- Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1805 Indoor Cycling Bike
- Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle
- YOSUDA L-001A Indoor Cycling Bike
For cyclists considering an indoor cycle, deciding on the best bike can be a challenge. These stationary bikes vary widely in price and features that can make a specific model a considerably better option depending on if you’re an avid cyclist, athlete, or casual fitness enthusiast trying to stay in shape. For example, a semi-professional cyclist might prefer a bike that offers greater resistance while a casual home cyclist might find this same bike too challenging or expensive for features that may go unused.
As a result you should do your due diligence before purchasing a spin bike to prevent a mistake and a case of buyer’s remorse. Below we have compiled the best 12 indoor cycles to help you purchase the right brand and model for you.
(SPIN®, Spinner®, and Spinning® are trademarks copyrighted by Mad Dogg Athletics)
The Best Indoor Cycle
What is a Spin Bike?
A spin bike is an indoor bicycle that allows individuals to exercise from a stationary position without needing to go outside. Spin bikes and indoor cycles alike use a weighted flywheel that continues to spin even after riders have stopped pedaling. This encourages riders to improve their cadence and build muscle correctly to prepare for riding in real road conditions. Most spin bikes have specialized handlebars and seats that can be positioned to improve posture. Since spin bikes are stationary, users are able to supplement their workout with entertainment and productive activities. Many indoor cyclists keep a television or phone nearby so that they can multi-task while working out.
On some bikes, the internal software system allow cyclists to keep track of their performance over time to stay on-track for a workout routine. Cyclists can even compare their performance with previous statistics for an extra challenge and motivation. Some even have monitoring devices capable of reading a cyclist’s heartbeat through an internal computer system. These monitors can also provide output to keep cyclists informed about prevailing workout statistics like speed, mileage, and wattage.
People who ride spin bikes are often referred to as “spinners”. Additionally, the act of riding a spin bike is often referred to as “spinning®”, which is a branded trademark of Mad Dogg Athletics.
What are the Benefits of Spinning®?
As opposed to a regular bicycle, spin bikes have the advantage of being safer, allowing users to multitask, and getting a better-regulated workout. Instead of taking a risk each day riding a bike on busy streets, cyclists can spend their workout time indoors watching TV or even getting work done. This can be especially helpful on a rainy days, where severe weather or cold winters might disrupt a regimented workout schedule. On many bikes, spinners can adjust the resistance levels to ensure that they are getting an optimal workout for their abilities and goals.
While working out, these bikes also provide feedback on a digital display so cyclists can monitor their mileage, speed, heartbeat, and more. As a user starts to build muscle, this difficulty level can be progressively increased to ensure that workouts continue to be a challenge. With these advantages, cyclists can expect to get more out of their workout sessions to build stamina and stay in shape. Of course, cyclists are also free to use these bikes as a supplement to their regular workout routines. On rainy days or when the winter months arrive, bikers can stay indoors and look forward to sunny days where they can exercise outside. While doing this, cyclists can enjoy a movie, watch the news, or even make phone calls during the workout.
Things to Consider Buying an Indoor Cycle
In selecting your bike, it’s essential to consider what your targets are now and what they might be later on. Owning a fitness bike in the comfort of your own house is helpful to reaching your wellness objectives.
Spin Bike Shoes
If you know you’ll be switching between indoor and outdoor usage, start looking for footwear which states explicitly that it may be used for your intended purposes. Being able to modify your pedals can make things far more comfortable for your feet and your legs while cycling.
Amount of resistance levels
If you’re using your own bike or a different indoor trainer, your resistance levels will differ so that you’ll have to place in a little bit of guesswork, but it shouldn’t be too challenging to figure out whether you ought to be using a heavy or lighter resistance. You should find a bike with different resistance levels, and the seat needs to be comfortable enough because you will spend a significant lot of time on it.
