Cycling is an effective form of low-impact cardiovascular exercise, but it isn't always convenient. Not only can rain disrupt your outdoor riding plans, but using an exercise bike at the gym is expensive and isn't everyone's cup of tea.
A home exercise bike can give you a more convenient and cost effective way to get active. There are several types of bikes to choose from, with prices ranging from $200 up towards $2,000.
Compare some of the best exercise bikes
Why buy an exercise bike?
There are several reasons why an exercise bike can make a useful addition to your home gym:
Why shouldn't I buy an exercise bike?
Buying an exercise bike (or any other piece of home gym equipment) often seems like a good idea at the time. But the number of under-used exercise bikes, treadmills and ab rollers dumped on the side of the road at kerbside clean-up time would suggest it's an idea many people later regret. Exercise bikes aren't cheap, so you need to be sure that you'll get sufficient use out of a bike to justify your investment.
Before you hand over any money, consider whether you wouldn't prefer to do the following:
- Ride outside. Cycling outside can be more fun than sweating away in a room at home – the scenery changes, you can breathe in some fresh air, and you get the satisfaction and enjoyment of actually going somewhere.
- Join a gym. When you join a gym, you can work out on all manner of exercise equipment, sign up for fun and motivational classes, and get personalised advice from fitness experts. If this sounds ideal for you, check out our guide to choosing a gym membership.
- Get an indoor trainer. Bike trainers are raised stands that allow you to use your normal road bike indoors. If you already have a quality bike and just want to be able to use it when the weather is bad, a trainer can give you what you need for just a few hundred dollars.
What types are available?
You have a few options to consider when choosing an exercise bike for your home:
|Upright exercise bike||Upright exercise bikes stand up just like a normal bike and usually come with a comfortable, padded seat.|
|Recumbent exercise bike||Allows you to cycle while seated in a reclining position.|
|Indoor cycling bike||Sometimes referred to as spin bikes, indoor cycling bikes attempt to simulate the experience of riding a road bike.|
How to compare exercise bikes
Before you start shopping for an exercise bike, take some time to consider your fitness goals, how often you plan to work out and your spending budget.
Exercise bike prices vary from around $100 for a no-frills model up to $2,000 for advanced models you could expect to find in a gym. Upright bikes are usually cheaper than recumbent bikes, and many entry-level buyers will find a happy balance between features and price somewhere around the $400-$600 mark.
Don't forget to factor in delivery costs when comparing exercise bike prices. Bikes can weigh 50kg or more, and some retailers charge up to $200 for delivery.
Here are the important factors you need to take into account:
Which exercise bike is best for me?
The best exercise bike for you depends on a range of factors, including the type of bike you want, how often you plan on using it and how much money you want to spend. To ensure that you choose a bike that meets all your requirements, it's essential to shop around and compare a range of products.
To help make this easier, we've compared the pros and cons of five exercise bikes in the table below:
|The good||The bad|
|GPI Bodyworx A932|
|Lifespan Fitness SP-550|
|York Fitness RB420|
|York Fitness Performance|
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