Recommendations for an Indoor Cycle around the £3-400 mark
January 2, 2013 3:57 AM   Subscribe

Im looking for a good cardio workout I can do at home and have decided on investing in a indoor cycle. Ideally it would have some sort of digital programme I could follow and it would be superb if it monitored my heart rate so as to adjust the programme based on workout objectives (e.g. weight loss) If anyone could recomend a product or brand that would be superb
posted by toocan to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You might get a few comments down the line asking you about why you're starting a cardio program, what your goals are, why not get a concept II ergometer, why not buy a kettlebell, run outside, start lifting weights etc. I understand that your question is strictly about stationary bikes, so I'll respect that.

I'm going to assume you aren't a serious racing cyclist, and you're mainly concerned with a basic fitness program and not riding technique etc. Some spinning models would be better for that.

If my above assumptions are correct, I'd recommend some variation of a Schwinn Airdyne stationary bicycle. It might look like something you'd associate with your grandmother, but it's a fantastic workout. Airdynes are used on CrossFit Gyms, MMA training centers and by boxers.

They'll grow with you and will be much better at Tabata/HIIT workouts than a regular bike. Maybe no great to use when reading or using an iPad, but I have serious misgivings about working out while using an iPad anyways. Basic models start around $300 new, so well within your GBP price range.

I'd take the time to evaluate why you want to buy the bike and what the most effective way to lose weight would be. 400 GBP is a good chunk of money, I'd spend some time thinking about what my goals were and whether an exercise bike will help you achieve them.
posted by Telf at 5:57 AM on January 2, 2013

at the minute im about a stone overweight so im looking to initially lose this weight but more importantly become healthy long term.

I dislike the gym. I had a membership for 3 months and the reason im suggesting an indoor cycle is it was the least pleasant piece of cardio equipment I used.

Your assumptions are spot on I aint a racing cyclist. Im looking for a piece of cardio equipment that will also spell out the programme to me
posted by toocan at 7:19 AM on January 2, 2013

I'd also suggest you look at a Concept2 Rower. It's much more of a whole body workout and there's a ton of weight loss programmes out there. The computer on it is excellent and it's very low impact. I use mine with a Wahoo HRM that plugs into my iPhone.

I am a fairly heavy duty mountainbiker, but I couldn't stand the stationary bike I had. The Concept2 is far, far more enjoyable and effective. I've lost about 20lbs since I bought mine in the early fall.
posted by unSane at 7:29 AM on January 2, 2013

(I mix up the Concept2 with the odd run and some XC skiing. See this question I asked about it a few weeks ago. Since then I've done 200,000+ meters on it).
posted by unSane at 7:30 AM on January 2, 2013

I find rowing machines give me pain/stiffness in my lower back and overall i find them VERY uncomfortable to use.. More than likely its because im not flexable but that aside I find the motion really unpleasant
posted by toocan at 7:33 AM on January 2, 2013

Lower back probably means that you've been using too much tension, which is very common in gyms because people think if it's harder it must be a better workout, but is a bad idea for most people. It might be worth giving it one more try using a very low setting -- 2 or 3 -- which is much friendlier in every way.
posted by unSane at 7:39 AM on January 2, 2013

Could be but i have appalling posture. Looking at the concept2 is over £1000 over here... so thats out the question unfortunately
posted by toocan at 8:10 AM on January 2, 2013

2nding AirDyne - very good quality, and no issues with heat expansion, worn belts, etc.

You'd be much better served getting a separate HR monitor (Polar models are highly regarded) rather than relying on an inbuilt system. Inbuilt models are often cheap and inaccurate, and can't be used for assessing performance in other exercises.

If you have postural issues, a barbell and rack would be the higher priority purchase for long-term health and fitness. If you find back is crapping out when rowing, beginning a program of protracted, highly repetitive bouts of hip flexion whilst sitting in lumbar rounding, aka cycling, is not going to help anything.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 11:32 AM on January 2, 2013

For postural stuff, maybe a TRX or knock off brand? Get those rows/pulls in. The real question is whether or not you want to zone out during a work out. This might be an opportunity to learn some new skills. Kettlebells, Barbells, TRX etc could all be ways to get stronger, more mobile etc. A stationary bike will burn a few calories, but probably won't improve any movement issues or existing muscle imbalances.
posted by Telf at 6:54 AM on January 3, 2013

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