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> Stationary bike – everything you should know before buying

Stationary bike – everything you should know before buying

Publish date 25.04.2023

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Stationary bike – everything you should know before buying

Not everyone enjoys running or cycling outdoors where there are other people. Some are looking for an additional workout besides running, or are looking for an alternative when it’s very cold or hot outside. 

A stationary bike would be ideal. If you have the money and space, purchase such a device for your home. This will allow you to start your workout anytime, without paying attention to the weather or time. 

If this is your first stationary bike, you are surely wondering: 

what kind to choose in terms of:

  • (a) mechanism – mechanical, magnetic, electromagnetic 
  • (b) position – upright, recumbent
  • (c) what to pay attention to before buying.

You will learn all this and more in this article. Read it and learn exactly everything you need to choose a customized stationary bike.

    Stationary bicycle – what parameters you should pay attention to

    If it’s your first bike, then surely when browsing the offers on the Internet you already have a head full of various descriptions, features, and other things. However, what is most important, when choosing the right stationary bike? Here are some parameters you need to pay attention to. 

    • the maximum load of the device – choose a stationary bike that will fit your weight. Therefore, before buying, pay attention to how many kilograms the device can bear. 
    • saddle and handlebar adjustment – to exercise comfortably and for you to improve your figure, you need to adjust the height of the saddle and the distance of the handlebars. This will help you adjust it to your height. 
    • dimensions and weight of the stationary bike – pay attention to whether the model will fit in your room. This will be especially important if you want to purchase a stationary bike for a smaller room. 
    • the weight of the flywheel – the heavier it is, the more resistance it can produce. This affects the quality and efficiency of your workouts. At the very beginning, 13-17 lbs is enough. 
    • stable construction – it is best to see the model in person beforehand. Take a close look at the design. 
    • several training programs – decide whether you need as many as 20 training programs. Maybe only 5 will be enough? Remember that the more training is available, the higher the price of the device. Is it worth it? You’ll have to decide for yourself. 
    • features to help you during your workout – see if the device has basic functions that will make your workout more enjoyable, e.g. measuring distance and exercise time, and connection to a smartphone.
    • manufacturer and store – beforehand, read user reviews of the company and equipment in question. This will help you make a good decision. Often such comments are very helpful. You will see more advantages and disadvantages of the bike, which you will not learn about from the store or manufacturer’s website.

    Mechanical, magnetic and electromagnetic stationary bicycles – what are the basic differences?

    The main difference is the usage of the resistance mechanism. It means the method of braking the wheel. 

    • Mechanical bicycle – the simplest design. The resistance mechanism works on the principle of friction of the flywheel. 
    • Magnetic bicycle – a precise resistance mechanism that works through a magnetic brake. 
    • Electromagnetic bicycle – the resistance mechanism works through a microprocessor. It regulates the operation of the electric motor.

    Stationary mechanical bicycle – everything you should know before buying 

    Stationary bike
    Stationary mechanical bicycle simple in construction and operation. Source: Official Zipro page.

    From the previous point, you already know what distinguishes it. Now it’s time to learn more about this equipment. Here is the most important information. 

    Construction of a stationary mechanical bicycle 

    If you are just starting your adventure with stationary bicycles, the mechanical one can be an excellent option. They have a simple design and are the cheapest bikes available on the market. Therefore, even if after a few weeks you find that it’s not for you, the loss will not be as great as if you bought another type. 

    The main thing to focus on in this model is the resistance mechanism, the brake. It is adjustable through a roller or belt. Its adjustment is done by changing the tension of the belt. 

    The operation is not complicated. It doesn’t have a lot of electronics, so you won’t have much trouble exercising. 

    For whom is the stationary mechanical bicycle?

    It’s an excellent choice for beginners who won’t exercise on it too often. It is also a good option for those who intend to use the device only for recreational purposes. Thanks to its simple design and operation, it will be suitable for older people.

