Choosing an Exercise Bike & Improving Your Indoor Ride
Cycling through the great outdoors is great, no denying that. But let’s face it, there are many times you just can’t, or don’t want to, ride outside. Well, indoor cycling, or stationary biking, is a great alternative for those days. Let’s see…it’s too hot, it’s too cold, it’s snowing, it’s dark, can’t find my sunglasses, out of sunscreen, etc, etc. The excuses and/or reasons are endless. Well, there are many indoor cycling options available, so you can stop whining and start riding!
Indoor Cycles & Stationary Bikes
There is a large variety of exercise bikes, including upright cycles and recumbent versions. This is completely personal preference as to which is most comfortable for you.
- Consider your budget. Exercise bikes are available from $150 for a very basic model – $2000+ for a loaded version.
- Research features you like, including “clipless pedals” or “cages”, inbuilt workout programs, onboard TV monitor, weighted flywheel, water bottle cage, etc.
- Among the wide variety of exercise bikes available, a few are: Lemond Fitness, Nordic Track, Pro Form, Life Fitness and CycleOps, which each host their own website.
- You might try these websites for sales and promotions on stationary cycles: ExerciseBikes.com, healthstylesexercise.com, FitnessEquipmentandMore.com. You can find reviews of virtually all indoor bikes on websites like: epinions.com.
- Test ride a variety of cycles at your local sporting goods store, before making your purchase.
Indoor Cycling Trainers
For those of you asking about what you can do if you have a bike, but not an indoor or stationary cycle, and want the option to ride indoors: there is an excellent, affordable and space-saving option for you — an indoor bike trainer for your current bike!
- Indoor cycling trainers are easy to use — just pop your back tire in and go!
- You can likely pick up a good quality trainer for $150-$200 or less.
- There are many companies that make indoor bike trainers, like Blackburn, Elite, Forza, Minoura, CycleOps and Kurt Kinetic, available at many bike shops, sporting good stores and online.
- One good website with many options is http://www.BikeTrianerShops.com
Indoor Cycling DVDs & Videos
What’s to keep you from getting bored during indoor biking, without the ever changing outdoor scenery? Well, there is a variety of cycling DVDs and videos available to beat the same ol’, same ol’ indoor biking routine and keep you motivated to ride.
- Some virtual cycling videos include training throughout the video by professional cycling instructors, providing cues for pacing and proper form.
- Others offer a choice of different workouts for daily variety.
- Some provide computer generated cyclists to “ride” along with you on the virtual road.
- Virtual indoor cycling DVD’s, offer the experience of biking through an actual outdoor location — not computer generated images — for the visual sensation of an outdoor trail ride.
- If you find a video’s pace too slow for your needs, you might try simply fast-forwarding your DVD player or computer by a notch or two during your cycling workout. Some indoor cyclists find this a helpful option for faster paced rides, like Indoor Cycling.
- Check websites, like Amazon.com, or your local bookstore, to find indoor biking DVDs and videos that will keep you motivated to get peddling and ride longer.
Improving the Indoor Biking Experience
Cycling in your home is not just like an outdoor ride with varied terrain to maneuver and wind in your face. True. But, as we’ve discussed, sometimes riding outside just isn’t an option and you’ve gotta bring it inside or you don’t get to ride. There are, however, a few tips to make your indoor cycling workout similar to riding outdoors. Indoor cycling workouts can be as challenging and exciting as outdoor riding and are an equally effective workout!
- Play your fave music on your mp3, while also listening to the nature soundtracks on the scenic cycling videos, like those with Scenic Trex, hearing all the sounds you would during an outdoor ride…without car horns and barking dogs.
- Crank up the fan to ‘high’ and set it by the bike. Feel the “breeze” as you pedal!
- For the best cycling workout, increase and decrease your resistance and pace throughout your ride and rise in and out of the saddle. You’ll simulate an outdoor ride with hills and varied terrain, as well as burn the most calories and increase your strength.
About the Author
For the past 16 years, Krystal has worked with many popular fitness magazines on photo shoots, gaining invaluable knowledge in health and fitness from professional trainers and athletes. Her passion for outdoor exercise led to the creation of the fitness DVD company, Scenic Trex, in 2008, with a goal to provide motivation and inspiration for exercise, improving strength and serenity. Visit http://www.scenictrex.com for more information.