Spin Bike Versus Exercise Bike: Choosing the Right One for Your Home

If you want to improve cardiovascular and muscular endurance, as well as lose weight, then riding a bike is a surefire way to accomplish that. Bike riding, however, does have its downsides. We’re so often discouraged from riding our bikes because of safety concerns and unpleasant weather.

On the other hand, stationary bikes make challenging workouts possible without the need to leave the comforts of your home. There’s a good chance you already know stationary bikes exist and that they are an option for you.

What you might not be aware of is that these indoor bikes come in different types that aren’t created equal. You may see stark differences in results depending on whether a customary exercise bike or spin bike is used. So it’s the spin bike versus exercise bike in a battle of which can get you fit faster.

Traditional Exercise Bikes

For over a hundred years, the customary exercise bike has been used as an exercise machine. It remains one of the most famous pieces of gym equipment.

In the late sixties, Dr. Dimick invented the first computerized version of the traditional indoor bike, The Lifecycle. This bike was what ultimately propelled cardiovascular fitness into the mainstream.

Nowadays, you can find these types of bikes in almost every gym and health club, thanks to more affordable technology that can be purchased at your local sporting goods store.

An Overview

A traditional exercise bike looks like your typical moving bicycle sans the wheels. It has a solid base where the handlebars, seat, and pedals are attached to, which keeps the bike in place as the user pedals.

Designed for optimal comfort, it has an adjustable seating wider than its moving counterpart that allows the rider to either be recumbent or upright. The upright position targets the leg muscles more than any other body part. Those with back injuries would benefit from this position most of all.

Digital meters are a staple in the traditional indoor bikes of today. You can easily find models with built-in meters to monitor heart rate, calories burned, and speed. These bikes even have riding programs structured around fat loss and endurance. You can take advantage of these programs to maximize the results of your workout routine.

If you happen to be that person who prefers exercising by themselves, without the guidance of a personal trainer, you should be able to benefit a great deal from the exercise bike.

Spin Bikes

In the 1980s, an athlete named Jonathan Goldberg, or Johnny G, as his fans loved to call him, introduced the spin bike. Not long after that, its popularity surged, and it became a regular fixture in fitness facilities. Today, spin bikes are a staple in over 30,000 health and fitness centers all over the world.

An Overview

If you’ve seen a road bike, the spin bike is basically a version of it that’s stripped down. What’s great about this bike is that it has the feel of a traditional bicycle, while having the all-around convenience of one set up indoors. High-intensity bike rides are now made possible at home thanks to the spin bike, which stimulates high-speed bike racing outdoors.

Riding bikes is something that pretty much everyone knows how to do. You can also learn to spin without too much trouble once you’ve gotten the hang of basic bike riding and safety tips.

If you’re a woman who’s into spinning, then don’t forget to wear the right gear. It’s important to be aware of the best women’s spin shoes on the market today, so you can have an efficient and productive workout.

Spin Bike Versus Exercise Bike

The spin bike is actually a type of exercise bike-one of three to be exact. You have the upright and recumbent as the two others that belong to this group. In order to decide which one fits your home best, we’ll be assessing how each bike works, who they’re for, and what kind of workouts they can give you. Ultimately, you must choose the model that meets your particular health and fitness goals.

Each of these bikes provides a unique riding experience and has pros and cons when compared with each other. They, too, hold some similarities. For instance, you can seat yourself in all of them and pedal to workout. These bikes strengthen your cardiovascular system, improve endurance, and target your lower body muscles.

Variation of intensity is possible for both the spin and exercise bike. With these bikes, you can regularly burn calories and maintain a healthy weight.

1. Structure and Design

Design and structure are among the most important factors to keep in mind when choosing the winner of the spin bike vs. exercise bike battle. These two can factor in your fitness journey and can determine how fast you achieve your goals. They also address other matters such as storage, comfort, convenience, and other elements vital to your indoor training program.

Spin Bike

When using a spin bike, you basically position yourself on the seat by leaning forward towards the handlebars. This is the same posture you would make when riding an outdoor bicycle.

As you pedal, a heavy flywheel at the bike’s front begins turning to give you a pedaling experience that is similar to that of biking outdoors. Since the gear is fixed, the flywheel’s weight still keeps the pedals turning even when the rider has actually stopped pushing them. As such, even when you slow down, you’re still working out.

Exercise Bike

So now, we will talk about how the two other types of exercise bikes, recumbent and upright, fair in terms of structure and design.

  • Recumbent Bike

The first thing you will notice about the recumbent exercise bicycle is its wide padded seat that has back support similar to a chair. You’ll also take notice of the pedals situated in front of the rider.

The angle created will probably make you feel a little awkward at first, but it’s actually beneficial to your back. With this bike, even if you have a back issue, you can still get a good workout done.

