Once you have a firm grasp on the subject of stationary bikes, it is time to choose one for yourself. But, before you head out and spend your hard-earned money on an exercise bicycle, let’s consider a few things first. Since there are so many different types of bikes, there is something out there for each and every one of us, so you need to make sure that you find the right match for you. In my experience, workout enthusiasts tend to overlook what they really need in an exercise bike and go for the one that costs the most, or one that has most toys and gadgets.
Of course, buying an expensive, hi-tech stationary bike is pretty much a no-brainer, but for most of us money is an issue, so you might have to decide on a bike that offers the best value for money or one that fits your needs best without all the bells and whistles which are often unnecessary and only cost money. Also, the bike you have chosen should match your fitness goals. It’s a lot easier to make a choice once you know what you really want, so I am going to discuss some of the key criteria considered by people when deciding on a new exercise bicycle.
Like I said, it’s best to find an exercise bike that matches your needs and fitness goals. For those who are hardcore cycling enthusiasts and also prefer the feel of riding an actual road bike, indoor cycling or spinning bikes are their best bet. Because of their resemblance to actual road bikes, they are great if you want to improve your cycling skills, not to mention your stamina. Their barebone approach is not for everyone, but if you fall into the group of avid cyclists, spinning bikes are the best fit for you.
If you are looking to lose weight, you need a bike that will help you do that, not just by having you pedal away like a madman but one that will also provide with all the crucial workout information you need to get good results as fast as possible. Let me elaborate. If you are looking to slim down, your need to lose excess fat, and that only happens in the fat-burning zone, at a certain heart rate, which mean you would need a bike with a built-in heart rate monitor.
While the very idea of pushing yourself to the limit and having sweat roll down your face like Niagara Falls has discomfort at its heart, comfort is something that needs to be considered seriously. For example, those how are suffering from back problems would most likely be uncomfortable using an upright bike. In fact, their problems would only get worse. This is where recumbent bikes come in, offering chair-like seats for superior back support, reclined seating position and user comfort.
Speaking of seats, if you prefer cycling in an upright position but would still love a bit more comfort than what you get on an indoor cycling bike, I would advise you to pick an upright exercise bike. The seats on upright bikes are much wider than those found on road bikes and feature thick padding for improved comfort.
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If you get bored quickly with exercise, you need to find a bike which will constantly challenge you and motivate you to keep on going. But, this also means that you will have to spend a lot more money on an exercise bicycle that is crammed full of the latest toys and trinkets. Some of the recent models allow you to play games by turning your real-life performance into game performance. Adding a visual component in the shape of an LCD can also provide you with additional motivation. Other creature comforts such as water bottle holders, or mp3 docking stations are also available.
Price, Space and Versatility
If you are on a budget, that doesn’t mean you can’t afford a bike that’s going to whip you into shape effectively, but you will have to make some sacrifices. For instance, exercise bikes with integrated heart rate monitors tend to be more expensive, and if you can do without them why spend money on something you don’t really need?
Another factor to consider is the size of the bike as well as the size of your home. In most cases that eliminates recumbent bikes out of the equation, but also upright bikes that have a fixed frame. Instead, you can opt to go with folding bikes, which can be tucked away neatly when you are not working out. On the other hand, if space is not an issue for you but you need something that will be sturdy and reliable, simply buy a non-folding or a spinning bike.
If you like to mix it up often, and also if you are looking to avoid plateauing, upright bikes which have a central console unit that allows you to fine-tune a number of workout parameters or choose one of the pre-set workout routines.
As you can see, there is an insane amount of choice, and since stationary bikes are not exactly something you can pay for with your lunch money from the third grade, I have tried to save you some time, and a few bucks as well, by pointing you in the right direction. I’m hoping you found this informative and useful.