Choosing An Exercise Bike
One of the most popular fitness exercise machines is the exercise bike but buying one is not as straight forward as going to the shop and picking one out. There are many things to consider before you do this. You will want to consider not only the price but also the type of bike, whether you want an upright or recumbent exercise bike, and how comfortable and easy it is to adjust.
- How Much Do You Want to Spend?
Of course this is always the most important consideration but you do not want to go for the cheapest bike you can find as it may not last very long, be comfortable or even give you a good workout. An entry-level bike will cost you about £100, and although this will be adequate it will not have any of the features that can be found on more expensive exercise bikes. For a little more, say between £150 and £300 you’ll get a better quality bike with some features such as magnetic resistance, heart rate control, a comfortable seat and usually quiet and smooth operation.
For about £300 you will be able to purchase a very high-quality exercise bike with all the features you may need. For this price you should expect lots of built-in workout programs, easy to use resistance control, and LED display console, handlebars that are easy to adjust and a very good warranty.
- Exercise Bike Comfort
Of course your exercise bike need to be comfortable as you will be spending quite a lot of time on it! You would need a well padded seat and handlebars that adjust very easily. Are you going to buy an upright or recumbent exercise bike? Many people find that recumbent exercise bikes are more comfortable to use than upright bikes as you sit in a more reclined position so there is less strain on your back. Upright exercise bikes, although not quite as comfortable, do have the advantage that you can more easily increase the intensity of the workout by standing up to pedal just like you would on a regular bike.
- Adjusting the Resistance
Resistance on exercise bikes is adjustable in two ways. Most of the cheaper models use a belt and tension, more expensive models use magnetic resistance which is quieter and more consistent. For those using magnetic resistance it is adjusted either by a knob or a push button, which most people find easier to use.
- Monitoring Your Heart Rate
It is extremely important to be able to monitor your heart rate while exercising as this is the whole aim of riding your exercise bike in the first place! Always buy an exercise bike with a built-in heart rate monitor so that you can adjust your workouts accordingly. Almost all the exercise bikes do have this although cheaper ones will often just have a pulse rate monitor built into the handlebars. The more expensive exercise bikes will have workouts that are driven by your pulse rate so they adjust themselves to keep your heart rate at level that you set. This is a very nice feature but not essential if you cant afford it.
- Built-In Workout Programs
Many of the cheaper exercise bikes do not have workout programs built-in. Although you may think this is not too much of a disadvantage you will find that just sitting on the bike and riding will become boring very quickly! With workout programs can change your workout and the feedback you get will help with your motivation. Display consoles that give you feedback on your heart rate, calories burned, distance covered etc. really do help with your motivation and keep you exercising longer. Most of the exercise bikes in the mid-budget range i.e. between about £150 and £300 will give you a reasonable range of built-in workouts and a fairly good display. More expensive exercise bikes i.e. in the £300 and above range will have a very wide range of workouts and excellent displays with a whole range of feedback.
Of course, with exercise bikes, as with other fitness exercise machines, you get what you pay for. It is not really a very good idea to buy the cheapest exercise bike you can find as it wont last very long and you will not be satisfied with the workout that you get. It is not necessary to buy a very expensive bike but we recommend buying one for the $300 which will give you good exercise and keep you motivated. We recommend a recumbent exercise bike as the best all round, comfortable bike that will suit everyone’s fitness level.
Feeling motivated? visit our store where you can view our catalogue of exercise bikes ranging from upright, recumbent and indoor cycling bikes as well!