When it comes to the most popular forms of fitness equipment, exercise bikes are undoubtedly at the very top of the list. They are extremely easy to use and highly effective at burning calories, as well as toning muscles. However, perhaps the biggest advantage of indoor cycling bikes is that people don’t have to go to the gym or ride a bike, to reap the benefits of cycling. Instead, they can do that in the comfort of their home, while watching over their kids, reading a book, listening to music, or watching their favorite TV show.
If you want this for yourself, first, you will have to find and purchase a good exercise bike. To help you do that, we will go over some key considerations you should make before you buy anything.
The drive system
Modern indoor exercise bikes feature two different types of drive systems; the belt and the chain system. If you can, go with the belt driven bike models. These typically require less maintenance and are quieter. Such a bike will also allow you to easily adjust its belt if necessary.
The weight of the flywheel
The flywheel is the wheel you move by pedaling. It is normally situated at the front of the bike, and the heavier it is, the smoother the motion is. In most cases, home indoor bikes feature wheels that are around 18 kg heavy, whereas commercial indoor bikes typically feature flywheels of around 20 to 23kg. If you want to get the best spinning experience, you should pay attention to the bikes with flywheels of no less than 16 kg.
Your indoor spinning bike should be sturdy and durable, with a strong frame and stabilizing legs. Due to the range of frames available on the market, it would be somewhat difficult to decide what makes one frame better than the other. Therefore, pay attention to their durability, as well as their materials. If you are not sure about this, don’t forget to ask the sales representatives about the frames.
The braking system
Next, up, consider the type of the braking system. Modern indoor bikes feature three different types of systems.
- Fabric pads are the cheapest ones and are typically found on low-level indoor bikes.
- Leather pads are more durable and effective than the fabric ones and are mostly used by high-level commercial and indoor home bikes.
- Magnetic systems are undoubtedly the most advanced ones. Since they involve no friction and contact, they are completely silent, have a greater resistance range, and require almost no maintenance.
Even though the majority of indoor bikes have consoles, there are still those that lack them. For the best experience, make sure to focus on the models that have consoles. These will provide you with all the necessary information, as well as extra features which include measuring your heart rate or exercise programs.
Lastly, pay attention to the types of resistance, which include cable, manual screw, electromagnetic and electronic magnet types.
- The cable system is usually found on low-end bikes and can be somewhat unreliable.
- The manual screw system is reliable but provides no indication of the amount of resistance applied.
- The electromagnetic system allows the user to track the amount of resistance and it uses a small motor to move the magnet to and from the wheel. It does so without using any moving parts.
- The electronic magnet system works just like the electromagnetic one. However, it does so with moving parts.