Upright bikes from the biggest brands
A stationary exercise bike is easy-to-use cardiovascular equipment. These bikes offer an impact-free aerobic workout that strengthens and tones the leg and gluteal muscles.
The popularity and reliability of exercise bikes have increased significantly in recent years, in part due to the success of the spinning classes offered by health clubs and the demand of an aging audience looking for low-impact forms of exercise.
Recent models are becoming more sophisticated and no longer just display speed and distance but also offer many programs that manage the pace of exercise, count burned calories and measure heart rate. Some exercise bikes can even connect to the internet, allowing users to keep track of their workout results and track progress.
There are two main types of exercise bikes: upright or recumbent. An upright bike looks like a normal road bike with a vertical orientation and the handlebars at the front while on the recumbent bike the practitioner sits against a backrest with his legs forward. Experts differ on the advantages of one over the other and tend to say that it is a matter of personal preference.
We are interested here in upright bikes because they allow a greater variety of movements: we can stand on the pedals if the resistance is equivalent to a steep slope or lean forward to the extreme, like a cyclist, in a moment of sustained effort. Note that users with stenosis or osteoarthritis will likely find the upright position more comfortable.
The advantages of the upright bike
- Bikes generally require very little maintenance. Keeping the chain clean and oiled or cleaning the belt regularly solves most potential problems.
- The basic exercise, pedaling, is simple. So, there is no need to understand the machine.
- This device generates very little impact. There is therefore little risk of injury.
The disadvantages of the upright bike
- Bikes are exclusively focused on exercising the legs. Practitioners should therefore take care to also work the upper body to obtain a balanced training.
What to Check Before Buying an Upright Bike
Obviously, the best is to test several bikes in advance in fitness centers or specialized stores. In any case, here are the characteristics to check before making your final choice on a device:
- An easily adjustable seat. Ideally, when standing next to the machine, the seat should be at hip height. We are not on a road bike, so choose wide pedals with a strap to keep your feet in place.
- The screen must be readable and easily accessible to adjust the resistance and control the information about distance, speed, time, burned calories, etc.
- Enough space between the seat and the handles for easy entry and exit
- A heart rate monitor that allows users to make sure they are at the right level of effort. The most expensive machines prefer wireless chest straps which are more precise than the sensors located at the handles.