FAQ’s About Exercise Bikes

Looking to buy an exercise bike?  If you have a ton of questions, you are not alone.  Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about exercise bikes:

1.  Should I Buy an Upright or a Recumbent Exercise Bike?

Both bikes give you the same high-intensity workout, so the type of bike you choose is a matter of personal preference.

Upright exercise bikes look like traditional bicycles.  They come with a narrow seat, and your legs hang down underneath you.

Recumbent exercise bikes are a little different.  The pedals are out in front of you so that your feet are at nearly the same level as the rest of your body.  Recumbent bike seats are also wider than upright seats, and they even come with a back.  Recumbent bikes are usually better for older people, overweight people, and people who are rehabilitating from injuries.

2.  What Type of Resistance Should I Get?

Exercise bikes offer three types of resistance:

–          Fan resistance, which generates air resistance as you pedal.   As the air generates, you will also feel a breeze coming from below, which can help cool you off during your workout.

–          Belt resistance, which has belts running through a brake.  The friction created by the two makes resistance for your workout.

–          Magnetic resistance, which is the quietest type of resistance.  With magnetic resistance, you use either a knob or buttons to change the resistance level.  Magnetic resistance is only available on more expensive exercise bikes.

There is no “right” type of resistance.  Depending on your budget and your preference, you can find a resistance that’s right for you.

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3.  How Much Room Will an Exercise Bike Take Up?

That depends on the model you buy.  Recumbent bikes usually take up more space than uprights.  However, any bike you buy will need a few feet of clearance on each side.

Luckily, if you’re low on space, you can always get a folding exercise bike!

4.  Do I Need to Be In Shape Before I Start Using An Exercise Bike?

Absolutely not!

An exercise bike is a great tool for both beginners and experts.  If you’re just starting a workout regimen, you can start biking short distances with little resistance, then gradually work your way up.  And, if you have foot, ankle, or joint problems, it’s the perfect exercise.  Unlike running, an exercise bike does not put excessive pressure on your feet and ankles.

And, because biking is a fluid motion, it’s considered a “low-impact” workout, which makes it perfect for people with joint pain.

5.  What Kind of Options Come With an Exercise Bike?

Even the cheapest exercise bikes will keep track of how long you’ve been pedaling and how much distance you’ve covered.  As you move up in the price range, the accessories become snazzier.  Many bikes have LED control panels that measure your heart rate and give you pre-programmed courses.  Some bikes even come with places to store your water bottle and iPod!

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