Comfortable in feel and design
Its design is straightforward and versatile, ideal for modern and minimalist spaces. The design isn’t over complicated with additional capabilities. It is intuitive, smart, simple, and stylish, allowing the rack to stand out in more than one way. Each bike has a different appearance, feel, and characteristics that fit different folks, demands, and physical fitness spaces. You don’t want a bike that’s too small or too large for your physique.
Being able to move your spin bike around the room or even taking it outside can definitely change your experience. Spin bikes without transfer wheels can be quite heavy, so you do not want to have to work harder to move your machine. Sometimes even a change of scenery can make your spin cycling experience more fun.
Flywheels provide the inertia that keeps the pedals spinning even if a rider stops pedaling. Additionally, heavier individuals will need flywheels with a greater mass to accommodate extra strength and gravitational force. Smaller riders should be especially careful to find a flywheel for their weight class, since they might not be able to get a heavier wheel up to speed at all. Ideally, cyclists should look for a flywheel that provides enough resistance to make getting up to speed a challenge without being excessively straining.
For heavier individuals, heavier weights are needed to provide more resistance during acceleration. Those who plan to increase their athletic abilities in the long-run should look for spin bikes that offer extra weights to increase the difficulty as endurance improves. However, individuals taking up biking to lose weight might want to consider their needs at their target weight level.
When riding any bike, it is critical that riders are balanced correctly to maximize output power. Especially when working out, it is important that this adjustment is made correctly to ensure that the right muscles are being used to maximize performance.
Cyclists should keep in mind what is called the fore-aft position. In layman’s terms, this is the correct positioning of the seat relative to the pedals and handlebars. If this placement is off by just a single inch, rides can become very uncomfortable and muscles can be stressed disproportionately. To prevent these problems, it is important that riders find spin bikes with adjustable handlebars to make sure that the bike fits them perfectly.
In addition to adjustable handlebars, spin bikes should have an adjustable seat so that the fore-aft positioning can be optimized. If possible, shoppers should ensure that both the angle and height of a seat on a prospective spin bike can be adjusted.
Many spin bikes only allow users to change the seat height, which might need to be varied based on the size of the rider. This can be compared to a regular bike frame, where cyclists might use either a 13″, 15″ or 17″ frame depending on their physical size. To compensate for this, buyers should always make sure that a bike they are considering has a seat that can be thoroughly adjusted.
Belt-Driven Model vs. Chain Drive
When comparing spin bikes, cyclists should keep in mind that there are two different drive mechanisms that are commonly used. Like with regular bikes, many of these have conventional chains that cyclists are used to seeing. However, many spin bikes use a rubber belt instead of a metal chain. This saves users from having to oil their chain or even replace it during extended use. Since many cyclists subject their spin bikes to substantial abuse, this can be more effective in certain cases. Kevlar belts can last for a long time and make for a quieter ride. Additionally, these belts are cleaner because they don’t use extensive amounts of oil that can get on fabrics and furniture.
Like with older cars, spin bikes can require a new belt if they aren’t used for a long period of time. The rubber material can start to decompose, requiring that cyclists buy a new belt in order to keep using their spin bike. However, in many cases the belt-driven model is preferable. In summary, the best drive mechanism depends on how a cyclists intends to utilize their spin bike.
Type of Resistance
Indoor cycling bikes can vary based on the resistance mechanism used to make the workout a challenge. Without artificial resistance, a workout would be too easy because there are no hills or friction to offer natural resistance. There are two primary mechanisms that are used on spin bikes to provide resistance:
This type of resistance is generated by a brake pad similar to those seen on regular bicycles. Called a fiction pad, this distributes resistance to the spinning wheel to make it more difficult to turn. Unfortunately, this can generate some noise due to the rubbing of moving parts. Additionally, friction pads can wear out and necessitate that cyclists occasionally replace them. Due to these disadvantages, friction-based systems are generally more affordable than the more advanced magnetic systems.
On some of these spin bikes, resistance can be adjusted by changing the amount of force applied by the friction pad. However, not all bikes have this feature so buyers should make sure that a prospective bike can do this when evaluating different choices.
