If space is limited in your home, a small exercise bike may be a better choice than a standard recumbent bike or treadmill. Such a bike will fit neatly into tight spaces and still allow you to workout at home indoors during bad weather.
Types of Exercise Bikes
Before you rush to buy an exercise bike, it's a good idea to take the time to research the different types of equipment available to decide which bike best suits your individual needs. The various exercise bike designs include:
The upright exercise cycle design is most like that of the traditional road bike. The seat is small and your back is unsupported as you pedal. Gold's Gym offers the Power Cycle 200 Exercise Bike which is 20 inches wide, 33 inches long and weighs 56 pounds. It features controls to adjust resistance to help you burn calories and up your fitness goals. However, this bike is only for users who weigh 250 pounds or less and must be assembled when purchased.
A recumbent exercise bike offers quite a few features everyone finds attractive. These include the bucket seat that supports the lower back and the fact that the pedals are positioned in front of you instead of beneath you. While standard recumbent bikes are large, you do have options if you're space is limited and you're looking for a smaller variation. Here are a few of the options available on the market today:
Spinner® Brand Bikes
This type of indoor cycling bike is often found in health clubs for indoor cycling classes. With the rising interest in indoor cycling workouts, indoor cycling bikes are also popular for use as a piece of home fitness equipment because the bikes offer more effective workouts than a regular stationary bike. While some indoor cycling bikes have wide bases and take up more room than the average home or apartment can accommodate, the following indoor cycling bikes are relatively small and worth looking into if you want to step up your fitness program a notch:
Benefits of a Small Exercise Bike
The fact that a small exercise bike takes up less room in your home is only one reason to choose an exercise cycle as an integral piece of equipment for your fitness routine. Other benefits include the fact that even with their compact size they still offer:
- A great form of cardiovascular fitness and toning
- A way to burn fat
- Improved aerobic capacity
- A way to exercise that's easy on the knees because your upper body weight has almost no impact on your joints when using an exercise bike
- A chance to read or watch TV while exercising which helps alleviate boredom while working out
- An exercise tool to build your legs by adding more resistance
- An exercise to strengthen quadriceps, gluts, and hamstring muscles
- An easy way to warm up leg muscles and knees before participating in your fitness routine
- A way to enjoy a bike ride without worrying about inclement weather, heavy traffic or stray dogs
Disadvantages of Smaller Exercise Bikes
If you are a person of size, the seat on a smaller bike may be uncomfortable and quickly give you an excuse not to use it. Also, many of the smaller exercise bikes impose weight restrictions for users. If this hinders your aspirations to begin exercising, see if you can fit a recumbent bike into your available space. While this equipment may cramp your room, use it as an intermittent tool to reach your goal. As you lose weight, you can plan to buy a small exercise bike to replace it once you lose weight. Otherwise, try one of the small versions that allow you to pedal while you sit in your own comfortable chair.
Shop Wisely for Your Exercise Bike
Take the time to shop wisely for your exercise bike and it will increase your chances of actually using the equipment once it makes it into your house. Don't get suckered into buying something just because it is the latest trend. Instead consider these features:
- Cost (Take time to compare prices and don't forget to include shipping if you order online)
- Comfort (Make sure the seat is the right size and adjustable)
- Sturdy frame
- How noisy is it? Will you be able to read or watch TV while you exercise? Will it bother others in the house? Variable magnetic resistance tends to be quieter.