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Exercise Bike Buying Guide

The English weather or safety concerns do not give so many options for sport fans who love exercising outdoor, and we are very busy with work, family, friends and have less time to joining any gym. A good option for those who want to be fit, loose weight or improve their health, is an exercise bike, one of the most popular exercise machine that has been around for centuries. A stationary bike still reigns supreme in providing some of the best workout opportunities for people of all ages giving you muscular strength and cardiovascular workout by simulating riding a bicycle outdoors.

Exercise bikes provide a number of important benefits for everyone, no matter what their level of fitness. Plus, stationary bikes can provide an excellent cardiovascular workout to reduce the appearance of diseases, including heart problems, diabetes and others. Working out a couple of times a week can provide excellent benefits in a very low impact way on the knees and joints. This makes exercise bike workouts perfect for those who are recovering from injuries.

Your first decision comes in determining what type of bike you are after, then choose your workout according to your fitness goals. Whether you are on a cycle or exercise bike, you will get a complete cardiovascular workout while toning the muscles of your lower body: quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, hip flexors and the gluteal muscles. And it can help you with weight loss goals. In JLL you will find a wide range of exercise bikes and cycle bikes that would match your expectations from £59.

Before pointing all the things that you need to check before get a stationary bike, you should know that there are three different types of stationary bikesExercise bike: Is more upright, has wider seats and usually is more comfortable, at least for people who are not used to riding a road bike. It is designed similarly to a regular outdoor bike where you can either sit up straight or lean forward holding the handles. Different postures will focus on different muscle groups.You can adjust the resistance to push yourself harder. With the upright stationary bike you will work your entire lower body because you will focus on pedaling and leg power than on any other part of the body. This can be particularly beneficial for those with back injuries. The amount of calories you burn will depend on how hard you push yourself.

1. Exercise bike: Is more upright, has wider seats and usually is more comfortable, at least for people who are not used to riding a road bike. It is designed similarly to a regular outdoor bike where you can either sit up straight or lean forward holding the handles. Different postures will focus on different muscle groups. 

You can adjust the resistance to push yourself harder. With the upright stationary bike you will work your entire lower body because you will focus on pedaling and leg power than on any other part of the body. This can be particularly beneficial for those with back injuries. The amount of calories you burn will depend on how hard you push yourself.

2. Cycle bike: The studio bike is usually the same as gym spinning class machines and is designed like a fixed-gear bike (used for track cycling in a velodrome), and the posture on it will reflect that. You can stand up to simulate hill climbing, or lean forward working the muscles in your lower body with extreme intensity as you would during an actual spinning race in an indoor environment. The upright position also engages your abdominal muscles as they work to stabilize your body. 

Cycle bikes meant to be used standing up and working hard. This kind of bike is specialized to give you a realistic and intense cycling experience. There is a knob placed on the bike that will enable you to increase or decrease the resistance. During the tough climbs, the resistance will be cranked up, and when the sprints come around, it will be decreased so you can move your legs faster.

3. Recumbent bike: adopt a more comfortable cycling position than upright exercise cycles and studio bikes, although you will be stuck in a single position for the entire ride eliminating the ability to rise when pedaling harder as you can on an upright bike. They are easier to mount and dismount and have supportive seat with a back support, which is more comfortable if you are pedaling and training for long periods of time or recovering from knee/back injuries. This type of stationary bike also takes up more room. 

Keep in mind your financial limitations

That would help you to decide which bike is more suitable for your needs. Decide how much your budget would be and spend just what you can afford. 

Consider why you are buying the bike and how often you will use the machine, that will help you to decide on the type of bike you will get as well as the number of available options you choose. And buy accordingly. That means, if you use the stationary bike a lot, you should buy a proper one with all the features that you need for using it.

Think about who will use the exercise bike

It is important to consider the number of users will be using the exercise bike to ensure the bike fits their requirements. Perhaps the user is recovering from a heart problem and would benefit from a heart-rate controlled program.

Keep in mind the weight of the people who will use the stationary bike, that will help you to decide which cycling machine is more suitable for your needs. Our exercise bike can support a maximum user weight of 100 kg and our cycle exercise can support a maximum user weight of 150 kg, so finding a good one should not be that much a problem. 

As far as possible try to choose a bike whose height is easily adjustable. This will allow riders of all heights to easily use the equipment. It is important that you feel comfortable on the stationary bike because some exercise equipment that is not comfortable to use will be unlikely to see much use. Make sure that the seat fits you properly, and that the seat is comfortable and large enough to accommodate riders of all sizes.

While you are riding, make sure you are in a comfortable position. Make sure the seat is at the right height and you are not sitting too close, or too far away, from the handlebars. When you are sitting on the bike with a pedal at its lowest point, your leg should point almost straight down with a slight bend at the knee. The handlebars should be within easy reach without having to strain forward. Your shoulders should be away from your ear and let your abdominal muscles support your back. Sitting lightly on the seat will help you with this. When pedaling, try to pedal in smooth circles rather than pushing when your foot is ahead then letting the other foot take over. This is the best way to tone your muscles without injury. Also start out slow and then gradually work your way up to more intense sessions.

Decide where will be the stationary bike  

If you live in a reduce space, purchasing an home exercise bike could be a good option. It is recommend that before buying your exercise bike you measure the space in which you intend to place the exercise bike. The stationary bike just need as much room as you would need for a single bed.

  • The average length in our exercise bike is 85 cm. This bike is 40 cm wide. And 116 cm height.
  • The average length in our cycle bike is 123 cm. This bicycle is 54 cm wide. And 118 cm height.
  • In addition to the size of the unit itself, it is also important to leave some space around the machine while it is in use so you can get on and off easily.

