What’s Out There?
Technology is a wonderful innovation that has made many aspects of daily life (such as easily researching exercise bikes) much more convenient than they once were. It has also given us more leisure time while simultaneously making us more sedentary. After all, when you can stream four seasons of The Walking Dead in a single weekend, it isn’t likely that you’ll be out riding your bike around the neighborhood…but what if you could do both? What if you could “veg out” without being a total vegetable? You can probably guess where this is going. That’s right- this buying guide is right on the verge of informing you that you can have it both ways. Thanks to advances in high quality exercise bikes, anything is possible.If you are in a hurry, for a quick review you can give a quick look to our comparison table to compare exercise bikes by price and features, otherwise just go through this exercise bike buying guide for a clear knowledge.
What Are You Waiting For?
Okay. That was a white lie. Strictly speaking, even with a top of the line exercise bike, it still isn’t possible to, say, go back in time and teach Steve Harvey how to read. Still, it is possible to have your cake and eat it too, even while riding a bike, though this will likely prove counterproductive, and isn’t recommended, but it is possible. All of your wildest exercising dreams can come true simply by logging into your Amazon account, searching for “Stationary Bike” and picking the first one on the list, right?
Every model on the market may share the same end goal (like getting your butt up off the couch and moving around a little so that, when you wear your yoga pants, you don’t look like a busted biscuit can) but there can be a world of difference between two seemingly identical bikes. When it’s time for a new car, you don’t rush out and pick the very first car on the lot, do you? (If you are part of the .068% [this stat was completely made up for the purposes of this guide] who answered, “Yes” to that rhetorical question, here’s a follow-up question for you: How’s that working out?) No, you don’t. Even though an exercise bike is not as significant an investment as a new car, you shouldn’t do that here either.
Research Before You Search
Seeing that you are here, reading this buying guide (You are still reading, aren’t you? Existential crisis alert! Do these words exist if you don’t read them?) it may safely be assumed that you are firmly entrenched in the middle of this step at this very moment. Good job! Hopefully, you typed, “Most Awesome Exercise Bike Buying Guide” into your search bar, and this was the first result returned. If you wound up here by some mysterious means that you have yet to fully comprehend; don’t worry, you’re on the right track.
The next step is to ask, “Do I want an upright exercise bike or a recumbent exercise bike?”
If the very next question you ask yourself after that is, “What’s the difference?” then this buying guide is glad you asked.
Upright Exercise Bikes
Though the internal drive mechanisms may vary between models, these exercise bikes share the look and feel of traditional bicycles. The seat is directly above the pedals, which are counterbalanced, and the handlebars are out in front so that your riding posture will be slightly bent forward. If you have any friends, either the real kind or the Facebook kind, that have ever mentioned “Spin Class”, they were riding an upright bike. Be aware though, just because all Spin Bikes are Upright Bikes, this doesn’t mean that all Upright Bikes are Spin Bikes. Check the product details, or the FAQ section to ensure compatibility.
Recumbent Exercise Bikes
The design on a recumbent bike is very similar to the popular 1980’s kid’s toy, Big Wheels. If you are thinking about performing a Google image search, let us save you some time; a recumbent bike reclines. The seat is near the back of the machine, rather than in the middle, while the pedals are out in front, about where the footrest on a recliner would be. When you are in the proper position on one of these, one leg is nearly completely extended while the other is bent at a near 90 degree angle. Due to the more relaxed posture made possible by the design of these machines, they are ideal for those who suffer from back injuries, arthritis, knee trouble, or some other chronic pain.
Which Model is Right for You?
When choosing between these two designs, ask yourself, what is more important: burning the maximum amount of calories in the shortest amount of time, or finding a machine that is comfortable and conducive to long workout sessions. If the former, an upright bike is for you. While those in the latter camp will want to opt for a recumbent machine.So, it is also very important to have some basic knowledge of how to buy an exercise bike or where to buy an exercise bike.
The Cutting Edge
Now that you know what type of machine you want to go after, let’s examine a couple of cutting edge features that are absolutely “Must-Haves” on either style bike. In no particular order, these features are:
• Adjustable Resistance Settings: and the more the merrier. These settings allow you to go from a chicken legged weenie to an NFL place kicker. If your bike has only a handful of settings, this means that you will find yourself on top of the dreaded plateau before long.
• Adjustable Seat: If this sounds like a low-tech feature, it is, but this doesn’t mean that it isn’t absolutely vital. In this world, there are the long-legged, the short-legged, and everyone in between.
• Safety Straps: These help keep your feet on the pedal. You have never felt like such a dork as when you are in the midst of a Tour De France type ride and your foot is suddenly no longer on the pedal though they are still spinning like a tornado and scrapping against your calve muscle. Wide pedals are also a nice touch since- like leg length- foot width varies according to the individual.
• LCD Monitor: Some of these will keep up with every stat under the sun. They will give you time, distance, calories burned, days until Christmas, flight departure times, While all this is neat, it is not all necessary. What is necessary, however, are the basics: elapsed time, distance traveled, and calories burned.
With the essentials out of the way, let’s look at some features that are really cool and also beneficial, as long as they are within your budget.
• Bluetooth Speakers: Some models actually come equipped with high quality, Bluetooth ready speakers so that you can blast your motivational music when you feel like giving up. While this isn’t a necessary feature, there aren’t likely to be many complaints about it.
• Multi-User Profile Settings: The top of the line LCD monitors are capable of not only keeping up with your personal stats and workout history but can do the same for others in your house who want to train on the bike. This is a handy feature for tracking your progress for opportunities to improve.
• Desk Top: This feature isn’t going to be for everyone, but if you are so inclined to work on some emails while you burn calories, space to securely put your laptop while you ride is about as appealing as it gets.
The most important thing to remember when determining what type of exercise bike to purchase is that what works for one, may not work for another. You need to know what you want, and you need to know your- financial and physical. Hopefully, this buying guide has provided you with a good knowledge base from which to start. One departing piece of advice: read the customer reviews. They were written by people like you, to help people like you.To know more in details about the best exercise bikes along with our reviews, you just visit our article about top exercise bikes of 2017.