Indoor Cycles Vs. Upright Exercise Bikes

Indoor cycles are also known as spinning bikes. They look much alike with upright bikes. In fact, people don’t differentiate them. Although all are indoor bikes, the mode of operation and features might vary a bit.

When you visit a gym, it’s common to find these two bikes. You can bear witness that the feel when cycling tends to feel unique with each of them. Now let’s move away from the gym. At home, you might want to buy one. But, confusion can come in. Having a vast knowledge, between these two machines is important.

Now, we want to explore much about the indoor cycles and upright bikes. You will have a chance to know their differences and efficiency. We are confident that, by the end of this article; you will have all answers about these bikes.

Cycling position

The main aim of engaging in biking is to gain physical fitness or shed extra weight. The riding position is essential and determines the final results. These two bike types have different modes of cycling although the difference is negligible. Let us explore each of the bikes.

Indoor cycles

The frame of this bike offers road bike experiences. In fact, it resembles a traditional bicycle. It has a high seat that allows the rider to be over the handlebars. The handlebars feature a more horizontal approach. This configuration enables the rider to cycle as he leans in front. They are also adjustable to ensure it conforms to the seating mode. Additionally, the frame, pedals, and flywheel are sturdy. They allow the rider to stand on the pedals. This results in whole body workouts. As compared with upright bikes, riders have better experience.

Upright bikes

This bike as the name suggests, it features an upright cycling position. The seat is big with heavy cushioning. Padding is also fit and handlebars configured to ease exercising. The pedals and frame lack reinforcement as in indoor cycle. Thus, the rider can’t stand while riding.

Resistance type

The indoor bikes exploit the same mechanism used by the road bikes. But, unlike traditional bikes that derive resistance from wheels, the have flywheels. The type of flywheel featuring in each bike is different.

For the indoor bike, it has a heavy duty flywheel. It’s heavy and requires more energy to spin. Riding these bikes feels like real bike pedaling. Contrary to the upright bike, it has a transmission system connecting pedals to flywheel. For increasing resistance, it has a braking system. The spinning bike has a high level of resistance. It is useful in stimulating bikers before a competition. These bikes use contact braking for the generation of resistance.

The upright exercise bike isn’t for heavy duty training like the spinning type. Thus, the feature lighter flywheels and bike frame. This bike comes with either magnetic or electromagnetic resistance system. Others come with a fan type resistance. They have lighter flywheels, thus, ideal for home and regular gyms. Unlike indoor cycle, this has several setting. They allow the rider to choose the suitable level.

Effectiveness of the training

Any equipment in the gym has its strongholds. When we narrow down to bikes, still, they have their perfect areas. For instance, every bike be it upright, or indoors it has its workout strongholds in the body. People know which is right for the upper body, abs, legs and cardio workouts.

When you consider the spin bikes, they are for extreme biking experience. The bike has a motor flywheel. This means that you experience the same effects like cycling outdoors. The ability to ride while standing also enhances full body engagement. When your whole body is active, it means more burning of calories. Training on this bike creates excitement and motivation.

Upright bikes, one can exercise when sitting. This is because; they have unreinforced frame and pedals. The bike requires one to be focus, to achieve the target results. Since it can lead to only lower part workouts, it’s ideal to choose one with dual arm action. It will ensure that the most of the body part are exercising.

Although these bikes have differences, there is no much difference in results. In fact, if you train chances are, results will be the same.

Comfort when training

Being comfortable when training doesn’t mean you will not succeed. As a matter of fact, uncomfortable machine can compromise your exercising. Unless you are familiar with outdoor conditions, some equipment can be hard for training.

For the indoor cycle, it’s the least comfortable among the training bikes. The main reason is that its design favors cycling prowess. It comes with small seat that can be uncomfortable if you train for long. The uncomfortable feeling is more if you have less cycling experience.

Biking using upright training bikes is a bit more comfortable. Its seat features a thick padding. This allows the rider to exercise for a long time without tiring. The experience is motivating, and one can ride for a long time. Apart from cushioning, it features other enhancements. Some include cup holders for keeping drinks.

Computer console

A computer console is necessary to notify you of the workouts results. It’s one of the crucial features that buyers will check before purchasing. The most modern exercise bikes are coming with sophisticated consoles.

For spinning bike, only a few brands equip their bikes with consoles. The main aim of these bikes is for use as sport simulation machines. The primary focus of these devices is for sports purposes. Thus, many manufacturers don’t invest much on computerization. Much of attention is on the frame of the bike. The trend seems to change as there is cropping of spinning bikes with consoles.

Upright bikes come with a current tech console fittings. It has no room for over training. The tracking computer will notify you upon attaining daily target. It can track your pulse rate, distance and calories burning. The bike is ideal for people wishing to cut down weight. Besides the console, some have extra enhancements. For instance, cup holders, audio speakers, and smartphones holder.


It is evident that exercise bikes differ on the price. The variation is due to the material of construction, resistance type, and enhancements. If the machine has more components, the market price is higher. Additionally, if the bike uses electromagnetic resistance, it will be expensive.

