An exercise bike can be a worthwhile investment for anyone who wants to better their health through exercise. Being stationary in the home, owners won’t have to worry about the weather outside when they want to go for a ride. All they have to so is hop on, and they can cycle for as long as they’d like. In order to take advantage of all that exercise bikes have to offer, one has first to be purchased. With so many on the market, it’s important to do a little bit of research on the different options to determine which is the best choice. To help with the decision-making process, the guide below is packed full of useful information.
Types of Exercise Bikes
To provide riders with an experience that’s as close as possible to be on the open road, these bikes encourage a forward-leaning position. These have become incredibly popular with the introduction of indoor cycling classes although can have a higher price tag depending on features.
This bike puts the rider in a position that’s more laid back to help distribute weight more evenly. It’s an excellent option for those who want a low-impact exercise that’s easy on the joints.
Like traditional bicycles, upright exercise bikes place the body in a more upright position. These are the most popular types of indoor exercise bikes and can be found for very affordable prices.
Features to Look for in an Exercise Bike
Design of the Frame
The design of the frame essentially refers to the features that make the bike user-friendly and comfortable. For example, the control of the resistance, whether a knob or level, can impact how easy it is for the user to change the difficulty of their workout. It features such as this that really makes the difference between each make and model of bike. For this reason, it’s important for buyers to pay close attention to what each frame design has to offer. This is especially true for those who are looking for specific features, such as portability, the ability to adjust the seat, or resistance knobs.
Additional Important Frame Design Features:
- – Step-Through Frame
This is a bike that features either no top/cross-bar or a lower top/cross-bar to make stepping onto it easier.
- – Adjustable Pedals
This allows the user to customize the pedals based on their height and comfort level.
- – Adjustable Handlebars
This feature allows the user to customize the height and sometimes width of the handlebars to accommodate their individual preference.
- – Built-In Wheels
For those who want to move their bike around, built-in wheels are a must-have feature on the frame.
The display on a bike refers to the screen that’s featured on the console. In most units, this is an LCD screen that will display various pieces of information about the workout, including calories burned or distance traveled. Other workout statistics that some displays list include: resistance setting selected, braking system, speed, time, and pedal rotations per minute. There are also bikes that will show heart rate when they are designed with monitors built into the handlebars. The display is perhaps one of the most important features because it provides so much useful information to the user.
Important Bike Display Features:
- – Workout Duration
- – Resistance Level
- – Calories Burned
- – Rotations Per Minute (RPM)
- – Distance Traveled
- – Heart Rate
- – Speed
The console in the bike refers to the included trays or storage that is featured in between the left and right handlebar. For example, this could mean a ledge for a tablet, a holder for a smart phone, or cup holder. There might also be a heart rate monitor in the console, although some manufacturers place these in the handles for added convenience. For users who plan on watching their favorite television show or prioritize tracking heart rate, the console is an important detail to look at.
Important Bike Console Features:
- – Heart Rate Monitor
- – Phone or Tablet Tray
- – Water Bottle Holder
Warranty Offered by Manufacturer
A warranty is essentially a guarantee from the manufacturer that says they stand behind their product and will repair or replace parts or components in the event that they fail. While there are limits and exclusions, most warranties can help extend the life of an exercise bike by offering to replace parts such as belts or seat parts. For this reason, it’s important to make sure a warranty is included and to read through the inclusions and exclusions beforehand.
Important Details for a Warranty to Include:
- – Brakes
- – Electronics
- – Mechanical Parts
- – Frame
- – Seats
- – Drive Belt
- – Labor
- – Parts
Support Offered by Manufacturer
Support refers to the assistance that is offered by the manufacturer in the event that the customer needs help troubleshooting, has questions about the warranty, needs guidance with assembly, or would like information about the features of the bike. While phone support is the most common means of communication, some companies also offer online chat and e-mail support. Although most customers don’t anticipate needing to contact the company they buy from, it’s important that they can in case they have questions or concerns about their bike.
Options for Contacting Support:
- – Social Media (Facebook, Instagram)
- – Phone
- – Live Chat
Learning Materials Offered by Manufacturer
The learning materials refer to information booklets and resources that help the buyer learn more about the bike. This can include an assembly guide, manual for use, a video for exercises, and more. While paper books were most common in the past, online booklets have become more prevalent as well. Most users can access these by simply going to the manufacturer website and downloading the forms they need.
Important Learning Materials:
- – FAQs: (Available on most websites)
- – Video Guides
- – User Guide
- – Assembly Guide
Exercise programs refer to exercise routines that are already pre-programmed into the bike. This may include a basic workout for beginners, a more challenging workout for those who are advanced, or one that focuses on fat burning. Some bikes also feature exercise programs that focus on different types of terrain, such as those that are flat or those that are uphill and more difficult for the rider. The programs included are important for anyone who wants to continuously challenge themselves to keep things interesting and enhance their everyday workout.
Important Features of Exercise Programs:
- – Strength Training
- – Fat Burning
- – Mountains and Hills
- – Intermittent Speeds (low to high or hills to flat)
- – Manual Adjustments by the User