An exercise bike is a useful piece of equipment that is commonly found in gyms or in the home which can be used either as part of a training schedule or if just starting an exercise program.
This is a great machine for a cardiovascular workout and is suitable for many people with health problems, including the elderly, as it has a low impact on the joints. Cardiovascular exercise has been shown to reduce the incidence of many serious diseases including heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
A workout on an exercise bike is also beneficial for general fitness and those looking to lose weight.
Types of Bikes
There are several types of exercise bikes available – the movement is the same but the way it is executed is what differs. Each has its advantages and/or disadvantages and the choice depends upon your personal preference and exercise needs:
The position is similar to riding a road bike with the upper body leaning forward and hands holding the handle bars. This bike gives a high performance cardiovascular and lower body workout as well as a slight upper body workout when the handles are gripped. They only have a few features such as distance tracking and resistance adjustment.
This bike is more chair-like where the upper body is supported by a backrest. The rider is partially reclined and the pedals are in front of the seat rather than beneath it. It is especially useful for those with back problems as there is less stress on the lower back. However they do take up more space than an upright bike.
Popular in classes held at gyms and fitness centres the spin bike has low slung handlebars and a smaller seat than other types of bikes giving more of the feel of road riding. The pedals have a computer controlled resistance system and often have pre-programmed workouts available. They are designed to improve your cycling skills and give you a serious workout.
When thinking about purchasing an exercise bike the warranty on the machine is an important consideration. Generally the less expensive machines will have less warranty however different models and makes within a given price range will also have different warranties. Warranties can vary from 1 year to lifetime on the frame, 1-3 years on parts and electronics and up to 1 year on labour.
Fristly you should determine your budget then look for a machine with the features you want to fit that budget. Again, in general those with fewer features and of poorer quality will be less expensive. Prices can range from around $200 for a basic upright bike to thousands for a top of the range spin bike.