    Stationary mechanical bicycle – pros and cons 

    Pros 

    • simple design – with a knob, you can adjust the height of the saddle and handlebars. Free and easy adjustment to the user. 
    • low failure rate – it does not have complex technology, so you will not have to worry that any function will break down right away or you will not start the device.
    • simple operation – you will perform the workout without much trouble, even if you are not an expert when it comes to stationary bikes. 
    • low price – you won’t spend a huge amount of dollars on the equipment. You can spend the rest on other pleasures or important things. 
    • does not need power – it works without being connected to a power source. 

    Cons 

    • noisy operation – if you want peace, not with this device. The friction of the flywheel produces a loud noise that can disturb you. It’s best not to exercise at night then, so as not to disturb your family or neighbors. Put on headphones or turn on the TV louder to drown out the noise.
    • little load adjustment – you won’t do intense workouts on this machine. 
    • no additional options – functions are limited by the device’s scant electronics. Yes, you will do a basic workout but don’t count on much. 
    • no workout plans – there is only a calorie, pace, and distance counter. That’s all you get at this price.

    Stationary magnetic bike – everything you should know before buying one

    Magnetic bike
    Magnetic bike, ideal for training in the comfort of your home. Source: Official Sapphire page.

    Construction of a stationary magnetic bicycle 

    As you can guess the operation, as well as the construction of this device, is already more complicated than a mechanical bicycle. All because there is already more technology and electronics in such models.

    What’s more, these bicycles include a magnetic brake. It creates a magnetic field through magnets surrounding the flywheel, which allows you to adjust precise settings and choose the right level of resistance.

    For whom is the stationary mechanical bicycle?

    This stationary bike should be chosen by people who want to exercise intensely and precisely. Thanks to the weight of the flywheel and the magnetic brake, the exercises you perform on the bike might be more effective. A decent workout on this machine is assured.

    Stationary magnetic bicycle – pros and cons 

    Pros

    • quiet operation of the device – thanks to its resistance mechanism, it does not produce loud noises, so you can freely train at any time. Family members and neighbors will surely appreciate this equipment. You will be able to relax in silence while training.
    • resistance mechanism – thanks to it you can adjust the resistance of your workout and adapt it to your abilities and condition. 
    • workout programs – thanks to the electronics on the device, there are workout programs that will help you increase the effectiveness of your workouts and achieve the shape and figure of your dreams. 
    • console control – precisely set your workout. Control by console, not a knob like a mechanical bike.

    Cons 

    • higher price – this bike is more expensive than a mechanical bike, so you have to expect to spend more. You pay for the extra features and technology. 
    • complicated repair – more electronics can cause the bike to break down more often. This involves repairs, sometimes expensive ones. 
    • weight of the device – because of the heavy flywheel, it will be difficult for you to move the magnetic bike from one place to another. 
    • need a power source – choose a place where there is a socket close by. 

    Stationary electromagnetic bicycle – everything you should know about it before you buy it

    Electromagnetic bike
    Electromagnetic bike with advanced electronics. Source: Official HMS page.

    Construction of a stationary magnetic bicycle 

    Electromagnetic bicycles are all about high and sophisticated technology and electronics. It makes the whole workout enjoyable and accurately adapted to your skills. You don’t have to worry about anything. 

    The resistance mechanism works through a microprocessor. It is what makes the measurements and all workouts so precise. What’s more, it can produce even a very high resistance during the ride.

    For whom is the stationary electromagnetic bicycle?

    This equipment is designed for people who want to train intensively. Moreover, for advanced athletes who have experience. Regular and frequent riding on this equipment will be a great pleasure for everyone.

    Stationary electromagnetic bicycle – pros and cons 

    Pros 

    • very quiet – want to exercise without any noise? Enjoy the peace? If so, bet on an electromagnetic bike. 
    • additional equipment – you can add equipment to your bike to make your workout easier. You can bet on a bottle or phone holder. 
    • a lot of additional features – a lot of electronics means more possibilities. For example, you can test your heart rate, connect your phone to the bike with a special app and keep track of your workout and analyze your results. 
    • high resistance setting – you will be able to exercise more intensively.

