Recumbent, Exercise or Air Bike? All indoor bikes have their unique capabilities and may be used in a variety of ways. All types of bikes put less impact on your joints than most other cardio fitness equipment, like treadmills. The type of bike suitable for you should be decided on your requirement rather than wants.

There are various types of exercise bikes available in the market now. Consider the following factors while choosing a stationary exercise bike. 

Recumbent Bike

Recumbent Bike: A recumbent exercise bike allows you to ride while reclining on a comfortable seat. It will enable cyclists to read or watch TV while exercising, allowing them to ride for longer periods without becoming bored. The reclined posture of recumbent bikes makes them more pleasant than conventional workout equipment.

So, whether you’re a first-time rider or new to a cardio machine, recumbent bikes are a fantastic way to improve fitness levels and avoid issues like knee pain or ankle twist.

Exercise Bike

Exercise Bike: A stationary bicycle comes in two different models. An upright or an exercise bike, and a spin bike. (Though all the bikes mentioned in this article are exercise bikes, the upright stationary bike and the spin bike are generally referred to as an exercise bike.)

A standard upright bike has a flywheel that weighs a few kg, whereas a spin bike’s flywheel is much heavier and locked with the pedals. So even if you stop pedaling, the flywheel and pedals continue to spin. As a result, one has to decelerate gently as the flywheel loses momentum and comes to a stop. The heavier flywheel makes the training session more effective.

Spin BIke

The upright bike is like an outdoor commuter bike, whereas the spin bike is like a racing bike. The handlebars are angled, causing the rider to lean forward more than typical on upright bikes. You can adjust the spin bike’s seat height and handlebar tilt and make them more workout-specific.

Regular upright bikes are excellent for individuals who want to add exercise to their daily routine. Spin cycles are perfect with a heavier flywheel for high-intensity interval training, general fitness goals, and weight reduction.

Spin cycles are more expensive, made of more durable materials and need less maintenance. On the other hand, an upright bike is somewhat cheaper and available with various sophisticated accessories.

Air Bike

Air Bike: An air bike or assault bike features handlebars that move with your pedaling, unlike exercise bikes with fixed handles. So it gives you a lower and upper body exercise at the same time. A huge fan generates resistance depending on the bike’s handlebars and pedals. So, the more you exercise and bike, the more resistance you build. The entire body’s muscles are involved with it. 

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All the bikes have their advantages. Let’s compare them so you can choose the finest bike for your requirements!

Bikes with Most Comfortable Seats

Recumbent Bikes are the most comfortable with their larger seats and backs as well. The seat is in a reclining position providing maximum comfort. They even have good lumbar support. The pedals are also in the front, which is a more relaxing position while sitting.

Exercise/spin bikes have a small seat on which you have to sit in an upright position or leaning on the handles, and the pedals are right below the seat, making them less comfortable than recumbent bikes.

Air bikes have their handles almost at face level, and they too move constantly. Unfortunately, these also have a small seat and pedals straight below the seat, making air bikes the least comfortable.

Does an Exercise Bike tone your muscles?

On recumbent bikes, the muscle groups worked are Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Shins, Calf muscles and Glutes.

On an exercise/spin bike, in addition to the muscles groups mentioned above, the core and back muscles are also involved. Also, arm and shoulders, though involved but very minimally.

Air bikes are the ones that involve maximum muscles of the body, including the back, abdomen, arms, shoulders, heart, and all the ones worked up in the other two.

Calories Burned on Exercise Bike

Recumbent bikes burn the least amount of calories from hip upwards as the body is relaxed. So it burns around 350 to 450 calories in an hour depending on your age, pace and weight.

An upright/spin bike works more or less like a bicycle. An hour of cycling will burn 450 to 650 calories depending on the cyclist’s age, pace, and weight. The spin bike will burn 100 calories more than the upright bike.

In an hour, the calories burned on an air bike are from 550 to 750 calories again, depending on your age, pace, and weight.

Most Suitable Exercise Bike

The recumbent bikes are best suited for older individuals or those recovering from some injury. The risk of injury is also minimal.

The upright/spin bike is suited for athletes and young trainees to increase the pace and cardiovascular endurance.

Air bikes are suited for building lean muscle mass, developing endurance, and working on whole body muscle groups of young athletes. 10 to 15 minutes of intense workout on an air bike will leave you drenched in sweat and breathless.

Exercise Bike Benefits

A recumbent bike has a broader and lower seat than an upright cycle, making it easier to exercise. Also, recumbent bikes are simpler to balance and sit comfortably, making them excellent for people with arthritis or any other joint pain. Though a recumbent bike affects the least number of muscles among all types of bikes, it has amazing health benefits due to the least pressure on joints.

An upright/spin bike benefits lower body muscles the most. Your joints and bones will get stronger due to the low-impact exercise you get on an upright/spin as well as an air bike. You decide how much resistance you want, so you’re in charge. 

Because you control the resistance throughout your session, air bikes don’t have engines or electronics. As a result, they can handle up to 350-pound bodies. They’re easy to use, and you may adjust the resistance levels to suit your needs. You can burn as many calories as you want since the bike will match your effort. An Air bike burns more calories than a stationary or recumbent bike.

An air cycle is a superior choice for a dynamic full-body workout that targets muscles other than the lower body. It makes the air bike a great piece of gym equipment for beginners or those seeking lower-intensity exercise. However, it can also offer you a great high-intensity workout.

Is Using a Exercise Bike Difficult?

Recumbent bike are the easiest to use and in maximum comfort with their reclining position.

The upright bike and the air bike allow you to sit up more straight than other workout bikes. As a result, it improves posture and relieves strain on the spine. Less pain equals longer riding sessions.

The air bike is claimed to be more difficult to operate than a stationary cycle. It is because the harder you pedal, the more resistance you generate on an air bike. Besides, the arms and legs keep moving continuously.

Drawbacks of Exercise Bikes

Recumbent bikes may not completely activate core muscles. Recumbent bike users use lesser bodyweight than others during a workout, and it only allows one position from which you can exercise.

The small seats of the upright/spin bikes do not allow a person long workouts. As the body is slightly slumped on the handles, there may be neck sprains and back pain incidents. Also, an upright/spin bike doesn’t give you as much upper body exercise as an air cycle.

Air bikes are difficult to store since they do not fold. In addition, these are extremely heavy to transport. As a result, air bikes are costly compared to other types of bikes.

HIIT Exercise Bike

An air or spin bike are the ideal methods to start performing high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

An HIIT workout involves brief bursts of activity followed by rest. Because you’re utilizing your upper and lower body to raise your heart rate, riding an air bike may help you burn more calories. A great method to start HIIT on an air cycle. As you become accustomed to it, increase the intensity.


Using an exercise bike is a great method to increase your cardio workout and muscular mass. However, you must pick between a recumbent bike, upright/spin or an air bike.

All have their advantages. A recumbent bike for elders at home is an excellent piece of equipment. The upright bike is good regular morning exercise. A spin bike along with regular morning exercise is excellent for athletes who want to increase their stamina. The air bike is a must-have for a home gym if you want to burn the most calories.