A stationary exercise bike is one of the most engaged no-impact exercise people partake in. Whether you visit a fitness center or a personal gym at home, the presence of an exercise bike is imminent and they are essential to help your fitness.
One of the most important benefits of an exercise bike is its ability to give high fitness levels to the user in the comfort of their homes. With a stationary exercise bike, you experience real-life cycling experience at the comfort of your home and office, keeping your heart pumping and helping you stay fit.
It is essential, especially for a first-time buyer or people looking out to get another bike to know what to look out for before selecting any exercise bike.
In this article, we discuss extensively what to look out for and other valuable information that will help your selection process. We also give suggestions for some high-quality exercise bike you can buy. This is a complete buyer’s guide to correctly select the best exercise bike, either buying online or offline stores.
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Types of Exercise Bike
To select the best exercise bike, it is vital that you know the type of exercise bike you want. There are four types of exercise bike:
- Recumbent Exercise Bike
- Upright Exercise Bike
- Mini Exercise Bike or Pedal Exerciser
- Assault Bike or Exercise Bike with arm Exerciser.
Upright Exercise Bike
An upright exercise bike is very common among people because it simulates traditional biking more than other types. It is so similar that it is more or less like cycling on a traditional bike.
With an upright exercise bike, the rider seats in an upright position just like the traditional bicycle and they might have to hunch and bend over towards the handlebar.
Furthermore, their seat is more traditional. The seat is small compared to recumbent bikes and they do not have a backrest. A first-time biker might get muscle soreness using an upright bike due to the position of the rider.
There can also be seat soreness you might get until you become accustomed to the bike. Upright exercise bikes, though has its own disadvantages is one of the most sought after stationary exercise bike.
Pros of Upright Exercise Bike
- It burns more calories than other types
- Upright exercise bike have more impacts on the body and fitness
- It simulates traditional biking more
- It is more suitable for experts.
Cons of Upright Exercise Bike
- It gives back muscles soreness more until you master it well
- They have small seats, unlike recumbent bikes, thereby causing seat soreness for beginners.
Benefits of Stationary Exercise Bike
Low-Impact or No-Impact Exercise:
Other exercises have high impacts and they ultimately lead to injuries. Stationary exercise bikes have low impacts thereby making you less susceptible to injuries. An exercise bike is gentler on the joints and effective cardio. You will be hardly susceptible to hip, knee, ankle, or tendon injuries than you will be from other high impact exercises like running.
Do you want to be fit or improve your fitness level? Be sure a stationary exercise bike is a right equipment for you. A beginner can get on an exercise bike, set it to zero resistance level, and work his/her way up to the fitness ladder. For the experts, they can simply increase the resistance level of the bike to have higher challenges and increase fitness levels.
Great for Cardiovascular
An exercise bike will surely get your heart pumping faster; we can assure you that it’s a good one to help improve your cardio. This will exercise your heart, improve your health, and ultimately reduce your risk of getting heart diseases.
Help Burn Fat
Weight loss is one of the important benefits of getting an exercise bike. Compared to running, calories burnt might be lower; however, an hour intense cycling can help burn up to 800 calories.
Top 3 Best Upright Stationary Exercise Bikes
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Recumbent Exercise Bikes
A recumbent bike is much easier to use compared to the upright exercise bike and it is more recommended for people with physical limitations like back pains who find it difficult to maintain an upright position on upright exercise bikes.
Recumbent bike, due to its ease of usage is also a good one for beginners. The user sits comfortably on the large seat with backrest for more support. It is the best exercise bike for bad backs because it puts the user in a more comfortable position and gives enough support, natural sitting position, and gives a better spinal position.
The bike helps reduce muscle soreness and fatigue. Due to the comfortable sitting position and other supports like backrest and side handle, the body’s weight is evenly distributed across butts and back region, thereby, reducing pains.
Read more: Best Recumbent Exercise Bike
Semi-recumbent exercise bike:
Over the years, there have been improvements in recumbent bikes which lead to semi-recumbent bikes. This type’s structure is between upright and recumbent bikes. The rider is in a position that is not too high like upright and not too low like a recumbent bike.
With this, your comfort is guaranteed as their seat is large with padded backrest. The body is also in a comfortable position and has more impact on the rider. They give results faster than recumbent bikes but not as fast as upright bikes. We can easily describe them as the intermediate of upright and recumbent bikes.
Pros of Recumbent Bikes
- It is a great choice for people with physical limitation
- Recumbent bikes help burn fat
- It is a good choice for beginners
- You have a lesser risk of sustaining injuries
- It is more comfortable to use.
