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Exercise Bike Buying Guide

From toning and weight loss to conditioning and endurance, the choices are all here, and so too are the ranges of models! We have a wide selection of indoor cycles to choose from and below, we have outlined the following tips and questions for you to consider to help you get just what you need!

Before you start

Let's start by looking at the styles. There are three main types of bike to look out for........

Upright Bikes
These are the traditionally styled classic models that most people would envisage when thinking about an exercise bike and they continue to be a popular household favourite.

Perhaps one of the reasons behind it's popularity, is that the upright design is typically more compact than the recumbent type and so takes up slightly less room in the home. If another issue is user-mobility, it is worth taking into account the design of the models around the crossbar area. The positioning of this may affect how easily some individuals will be able to climb on and dismount from the bike. If you find typical upright models to be a struggle, you may find a semi-recumbent style will have a lower crossbar and allow for easier access to the saddle.

Recumbent Bikes
Their design allows you to exercise in a reclining position which some people may find more comfortable than upright, especially on longer workouts. The recumbent cycle is more suitable for people with high blood pressure due to the legs being slightly elevated while peddling, plus this position places marginally less stress on the knee joints. The extra support provided by the larger seat and backrest is also often favoured by users who suffer with back problems.

Spinning Bikes
If you want to replicate the experience of real road racing or Spinning Classes in your very own home, at your convenience, these are the bikes to go for!

Spinning Cycles are the closest equivalent to real road bikes, without having to brave the weather or the traffic! Instead of having to go in search of hilly terrain for challenging workouts, you can simply manually adjust the resistance by using the brake to the large weighted front flywheel. It's no-frills simplicity, but that is what this style of bike is all about. These bikes are aimed at users who are focussed on achieving results through intensive workouts rather than through the motivation of features and programmes!

If you are 'serious' about your fitness and fat-burning workouts, these bikes can offer 'serious' results!

What do you want from your exercise bike?
If you are purely driven by results, then perhaps the idea of burning up 400-500 calories in a 40 minute Spinning workout will be all you need to focus on? However, you may wish to achieve your goals in greater comfort with less intensive and dynamic workouts....

Perhaps the idea of sitting comfortably reclined on a recumbent cycle, peddling away with your favourite read in front of you will appeal? Maybe, you would enjoy the freedom and convenience of a compact upright cycle that can be easily positioned in front of the TV? It is always worth contemplating how you envisage using a bike, remembering that the more convenient and enjoyable you can make your workouts the more inclined you will be to exercise consistently.

Where are you going to keep it?
Exercise Bikes are one of the most compact, lightweight and moveable types of fitness equipment but it is essential that you check that you have the space for one - Be sure to look at the product dimensions and measure up your available floor-space.

Spinning Bikes are generally offer the most compact designs, however, you must make sure you have enough surrounding space to perform the dynamic workouts that these bikes are so well suited for! Recumbent Cycles are often the largest of all the models due to their length. Whichever style you opt for, anticipate that you will need a clear space of at least the size of a single bed to fit and use your bike comfortably.

What features can you expect?
Aside from Spinning Bikes which are not electronically controlled, resistance is generally created by means of magnets which can be adjusted by using keys on the console. Look out for a good range of difficulty levels to ensure that you have scope to warm up on a light setting all the way up to tougher challenges.

Many bikes often feature pre-set programmes which automatically adjust the resistance and keep you motivated.

All of these bikes come with an LCD display to show your training feedback such as distance covered, time elapsed, calories burned and more. Some models have pulse rate sensors on the handle bars so that you can monitor your heart rate and keep within the most effective range for your training goals.