Exercise Bike Buying Guide

Exercise Bike Buying Guide

Exercise bikes provide great cardio workouts, increase muscle tone, strengthen your legs, and can be great for burning calories too. But with so many on the market how do you find the best exercise bike for you?

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Types of exercise bike

Upright Exercise Bike

Also referred to as a static exercise bike, this is the most common type of home fitness equipment. The position when exercising is similar to a regular shopper bicycle. Upright exercise bikes are frequently the cheapest type of bike to buy for the home and are a great entry level option for anyone who doesn’t regularly exercise. An upright bike is also the best option if you are looking for a compact exercise bike. They are an excellent low-impact option that will improve muscle tone and strengthen your legs and also provide a great cardio workout. The JTX upright exercise bike is the JTX Cyclo 5 – perfect for every ability.

Recumbent Exercise Bike

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. People who are recovering from knee or back injuries also seem to benefit from a recumbent rather than upright bike. The focus of the exercise tends to be slightly more on the glutes (bottom) and has slightly more impact on the lower stomach muscles compared to an upright exercise bike. For a solid, stable and feature-packed recumbent bike, check out our Cyclo 5 Recumbent Bike.

Combination Or Hybrid Exercise Bikes

These are a combination of upright and recumbent bikes to suit the whole family. With a combination or 2 in 1 exercise bike you have the ability to work a broader range of leg and lower abdominal muscles and varying your exercise position can be better for your back and posture. They are good for an introduction to exercise, but not advisable if you want to really put your fitness to the test.

Spinning, Racing Or Indoor Training Cycles

If you regularly cycle to work or are training for an event, we highly recommend buying a training bike, very similar to those used in spinning classes. They have a greater range of resistance levels compared to the traditional exercise bike, which simulates the gears and hills when using a road bike outdoors. These home training bikes are great for more vigorous workouts and training. The saddle is generally as high as the handle bars and the flywheel is open. For a gym quality training and spinning bike see the JTX Cyclo 6 and JTX Cyclo Studio Indoor Training Bikes.

Self-Powered Exercise Bikes

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 power needed for the bike to run. 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 Cyclo 5 Recumbent Bike and the JTX Cyclo 5 upright bike have self powered upgrade options.

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We are home gym equipment specialists. We sell high quality treadmills, cross trainers, exercise bikes, vibration plates and rowing machines. Our friendly team of fitness experts are available for advice to help you beat your fitness goals whatever they may be.

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01273 453855


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JTX Fitness, Harbour Way Industrial Estate, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, BN43 5HZ

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Before You Buy an Exercise Bike

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

Best Exercise Bike for Weight Loss

Most upright exercise 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 a heart rate chest strap it’ll enhance your training experience and help you to burn fat more efficiently.

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

Upright exercise bikes are also one of the smallest types of home gym equipment. So if you are short of space these are probably the best place to start.

We think that the best exercise bikes for weight loss should have these features:

  • A good range of exercise programmes that include interval training.
  • Polar or heart rate chest strap. This will allow you to exercise more efficiently.
  • Clear warranties, returns policies and independent reviews.
  • A comfortable, padded, seat.
  • A large flywheel will provide a smooth ride.
  • Electro magnetic resistance.
  • 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.

Best Exercise Bike For Event 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. Indoor training bikes allow you use a racing style posture and are great for sprint, interval or endurance training.

These bikes are also used in gym classes or ‘spin’ classes. A spin bike is the name of an indoor training bike brand. These classes are generally high intensity and use a mixture of resistance and changing seat positions to ensure your workout is challenging and improves your fitness quickly.

These bikes have a broad range of resistance and heavy fly wheels. The seat and handle bars should be fully adjustable to offer all users a comfortable riding position. We think that the best indoor training or ‘Spin’ bikes have these features:

  • These bikes rely on a large fly wheel size (minimum 20kg) 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.

Best Exercise Bike For Low Impact Workouts

Recumbent exercise 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 other forms of exercise.

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

The best recumbent exercise bikes should all have these features:

  • A large padded seat which is fully adjustable.
  • A good range of exercise programmes that include interval training. Polar or heart rate chest strap. 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. Your weight may be comfortably within the user weight guidelines but they also indicate the build quality of the machine.
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Exercise Bike FAQs

Generally upright or recumbent exercise bikes are best for improving your general fitness and losing weight. They support a great posture and have programmes and fitness tests to keep you motivated. Check out the JTX Cyclo 5 range of exercise bikes which includes both upright and recumbent models.

Exercise bikes that closely mimic road racing bikes are the best exercise bikes for training for an outdoor event. They will ensure that your body is used to exercising with a similar posture and using the same muscle groups as road bikes. The JTX Cyclo 6 and the JTX Cyclo Studio bikes have been designed with fully adjustable seats and handle bars for the perfect position and comfort. They feature ‘infinite’ resistance which is great for hill training and a large flywheel for a smooth, balanced ride. Both indoor training bikes are also compatible with the JTX dual pedal system which includes SPD cleats for use with cycling shoes (FREE with the JTX Cyclo Studio).

We have created our own FREE resource library of exercise and workout videos. Our team of experts have put together a whole range of videos that vary from how to pick the best programmes for your fitness goals; to how to properly warm up and cool down after a session. We’re always adding new exercises and routines so make sure to keep an eye out. Visit our Help and Advice area.

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 collection.

A Spin Bike is a trademarked brand of indoor training bike. The JTX Cyclo-6 is our indoor training bike with infinite resistance and is fully adjustable. Perfect for training for an event or doing your gym bike class at home. The JTX Cyclo Studio is our commercial specification version of this bike.

This is measured on most exercise bikes as RPMs (wheel rotations per minute) as well as MPH (miles per hour). Ideally you should alternate the speed you cycle at on a home exercise bike between 60RPM and 90RPM for a well rounded workout. If you are working hard at 60RPM (eg the resistance levels are relatively high) this simulates hill training and you will increase your muscle strength. If you are cycling hard at 90RPM this will provide a workout more focused on weight loss and toning (assuming a lower resistance level).

For an effective workout on an exercise bike you have to be comfortable. Everyone has their own particular position and style of riding that suits them best. Most exercise bikes allow you to adjust the height of the saddle to cater to the various heights of different users.

A recumbent exercise bike lets you sit back in your seat allowing for full back support during your cycle. The seat of the bike is shaped like a chair rather than a saddle. As a rider you are positioned lower to the ground than you would be on an upright bike and your legs are out in front of you. This creates a low impact workout perfect for helping to aid rehabilitation. Our JTX Cyclo 5 Recumbent Bike is a great option if this is the type of bike you are after.

Depending on where you are based in the UK we can usually have your bike to you in 1-3 working days.

Yes. We have a warehouse and showroom on the South Coast just outside of Brighton. All our machines can be tried and tested.

Yes. All of our JTX exercise bikes come 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 you’re machine develops a fault outside of the warranty we will do our upmost to help you for as little cost as possible.

No it doesn’t, but the assembly is extremely straight forward. 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.