You can stay fit year-round with indoor cycling. Here are the best exercise bikes, including spin and recumbent bikes, to use at home.
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The rise of exercise bikes and the home gym
Many people have tried to stay away from gyms and socially distance because of Covid-19, but that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped working out—in fact, at-home exercise has taken off this year in an unprecedented way, including the use of exercise bikes.
“It’s been amazing to see how many people haven’t stopped working out,” says Colleen Conlon, a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor at Equinox in New York City. “I started doing Zoom classes the week after we went into lockdown.”
One form of at-home exercise that’s really seen a huge increase in sales and numbers is indoor biking. According to National Public Radio, sales of indoor stationary exercise bikes—whether they are spin bikes or recumbent bikes—grew by 31 percent in the first quarter of this year over the same time last year.
“I think a lot of people realized that they couldn’t be runners a few months into the pandemic and have decided to invest in a home bike,” says Roxie Jones, a personal trainer in New York City. “It’s an easy way to stay engaged and accountable with so many digital cycling platforms.
I think it may be a good thing given that we don’t know what’s going to happen this winter. It’s important for us to stay moving and active, for physical and mental health, so at-home fitness is a saving grace.” (This is the best exercise equipment for at-home workouts.)
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How to choose the best exercise bike for home use
With so many indoor exercise bikes on the market, it’s important to know what to consider when choosing one. “Quality matters most,” says Joey Foley, owner and founder of Punch Pedal cycling and boxing studio in Brooklyn, New York. “Pay attention to the customer service for the company, too, because the bike will have issues, and you need to be able to get help to troubleshoot.”
If you want to get the most out of your bike, it has to work well. “Be sure to get a bike that’s stable enough to last a long time,” says Jones.
Next, you should pinpoint your goals and what you’re looking to get out of an indoor exercise bike. “Make sure you know what you value before spending the money, because not all bikes are created equally,” says Conlon.
“Do you want to be able to track wattage and distance? Do you want your bike to be quiet, so no one in your home can hear you working out? Do you want someone on the other side teaching you?”
Figure out if you want movement based on rhythm, power, or if you’re just looking to train for a race or ride. Once you know what you’re looking for, it will help to narrow down the field. And don’t miss these spin shoes for indoor cycling you’ll want to pair with your new bike.
Exercise bikes and on-demand class platforms
A lot of exercise bikes come with on-demand class platforms or are compatible with different apps and on-demand class platforms. “I would try as many platforms and classes as you can,” suggests Foley. “Then, I would commit to a platform I like best.”
Most apps and platforms have free trials, so give a couple a go before you make a decision. And most are very affordable. “You’re paying for an experience, and knowledge, not to mention staying connected with a community,” says Jones. “It’s worth it if the user enjoys it and can commit to it.”
“Finally, look for a bike that fits your budget and style,” says Foley. But speaking of budget, It’s important to keep in mind that sometimes cost equals quality. “I would invest in the best quality, even though some seem expensive,” says Jones.
“I know some people see the high prices and assume it’s too much, but you’re investing in an experience and your health. I’ve also heard of people purchasing cheaper options and using it only a few times before it just begins collecting dust.” Get the most out of it with these exercise bike products that help keep you healthy.
With all this in mind, here are five of the best indoor exercise bikes to help you stay fit year-round.