The indoor bikes are expensive than upright models. They feature a heavy duty construction. Their frames are durable with reinforcement. Also, the flywheel is big comparing with upright cycles. If you search in the market, most spin bikes are selling at over $1000.

Unlike spin bikes, these are available at various prices. Affordability is high because you can get one with only $200. These cheap ones have few features. As you move up, the more the features they have. Some upright bikes can as high as $2000.


Every machine requires maintenance to extend its lifespan. Exercise bikes too need repairing and constant checkups. Maintenance between indoors and upright exercise is different. One is more mechanical requiring less attention while other ones need regular maintenance.

Owning a spinning bike means fewer maintenance and part replacements. The entire bike is more mechanical than upright bike. Its flywheel is heavy duty. It is more reliable for extended period usage.

Upright bikes use lighter flywheels. For this reason, it is possible to maintain their durability and dependability. The type of components that it uses is perfect for light duty work. So, it can be as reliable as spinning bike.

Which is the best type of bike for training?

This question is crucial to examine. It’s one of the top questions that disturb people. If you ask people which bike is ideal between two, everyone will have different answer. As it’s hard to differentiate between these bikes, also, it’s hard to judge. Also, the mechanism of working is similar.

People, who use these bikes, some have weight problem. Thus, if you are using either of the bikes, don’t expect to get results overnight. This is the top reasons why people differ on the bike performance. What matters most isn’t the type of device you are using. In fact, they have similar ability to maintain your fitness. The primary factor that determines the level of efficiency is the dedication. The more you train, the more you feel the machine is.

When buying, how to differentiate between these two exercise bikes?

If you are on a mission to buy an exercise bike, you must be familiar. Otherwise, you might end up taking home the wrong one. With a well understanding, it is straightforward to make a differentiation.

The only great difference lies on the flywheel. The spinning bike has a heavy flywheel. The configuration is more like an outdoor bike since it has a transmission system. Also, its structure, and the fitting of handlebars differ with an upright bike. This is as well as the seat.

The upright bikes feature a roomy seat with heavy padding. Its flywheel is simple and can feature different resistance types. Also, the inclusion of console and other enhancements, identify it.

What are the benefits of each of these bikes?

Exercise bikes are becoming popular. They have low impact and ideal for cardio and muscles workouts. When you consider their size, they are small. This means their storage is easy, as they need a limited space. Narrowing down the bikes in hand, each has its distinct benefits and drawbacks.

Indoor cycles benefits

  • It’s ideal for burning more calories

    There is no waiting for a long time to experience improvements. It’s heavy flywheel ensures you use extra energy during the cracking. It gives a real road biking experience.
  • It creates endurance and perfects for cardio workouts

    The bike is useful in performing cardio exercises. Through the aerobic training, it gives your heart a boost. Also, the bike is superb in enhancing your muscle endurance. With it, your heart health is a guarantee.
  • The rider experiences low impacts workouts

    Unlike other exercising devices like treadmills, this one offers smooth and trauma free exercise. The rider enjoys safe and comfortable training. It causes no injuries, muscle pain and joint paining.
  • Training with it, you achieve a fitting body

    It is possible to ride on this cycle while standing. This improves your general body fitness. Besides, your legs assume an outstanding shape.

Demerits of indoors exercising bike

  • Person can suffer from boredom

    The construction of spinning bike denies the user the comfort. It implies that he can’t do other tasks as he rides. The situation is worse if you are training alone. It can lower your morale, hence, achieving poor results.
  • It’s easy to fatigue due to staying at the same point

    Even though spinning offers real like feeling, it can induce fatigue. Cycling on the same point can speed up the situation. Also, it doesn’t have console you may end up over exercising.

Benefits of upright exercise biking

  • Rider can multi-task

    When using an upright bike, it is possible to multi-task. As you train, you can be at the same time engage in listening to music or watching TV.
  • More engaging on the upper body

    Using an upright bike offers a chance of experiencing more upper body workouts. It ensures the hand muscles are active. You can experience more biceps, triceps, and shoulder engagement.
  • These bikes are compact, hence, occupying lesser space

    There is no stress about the storage space. The bike has a small size relieving the user storage stress. Unlike, spin bikes, if you have a gym, you can stock more of these machines.
  • They are cheaper to buy

    The bikes are far much cheap than other types. With just a few hundred dollars, you can get a machine that will keep your body fit. This is unlike indoors cycles that are expensive to buy.

Upright exercise bikes drawbacks

  • They aren’t usable by people with joint and back pains

    The upright position isn’t right for people with paining joints and back. If they use it, the problem can escalate rather than getting relief.
  • They tend to lose stability if you push them hard

    Unlike spinning bikes, these can only withstand gentle exercising. If you push them hard, you risk damaging them or falling.


Exercise bikes are gaining popularity every day. With improvement in bikes components, it is now possible to train with ease. Also, monitoring your exercising is more accurate. As we have seen, upright and spinning bike have slight difference. But, there is no significant difference in workout results. If you had doubts on any of the two, now you can train without worry.