Previously, we looked at buying a treadmill, in this article we will take a look at buying an exercise bike. Exercise bikes have become popular once again due to spin classes after the hype around them had previously faded. Riding bikes can be a fun way to get fit at the gym or at home. The good news is exercise bikes don’t take a lot of room to store. Exercise bikes are good for calves, quads, hamstring, glutes & hip flexors. Some exercise bikes allow for total body work outs since they require more than just pedalling to operate. Also, before going on a journey to buying an exercise bike, you need to decide your fitness goals; pick a bike that will have the features that will help keep track of your fitness goals. Also, check your house to make sure you have enough space to store the bike; use a tape measure to measure the dimensions of the space available. This will help when you are shopping for the exercise bike. Now, on to the exercise bikes.
There are 3 types of exercise bikes which come in manual or electric form; manual bikes require physical activity to work while electric bike consume electricity. Spinner bikes, Upright bikes & Recumbent bikes. The bikes look & feel similar but there are some differences.
The seats on a spin bike are level with handlebars giving a similar experience to riding a real bike which is good for burning calories fast. The design of spin bikes makes you work hard when pedalling.
The handles on an upright bike are higher than the seat, which allows for more comfort while exercising. This comfort allows a person to mimic riding outdoors on a Sunday morning with family & friends.
Recumbent bikes are good for people with back problems. The main functionality of recumbent bikes is comfort while exercising. The bikes are equipped with a chair & back support.
Resistance: Bikes that offer different levels of workouts are the best. You can use the controls to adjust the level of difficulty to get the work out you want. If you plan to watch TV or listen to music, a quiet & more durable would be best for you.
Heart Rate Monitor: Bikes usually have a contact monitor or a chest strap to measure your heart rate. Chest straps are the best monitors to use because they don’t obstruct your movement.
Programs: Beginners have different fitness levels to pros. Get a bike that allows you to adjust the programs to your level of fitness, age, weight & gender. Some programs allow a user to customize their workouts to achieve their goals.
Display: The display screen should be large enough to show stats such as heart rate, resistance levels, distance, speed, time & calories burned
Safety: Due to the many moving parts, safety is very important especially if you have kids. A bike with a safety lock will come in very handy & while the machine is in use kids need to be closely supervised to avoid accidents.
Comfort: Bike seats can be very uncomfortable. This will make long exercise bikes unbearable. You can add a padded seat cover or get an exercise bike with wide well-padded seats. Having a back support will also help increase level of comfort. Also, being able to adjust your seat plays into comfortability as well as having handlebars that are comfortable to the hands.
Media Compatibility: Being able to connect your phone to the program on the exercise bike is important if you want to listen to music from your phone or watch a video as you ride your bike. This option doesn’t really matter that much if you prefer to use a pair of headphones & just use your phone. It all depends on what you prefer.
Cost & Warranty
Exercise bikes cost anywhere from $100 to $2,400. Deciding on your budget for an exercise bike is the first step should you decide to buy an exercise bike. Whichever one you decide to get, I would recommend getting warranty that provides coverage for at two to three years on major moving parts and a year for labour. The higher end ones offer a lot more features than the cheap ones. If your sole priority for using an exercise bike & don’t really care about the extra features, you can get a good cheap exercise bike that will last a long time. Just be sure to keep kids’ safety in mind when unsupervised or when they come close to the machine when in use.
Try It Before You Buy It
Before buying a car its highly recommended taking it for a test drive before buying. Same case applies here; test the bike out before buying. It will take some digging to find a place that will let you test the bike before buying it but, I would suggest a gym or hotel gyms if they have the same make & model of the bike you are looking to buy. If you can’t test it before buying, I would suggest checking the return policy of the store or where you will buy the bike to see if you can return it should the machine not meet your needs. One key reason to test before buying is to see whether the machine is too big or too small for you. You don’t want to spend money on a piece of equipment that you can’t return & will take up space in your house & you could use the space for something else.
In conclusion, exercise bikes are a great way to getting fit & staying fit. Fitness goals & space available should be the first considerations before diving deep into the world of buying an exercise bike. You have the option of an upright bike, spin bike & a recumbent bike. Features such as heart rate monitor, display, media compatibility safety & programs are some of the features you will want to consider. Price range for exercise bike is $100 to $2,400. Most importantly, take it for test drive if you can before committing to buying.
If you have purchased an exercise bike before, what was you experience like, please leave a comment below & let me know.