10 Best Spinning Bikes of October 2021

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Spinning Bikes For Endurance Training

Pat Daniels

Mad Dogg Athletics was founded in 1994 with the aim of making indoor bicycles, along with fitness training. Their “Spinning Bikes” try to reproduce the feel and environment of a  real road bike. They incorporated this even in the material of the bike, as well as the seating and the grip on the handlebars. “Spinning” has become the name of a form of biking exercise which is done to tone the lower portion of your body. Spin bikes are just like a fixed-gear bike, which improves your pedaling technique and helps you to work off some calories. 

But, seeing the popularity of such bikes, they’re not the only brand out there anymore. You’ll find other bikes that have the seat and the handlebars at the same height, just like you’ll find in a road bike. The pedals have straps to secure your feet in place, so that all of your energy is directed to pedaling. And there is a resistance knob that you turn, to increase or decrease the resistance that the bike offers as you’re riding.   

We’ve composed this buyer’s guide to help you look through the options when selecting a spinning bike. We’ll help you: 

  • Choose the right type of spinning bike for your preferences,

  • See useful tips about that particular type of spinning bike,

  • Read reviews of different spinning bikes, and what customers are saying,

  • Select the right brand of spinning bike, and

  • Compare prices and find the best deals.

FAQ

What is a spin bike?

The spin bike is a stationary bike that can be ridden either standing up or sitting down. It is commonly used in gyms and fitness centers. Cycling on a spin bike provides a more intense workout, improves stamina, and strengthens hips, thighs, calves, abs, and shoulders.

What is the difference between a spin bike versus a stationary bike?

Below are the key differences between an upright bike/ stationary bike and a spin bike:

  • Intensity: A traditional upright bike is ideal for people who like to work out at their own pace, while a spin bike is preferred for those who want a more intense workout that increases stamina and cardiovascular fitness.
  • Position: When riding an upright bike you may lean forward slightly, but you cannot stand while working out. A spin bike, however, is designed to mimic the posture and position of a racing road bike, which allows the user to lean much forward and stand while exercising. As opposed to traditional exercise bikes, spin bikes offer more adjustments in terms of seat height and handlebar inclination
  • Different technique: On an upright bike, the flywheel weighs a few kilograms and continues turning even after you stop pedaling while on a spin bike, the flywheel is heavier and the pedals are bolted to it. This means that to stop the spin bike completely, you must slowly decelerate it. 

What are the benefits of using spin bikes?

The following are some of the major benefits of spin biking:

  • Cardiovascular fitness: Cardiovascular exercises, such as cycling, strengthen your heart, lungs, and muscles. Additionally, they improve the flow of blood and oxygen throughout your body, which leads to improved memory and brain function, as well as lowering blood pressure and stress levels and enhancing immunity. 
  • Weight Loss: The key to losing weight is to burn more calories than you consume. A spin bike workout allows you to burn more calories an hour as compared with stationary bikes, depending on the intensity of your workout and your body weight. For this reason, cycling is an excellent workout option to burn calories and build strength, which, in turn, can lead to fat loss.
  • Strengthens muscles: Pedaling exercises are good for strengthening calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps.Hence, when you ride a spin bike at a higher resistance, you can build strength in your legs and lower body and make your glutes, back, and core stronger too.
  • Low Impact workout: Spinners put far less strain on their knees and feet than other traditional cardio exercises. The movements are smooth and gentle, putting a minimum amount of strain on joints and bones. This makes it a safe and effective workout for anyone who suffers from joint pain or injuries.

How to choose a spin bike?

Here are a few things to consider when choosing a spin bike:

  • Flywheel:  The flywheel is the wheel that moves when a cyclist pedals the bike. A flywheel's weight determines the motion of the bike. In theory, the heavier the flywheel, the smoother the motion. Therefore, when choosing a spin bike, take into consideration the flywheel weight. Any bike that is lighter than 35 lb. will not guarantee smooth, seamless motion.
  • Frame and the Legs: For optimal balance, look for a spinning bike with a strong stabilizing frame and wide legs.  It is important that the legs are wide enough so that even the most vigorous of rides remains perfectly balanced.
  • Brakes: There are three types of brake systems. (A) In most cases, entry-level indoor bikes use fabric brake pads. (B) Leather pads, on the other hand, are used mostly in higher-end bikes for both home and commercial use. (C) While magnetic braking systems offer a far greater range of resistance. These are completely silent as there is no physical contact and require absolutely no maintenance or replacement. 
  • Resistance: The resistance mechanism on a spinning bike comes in four different forms:
    • Cable Resistance: This type of resistance is only found on lower-cost bikes, and it's not recommended primarily because it's unreliable and has a tendency to slip.
    • Manual Scew Resistance: It works like an analog system and involves a knob.  The system is simple, but it does the job.
    • Electronic Magnetic Resistance: Uses a small hydraulic system to move a magnet to apply resistance to the flywheel.
    • Electromagnetic Resistance: Spin bikes with this feature are rare and relatively new. A magnetic field is the force that creates resistance in this system, and so there are no moving parts.​​​​​​​
  • Screen: The majority of spin bikes come with a display screen. Select a model that displays the speed, distance traveled, and caloric burn during the workout on a display screen.
  • ​​​​​​​Drive System: There are two types of drive systems on spin bikes: chain-based and belt-based. Consider choosing a spin bike with a belt-driven system. This makes almost no noise and requires much less maintenance than a chain drive.

