What is an Exercise Bike?
Back to out salad days, almost all of us loved riding a bike, but very few knew how beneficial it was. Riding a bicycle, we work out our legs, buttocks, and abdominal muscles. Riding also gives us a fantastic cardio workout that strengthens our lungs and cardiovascular system. But now, when the childhood is over, we don't always have time or opportunity to ride a bike. In this case, the exercise bike is an indispensable assistant that will help you achieve your fitness goals.
Stationary exercise bike is an exact imitation of the bicycle which sometimes has even more features and is designed specifically for those who want to exercise without leaving home, in any weather! Let's see what you should look at before getting such a useful exercise machine!
If you are a real fitness lover, give some attention to the rowing machines, those are very useful for your cardiovascular and respiratory systems as well as for muscles.
What Features to Compare
Type and Resistance
Exercise bicycles may vary according to their type and resistance.
Bikes may be upright, recumbent, portable, and hybrid.
- Classic upright models provide pressure on almost all muscle groups and don't take up much space.
- Recumbent bikes are characterized by the vertical back and raised pedals, that reduce the load on your lower back, back muscles, and abs. In other words, they work out only your legs. Such exercise machines are the best choice for people with various back problems or those who are recovering from serious injuries.
- Portable exercise bikes have no seats and the load distribution is not so precise, but they are very compact and easily fit, for example, in the trunk of your car.
- Hybrid models are the combination of upright and recumbent bikes; such bikes are very rare since the demand for them is rather small.
Regardless of the bike type, the resistance may also differ. It can be mechanical, brake-based, fan-based, magnetic, electromagnetic, ergometer.
The most common is a mechanical type. Such bike is equipped with straps that change the tension degree depending on the required resistance level. Mechanical bikes are the least wear-resistant and they are a bit noisy but very simple and cheap.
The next type is brake-based machines. Bikes of this type have a heavy flywheel which stops the brake. The load on a flywheel occurs due to the pressure pads on it, i.e. the user turns the knob to the right or left, thereby increasing or decreasing the tension on the top of the flywheel.
Magnetic bikes have two magnets in addition to a flywheel. They use electromagnetic induction to provide resistance. Their elements don't wear and tear since there is no direct friction.
One of the most effective exercise cycles is an electromagnetic bike. It is similar to the magnetic one but is controlled by the electromagnetic field. They are the most durable but need a power supply.
Ergometer - is a new type of training device that offers high efficiency and functionality. They are very often used in rehabilitation facilities and hospitals as their special design creates minimal stress on the joints and spine.
Extras also play an important role, dramatically adding to the convenience of use. For example, today a lot of bikes are fitted with computers that can display speed, distance, time, resistance level, heart rate, and calories. When working out on a conventional bike, the user must control the whole process while the ergometers are able to monitor the user's physical condition and pick a special program according to it. In addition to displaying information, some computers boast built-in and optional features, such as MP3-player, Bluetooth, an application that synchronizes with your computer to show the progress. Another distinctive feature of some models is that they can provide users with additional exercises. For example, some models have movable handles for hand training that improve cardio.
It is vitally important that the exercises be comfortable. Now stationery bikes are more friendly to their users and are made with convenience in mind. For example, you can adjust the seat, tilt or raise steering wheel, and with a folding frame and built-in wheels, the bike can be easily moved to another room. Nowadays almost all stationary bikes are equipped with very comfortable pedals with non-slip, textured surface, and some models even have a stand for a laptop or a tablet.
Nautilus R614 Recumbent
Comfort Above All
As practice shows, happy users consider this bike extremely comfortable! It features a huge number of conveniences that can make your workout more prolific and satisfying. To begin with, this stationary bike boasts a unique DualTrack system: the main (upper) LCD display shows more expanded information: 22 Programs, Intensity (resistance level), Heart Rate Zone (Pulse), Goal, User Profile, Achievement; and an additional one (lower) displays only basic information: Speed, Time, Distance, Resistance Level, RPM, Heart Rate, Calories. DualTrack system is also extremely useful when the upper display is blocked by the tablet or smartphone since you can still keep track of important data using the lower display. Plus! During training, you can enjoy your favorite songs using the MP3 input along with built-in speakers. So, you are welcome to enjoy your favorite songs during the ride. Moreover, owing to a USB port (which can also serve as a charging port) or Bluetooth, you can synchronize your data in Nautilus Connect portal and MyFitnessPal to track your progress. Also, there is a special handle with grip heart sensors that measures the heart rate for a relaxed riding position. As for extra conveniences, it is worth noting that once you begin pedaling or press any button, the display automatically turns on. And it will also turn off automatically after 5-minute of inactivity. Moving onto the seat, we would like to mention that Nautilus R614 offers probably the best ventilation in the back support on the market in its price range. For maximum comfort, this bike is equipped with a 3-speed fan helping you stay cool during workouts. So, if you have a fit family, this stationary bike is just the thing. Ready, set, go!
