A Guide to Choosing a Indoor Cycling Bike
We at JLL Fitness want to make the process of choosing an indoor cycling bike easy and not leave you confused about what you should be looking for. We have broken down the main specifications and features to help guide you to choose the right indoor cycling bike.
Benefits of Owning a Spin Bike:
There are plenty of benefits to owning an indoor cycling bike. Firstly, you will always have access to your bike whenever needed meaning you can work out in your own time and in the comfort of your home or home gym.
Secondly, there is no worry about weather conditions affecting your workout, compared to an outdoor bike. So, rain or shine you can still happily spin away in your home. Thirdly, there is an array of spinning class videos on YouTube, or you can sign up for fitness apps some of which can connect to our own bikes. Lastly, owning an indoor cycling bike is an investment that over time will pay off and help you with your fitness goals.
Flywheel Weight Recommendation
Ideally, the heavier flywheels should be around 18kg to 20kg for indoor bikes, anything 20kg+ is matching commercial bikes. You need to consider that the heavier the flywheel, the tougher it will feel with the combination of resistance and momentum you are generating when spinning.
For the first pedal stroke, you will use more energy to get the flywheel in motion. Although once you have this in motion it’s about keeping the momentum going.
If you aren’t looking for a heavier flywheel, we have a range of lower flywheel weights. This can be better if you are just starting your fitness journey or new to indoor cycling.
Finding the Right Size of Indoor Cycling Bike
Many people struggle to find a bike that suits their height and sometimes weight. To ensure that you pick the right size of exercise bike, we recommend checking your inside leg length. You will need to compare this to the maximum/minimum seat to pedal measurement which is displayed on the product dimension image.
It’s more accurate than basing it on your overall height because you and another user could be, 5ft 10 but your leg measurements could be different, meaning their bike may not be suitable for you.
We always recommend checking the product description/more information section to find the maximum user weight. It is important that you check this as it can affect the performance of the bike.
Resistance – The Different Between Magnetic and Friction
There are 2 different types of resistance on our exercise bikes, friction or magnetic. The resistance can differ but only very slightly, however they are both excellent in adding and holding resistance throughout a workout.
Magnetic resistance is created from magnets that can sit above or around the flywheel. This is how the resistance is created against the flywheel which is controlled using the dial or electronically through the monitor. Turning the dial to the ‘+’ will cause the magnets to move closer to the flywheel.
When you turn the dial to the opposite direction ‘-‘, this will allow the magnet to move away from the flywheel, removing the resistance. Be aware, the magnets should never come into contact with the flywheel.
Magnetic spin bikes are perfect for a quieter workout and typically involve less wear and tear.
You can check our range of magnetic bikes:
Which are perfect for beginner to advance users.
Friction Resistance is applied from a strong cotton felt pad which is pressed down on the flywheel. You will find this to be located at the top of the flywheel or sometimes on either side.
When you turn the resistance dial to ‘+’ this will allow the cotton felt pad to slightly touch the flywheel.
Friction resistance has its advantages and disadvantages:
You have complete control over how much pressure is applied or even stopping the wheel altogether.
The disadvantage is that over time the pad will wear from long term use. We do advise that you always check the cotton felt pad to ensure the best workout. You can purchase replacement pads from our Customer Service Team.
As the friction pad will have some sort of contact with your flywheel, it can make a quiet noise or sometimes whistle. We have found that applying some WD40 to the pad helps stop the noise also, this makes the pad last a little longer.
Friction resistance is usually better for holding at a higher resistance, as there is direct contact with the flywheel.
Chain Driven Indoor Cycling Bikes vs Belt Driven Indoor Cycling Bikes
You may wonder which is better out of a chain driven or a belt driven indoor cycling bike. Both of these systems have their own pros and cons but they both are reliable, durable and offer a fantastic spin session.
A chain driven system is similar to the drive system on a mountain bike. If you prefer to have a closer experience of an outdoor bike or transitioning from your outdoor bike, you may prefer this option as it will give you a similar feel.
You will find with a chain driven exercise bike that a little maintenance is needed as it is recommended to keep the chain lubricated for optimal use. We advise always making sure the bike is not in use when performing this maintenance to avoid injury.
Ultimately if you are looking for the outdoor bike sensation plus a smooth workout, this may be the right option for you.
A belt driven system is a newer concept for indoor cycling bikes. The belt is made from durable rubber which has grooves that slots into the belt wheel which, helps reduce frictional loss and gives you a better cycling experience.
There is minimal maintenance needed for a belt driven system, however from high use over a long period of time the belt can wear. If you do experience this issue you can contact our Customer Service Team.
This option is perfect if you want a truly silent, smooth workout with minimal maintenance.
It is important that you choose an exercise bike that has features suitable to your needs. Our range of indoor cycling bikes has the standard features of caged pedals, adjustable seat and handlebar height, pulse plates and transport wheels. Although some of our range offers more advanced features.
Our more advanced range of indoor cycling bikes have the ability to connect to apps like Zwift, Kinomaps and iConsole+ these apps can offer, set workouts, video workouts and the ability to ride with friends. Please bear in mind that there are sometimes costs for the full use of all features and functions on these apps.
The Bluetooth connectivity also allows you to connect to heart rate bands which take a more accurate reading of your pulse, than traditional plates, typically on the handlebars and transfer this information to the monitor.
Our range of indoor cycling bikes offers different monitors that have various functions. Depending on what you would like to get out of your bike, we would recommend looking at what the monitors can provide.
All of our indoor cycling bike monitors will show you: time, distance, speed, calories and heart rate readings. You have the ability to do ‘target programs’, for example, you can set the time reading to 30 minutes, so you can do a time-controlled workout.
Our more advanced bikes offer other readings like RPM (revolutions per minute) which indicates how many times the crank is doing a full rotation every minute. They also offer Wattage, which displays how much power output you are generating when spinning.
If you are an avid cyclist some of our indoor cycling bikes do have dual-sided SPD pedals, where one side is caged and the other side you can click in your cleats into.
Handy Hints for Setting Up at Home
- Build your bike in the desired location. Although all of our indoor cycling bikes are easily transportable this will save you hassle and time.
- Ensure the bike is level, you can adjust the black feet under the stabiliser bars to combat an uneven surface.
- Do not place your exercise bike in a damp room e.g. garage or near a tumble dryer. This can cause rust and will cause performance issues.
- Do not place your bike by a heat source e.g. radiator.
- Setting up the seat height is very straightforward. Adjust the seat to your hip height, meaning your legs will extend almost straight when cycling.
- Choosing your handlebar set-up is dependent on how you want your cycle posture.
Overall purchasing an indoor cycling bike is an investment and we understand it is important that your choice of bike is right for you.
When choosing the right exercise bike, the main features you need to consider are the resistance type, flywheel weight and driving system. These features will give you a specific feel to your spinning session.
We offer a range of exercise bikes that are suitable for all user types, so there will be a suitable indoor cycling bike for you. If there is anything you need further assistance on, please comment below.
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