Exercise bikes can be used for a variety of reasons; from building up stamina, losing weight, physiotherapy or cycle training. Choosing the right exercise bike will be of the utmost importance in making sure you achieve your fitness goals. So how do you know which bike is best suited for your requirements?
The two main factors in determining which bike you pick are whether you want to lose weight or increase your performance.
Losing weight requires a ‘straight back’ position whereas if you are looking for serious pedalling power you’ll require a ‘forward’ position for your back.
If you are using the bike for physiotherapy then remember you will probably be in some discomfort to begin with. Therefore, having the options of changing positions frequently to get comfortable is crucial. You’ll also want a fairly comfortable seat which is quite padded, and not one of those racing ones that comes with performance exercise bikes.
This is the same for any cardio training, where you are sitting on the bike for more than half an hour each session. Being able to change the back position is important.
As for performance training, it is the pedalling that you should be concentrating on. Getting the back to bend forward to increase the pedal power here is central to your fitness. These bikes tend to mimic the actual racing bikes you see on the roads so will have hard seats.
Here are two of the best exercise bikes in both categories:
WEIGHTLOSS EXERCISE BIKES
If you are new to exercise bikes this one is perfect to getting you used to working out with one. It comes with 30 pre-set programmes that all give advice on how to burn off calories, ideal for weight loss challenges. You don’t feel as if you are just sat on a bike pedalling for no good reason.
What we really like about this bike is the iFit app that is an additional extra. Using your internet connection, the iFit allows you to plug in your tablet and ride around the world with Google maps! See actual terrain as you ride on it and even more exciting, the bike will change its resistance to copy the terrain!
Comes with extra wide pedals so your feet won’t slip off and you can see all your data from your ride, i.e., distance, speed, time, calories, and heart rate.
PERFORMANCE TRAINING BIKES
You can see immediately that the Sunny Health & Fitness bike is more suited to performance, thanks to the high position of the seat and the way the back will be bent forward. The seat is fully adjustable so it will suit all kinds of riders, and can support up to 275 pounds in weight.
Features include a 40-pound flywheel, a heavy-duty crank, and a smooth chain drive mechanism. Operating the exercise bike is simple enough and it is extremely quiet when you are riding it.
What we like about this bike is that is that there are loads of adjustments you can make to make the bike more comfortable or to provide a more challenging ride. For example, the seat can be moved up and down as well as forward and back, the handlebars feature a multi-curved design so you can either rest your forearms on them or use your hands as normal.
The bike has a sturdy, heavy-duty steel frame which feels super stable when you are on it. Includes transport wheels for easy mobility.