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EXERCISE BIKE TYPES, BENEFITS & BUYING GUIDE

FIND THE BEST EXERCISE BIKE FOR YOUR GOALS AND BUDGET

Exercise bikes provide a great cardio workout with many fitness benefits. They increase muscle tone, strengthen your legs and can be great for burning calories too. Choosing the best bike is no small task. Thankfully, our handy buying guide will help you choose between the types of exercise bikes, and help you pick out which features are worth paying for.

Exercise Bike Buying Guide

Choose one of these buying guide topics:

TYPES OF EXERCISE BIKE

Need help understanding the differences between each type of exercise bike? Click the image to find out more about the benefits of each bike style:

This section will guide you through the pros and cons of each type of exercise bike. You can click one of the images above to jump to a detailed summary of that bike type.

Reasons to buy an upright bike:

Intensity level: 4/5

Also referred to as: Static exercise bike, home exercise bike

Advantages:

  • Small.
  • Comfortable.
  • Affordable - some of the cheapest exercise bikes on the market are upright bikes. However a mid-priced upright bike might be better value if you plan to use it long term.
  • Ideal for beginners.
  • Regular home workouts to increase physical health (weight management, cardio benefits, reducing the risk of illness).
  • Your priority is a comfortable ride with good cardio benefits.
  • You can watch TV or listen to a radio programme at the same time.
  • The onscreen programmes can take you through a range of fitness workouts including warm-ups and cool-downs.

Disadvantages:

  • Not the style used in gyms and high intensity group classes.
  • Offers a different cycling position to an outdoor road bike. So this is not the best type of bike to choose if you are training for an outdoor event.

We offer two upright exercise bikes, the JTX Cyclo-Go: Home Exercise Bike and the JTX Cyclo 5: Upright Exercise Bike.

Shop JTX Exercise Bikes

REASONS TO BUY A RECUMBENT EXERCISE BIKE:

Intensity level: 3/5

Also referred to as: Recumbent Cycle

Advantages:

  • Comfort/ergonomic design. These bikes provide a similar type of workout to the upright exercise bike but allow you to sit in a position which supports the back. The choice between an upright or recumbent exercise bike normally centres on exercising comfort – recumbent seats resemble a chair rather than a saddle.
  • Ideal for beginners and rehabilitation.
  • Shares many of the advantages of an upright bike.

Disadvantages:

  • Take up too much room.
  • Due to the cycling position the workout intensity is often lower than an indoor training bike. For example, you cannot move into a standing position for hill/ high resistance parts of your workout.

REASONS TO BUY AN INDOOR CYCLING BIKE:

Intensity level: 5/5

Also referred to as: Indoor Racers, Racer bikes, Indoor Cycles, Indoor studio cycles

Well known brands:

  • Spin® bike, Spinner® or Spinning® is the name of a popular brand of indoor cycling bike.
  • JTX Fitness also offer a full range of indoor cycling bikes.

Resistance on these bikes is controlled by turning a knob. This increases the friction created between a leather or foam pad directly onto the flywheel. These bikes may have a computer which displays speed, time, distance, calories and heart rate but they do not connect wirelessly to interactive workout apps.

Advantages:

  • Provides complete workout flexibility due to the wide range of intensity levels. From sitting down, pedalling slowly with low resistance to standing up with high resistance and high speed.
  • A great format for interval training and HIIT workouts.
  • An indoor training bike combined with a heart rate monitor is one of the most efficient forms of exercise.
  • Improves outdoor cycling performance (fitness, strength and speed).
  • Create your own studio spinning classes at home.
  • Indoor cycling bikes can also be used with an iPad or tablet to connect to cycling apps and technology to complete home-based classes.

