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So many exercise bikes, how do you choose the right one?

So many exercise bikes, how do you choose the right one?

So you’ve made a decision to get an exercise bike. The next question might be how to choose between different brands of exercise bikes. Here’s our top tips to consider:

Which Brand?

There’s a range of largely international brand names for exercise bikes. For example, Schwinn, Bodycraft, Bodyworx, DKN Technology, Johnson…just to name a few. Look for a brand name that has a strong track record of producing good quality exercise bikes and provide great warranty service.

Other than the brand name, it’s really all about who will be using the bike, and catering up to the tallest and heaviest person, your fitness goals and your specific requirements and preferences. Do you want a spin bike, or upright exercise bike, or perhaps a recumbent bike?

Which Exercise Bike?

Do you want to stand on the pedals when you cycle? Then look for a spin bike with a strong sturdy frame and reinforced 3 piece crank pedals. These cost a little bit more but you will be glad that you’ve made the investment for your fitness and your safety. There’s a few other considerations such as the adjustment of the seat and the handlebars (up, down, back and forth), the stop button and resistance gauge, the clip on pedals or stirrup, and comfort of the seat. So try them out.

Do you have any limitations such as lower back discomfort? Then check with your health professional for advice, as cycling is likely to cause some rotation of your spine. A recumbent bike where your legs cycle at a horizontal plane offers can provide support for your lower back.

An upright exercise bike often appeals to people who want to “just” cycle in the comfort of their home.

OK so you may have narrowed your choice on the type of exercise bike…now to functions and features.

Which Functions and Features?

Manual versus programmes. The manual tension dial means you turn the dial or lever to increase or reduce the resistance.  Whereas a programmable option provides automatic programmes to provide variety in your workout. Programmed bikes have a console display which is lit up with power or battery. Check out self-powered exercise bikes.

Lower and upper body workout. Do you want to work out your legs and upper body at the same time? Then look for a bike that has arm movements and pedals. By working both major limbs, you will increase your cardio fitness in a big way but it’s not for the faint-hearted! For example, see the Schwinn Airdyne Upright Exercise Bike.

Console. Would you like to monitor your progress with feedback? Then consider a console option that will give you feedback such as distance, time, revolutions per minute, wattage, calories. These are normally sold separately particularly with spin bikes.

Technology. Would you like to cycle on virtual bike trails around the world, compete against your personal best or others, and keep track of your heart rate and overall progress with your ipad? High tech options for spin bikes, upright and recumbent bikes, may have these options. For example, see the DKN Technology bike range.

Comfort. The key feature for most people is comfort. The frame, adjustments, console, hand grips, pedals and seat need to be comfortable. After all, you’ll be cycling for at least 20 minutes to improve your cardio fitness, and if spinning, then up to 60 minutes. So you want to make sure your bike is going to do what you want it to do, and in comfort!

Contact the Elite team or drop into the Elite Fitness Equipment store and try out exercise bikes from top international brand names like the ones listed here.  If you’re seeking that special piece of exercise bike, then let the Elite team know and they can source one to meet your specific needs.