Keep Yourself Fit
After a comprehensive analysis, we came to a conclusion that Nautilus R614 is an excellent recumbent exercise bike that suits best for users who want to train their legs only and those with back problems. A special seat back reduces the load on the spine so that it is possible to concentrate all the energy on the leg workout. That's why coaches worldwide recommend this trusty steed to people who have suffered severe injuries and have to undergo a rehabilitation course. Nautilus R614 boasts 20 levels of Eddy Current Braking (ECB) resistance which is considered being the best type of magnetic resistance! The bike offers 22 different programs: 1 Quick Start, 9 Profile, 8 Heart Rate, 2 Fitness Test, 2 Custom. Want to be fit? Just get it!
More Products to Consider
A yoga mat can come in handy for your at-home workouts.
Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Upright Exercise Bike
Type and Resistance
Schwinn AD6 Airdyne stands out among other stationary bikes. This upright bike has a special design that allows you to exercise not only legs and buttocks but also abdominal and back muscles. In addition, the oscillating handlebars provide a challenging upper-body workout, which is a huge plus. These handlebars give resistance in both directions - toward or away from the body. This way, users can focus their efforts on the pull or push cycle in order to isolate chest and triceps or back muscles, respectively. The resistance type is unique, it uses smart Airdyne® system that utilizes a huge fan to generate wind resistance. The pedals can also provide resistance in any direction, enabling users to target different leg muscles. Overall, the harder you pedal, the higher the resistance is.
As we have already mentioned, this bike provides users with the opportunity to exercise arms and legs simultaneously, as well as independently. Essentially, arm workout adds more to a cardio workout. Hence, it's not strange that this stationary exercise bike includes heart-rate monitoring capabilities. Schwinn® Airdyne® AD6 boasts an integrated wireless receiver with Polar Electro wireless heart-rate transmitters. How does it work? Once you strap these transmitters around the chest, your heart-rate will be displayed on the LCD screen. Note that the abilities of this display are not limited to just heart rate; it can also inform you of the time, speed, distance, power, and calories you burn during an intense workout. RevMeter™ RPM gauge counts the number of strains, which is very useful for interval training. Still surf through oceans of fitness exercise bikes? Stop. Get this one!
Though Schwinn AD6 Airdyne is rather heavy, yet it is very portable because of its wheels. With their help, you can easily move this fitness helper into the corner after a workout. For reliable feet fixation and greater motion control, there are special adjustable foot straps on self-balancing pedals. Speaking about the seat, it is pretty comfortable for an upright bike. The manufacturer also provided this bike with an integrated bottle holder right in front of the console. Put your water in there and stay hydrated during a workout. And the most interesting advantage is that the faster you pedal, the faster the fan is spinning, cooling you off. Isn't it a great motivation to "ride" faster?
Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse
Type and Resistance
If you still think that you can't afford an exercise bike, we're going to surprise you. This one is a super fitness cycle that won't empty your wallet! Due to the upright design, you can train both the lower and upper parts of your body - legs, abs, buttocks. Despite being very light, only 39 lbs, it is fairly steady and well-built, supporting a weight capacity of up to 300 lbs. MegaDeal bicycle uses a magnetic type of resistance, and well-balanced flywheel and V-belt drive provide a quiet and smooth operation. To crown it all, the 8-Level Magnetic Tension System allows you to adjust the proper workout level.
Some fitness bikes are rather bulky, their computers may not be reliable, the design may be shoddy. But with MegaDeal Folding Magnetic Upright Bike, you will never face such problems. You can always track your goals with a large LCD display which shows time, speed, distance, heart rate, odometer, and calories burned. To measure heart rate, you just need to put your hands on the handles, and hand pulse sensors will inform you about your current heart rate. Hence, you can always monitor your body condition in order to avoid overloads. Also, this feature is very useful for people suffering from heart diseases. All in all, this bike is a great investment not only for your body but also for your health!
