Bicycle simulator for home training helps to save time that is spent on the road to the fitness center. And its one-time purchase allows you to significantly save on subscriptions, but still stay in shape. We suggest you use our tips for choosing a stationary bike for home. With their help you will not waste your money and become the owner of a reliable, durable, functional sports equipment.
1. Maximum Speed
How fast should a recumbent stationary bike at home be?
Decide on the duration and intensity of your workouts before you buy the equipment. And don’t forget to assess your fitness level: this determines how fast you can go. If you are a beginner, do not chase high speeds, or your body will not thank you. Standardly, the pedals of the simplest exercise bike spin at a speed of 14 km / h to 30 km / h. The optimal speed for training at home is 17-24 km/h.
Before you start exercising, you should consult a trainer. He will select the appropriate pedal speed according to your age, health condition and heart rate.
2. Type of exercise bike
What kind of exercise bike is better for home training: mechanical or magnetic?
Sports equipment for exercising in the conditions of a city apartment or private home differs in the type of drive and purpose.
Belt (mechanical) exercise bikes – an inexpensive type of devices for home training. A mechanical system is responsible for the operation of the equipment. The resistance here is created by the tension of the belt, which connects the pedals and the flywheel.
It is advisable to buy a belt-driven exercise bike with a flywheel weight between 2.5-4 kg. Devices with a lower weight of this unit are not characterized by a particularly smooth pedal rotation.
Inertial exercise bicycles are equipment with pressure pads. The second name of such devices is the shoe. Braking here is performed by gripping the flywheel with the pads. In terms of form-factor, both mini and full-fledged inertial spin bikes are available.
Magnetic exercise bicycles are stationary sports equipment for the home, the load in which is regulated by approaching/removing permanent magnets relative to the flywheel. These devices are considered the most reliable and popular among fans. If you doubt what kind of exercise bike to take: mechanical or magnetic, give preference to the latter option. Equipment with such a drive will serve you for many years without problems.
The flywheel weight of a magnetic exerciser must be at least 7 kg. Equipment with a lower figure has a jerky rotation of the pedals, which can cause discomfort during training.
Electromagnetic exercise bikes and ergometers, depending on the model, require a mains connection. The principle of operation is similar to that of magnetic equipment, only here an electromagnet is responsible for resistance/deceleration. They are equipped with a flywheel with optimum weight and an on-board computer.
3. Weight of the user
What is the maximum weight of a stationary bike for home use?
Mini and folding equipment is designed for weights up to 100-120 kg. Such exercisers are less stable, but have a more compact size. Semi-professional and professional devices can support users weighing up to 120-200 kg.
Tip: When looking for the right model for exercising at home or in an apartment, add 10-20 kg to your current weight. The resulting figure is the benchmark you should use when choosing a stationary bike for your home.
Weight is not the only factor when choosing sports equipment. It is also important to consider your height. Inexpensive stationary bikes are suitable for users of average height: up to 175 cm. But compact and mini-bikes, equipment from the middle price segment is quite suitable for tall athletes 180-200 cm.
4. Functionality and equipment
What model to choose: with expanded or minimal functionality?
The more functions in the built-in computer of an exerciser, the easier and more interesting it is to train on it. A standard package of inexpensive devices usually includes a small set of programs and functions: counting calories, distance and time. In addition, even the simplest mini bike has a function of training for the hands. Some affordable exercise bikes are equipped with cupholders and stands for your smartphone/tablet.
More expensive stationary bikes and ergometers have Body Fat evaluation as a feature. With its help, the built-in software calculates the body mass index, the percentage of fat in the user’s body, the optimal daily amount of calories. Also such exercise bicycles have from 10 to 20 different training programs, built-in heart rate monitor on the handlebars. In addition, they can be connected to sensors to monitor blood pressure and other physiological indicators.
The optimal choice for the home – exercise bike with display, cup holder and 3-5 workout modes with calorie counting and distance tracking, load control/adjustment.
