The choice of exercise bike depends on several essential parameters, which we will introduce more closely. These are:
- the height and weight of the user,
- load control,
- braking system
- flywheel weight,
- frame and overall construction,
- saddle, handlebars, pedals,
- extra features
Height and weight of the user
The exercise bike you select should have the option to adjust the height of the saddle and handlebars. This will allow comfortable exercise for people of different sizes.
If you know that more than one family member will use the exercise bike, make sure that the device has a height-adjustable saddle. The height-adjustable saddle is now available to almost all exercise bikes, but the construction is essential. For cheaper models, the high-set saddle may start to the vicarage. Each exercise bike is designed for a different height, so this parameter should be watched, especially by persons over 190 cm.
When choosing, be sure to also focus on the maximum load capacity of the fitness machine. Usually, the load capacity of the exercise bike is up to 100 kg, but it is also possible to come across exercise bikes with a load capacity of 150 kg or even 180 kg. If more than one family member uses the booster, choose the load capacity according to their heaviest.
Our tip: Always keep a reserve of at least 10 kg when taking into account the weight. The more help you have, the less you load the machine and thus extend its lifespan. Therefore, if you weigh 100 kg, we recommend a maximum load capacity of the exercise bike greater than 100 kg.
You should be in a natural position during exercise. If you can’t change your size to your requirements, the practice could become uncomfortable, uncomfortable, and even painful for you. It is therefore advisable to adjust not only the saddle but also the handlebars in height.
Load control means you can set whether you want to ride on a naturally straight,medium-heavy, or hilly terrain where you really can do well. The higher the load, the more power, and energy you need to invest in the ride. The types of load control are currently two:
- You control the load manually, so the most commonly used is the rotating wheel or scrolling on the scale. The more degrees of regulation, the better. This will simulate the route more faithfully. There is also a smooth regulation, but there is a worse estimate of your current difficulty. Training, therefore, requires some experience. Manually operated exercise bikes are usually up to CZK 10,000 cheaper, but they do not have as advanced features as computer-controlled exercise bikes.
- Computer-controlled exercise bikes are among the top state-of-the-art and most advanced exercise bikes on the market. However, it is characteristic of them that some of them do not allow self-setting of the load since changes occur automatically based on the selected track profile or the basis of the stimuli of your body (arteries). Therefore, the computer automatically takes care of the load. Such controlled exercise bikes are especially suitable for home use because that’s how you supervise yourself. However, it would help if you prepared for higher financial expenses and more complex controls, which are to the benefit of the cause.
Our tip: Electronically operated exercise bikes can usually be switched to manual settings.
The braking system is related to resistance and load. Although riding an exercise bike is similar to cycling, the wheels are missing, so it is impossible to use the same braking method. Older exercise bikes used cheap belts and cheesy braking systems. However, their disadvantage was the incredible noise, the need for repairs, and the lack of effect. Today, however, you may encounter two more modern types of braking systems:
- MagneticMagnetic exercise bikes differ in the number of magnets, and thus the maximum possible load they can induction (electromagnetic) brake system is a more efficient braking system than the above. Braking systems – so-called magnetic exercise bikes – can be found on cheaper models; a set of permanent magnet handles resistance during pedaling. Therefore, the braking performance depends on the change in the position of the magnet relative to the flywheel. This braking system is quiet and has a long service life. It is primarily available on more expensive and professional models. The brake consists of a coil with an electromagnet. The current in the ring controls the computer, thus controlling the force of the magnetic field. This makes the brakes noiseless, accurate, and trouble-free. It can withstand a higher load, so you don’t have to be afraid to use it even at a higher speed. Their disadvantage is expensive repairs in case of failure of the base plate.
A flywheel is a component located inside the exercise bike so that you won’t see it at a glance. However, this is an essential part that takes care of the operation of the device. Its weight is significant, reflected in the smoothness of the ride and the pedaling load.