    Cons

    • high price – lots of amenities and electronics = more dollars to spend. Consider whether you need such equipment for your home. Because of the expensive equipment, many people go to the gym to use it. 
    • difficult to repair – the fact that there are a lot of electronics there is a greater risk that something may break. Moreover, it can sometimes be difficult to find the cause of the malfunction.

    What else is worth knowing about? – Brake mechanisms in a mechanical bicycle

    Band brake mechanism – is the cheapest and is suitable for slower driving. If you accelerate too much, the belt may wear out. Therefore, if you are planning long but leisurely workouts, this choice will be suitable for you. 

    Brake pad mechanism – if you care about more intense workouts, then choose this type of mechanism. They are most often used in spinning bikes (you will see them in gyms).

    Which bike to choose?

    I leave this decision to you. You already know which stationary bikes have their pros and cons, and for whom they will be suitable. You need to analyze what your condition is, how much you want to spend on equipment, and what your exercise intensity will be. I know that you will be able to make the right decision.

    Stationary bike – recumbent vs upright

    You’ve already learned about the different types of stationary bikes, but that’s not all. On the market, you will still find recumbent and upright equipment. How do they differ from each other? How are they built? What advantages do they have? For whom will they be an ideal choice? Let’s check it out together!

    Upright stationary bike – construction

    Upright bike
    Upright bike – perfect for daily exercise even in small spaces. Source: Official HMS page.

    This is a tall bike that has no backrest. It also has a high saddle, which is adjustable and you can adjust it to your height. It does not have a backrest because when you exercise, your torso is bent forward, so a backrest is not needed. 

    Because the stationary bike has a high saddle, your legs are straight and stay upright. Such a bike can imitate riding a real bicycle. It is small, so you can put it even in a small room and exercise.

    For whom is the upright stationary bike?

    It is ideal for anyone who loves to ride a bicycle. With such equipment, even on rainy or hot days, you can exercise. 

    What’s more, this type of stationary bike will work well for people who struggle with cardiovascular diseases and cardiovascular problems.

    Positive effects of riding an upright stationary bike 

    • improved fitness, 
    • strengthening calf and thigh muscles, 
    • burning unnecessary calories, 
    • better lung capacity, 
    • improved cardiovascular and lung function.

    Recumbent stationary bike – construction

    Stationary bike - recumbent
    Recumbent stationary bike with a comfortable backrest. Source: Official Zipro page.

    This bike differs in its design from the previous one. The pedals are extended far forward. Therefore, the design is more horizontal rather than vertical. 

    The design is also a low saddle, which has a high backrest. It allows you to exercise freely and comfortably. The saddle has special handles that help you stay on the saddle so you don’t shift. 

    It takes up more space than an upright stationary bike. Therefore, before buying, see what dimensions the equipment has and whether it will fit in your room without much problem.

    For whom is the recumbent stationary bike?

    Thanks to the fact that it has a saddle with a backrest because it will be perfect for people who have back problems. This allows them to sit comfortably and exercise without worrying about straining their back. 

    Recumbent stationary bikes can also be used by people who are severely obese. It will be comfortable, they will not strain their joints, and they will freely exercise and burn off excess weight. It will also work well for the elderly, and people who want to return to an active lifestyle after an injury.

    Positive effects of riding a recumbent stationary bike 

    • takes care of the lumbar spine, 
    • increases endurance, 
    • provides growth of thigh and calf muscles, 
    • improves fitness, 
    • burns unnecessary calories.

    That’s all I have for you in this article. I hope you’ve learned a lot about stationary bikes, and with this knowledge, you can now choose the right equipment for exercising at home. Remember to always check parameters and online reviews to choose good equipment. 

    Exercise at home regardless of the weather, improve your fitness, muscle strength and burn calories. Take care of your health!

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