Disadvantages:

  • Some users prefer to buy a more comfortable saddle or upgrade from toe clips to SPD pedals.
  • Be aware of children playing on indoor training bikes (the flywheel maintains the momentum so the pedals can cause injury if the bike isn't stopped correctly).
  • Unlike some interactive bikes the online programmes you may be following do not control your resistance and incline and do not record your performance.
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REASONS TO BUY AN INTERACTIVE EXERCISE BIKE:

Intensity level: 5/5

Also known as: Zwift Bikes, Smart Bikes, Smart Exercise bikes, Interactive bikes

Well known brands: Peloton bikes

Interactive or smart exercise bikes are similar to Indoor cycling bikes but have additional connectivity to a range of apps or programs. These programs range from interactive cycling classes to group cycling apps. Smart bikes feed data about your workout back to the app, which then displays it on the screen. The best smart bikes then automatically adjust the resistance of the bike according to the workout you have selected on the app. Others also adjust the incline of the bike to respond to the terrain within the apps.

Standard indoor cycling bikes have a large flywheel (20kg + ) and friction resistance. The Smart bikes have a much smaller flywheel (around 5kg) and the resistance is controlled by the computer programmes and is electro-magnetic. As the magnet gets closer to the flywheel the resistance increases.

Some smart bikes also include an integrated screen, whilst others simply provide the stand and provide ways to connect to your interactive TV, tablet or phone.

Advantages:

  • Better workout programmes for motivation.
  • Better ways to track your performance over time.

Disadvantages:

  • They are generally much more expensive than other types of exercise bike.
  • Interactive bikes share many features with indoor training bikes, so they also share the same advantages and disadvantages.

If you're interested in using apps with your regular exercise bike, or you'd like to know which exercise bike you can use apps with, check out our blog post on exercise bike apps.

Reasons to buy an air bike:

Intensity level: 5/5

Advantages:

  • You work out regularly and are ready to take your cardio fitness and muscle tone to the next level.
  • You're an athlete looking to enhance your performance.
  • You want a bike that offers a full body workout, that tones your arms, legs and core.
  • You live for the burn! You love intense workouts that push your body to new limits.
  • You love HIIT training and are looking for the perfect bike for interval training.
  • You enjoy CrossFit® training and are looking for an alternative to the Assault Bike® brand.

Disadvantages:

  • Air bikes are the loudest type of exercise bike. The noise comes from the fan and the harder your exercise, the louder the fan is. The noise isn't likely to annoy the neighbours but it will mean you'll have to turn up the TV or your music to hear it properly. As it's a consistent low-frequency noise it's easier to ignore than the sound of a treadmill.
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EXERCISE BIKE BENEFITS

Muscle Strength and Tone

Cycling will strengthen and tone your leg muscles. The primary muscles worked on a gym bike are the quadriceps (front of the thighs), glutes (bottom), hamstrings (back of the thighs), calves (back of the leg below the knee) and hip flexors (bottom of the stomach). You can also add low-weight dumbbells to a cycling workout to ensure you tone your upper body too.

Weight Loss

Buying an exercise bike for weight loss can be extremely effective. The number of calories burned will depend on your age, gender and workout intensity. However, the most important factor for weight loss with an exercise bike is consistency. We recommend you think about a cushioned saddle, your cycling comfort, and the position of the bike. Can you listen to music, watch tv or follow our online workouts to keep you motivated?

Cardiovascular Fitness

Cycling is an effective and simple form of cardiovascular exercise. Cardio training on a static bike can help you prepare for marathons or just help you deal better with daily demands. A healthy cardiovascular system increases the supply of oxygen to your blood and the supply of energy to your body. It helps reduce your risk of stroke and disease and can lower blood pressure.

Improve Your Sport

The controlled environment that a home exercise bike offers can help you to stick to a training programme without the British weather getting in the way.

Low Impact Exercise

The low-impact nature of exercise bikes makes them a good option if you want to lessen any risk of injury or strain. Their smooth motion and low-impact action combine to make a workout that is easy on your muscles and joints.

Space Saving & Convenient

A compact home exercise bike like the JTX Cyclo-Go (link) or the JTX Cyclo-3 doesn't take up much space. They also let you make maximum use of your time; little and often can be a very effective approach to improving your fitness.

