Try calling a spin bike an “exercise bike” in a gym: at least half of those present could turn against it and you could have a bad quarter of an hour. Although to some they may seem similar objects, the difference is actually substantial, and while there is even a sporting activity linked to spin bikes which takes the name of spinning , the stationary bikes do not enjoy an equally high consideration among sportspeople.
How to choose the best spin bike
To correctly choose your spin bike (which can also be called indoor bike or fit bike) it is necessary to carefully evaluate some structural factors, related to its transmission system:
- Flywheel: the flywheel is the disc that is rotated by pedaling. The greater its weight, the greater the stability of the spin bike and the smoother the pedaling. The weight of the flywheel can vary from about 16 to 30 kg, but most spin bikes are equipped with a flywheel weighing between 20 and 23 kg;
- Transmission: the system that allows to transmit the movement from the pedals to the flywheel can be chain or belt. Most spin bikes, especially those in the low price range and with a light structure, are equipped with a chain transmission system, which however requires more maintenance and frequent lubrication. Where possible, prefer a belt transmission system, which has the advantage of being silent and requiring less maintenance;
- Sprint: spin bikes can be found with fixed gear or free sprint. The fixed gear is necessary for those who do spinning workouts that also include times in which you get up standing on the pedals while in free sprint the movement of the pedals stops immediately as soon as the pressure exerted on them stops, regardless of the inertia movement of the flywheel, which is free to rotate.
We have already seen that spin bikes allow for a more intense workout than exercise bikes: it is no coincidence that these tools are also often used by competitive cyclists for training sessions at home during the winter months. Let’s see what are the characteristics that determine the type of training that can be done with a spin bike:
Resistance is nothing more than a braking system which opposes the force exerted by the user in order to force him to intensify the effort during training. The resistors can be of different types, but the most common types to find are the mechanical resistances (the intensity of the resistance is generally adjusted by means of a knob), the magnetic resistances (the resistance can be adjusted both via the regulator screw and via the display) and the electromagnetic ones (the magnets are not approached or moved away from the flywheel, but are electrically charged generating a more or less wide magnetic field to depending on the resistance set).
Models equipped with displays not only generally allow you to digitally adjust the resistance (assuming it is not mechanical), but also provide various useful data relating to the effort made. It ranges from the count of calories burned to training time , passing through the information relating to the virtual distance covered and the pedaling speed.
The vast majority of spin bikes are equipped with a heart rate detection system to better monitor the heart rate. The heartbeat can be monitored through two systems: through handheld sensors placed on the handlebar or through a wireless transmitter consisting of a heart belt to be worn on the chest in contact with the skin. The latter is certainly the preferable system, as the band, to be tied around the chest, allows you to monitor cardiac activity without forcing the user to always maintain the same position and even during any breaks.
Here are the aspects we suggest paying particular attention to:
- Adjustable handlebar and saddle: it is a fundamental and indispensable feature in a spin bike, not only to be able to adjust the distance between the saddle and handlebar , but also to position the same saddle to an adequate height. In fact, not only should the back be neither too bent nor, conversely, too stretched, but it is also important that the knees should not extend excessively in order to reach the lowest point of the circumference described by the pedals;
- Ergonomic saddle: given the particular position taken during pedaling, if the spin bike is not equipped with an ergonomic saddle, the risk is to exert excessive pressure on the perineal area with possible health consequences. The saddle must therefore have an elongated and narrow shape with a groove in the center in order to eliminate pressure on the soft tissues;
- Pedals : the pedals equipped with a strap make it easier to find the correct position of the foot on the pedal and to maintain it throughout the workout;
- Accessory holder : different accessory holder hooks can complete the spin bike. Among these, the most common to find is the bottle cage , but hooks for hanging the towel or supports for mobile phone or tablet are not rare;
- Display : Where present, the display should be easy to use. Therefore, the models that provide a LCD screen of sufficient size to correctly read the data and with clear and intuitive commands are optimal;
Weight and mobility
A final factor to consider before proceeding with the purchase is that relating to the weight and size of the spin bike . In fact, since this is an object of important dimensions, it is good to check in advance where it can be placed and how difficult it could be to move it. In addition, weight and bulk give important information about the sturdiness of the spin bike: models that are too light and small in size could in fact be unstable and risk losing grip with the floor during training.
