Admin {{ oUser.name }} Logout Looking to lose weight? Try our FREE Calorie Counter » | Log In
Fitness Nutrition Forums

How to Choose the Right Indoor Exercise Bike

Decisions, decisions ...

Buying an indoor exercise bike isn’t just about going cheap — you need to find the right bike for your fitness level, activity level, and tech skills. Here’s a quick and easy guide to buying the perfect indoor bike for you:

Step 1: Know Your Bike Types

Exercise bikes are usually one of three types:

  • Magnetic or “mag” trainers – These provide resistance using a magnetic flywheel, and they tend to be some of the most affordable, adjustable, and user-friendly of the exercise bikes. The newer options are loaded with features and come in a very wide range of styles. Sadly, they’re not the most durable and tend to have a limited range of resistance.
  • Rollers – These are the classic indoor bikes, the oldest of the lot, and they use precision drums within the bike’s frame. Elite cyclists tend to prefer them due to their more “natural” feel, and they’re excellent for helping you focus on your cycling form. However, on the downside, they don’t offer a great range of resistance, and the learning curve can be a bit steep.
  • Fluid trainers – These are similar to magnetic trainers (using a flywheel), but they add a layer of viscous fluid to give you a greater range of resistance settings and choices. They have the most “road-like” feel of any indoor bike, and they tend to be quieter and more feature-rich than other bikes. However, they’re prone to overheating, which can actually cook the viscous fluid.

The type of bike you choose will depend on your desired activity.

Step 2: Know Your Workout Plans

If you’re just the kind of person who wants to get on the bike and pedal for an hour, you’re probably better off going with the cheaper, basic magnetic trainers. They deliver enough resistance options and solid performance to help you get a killer workout.

If you’re trying to train for a real-life triathlon or cycling race, you may be better off with a fluid trainer. Though a bit pricier, they are ideal for mimicking real-life road conditions. SoulCyclists often use fluid trainers thanks to the fact that they offer the best range of customizable resistance.

If you an elite biker trying to maintain or improve your form, you’re better off with a roller bike. You’ll find that it’s ideal for working on your cycling posture while getting in a killer workout.

Step 3: Know Your Desired Features

Important features to consider include:

  • Display with easy-to-use controls
  • Programmable features and built-in workouts
  • Built-in heart rate monitor and calorie counter

These are all handy to include, but they’re secondary to the primary feature, which is the adjustable resistance.

Step 4: Consider the “Extras”

Finally, there are a few factors that you should consider beyond the functionality of the bike itself:

  • Stability. If you’re going to be pedaling a mile a minute, you’re going to need a stable, secure bike.
  • Portability. If you don’t have a dedicated workout room in your home, you may want to consider a bike that folds up and can be moved out of the way.
  • Noise. All exercise machines make noise—it’s up to you determine how much noise you’re okay with in your home, and find a bike that is as quiet as possible.
  • Safety. Both for you and your family! Make sure the bike is sturdy, with all the safety features in place that will help to prevent accidents.

[Image via Shutterstock]

{{ oArticle.title }}

{{ oArticle.subtitle }}