-Real Fitness Equipment Reviews-
Exercise Bike Reviews
Exercise Bike Reviews: Terminology
The following guide will help you to better understand the content within our exercise bike reviews.
- Recumbent Exercise Bikes: When given the choice between a recumbent and upright exercise bike, most people would probably choose the recumbent. These models orient the user in a laid-back, comfortable position in a cushioned recliner chair. With more surface area to sit on, riders experience increased comfort and longer ride times due to less fatigue. Another advantage to using a recumbent bike is that you cannot use your body weight to press the pedals, thus resulting in a more powerful workout.
- Upright Exercise Bikes: Using an upright exercise bike has a very similar feel to riding a bicycle, being that the seats are almost identical. While some find them uncomfortable, athletes and trainers generally prefer these models over the recumbent. Their design allows them to fit in a limited space. If you enjoy cycling outdoors, an upright bike may be for you.
- Dual Action Bikes: Similar to elliptical machines, dual action exercise bikes work the arms and legs at the same time. In addition to pedals, they have handlebars which are turned by the arms. Those looking to tone their upper AND lower body in the same session should seek out a dual action bike.
The resistance of an exercise bike governs how difficult the pedals are to push. Higher resistance levels simulate conditions such as climbing a hill, while lower resistance levels require very little strength to push. Just about every bike on the market allows the user to change the resistance to a level which is both comfortable and challenging. These bikes can grow with your changing stamina and experience.
It is important to note that there are multiple ways in which exercise bikes can crate resistance in the pedals. Direct tension systems use an adjustable band to create varying degrees of resistance. They are fully mechanical and require no electricity. Bikes with fly wheels store energy in a large weighted wheel which requires continued pedaling to keep a constant speed. Some exercise bikes use large fans that create resistance by pressing against the air. The main downside to this is that the fans can be quite loud.
The latest exercise bikes use magnetic resistance systems which offer digital control of resistance. No other resistance system on the market offers the degree of precise control or quiet operation as a magnetic one. Magnetically controlled bikes have no dials or knobs, since settings are adjusted on the control panel.
One of the most important aspects of working out is tracking your progress and understanding your body. The control panels on many exercise bikes allow you to track a variety of data types during your workout. Here are just a few:
- Speed: The bike show you your current speed of travel in miles/kilometers per hour.
- Distance: Although you are stationary, the bike can calculate how far you have traveled if you were riding a bicycle. Distance is measured in miles or kilometers.
- Calories Burned: The bike can give you a decent estimate of the total amount of calories burned. Some bike use personal information like age, weight and gender to make very accurate estimates.
- Resistance Level: The current resistance level is displayed on the screen or dial.
- Pulse and Heart Rate: Models are available which have heart rate sensors in the handlebars, able to track heart rate and pulse.
Many bikes offer a selection of programs which carry the user through a challenging routine. After the program is engaged, the computer will take over and vary the resistance for about 15-30 minutes. Users can create their own personal program by using the manual program mode.
Display / Control Panel:
The best control panels feature large text with a back-lit display. The advantage to having a backlight is the ability to work out in low-light conditions while being able to see the screen.