All exercise bikes provide a low-impact form of cardio exercise, and are an excellent way to get in shape, build muscle, or lose weight. Yet, before buying a bike, it’s important to know some of the distinct differences between the different types of stationary bikes. Let’s take a look:
For cycling enthusiasts and more advanced users, the indoor cycle is generally the best option as they offer a smoother and more natural workout than upright bikes and recumbent bikes. Indoor cycling bikes (or spinning bikes) have a weighted flywheel which is connected to the pedals through a transmission system, a design which more effectively imitates the feeling of an outdoor cycling experience. Furthermore, since an indoor cycling bike is similar to a road bike in many ways, it also has to be ridden in the same manner. This means you will have to lean forward to a nearly crouching position as you ride the bike. You will also need to adjust the handlebars to suit your height and you will be able to simulate changing gears as you adjust the resistance by turning a knob. You can also vary the muscles that are targeted while creating a more intensive work out by pedaling while standing up when exercising on an indoor cycle.
This bike as the name suggests, it features an upright cycling position, so do you not have to crouch forward with an upright bike. Upright bicycles also tend to be more comfortable than indoor cycles as the seat is big with heavy cushioning. Padding is also fit and handlebars configured to ease exercising. The pedals and frame lack reinforcement as in indoor cycle. Thus, the rider can’t stand while riding.
The upright exercise bike isn’t for heavy duty training like the spinning type. Thus, the feature lighter flywheels and bike frame. This bike comes with either magnetic or electromagnetic resistance system. Others come with a fan type resistance. They have lighter flywheels, thus, ideal for home and regular gyms.
Most upright bikes come pre-programmed with a number of different preset workout programs that can be used to simulate the feeling of riding up and down a hill. They also typically feature a central console that allows you to fine-tune your workout based on a number of parameters, allowing you to customize your workout.
Recumbent bikes are one of the most popular types of exercise bikes, constructed with the seat nearly horizontal with the pedals. Additionally, the seat isn’t a regular bicycle seat. Instead, it closely resembles a chair. Recumbent bikes are very good for building leg strength, because the back and upper body is supported, the legs are isolated and have to work harder without the support of trunk and upper body movement. For this same reason, recumbent bikes are ideal for for injury recovery because they are so low-impact. Their sit-back design places very little stress on the knees, ankles, back, neck, or joints. The easy movements allow you to regain mobility and flexibility without fear of becoming re-injured while at the same time, providing excellent calorie-burning cardio. Therefore, those looking to lose weight at home often opt for recumbent bikes as well. Finally, recumbent bikes are comfortable to ride which, some experts say, means you're more likely to get back on it when struggling for motivation.
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