Determinate how the stationary bike will be used

Think about your fitness objectives and gaining overall satisfaction for helping you to decide which bike is more suitable for your needs. If you are looking for an indoor bike which simulates the feel of a road bike and work hard, then a cycle bike is for you. If you are looking for an exercise machine to build your cardiovascular and endurance, then an exercise bike is probably more your style. However, it is always a good idea to incorporate cycling into the workout routine to enjoy the cardiovascular benefits, the loss of unwanted pounds and strengthen your muscles. Remember, a comfortable bike is the likely one to be used for longer.

Depending of that you can decide the programs range more adjustable to your needs. If you do not use the different programs provided with the exercise bike, you would not need to buy a model with full programmability because you will not use it. So a simple exercise bike or a studio bike may suit your needs.

Think about the number of people who will use the bike, their weight and how often they will exercise on the stationary machine. That would tell you how much money you should spend for a bike that will cover your expectations. If you want to use the home exercise bike five days per week, you will need to get a very good quality model with plenty of different programs because you will use them. Or you may go for a studio bike.

Features of a stationary bike

It is important to choose a bike that is useful and provides excellent value for the money. Many poor quality exercise bikes has ended up being an expensive clothes rack, so you should find the bike that is closest to your expectations. All exercise bikes should come with a few basic features. Here you can find the factors that should be taken into account.

Pedals: They should provide smooth operation. Many models of exercise bike provide an easy way for users to strap their feet into place while they are riding. The pedals should be wide enough for all foot sizes, with a strap or toe cage to keep the foot in the place. There are three different types:

  1. Toe cage can be used with any type of training shoes. Your feet fit into the cage on the pedal and can be tightened to stop your feet from slipping of the pedal when cycling.
  2. Cycling shoe clips pedals can be used with specialist cycling shoes. The cycling shoe clips into the pedal to stop your feet from slipping when you are cycling. This type of pedal is generally safer to use than toe cage.
  3. Pedals with straps can be used with any type of training shoes. Your feet fit into the straps on the pedal and tighten up to makes it smaller or loose to makes it bigger.

Adjustable intensity: An exercise bike with adjustable workouts will make the exercise more intense as your fitness level increases, providing continual challenges as your level of fitness improves.

Seat: It should always be comfortable, easy and quick to adjust in order to accommodate a rider’s height. Some people choose to purchase a bicycle seat cover filled with padding or gel, or padded bike shorts to add cushioning.

Heart rate monitor: It is a good way to track your level of fitness, your progress and the intensity of the workout using the heart rate monitor.

Safety: Make sure that all the moving parts of the stationary bike, like the chain, have a safety cover.

Flywheel: This is the wheel at the front of the bike that moves when you pedal, controls the bike’s resistance and determines how smooth and consistent your ride will be, depending on the flywheel weight. There are a number of factors to consider:

  1. Size of the flywheel which is measure in kg. For a domestic indoor cycles look for a flywheel weight of 8 kg or heavier. For studio bikes, the flywheel should be much heavier, look for a weight of 15 kg or over.
  2. The higher the weight of the flywheel, the smoother the action will feel. A bike with a nice heavy flywheel spins more smoothly for a longer period of time and makes the bike feel more solid. Be sure to test out the bike to ensure the ride is smooth and consistent enough for your needs.
  3. The quality of the bearing that allows the flywheel to spin. Bearing failure in lower quality indoor cycles is quite common, resulting in a lot of noise when the wheel spins. When bearings wear badly is excessive vibration when you are pedaling. The quality of JLL has been proven on thousands of bikes.
Resistance: There are two types of resistance and braking mechanisms on indoor cycles: 
 
  1. Friction brakes: a friction pad comes into contact with the flywheel. The harder the pad presses against the flywheel, the harder it is to pedal. The resistance level is controlled by a knob on the frame of the bike that you can move when cycling. Generally, friction resistance bikes are generally less expensive than their equivalent magnetic counterparts.
  2. Magnetic brakes: a magnetic cycle uses magnets to control the level of resistance when pedaling. The closer the magnet to the flywheel, the more difficult it is to pedal. The resistance level is controlled by a knob on the frame of the bike that you can move when cycling. The main advantage is that there are no friction pads to wear out and therefore maintenance is reduced.
Driven system: The pedals are connected to the flywheel with either a belt or a chain. With entry level and mid range indoor cycles, it is best to go for belt drive and this is for three main reasons:
 
  • They can be adjusted easily when necessary.
  • They are quieter than chain driven bikes.
  • And there is no maintenance required.


On the other hand, chain driven bikes work on exactly the same principal as a road bike. You have to keep the chain lubricated which is about the only routine maintenance required. Chain driven bikes can give you a more authentic feel and are popular with outdoor cyclists who want to train indoors. However, the belt driven bikes are more durable, require less maintenance and are quieter in operation.


Noise: Some models of exercise bikes can be quite noisy, especially those that use air resistance. This may not be a main concern for everyone, but a loud bike can become a distraction during a workout, be a bother to surrounding neighbours and may make it difficult to listen to music, read or watch TV while you are riding

Programs: Most exercise bikes have some form of electronic feedback console which displays your workout data such as speed, time, distance, calories burned and heart rate. 

Heart rate training programs are ideal for those who want to lose weight and improve physical performance, as well as keep the level of effort in a safe zone for those under medical supervision.

If you are the type of person which becomes easily bored whilst exercising we recommend that you look for an exercise bike which features a wide range of programs as they may help to keep you motivated and therefore reach your fitness or weight loss targets.

Asking yourself these easy questions will definitely put you well on your way to find the right bike for you!

Warranty and maintenance: Before making an exercise bike purchase, be sure to check the warranty. JLL offers a year warranty for all our exercise and cycle bikes.