Written by Caitlin

The differences between an exercise bike and a fitness bike

Do you just want to be active or get a very intense workout? There are plenty of fitness machines that make it possible. That being said, there are only 2 types you can use to cycle, namely an exercise bike or a fitness bike. Both models are very popular and they also seem very similar. But what exactly are the differences?

In short

Exercise bike Fitness bike
Do you have an injury you want to recover from? Yes No
Do you like using training programs? Yes No
Do you want to improve your time? No Yes
Should it feel like a road bike? No Yes
Do you want to wear your cycling gear? No Yes
Are you having trouble walking? Yes No

The training

Training exercise bikes

More than just a warm-up

'It's a nice warm-up'. That's what most people say about an exercise bike. But what we often forget is that most exercise bikes have a wide range of training programs and resistance levels. As far as we're concerned, the exercise bike should be the highlight of your workout. Especially when you want to achieve difficult goals, like losing the baby weight or building up stamina. Have you been dealing with an injury for a while? Turn down the resistance level and slowly build it up again. That way, you'll be fit again in no time.

Training fitness bikes

As fast as you can

If you think of group cycling class in the gym, you think of people falling of their bikes due to exhaustion. Have you ever wondered why these people do that to themselves? The answer is simple: it works! A fitness bike is made to go fast. This pushes you to the limit, so you'll get the results you're looking for faster. Doing a short 30-minute workout regularly will improve your fitness and burn fat. Just make sure you don't fall off..

The difference in stairs

Pedals exercise bikes

Get off whenever you want

The great thing about an exercise bike is that you can determine when you're done. Seems obvious, but there's more to it. An exercise bike is made to stop right away when you stop pedaling, for example to open the door, thanks to the integrated freewheel system. You really benefit from this feature if you're recovering from an injury. You stop anytime, so you're not likely to injure yourself more. The disadvantage is that the threshold to stop is a lot lower, so you won't push yourself as much.

Pedals spinning bike

Pedal 'til you drop

Unlike an exercise bike, you can't get off a fitness bike to open the door. And there is no reason why you shouldn't let visitors wait. To get a bit technical, it's because of the independent pedaling system. The pedals are attached to the flywheel and spin alongside it, just like with a normal bike. The advantage is that you get an extra challenge, and can make a few more turns to complete your kilometer. This does make a speed bike less suitable if you're recovering from injuries.

Posture while cycling

Posture exercise bike

Cycling through the city

You sit upright on an exercise bike, like you would on your regular city bike. This allows you to have a relaxed position while cycling. That relieves your lower and upper back, shoulders, and neck muscles, as well as your joints. Set up a training program to work on your stamina, and you'll be even more effective.

Posture spinning bike

Racing on the asphalt

The fact that a fitness bike was made to speed up the pace is clear by now. But to be able to do this efficiently, you have to adopt an ergonomic posture. That is why both the handlebars and the saddle are adjustable on most speed bikes. Will this help you break records? Absolutely. But to really imitate the racing bike effect and to be able to go faster than lightning, you'll have to pull out all the stops. Cycling shoes, for example. You can easily click them in the pedals for extra power.

Which one should I choose?

Well. That depends on you and your goals. With an exercise bike, you can achieve virtually anything thanks to the many training programs. Lose weight, improve your fitness, or recover from an injury? Whatever your age, fitness, or goals may be, everything is possible. The seasoned cyclist or sports fanatic is better off on a fitness bike. It's closest to the real thing. And it has the biggest impact in terms of fitness and fat burning, provided that you work out with the right attitude.

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