FIND THE BEST EXERCISE BIKE FOR YOUR GOALS

Choosing the best exercise bike for your personal goals is crucial. Exercise bike workouts can improve cardiovascular fitness, tone muscles and burn fat. So how to choose the best exercise bike for you? Start by thinking about your fitness goal.

We have a team on the phones during business hours ready to provide customer service or personal training advice. If this page doesn’t help you find your perfect exercise bike please do get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

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Choose an exercise bike to match your fitness goals:

Best Exercise Bike for Weight Loss

Finding a bike you enjoy riding regularly will make a big difference to your weight management. For larger customers, we recommend upright bikes for weight loss. Most upright bikes come with workout programmes specifically designed to help you burn fat and lose weight. The programmes will help you to stay motivated and will display your progress throughout your workout. If your budget can stretch to an upright exercise bike with responsive heart rate programs and a heart rate chest strap it’ll enhance your training experience and help you to burn fat more efficiently. We also recommend you check the seat is wide and cushioned.

Check out our exercise bike workouts to help give your new fitness regime a great head start.

We think that the best exercise bike for weight loss should feature:

  • A good range of exercise programmes that include interval training.
  • Responsive heart rate training programs. This will allow you to exercise more efficiently.
  • A comfortable, padded, seat.
  • A large flywheel to provide a smooth ride.
  • A high maximum user weight. Your weight may be comfortably within the user weight guidelines but the maximum user weight also indicates the build quality of the machine.

Best Exercise Bike For Event Training

Indoor cycling bikes allow you to use a racing-style posture and are great for sprint, interval or endurance training. If you are training for a cycling event these bikes will provide you with the best alternative to cycling outdoors. Don’t let the British weather put you off your training plans.

Best Exercise Bike For Group, HIIT or Gym Training

Indoor cycling bikes are often used in gym cycle classes, with high-intensity interval workouts, led by a coach. These classes use a mixture of resistance and changing seat positions to ensure the workout is challenging and improves fitness quickly. They have a broad range of resistance and heavy flywheels. The seat and handlebars should be fully adjustable to offer all users a comfortable riding position.

A Spinning® or Spin® bikes are a brand name owned by an indoor cycling bike company. But you can stream free Spinning® videos with your phone or tablet and follow along on any exercise bike!

The best indoor training bikes have these features:

  • A large fly wheel size to provide a smooth ride.
  • Emergency stop breaking feature.
  • Clear warranties, returns policies and independent reviews.
  • No creaks or squeaks. These bikes should be made of high grade steel and have a large footprint for stability.
  • Fully adjustable saddle and handle bar positions.
  • A high maximum user weight. Your weight may be comfortably within the user weight guidelines but they also indicate the build quality of the machine.

JTX indoor training bikes are excellent options for group, HIIT or gym training.

Air bikes are another great option for HIIT training. Popular with CrossFit® athletes, air bikes offer an intense, full body workout. They are ideal for short bursts of exercise. Pushing and pulling with your arms, while you cycle hard will push you to new limits. Regular HIIT training on an air bike, such as the JTX Mission Air Bike, will significantly improve your cardio fitness and muscle tone.

Best Exercise Bike For Low Impact Workouts and Injury Recovery

Recumbent bikes provide the best low-impact workout. The seat offers full back support and encourages a better posture than upright or training bikes. This is better for the long term health of the lower back (lumbar spine).

Your knees and ankles also have much less weight exerted onto them with a recumbent cycling position. This means they are less likely to be strained or injured than in other forms of exercise.

Recumbent bikes are also thought to be more comfortable because of the wider seat…no need for padded lycra shorts!

Disadvantages - be aware that good-quality recumbent bikes are often huge. An upright bike is a space-saving alternative that still offers low-impact benefits.

