Types of Stationary Bikes: Which Is the Best?
An exercise bike is a type of fitness equipment made to help you work out in your house. If you are busy with work or have a lot of commitments that would prevent you from going to the gym, a stationary bike can be a good workout machine.
However, it is a bit difficult to choose the best one as there are different types of stationary bikes available. Let’s have a look at the different types of exercise bikes to help you choose the best one that would fit your preference.
Types of Stationary Bikes
There are four different types of exercise bikes, and they all provide different benefits. When choosing, you can decide based on your workout goals, fitness level, and the health of your joints. You can focus on a single bike, or you can get all four and try them all.
1. Upright Stationary Bike
The upright stationary bike is the closest to the traditional bicycle in terms of appearance and usage. When using an upright stationary bike, it would be like riding a traditional bicycle. The only difference is that you are not moving. The handlebars are parallel to the seat, and the bike is very easy to operate.
Over the years, upright stationary bikes became sophisticated and modern. New features were added to provide a better experience for the users.
Compared with a recumbent bicycle, upright bikes usually have smaller seats. As such, you will have to lean forward to utilize the handles fully when pedaling.
An upright stationary bike usually has a stainless steel frame, high-quality wheels, and cushioned seats. This type of stationary bike is made to last for a long time, and it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.
The handlebars are usually made from hard plastic, and all the other parts are made from high-quality and flexible materials.
One of the most important characteristics of an upright stationary bike is that it does not occupy a lot of space. Most of these indoor bikes are about 40 inches long and 20 inches wide, and they usually have a height of four feet.
This type of bike can fit in any part of your house. You can put it in your bedroom or living room, or you can just store it in your basement when it’s not in use.
Why Choose an Upright Stationary Bike?
The main purpose of an upright stationary bike is to provide an amazing workout for the users, but there are more specific benefits that you can get from it.
With this type of bike, you can improve your endurance, tone your muscles, train for sporting events, and speed up your recovery after an injury.
2. Recumbent Stationary Bikes
Unlike upright stationary bikes, recumbent stationary bikes are completely different from a traditional bicycle. This bike was designed to provide the ultimate comfort when working out.
This is not meant to use for intense training, and it provides a different set of benefits compared to the upright bikes.
A recumbent stationary bike is not meant to work as a regular bicycle, and the appearance is totally different, as well. It has a laid-back design, and the seat is positioned a bit far from the pedals.
This bike doesn’t have any handlebars; you only need to lay your back on the seat and put your feet on the pedals. You won’t be able to pedal while standing, as it can only be operated while sitting.
For the materials, recumbent bikes usually have textured pedals to provide extra comfort. The grips are padded with foam. It has stainless steel frames, and the seats and backseats are thick and cushioned.
Recumbent stationary bikes are significantly larger compared to upright bikes. Although the size varies depending on the manufacturer, these bikes can be as big as 76 inches long, 50 inches high, and about 30 inches wide.
You don’t need to buy the biggest bike, especially if you don’t have a large room in your house to put it in. If you prefer to put inside your bedroom, you can always check the smaller sizes.
Why Choose a Recumbent Stationary Bike?
A recumbent stationary bike provides a different set of benefits to the users compared to the previous one we talked about. You will be able to recover from your injuries safely by using the slow speed of this indoor bike.
This will also help strengthen your lower body, improve your cardiovascular health, and help you lose weight. The bike is also very easy and comfortable to use since it promotes a low-impact activity.
3. Dual-Action Stationary Bikes
Dual-action stationary bikes are extremely popular because they can provide two different ways for you to work out. A stationary bike can actually be combined with a stair-climber, elliptical, or other exercise equipment.
You can also switch from a stationary bike to another machine quickly. This type of bike is user-friendly, and it is very comfortable to use. It also requires little to no maintenance, and it will provide the best possible workout for you.
The design of a dual-action bike actually vary depending on the manufacturer, but a standard model includes the following features:
- Large pedals with safety straps
- LCD display
- Eight resistance levels
- Smooth and quiet operation
- Cushioned seats
- Padded grips
Dual-action stationary bikes are usually portable and foldable, so it is very easy to store. It can also be adjusted based on your preference. It comes in different sizes and shapes, so you need to be very meticulous when choosing a specific model.
Dual-action stationary bikes have to be made from tough and sturdy materials. The pedals and the handlebars are usually made from high-quality materials, and they have to be reliable.
