An exercise bike is an imitation of a bicycle that is used for cardio training. It consists of a seat, palm rest, pedals and information display. Exercising on this simulator helps to maintain physical health and serves as a means of healing and rehabilitation in medicine.
This sports equipment replaces the bicycle, is convenient to use at home, not inferior in terms of effectiveness to classes in fitness clubs.
5 Types of Exercise Bikes:
#1 – Recumbent Exercise Bikes:
They are used in medical institutions for treatment and rehabilitation purposes. They are rarely used at home. The comfortable chair of the projectile is laid back, located in the same horizontal plane with the pedals. Thanks to this, the back of the trainee takes a relaxed position, the load falls on the muscles of the legs.
Suitable for people with contraindications to stress on the spine.
Benefits of Recumbent Exercise Bikes:
- Equipped with devices for detailed monitoring of the state of the body during training.
- They have a smooth ride and many loading levels.
- Designed for very heavyweights.
- Hands remain free, there is an opportunity to do other things.
- High manufacturability and equipment with additional devices.
- The body is relaxed but not swaying.
Disadvantages of Recumbent Exercise Bikes:
- The dimensions of the projectile do not always easily fit into the setting of the living quarters.
- Heavyweight makes it challenging to move the machine.
Exercises in this type are beneficial for the body:
- Helps with leg injuries within the framework of restorative medicine.
- They are used in physiotherapy because of their low complexity, safety and comfort.
- During classes, ligaments and joints are strengthened, which serves as the prevention of sprains and injuries.
- Regular exercise with the right amount of stress can help relieve stress.
- Rehabilitation after a stroke.
The choice of a horizontal trainer is preferable in the following cases:
- Medical indications for gentle training conditions due to diseases of the spine and neck.
- The goal of training is to strengthen the cardiovascular system, the body and increase endurance.
- You want to lose a lot of excess weight.
#2 – Magnetic Exercise Bikes:
The principle of creating resistance is the attraction of the flywheel by a magnetic or electromagnetic field. The tension and current strength are regulated with high accuracy by approaching the magnet to the flywheel, which is connected to the pedals, or by increasing the current strength.
The smooth running of parts can only be provided by a heavy flywheel with a mass of at least 6 kg, which is recommended to be taken into account when choosing a magnetic bike simulator.
Advantages of Magnetic Exercise Bikes:
- Quiet operation
- Smooth and even running
- Simulated riding a real bike
- Precise control of the load range
- Built-in computer sensor for setting training modes and measuring heart rate.
- Since there are no mechanical parts, the service life is longer.
- Compact size compared to mechanical projectiles, ergonomics.
Disadvantages of Magnetic Exercise Bikes:
- There is no strong resistance during exercise, thus, serious loads do not arise.
- The complex mechanism of the magnetic unit requires professional maintenance during assembly and repair.
#3 – Home Exercise Bikes:
When choosing a bike simulator for home use, consider:
- The dimensions of the simulator and the weight matter. A heavy unit is difficult to move around the apartment.
- The user’s weight is also critical when choosing an exercise bike. When choosing a family equipment, it is recommended to focus on the family member with the maximum weight. The weight limit that a home projectile can withstand reaches 100 kg, semi-professional – 130 kg, professional – over 150 kg.
- The size of the flywheel directly affects the degree and intensity of the load. For productive workouts that focus on weight loss and muscle building, it is recommended to choose models with a flywheel weight of at least seven kilograms. In addition, it complements the weight of the machine, which adds stability to the design.
Magnetic exercise bikes with a flywheel mass within eight kilograms and electromagnetic ones within twelve are classified as domestic.
- Selection of programs. To achieve specific training goals, many models are equipped with a program for tracking heart rate, speed, distance duration, distances covered.
The set of the simulator, as a rule, includes heart rate sensors, which are divided into contact and remote types. The first is less informative since it is built into the handrail of the projectile and sometimes distorts the readings.
- For a comfortable workout, pay attention to adjusting the saddle and handrails based on the user’s height and weight.
- It is easier to store and use a small exercise bike at home.
