Up. Down. Sit. Stay. Nope, we are not talking about dog training here! This one is all about INDOOR EXERCISE BIKES!
There are so many different types of exercise bikes on the market. With so many options to choose from, where do you start when searching for the perfect ride? No need to worry we'll help cycle you through it!
Upright: This is the most common and practical at-home exercise bike. The handlebars are at a perfectly ergonomic level to support a straight and upright spine while exercising. These upright bikes are a low-impact option for a burst of cardio that targets your legs. Hop onto the seat, choose your resistance, and start pedaling to train your leg muscles. For most, finding an upright bike is the best decision for making the most of an indoor cycling routine. A perfect household solution!
Recumbent: Recumbent bikes are very similar to upright bikes; however, the difference is that you sit in a reclined chair as opposed to a saddle. The theory behind these bikes is that they are meant to support your back, however, this mainly boils down to personal preference. This bike also shifts the targeted muscle area toward the glutes and lower stomach. The major drawback here is that recumbent bikes often require much more space.
Hybrid: A hybrid bike is a mix of upright and recumbent bikes. With this bike you’ll have greater autonomy over your workout, allowing you to target a wider variety of muscle groups. Just like recumbent bikes, these bikes are more supportive to the back. This option is great for the whole family because of its versatile form, however, they also tend to require more space.
Self-powered: These bikes run without an engine or the need for an electrical socket. The power generated by this bike is entirely dependent on the user output. These bikes usually run at a higher price point due to the advanced power system embedded within them.
Studio Bikes: These are the bikes you find in the gym. The handlebars are well beneath the saddle so that you’re bent over like you’re riding a road bike. They offer high-intensity workouts and training at varying resistance levels that allow for simulated up and downhill pedaling. It’s practically the best way to feel like you’re getting a hilly workout while riding indoors!
Air Bike: Air bikes are nice because you get a breeze while you work out. The large fan design allows handlebar movement to also include an upper body workout. The resistance increases as you begin to pedal faster. The harder you work, the more intense the workout becomes. This is a great option for someone looking for a workout that doesn’t let up and constantly provides a challenge.
Wattbike: A wattbike keeps track of your ride and riding techniques. It records your workout data in "watts," which is where the name comes from. These bikes also track vitals such as heart-rate, cadence, calories, etc. With a dual braking system, wattbike mimics riding outside along different terrains. The wattbike is used by professionals to perfect their riding performance. If you’re an avid outdoor cyclist, this is your bike for understanding all of your performance stats.
Interactive/Smart: Interactive bikes are also known as Smart bikes. These bikes have a screen that allows you to access workouts, apps, or programs where you can join a class or interact with other cyclers. Some smart bikes can control your riding mode, manage resistance difficulty, or align with other workout programs. These interactive bikes will certainly pose a diverse challenge to riders with a dynamic range of offerings.
Is there one exercise bike that has it all?
In short, no. No bike is a perfect combination of all of these styles. But that's not a bad thing! As mentioned, many of these exercise bike options are solely about personal preference! Seating posture, resistance level, and power source are all completely personal to each rider. The good news is that more and more indoor cycling and exercise bike equipment is becoming cost-effective, ergonomic and comfortable, and even smarter.
It is all about finding the bike that ticks all of the right boxes. That’s why RENPHO launched the first AI Smart Bike as another valuable option for consumers looking for a suitable entry point that brings together multiple categories to create one unique hybrid solution. It's a cross between a smart bike and an upright bike—comfortable, affordable, and smart-powered with Artificial Intelligence packed in. It has all the works and is another compelling option to consider when purchasing your first bike! Check out: What to Consider When Choosing Your First Indoor Exercise Bike to Stay Active for more factors to consider as a first-time buyer.