Stationary bicycles are exercise devices that resemble the mechanisms and fitness purposes of standard bicycles. However, this equipment is held in position by a vertical stand that keeps the bicycle grounded and the user safe and stable.
This device does not have wheels, but there may be settings on the equipment to indicate resistance levels for the pedals. Resistance mechanisms within the bike’s manufacturing may include magnets, fans, or friction devices.
Some models include handlebars for more stability to riders and potentially, upper body fitness as well. Some models may also include a backward pedaling option to exercise antagonist’s muscles, muscles not exercised in forward pedaling.
The gear and pedaling mechanism, representing the gears connected to the wheels of a bicycle, may be created with using a crankshaft and bottom bracket, which turns a flywheel by means of belt or chain. Specialized indoor stationary bicycles may also include weighted flywheels at the front, used in an activity called spinning.
Usage and Maintenance
Stationary bikes are most often used for individual recreational fitness purposes, to be used in private homes or public fitness areas. For public fitness companies, they may purchase many stationary bikes to be used simultaneously by their customers.
These bikes may require more frequent maintenance due to more frequent and intensive use. Otherwise, stationary bikes for private usage are relatively easily maintained.
Athletes may also use stationary bikes to train or warm up before a race. Stationary bikes have also long been used in physical therapy to help previously injured individuals work their muscles in increasing levels of intensity.
It is also a low-impact, safe, and effective cardiovascular exercise, which can benefit those recovering from injuries. The different settings on the stationary bicycle allow for many different possibilities and variety in regards to usage.
Exercise on stationary bikes is optimal for those who are novice exercisers, have bad backs, or have knee or joint problems. Issues that make running or excessive walking difficult make the stationary bike ideal and recommended.
Stationary bikes are a good investment towards motivating users to exercise frequently, as it is not dependent on weather or temperature, and can be taken as a leisurely activity. Before purchasing a bike, there are some important factors to consider:
- Positioning: Some bikes are upright while others are recumbent. Recumbent bikes feature the rider pedaling from a reclined position. Depending on the situation of the rider’s back, an upright seat may be better for the rider’s posture.
- Size: Some stationary bikes are offered with smaller and less high-tech systems, ranging from manual gears to electronic settings. Mini-stationary bikes do not have handlebars and take up minimal space.
- Usage: Stationary bikes can be bought new or used. If you plan on using your bike extremely frequently, it may be beneficial to purchase a new bike because it will deteriorate slower.
- Budget: Similar to size, stationary bikes come in an extremely wide range of prices. For a new bike, you may pay anything from $200 and $2,000. Pricier machines have stronger support and more technological features, but cheaper ones also offer a good workout.
N/a. “Exercise Bike Buying Guide.” Consumer Reports. Pedal Power, Sept. 2016. Web. 27 Oct. 2016
Sarnatoro, Barbara Russi. “Exercise Bike Exercise Benefits, Choosing a Bike, and More.” WebMD.
WebMD, n.d. Web. 27 Oct.2016.