Recumbent, exercise, or air bike? All indoor bikes have unique capabilities and may be used in various ways.
All types of bikes have less impact on your joints than most other cardio fitness equipment, like treadmills.
Your requirements rather than your wants should determine the type of bike suitable for you.
There are various types of exercise bikes available in the market now. Consider the following factors while choosing a stationary exercise bike.
Recumbent Bike: A recumbent exercise bike allows you to ride on a comfortable seat while reclining. 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 a cardio machine newcomer, recumbent bikes are an excellent way to improve fitness while avoiding issues like knee pain or ankle twist.
An Exercise Bike: A stationary bicycle comes in two different models. An upright or 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 exercise bikes.)
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. So, you have to slowly slow down as the flywheel loses speed and comes to a stop. The heavier flywheel makes the training session more effective.
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.
People who want to add exercise to their daily lives should get a regular upright bike. When the flywheel is heavier, spin bikes are great for high-intensity interval training, general fitness goals, and losing weight.
Spin cycles are more expensive, made of more durable materials, and need less maintenance. On the other hand, an upright bike is a bit cheaper and comes with a number of high-tech extras.
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 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.
All bikes have their advantages. Let’s compare them so you can pick the best bike for your needs!
Bikes with the 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 upright or lean 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. These have a small seat and pedals straight below the seat. Air bike vs recumbent bike or exercise bike is the least comfortable.
A recumbent air bike can provide a low-impact, full-body workout that targets your lower and upper body muscles. It can also help burn calories, improve cardiovascular health, and enhance endurance. Some recumbent air bikes also have tension bands that you can use to add more resistance to your upper body movements.
Air bike or recumbent bike?
An air bike is ideal for high-intensity interval training, injury recovery, warming up and down, and total body training. A recumbent bike is ideal for elderly or obese people, low-impact exercise, steady-state cycling, and comfort.
Does an Exercise Bike tone your muscles?
The muscle groups worked on recumbent bikes: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Shins, Calf muscles, and Glutes.
On an exercise/spin bike, in addition to the muscle groups mentioned above, the core and back muscles are also involved. Also, arms and shoulders are involved, though very minimally.
Air bikes are the ones that involve the maximum number of muscles in 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 number of calories from the hips 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 their 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 exercise easier. 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 and 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 possible since the bike matches 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 an Exercise Bike Difficult?
Recumbent bikes are the easiest to use and provide maximum comfort with their reclining position.
The upright and air bikes 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 body weight 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 to do long workouts. As the body slumps on the handles, neck sprains and back pain incidents may occur. Also, an upright or 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 is ideal for performing high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
A 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 way to increase your cardio workout and muscle mass. However, you must pick between a recumbent bike, an upright/spin bike, or an air bike.
All have their advantages. A recumbent bike for the elderly at home is an excellent piece of equipment. The upright bike is good for regular morning exercise. A spin bike and regular morning exercise are 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.