Buying an exercise bike? An exercise bike is an excellent way
to build fitness, lose weight and get fit.
But how do you choose the best one? This buying guide will show
you exactly what to look for when shopping so you can find the
very best exercise bike for your needs!
First, ask yourself which class of exercise bike you would
like. There are 2 general classes of exercise bikes:
1) Recumbent Bikes
Recumbent bikes are the newer exercise bikes on the market with
the chair-like or bucket seats. Your body is placed in a semi
reclining position and your legs angle out in front of you to
reach the pedals instead of hanging down as on an upright bike.
2) Upright Bikes
These are also called "Stationary bikes" although this term is
now becoming a catch all term for both upright and recumbent
bikes. These are the traditional exercise bikes that have been
around for years and are similar in form to traditional outdoor
An offshoot of the standard upright bike is the 'Dual Action'
Stationary bike. These bikes have movable bars or levers on arm
handles to incorporate your upper body into the workout.
Know what you want before you start comparing different
exercise bikes. Personally I've owned both and after a while
upright exercise bike seats just don't feel too comfortable if
you know what I mean. But the choice is yours.
The next thing you need to decide on is your budget. How much
are you willing to pay for your exercise bike?
There are really 3 price categories:
1) Under $500
2) Between $500 - 1000
3) $1000 +
Under 500: While there are some above average exercise bikes
under $500, don't expect to get a top quality machine for this
price. If you don't plan on using your exercise cycle much or
if you're on a budget, this may be a good price point for you.
Between $500 - $1000: Unlike treadmills or elliptical trainers,
you can usually get a very solid, higher quality exercise bike
for your home in this category. Most exercise bikes in this
category offer magnetic resistance and high grade consoles that
give you feedback on your workout. You should also expect
several built-in workout programs, foot straps and heart rate
$1000 +: These exercise bikes are either the cream of the crop
for the advanced home exerciser or they are commercial grade
for the health club. Examples of bikes in this category include
spinners and commercial bikes like Life Cycle and Star Trac.
Always remember that with exercise bikes - in general - you get
what you pay for so try to spend the most that you can and get a
quality machine that will last you.
These are really the 2 most important features to decide on:
the type of bike and the price you can afford. Here are a few
more features you should know about when choosing an exercise
There are several different types of resistance you'll find in
your exercise bike
1) Direct Tension - offers you a manual adjustment of
2) Air - resistance is provided by pedaling against the airflow
of a fan blade
3) Magnetic Resistance - this is the most sophisticated type of
resistance allowing magnetic currents to create and track the
resistance. It generally allows for a greater variety of
Magnetic resistance is generally viewed as the best option
since it tends to be quieter and provides a more even feel when
Most exercise bikes give you information on speed, distance
traveled, and time of the workout. The more sophisticated you
go, you'll also find things like total calories and fat burned,
resistance level, heart rate and program mode.
You can also get exercise bikes with numerous preprogrammed
workouts and information storage as well as iFit compatibilit
and Interactive Disc players.
It really depends on your personal preferences whether you
choose a bike with 10 preset programs and an ultra high tech
computer display or one with just a simple display.
However, keep in mind that in general, the higher priced bikes
have more sophisticated options and are built with higher
Exercise Bikes come with a variety of warranties from 90 days
to lifetime warranties on different parts of the bike. For
example, parts and labor may be covered for 6 months,
electronics for 1 year and the frame for a lifetime. In general
keep in mind that a longer warranty is indicative of a higher
Final Note: It is also important that you decide how much you
are planning to use your exercise bike. For example, if you are
new to exercising and not sure you'll use your exercise bike
much, you might want to save some money and go with a cheaper
If however you plan on using the bike a lot and/or are a
regular exerciser, invest a bit more and get a machine that
That's it - good luck and have fun!
About The Author: Charles O'Neill is a personal trainer and
contributing writer to http://www.Exercise-Bike-Review.com For
more buying tips, best buys and recumbent bike reviews, visit: