When the long days of summer of 2015 start coming to an end and turn to wind and rain, it may be difficult to go outside and workout on your bicycle.
Training is no fun when it’s cold and miserable so your cardio may suffer. However, an indoor bike trainer could be the answer to your fitness dilemma.
Here are the main benefits of indoor cycling bikes:
- Wear and tear – In the winter, the wear and tear on your bike can increase. It will help to keep your road bike in good condition for competitions.
- Controlled – A workout bike allows you to fully control the training environment. Speed and resistance can be fine-tuned to offer you more targeted training and better cardio performance.
- Safety – A stationary bike is much safer than riding outside on the road with cars. They are also low impact on joints and muscles – great for injury prevention.
- Comfort – Exercise machines usually can usually be adjusted to better suit your body. As weight isn’t an issue they don’t skimp on comfort in favour of speed and performance.
I am a physical trainer in the Army and use stationary bikes as part of my workouts. When I started looking for the best exercise bikes for sale, I found there were a huge number of options available. From recumbent and upright bikes to spin and even portable ones! With so many features and price points, I struggled to decide on which one to buy. In this article I have done the hard work for you…
- 1 Recumbent Exercise Bikes
- 2 Elliptical Bicycles
- 3 Spin & Stationary Bikes
- 4 Commercial Gym Bikes
- 5 Stationary Bike for Home
- 6 Folding / Portable Bike
- 7 Desk Exercise Bike
- 8 Buying a Cheap / Used Exercise Bike
Recumbent Exercise Bikes
The recumbent is a sit down style of equipment. The rider is usually sat back with their legs out in front. The main benefits of this are:
- Low impact – Like rowing machines which are very low-impact, the risk of injury is reduced due to the positioning, they are great for injury rehabilitation.
- Ergonomic design – the stance is comfortable and places less strain on your back and shoulders.
Check out our recumbent exercise bike review below:
This bike has 1336 reviews on Amazon and is clearly the leader in recumbent bikes. It has an 8 level magnetic tension and an LCD display to view key metrics
Elliptical cycles are also known as cross trainers. They are operated by 2 pedals that swing in circles and simulate a climbing or walking action. They are a great slow burn cardio activity which puts you in the best heart rate zone for maximal fat burning.
The main advantage of this style is the full body workout that it provides. Not only are you training your legs but also your core and upper body. They burn as many calories as treadmills but without the wear and tear that running places on the knee joints. They are also great for the home as they much quieter. Top tip – make sure to use a full range of motion to increase flexibility.
Check out our elliptical exercise bike review below:
At a reasonably priced $91, this bike is a clear winner in terms of features vs cost. It is compact, sturdy and good looking. It also uses magnetic tension and an LCD screen that displays distance, calories burned, speed and elapsed time.
Spin & Stationary Bikes
Spin Bikes is actually a trademarked name but is synonymous with this style. The correct name is indoor exercise bicycle or stationary bike. Often used in gyms, they offer a “road cycling experience”. If you are looking for an even more authentic riding experience than a turbo-trainer allows you to use your own bike at home.
Spinning bikes share many of the same characteristics of conventional bikes. This often includes gearing, a drive train and standard seats and pedals. This is great if you are looking for a machine to substitute for riding outside. You will be more familiar with the positioning and will work out the body, in the way that is beneficial to competitive cyclists.
Check out our spin bike review below:
This one is a little on the expensive side but is aimed at dedicated cyclists. It has fully adjustable seats and handlebars and uses a belt-driven flywheel for quiet workouts. Tension is adjusted using the dial and can provide up to 49 lbs of resistance.
Commercial Gym Bikes
Are you looking for a commercial gym bike for a gym or personal training? Then you may wish to consider these additional points:
- Wear and Tear – It will probably be in use more often so it is important to choose something that is hard wearing and serviceable.
- Size adjustments – As it will be used by more than one individual, it should have plenty of size and height adjustments.
- Health and Safety – If you are running a gym, you should consider ease of use and the difficulty in operating the machine. Additional health and safety features such as emergency stop straps are beneficial.
Check out our commercial gym bike review below:
As most commercial gym bikes come in at well over $2000+, this is a cost effective investment. Key features include built in heart rate monitoring and pre-programmed workouts. With a lifetime guarantee (6 years for electronics) it is a sensible choice for gym owners.
Stationary Bike for Home
Exercise bikes are ideal for home use. They are affordable, small and quiet. Here are some things to consider when looking to buy:
- Size – Space may be limited at home, you may need a relatively small bike for a spare bedroom or garage.
- Noise – Is much more of a consideration at home. You may have little ones or neighbours. A quiet bike means you can work out in peace without disturbing others.
- Looks – It may take some time to convince your better half to keep a bike trainer in the house so you may as well get one that looks good!
Check out our best reviewed stationary bike review:
For home use, I’d recommend an upright bike for a more versatile workout. Schwinn is a leader in the field and this model has 4 star rating. It boasts infinite wind resistance and an interactive display for key metrics. If you are using this at home, make sure to buy a sweat mat to go underneath.
Folding / Portable Bike
If you really are limited on space then a folding exercise bike is the way to go. They can be folded and packed away into a cupboard when not in use. This frees up extra space in the house but there are a few downsides however:
Construction – Due to the nature of the folding frame and mechanisms they may not be as strong as fixed frame.
Out of sight out of mind – My own exercise bike is fully assembled at all times. If it was packed away in the cupboard, I’m not sure I would take the time to assemble it and workout on it as often.
We have picked out the best reviewed folding frame on the web:
Marcy is another well known brand in the fitness world. Their flagship folding bike has minimal features but great reviews. The smart frame design means it can be stored in a cupboard and takes seconds to assemble.
Desk Exercise Bike
Believe it or not, you can buy desk exercise bikes to work out while at work! The benefits of exercising at work have been documented at great lengths. It improves mood productivity and of course cardiovascular health and fitness. This author of this article used the Desk Cycle for a day and burned over 1400 calories in 1 work day!
That said, here are a few considerations when buying a desk exercise bike:
· Noise – Obviously your colleagues may not be too happy if they have to listen to you pedalling away.
· Low Profile – It should be an inconspicuous model that tucks neatly under your desk.
Here is our best desk exercise bike review:
This is the bike that brought cycling at your desk to the mainstream. If you are looking for style and sophistication then this is the model to go for. It has a low profile design to ensure you don’t bang your knees and a patented resistance mechanism that is claims to be super-quiet. They have even managed to squeeze a display on to the tiny frame.
Buying a Cheap / Used Exercise Bike
If you are limited on budget then you may be looking at cheap or used exercise bikes. Fitness equipment is a second-hand buyers’ market so check out Gumtree or Ebay for some great deals.
If you prefer to buy new, we have cherry picked the best cheap stationary bike for sale below:
I believe this is as cheap as you can really go without skimping too much on quality and features. This basic but sturdy bike is fan operated and is one of the cheapest models to include LCD display. A great beginner bike with variable tension that should keep you making progress for a while.