Of all the gym equipment available in professional or home gyms, the exercise bike is probably the most seen and recognized. It’s easy to use (simply grab on and pedal!), has a smaller price tag and is a highly effective gym machine for a cardio workout. Here’s a more in-depth look into gym cycles so that you can make a more informed decision on your next buy.
How an Exercise Cycle Works
There are parts common to find in every exercise cycle, no matter what the type. Understanding the working of these parts will go a long way in helping you buy the right bike. A few of these components are already familiar to those that are cyclists. All exercise cycles have a wheel (usually placed where a road bicycle’s front wheel would be) that is attached to the pedals by a chain or belt. There is also resistance on the wheel in some form to mimic the friction of the road and the braking mechanisms. You can change this resistance like you would change gears, altering the amount of effort required to pedal.
Types of Cycles
To buy any cycling exercise equipment, there are quite a few criteria that the buyer must consider but first, knowing the type of cycle you want will help immensely. The types of exercise bikes are spin bikes, upright bikes, recumbent bikes and air bikes. There is no one type of exercise bike that is “wrong” for you, since each type of bike has enough variations that there’s one for every exerciser. Choosing the right type will depend on the specific type of workout that you require among other things.
- Also called indoor cycling bikes, due to their close resemblance to road cycles.
- Have a heavy steel flywheel with a direct contact resistance system placed where a road bike’s front wheel would be.
- High intensity complete body workout with full range of motion.
- Helps you work on your lower body and upper body and can strengthen your core too, depending on the type of workout.
- A machine that gives the most variability to your workouts. Handle height can be adjusted, giving more flexibility to your workout routine.
- Called so because its higher handles and lower seat allow the user to sit upright.
- Have a lighter flywheel compared to spin bikes.
- Low impact workout that targets the abdominals and lower body with a full range of motion.
- Belt driven or magnetic resistance.
- Pedals are positioned under the body.
- Space-saving foldable bikes are available in this category of bikes.
- Called so because its back support and forward placed pedals allow the user to sit back and exercise.
- Provide the most comfort along with their workouts.
- Easier on the lower back and spine, due to reclined body posture.
- Magnetic resistance.
- Low impact lower body workout with average range of motion.
- Especially useful for people with joint problems and those recovering from injuries or surgeries.
- Called so because it has a fan-based wheel that is very light.
- Air resistance (found in fan bikes) or belt driven resistance.
- Exercises the entire body, thanks to the option of moving handles.
- Complete body workout with variable intensity and a fair range of motion.