Do you enjoy spinning classes or are you more into longer rides? Choosing the right bike for you is essential to get the most out of your time. Even though they seem very similar, spin and stationary bikes are actually very different.
Spending your hard earned money on a machine that you bought with a specific goal in mind, but then quickly shows to be the wrong fit for you, will only lead to disappointment and regret.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the differences. Without further ado: spin bikes Vs stationary bikes, which is better?
The difference between the spin bike and exercise bike
Before jumping into which is better, understanding the differences is a must.
As stated earlier, these two bikes are very much alike to the average eye. They both have a seat, pedals and handlebars. Yet the difference does not lie within the exterior, but rather the interior, or – in this case – mechanics.
They're both capable of getting you across the finish line to achieve your goals. Nonetheless, it's more about how you get there. An exercise bike in general, is one of the best ways to get fit. You'll burn tons of calories. Plus, it's a low impact machine, which means that, in contrast to a treadmill, it's less grueling on your joints.
If you want a quick visual of some of the differences, feel free to watch this short video:
A spin – or indoor – bike is built for a more distinct resistance regarding the pedals. It's the outdoor bike's closest cousin, as most of their fundamental functions are very similar.
When looking at the mechanics, a spinning bike will have a much heavier flywheel. This wheel is essential if you want a realistic feel to your indoor cycling routine.
The flywheel is connected to the pedals through a specified transmission system. In turn, this enables "breaking" for more resistance. However, probably the most noticeable difference lies in your position.
The spin bike was made for speed and aerobic exercises. The seat is generally placed quite high in comparison to an upright bike, which allows you to lean forward while resting your upper body on the wide handlebars.
It empowers you to stand up for more intensity as you're pedaling away (like in the image above), which engages more muscles and provides you with a complete workout in less time.
In saying this, the biggest drawback with a spin bike is that, unless you're an advanced cyclist, you're most likely unable to spend as much time riding as you probably could on an upright bike, without your back and shoulders feeling the strain.
The stationary bike is a bit different. As opposed to the brake controlled flywheel, this type utilizes magnets instead. These will lower and increase the resistance to fit your particular workout.
Another distinction is the fact that a stationary bike generally has much more technology. Many come with a couple of preset workouts and a panel to adjust resistance, whereas a spin bike usually requires you to use a knob.
The preset workouts are, of course, not necessary for a good ride, but they can make the exercise a bit easier as they eliminate much of the mental requirements of manually increasing resistance and keeping track of the time and distance.
A stationary bike permits you to keep your back straight, which is a lot easier on your body. One of the disadvantages, however, is that you're not really able to stand up while pedaling. This might not be a huge factor, but for the advanced rider, it may be a necessity.
Nonetheless, this bike is ideal for longer rides. The wide saddle provides a comfortable seat to get your glutes through the workout.
Which Is Better: Spinning Bike or Stationary Bike?
If you need a bike to increase your overall endurance fast, a spin bike is generally the way to go. It's the perfect machine for your weekly interval training sessions. Combined with its heavy flywheel, the resistance and strength training is bound to send your endurance through the roof.
As it allows you to stand up, you'll engage more of your body. This means less time is needed to build the same amount of endurance as you would on a stationary bike.
However, in saying this, long rides at a paced speed will also boost your stamina significantly. If you’re a beginner and time isn't a big concern, a stationary bike is probably a better fit, based on the fact that it's much more comfortable.
Weight loss can be achieved with either one. It'll likely depend more on you, such as body composition and fitness level, to determine which is better.
If your starting weight is on the heavy side, a spin bike is better. Their frame is usually more robust and won't budge as easily. Additionally, due to your position on the bike, it generally provides a more intensive workout, which is fitting to get your heart rate into the fat burning zone.
A stationary bike can also do the job, but you'll need to adjust the resistance and think long distance, which might be better when you're first starting out. Use the heart rate monitor and keep track of your heart rate to get it into the right zone.
Which is better will come down to your preferences and goals. Both will help you achieve good endurance, cardiovascular health and lose stubborn fat around your core.
If you're really into riding and looking for more intensity, go for the spin bike. This cycle is perfect for quick, yet efficient workouts. However, if you're new to riding and merely want to lose weight, a stationary bike will fit you perfectly.
Which one do you prefer? Give us a shout in the section below!