If the spin bike’s pedals continue to turn when you stop pedaling, don’t expect to get the same result with these indoor bicycles. Their pedals stop turning as soon as you stop pushing them with your feet. The bike’s magnetic system, which allows for varying levels of resistance, helps you move up and down quickly using the console.

With recumbent bicycles, the console is large and has so many things going on with it. You have all these data displayed to help track your progress. You can also program workouts to suit a particular level of difficulty or intensity.

The difference between high-intensity workouts for recumbent bikes and spin bikes is that the latter usually entails working more of your body. The recumbent bicycle’s structure is such that the legs and glutes get an intense exercise without putting as much pressure on the upper body.

  • Upright Exercise Bike

This has a seating arrangement that is not much different from an outdoor bicycle only that its handlebars are slightly higher so that you can take an upright seating position. The seat on this is also wider and more padded compared to an outdoor bike’s. It provides a more comfortable ride that doesn’t require you to bent over and pedal as you would on a spin bike.

Similar to recumbent bikes, the pedals on this one also stop turning when you stop pedaling. There are models with manually-controlled resistance and those that have varying resistance levels that can be set depending on your needs and preferences.

Their console is similar to that of the recumbent bicycle, wherein you have a big one that allows you to keep track of several areas that determine your progress. You can check your heart rate, intensity, and workout results with ease as they are all set in front of you. This bicycle is also space-saving, which, when combined with its relatively low weight, makes it easier to store.

2. Accessories

What do exercise bikes come with? Naturally, your decision to get one would be influenced by the accessories that come with an indoor training bike. So how do spin bike accessories compare to those of the recumbent and upright exercise bike? 

Spin Bike

As far as accessories are concerned, there really isn’t much going on with spin bikes. There’s the usual water bottle holder you find in most models along with a basic console that holds a small LCD.

You can track things like your heart rate, RPM, distance, calories burned, and speed. It usually doesn’t have any pre-programmed workouts, so you may have to come up with your own or follow the ones you see on videos.

Exercise Bike

The only sure thing about the recumbent and upright exercise bikes is that they will have slightly more to offer in terms of accessories. Let’s go ahead and check them out.

  • Recumbent Bike

To work fully, a recumbent bike needs to be plugged into a socket on your wall. This bicycle gets you into the right frame of mind for working out by having several accessories for everything you might need to complete a session, including space for your books, an enclosure for your water bottle, and a section to plug in an MP3 player with speakers, among others.

If you’re concerned about saving space, then you may want to rethink your decision to get this one since it’s the biggest of the three exercise bikes.

  • Upright Exercise Bike

Your upright exercise bike is likely to include a holder for your water bottle and space for your MP3 player and speakers. Like the recumbent bike, it also makes it convenient for you to read a book while working out, having a designated area for your favorite reading materials.

You can have different workout programmed into this bike’s system that ranges from easy to moderate to advance. Exercises that take place on this bicycle focus on the back, legs, and core muscles. You can also program a workout so that it targets the arms.

What Your Decision Should Be

If you’re looking to train indoors for a cycling competition or replicate the spin class type of workouts, then the obvious decision would be to choose a spin bike. It gives varying levels of intensity, making it perfect for beginners, as well as those looking to go beyond their limits. Check the best spin bikes on the market today and make the best choice for yourself.

If the price isn’t a factor and you want a good, intense, yet comfortable, workout, the recumbent bike would be the ideal choice. It doesn’t strain the back too much and is perfect for those who still want to work out despite their lower back problems.

Recumbent bicycles are also great at giving accurate feedback on your performance. For those who want to follow along to workouts that suit their level of intensity and difficulty, this bike is an excellent option.

The recumbent position isn’t for everybody, and if you happen to be one of those people, then the upright exercise bike would be a good choice. You’ll also be happy with this bicycle if you aren’t into intense, spin-like workouts or indoor cycle training. These bikes can be intense too, but they focus more on comfort and progress tracking than anything else.


At the end of the day, the type of exercise bike you choose, whether spin, recumbent, or upright, will depend on your specific needs. Each of these bikes holds features that suit your circumstances, and it’s important to keep that in mind as it helps ensure that you’ve made the best possible decision.

Consider safety as a top priority, followed by comfort. Then, look at which exercise bike addresses both in terms of how they are designed and structured. Next, consider the accessories that come with each bike as these also contribute to how efficient your workout sessions become and how fast you can achieve good results.

The spin bike versus exercise bike battle doesn’t have a winner. It’s a three-way tie among indoor bicycles that all perform exceptionally well for the people they’re made for.


We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, HomeFitnessEdge may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI-prices are accurate, and items in stock as of time of publication.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Comment: