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Old 06-23-13, 11:31 AM  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: S Coast of England, not far from Brighton.
What's the difference between a Spin bike and an Exercise bike?

I've been looking into getting an indoor bike, as I need to do more low impact aerobics. I would like a spin bike, as then I can start with Cathe's DVD's. However, I don't really understand the difference between the two. I asked in a sports store the other day and the guy said that Spin bikes don't have resistance but Exercise bikes do. I didn't think that was the case and I'd be grateful if someone could enlighten me!


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Old 06-23-13, 01:29 PM  
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Southern California
Spin bikes do have resistance (maybe the sales person thought you were talking about putting a real bicycle onto a 'trainer' that lets the wheels spin). A spin bike sits upright and is shaped most like a real bicycle...with a bicycle seat instead of a cushy wide seat or chair. A spinning class has different positions that you ride in..I think 1 is sitting, 2 is hovering above the seat, and 3 is standing and a spinning bike would allow you to do all of that while mimicking a real bike. Some of that you may be able to do on an 'upright cycle'..but it won't be as realistic to a real's usually bulkier, really made for sitting and pedaling...the handles are up higher usually so you don't have a good handle for doing the standing up movements in spinning. A recumbent bike has you sitting more behind the pedals in a chair, so it wouldn't work for spinning at all.

Spinning bike:

Upright bike:

Recumbent bike:
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Old 06-23-13, 03:19 PM  
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Alberta
Kathleen already gave you some good information. I don't know why the salesman told you spinning bikes don't have resistance, because they do, albeit in a different way from a regular stationary bikes.

Spin bikes are more like your first bike you had when you were a kid - you can't pedal backwards, and the pedals would continue to turn even if you removed your feet from the pedals, because they're mechanically attached to the bike flywheel.

In a practical sense, spin bikes feel more like real bikes, both ergnomically and in the resistance they provide, and they have more adjustment options (at least the ones I've sat on). You can adjust the resistance much more quickly, which makes them easier for interval workouts. On my regular stationary bike, it takes a few moments to increase or decrease intensity, which makes short intervals like Tabatas nearly impossible - though it's fine for longer intervals. It is quite hard, on a regular bike, to get the resistance right for hovering or standing on the pedals as Kathleen described.

If you don't need to do any of those things, regular stationary bikes are just fine. They're nice for steady state cardio. But if you intend to do spinning workouts and intervals and include workouts where you have to stand and climb....well, I wish I had a spin bike instead!

be as relaxed as you can be, as you do what you gotta do.

~erich schiffman
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Old 06-24-13, 12:26 PM  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: S Coast of England, not far from Brighton.
Thanks - both your posts are extremely helpful.

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