Most of these bikes are made from stainless steel with thick, cushioned seats. They also feature heavy-duty tread cushioning and grips that are very comfortable to use.
Most dual-action stationary bikes have a length of 39 inches, a width of 27 inches, and a height of 48 inches. This is the standard size, but you can find other models that are bigger or smaller compared to this.
If you are not sure about the size, you should try it out first and see if you are comfortable using it.
4. Interactive Stationary Bikes
Interactive stationary bikes are considered the most advanced among the stationary bikes. It is fairly new in the market, but it has gained a lot of recognition as it provides more convenience to the users.
The main design of this type of bike is the interactive screen that is positioned on the handle. The LCD screen contains live shots of outdoor areas as well as mock spinning classes, which would allow you to feel like you are in a gym or fitness center attending a real class. It also contains personalized workouts depending on the model that you purchased.
This bike can be a recumbent or upright indoor bike. The videos that you can find on the screen are different depending on the manufacturer.
Why Choose Interactive Stationary Bikes?
This type of stationary bike provides a great workout to your body, and it also gives you a more exciting experience compared with the other types of stationary bikes.
One of the reasons why people stop working out is because they get bored while doing it. Using an indoor bike is definitely boring, so if you are not doing anything while working out, you might stop midway.
With this, you can change what you can see on the screen, so it will be very exciting to work out. You can also pick the personal trainer option, and every workout will be personalized to your needs.
This bike is extremely popular as it can help you improve your flexibility and help you lose weight. It will improve your strength and your overall cardiovascular health.
How to Choose an Exercise Bike
Even if you do know the different types of stationary bikes, you should still have a basic understanding of the things that you have to look for in an exercise bike. This is a big investment, and most of these bikes cost hundreds of dollars.
If you want to look for an exercise bike that would fit your needs, here are a few things that you should know about:
1. Do you need an advanced exercise bike?
Before buying an exercise bike, you should think about the reasons why you want one. For the people who are just buying an indoor bike for the sake of exercising, you don’t really need something that is too advanced. Basic indoor bicycles are already a good choice as you don’t need to track your progress.
If you need an exercise bike for the sake of training, then you need something more advanced. Look for a bike that would allow you to track basic data like your heart rate, calories burned, time, and more. This will let you know how much calories you burned and how much time you used to achieve it.
If you are the type of person who gets bored easily when working out, you might want to try stationary bikes with tablet holders. You can use your tablet while working out, and you can watch training videos.
2. The Basic Features
Before buying an indoor bike, you should know the basic features that all stationary bikes should have. It doesn’t matter if you are an athlete, or you just need to use the bike to exercise; there are certain features that an indoor cycle should always have.
Look for a bike that offers different resistance levels. There is no point in buying an indoor bike if you won’t be able to adjust the resistance levels. The seat should be cushioned and comfortable enough because you will spend a lot of time sitting.
You should also look for a stationary bike that can handle your height and weight. It should be adjustable. This is important if you are too tall or too fat.
Comfort should always be your priority, so you need to look for pedals that are wide enough for your feet. Moreover, it should have some sort of strap to prevent your feet from slipping as you pedal.
3. Excessive Noise
You have to look for a bike that won’t emit excessive noise. If there is something that would affect your work out, it would be the noise coming from the indoor cycle.
There are some brands, especially the cheaper models, that are a bit noisy when in operation. Most probably, that annoying noise will affect your focus when working out, so you have to pay extra attention to this.
Indoor bikes are very expensive, and we all know about it. Some people are capable of buying expensive models, while some decide to buy cheaper ones. It is a good idea to focus on the features when buying, but if you are on a tight budget, getting a cheaper one is pretty good already.
The best thing to do is to compare the features of the indoor bikes that you found and check which one has a lower price. Basically, the more expensive models will have the edge over the cheaper models, but if you think that the features found on expensive models are not something that you need, then go for a cheaper one.
5. Enclosed Mechanics
This is important for the safety of the kids around your house, if there’s any. If you have children at home, make sure that the indoor bike is intact, and the kids won’t have any accidents when they play around it. The exercise mechanics should be enclosed properly so that your kids won’t be injured.
At the end of the day, choosing an exercise bike would depend on your own preference. If you enjoy using a specific type of indoor bike and are already comfortable using it, then you don’t really need to switch to a different one.
When it comes to health benefits, these indoor bikes don’t have a lot of difference, so whatever you choose will always provide amazing benefits to your body. Just remember that if you do like the stationary bike you bought, it is more likely for you to use it and exercise.
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