- If there are compensators for uneven floors, the position of the bike is adjusted relative to the surface of the floor covering. Castors or wheels make it easy to move the unit from one place to another.
The choice of one type or another will depend on the financial well-being, the size of the living space and the ultimate goals of using the projectile.
- For small-sized housing, vertical, folding and mini exercise bikes are suitable.
- The most budget-friendly option is mechanical belt equipment used to strengthen muscles and improve body endurance.
- To lose a lot of excess weight, you need to choose horizontal bike simulators.
- The hybrid stationary bike will provide a chance to exercise for family members of different ages, beginners and above, regardless of health conditions.
Pros compared to other home fitness equipment:
- Large load range. Steppers and electric treadmills have maximum speed limits, unlike bike simulators.
- Variety of assortment, allowing you to make a choice in accordance with individual requests.
- Price variety.
- Relaxation during workouts.
- In case of contraindications for exercising on other home simulators (for example, on a treadmill), some models of bike simulators can be used.
#4 – Upright Exercise Bikes:
They got their name from the location of the pedals directly under the seat, in which the legs are in an upright position. The seat does not have a back and does not resemble a chair like a horizontal projectile. Designed for intense workouts.
When choosing vertical shells, you should pay attention to the saddle adjustment.
Advantages of Upright Exercise Bikes:
- Small dimensions, allowing you to install sports equipment at home.
- The cost is lower than that of the horizontal bike simulator.
- Designed for active training, including fat burning.
Disadvantages of Upright Exercise Bikes:
- Insufficiently stable.
- With prolonged and intense exercise, the spine and hip parts of the body are subjected to strong stress. Not suitable for lovers of hours of exercise, for users with diseases of the musculoskeletal system, for people with obesity.
Among the upright exercise bikes, folding ones are distinguished – they are convenient for storage in a living room in the absence of training. The main plus is the compactness of the placement. Cons – frequent breakdowns that occur at the junction of folding parts; small flywheel; inability to support heavyweight.
Stop choosing a vertical bike in the following cases:
- There is a need for intense training.
- Lack of obesity and serious health problems, in particular, with the musculoskeletal system.
- If compactness of equipment and saving space in the house is important.
- The need to purchase a useful exercise machine at an affordable price.
In addition to these two types, exercise bikes are distinguished, which are the result of combining vertical and horizontal – hybrid. The main distinguishing feature is the ability to change the position of the seat in different planes. An obstacle to the widespread adoption of these types is that not every manufacturer produces such models.
Advanced training technology and comfort are the merits of hybrid bike simulators, making this equipment versatile for all family members, regardless of physical condition.
#5 – Mini Exercise Bikes:
Mini exercise bikes (also called portable) differ from conventional equipment in design, dimensions and represent a simulator bike without a steering wheel and seat. Usually, these are belt-type simulators with a mechanical loading system. The design consists of a flywheel enclosed in a housing and pedals.
In most cases, such sports equipment is equipped with a built-in computer that displays the duration of the exercise, the speed reached (in km / h), the distance traveled and the number of calories burned. Both legs and arms are trained.
An exercise bike strengthens the muscles of the back and arms. Powered by arms or legs. Mini exercise bikes are suitable for training the elderly to stimulate blood circulation in the limbs.
Advantages of Mini Exercise Bikes:
- Ability to train in a comfortable position.
- There is no load on the spine.
- Suitable for users who are constantly on the move.
- They weigh four to eight kilograms, and even a child can move.
- The simplicity of construction and operation, cheap repair and maintenance.
Disadvantages of Mini Exercise Bikes:
- Not suitable for intense workouts.
- During exercise, it may be difficult to distribute an even load on the legs.
- Since the mini machine does not have a large flywheel, the loading level is limited.
Mini exercise bikes are more often positioned as rehabilitation equipment for people who have poor control of the limbs or spend a lot of time in one position for recovery activities after a stroke and injuries.
Mini simulators with an electric motor are able to pedal independently. Programmed workouts allow you to alternate between intensity and type of load.