Spin Bike vs. Stationary Bike: Which Is Better?

HINT: Answer starts with letter “S”

An active lifestyle will definitely make you look good on Instagram. However, in real life, real work is required to keep you on your fitness track. Among the exercises I tried, I consider cycling as one of my favorites because it does not only speed up weight loss but also improves my overall health.

If you are a fitness rookie, buying your own cycling equipment may get a little bit overwhelming. These bikes look so similar and understanding its differences will help you choose which type suits you best.

The most common exercise bikes are spin bikes and stationary bikes.

So which one is better?

Spin Bike: Best for Intensive Workouts

Working out on a spin bike gets you to lean forward on a crouching position and start pedaling as if you are on an actual road bike.It has a weighted flywheel connected to a transmission system and its pedals, provides resistance adjustable via a knob, and a direct braking mechanism that allows you to match your own pace.

Spin-Bikes

Spin bike provides a more intensive exercise

What I love about this is the idea of riding it as adventurous as you want. After minutes of cycling on a sitting position, and boredom started to make you think of getting a pizza instead, you can immediately turn up your pace and ride it to a standing position. This provides a more intensive exercise which not only increases stamina but can also engage more of your muscle groups other than your lower body muscles.

The only disadvantage on spin bikes is it is not ideal for prolonged workouts. It is not advisable to finish a two-hour movie while on it because if you do, you are setting yourself up for strains and injuries. However, if you are someone who values intensity over duration, then stop reading this already and buy one.

PROS

  • Resembles an actual road bike for cycling enthusiasts
  • Can be used in different positions for different routines
  • Good for intensive workouts

CONS

  • Not advisable for prolonged workout sessions
  • Improper posture may cause lower back strains
  • Seats may feel uncomfortable at first

Stationary Bike: Best for Fully Customized Workouts

Working out on a stationary bike gets me to choose from a range of preset workouts which matches my body type and stamina. Its latest models boast of a central console that helps you set parameters to match your different workout needs. Some high-end stationary bikes even feature dual-action arms, which help you involve your upper body muscles while working out your lower body muscle groups.

Stationary-Bikes

Stationary bikes are ideal for longer workout sessions

Budget-wise, the price range of a stationary bike is more flexible than that of a spin bike, depending on its features. These bikes use electromagnets to create resistance and slow down the flywheel’s rotation. Some of its latest models can even monitor heart rates so you can take a closer look on your cardio fitness.

Stationary bikes provide the comfort you need that you cannot get on a spin bike. Its seats are wider and well padded, which will keep you comfortable even after longer workout sessions. However, this quality can also turn into a disadvantage because too much comfort while working out may slow down muscle development, and in my case, may lead to boredom. This boredom can easily cut your workout session short or encourage you to get a pizza instead.

PROS

  • Flexible price range
  • Customizable workout routine presets
  • Comfortable workouts with fewer strains

CONS

  • Limited impact on muscle groups
  • May lead to being monotonous
  • Burns fewer calories

Factors to Consider When Buying Spin Bike vs. Stationary Bike

Who will use it?

These bikes can only work as good as its users. Spin bikes are ideal for sporty and active users, while stationary bikes can also cater the young and elderly, who were not fit for intensive workouts.

Considering who will use the equipment helps you match the user’s capacity with the machine’s features.

Type of workout needed

What type of workout are you looking forward to doing often? Spin bikes work best on intense workouts with shorter durations, while stationary bikes work on low to moderate exercises over longer durations.

Considering the type of workout you need helps you match your requirements with the machine’s functions.

Muscle groups you want to develop

Both exercise bikes are known to develop stamina and lower body strength. Where do you want to go from there? Standing on a spin bike may help you touch upper body muscle groups, while high-end stationary bikes offer the luxury of engaging upper body muscles with its dual-action arms.

Consider what muscle groups you want to develop helps you utilize your chosen equipment fully.

Conclusion

I would have purchased both bikes if I can. Nevertheless, if I were to choose one, I will go for a spin bike rather than stationary. My reason can be summed up in two words: limited time. Everyone is busy nowadays and instead of thinking of excuses not to exercise, squeezing your routines on limited time is the more popular trend. Moreover, I believe spin bikes hold a promise of more gains, under shorter workout sessions.

Now, it is your turn to decide what works best for you. Whether it is a high-intensity workout or a fully customized one, truth be told, nothing will work unless you do.