Cons of Recumbent Bikes
- It has lesser impact compared to an upright bike
- The result is slower.
Top 3 Best Recumbent Stationary Exercise Bikes
Pedal Exerciser/Mini Exercise Bike
Pedal exercisers are mini exercise bikes; they are very small and compact in shape that they fit even under the desk. They are more suited for folks who live a sedentary lifestyle but need regular exercise to keep them completely active and fit.
As stated above, they are portable and fit under the office desk; therefore, you can pedal as you work on your important project. Most people get this for their grandparent who spends most time indoor. It is one of the best exercise bikes for seniors.
When you get the best mini exercise bike, you are sure it will keep you active; however, it does not have much effect like the upright and recumbent bike. It will surely help you burn calories but not as rapidly as an upright bike.
The pedal exerciser is more recommended to keep you active, if you need more intense exercise, getting an upright bike is a good option.
Pros of Mini Exercise Bike
- They are good for small spaces and apartments
- You should consider them for office use
- A good choice to keep the seniors and people who live sedentary lifestyle active
- It helps burn calories
- They can also be used as an arm exerciser
Cons of Mini Exercise Bike
- It has a lesser impact when used for weight loss
- The exercise is less intense compared to upright and recumbent bikes.
Read more: Top 10 Best Mini Exercise bike
Assault Bike or Exercise Bike with arm Exerciser
Assault bikes are dual-action bikes that give you the luxury of lower and upper body workout at the same time. They can be either upright or recumbent; therefore, getting a good knowledge about them will be essential to select a good assault bike.
Read more: Best exercise bike with moving arms
How to select the Best Stationary Exercise Bike
Here are the important features to look out for when selecting the best exercise bike no matter the type of exercise bike you decide to buy.
Strength of the frame/Weight capacity
Every product will have the weight capacity they can successfully accommodate. Always check the product description if you are buying online to see this information. This is vital for your safety and to help the product last longer. Ensure your body weight does not exceed the recommended weight capacity specified by the maker.
Size (Dimension) of the Frame
Stationary exercise bike differs in size and shape. Some are very portable and while some will accommodate wide areas in the home or gym. Therefore, what space do you want to spare for your new bike? How big is your house? These questions will help you to correctly choose the best size or dimension of the exercise bike you have to buy.
Adjustable Frame and Seat
You need an exercise bike you can adjust to your height perfectly. If an exercise bike does not perfectly fit you, you will not get the best result you intend. Not only that, it will too uncomfortable for you to use, therefore, it is vital to check that your height falls within the maker’s recommended user’s height.
Being able to adjust the resistance makes it possible to customize your workout difficulty to your fitness level. A beginner can start with no resistance level and work his/her way up. An adjustable resistance feature makes it easy to set the difficulty of your workout to match your fitness level.
It should be noted that the range of resistance levels differs in different bikes. Some have 8-levels while some are more than this to accommodate more workout difficulty.
There are some workout accessories your bike may or may not have. There are vital accessories like the LCD screen to monitor your workout data and pulse monitor. Some exercise bikes can come with MP3 player, USB port among others.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you lose belly fat by riding a stationary bike?
The stationary exercise bike is a great way to burn calories and fat, therefore, when done correctly, added to other belly fat exercises will effectively help you lose belly fat.
How long should you exercise on a stationary bike?
The time you should ride an exercise bike is completely dependent on you and your fitness level. It can differ between beginners and experts. Some can go on for hours while novice might not even go more than 20 minutes.
How long will also depend on your fitness goals, how fast you want results, especially for those who want to burn calories and fats, the longer and the more intense, the faster you get your desired result.
We recommend 30 minutes per day for 5 days in the week if you are a beginner. Then, you can up your game from there as you get fitter.
Is an exercise bike as good as walking?
YES, both exercise bike and walking will help you burn fat and calories. If your goal is to lose weight, you might want to consider an exercise bike more than walking. We believe these two can be mixed to achieve greater results.
Does an exercise bike tone your legs?
Riding on a stationary exercise bike, especially the upright exercise bike is very similar to a bicycle and they give the same results. Therefore, riding on a stationary bike will strengthen and tone the legs, thigh, and butts just like the way riding on a bicycle will do.
Is it OK to ride a stationary bike every day?
An exercise bike is a low-impact exercise that poses little or no threat to your joints. There is a lesser risk of getting injured riding on a stationary bike if you select correctly, therefore, you can definitely ride every day as it is OK.