The comfort factor is more important than you might think, as it affects the quality of training and its consistency. In fact, it is useless to choose a particularly performing model if it is not possible to adjust the spin bike in such a way as to have a comfortable position while pedaling: we remember once again that on a spin bike the posture to be adopted is that which we would have on a racing bike, and this also puts a strain on the muscles of the back, shoulders and neck.
What are the best spin bikes of 2022
A high-end spin bike , professional and equipped with all the best technological comforts. This NordicTrack product boasts a saddle and handlebar adjustable both horizontally and vertically, as well as supporting 150 kg of weight : a model that adapts to any physical type, allowing a stable and easy ride.
24 levels of magnetic resistance will allow you to carry out a personalized workout with various degrees of intensity, according to your needs: you can also set the parameters on an inclination from -10% to + 20%, to realistic simulations of descent and ascent. All using a comfortable 10 “immersive HD touchscreen display and a series of training programs, which will help you get the most out of your daily workouts.Buy it on Amazon at the best price of 1699£
BH Fitness i.Spada 2
The best indoor spin bike is the BH Fitness i.Spada 2 Racing , a home fitbike designed for intense training from 7 to 20 hours per week. With the Poly-V belt transmission you have a very powerful and silent pedaling that does not require maintenance. This top spin bike , thanks to its double resistance with three possible applications (magnetic, friction and therefore also combined), is suitable for the needs of beginners and professionals and allows you to play on 24 different levels of intensity.
The strong point of this professional magnetic spin bike is represented by the LCD display with 12 predefined programs , which gives the athlete the data on calories consumed, heart rate, time traveled, and speed. This is also a spin bike with integrated power meter, so great for those who need precise fitness data.Buy it on Amazon at the best price
A high-end spin bike, equipped with all the comforts for a professional workout, while remaining in the home environment. Its particularly sturdy steel frame supports a maximum weight of 150 kg . It is a product that meets the needs of all types of physique, also thanks to the possibility of adjusting the handlebar and saddle. IC8 will allow you a silent workout , comfortable and never monotonous: you can in fact use your tablet using the practical support supplied, to pedal for a long time, always remaining connected.
Chat, watch a movie, listen to your favorite music and even work: you will have the opportunity to do this and much more, keeping fit in your living room. The double pedal with loops and the magnetic brake system make pedaling super smooth, even in the case of high-speed training. IC8 boasts a maximum power of 1000 Watt, for a good 100 revolutions per minute. A real gem of indoor cycling.Buy it on Amazon at the best price
The Toorx SRX-75 is one of the best professional spinning bikes, complete with special functions and with a high quality balanced flywheel, with excellent precision in resistance levels while pedaling. It is the ideal fitness tool for those looking for a spin bike at an excellent value for money for home training.
Characterized by a fixed pinion drive system with pad braking system with felts. The frame is made of high-thickness steel painted with high-strength powders, and there are wheels that facilitate transport, to move the spinning bike after training. The structure allows you to adjust both the seat and the handlebar in height and horizontally, to adapt to the user’s build.Buy it on Amazon at the best price
Bluefin Fitness Tour SP
The Bluefin Fitness Tour SP is a good road bike for home for professional training, recommended both for cyclists who perform serious indoor physical activity, and for people of a certain weight who want to lose weight. With an above average overall weight (53 kg), its stability is indeed the number one strength, this is a spin bike with a 25 kg flywheel that offers smooth resistance, with the possibility of adjust the inertia manually using the knob.
The handlebar is widely adjustable , both in height and horizontally, to have the perfect distance for the support of the arms. The elbow rests are very comfortable, and on the front of the handlebar we find the sensors for the HR. The spin bike is very quiet during exercise, and the LCD display offers all basic information, including heart rate.Buy it on Amazon at the best price of 249£ instead of 499£
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