Spin Bike Versus Exercise Bike: Decoding The Ultimate Cardio Tool Conundrum

If you are reading this, then chances are you're either looking to buy a workout bike or you just can't decide which bike is best for you whenever you're at the gym. Well, look no further because we are about to demystify this brain racking spin bike versus exercise bike puzzle for you right now.

Both machines will effectively engage your lower body muscles while giving you quite the cardio workout. However, your choice between the two should vary depending on your fitness goals and lower back health. Before we get into the differences, why would you want to hit the bikes in the first place?

Firstly, cycling is great for lower body strength and endurance. They really engage the quads, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors and calves.

On the one hand, by increasing the pedal hardness, you cause hypertrophy of the muscles leading to greater gains. On the other hand, loosening up the pedals and increasing the intensity is the perfect way to tone those lower body muscles. It's no wonder why professional cyclists have well-built legs.

Secondly, it is one of the best ways to shred some serious calories. If there is one workout that will have your shirt soaked with sweat in just minutes, it is the bike. A number of calories you burn cycling is astounding.

On average, a 185-pound person can burn up to 654 calories in one-hour cycling at a moderate intensity (12-14 mph). What's more, you can add dumbbells to mix to burn some extra calories while toning arms and shoulders. It makes for a great warm-up session for weight lifters as well.


The Divine Bike Analysis

1. Spin Bikes


Spin bikes look very similar to race bicycles. The seats are usually almost at the same height as the handles forcing you to lean forward. They have a wheel to the front and belt that connects it to a smaller pedal wheel underneath the seat.

You can adjust the hardness of the pedals by working the screwed knob placed against the front wheel (usually somewhere below the handles).

Professional cyclists frequently use these bikes indoors to simulate a real race in the outdoors. Their coaches tighten the adjustment knob to simulate riding uphill to strengthen riders' legs. They are also popular for spin classes in gyms because of the nature of their intensity.

In addition, by laying forward, you eliminate strain on the neck and lower back, making it a comfortable option. Therefore, if you're looking to have an insane fat shredding session, then this dispenser of torture is just right for you.

2. Exercise Bikes


With exercise bikes, you have two options: Upright and Recumbent. Both are very common in homes, although you can always spot them in your local gym.

The upright version has the bike seat set lower than the handles, forcing you to sit in an upright position. They made this kind variation to simulate riding a regular bike in the outdoors. Like the spinning bike, it gives your lower body a good workout and you can adjust the hardness with an adjustable knob.

However, you will need to engage your abdominal muscles in this position. These ones usually don't get as intense as their spinning counterparts do.

In recumbent bikes, a comfortable, cushioned seat with a backrest is the first thing you will notice. The pedals are usually laid out in front of the seat with the handles above it at around face level. They usually have a second set of handles to the lower, two sides of the seat.

Like the other bikes, these also come with an adjustable knob where you can adjust the pedal hardness. Though this is the most comfortable variation, it still packs quite the punch. In fact, research shows that this variation gives you the highest activation of lower body muscles with the legs set in the front.

While both upright and recumbent bikes give for a great workout session, their design tweaks are definitely an issue to consider. If your lower back and neck are in great condition, then the upright version will do fine for you.

However, if lower back and neck pains are a boon to your existence as they are mine, then you will want to go for the recumbent version. This is especially if your cycling sessions go for long periods of time.

Nonetheless, if you're not looking to participate in the next Olympics, then exercise bikes are just what you need.



Well, there it is, the ultimate breakdown of one of the very best fat shredders in the fitness industry. No matter what your fitness goals may be, stationary fitness bikes fit right in. They keep your heart healthy, burn off calories and can be the key those tree trunk legs you've always wanted.

So, next time you pick a bike, you now know exactly what you should be looking for. The time has now finally dawned to hit the gym and cycle like a pro. Those calories are not going to burn themselves off, you know.

Nancy Moore

Hi, everyone! My name is Nancy Moore and I am the founder and creator of Fitnessgrams. I created Fitnessgrams to be a haven for people looking to get fit, boost their health, lose weight, or improve their well-being. Here you will find experiences, workouts, information from the experts, healthy living tips, and tools to find well-being and balance.

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