Exercise bikes are popular pieces of equipment for people to use at home and are third in popularity after elliptical trainers and treadmills. Many people prefer a form of exercise where they are sitting down and they are also great for exercising while reading to stave off boredom! They give a good cardio workout while also toning the lower body without putting strain on the knee or ankle joints. Exercise bikes come in four different types including upright bikes, recumbent bikes, dual action bikes and spin bikes. We’ve described them here so that you can decide which type would be best for you.
Upright Exercise Bikes
These are stationary bikes that look very similar to a regular road bike with a control console in the area between the handlebars. Sitting on the bike the angle of your hips will be about 45 degrees with the pedals slightly forward of the seat. While pedalling the core muscles are exercised very effectively but they can put strain on the back and knees so may not be suitable for anyone with back or joint problems. The seats also tend to be somewhat uncomfortable.
Recumbent Exercise Bikes
This type of stationary bike is becoming increasingly popular as it offers many of the advantages of an upright stationary bike but is much more comfortable and puts less strain on the joints. The seat is comfortable with a back rest and the recumbent position is preferred by many people. The pedals are located to the front of the user and the hip angle is close to 90 degrees. However if you are tall, with long legs, it might be wise to try out the model you are thinking of buying to ensure there is sufficient clearance between your knees and the console.
Dual Action Exercise Bikes
These are modifications of upright stationary bikes with movable handlebars that exercise your upper body int he same way as an elliptical trainer. They do not offer many options and are the least popular of the exercise bikes. They are good for a beginner but do not give a vigorous enough exercise for a more advanced user.
Spin Exercise Bikes
Spin bikes are usually high quality and similar to road bikes in design. They have few features found in the other types of bike but give a vigorous workout. if you are not looking for fancy features but a basic exercise bike for a good, intense workout this may be the type to choose.
Some Things to Consider When Buying an Exercise Bike
Whichever type of exercise bike you decide to buy there are some common things to look out for. Stability of the bike is important and some cheap bikes are too light to be stable especially when you progress to more vigorous workouts. Choose a bike with a good range of resistances and programmes so that it will adapt to your needs as your fitness improves. You should also make sure you are within the recommended weight limit of the bike and that it can be adjusted to fit your height. A good warranty is also important.