If you are overwhelmed or even a bit confused by all the different types of stationary bicycles currently available on the market, I’m afraid I have some bad news: there is even more to it. Before you go out and eat a box of donuts as gesture of protest, I assure you that the criteria for their classification this time around is not their price, the way they are used, toys and trinkets they come with, ergonomics, or the name of the manufacturer. This division is based on their design and portability. To make things more clear, I am talking about folding, and the traditional, non-folding indoor bikes with fixed frames.
In my opinion, once a piece of exercise equipment becomes more popular among the users, manufacturers begin to put more thought into the design of their exercise machines, trying to cover every single angle and come up with improvements or upgrades of their existing concepts. They try to offer more than their competitors. But now that stuff like LCD screens, heart rate monitors, and a wide selection of pre-set workout programs is pretty much standard on every stationary bike, the industry has shifted its focus to making the bicycles more portable.
While the initial attempts were sort of a mixed bag, there has been an emergence of improved folding exercise bicycles in recent years. After doing extensive research, I have decided to share my knowledge with you and to help you make a decision on which one to buy. I am going to be as objective as I can, and consider pros and cons for both folding and non-folding bikes.
Pros and Cons of Folding Exercise Bikes
Obviously, the main selling point when it comes to folding stationary bikes is the prospect of having a bicycle that can be folded easily and tucked away neatly in order to save space. This makes them ideal for people who cannot spare much space in their home for a regular bike that doesnt fold up. To make them easier to transport, most folding bikes have built-in transport wheels or even handles, so you don’t have to lift them up and carry them somewhere else after you’re done with your exercise routine.
From the aspect of space-saving, folding bicycles are an inspired idea, but you shouldn’t rush out and buy one just yet. Even though a folding bicycle take up less space than its non-folding counterpart, it is not exactly a pair of shoes which you can tuck inside a drawer, so make sure that you have enough space for it after it’s folded. Some models are so compact, they can fit underneath your bed or inside your closet.
However, the drawback of having a folding frame is its structure. While the latest models of folding indoor bikes are excellent and durable, there is something to be said about a non-folding frame and it is sturdiness. Folding stationary bikes have to be extremely robust and rigid to withstand vigorous workouts, just as a regular bike would, as well as to withstand thousands of cycles of folding and unfolding.
Pros and Cons of Non-Folding Exercise Bikes
When it comes to sturdiness and stability, non-folding stationary bicycles still remain uncontested. Having a single piece of metal as a frame also means less parts that can break down, and putting it together will also be much simpler.
But, there is a price to pay for that robust frame capable of taking anything you throw at it. While they are sturdy, they are also quite bulky, and take up most of the free space you have in the room. If you live in a small house or a studio apartment, it can be a major annoyance to have it right there in the middle of the room, especially if you have someone over. Having an exercise bike in your home provides you with the convenience of not having to go to the gym and waste time. However, some of that convenience is then lost if the bike is constantly getting in your way.
All rise! No, it won’t be anything like that. The truth is, I can’t give you a straight answer as to which one is better, or which one you should buy, since it’s not that black and white. It really depends on your needs. If you have limited space, but still want to enjoy the convenience of exercising at home, then buying a folding stationary bikes which you can put away neatly is a no-brainer. You can also take it with you if you are travelling, which saves you the hassle of looking for a gym while you’re on the road. As far as stability goes, you should be fine, provided that you are not extremely overweight.
If you have plenty of space, you can go with either one of these, so it is entirely up to you. Still, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it, and you really can’t go wrong with the non-folding exercise bicycle.