How to Choose the Right Stationary Bike for Your Workout
A stationary bike is a great way to improve your fitness level and health from the comfort and privacy of your own home. Weather will never hold you back the way it can if you opt for riding a traditional bike. You can set the air conditioner to your liking so that you can stay cool while you exercise while avoiding the sun’s damaging UV rays. It is also safer to ride a stationary bike than risk the hazards of traffic on the open road. A stationary bike is easy enough for beginner exercisers to use but can be adjusted to be challenging enough for elite athletes.
Factors to Consider
Choosing the wrong stationary bike could result in it sitting in the corner gathering dust rather than being put to good use. Be certain to consider the following factors before making your purchase so that you can make an informed decision that will benefit you.
Recumbent Versus Upright Stationary Bikes
There are two main types of stationary bikes: recumbent bikes and upright bikes. A recumbent bike has a more reclined position and features a seat back to lean against. Your legs extend in front of you as you pedal. An upright bike, on the other hand, offers a more traditional biking experience, with the seat appearing like your typical bicycle seat and pedals beneath rather than extended in front.
You need to choose the appropriate size so that pedaling will be comfortable for you. Ideally, the bike will allow you to adjust the pedals and seat to suit the length of your legs. Check the stationary bike’s specifications to determine if it will be compatible with your height.
Stationary bikes offer different maximum weight limits. While one may have a weight limit of 200 pounds, another may have a weight maximum of twice that.
Some stationary bikes are louder to use than others. Whirring, clicking, or squeaking noises are bound to get on your nerves with time, resulting in you feeling less inclined to hop on the bike for a quick workout. You also don’t want the bike to be so loud that it disturbs other people in your home. If you like to watch television while you peddle, the bike shouldn’t be so loud as to interfere with hearing the storyline of your favorite show or movie.
Your exercise bike should feature an easy-to-read display. Find out what stats are available on the display. Some stationary bikes will show RPM (revolutions per minute), heart rate, speed, calories burned, distance traveled, and time, among other options.
The more resistance levels an exercise bike has, the harder or easier you can make your workout. As you progress with your physical fitness, you’ll likely want to increase the resistance. You’ll therefore be able to get more long-term use out of a bike that offers more resistance levels than one with fewer. You’ll also want to check how easy it is to change the resistance on your bike. Some require you physically turning a knob whereas others simply adjust with the push of a button on the display.
Many stationary bikes include different programming options for different workouts, such as hills, fat-burn, and more. You’ll want to be able to adjust the programs based on your weight, age, and gender for a more customized experience.
The seat should feel padded enough so that you’ll be comfortable during rides. If you are wincing in pain, there is no way that you’ll want to ride your stationary bike ever. Padded handles that are easy to grip are another feature we recommend.
Exercise bikes can range in price from $100 to over $1,000. Just because there are cheap ones available doesn’t mean that you necessarily want to choose them, however. Make sure you spend enough to get the features you want and the quality you deserve.
Safety and Durability
One feature you definitely don’t want to skimp on is safety! Get an exercise bike that is durable and won’t fall apart on you during your workout. Choose an exercise bike with a good warranty for peace of mind.
There are a ton of optional features that can make your stationary bike workout way more fun. Some include will hook up to apps like MyFitnessPal or RideSocial. In-console speakers and MP3 hookup are appreciated by those who like to listen to music or podcasts while pedaling. A media shelf is desirable for holding your phone or tablet during your sweat session. A dedicated water bottle holder, so you can stay hydrated, is also beneficial. If you really want to go all out, there are even exercise bikes with on-demand and live streaming workout classes to motivate and challenge you into the best shape of your life.