Types of Spinning Bikes

  • Friction resistance spin bike: These bikes use cotton felt pads that press on the flywheel. As you turn the resistance knob, it pulls a wire that pushes the cotton felt pads onto the flywheel. Due to the friction, the felt pads wear down over time, so the pads will have to be replaced. The Cyclace Stationary Exercise Bike uses friction resistance.

Cyclace Stationary Exercise Bike

  • Magnetic resistance spin bikes: These use two magnets placed around the flywheel. You increase and decrease the magnetic pull on the flywheel either with a resistance knob or digitally. Since there is no actual contact with the flywheel, there is very little wear to the parts, and they will last longer. It also tends to be quieter than the friction resistance bike. But these bikes will also be more expensive. An example is the Spinner L1 Spin Bike.

Spinner L1 Spin Bike

What reviewers say

  • Classes: Some bike companies offer a subscription to their fitness classes together with the purchase of their bike. An example is Echelon, which offers classes for every fitness level, from beginner to advanced.

  • Pay attention to the warranty: Check out the warranty's conditions. Check the expenses included in your warranty, and if they cover shipping expenses if you return faulty equipment. Most spinning bikes come with a warranty of two years, but try to find out where and how you can get spare parts after the warranty period is over, especially for the felt pads and flywheel, where there is the greatest risk of wear and tear.

Important Features

Sometimes, it becomes difficult to choose a spinning bike which will meet your individual requirements: Buying any sports equipment entails a substantial investment, so do your research before finalizing on the product. After going through thousands of spinning bike reviews, we found that most fitness experts stress the following points when selecting one:

  • Consider your budget: It is quite surprising to note that various types of spinning bikes come in a huge range of prices. While you may find some under $200, there are also models that are more than $1000. Of course, the lower the price, the fewer would be the additional accessories or adjectives.

  • Look at the features: Spinning wheels have flywheels, which ensure a balanced and smooth ride. The flywheel in the spin bike is what makes it really worth the experience. This heavy flywheel gives an outdoor riding experience. The heavier the flywheel, the more difficult pedaling becomes, which translates to more effort. Therefore, it tends to give you a real good workout. Most common spinning bikes have a 40-lb wheel, which is more than enough for regular exercise. Also, check out whether the bike has a tension knob, which helps regulate the resistance of the bike. Furthermore, the user should be really comfortable while using the spinning bike. It is essential that the bike has fully adjustable handlebars and seats so that you can assume a proper riding position.

  • Check out the durability quotient: Exercise equipment is expensive, so you want your purchase to be a one-time investment. You want to get your money’s worth for the product. Choose a spinning bike which is not only stable but also promises longevity.

  • Choose the type of pedals you want: The spinning bikes use the same pedals as the outdoor bikes. Hence, you can supply your personal preference here. You can choose to have cleats, dual pedals or Shimano SPD (Shimano Pedaling Dynamics), based on what you find more convenient and comfortable.

Top-Rated Brands

  • The Echelon Smart Connect Fitness Bikes use a magnetic resistance mechanism to provide 32 different resistance levels. It has a bracket to hold a 12.9” tablet, and you can adjust the handle height to any one of 17 different settings. It has a direct-link motorized magnetic resistance, and the seat can be adjusted forward or backward for maximal comfort.

Echelon Smart Connect Fitness Bikes

  • The Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike has a 44-lb flywheel, a seat that can be adjusted to 4 different heights, and steel toe-cage pedals. It can support up to 300 lbs. It utilizes magnetic resistance, which produces a quieter and smoother ride, and the parts will not wear down.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike

  • The Cyclace Stationary Exercise Bike has a thickened steel frame for a 330-lbs weight capacity, and uses a 36-lb. flywheel for a smooth ride. It uses a belt-driven friction resistance mechanism that you adjust with the resistance knob. It has balance regulators to maintain stability on different surfaces.

Cyclace Stationary Exercise Bike

  • The NordicTrack Commercial Studio Cycle also uses magnetic resistance for a smooth ride. It has a weight capacity of 350 lbs, and a 2-year warranty on the parts. It hooks up to an interactive touchscreen display that tracks your progress as well as live-stream workout ideas.

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NordicTrack Commercial Studio Cycle

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