ProForm SR30 Recumbent Bike w/Heart Rate Grip PulseExercise bikes have been around a long time - and they've come a long way, too. The simple stationary bike staples of the 1960's rec room have evolved into ergonomic, lumbar supporting, recumbent models with computerized modules that simulate the Tour de France.
However basic or elaborate an exercise bike you workout on, you do get a great cardiovascular charge while minimizing stress on the knees, joints and back. People of a wide range fitness levels and conditions can bike
safely and effectively, from seniors and pregnant
women to triathletes.
As with all fitness equipment, exercise bikes come in a full spectrum of prices, from $100 to $1000 and beyond. Keep the following factors in mind when looking for the right model for you.
Upright or recumbent: Upright exercise bikes give you a more traditional bicycle experience - sitting up on a seat, back unsupported, hands on the handlebars, legs vertical to the floor. In this position, the quadriceps are the focus. Recumbent exercise bikes put the user in a reclined position - the back is supported by the seat and the legs pedal horizontally out in front. They work the hamstrings and gluteal muscles and are easier on the lower back. Both offer a good cardio, calorie-burning experience, so it's really a matter of comfort and preference.
Schwinn 101 Upright Bike w/6 Preset ProgramsQuiet ride: A smooth, peaceful exercise bike that doesn't roar like a rocket is key if you want to watch television or read while you exercise (a great boredom buster).
Safety: An encased wheel is a must if children's fingers may be nearby.
Stability: Look for an exercise bike with a heavy front wheel to keep you grounded.
Accessible controls and monitor: You want to be able to adjust mid-pedal and gauge your progress at a glance. Distance, speed, time, calories burned, resistance level and even a heart monitor may be included.
Advertiser Links for Exercise Bikes