Choosing the Right Exercise Bike

I’m Smooth Fitness #SmoothBlogger and have received an Exercise bike in exchange for my honest opinion. I will be posting about for the next 4 months. Opinions given are my own.

Having Osteoarthritis in one of my ankles has made weight loss a huge challenge. I needed to find something with little to no impact, I was lucky and recently given an exercise bike to review.

Choosing the Right Exercise Bike

If you need help choosing an exercise bike, here are some helpful tips:

Consider Your Budget
You can expect to pay anywhere from about $500 to $1500 or more for a high-end fitness center quality machine. I am all for being frugal and there are some cheaper models out there but most of them end up being a coat or purse racks.

Why an Exercise Bike
For me, it is the low impact value. For others there is the benefit of being able to use an exercise bike regardless of fitness level or goals, you just hop on and turn the pedals.

Types of Exercise Bikes
Keep in mind there are a couple different types of exercise bikes, the upright and recumbent. They each have their own advantages and disadvantages and for many people, it comes down to personal taste.
  • Upright Bike
  • Recumbent Bike
Most people are already familiar with the upright exercise bike. This style of bike is designed with the same style as a traditional bike, except that it is stationary. The pedals, the handlebars, etc. are all where you would expect to find them on a traditional bike, and upright exercise bikes are quite easy to use for just about any rider.

The design of the recumbent exercise bike, on the other hand, is quite different from that of a traditional bike. The pedals of a recumbent exercise bike are placed at the front of the machine, instead of on the bottom as on an upright bike. To operate a recumbent exercise bike, the rider lays down, reaching out for the pedals in a reclining position.

I would advise you to try both types of bikes. I think both are easy to use and it just depends on your comfort needs. The recumbent bikes may be good for those who have experienced back problems and many find the position of the recumbent bike less stressful on the lower back.

Technical Stuff To Consider
  1. Does the seat adjust easily? My husband, kids and I share our bike so we need the seat to adjust. If I am uncomfortable on a bike I promise you one thing, I will not use it. So make sure that the bike’s height can be adjusted easily.
  2. Is the seat comfortable? There is a lot of pressure on a small area for 20 minutes or longer, it is surprising how uncomfortable that can be. So make sure that the seat fits you properly and that the seat is large enough for all riders.
  3. How do the pedals feel? The pedals of the bike should be easy to use and operate smoothly. Options like pedal straps help to keep your feet into place while riding.
  4. Is the bike safe? Make sure the moving parts covered. I have little ones and others may have pets as well that can get injured.
  5. What is the Weight Rating? I haven’t reached my Hot Momma goal yet. So it is important that the bike is going to support your weight. Many of the best exercise bikes are rated for weights of up to 300 to 400 pounds, so finding a good one should not be that much of a problem.
  6. Can you Adjust the Intensity? Soon you may be ready to kick it up a notch or two so it is a good idea to make sure your bike has an Adjustable tension. This will help make the workouts more intense as your fitness level increases, bringing more value to your bike.
  7. Does it have a built-in Heart Rate Monitor? When working out on my bike I make sure I am in a fat burning zone. I do this by tracking my heart rate using my bike’s heart rate monitor. You can gauge if you need to step it up for whatever zone you need to be in.
  8. Is there a good Warranty? Warranties vary but consider a lifetime warranty on the frame and 3 years on the electronics. If the manufacturer has something like that then they believe in their bike.

What do you personally look for when choosing exercise equipment?