An indoor cycling bike differs from an upright bike because it offers a much more realistic riding experience and feels more like a road bike than an exercise bike due to the positioning of the seat and the handlebars, and because it has a flywheel that is mechanically linked to the pedals.
Therefore these machines are often used by cyclists to train on during the winter, and by people who are interested in performing spinning and interval training workouts at home.
Most of these bikes will provide you with a really good workout, but if you are looking to buy one of these machines for your home, there are a number of different factors that you should take into consideration, all of which are listed below:
1. Resistance Levels
When buying an indoor cycling bike, you will generally find that the cheaper models have fewer resistance levels, and tend to use friction resistance (where pressure is applied to the wheel in order to increase resistance), which is more prone to wear and tear than magnetic resistance.
So if you are looking for a really challenging workout, or want to buy one that will last you many years, you may want to opt for one of the more expensive models.
2. Strength and construction
Most indoor exercise bikes are generally very strong and extremely well-made, particularly the commercial gym-standard bikes that cost upwards of $1000 or more.
However this isn’t always the case with some of the basic entry-level models, so it is worth taking this into consideration when choosing one of these bicycles.
3. LCD console
A lot of people find that an LCD console isn’t really necessary when using a indoor cycling bike because they may only use one of these machines for a certain length of time, or will simply perform their spinning routines in time to the music.
Nevertheless some people do still like to see the time, speed, distance and the number of calories that they have burned during their workout, in which case it may be worth choosing one that has one of these consoles included with the actual bike.
4. Adjustable seat and handlebars
Indoor cycles generally offer a very realistic riding experience because of the way that they are designed, but it is still helpful if there are optional adjustments on both the seat and the handlebars.
Ideally you want to purchase one that has fore/aft and up/down adjustments for the seat, and fully adjustable handlebars to accommodate different arm lengths and individual preferences because this will enable you to exercise in comfort.
Most indoor cycling bikes don’t tend to take up a great deal of space, but if space is at a premium in your home, you may want to make a note of the exact dimensions because some will inevitably take up a little more room than others.
The flywheel at the front of the bike (or in some cases at the back) is another factor worth taking into consideration because it is generally the case that the larger the flywheel, the smoother the ride and the more it will actually feel like a road bike. That’s why the ones with the larger flywheels tend to be a little more expensive.
You may not think that the pedals are an important factor, but it can be immensely frustrating if the bike has poorly fitted toe straps and your feet keep slipping out, or if they are simply a little too uncomfortable.
Many users prefer those pedals that have toe cages to prevent any slippage, and would rather pay a little more for the highest quality SPD pedals from Shimano, for instance, if it improves their workouts.
8. Water bottle holder
You will inevitably work up a sweat when using one of these bicycles, particularly if you plan on doing lots of high intensity interval workouts.
So it is important to drink lots of water and replace any water that you have lost through sweating, which is why a water bottle holder is always a very useful feature that many people look for on one of these machines.
9. Transport wheels
If you plan to keep your exercise bicycle in a single room, then you don’t really need to worry about whether or not it comes with transport wheels attached.
However if you think that you might move it around from room to room, or if you move home quite a bit, you might want to buy one that has transport wheels fixed to the bottom because this will obviously make it a lot easier to move around.
The final factor that you should take into consideration is of course the warranty. The best and most expensive models will tend to have longer warranties (and indeed lifetime warranties in some cases) because they are generally very well-made and built to withstand regular use.
However if you shop around, you may well find one or two low-cost models that come with a 3-5 year warranty, which will give you added peace of mind.
If you would to check out which indoor cycling bikes we currently recommend, you can do so by clicking here.