- 3-5 kg – it is suitable for pedaling with minimal load.
- 7 kg – flywheel for fitness and modest home pedaling.
- 9-12 kg – this weight is suitable for sports-oriented people or if you want to take advantage of heavier loads.
The flywheel is also a pedal center. This very fundamentally affects the noise of the operation and the overall life of the machine.
Cheap exercise bikes tend to have an ordinary bowl pedal center. The pedals are placed on a one-piece bent handle that passes through the center of the exercise bike (with a bit of exaggeration, you can imagine the pedals at the first children’s bikes still pedaling). The bowl pedal center must be regularly set up, but it will still increase noise over time and need to replace it. Unfortunately, replacing it can cost you half the total purchase price of a new exercise bike.
Better exercise bikes have pedal centers fitted with bearings and square cranks. The pedals look similar to those you know from classic bikes. However, if this pedal center is high quality, it requires almost no maintenance and quiet operation.
Frame and overall construction
The frame and construction are parameters that are closely related to the load capacity of the product. The more robust the design, the greater the load capacity of the exercise bike. However, they also affect design, durability and are also signed for comfort during exercise. Therefore, we recommend that you consult a specialist when choosing. In addition, the material should be sweat-resistant, from which it should not begin to erode, nor should it begin to bend over time.
The frame should have sufficient load capacity and excellent stability. The exercise bike must not sway even when you touch it. In short, he must be standing nailed down. Overall, the design and each part should be ergonomic to make the exercise as comfortable as possible for you.
Good advice: Although the load capacity is related to the stability of the frame, it is determined by the manufacturers themselves. Therefore, the data provided by them may not always correspond to reality. Consequently, it is recommended for people with a higher weight to orient themselves according to the importance of the device. The heavier the exercise bike, the more weight it can carry.
The size of the frame structure also includes the distance between the handlebars and the saddle and is related to the price. Cheaper products (up to about CZK 5,000) are relatively small in the frame; handlebars are low, making them more suitable for reindeer more small (about 165 cm). Thanks to various setup options, higher-cost exercise bikes have a larger and more versatile frame that suits taller and smaller people.
Saddle, handlebars, pedals
These three parts make training as comfortable as possible for you. Therefore, it is good if you can set them precisely according to your body parameters.
Never practice barefoot on an exercise bike. The surface of the pedals should be such that your shoe does not skid off it. Therefore, you can also find a removable strap on them. Since there is no risk of falling on the exercise bike, the use of belts is safe. If you do not want to use the straps, they can be removed. Pedals should be balanced with each other, and you should reach them well.
For spinning bikes, you may come across a footing system, but you need special shoes. However, they are mainly used by professionals, and for non-professionals, this system is useless.
The exercise bike seat should be anatomically shaped. It is not desirable that you get off your bike and your buttocks hurt so much that you cannot sit on the exercise bike the next day. A suitable choice is adjustable gel saddles that follow the shape of your buttocks.
Saddles vary according to the type of exercise bike. For example, the upright saddles are wider, spinning saddles are similar to bicycle saddles, and horizontal wheels have a seat instead of a saddle.
The seat should be adjusted not only in height but also horizontally in respect of the handlebars. The setup is essential in those households where the exercise bike will be used by more than one person or during rehabilitation exercises. However, most decent machines nowadays have an adjustable saddle. Therefore, if you would like to replace the saddle with a bicycle seat, it is ideal for the exercise bike to have a paddle attachment on the thorn (we know the classic attachment from the bicycle).
The handlebars should be shaped ergonomically to hold on well. It should not be necessary to hold them too tightly, your hands should not slide on them, and their shape should be such that you do not have to lean too close to them.
Most exercise bikes allow you to set them up, so you set them exactly according to your needs. For example, it is practical to coat the handlebars with a non-slip cover. In case your hands sweat a lot, use cycling gloves.
