Exercise bike equipment can be a great investment for improving your health and fitness. A good workout just makes you feel better and the right equipment is fun to use. Choose an exercise bike that feels right and you'll enjoy riding. Equipment that doesn't fit correctly or is in any way irritating will be a constant aggravation.
Exercise bikes come in several types and all kinds of price ranges. The electronics which include programmable ride simulations and video displays affects the price quite a bit. You can get built in heart rate monitors and many other electronic options.
Upright or Recumbent
Another basic choice in bikes is whether you prefer an upright bike or a recumbent one. The recumbent bike puts you in a sitting position which minimizes the stress to the knees. But it's difficult to vary your position on a recumbent, so you're pretty well stuck in one spot. The upright bikes let you shift around some, but may stress the knees more. Plus the seat on an upright is very important. Especially if you do long workout, a seat can cause muscle problems in the hips since you're putting weight on the muscles that are doing a lot of the work of pedaling.
The system used to provide resistance to pedaling varies in bikes. Standard in most bikes now is a magnetic resistance system. Most are electric systems, either plug-in or battery powered. Also sometimes the magnetic resistance is generated by the pedaling. Check the warranty for the resistance system since this is a major part of the bike. Years ago, resistance for exercise bikes was often just a friction band but most of these bikes are gone. Another older system is the one where you turn a fan with your pedals creating more resistance the faster you pedal. This reliable design is still found in the Schwinn Airdyne.
You can also get a dual action exercise bike which works your legs and your arms at the same time. Another type of machine for people unable to use their legs lets you pedal only with your arms for a workout.
There is no reason to buy the most expensive multi-thousand dollar machine for home use. But don't pay too little and get low quality exercise equipment that you won't use. If possible try out a machine like you are considering and make sure you like the fit and function.
Exercise bike equipment is a long term investment that can help you feel better and improve your overall fitness.
By: Al Bullington
Health & Fitness
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