Using Recumbent and Spin Bikes: What To Know Before You Start Cycling

Indoor cycling has recently experienced a significant boost in popularity thanks to how easy it is to do even for people without much fitness experience as well as for how effective it is for burning calories and staying in shape; in fact, it’s estimated that a person can burn anywhere from six hundred to a thousand calories in just a single session!

That being said, there are some notable differences between recumbent bikes and spin bikes that you should be aware of before you embark on an indoor cycling spree.

Spin bikes, for example, tend to have heavier wheels than recumbent bikes, which by extension means that you will be expending more effort during your workouts.

Consequently, this also means that you will be burning more calories when using a spin bike instead of a recumbent bike. And while this may be appealing, do be aware that spin bikes can prove to be more challenging for beginners because of the additional effort that is required.

Spinning bikes are also popular for the way you can utilize them either sitting down on the saddle or standing up, giving you more variety when it comes to what position you exercise in (which can also impact which specific muscle groups you end up targeting during your workout).

That being said, recumbent bikes are a preferred choice among people who are cycling beginners, as well as for the elderly and obese, due to the higher comfort level afford by the ergonomic design of the recumbent bike (which allows you to sit back while cycling, removing the strain that would otherwise be put on your knees and other joints).

In general, recumbent bikes are better if you want to reduce the strain on your lower spine and joints during your workout (and just be more comfortable while you exercise), whereas spin bikes are the optimal choice if you’d rather burn a larger amount of calories more quickly.

It’s also important for us to mention that using your machine properly, whether it’s a recumbent bike or a spin bike, is absolutely critical to getting the most effective workout possible. With that in mind, we’ve outlined two useful tips that can help you make the most of your indoor cycling routine.

  • Stretch before you start cycling. Many people don’t realize the importance of limbering up before beginning a workout, but we cannot overstate this advice enough: stretch before you start. Stretching allows your muscles to warm up, and subsequently decreases your chance for injury while exercising.
  • Adjust your bike as needed. You may need to raise or lower the seat of your recumbent or spin bike depending upon your own height; make sure to take the time to adjust your bike so that you can use to comfortably and with proper cycling posture, otherwise you could end up pulling a muscle or otherwise hurting yourself when cycling.
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