The highlight of this fitness bike is its compactness and portability! It has X-shaped design that is pretty small (31"L x 19"W x 46"H), so it is a real space-saver. Furthermore, its light weight makes it easy to move, and once folded up, this stationary bike can be conveniently stored anywhere in your home. Our consumers relate that thanks to the wheels, you can roll it into a corner effortlessly. As its legs are pretty wide, they provide great stability during training. Convenient holder under the steering wheel holds any smartphone or TV remote. Also, we should note the seat which is large enough and covered with soft foam. To sum it up, this item works well, folds up nicely, and its stability is assured. What else to wish for?
FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike
Type and Resistance
Pedal your way to better shape with FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike! It is an upright bike that will come in handy for those who want to lose weight as fast as possible since it works with upper and lower body parts at the same. We would like to stress that being only 47 lbs, this "workhorse" withstands the maximum weight capacity of 300 lbs. As this stationary bicycle boasts a magnetic resistance, you can choose between 8 different levels by turning the knob in order to make the best of your workout. And, since the bike uses magnetic resistance, it is ultra-smooth and quiet. Limited offer. Be quick about it!
If you're looking for an exercise bike that allows you to check your email, you've just found it! This is "the #1 fitness bicycle" aimed to bring the office and gym together. The main feature of FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike is an adjustable 16" x 19" desk for a laptop that easily slides back and forth. Just beneath the desk, there is easy access drawer for small items such as pens, phones, music players, and earbuds. Also, the desk is fitted with massage rollers that provide support for forearms while working on a laptop. One more distinctive feature is the ability to train upper body thanks to the special resistance bands (included in the package). The small, but still convenient digital meter can show you the following information: time, speed, distance, calories, odometer. Are you impressed by all the extras? Well, we surely are!
You might be a little puzzled by the fact that the meter is placed towards the back of the platform; this is made for more convenient monitoring so that you do not bend your neck. However, when you set a laptop, it blocks the meter from sight. Just remember this. As for comfort, we assure you that you can ride all day long with a cozy beach cruiser style seat with an adjustable backrest which transforms this bike almost into a semi-recumbent model. FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike is also easy to fold and transport owing to its X-shaped frame with built-in wheels. Truly sensational folding exercise bike!
Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike
Type and Resistance
Like most popular models, this one is a representative of upright exercise bikes. The frame is made of solid steel, making the weight 108 lbs. Such a sturdy bike can withstand a weight capacity up to 275 lbs. This is a brake-based cycle with a 40-lb flywheel that significantly enhances the efficiency of any workout. With a small turning knob, you can fine-tune the resistance level according to your needs. Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike provides smooth and quiet operation any fitness enthusiasts could wish for.
This fitness cycle is a supreme bargain! Its high seat position and steering wheel are incredibly similar to those of the real road bike. There are no additional devices, sensors, displays as in some other models, so if you do not want to burden yourself with superfluous information, you should pay particular attention to this model. This bike is perfect both for novice and experienced users. It is not the kind of thing that you will "outgrow" after getting more experience. We are sure, as soon as you get this superb bike, you'll jump on it to work your leg muscles out! One of the best realistic upright exercise bikes ever!
Working out in the comfort of your home has never been so efficient, convenient, easy, and fun! This indoor exercise bike has adjustable seat and handlebars, just like a real bike! For extra comfort during "rides", the manufacturer equipped the pedals with adjustable straps. As for the design, it is quite reliable thanks to the durable steel frame. At the same time, this cycle is relatively quiet, so during your workouts, you can watch TV or enjoy your favorite music. The frame is not foldable, but the manufacturer provided this training machine with front transport wheels for the effortless transportation. Recap here - we see a reliable and quiet stationary bicycle, without excessive functions, suitable for those who want to focus on training only, without overpaying. Wow!
1. Exercise Bike Buying Guide, ConsumerReports. September 2016.
2. A guide to exercise bikes, Argos.
3. How to Buy an Exercise Bike, ConsumerSearch. June 30, 2016.
4. Barbara Russi Sarnataro Fitness Basics: The Exercise Bike Is Back, WebMD.
5. David Fiedler Guide to Buying an Indoor Exercise Bike, About. August 25, 2016.