I’ve always enjoyed bicycling and other forms of outdoor exercise. However where I live, sometimes the winters can just be to cold for me to bear consistently exercising outside. That’s why I decided to start looking for the best stationary exercise bikes to suit my needs, fitness levels, and budget. And now here I am writing a review on them.
Spending time on a bicycle is an excellent form of exercise: it is low impact so it suits all ages, and benefits those with old or recurring injuries; it provides a good workout for all the major leg muscles and gets the heart rate up, and regular time on a bike also lowers blood pressure. Moreover, there is research that indicates cycling can improve your brainpower by building new cells, which positively affects the memory.
|Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse||Upright||Magnetic|
|Sunny Health and Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike||Upright||Direct Contact|
|FitDesk 2.0 Desk Exercise Bike with Massage Bar||Upright||Magnetic|
|Ancheer Indoor Magnetic Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike||Recumbent||Magnetic|
|DeskCycle Desk Exercise Bike Pedal Exerciser||Pedal Exerciser||Magnetic|
So we know time on a bike is good for you but why choose a stationary exercise bike when there are so many real bikes? While real bikes provide an overall workout, a more intense training session, offer constant changes in scenery, and are generally more affordable than exercise bikes (this is relative of course) they don’t necessarily appeal to everyone.
Stationary exercise bicycles are better for a number of reasons:
In order to feel motivated to exercise, and stick to it, it often helps to understand what the benefits are. The best stationary exercise bikes offer:
An indoor exercise bike provides a low-impact workout that is gentle on your knees, ankles and joints and doesn’t put too much stress on the spine. Riding a stationary bike is a good way to get an effective cardio workout and strengthen the lower body, so much so they’re often recommended by physical therapists as part of the rehabilitation process. Also, stationary bikes are suitable for older people in need of a moderate workout, especially those with heart conditions or respiratory problems.
Spending time on an exercise bike helps strengthen major muscle groups; those that support the back, hamstrings, as well as leg and thigh muscles. While pedaling there are two strokes or movements: pushing and pulling. When pushing down you are building the quadriceps and pulling up works the hamstrings. There is less stress on the knees than road bikes or running. You’re not dealing with uneven terrain, strenuous hills, and climbs or long stretches of grueling pedaling
If you are wanting to lose weight the best possible way to do that is exercising on a stationary bicycle. Riding a stationary bike at a moderate pace burns 210 calories in 30 minutes for someone who weighs 125 pounds; 250 calories are burned in 30 minutes for someone who weighs 155 pounds and for a person weighing 185 pounds 311 calories are burned within the same time.
We know that regular aerobic exercise is good for our heart and lungs and improves the body’s ability to use oxygen. Exercising on a stationary bike is the perfect aerobic workout; it lowers your blood pressure, as well as your heart rate and it improves your breathing or lung function. Ideally, we need aerobic exercise five times a week for 30 minutes a day and having a stationary exercise bike at home means you are able to do this.
If you have a stationary bike at home you are not limited to time of day and weather conditions. If you want to do a quick workout late at night you can, safely in your home, or if it’s raining you are still able to get your exercise in. Most are compact enough to fit in a spare room and can be pulled out, used and packed away again, without too much fuss. With some exercise bikes, you are able to catch up on some reading, emails, surfing the web or watching TV. With a stationary bike, there is no reason as to why you should you miss out on a 30-minute riding session.
In order to get the best exercise bike for your needs, there are a few things to consider, including the type of bike (there are three to choose from), comfort and ergonomics, the construction of the bike and its mobility, the price, the standard features as well as any additional ones.
There are three types of stationary or indoor exercise bikes; each has their own benefits and of course, they all have a few things that could be different / bigger / better. It comes down to your personal preference, how much space you have for it and how serious you are (or hope to be).
The three main types of stationary exercise bikes are:
These look very much like road bikes and usually have a similar price tag. If you have ever done or seen a spin class, chances are these are the bikes they use, as these are great for abs. Of the three, the spin bike is the least comfortable and to get the maximum workout you might need to get cycling shoes that clip on. Also, unlike the recumbent and upright stationary bikes, you might have to buy additional equipment to track your workouts and check your progress.
The upright bike is suited for people without any back problems or joint complaints because you need to step up onto it and support yourself because there is no back. These are generally smaller than stationary recumbent bikes, which you will appreciate if space is limited.
You’ll recognize a recumbent exercise bike as soon as you see it. These are the most popular ones used in gyms and are suitable across all ages and fitness levels. They’re also good for people with injuries and can be used as part of a rehab program. So what exactly is a recumbent bike? It’s a stationary bike where the chair sits in a comfortable position and the pedals are in front; you can adjust the seat, finding a position that suits you.
While there are people who do choose the spin bike, most go for the recumbent or upright bike for home. It all depends on what you think is the best exercise bike for you.
Usually, comfort and ergonomics go hand in hand, but not so much with stationary exercise bicycles. Road racing bicycles focus more on the ergonomics with comfort being less of a priority, but when you’re deciding on an indoor training bike try and find one that combines the two.
You don’t need to be an expert to tell if a stationary exercise bike is made well but over and above the obvious, it’s a good idea to check the rigidity and strength of the bike. To a degree, you also want an exercise bike that is easy (enough) to move around.
One of the unique selling points of top rated recumbent exercise bikes is the various settings that help you change and adjust the bike to intensify your workout to suit your fitness levels. Even if you’re a bells and whistles kind of person and love the idea of hundreds of knobs and buttons, the truth is a good exercise bike only needs to have a few. These are:
In order to get a proper workout, it’s necessary for the stationary bike to create resistance. This is done in two ways; magnetic resistance and friction resistance. Because friction resistance models use fabric or felt that presses against the flywheel they need more maintenance – the padding wears down quickly and it needs to be replaced regularly. Magnetic resistance uses ferrous magnets around the flywheel and is more popular.
