• Exercise Bike Reivews

    The Information You Need to Buy the Best Exercise Bike

    When you’re trying to get fit, you’ll find a lot of people recommending yoga, CrossFit, HIIT and exercises you hate. And then the dreaded “treadmill” is uttered, and you just want to run away back to your ice cream and the comfortable couch.

     

    The best exercise bike will provide you with an immense cardiovascular, fat-burning workout that will keep you in shape. You’ll burn an extreme amount of calories (more on that soon) and you don’t need to do chin-ups, pull-ups or squats.

     

    Don’t get me wrong, these are all great exercises for strength. But not everyone wants to “bulk up.”

     

    And there are a lot of exercise bike reviews that will guide you to the perfect model for your needs and budget.

  • What Are Exercise Bikes?

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    Exercise bikes are simple: they’re stationary bikes. These are bikes that stay in one place and allow you to cycle for hours on end without ever leaving the room. And there are a lot of benefits to choosing an exercise bike over, say, a treadmill or stair climber.

     

    While you may have seen exercise bikes before, you probably don’t realize that there are many types to choose from:

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  • What Types of Exercise Bikes Exist?

    There are four main exercise bike options available, and they all provide a great cardiovascular workout. In terms of caloric burn, you’ll find that most models are similar, but they offer different benefits. The recumbent, for example, is ideal if you have a bad or injured back. Some of the most common types of exercise bikes include:

    • Upright - A “traditional” bike. These exercise bikes are very similar to riding a traditional bicycle. You’ll sit on a seat that is similar to your ten-speed, and the pedals are similar as well. You’ll feel like you’re riding an ordinary bike, and there are handlebars that can be grabbed as well.
    • Recumbent - A recumbent is ideal for anyone that needs more back support. If you’ve had back pain or injuries, a recumbent is the right model for your needs. These bikes have pedals like a normal bike, but they have a much larger seat and backrests. The pedals are also in front of the seat instead of below the seat. Note: You won’t receive any form of upper body exercise with these bikes, but cardiovascular and lower body exercise is the same as an upright.
    • Indoor Cycles (Spinners): Spinning classes have made indoor cycles popular. These exercise bikes have mechanical components, and a real chain and pedaling system. They’re very similar to a real bike. Basic in nature, these machines often lack consoles or advanced technologies, and you’ll lean forward on the handlebars to focus on your speed.
    • Dual-Action: Dual-action exercise bikes are less common, but they do provide a superb full body workout. These bikes allow you to cycle as you normally would, but you’ll also be incorporating your upper body into the mix because the handles move back and forth much like an elliptical machine.

    When looking at exercise bike reviews (we’ll be offering our own soon), you’ll find that dual-action models are much harder to find and that many of the best exercise bikes come with a lot of added features: resistance, monitoring, pre-set programs and a variety of other options.

  • Exercise Bikes?What Are the Benefits of

    Exercise bikes will provide you with long-lasting, substantial health benefits, including improved muscle tone, a healthier cardiovascular system and weight control. Let’s take a look at the benefits you’ll receive when riding your exercise bike:

    • Caloric Burn: Working at a desk and being stuck in a cubicle has caused people to be sedentary during the day. Exercise bikes engage your lower and upper (sometimes) body to start burning more calories (hello, weight loss). Cycling at a moderate rate for a 155-pound person for just 30 minutes will help you burn 260 calories on average. Increased intensity, resistance or different body weight will result in more or less calories burned.
    • Strength Increase: Getting moving will allow you to maintain muscle and build muscle. When you ride a bike, you’re engaging your quadriceps, calves and hamstrings, and these are just the primary muscles that are engaged.
    • Cardiovascular and Stamina: Any form of cardiovascular exercise will get the heart pumping, and the respiratory system working. Cycling allows you to enjoy better heart health, increases lung capacity (depending on your efforts) and allows you to have more stamina.  You’ll be able to walk further over time and ride your bike longer without getting out of breath so easily.

    And there is another major benefit to exercise bikes: joint health. When you use a bike to exercise, you’ll ensure that your joints are moving, reducing muscle tightness and boosting mobility. You’ll also be engaging in a low impact exercise that is easy on the joints. If you have hip, knee or ankle issues, running on a treadmill puts excess strain on the joints.

     

    Riding a stationary bike removes this strain, allowing you to exercise without making your aches and pains worse.

  • Exercise Bikes Vs Other Types of Equipment

    When comparing an exercise bike to other pieces of equipment, it's only fair to compare it to other cardio-based machines. Ideally, you want to compare exercise bikes to elliptical machines, treadmills and steppers.

     

    And they can all provide you with a great cardio workout.

     

    In terms of caloric burn, the following information is available:

    • 30 minutes on a treadmill running at 6 mph burns 345+ calories
    • 30 minutes on an elliptical for a person weighing 165 would result in 345 calories burned (the same as a treadmill in this case)
    • 30 minutes on a stepper burns 313 calories for a person weighing 150 pounds

    So, the bike does burn fewer overall calories because fewer muscles are engaged. But this doesn’t account for intensity or difficulty. One person weighing the same weight as another person could burn far less calories given the same speed and resistance due to the person’s muscular build.

     

    A professional runner may run 6 mph without having to exert as much energy as someone running for the first time.

    Then you have to worry about the joints.

    Impact Concerns

    When you run on a treadmill, you’re engaging in a high impact exercise. Your feet are leaving the ground, you’re exerting force through your ankles as you run, and the impact is felt in your knees, hips and ankles.

