Exercise bikes have existed since the late eighteenth century although they have undergone many significant changes over the decades. Exercise bikes are stationary bicycles with ergometers which measure the work output of the user. Exercise bikes offer different features from one bike to the next, depending on the users’ preferences.
Types of Exercise Bikes
There are two main types of exercise bikes: upright and recumbent. An upright bike positions the user in an upright position, resting the users’ weight entirely on the back and feet. A recumbent bike allows the user to recline in a more laid-back position. This position is beneficial as the weight is distributed over a larger space and provides more support for the back.
Exercise bikes may also vary depending on types of resistance they have. Types of mechanisms for resistance include magnets, fans and friction. Often exercise bikes vary on the number of resistance levels they offer.
Design features may include: movable arms for a total-body workout, cushioned seats for comfort, pedal straps for increased stability, enclosed front wheels to prevent hands from accidently getting injured. Another feature of some bikes include allowing the user to pedal backwards in order to exercise muscles that are not typically exercise when pedaling forward. Other upgraded features may include program profiles, heart rate monitors, backlit LCD displays as well as USB ports. Television screens incorporated into the design of the exercise bike is another feature some upgraded models offer.
Brands of Exercise Bikes
Cybex is a manufacturer of stationary exercise bikes and currently offers six different exercise bikes – three recumbent and three upright. Cybex boasts their exercise bikes offer low maintenance, superior designs as well as beginner to athlete resistance capabilities. Cybex offers one recumbent and one upright bike in each of the entry level, mid-grade and superior level categories.
Schwinn also produces stationary exercise bikes. This company offers a very wide selection of exercise bikes with eight upright bikes and six recumbent bikes. They also offer a line called “Airdyne” which provides the user with a total body workout as they also have upper body full-movement handles. Schwinn also offers accessories for exercise bikes such as bike mats, wider pedals and reading stands.
Lifespan offers five different exercise bikes. These exercise machines range in price, depending on the features included. The basic machine offers little in the area of features whereas the more superior machines include many preset training programs, multi-color LCD displays, built-in speakers, seat height adjustments and so on. Another feature is a USB storage device that allows the user to store training information.
Price of Exercise Bikes
As with many pieces of fitness equipment, the price depends on the quality of machine, the manufacturer as well as the features the piece of equipment offers. Some brands are more well-known for their quality, such as Cybex and Schwinn. These companies offer exercise bikes that are designed with innovative technology and therefore can be a little more expensive. Cheaper exercise bikes can start as low as a few hundred dollars but will offer little in features. Superior machines can run into the thousands and have a vast selection of features. Some advanced features may include built-in audio and televisions, upgraded LCD displays, more training profiles to choose from, options to store individual exercise data, as well as comfort features like wider and more cushiony pedals and seats.