If you want to start exercising and decided that an indoor bike would be your best bet, we have bad news: the hard work’s not over yet. You now have to choose between a wide range of indoor bikes, each with its bells and whistles.
We’re here to help you decide.
We’ll compare two popular bike types: spin bike vs. stationary bike, analyzing their pros and cons through the lens of your needs.
Difference between spin bikes and exercise bikes
1. Main Use
When you look at a spin bike vs. upright bike or spin bike vs. recumbent bike, the first thing that matters is your needs. That means you’ll have to ensure your bike’s primary use fits your fitness goals.
Stationary bike’s intended purpose is regular indoor cycling. People who purchase such bikes want to improve their general health and endurance. You may also want to lose some weight and tone your muscles.
Spin bikes’ purpose is hardcore training. These bikes look like fast road bikes, and so they’re usually used by people who take up cycling as a serious sport, not as a fun pastime activity.
2. Ease Of Use
There’s not much difference between spin bikes and stationary bikes regarding ease of use. Of course, you can find cumbersome and counterintuitive models from both categories, but you can also find excellent products that you can simply hop on and start riding.
So, it depends on what you’re looking for, what you’re comfortable with, and preexisting conditions.
For example, if you’re mobility challenged and have difficulties keeping your balance, choose a regular bike. If you’re pregnant or a complete beginner, a standard bike might be your best bet too.
Another point to consider is the extra bells and whistles.
If you’re not comfortable with technology in general, choose a straightforward bike without much of a learning curve. Spin bikes have lots of virtual classes as a rule of thumb because they were initially designed for spin groups, so home spin bikes want to keep the same vibe.
But regular exercise bikes can have as many or even more features, starting with tracking options to programs and connectivity choices.
Your safety is paramount when choosing any product, but luckily both regular and spin bikes are pretty safe. The only real danger comes from disregarding your fitness level.
For instance, that can happen when you’re pedaling for hours instead of limiting your training sessions to 30-45 minutes. You can pull a muscle or hurt your knees whether you’re on a spin or regular bike.
However, spin bikes are potentially less safe for people with balance difficulties, especially if you’re standing and spinning. In this case, you can fall even if you have no balance problems because hard effort makes your legs feel – and act – like noodles.
But here’s another thing you have to consider:
Spin bikes have higher and narrower seats. So, if you’re unused to a road bike, your lower back and butt can hurt A LOT after a one-hour spin session.
So the best advice is to take things easy and pace yourself.
4. Resistance And Intensity
The spinning vs. stationary bike progression model has just one difference: you can stand on the spin bike. Otherwise, both types of bikes allow you to increase the resistance and the speed depending on your needs.
Higher speeds mean more calorie burn; higher resistance entails stronger muscles and endurance, whereas standing on your bike leads to increased workout versatility.
So basically, spin bikes are better for fat burn and workout variation, meaning you won’t ever get bored using them.
5. Muscles Worked
Both types of bikes give your lower body a run for its money, as long as you’re challenging yourself. Also, both the spin and regular exercise bike will use your abs and lower back muscles as supporting muscle groups.
Spin bikes have their unique selling point, though: they allow you to stand up.
That’s a complete game-changer because your hamstrings and calves will work harder as you stand up, but so will your core to keep your balance. At this point, you’re also using your upper body more as a supporting muscle group, as you’re pushing into the handlebars, twisting and turning your torso.
And here’s the best part:
As spin bikes will exercise your entire body, you will gain more definition in all your muscles. You’ll also enter the fat-burning zone faster and lose weight – especially fat weight – seamlessly.
That leads us to:
6. Calorie Burn
As we said in the section before, spin bikes’ primary advantage is when you stand on them. As you do that and you’re using your entire body, you can burn more calories.
Besides, spin bikes can help you lose more weight even when you’re sitting because, generally, they have heavier flywheels.
But if you prefer the regular bikes’ designs, you can always choose a product that offers enough resistance to challenge you. All you have to do is research the proper indoor exercise bikes for your needs.
The difference between spin bikes and exercise bikes in terms of comfort may very well dictate your choice. Spin bikes are less comfortable because they have narrow and high seats. Thus, they can put a lot of pressure on your tailbone and lower back.
If you have sciatica, bone pain, or another chronic illness that doesn’t allow you to bend over the handlebars, you should choose a regular exercise bike.
That said, some stationary bikes can feel really uncomfortable because they’re poorly made in the same way that some spin bikes feel like your butt is resting on marshmallows. So you have to spend some time reading about various models before purchasing one.
For instance, some spin bikes offer a slew of adjustability options to find the correct position for your body shape. That means you won’t feel any pressure on your joints and back once you set them up correctly.
In Conclusion. Should You Get A Spin Bike Or A Stationary Bike?
Stationary bikes are best for regular cycling and general health. They’re easy to use and pose a low injury risk, but their calorie burn is moderate and will primarily focus on working your legs.
By comparison, spin bikes are best for intense training. They have a moderate injury risk, but a high calorie burn, especially if you’re standing on them. If you’re in this position, your upper body will get a hefty workout as well.
Before making your choice, consider the various models available today and remember to always judge these products according to your needs.
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