What’s the difference between stationary bikes and spin bikes? Which is better? Why choose one over the other?
Stationary bikes and spin bikes (indoor cycles) provide the same benefits. Both give you cardio workouts benefiting your heart health while helping to burn calories.
These bikes fall under the umbrella term of “exercise bikes,” but despite their similarities, fundamental differences affect your overall workout experience.
When looking for spin and stationary exercise bikes in El Paso, check out The Fitness Superstore. We offer the largest selection of exercise bikes backed by our low-price guarantee!
Here are the differences between stationary and spin bikes.
Stationary bikes can be configured in upright or recumbent (reclined back) seating positions. These bikes have a console where you can adjust resistance levels and choose preloaded riding programs.
Many stationary bikes use direct contact resistance, which uses a brake to provide friction.
Spin bikes may or may not have consoles. These bikes have exposed flywheels, making the front look like a street bicycle. A spin bike’s flywheel is also much heavier than flywheels on stationary bikes.
For resistance, spin bikes either use friction or magnetic resistance. Friction resistance usually involves felt or rubber pads that apply friction to the flywheel and is controlled by a dial or knob. Magnetic resistance utilizes 2 magnetics whose opposing forces act as a braking mechanism on the flywheel. Magnetic resistance spin bikes use preset resistance levels.
Intensity and Resistance
Stationary bikes, especially recumbent bikes, focus on working out your legs. While you can attempt to stand and pedal on upright stationary bikes, it’s generally not recommended since these bikes usually aren’t stable enough for this type of riding.
Stationary exercise bikes use preset resistance levels delivered through direct contact resistance methods. This makes customizing resistance, like choosing between levels, impossible. Also, direct contact resistance brakes wear down over time, making them less impactful the more the bike is used.
Spin bikes offer a more intense workout by allowing the rider to work the leg, core, and shoulder muscles. Heavier flywheels give the rider more stability to allow for standing cycling, which engages more muscles and offers a full-body workout.
Friction resistance allows you to customize your resistance levels, but there are drawbacks to this system. Felt and rubber pads wear out, much like direct contact resistance brakes, and it’s difficult to relate an exact level of resistance when using dials and knobs for adjustments.
Magnetic resistance gives you a smoother, quieter, and more accurate resistance experience, but they are often hindered by preset resistance levels, much like stationary bikes.
No matter which bike you use, the calories burned depend on the intensity and duration of your workout.
When riding on spin bikes, you expend more energy and burn more calories. This is due to their heavier flywheels and the number of muscles activated using these bikes.
Despite this, it’s still important to note that you can ride leisurely on a spin bike and ride more intensely on a stationary bike to burn more or fewer calories.
Spin bikes are the way to go when wanting an experience that closely resembles riding an outdoor bike. These exercise bikes position you in a way an outdoor bike would, such as having you lean forward instead of sitting upright.
The pedal strokes on spin bikes also feel more like pedaling an outdoor bike.
Which Is Better? Stationary Bike vs. Spin Bike
Despite both kinds of exercise bikes providing cardio and calorie-burning benefits, spin bikes offer greater intensity, resistance customization, and closely resemble outdoor riding experiences.
That’s not to say that stationary bikes don’t have their advantages. Stationary exercise bikes tend to cost less than spin bikes. Also, stationary bikes are great for beginners trying this type of workout regimen for the first time.
Deciding which exercise bike to buy for your home gym ultimately depends on your workout goals and what you think you’ll use.
When Looking for Spin and Stationary Exercise Bikes in El Paso, Check Out the Fitness Superstore!
At The Fitness Superstore, we offer the largest current inventory of spin and exercise bikes available for you to try out. We also provide the best low-price guarantee in the industry.
Still trying to decide which exercise bike will work for you? No problem! Our team of experts will assess your needs and help you find the perfect bike for your home gym.
Stop by our store today to find the best stationary exercise bikes in El Paso!