The benefits of using home exercise bicycles are many, and lots of people prefer to use them as an alternative to jogging, cycling or working out at the gym. However, when you’re trying to get an exercise bike, there are decisions to make and different types of exercise bikes to choose from. From hundreds of models available, you may be able to narrow down your choices by simply choosing which type of exercise bike to get.
To put things into perspective, there are three common types of exercise bikes that you have to choose from: the recumbent ones, the upright exercise bikes and a third type is the spin bike. While recumbent and upright bikes are also classified as stationary bikes, spin bikes are entirely different. Neither of the three types is the ‘best’, nor is there a perfect exercise bike. All types of exercise bicycles have some advantages and some unavoidable down sides.
This article will make the case for both recumbent and upright bikes. Discussing them briefly and understanding which type best suits your needs. It will help you choose between upright and recumbent exercise bikes!
Upright Exercise Bicycles
Upright exercise bikes have been around for a long time, and chances are you have seen one in a gym or on television. These bicycles are still in vogue and with each new model launch, the interest in them increases as they come equipped with advanced and new features to enhance your workout greatly. Before you make up your mind on getting an upright model, there are several things that need to be factored in.
One area where upright bicycles have the complete edge over their competition recumbent ones is the price. These bikes cost way less than the recumbent ones and if you’re operating on a budget, you can easily find an upright bicycle you can afford and still get a quality workout.
Another advantage is that they take up less space and some can even be easily folded and stored away to use at a later time. For people who do not have much room for spacious exercise equipment, an upright bicycle is a much better option.
In terms of workout, upright bikes are more versatile and less restrictive as compared to the recumbent ones. While recumbent bikes require you to remain seated, you do not have to assume just one position while using upright bicycles. It can be used in the same way as you use an outdoor bicycle i.e. riding it by standing up or pedaling in that way. This also gives a more intensive leg workout than usual.
Another similarity between an outdoor and upright exercise bicycle is that the seats on both of them are equally uncomfortable. For people who want to use these bikes for long workout sessions, this is not the most comfortable choice. For anyone who suffers from chronic back pain or any other lower back problems, especially the elderly people, this bike is not recommended at all.
Centre of Gravity
This factor may not weigh in as much as the comfort or workout quality, but it’s worth mentioning nevertheless. It’s a fact that upright bikes have a higher center of gravity. What does this mean? It means they can easily become unstable if pushed hard. While most people do not have such an experience, it should be taken into consideration as it can lead to an accident if you’re not careful.
Recumbent Exercise Bicycles
Recumbent exercise bikes are for people who want to be comfortable throughout their workout sessions, no matter how long they may be.
The recumbent bicycle features a chair-like seat that offers outstanding back support. The reclined position of the seat keeps your body reclined as well so that your back suffers no strain. Comfort is not only in the benefit when it comes to recumbent bicycles as you do not need to grab any handles and work out in the hunched forward position. On recumbent bikes, your hands are free to move, so you can read a book, use your mobile or do anything else you want to.
While many people believe that recumbent exercise bicycles are not as effective as the upright ones, it’s actually completely wrong. A recumbent bike may be less effective if cardio is concerned, but you will burn an equal number of calories as you would using the upright bicycle. However, since recumbents are comfortable, you can increase the duration of your workout session and actually burn more calories. Another advantage is that when your body is in the reclined position, your lower body including your legs has to work harder against gravity, which improves the effectiveness of the workout.
As discussed before, the recumbent bicycles are more expensive as compared to the upright ones and take up more space as well. However, that may be a small price to pay for people who want to work out comfortably for long periods as recumbent bicycles deliver that perfectly.
To sum up the debate, you should go with an upright exercise bicycle if you need a low-priced exercise machine that takes up less space. However, if you want a comfortable and hands-free exercise machine, recumbent bikes are the best purchase. For people with back problems, recumbent cycles are recommended as they’re far more comfortable, but for a quality cardio workout, you can’t beat the upright exercise bike. Both types have their perks and while one is affordable, the other one is comfortable so at the end of the day, you have to decide which feature you need the most.
Regardless of the type of exercise bike you choose to buy, the real effort is to use that equipment to the fullest so that you can get maximum results and achieve the fitness and health that you dream of.