Which Exercise Bike Is Best For You?

Placing less stress on your joints than some other equipment options, exercise bikes are the cardio machine of choice for a lot of fitness fanatics. But how do you distinguish between an upright, recumbent, racer and air bike, and which one should you be buying? Keep reading for our low-down on indoor cycling machines…

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UPRIGHT EXERCISE BIKES

Generally the most popular type of stationary bike, an upright cycle is considered the closest you can get to everyday outdoor riding. Ideal for beginners and seasoned cyclists alike, the upright offers a relatively inexpensive entry route for those seeking high quality aerobic training gear without breaking the bank.

Boasting similarities to a road bike, you can either sit or stand whilst pedalling on an upright, allowing you to vary the muscles you target. Be wary of your posture though! It’s all too easy to lean forward and slip into a slouching position when riding, which can cause back pain over time. Large consoles and displays keep you informed and connected throughout your workout. Upright bikes have a small footprint too, taking up less space in your home (room for more gym equipment!) For those who are short on room, the upright is your better option here.

Choose an upright bike if:

  • You’re training on a budget
  • You want to target multiple muscle groups
  • Your workout area is short on space
  • You want built-in workouts

 

RECUMBENT EXERCISE BIKES

A common misconception in the fitness world is that you will burn less calories on a recumbent compared to an upright, but this is incorrect! While you may not be able to work as many muscles (you’re required to remain seated) you will still burn an equal number of calories. Plus, recumbents offer unbeatable comfort thanks to the chair-like seat that supports your back throughout the workout, meaning you can ride for longer and actually burn more calories!

Perfect for those recovering from injury, the recumbent benefits from a lower seat position, meaning it’s easier to get onto and ride. This reclined position, however, means your lower body and legs have to work harder against gravity.

With a larger footprint, a recumbent takes up more space than an upright, and are generally more expensive too. Not a big deal in most cases, but something to take into account.

Choose a recumbent bike if:

  • You want a comfortable workout
  • You suffer from back pains, or you’re recovering from injury
  • You want built-in workouts

 

RACERS

Racers, commonly known as “spin bikes”, simulate hill climbing and sprinting to work your lower body with extreme intensity as you would in an actual race. As with an upright, you can either sit or stand on a racer, varying the muscle groups you target for the best possible results. Traditionally sporting heavier flywheels, racers demand greater effort to maximise your calorie burn. If weight loss is your goal, aim for a heavier flywheel!

The combination of a racing position, easily changeable resistance and advanced flywheel provides a more powerful workout. If you’re into your high intensity interval training (HIIT), go for a racer.

Choose a racer if:

  • You’re an experienced rider
  • You want to simulate a racing experience
  • You’re into HIIT

 

AIR BIKES

Currently making waves in the CrossFit world, air bikes use a large fan for resistance, rather than flywheels and magnetic or friction braking. The more effort you give, the more resistance it delivers! Not only do they target your legs, but the moving handlebars engage your upper body and core for an intense, full body workout.

Sitting in a similar position to an upright, you can either stand or sit during workouts. Using both your arms and legs in unison burns far more calories than any other bike. A small footprint makes them a great addition to any home gym environment too!

This versatility means users of all fitness levels can use an air bike for ultimate results. Despite the high effort required, air bikes are low impact, making it great for your joints, plus, you get a great cooling effect from the fan that keeps you cool during your workout.

Choose an air bike if:

  • You want maximum calorie-burn
  • You’re into HIIT
  • Your workout area is short on space

 

If you’re still unsure about which exercise bike is best for you, stop by one of our 10 showrooms. Get expert advice our experienced sales advisors, and try any of the bikes before you buy!

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Fitness Superstore

A "Bricks & Mortar" retailer founded in 1994, Fitness Superstore is the largest supplier of specialist fitness equipment in the UK, with eleven stores nationwide.
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