How to Choose an Indoor Bike
You've probably seen the classes, seen the bikes and maybe wondered whether that's for you!? If you fancy more than a gentle workout sometimes, then indoor cycling bikes (also known as spinning bikes) could be your path to a high intensity, seriously calroei-burning workout regime.
Increasingly people are buying their own indoor cycling bikes and getting an intense workout. Did you know that in a little over 40 minutes you could burn around 450 calories depending on the intensity you choose? All this from a nice low impact cardio exercise.
What's the Difference?
So you're probably wondering what the difference between a stationary bike and the indoor cycling bike are? As well as the more rigid and structurally sound frames that allow for more intense workouts, the fixed gear and flywheel provide constant resistance when you are pedalling.
Flywheels vary in weight (from 15kg through to 20kg+ in weight) with the heavier ones needing more energy to get up to speed. Once at speed they carry more momentum, the heavier they are. The flywheel mimmicks much more closely the feeling you get when on an outdoor bike, especially when you increase resistance to simulate going uphill.
So with sort of weight on the flywheel alone, along with the more rigid structure, spinning bikes are definitely heavier than the more traditional exercise bikes, but for good reason! Definitely a consideration if you live in a flat or have weak floors!
What to Look Out For?
As indoor cycling bikes differ from the regular exewrcise bike, there's a few things you need to keep an eye out for if you're in the market to buy one.
Step 1 - Basic Bike Set Up
Get on the bike and see how it feels for position. Test sitting right back, right forward and then standing on the pedals - which you will do a lot during workouts! Don't forget to also check the handlebars as many models allow you to move these up and down and also forward and back. Your position should be comfortable, with a standing position that keeps your knees clear of the handlebars!
The other main thing to check, believe it or not, is the saddle. Some saddles suit some people, and you don't want this to annoy you from the off. Make sure it is padded and comfrtable for you.
Step 2 - Resistance & 'Brake'
Look to see how you adjust the resistance on the flywheel and also where the brake is. A lot of bikes have the reistance adjustment know just below the handlebars on the "up tube". Just make sure when you're sat on the bike you have easy access and they are comfortable for you.
Step 3 - Monitor
Check out the monitor that comes with the bike. You want to be able to keep an eye on how far you're going, the time you have been training, the calorties you have burned. Look for large buttons and ease of use, as well as additional features if you want them like preset programs or timers, calorie countdowns etc. Some come with heart rate monitors, or at least the chance to plug one in.
Step 4 - Warranty & Guarantees
Make sure when you buy your new indoor bike it comes with a good warranty and even better a lifetime guarantee against mechanical failure. That way if any of the joints break because the weld has not be correct, you will get a replacement. If you're spending £500 upwards for a bike, you need to be reassured there's some customer service and warranty to give you piecve of mind.
Lastly, Don't Forget to Compare Models
We always suggest that you compare a number of models and manfacturers just to get a feel for what suits you best.
There will undoubtedly be one manufacturer and one model that will just suit - you may be lucky and have a few to choose from. This will help as you'll have different price brackets and features that you can then ultimately opt for.