes you just want to complete your workout without having to worry about traffic signals, cars, and even other bikers.
- Safer than outdoor cycling:
Exercising in a safe environment can make all the difference between a successful workout and a mediocre one. Indoor cycling eliminates the need to be anxious about traffic and wayward pedestrians. You also have more accessibility to hydration and other resources if you feel ill, particularly when you’re in your home.
Cons of Exercise Bike:
When you choose indoor cycling over its outdoor counterpart, you’re opting out of the refreshing experience a bike ride into nature can provide. Nothing compares to the feel of wind across your skin or the sight of plush, autumn leaves burning against a blue sky.
Not Real-World Training:
Indoor cycling will certainly make positive changes in your workout routine and overall lifestyle, but it isn’t an exact match for the experience of biking on real roads and trails. Indoor machines can simulate the resistance of hills, but copying the kinetic intensity and effects of terrain and gravity can’t be truly replicated. In fact, studies show that the same amount of effort is perceived differently when cycling indoors versus outdoors.
Less Weight Loss:
As previously mentioned, cycling indoors can feel even harder than doing it in the great outdoors due to the different ways in which our brains and bodies perceive the effort we spend on it. According to a recent study, the drawback to this is that you lose less weight while indoor cycling rather than outdoor cycling.
Can Be Monotonous:
As with many indoor cardiovascular machines, using a stationary bike can get boring. While there are many modern programs and virtual games that make indoor cycling a more immersive, interactive and competitive experience, it can still get repetitive over time.
Lack of Utility:
Even if you own the most high-end stationary bike affixed to the latest software and virtual reality simulation technology, indoor cycling can never transport you from one location to another. Stationary bikes were meant for one purpose; training, but real bikes are obviously also a vessel of transportation.
7 Best Exercise Bikes to Look for
With so many variations and brands in the market, knowing where or how to start your search can be pretty overwhelming, so here’s a pick of some of the best bikes available in the market according to their features:
Best Overall: Sunny Health & Fitness Belt Drive Indoor Bike
“With a quick twist of the knob, you can easily adjust your bike.”
You’ll feel like you’re in Spin TM class with the Sunny Health and Fitness bike. The near-silent belt transmission, augmented by a heavy-duty flywheel (47 pounds), crank, and steel frame makes the bike a rugged piece of equipment. Just to note, the heavier the flywheel, the smoother the ride as it helps maintain momentum for longer periods of time. Another feature is the fully adjustable seat. With a quick twist of the knob, you can move back and forth as well as up and down, keeping your workout at your own individual comfort level.
Best for Indoor Cycling Enthusiasts: Peloton Bike
“Made of carbon steel and is nearly silent when in use.”
The reason we recommend the Peloton Bike is not just because it’s built extremely well, but because of the experience that drives nearly every rider to work out more than they would without the live classes. If you struggle to exercise at home and have the money to spend, Peloton is truly your best option.
Best for Small Spaces: ProGear Foldable Magnetic Upright
“Foldable bike is great for small spaces.”
This budget-friendly, foldable bike is great for small spaces. ProGear upright has a dual-transmission flywheel, which allows for a higher resistance workout. The three-piece cranking system uses magnetic tension to provide a smooth, uninterrupted pedaling motion.
Reviewers love how quiet the equipment is during a workout. Complete with an LCD display, the monitor clearly indicates calories, distance, time, speed, and pulse. The bike is ideal for those between the height of 5’1” and 6’0” and less than 220 pounds, so not suited for larger people.
Best Recumbent: Nordictrack Commercial Vr25
“Ergonomic pedals make for a comfortable and durable ride.”
As for workout programming, the NordicTrack Commercial VR25 allows you to enjoy both 35 onboard workouts and a limitless variety of programs. Add your own device to the tablet holder for more entertainment options, or stream your music through the VR25’s set of Bluetooth speakers.
The recumbent frame and comfortable lumbar-supporting seat allow you to cruise through the Commercial VR25’s 26 digital resistance levels in comfort. In fact, this type of bike allows you to recline back so it feels like you’re working out from the comfort of a chair. This along with the extra-wide, ergonomic pedals make for a comfortable and durable ride.
Best Under Budget-$200: Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike
“Riders can choose the tension level that suits their comfort.”
The bike has a step-through design. As a result, getting on and off the bike is quick and easy. Moreover, the recumbent design obviously helps to lower the stress on your knees and back. The LCD monitor functions as an odometer displays time, speed, distance and, calories burned. The machine has an ergonomically designed seat manufactured with high-density foam for ultimate comfort. The handles also are made with comfort in mind, as they are fashioned with contoured foam. This bike is also equipped with adjustable foot straps. It takes up a space of about 2′ x 5′, weighs 60 pounds, and can accommodate someone who is 300 pounds.
Best for Seniors: DeskCycle Bike Pedal Exerciser
“Great for seniors or those with mobility issues.”
The DeskCycle Pedal Exerciser is a great concept. Who wouldn’t mind getting rid of calories and dropping a few pounds while you’re working? The DeskCycle stands only 10” high so it can easily fit under a desk and still gives you enough room to pedal the 3½“ pedal arms. Though the arms are short, the power is more than enough. The DeskCycle has 8 different resistance settings. At 60 RPM, the resistance range is 12 to 130 watts, and at 120 RPM is 28 to 394 watts. That’s about twice as much as other pedal exercise bikes.
Best Upright: Marcy Air-1 Fan Bike
“The ‘fan’ makes it feel like an outdoor bike ride.”
Get your heart pumping and your muscles toned with the Marcy Air-1 Exercise Fan Bike, featuring dual-action arms that work your upper body. This exercise bike features a unique air resistance system that creates increasing resistance as you pedal faster. The easy-to-use computer displays time, distance, calories burned, speed levels, and scan mode. The resistance fan flows air past your body, keeping you cool and dry.