On some of today’s best indoor bikes, magnetic resistance is used to make workouts a challenge. These magnets can be composed of either static ceramic magnets or variable electromagnets. More affordable magnetic spin bikes often have ceramic magnets that cannot be adjusted by the user. However, some bikes still allow for mechanical resistance adjustments by changing the distance between the magnets and the conductive surface. Unfortunately, this has to be adjusted manually and can’t be varied dynamically during a workout session.
For users who want to vary the resistance during the workout, keep an eye out for spin bikes that use electromagnets. These can be adjusted in the middle of a workout and can often be controlled automatically by the internal computer system. This means that cyclists can exercise with variable difficulty, simulating ordinary terrain variations and optimizing workouts with periodic changes in difficulty.
Friction Resistance vs. Magnetic Resistance
When trying to decide between the to primary resistance mechanisms, buyers should consider how the bike will be used. Cyclists who plan to use their bikes at home might want a bike with variable difficulty to accommodate other family members and guests. If the bike will be used alone, cyclists might still want a spin bike with variable difficulty to increase it as performance rises. In these cases, spin bikes with magnetic resistance are preferable because of their easily adjustable difficulty. In contrast, users with budget constraints might want to consider a friction-based bike. Even as strength increases, these bikes can still offer enough resistance to get a good workout in.
For casual riders, more affordable friction-based systems can be preferable. However, serious professionals will need a bike that uses magnets to get an optimal workout. Since these can usually be adjusted while working out, adjustments can be made to create short periods of peak performance necessary for certain workout routines. This can help to train muscles for long hills by simulating their increased difficulty. By doing this, users can create artificial mountains or hilly terrain that is simulated by the magnetic resistance. Fun challenges like climbing Mt. Everest or riding through the California hills can be simulated as well with a few simple calculations. Cyclists who want these features on their spin bike will need to ensure that it is capable of doing these functions.
Transportation wheels are a nice extra convenience that buyers should look for when purchasing a spin bike. While a bit ironic needing wheels to move a bike, these can make it easier to move the bike around a house and get it into position upon delivery. Of course, buyers should make sure that a bike with transportation wheels can be locked in place to prevent injuries.
In cycling, the Q factor is the measured distance between the crank shafts and pedals. In practice, the Q factor is significant because it helps bikers ensure that the distance traversed by feet during a full rotation is optimal. Just like how runners have to monitor how far their feet are apart, bikers need to do the same to ensure that their legs are delivering as much force as they can. In addition to better performance, a properly adjusted Q factor can make bike riding healthier because less damage will be done to the knees. When deciding between spin bikes, it is important to consider whether the Q factor can be adjusted on the crankshafts. This can be especially helpful for families, where different users might have their own preference based on their body shape and build.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is a spin bike good for weight loss?
A: Make sure that you’re healthy enough for exercise before beginning and always begin with a shorter, more comfortable workout whenever you’re just starting out. If you want to burn the fat you’ll need to pair your cycling workouts with a consistent low calorie diet. Fortunately, indoor cycling offers you a complete body workout.
Stationary bikes can take you a very long way, even as you remain in the exact same spot. Picking the proper bike demands some significant consideration.
Q: Can you ride a spin bike while pregnant?
A: Cycling while pregnant is a personal decision. If you’re already exercising you will likely be in a position to continue to your routine and adapt it as your pregnancy progresses. Additionally, the second trimester is typically the time once the pregnancy is deemed to have stabilized. Just pay close attention to the way you feel as soon as you escape from the very first trimester or so and communicate with your doctor if it’s safe to continue.
Q: What is a flywheel, and why is it important?
A: A flywheel is a mechanical device that is used to store rotational energy efficiently. Can resist changes in rotational speed by the moment of inertia. Flywheels are often used to provide a constant power source for your indoor bikes. The flight was a job to help simulate the feeling of riding on an outdoor bike.
