Biking helps you get cardio exercise regularly, and it is one of the best ways to do so. And with exercise bikes being available, you are not limited to a physical bike. In many circumstances, an exercise bike is a better choice and can fit easily in your own personal gym. It is a versatile cardio machine that offers several benefits, such as multitasking capability, affordable cost, and limited space usage.
When looking for an exercise bike, you will find that there are a few different types of exercise bikes available in the market. Each type of exercise bikes has something different to offer and is better suited for some particular activity. So, before deciding on a bike, it is important to take into account what each one has to offer.
Now, let’s take a look at the different types of exercise bikes:
1. Upright Bikes
Of all the exercise bike types, upright bikes are one of the most popular. Their design most resembles a free road bicycle. The seat supports the weight of the user, while the pedals are aligned under the feet of the user. Upright bikes require the users to slightly bend forward with their hands on the handlebars while pedaling. And thanks to their minimal design, upright bikes tend to have the smallest footprint.
Upright Bike Uses
An upright bike has many uses, chief of which is a great workout. Besides that, people use these bikes for various different reasons. These bikes help you get a low-impact type of cardio exercise. They can also help you build endurance and strength in your leg muscles.
This means this type of exercise bikes are a great way to build muscle, get in shape, and lose weight. And as upright exercise bikes are similar to traditional road bikes, they are often used by passionate cyclists in the offseason.
- Upright bikes help you get a great cardio workout and strength training workout for your leg muscles
- Upright exercise bikes are very easy to use
- They can be used anywhere with little room as they take up little space
- These versatile bikes can be used both sitting and standing for more efficient workouts
- Upright bikes are among the most affordable types of exercise bikes
- Some users may find an upright bike to be uncomfortable, these complaints referred to the seats
- These bikes can cause neck and back stress, especially if you are already struggling with pain in these areas. This is the result of the hunched-over posture that is required
- Some users – elderly and overweight, may find upright exercise bikes to be somewhat unstable
2. Recumbent Bikes
After the upright bikes, recumbent exercise bikes are another one of the most popular types of exercise bikes. However, unlike upright bikes, their design isn’t similar to your typical outdoor regular bikes. The design of a recumbent bike allows you to exercise in a laidback fashion. The seat is nearly horizontal with pedals.
In addition, the seat is not a typical bicycle seat. Instead, it bears a resemblance to a chair. And you don’t need any handlebars when you are riding a recumbent bike.
Recumbent Bikes Uses
From injury recovery to training for athletic events to losing weight, people use recumbent bikes for many different reasons. Some recumbent bikes are excellent for injury recovery as they are so low-impact.
And they also put very little stress on the knee, back, neck, joints, and ankles with their sit-back design. With its easy movements, you can reclaim flexibility and mobility without being concerned about getting reinjured.
- Learning how to exercise on these bikes is very easy
- Recumbent bikes can be used in any home as they take up a little space
- With their large, comfortable seat, recumbent bikes are more comfortable than upright bikes
- These bikes are very stable and safe and ideal for elderly and overweight people
- In general, recumbent bikes cost far more than upright bikes
- Unlike upright bikes, which can be used standing up; these bikes can only be used in a seated position
- Recumbent bikes are relatively easy to store; however, they are larger than their upright counterparts
3. Indoor Cycles
Although indoor cycles are similar in appearance to upright bikes, their inner workings are entirely different. These cycles are designed to imitate the traditional outdoor road bike riding experience as exactly as possible. Indoor bikes have no motor.
A weighted flywheel system applies resistance, which can be adjusted with a lever or knob to imitate wind or hills resistance. The resemblance between indoor cycles and free road bikes makes them a well-accepted choice among serious cyclists.
Indoor Cycle Uses
Cycling training, losing weight, and spin classes are three of the most popular indoor cycle uses. These bikes provide highly effective workout, making them ideal for losing weight. This also makes them popular in spin classes. And as they very closely mimic real outdoor cycles, they are also commonly used by athletes in non-cycling related events.
- Indoor cycles provide realistic outdoor cycling experience very closely
- For a varied and efficient workout, users can ride them in standing or seated position
- These bikes are easily movable as they are somewhat small and lightweight
- They provide great cardio workouts
- Indoor cycles are easy and straightforward to use
- The seats of indoor cycles tend to be uncomfortable
- You may feel stress on the neck and lower back as you have to slightly lean forward to use an indoor cycle
- A quality indoor cycle is expensive
4. Fan or Air Bike
A fan or air bike is a stationary exercise bike for indoor with free handlebars that move forward and back. These types of exercise bikes create resistance with a big fan driven by the power and speed of the pedals and handles of the bike. If you pedal faster, you will create more resistance.
Fan or Air Bike Uses
Along with burning calories, a fan bike keeps the user cool while they exercise by creating air flow. The combination of arm movement and pedaling give the user a total body workout. These types of bikes are also typically lighter than average exercise bikes, making them easier to move. The simplicity of fan bikes makes them ideal for home use.
- Full body workout along with cooling air from the fan
- Most fan bikes are built solidly and require no electrical outlet
- Most fan bikes can support 350 pounds
- These bikes provide all the cardio benefits of running
- Simple and uncomplicated to use
- Fan bikes are heavy and large. They have a large footprint
- These types of bikes are not compact and may require their own dedicated space
- Quality fan bikes may be expensive
5. Dual-Action Stationary Bikes
Like the other ones, dual-action stationary bikes are not designed like a traditional road bicycle. That’s because they are designed to provide intense workouts for your legs as well as the upper body. Dual-action stationary bikes are available in both the recumbent and upright form, with moving handlebars.
Dual-Action Stationary Bike Uses
Dual-action bikes are used for many different purposes. The most common of them are injury recovery, a full-body workout, and weight loss. A dual-action stationary bike is a great choice if you want an all-in-one cardio workout. And because of their low impact way, these bikes are becoming increasingly popular among the elderly.
- They provide both lower and upper body workout
- Both the upper and lower body exercise is low-impact, making them ideal for elderly
- You can use the arm and leg pedals separately
- They are very easy to use
- Moving them from one place to another might seem difficult
- They have very less resemblance to real bikes
- These are among the most expensive exercise machines
6. Slim Cycles
The slim cycle is a two in one fitness machine that helps you lose weight as well as tone and sculpt your full body. It resembles riding a bicycle, except it is stationary, and it can be used in both upright as well as recumbent position. And after you are done exercising on it, you can fold it in half and store it easily.
Slim Cycle Uses
Exercising on the slim cycle gives you the benefits of riding a bicycle, while you can also build up your upper body simultaneously. It has a low-impact seat, so you can burn calories in a more comfortable position. Pedaling the bike is easy and enjoyable and can be done quietly.
- The cycle can be folded in half
- The seat can be adjusted
- The bike is quiet
- The handlebars are not adjustable
- Some assembly required
Which Exercise Bike is Best for You?
Choosing one from all these different types of exercise bikes is not easy. However, what you need to remember is that the best exercise bike is the one that helps your purpose and also the most enjoyable. Each type can help with various purposes and is ideal for a different type of workout, recovery, training, or some other goal. And it is essential to know all the main characteristics and features of each type before you decide on any type.