Fitness bikes, also called exercise bikes and stationary bikes are one of the most used home fitness equipment: they are usually the first piece of equipment to be bought for in-home use, due to the ease of use and the benefits it provides in the form of increased aerobic condition, burning calories while at the same time avoiding to put in danger knees and leg joints.
In general, the first step in the process of buying a fitness bike is understand what types are available and what are the main characteristics of these. In fact there are three main types (some would argue there are actually two as spinning may be a subcategory of upright bikes): upright, recumbent and spinning bikes. Upright bikes are the traditional exercise bikes that best mirror the style and the position of road cycling bikes, there is no support for the back and pedals are directly below you. Recumbent fitness bikes provide support for your back and the pedals are located right in front of you, and as a result the sitting position is very similar to the one when driving a car. The third category, spinning bikes, takes in consideration bikes that are used in spinning classes, which are in fact upright bikes but with the design that resembles much more the one of a professional road cycle.
How to Shop
Shopping for a fitness bike, and in general for any shopping equipment, has to be a structured and wisely done process in order to ensure that the piece of equipment will be used in the long run. Besides the price, that we will cover later on in this article, it is very important to test the exercise bike for comfort: it should have first of all a comfortable seat, adjustable in height in order to be used by all household members, adjustable handlebars and seat as well as back support n case of recumbent bikes. In order to ensure the comfort of the fitness bike you and your family members that are going to use it should try it, probably in a department store or gym and use it for at least five minutes. Besides comfort test for adaptability as well as the level of noise the fitness bike makes during exercise which is a crucial check during the buying decision but mostly overlooked by buyers. Take in consideration that even a small repetitive noise during a longer period of exercise may result in driving you and your family members crazy and give you a reason to abandon exercising. In addition, read reviews on the web posted by specialized sites and user reviews to check ratings and to see what are the potential problems that might arise after a certain period of time (mechanical problems, noise issues, comfort, etc).
When buying a fitness bike it is also very important to check the maximum weight it can support. For most bikes this is usually around 250 to 300 pounds, although certain exercise bikes support weights of up to 400 pounds. Finding the right for you should not represent a problem.
Most fitness bikes will provide you with computerized measurements for speed, distance and time of the workout although some models give you information on the hearth rate, resistance, burned calories and preset programs. At the end, it’s up to your preferences but keep in mind that better measurements and more preset programs are usually available with more expensive bikes.
Once you tested several models in your price range, and decided which is the model you want to buy check for prices in various department stores, sporting goods stores and online. When buying online, take also in consideration the shipping costs that may be significant due to weight, although large e-commerce sites such as Amazon usually provide free shipping.
Warranty usually ranges form 3 months to lifetime warranty for certain parts of the exercise bike. Some manufacturers provide 5 year warranty on the frame, like for example in the case of the Proform 290 SPX, we reviewed in another post. However, as it usually is the case a longer warranty is a guarantee of better quality.
The selection of an exercise bike is dependent on your level of preparation and probably on your experience in indoor cycling. If you are a new user and you are not sure how much are going to use it, my advice is to go for a less expensive version. On the other hand, if you are an experienced user, that is likely to use it frequently and in the long run, it is reasonable to invest more money and buy something you’ll know that will last.
A Great selection of fitness bikes can be found on Amazon and to check prices click here.