Originally Posted by oldlift
You sound like the person that just might know?
Do you think that a say...4 mile bike ride is the same on an inside stationary bike as it is on a road bike, As far as the cardio / calories burned aspect of it?
I'm no expert by any means, so take this with a grain of salt:
Always use an upright rather than recumbent bike to simulate a real bike posture...
You have to keep your balance
You have to steer and hold onto the handlebars
You can coast
There is a change of scenery
You can feel how fast you are actually moving
Fresh air cools you down
Pretty stable so you don't need to hold yourself up
Hand don't need to do anything but hang there or read your heartrate
As soon as you stop pedaling the fan slows down and the machine shuts off
Usually looking at the clock, t.v., or cute girl/guy working out next to you
Have no concept of how fast/far you are actually going
Fan doesn't offer enough cooling (opinion)
As far as cardio goes:
Riding a stationary bike will help with your cardio, but I would focus more on the time and heart rate than the distance. Imagine riding a bike on the street and how much resistance you feel (uphill, wind, sway) you can mimic those situations by adding levels on the stationary bike. If you're working at the same level as on the road, you'll get the same or at least close calorie burn. Another option is to pay attention to the wattage you put down on the stationary vs road bike and see if it's comparable.
There are plenty of sites on the internet that argue this point to death, also treadmill vs road... Find what works for you and set a base to build off of. If you are training for something in particular nothing beats the real thing.