The best recumbent bike should feature:

  • A large padded seat which is fully adjustable.
  • A good range of exercise programmes that include interval training and responsive heart rate programs. This will allow you to exercise more efficiently.
  • Clear warranties, returns policies and independent reviews.
  • No creaks or squeaks. These bikes should be made of high grade steel and have a large footprint for stability.
  • If you are looking for a bike for an elderly or unstable user make sure it has an easy step-through feature and handles for support.
  • Electro magnetic resistance.
  • A high maximum user weight. This indicates the build quality of the machine, even if your personal body weight is comfortably within the guided maximum user weight.
Shop Exercise Bikes

Exercise Bike FAQs

WHAT IS A LIGHT COMMERCIAL EXERCISE BIKE?

Commercial, light or semi-commercial grade fitness equipment needs to achieve certain safety and quality standards. These standards, relating to build quality and safety, are due to the longer daily usage and lack of care most users will take in a commercial environment. The tests include maximum body weights in particular stress positions and pedal endurance testing. We can provide detailed testing certification for all our exercise bikes. Please contact our friendly customer service team to ask for details. A light or semi-commercial exercise bike is suitable for 2-3 hours of daily use in a business environment such as a hotel gym or a physio studio, but not the constant use of a commercial gym. Our customers often buy semi-commercial equipment for their homes when they want to invest in a long-term exercise bike with high build quality or the maximum user weight accommodates their larger build.

WHAT IS A SELF-POWERED EXERCISE BIKE?

No external power sources are needed for these bikes. This means you don’t have to worry about placing the bike near a socket or about getting tangled up in wires. They can go anywhere inside your home. The generator inside the machine produces all the required power. These bikes are generally more expensive than their mains-powered counterparts due to the advanced power system. If you are looking for a self-powered exercise bike, the JTX Self Powered Exercise Bike is an upgrade option of the JTX Cyclo 5: Upright Exercise Bike.

What happens if I choose the wrong machine?

Not a problem. You can take advantage of our 28-day money-back guarantee. You can even unpack and test the exercise bike to see whether you like it. If you don’t, you can send it back within 28 days and choose another machine or receive a refund (minus delivery costs). All we ask is you keep the original box and give us a call to arrange a collection.

I want to buy a Spin® bike, do you sell them?

No, a Spin® Bike is a trademarked brand of training bike. The JTX Cyclo 3, JTX Cyclo 6 and the JTX Cyclo Studio are our training bikes. They have "infinite resistance" and are fully adjustable -perfect for training for an event or doing your gym bike class at home. The JTX Cyclo 6 is designed for high-intensity home use and the JTX Cyclo Studio is our commercial specification bike.

I want to buy an Assault Bike®, do you sell them?

No, Assault Bike® is a brand name. Our JTX Mission Air Bike offers an excellent alternative. Our bike has an equivalent specification, heavy duty frame and dynamic air resistance system. The JTX Mission Air Bike is a smart choice for CrossFit® athletes and HIIT fanatics. Air bikes are also sometimes called cross trainer bikes because you push and pull the handlebars while you cycle.

How long will the delivery take?

We offer next day delivery throughout the UK. Subject to availability, exclusions apply.

Please add your items to the basket, enter your postcode in the checkout and the next available delivery dates will be offered to you.

Is there anywhere I can test a JTX exercise bike?

Yes. We have a gym equipment showroom on the South Coast just outside of Brighton. All our machines can be tried and tested, when the showroom is open.

Do your bikes come with a warranty?

Yes. Every JTX cardio bike comes with at least a 1 year home service warranty. The home repair warranty means that we will send an engineer to your home in the unlikely event of a fault developing. If the problem cannot be fixed we will send you a brand new machine. If your machine develops a fault outside of the warranty we will do our utmost to help you for as little cost as possible.

Does the bike arrive assembled?

No it doesn’t, but the assembly is straightforward. You might benefit from two pairs of hands. If you get stuck at any point you can call us and we’ll walk you through it. Alternatively, if you would like help assembling your exercise bike, we do offer an assembly service.

Should I Hire or Buy an Exercise Bike?

If you have been toying with the idea of hiring an exercise bike instead of buying one, check out our Exercise Bike Hire Guide to find out why we think you should always buy.

Hire vs Buy

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