The height of the handlebars and their positioning play an important role in avoiding backache. It would help if you sat with your back straight. If you opt for exercise bikes with a small frame, you will have to lean forward very much, which is not good for the loins, for the hands, and in some cases, not even for the cervical spine.
Of course, the main driving “substance” is your energy. However, the exercise bike also needs power for the display or computer. Energy is also consumed by various sensors that measure your performance. You can decide whether you want an exercise bike that connects to electricity or draws power from batteries.
- Electricity – if you plug the exercise bike into a socket, you will not need to replace the batteries or fear running out of “juice” during the exercise (that is, if they do not switch off the current). However, be aware that you will be limited to the presence of an electric socket.
- Batteries – in this case, you do not have to worry about the length of the electrical cords or the distribution of sockets. However, their disadvantage is limited service life and the need for more frequent replacement.
Most exercise bikes offer features that do training or handling the entire machine more efficient.
If you move the exercise bike or clean it regularly, you will surely appreciate the transport wheels. The exercise bike itself is quite heavy, so to carry them in your hand is practically impossible. You can find the wheels in the front. You have to lift the rear one and take the exercise bike where you need to go.
The remediating feet
It is a system that will help you compensate for any nervousness on your floor. You shouldn’t sway during exercise on an exercise bike, nor is it advisable for the exercise bike to sway even if it is not currently unused. Either an eccentric foot tip or an adjustment controller is used for adjustment.
Heart rate control
All exercise bikes offer heart rate control; the difference is just the way. Your heart rate is checked so that exercise does not endanger your life.
Low-precision heart rate controls include connecting a sensor to the ear or a hand pulse. Unfortunately, neither way is very accurate and reliable. The tolerance of measured results is +/- 15%.
The most reliable measurement is a measurement over the chest strap, which transmits data to the computer of the exercise bike either via Bluetooth or analog. At first, wearing a chest strap can be inconvenient. But you get used to it. The belt measures exactly like an ECG and with an almost instantaneous response. It is best if the exercise bike can react to the heart rate and adjust its load.
Create your real training map
Some exercise bikes allow you to connect to a tablet or computer to plan a real route using Google Maps. The load is then switched based on real route data. Training is exciting and especially comfortable for you because you do not have to switch the gears yourself.
To plan your route, you need to download the app. Apps that are free or free usually don’t allow as much as paid apps. However, these also offer the possibility of personal trainers that motivate and guide you.
The best applications include iFIT, which has professional graphics and offers all training options, simple control, and the possibility of instant sharing on social networks.
The outputs from the workouts are feedback that should motivate you in your exercise. For example, this allows you to determine how many kilometers you’ve driven, how fast you’ve driven, how long you’ve been practicing. Ideally, if the parameters can be recalculated into calories burned, this will best stimulate your performance.
The best exercise bikes also offer body fat measurements, calories burned, and an indicative BMI calculation. The more you know about your training, the better you will be able to customize it.
Folding exercise bikes
When you need a high level of storage, you can also look for folding exercise bikes. Their great advantage is that you “fold” them and slide them under the couch or into the gap between the cabinet and the wall. For example, some InSportline exercise bikes get 43 centimeters wide when folded. Such an exercise bike is already stored significantly easier.
However, some other properties are associated with high storage. Foldable exercise bikes tend to be less stringy. Anything extra on such an exercise bike is an obstacle to storage and easy handling. Therefore they tend to have a lower load capacity (usually up to 100 kg). The load wheel (often up to 3 kg) is also smaller, so pedal with a small load. It is also important to know that the folding mechanism is, as a matter of principle, a place where there can be more stress on the material while reducing the stability of the entire exercise bike. But if you need a folding exercise bike, you need to take it into account. You just can’t put a large, non-foldable exercise bike behind the cabinet, and it’s better to practice at least some way than not. For example, you can increase your load similarly to Jarda Jágr by attaching special adjustable foot weights to your ankles. It tried and works.