Tips & Techniques

The Benefits of Exercise Bikes

The Benefits of Exercise Bikes

The benefits of Exercise Bikes

Exercise bikes come in all different shapes, sizes and colours (not dissimilar to humans) but the most important thing to look for is effectiveness. When determining the effectiveness of any piece of fitness equipment you should first have a clear idea of what you wish to achieve from your fitness program. Once that is clear in your mind then look for the style of exercise bike which feels comfortable for you to use. If your exercise bike is not comfortable you will be less likely to use it on a regular basis.


Upright exercise bikes.


The most common exercise bike is the upright style. With this type of bike you sit upright on the seat with your legs pushing down on the pedals. It is important to keep your torso upright with your shoulders back and your abdominals tight to give support to your back. If you slouch and let your shoulders droop you may find your back will be aching at the end of your session. The Upright bike vary in quality and price but most importantly look for one that has at least the 5 following features,

1)   Easy step through access (swan neck).

2)   Adjustable magnetic resistance (6-8 levels).

3)   Broad comfortable low-density gel seat.

4)   Monitor displaying Distance, Time, calories used and Heart rate sensors.

5)   Wheels for moving from room to room.

In the main upright exercise bikes are pretty docile and are not generally made for really pushing it. So if it’s an exercise bike you require to just burn a few calories and maintain a little mobility in the legs this may fit the bill.



Recumbent exercise bikes.


The recumbent exercise bike has more of an armchair look and feel to it, having a back fitted to the seat and the pedals in an elevated position set forward and straight out from the seat. This set up keeps the hips in a stable position, which can be very advantages for those with knee or hip problems. The recumbent exercise bike has become increasingly popular due to our aging population, the obviously advantages for the pregnant and use for rehabilitation after injury or surgery. When selecting a recumbent bike here are a few of the more important features to look for.

1)   Easy step-through access.

2)   Adjustable seat lever, especially if there will be multiply users.

3)   Comfortable seat with preferably ‘air flow’ back rest.

4)   Stable frame and foot bars.

5)   Multi levels of resistance, 6-8 increments.


Spin Bike.


Now we are talking, if your really serious about shedding a considerably amount of unwanted body fat or drastically increasing your cardiovascular fitness then the spin bike is for you, but remember at the end of the day it is not only about the piece of fitness equipment, you’re the one who will determine your rate of success.

The main reason for the Superiority of the Spin Bike design over the traditional upright bike is the inclusion of a heavier flywheel. Most upright bikes have a flywheel of 4-8kgs where as the recommended weight of a spin bike flywheel is about 20kgs. The extra weight of the spin bike fly wheel allows the user to obtain a higher training intensity level by performing Up hill climbs, out of seat sprints, low speed hi-resistance training and over-all having a similar feel to a road bike in a far safer environment.

Important: When purchasing a spin bike the three most important features to look for are, a) ‘V 121’ frame, to allow set up for correct riding position, b) Belt drive for quiet maintenance free (no greasy chain) and c) a flywheel weight of 20kgs.

Other features which are not as important but still preferable are:

  • Sufficient seat adjustment height to suit most user.
  • Steel pedals (not plastic).
  • Computer to track time, speed, distance and calories.
  • Vertical and Horizontal seat and handle bar adjustment.
  • High commercial quality three-piece crank.
  • Manual screw down brake and resistance system.
  • Indoor transport wheels.

Exercising on a Spin, Spinning or similar type of bike is one of the most effective ways to lose body fat, condition the heart and lungs and tone the body.

As I said at the start, when making your decision on what exercise bike to purchase, know what you want to achieve from the bike and then look for the one that you feel most comfortable with and on. Now go for it.


Good luck, train hard and regularly.

David Renouf






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