     

    In comparison, the elliptical machine and stepper are far less impact intensive. These machines require a different motion so that the impact on the joints are lessened.

     

    But exercise bikes are the best for low impact. Whenever reading exercise bike reviews, you’ll always find users that mention this exercise is less taxing on the joints, and is perfect for:

    • Older users
    • Injuries
    • Rehabilitation
    • Joint pain

    There is a reason why sports stars are seen on the stationary bike following an injury: it keeps the player’s stamina in top form while reducing risk of reinjury.

    How to Choose the Best Exercise Bike for Your Needs

    We’ve covered a lot of information so far, and if you still want to go with an exercise bike (and I hope you do), it’s time to really dig deep into the subject to determine how to choose the best exercise bike.

     

    But we won’t be going into your budget – it’s less important than many other concerns.

     

    Obviously, a higher budget means you can afford a machine with all of the bells and whistles, but choosing one that suits the structural and feature needs for a heart-pounding workout is much more difficult. You’ll want to keep the following in mind:

    • Seat Adjustments: Height extremes (you know, very small or tall users) need to ensure that the bike’s seat can adjust to their needs. A seat adjustment needs to allow for your knees to be slightly bent when riding. Your knees should never be fully straight or bent so much that they are hitting your face.
    • : The pedals should have a strap on them along with a textured design to keep your feet securely in place during your workout. If you have particularly wide feet, ensure that the pedals will accommodate them.
    • : If you want to build muscle, resistance should be offered. This can be as little as three resistance levels or dozens.
    • : I’m a fan of monitors or consoles for every piece of exercise equipment. A monitor allows you to stay motivated and ensures you’re pushing your own limits. The monitor should include statistics for the amount of calories burned, time and distance. Pulse settings are great, too, if you want to burn calories and maintain a high heart rate.
    • : Remember, upright and spinners put more strain on the back, while recumbent bikes are ideal if you have back issues. Choose a bike type that best fits your physical needs.
    • Size: Measure your space to ensure your bike will fit – seriously. Many exercise bikes are big, and they may take up more space than you anticipated. Also, many have transport wheels that make moving your machine much easier once assembled.
    • Weight Limit: The weight limit is a concern for heavier users. If you’re a tad on the heavy side, make sure that the exercise bike chosen is able to accommodate your weight.

    Obviously, you’ll want to look through exercise bike reviews to find out what complaints, if any, other users have had with their exercise bike.

    And trust me, there is always going to be a complaint.

     

    Keep in mind all of the previous concerns we discussed, such as impact concerns and choosing a recumbent if you have back issues. Otherwise, you’ll want to remember the few key points listed above when trying to find the best exercise bike for your needs and budget.

     

    And we didn’t cover some other no-brainers, such as warranties, or advanced features, like preset programs, because they are less important and more personal in nature.

     

    All of this information arms you with the vital information needed to buy an exercise bike like a pro. We’ve also taken the time to briefly review three models that we have personally tested and have performed well above the competition.

  • Exercise Bike Reviews

    Our Top 3 Picks

    1. Ultrasport Home Trainer F-Bike

    The F-bike is an upright that is extremely affordable (click here for pricing), folds away for easy storage and comes packed with eight resistance levels. Easy to move and assemble, this affordable stationary bike also offers advanced monitoring for:

    • Time
    • Calories
    • Speed
    • Pulse
    • Pulse

    Right on the machine, you’ll find that there is a pulse grip that allows you to monitor your heart rate when in motion. Tension is controlled via a dial right below the LCD display. Smaller users may have difficulty on the machine as the saddle is a little on the high side, but it is very comfortable.

     

    Noise production is very minimal with this bike, and the maximum user weight is 100 kg.

     

    You’d be hard-pressed to find an upright exercise with this level of quality at a cheaper price. It may lack some advanced functionality, but it's highly affordable and one of the best bikes in terms of quality for price.

    Ultrasport Home Trainer F-Bike

    2. JLL IC300 Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike

    The JLL IC300 is a cycling bike that is great for beginners, yet it’s advanced enough that even serious athletes will get a great workout when using it. There are six handlebar adjustments, six horizontal seat adjustments and ten vertical seat adjustments.

     

    I couldn’t see this bike not being able to accommodate a user’s height.

     

    Strong and reliable, the direct-chain allows you to pedal forward and backward while the built-in pulse sensor will track your pulse at all times. And this model can accommodate user weights of up to 130kg.

     

    Compact, this spinner has transport wheels, so you can easily move it to your desired location.

     

    There is also an emergency stop feature. The monitor that is included tracks:

    • Calories
    • Distance
    • Time
    • Pulse
    • Speed

    If you have the budget, this is one of the best spinners on the market today. You can even ride it standing up to boost your intensity level.

    3. DKN AM-E Exercise Bike

    A well-designed, exceptional upright exercise bike that is the best exercise bike on our list in terms of resistance and build. There are 32 levels of resistance offered, and all resistance is computer controlled – a rarity.

     

    Users up to 140kg can use this bike, and handle pulse sensors are built into the handlebars. You can also use a wireless chest strap (not included).

     

    The monitoring is the best out of all our exercise bike reviews, and includes:

    • RPM
    • Time
    • Speed
    • Distance
    • Pulse
    • Calories
    • Recovery

    There are also manual programs and 12 pre-set programs available. User modes and heart rate modes are available, too.

    The only downside is that this model is in the mid- to high-price range. For the quality and the features offered, this is the absolute best buy in terms of features. Even professional cyclists agree that this exercise bike has outstanding resistance and performance.

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