Spin bikes are a type of exercise bike designed to feel like a traditional road bike. Spin bikes are great for interval training, because of their ability to change tension very quickly. Unlike a recumbent or upright, a spin bike will have a dial or krank that quickly changes the tension, whereas the other types of bikes will have a button to gradually increase tension. This style of training has become very popular in group fitness settings and with many app options, this can be brought right into your own home!
A lot of customers like that spin bikes are the smallest cardio option. While all exercise bikes are relatively small, spin bikes are the smallest and easiest to move around.
Since spin bikes are designed to feel like a traditional road bike, you are likely going to be in a more bent over position while riding that the other bikes. This is important to keep in mind if you have any injuries or other limiting factors. Spin bikes can be used in a sitting or standing position. The handlebars can be raised, but overall you will still be in a slightly bent over position. The seat of a spin bike is also very similar to that of a road bike, some customers prefer larger more cushioned seats
Some spin bikes have consoles, some do not. Most spin bike consoles are simple displaying time, distance, wattage and calories burned. Some other spin bikes have more advanced consoles with fitness classes built in, or more involved training programs.
Spin bikes will either have magnetic based or friction-based resistance.
Friction-based resistance is when force is applied to the flywheel with a felt or leather break pad. Magnetic resistance uses magnets to create tension against the flywheel. Unlike friction-based resistance, the magnets don't actually make contact with the flywheel.
A spin bike has a fixed flywheel, meaning that if you are pedaling and take your feet off the force will continue rotating the flywheel and pedals. This is important to understand in terms of safety.
There are a variety of accessories and add-ons for spin bikes. If you prefer clip in pedals, or a larger seat these features can be swapped out. Often times spin bikes will also have options such as tablet holders, Bluetooth receptors, bike mats and more.
Upright bikes are most popular for their comfortable upright position and large seat. This is a great option for someone who wants to be comfortable and not in a bent over riding position.
Upright bikes will have more involved consoles with built in programs. Unlike the quick adjustment of resistance on spin bikes, upright bikes will have buttons on the console or on the side handles to adjust resistance. Some upright bikes also have heart rate compatibility and can track your workouts. If preset programs are important to you, then an upright bike is a great option for you.
Upright bikes use magnetic resistance paired with an eddy current break. They do not have a fixed flywheel like spin bikes, therefore when you stop pedaling the machine will stop as well. All upright bikes should have the resistance system covered, so you don't need to worry about cleaning it.
Instead of the conventional pedaling style, recumbent bikes have you seated in a reclined position. In addition to the comfortability of being in a reclined position they also have a wider, more comfortable seat. The pedals are out in front, which can help even out your bodyweight distribution. Recumbent bikes offer handlebars at both the front display, as well as along the sides of the seat for convenience. The seat will adjust closer and further to the console and some recumbent bikes have the options to recline
Recumbent bikes are an optimal choice for people with back problems, joint issues or pre-existing injuries, not just out of the types of exercise bikes, but out of any treadmill or elliptical as well. Recumbent bikes offer a comfortable, low impact cardio option and are the only type of bike that offer a back support.
Recumbent bikes will have a console with pre-set programs and varying capabilities, including workout tracking and heart rate monitoring. With the comfortable position of a recumbent bike some even find it enjoyable to watch tv or read while pedaling
They use magnetic resistance paired with an eddy current break. They do not have a fixed flywheel like spin bikes, therefore when you stop pedaling the machine will stop as well