Which Type of Exercise Bike is Right For You

So, you’ve got fitness on your mind and you’re leaning towards an exercise bike. I don’t blame you, you can sit down and exercise at the same time… what’s not to love? Exercise bikes come in all shapes and sizes however and you need to take careful deliberation when choosing one. There are 3 different types of exercise bikes that are readily available on the market. Each of them serve a slightly different purpose. I will provide a breakdown of each of them, to aid in your decision-making process:


Spin Bike/Indoor Cycle:


These exercise bikes are the kind you would typically see in a spin class at the gym or leisure centre. They are sturdy with a heavy flywheel and intended to support flat out bouts of cycling. Indoor cycles are designed to emulate the posture and structure of a racing road bike. The handles are pointed and more inclined, causing the user to lean further forward when cycling. This therefore allows you to stand up on the bike, exert more force and really drive more momentum into your pedalling. The indoor cycles also feature a variety of programs to help you fine tune your workouts.


The main purpose of these exercise bikes is primarily HIIT sessions; (High Intensity Interval Training) a cycle of short bursts of high intensity followed by a period of active recovery. Training in this manner with this type of exercise bike is great for burning fat and requires a smaller time investment than the average cycle workout. Furthermore, research suggests that HIIT elevates your metabolism for hours after working out. More so than jogging or lifting weights. This means you will end up burning additional calories even after you’ve finished your dose of exercise.  So, if your objective is to lose weight and you want to trim the fat as quick as possible, then an indoor cycle might be the most suitable exercise bike for you. The IC300 PRO is a popular model that can help you achieve this with ease. With a heavy flywheel, 4 workout programs and a recovery function, it is the perfect tool to aid your fitness goals. If you’re on the fence about indoor cycles then the IC200 Pro might be a better fit. A great indoor cycle for complete beginners.

Upright Bike:


An upright exercise bike is designed slightly differently and serves a different purpose. Standing up on the pedals is not really possible and therefore additional leg drive is not needed. Upright bikes are designed to mimic a regular bike and so the crank is positioned vertically below the seat. Their design provides a more comfortable experience for the user and therefore are more suitable for endurance training and longer, moderate-intensity workouts. This type of exercise bike will also engage more of your muscles given the body position you are forced to be in. Your abs, lower back, glutes and arms will all be engaged when exercising on an upright bike. In addition, this type of exercise bike is also more beginner friendly given the more comfortable body position, (when compared to an indoor cycle). Therefore, if you are just starting your fitness journey and want a safe, all-rounded option, then an upright bike is likely the most suitable exercise bike for you to choose.

The JF150 is a prime candidate, with its lightweight design, comfortability and monitor that provides with you detailed metrics of your workouts.




Recumbent Bike:


Finally, we have the recumbent exercise bikes. These are far less common in commercial gyms and cater for a slightly more niche audience. This variation of exercise bike provides a much more relaxed cycling experience due to the larger seat and padded backrest. The pedals are positioned out in front of you, allowing you to extend your legs when performing the exercise. Furthermore, the large curved seat and pedal position allows you to sit in a semi reclined position when exercising. This provides a very comfortable experience and puts less stress on your joints, comparative to other exercise bike models. It is worth noting that these bikes typically burn calories for the user at a slower rate than the previous exercise bikes mentioned above. Recumbent bikes are most suitable for those recovering from injuries or experiencing discomfort in their upper bodies when exercising. The recumbent exercise bikes don’t require any balance and the semi-reclined seating experience allows the user to workout without being in a spinally-compromised position.

If you’re recovering from a back injury or have a history with back issues then a recumbent exercise bike will be a perfect fit. That being said, whilst being a great tool for rehabilitation they are not exclusive to it. Recumbent bikes are also great for lengthy sessions of exercise given the comfortability factor. Plonk yourself in front of the television with one of these and you can pedal for hours… trust me! The RE600 Pro is the king of comfort with a luxurious, padded seat that is fully adjustable to suit your body type. With 32 levels of resistance, you can still get a killer workout whilst maintaining a relaxed seating position. How could you go wrong?


So, there you have it. It’s now time to identify which exercise bike is the right fit for you. If you are just starting out and raring to go, then an upright exercise bike might be the perfect place to start. Beginner friendly, steady calorie burn, multiple muscle groups engaged and very affordable. If you are slightly more advanced and want to hit the ground at 100mph and tear away those calories, then an indoor cycle will be your go-to. Perfect for flat out bursts of aggressive pedalling and a variety of workout plans to challenge yourself with. If you want a very milder dose of exercising or have underlying joint issues, then go with the recumbent bikes.

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Theo Lawrence

Digital Marketing at JLL Fitness

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