The higher the resistance the more difficult it is to pedal, which means the better the workout. Most bicycle exercise machines for homes have resistance ranges between 10 and 16 levels, which is more than enough while a few bikes have 20 0r more.
Presettings on a stationary bike allow you to add some variety to your workout, whether it’s adding uphills or climbs. These preset workouts are usually designed by personal trainers and professional cyclists and have a specific focus in mind, to burn calories, build endurance, or target your heart rate.
Although it doesn’t affect the recumbent bike’s performance it certainly plays a part in yours. Being able to track your progress, or lack of is the motivation you need to pedal harder, faster, more. Feedback is a good way of changing things up a little to see improved results.
Bikes with Electronic Display
Upright and recumbent stationary bikes have an electronic console that holds all the machine’s settings. They are generally user-friendly with buttons to adjust the various resistance levels or to select the preset workouts. They’re even great for senior citizens/ the elderly! These electronic displays also show information like time elapsed, or how much more still to go, speed, heart rate, calories burned and distance ‘cycled’. You can find stationary exercise bikes that are iFit enabled, which means you can sync it with an app on your phone. By accessing Google maps data your session can include actual routes, with the resistance on the bike adjusting to the conditions of the road. This is quite handy if for example, you’re training for a road race and you know the route. Also, you can use iFit and the app to create your own workouts or access the hundreds that are already programmed
We’ve come to enjoy convenience and so any small features that make our exercise sessions a little more comfortable are always a huge a bonus. Some stationary exercise bicycles come standard with added features, while others might need you to buy them separately and attach them to your bike.
Water & Media Holders
Very rarely do you see anyone exercising without an earpiece or some kind of an electronic device close by, therefore a lot of people look for media holders, which can include tablet or book holders, or even convenient places for their laptop. A lot of exercise bikes also have a place for your water bottle, which can be found on the console, behind the seat or on the front bar.
Standard with a lot of the best stationary exercise bikes is entertainment features like speakers MP3 connectivity, Google Maps, and iFit. While they’re available with the bike you might still have to pay subscription fees – it’s a good idea to check the fine print and see what is on offer.
Stationary bikes are a convenient and safe way to stay fit and healthy, and no matter what your fitness level is, there is one for you. We have out a list together featuring our 5 top exercise bikes, ranging in price and their features.
The Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse is a popular low-cost entry level exercise bike for your home. It’s suitable for men and women and can support up to 300 pounds. While it isn’t the best stationary exercise bike around it offers a varied workout with 8 magnetic resistance levels, and the LCD display is clear and easy to read. It indicates speed, distance, time, pulse, and calories burned.
The Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike is very easy to put together, and when you’re done using it, it folds away for easy storage. To learn more you can read our full review here.
The Sunny Health and Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike is one of the top exercise bikes available on the market. Even though we’re not crazy about spin bikes as such, this particular one has excellent features at a very good price. The transport wheels make it easy to set up and pack away and while it might not have all the top-of-the-range features it is still a solid spin bike that has a sturdy design, and no matter how hard you pedal it remains stable.
The indoor spin bike has a fully adjustable seat as well as handlebars, which means you can customize it to suit your needs. We particularly like that it can be adjusted for taller people and the handlebars can be adjusted horizontally. This a great bike for those wanting to get fit but don’t want to spend a fortune.
The FitDesk 2.0 Desk Exercise Bike with Massage Bar is changing the way people are working and exercising. For those of you stuck at your desk for 8 to 9 hours a day, it’s possible to get a cardio workout thanks to this simple but very clever design.
It’s a lightweight folding exercise bike with a sliding desk platform and the frame is compact while still being stable. There are 8 magnetic resistance positions for harder or easier workouts, depending on what you feel like. To ensure an all-round cardio workout there are resistance bands for upper body exercises if you’re not working. The backrest and extender adjust easily and lets you sit upright or if you prefer you can adopt a semi-recumbent position.
You can fasten your laptop to the FitDesk platform so you can work comfortably while you get a much-needed workout. At first, we were skeptical but after testing it out for a week ourselves we’re hooked.
The Ancheer Indoor Magnetic stationary exercise bike is collapsible with a padded back support to ensure your lower back stays supported and is protected while you exercise. There is a 7-level adjustment system that lets you dial in the resistance you want for your workout. The bike has a weight capacity of 400 pounds.
Users like the LCD display: it’s a good size and displays speed, distance, calories burned and it tracks your training time. Even though the Ancheer is collapsible, it is surprisingly strong and sturdy. All in all, it’s one of the best stationary bikes.
This is our favorite under desk bike, and while it might not be your normal stationary exercise bike, we figured because you’re not going anywhere while you’re pedaling we thought it could be included in the review.
TheDeskCycle has a magnetic resistance mechanism which means it’s very quiet – and because it’s under your desk, in an office space it’s probably a good thing. It has 8 different resistant levels and you can easily adjust them based on your fitness and endurance. There is an LCD display that shows your exercise time (up to 100 minutes), your speed, the distance pedaled, calories burned and even a scan function that scans through each of the features to give you a quick look.
If you are thinking about starting an exercise routine or maybe changing things up a bit we suggest a stationary exercise bike rather than a road bike or even a treadmill. A road bike, although it has its advantages is a lot more strenuous and not necessarily suitable for everyone. An indoor exercise bike allows you to adjust resistance settings to suit your fitness and ability, whereas once you’re on a steep incline on your road bike, that’s it. The stationary bike lets you ease into an exercise routine, which (hopefully) means you’ll stick to it. Hopefully you pick the best stationary exercise bike after this review!
Have you purchased a stationary exercise bike recently? Let us know which one and if you’re happy with it.
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