As explained by Wikipedia an “exercise bicycle or bike, or stationary bicycle, or Exercycle is a device with saddle, pedals, and some form of handlebars arranged as on a bicycle, but used as exercise equipment rather than transportation. A cycloergometer, cycle ergometer or bicycle ergometer is a stationary bicycle with an ergometer to measure the work done by the exerciser”.
The early antecedent of the modern exercise bike was the Gymnasticon (more info on this here), an exercise machine developed by Francis Lowndes in 1796. The current version of the stationary bike has been developed by the South-african cyclist Johnny Goldberg as explained in my previous post. Today, the exercise bike is presented in many different models such as recumbent, upright, mini bikes as well as professional indoor cycles. In addition, there are certain models that have handlebars connected to the pedals in order for the person to train both legs, arms and the whole body during the exercise. The majority of current stationary bikes have a mechanism built in to regulate the resistance that is applied when pedaling, and it can be magnetic or based on air or/and water.
Recently, some of the well known exercise bikes manufacturers such as Marcy have started with cheaper solutions such as mini exercise bikes that are provided with just pedals and resistance mechanism, without pedals or other accessories and are mainly used for just exercise. These are usually put on the floor and used why sitting on a chair or even used with hands for a different type of exercise.
Use of the exercise bike
Exercise bikes can be used for many different exercises, from general increase in fitness whether using it at home or in a gym. On the other hand help in loosing weight is probably the most wide use of the stationary bike. A third and very important use is related to physical therapy, as a solution for cardiovascular problems. Last but not least, exercise bikes are as well used for training purposes for cycle events, whether amateur or professional.
- Fitness bikes usually do not require a lot of maintenance
- Learning the exercise is quite easy…it’s just pedaling
- Very low impact ensures almost no risk of injury or strain
- Popularity of biking and spinning means users can add variety to workouts by using spinning videos
- Possibility to choose between upright stationary bikes and recumbent exercise bikes to see which is most comfortable.
- The focus is solely on exercising legs, although this problem is solved with the use of models with handlebars. In any case it is ideal for the user to balance bike exercise with upper body exercise for a balanced workout