How to select an indoor cycling bike

Colorful gym with stationary bikes and stepper bikes - 3d rendering

Indoor cycling bikes, also commonly known as spin bikes are becoming popular due to their health and fitness benefits. Moreover, the pandemic has forced people to stay inside but compromising on daily exercise is unacceptable. Inferior indoor bikes with uncomfortable seating and flywheels are not that pleasing.

Choosing a perfect bike equipped with every convenience is an increasing concern these days. People often buy a cheap indoor exercise bike and repent of their decision later. It contains everything you need to select the most suitable indoor bike for an unforgettable experience.

How to make an informed decision when choosing a spin bike

Flywheel: All indoor cycling bikes come with flywheel, but indoor cycling bikes that feature heavier flywheels tend to be smoother and offer more resistance. In general heavier flywheels make exercise bikes more like real road bikes.

Console: Console permits you to manage the settings of your exercise bike. It is a computer that shows data about your ride. It’s always better to opt for a bike with a backlit onboard console that provides RPM (cadence, speed, heart rate, and watt/power.

Resistance: In an exercise bike, magnets and brake pads (friction) are the sources of resistance. Always look for indoor bikes that come with magnetic resistance rather than friction resistance. Magnetic resistance system doesn’t make noise and has less maintenance compared to a friction resistance system.

Height and Weight Capacity: Before spending too much time to look for all the little details, it is very important to see the bike’s height and weight capacity or you will end up spending hours and often lots of headache returning a heavy bike, just because you can’t fit the bike.

Bike Fit: To fit an indoor cycling bike properly, it’s important to be able to adjust the seat and handlebars in all directions. What it means is that the bike has to be both, vertically and horizontally adjustable. This is an easy check, even if you are buying the bike online. You just need to look at the product image and see if there are knobs on the handlebars and seat post for horizontal adjustment. The best spin bikes come with two knobs for the handlebars (one for vertical adjustment and one for horizontal adjustment) and two knobs for the seat.

Pedal: Not necessarily a deal breaker because you can always replace the bike’s pedals but if you can’t make your mind between two indoor bikes, see which one has dual-side pedals to accommodate regular gym shoes as well as cycling clipless shoes. As the name states (dual-sided), one side has toe cages/baskets and the other side has elements to clip-in your cycling shoes.

Why indoor exercise bikes?

People select these indoor exercise bikes due to numerous reasons. Cardiovascular benefits, relatively quiet, and compact design are only a few reasons one would want to buy a spin bike instead of bigger machines such as treadmills or rowing machines. Indoor bikes are good if you are recovering from injuries or wanting to lose a few pounds you gained during the pandemic.

Types of indoor exercise bikes

Depending on the budget, fitness goals and sitting positions, exercise bikes are classified into three main types:

  • Recumbent Exercise Bikes

Recumbent exercise bikes have a comfy seat with a backrest. Pedals in these indoor bikes are located in the front basal part. This kind of bike is best to keep your body relaxed with less stress on it. Your leg strength will also increase due to an increased distance between the core body and legs.

Recumbent bikes are more enjoyable than upright exercise bicycles. A folding reclined seating facility is available on these bikes, which is good for light workouts. Choose this exercise bike if you have upper body pain or lower back. Those who are aiming to gain some leg strength can purchase a recumbent bike.

  • Indoor Cycling bikes, aka Spin Bikes

These are the most common type of exercise bikes and are found in every training class. With its unique open flywheel, an indoor cycling bike provides a feeling of momentum. The Cyclist sits in a lower position due to a low handlebar. This bike and position are good for an intense workout, but the lower back can hurt if you are not adapted to using spin bikes.

In an indoor spin bike, the flywheel is connected to the pedals, which provides more force when you push. The flywheel will keep on spinning if you stop pedalling due to direct contact with pedals. These kinds of bikes are good for professional outdoor cyclists and athletes for training inside. Moreover, an indoor cycling bike provides hard cardiovascular exercise. These bikes are less modern than the other two.

  • Upright Exercise Bikes

The most traditional type of exercise bikes, they feature a high handlebar and a larger seat than spin bikes. Because the rider is sitting in an upright position, the body is not hunched due to the sitting position. In upright bikes, feet are not required to move with the flywheel when stopping pedalling.

Upright bikes are equipped with computers to monitor the calories, heart rate, resistance and workout time. If you want to train vigorously for your upcoming road race events, upright is the best option. This exercise bike is suitable for amateur riders.


Choosing a suitable indoor exercise bike could be a hard task if your goals are not defined. This article has everything you need to choose a perfect bike for you. Understand your needs, and then pick an economical bike that matches your standard.

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