Is a Fitness Bike Right for You? Must Knows before You Buy 


If you’re looking into creating a home gym or if you just want to make exercising at home easier then you may want to consider fitness bikes. If you particularly like (or used to like) biking then this may be the best type of exercise equipment for you.  


Fitness bikes are great for people who feel uncomfortable or unsteady on the other stand up type fitness machines such as the treadmill or elliptical trainers. If you have a physical problem, are carrying extra weight, or if you just prefer to sit down when you exercise, fitness bikes are a great choice.  


There are two basic types of fitness bikes. Knowing which one you prefer and will best meet your needs are both key to identify before you start looking at specific fitness bikes. 


2 Types of Fitness Bikes: 

1. Traditional, upright fitness bike. 

2. Recumbent fitness bike. 


These fitness bikes are both a bit different from each other. The traditional, upright bike is as its name suggests just like a traditional bike.  


On the other hand the recumbent fitness bike is one that you lie back on, are lower to the ground, and has pedals that are out in front rather than straight down. This type of bike offers more back and knee support and is the best choice if you have back, knee, or hip problems. Some even come with armrests.  


With either type of fitness bike there are a few important features to consider when shopping around for the best bike to meet your fitness needs.  


4 Features to Consider When Shopping for Fitness Bikes 


1.      Seat.  

Be sure it is padded enough or be prepared to purchase a gel seat cover or other type of cover from a sporting goods store or bike shop. Also, if the bike will be used by more than one person be sure the seat is adjustable

2.    Type of resistance. 

If noise is a concern opt for a fitness bike with magnetic resistance rather than air resistance or a tension belt or band. One of the most common complaints for this type of exercise equipment is the loud noise it produces. 


3.    Pedal Straps. 

Always have pedal straps so you feet don’t unintentionally slide off. Most bikes do but occasionally I’ve run across a few that don’t. Although this is a small feature it’s an important one not to be overlooked. 



4.    Size 

If you are limited on space, a fitness bike takes up a large amount of room depending on the model and may not be the best bet for you. There are a few on the market that fold up but it’s important to make sure these are the quality you want. 


Let’s take a look at four of the most popular fitness bikes on the market today. 


Traditional Fitness Bikes 


1.    Schwinn Active 10 Series Upright Fitness Bike 


This bike retails for around $200. It has 11 programs, 8 resistance levels, pedal straps, and a heart rate monitor.  


It has a maximum user weight of 275lbs, the machine weighs 58lbs, and measures 40 x 20 x 38 inches (l, w, h.) It uses magnetic resistance for a quieter ride. 


2.    Spinner Sport Spin Bike 


This bike retails for $500. It has 4 DVDs included for program choices, offers a special wide, padded seat for comfort, can handle up to a 250lb user, weighs 80lbs and measures 44 x 18 x 38 inches.  


Great for the more avid biker or ‘spinner.’ 


Recumbent Fitness Bikes 


1.    Schwinn Active 20 Series Recumbent Fitness Bike 


This bike retails for about $250. It offers 11 preset programs, 8 resistance levels, utilizes magnetic resistance, and has a heart rate monitor. 


The bike can accommodate a 275lb user, weighs 58lbs, and measures 58.5 x 26 x 58lbs.  


2.    Stamina 4545 Magnetic Fusion Recumbent Bike 


This popular recumbent bike goes for about $200. It utilizes magnetic resistance, accommodates up to a 300lb user, weighs 80lbs, and measures 53 x 24 x 44 inches (l x w x h.) 


The best thing to do if you’re serious about buying a fitness bike (or any other piece of fitness equipment) is to ‘test drive’ them. Searching online to do preliminary research is a great place to begin but riding each bike, trying different programs, speeds, and resistance levels on each one is essential.  


Make sure to try out a few of each type, recumbent and traditional. Watch for wobbles, bumps, or what seem to be ‘glitches’ in the operation of the bikes. 

Take your time and do thorough research. If you choose a quality bike that you really like it will be a great addition to your home gym.  




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