The weight is stored energy that is used to smooth out the cycling motion to promote a consistent Cadence. The amount of force you can exert changes during the pedaling movement. Heavier flywheels usually spin at relatively slower speeds, and we’ll store less energy than lighter, faster flywheels.
Q: Are spin bike pedals universal?
A: Indoor cycle pedals are pretty universal, meaning that the pedals will be able to fit on all types of spin bikes. Some pedals though might not fit on two specific bikes that are one piece cranks. However, most spin bikes will be able to share bike pedals. All new pedals work for three piece and two piece crank systems.
Q: Why are spin bike seats so uncomfortable?
A: Despite what you hear about the discomfort associated with spin bike saddles, the seat should not feel this uncomfortable. The solution is to find a comfortable height to position your saddle, wear biking shorts with a thick padding, or try a gel seat cover. The reason most users feel pain in their bottom region is because they tend to adjust it in a way that puts their weight very low.
Q: What are spin bike shoes? Should I get a pair?
A: Spin bike shoes are dedicated cycling shoes that clip to your pedals. It will give you a more robust and efficient workout by allowing the user to transfer more energy from the pedal stroke to the bike. So instead of the power getting stuck in the cushion of your shoe, the cycling shoes are able to transfer that power from your legs straight into the bike in both the lift and downward motion of your foot. Additionally, wearing adequately fitted spin bikes used to help prevent injury by preventing your foot and ankle from moving too much during your exercise.
Users that are serious cyclists should consider buying a pair because they can take advantage of the additional power we talked out above. Bike shoes will last for years and it will be an excellent investment for your cycling experience.
Q: Can you put a spin bike on the carpet?
A: You may want to put your new spin bike on a rubber mat to protect your carpet. The bike made drop dust or lubricant, and why exercise you don’t want any drops of sweat to pull around you. Spin bikes with friction resistance are going to have a wool felt pad that rubs against the flywheel, and it will slowly wear down, and in the long run, they will be generating dust. Other bikes that have a chain drive system may drop some lubricant. A rubber mat is just a safe way to protect your carpet and other flooring.
Q: Can you keep a spin bike outside?
A: Since there are transport wheels on most spin bikes, it is possible to utilize the bike outside. However, storing it outside is not the best idea as it will be interacting with the elements. This can cause the still frame to rust and wear down much quicker than when stored inside of your home. You want your piece of equipment to last for a long time, so it is best to keep your bike indoors.
Q: Which indoor cycle is the best for a home?
A: For beginners we recommend the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1805 – this is a nice low-mid range bike that is affordable but is high enough quality to still be a solid machine as your fitness progresses. Serious cyclists and spinners should consider the high end Keiser M3i.
If you’re motivated by tech and aren’t ready to jump into the commitment of a Peloton, try the Echelon Smart Connect Bike. This option is an excellent bike to purchase for your home because it provides the best features for its price range. It has plenty of resistance levels to give the user a challenge as the exercise, and there are plenty of online features for the user to workout too.
Q: Where can I buy an indoor cycle or spin bike?
A: Most indoor cycles can be bought off of Amazon, where they can be purchased from their respective online stores. SPIN®, Spinner®, and Spinning® brand bikes can be ordered from Spinning.com. Most companies do provide a warranty and a money back guaranty if your bike does not live up to your expectations. This makes buying online a bit of a better experience than having to find the bikes in the store. Dick’s Sporting Goods or your local specialty fitness shop may have some inventory as well.
Like most products, it generally goes without saying that shoppers can expect to get what they pay for. Indoor bikes can be quite affordable, but buyers shouldn’t expect affordable bikes to come fully loaded with every feature imaginable. The more that a buyer is wiling to budget, the more features that will be included with a given product.
Regardless of what a rider chooses to do, taking action to get started is the most important step. Without doing something, bikers can never expect to advance their endurance while on a tough ride. Compare models, then decide which is best for your own needs and make your start now.
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