There is no sense to pay extra for other functions: Body Fat gives approximate results, and not all users need the ability to connect additional sensors. It is better to leave such models to professionals and those who like technological gadgets.
Which model is better: vertical or horizontal?
Exercise bikes differ not only in the type of drive (electromagnetic, magnetic or mechanical, inertial). They are also subdivided according to the type of seating into 3 groups: horizontal, vertical and hybrid. Each group has its own purpose.
Equipment with horizontal seating is suitable for weight loss, recovery from surgery, strengthening muscles. The seat here is large and has a back like a chair: it can be pushed back and unfolded. The pedals are under the steering wheel. Training can be done sitting, half-lying or lying down.
Upright exercise bikes have the usual bicycle seat with pedals underneath. Workouts are performed only while sitting or standing. Stress is placed on both the legs and the spine.
Hybrid equipment combines the functionality and form factor of a vertical, horizontal exercise bike. Allows you to work out in any position.
6. Softness, shape and adjustment of the seat
What should the seat of a stationary bike be like?
When choosing exercise equipment for your home, be sure to check and feel the seat. It should be moderately firm and as comfortable as possible for you.
A very soft seat will not add to your health. Yes, at the beginning of the workout it will not be as hard as on a rigid saddle, but after a while due to compression of the soft tissues the blood circulation will slow down, which will lead to numbness and discomfort.
Also note the ability to change the height and position of the seat. Advanced models have horizontal and vertical adjustments. The seat of such exercise bikes can be raised and moved, adjusting it to the parameters of your body.
Another important parameter is the width of the saddle. On the narrow one you will not last long, as during the workout the crotch will be under great pressure, which provokes painful sensations. And you might also feel uncomfortable on a very wide one.
The inner (and very delicate!) surface of the thighs will start to rub actively against the wings of the seat. As a result, there will be irritation on the skin, a rash.
The optimal option is a exercise bike with a saddle whose width corresponds to the distance between the user’s sciatic bones. After all, it is them that you will sit on the bike, not the “soft spot”. Allowable difference between the width of the seat and your individual parameters: +2-3 cm.
Which trainer for the apartment is more suitable: compact or bulky?
Need a model for training that will occupy a minimum of space? In such a situation, it is better to give preference to folding exercise bikes or compact mini-bikes. Devices with a folding mechanism can be easily stowed in a remote corner of the room / closet, and portable equipment and can be stored in a small closet or under the bed: wherever you want. Compact and foldable exercise bikes do not take up much space in the apartment, but they help to keep your muscles toned, and some of them even put stress on your arms.
Mini devices, of course, will help you keep your figure in shape, but will not give you a good workout. The best option for weight loss is a folding exercise bike.
And if the size of the apartment allows, we recommend looking at a full-fledged stationary equipment. It is more reliable, multifunctional and comfortable to use. However, you need enough space for it.
What is responsible for the safety of home training on the exercise bike?
Sturdy frame, high-quality assembly, correct pedal and seat positioning, fasteners and fixators for feet – all these are responsible for safety during training. However, no reliable exercise bike will not protect against injuries during training, if the user will not follow certain rules.
When “riding” on the seat it is important not to exceed the speed of 100-120 rpm, and when exercising while standing do not accelerate to 80-90 rpm.
Also, many trainers advise to keep the muscles of the cortex in tension during the workout, and, on the contrary, to relax the shoulders and chest. Then there will not be a strong load on the spine.
Tip: To avoid overloading when doing standing exercises, you need to control your legs. Do not straighten your knees all the way, each movement should be smooth and springy at the same time.
The safest exercise bikes are considered to be stationary horizontal and hybrid models. They are equipped with a sturdy, stable frame and rarely lead to injuries during training if the operating rules are followed.
The best exercise bikes for home – The selection includes the most popular exercise bikes for home training.