What Exercise Bike Should I Buy?-Gym Direct

What Exercise Bike Should I Buy?

Australian's love being outdoors - and bike riding is one of our favourite activities. But weather, traffic, scheduling, road safety, and other issues can be a challenging roadblock. Plus, there's been a shortage of bicycles in Australia due to COVID-19 demand. As a result, more Aussies are turning to exercise bikes.


This fitness equipment is an excellent way to stay in shape. No need to skip your workout when conditions make outdoor biking a problem. Just hop on your indoor exercise bike instead! But you may be wondering, "which type of exercise bike is best?" With so many styles, designs, and brands to choose from, the choices can be overwhelming.


So, let us help you make an informed decision with this quick and informative overview on the different types of exercise bikes!

Upright Bikes

Upright bikes are designed to mimic standard bicycles. They have low pedals and high handlebars. Ride them sitting upright or leaning over. These bikes are compact. So, they fit well in most bedrooms, living rooms, or home offices.


You can enjoy a whole-body workout on an upright bike with medium-intensity training. Most include electronic modules in the handlebar area that display workout data. Some common features include speed/RPM, resistance level, distance, time, and calorie burn.


Many models offer workout programmes that vary the resistance levels for enhanced cardiovascular training. Other features may include built-in speakers, USB ports, and mobile device shelves.


  • Small footprint when you have limited space
  • Let's you work out while watching TV or other visual entertainment mediums
  • Affordable


  • Can be an awkward riding position for some people
  • May not be stable enough for heavier individuals
  • Seat can be hard on the tailbone.

Advantages Over Spin Bikes

  • Only demand a slight hunch forward, supporting better posture
  • Offer more resistance level settings
  • Better comfort level
  • Consoles have more tech options for workout tracking
  • Quieter operation
  • More workout variety
  • Electromagnetic and magnetic resistance systems last longer


Advantages Over Air Bikes

  • Better storage convenience
  • Lighter and easier to move
  • More affordable
  • Offers a range of fitness programmes
  • Better lower body area targeting
  • Easier to use


Advantages Over Recumbent Bikes

  • Fuller range of motion
  • Burns more calories
  • Engages more muscles
  • Simulates traditional bike riding
  • Suitable training substitute when you can't ride outdoors
  • Slightly higher injury risk
  • More adaptable
  • Easier to move


Spin Bikes

Spin bikes, also called cycling bikes, most closely resemble outdoor bicycles. These are the exercise bikes that gyms and workout studios use for high intensity spin classes. They offer a full-body workout with focus on the shoulders, abs, hips, calves, and thighs. Basic display screens are standard on most spin bikes.


The spin bike design includes a large flywheel at the front of the bike under the handlebars. The pedals are bolted to the flywheel. The seat is narrow with little padding. Riders hunch over the handlebars while riding.


The drive system is either chain-based or belt-based. Choose from leather brake-pads, fabric brake-pads, or magnetic braking. Spin bikes for home use are typically outfitted with fabric pads.

You can alternate between sitting and standing while riding a spin bike. The pedal-and-flywheel design requires extra exertion to turn, providing an intense workout. However, you must slow down gradually to bring the heavy flywheel/pedals to a complete stop.


  • Burns a lot of calories in a short time
  • Helps build endurance and lower body strength
  • Good muscle focus


  • Easy to overdo your workout
  • Overuse can cause muscle damage
  • May cause back strain with poor posture

Advantages Over Upright Bikes

  • Higher intensity workout
  • Supports sitting or standing
  • Provides more realistic road bike simulation
  • More seat height adjustment options
  • Variety of handlebar inclination adjustments


Advantages Over Air Bikes

  • Better resistance variety
  • More tech features
  • Lower risk of back strain
  • Supports both High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Low Intensity Interval Training (LIIT)


Advantages Over Recumbent Bikes

  • Higher intensity workout
  • Burns more calories in a shorter time
  • Strengthens your core
  • Works your upper body
  • Needs less space


Air Bikes

Air bikes, also known as fan bikes and assault bikes, require users to both pedal and move their arms during use. It has an upright design with tall handlebar that you pull and push while riding. The bike uses a fan blade to create wind resistance while you pedal. The arm levers are attached to the fan. The harder you pedal and manipulate the arms, the more resistance you face from the air you generate.


This bike is better suited to HIIT than endurance workouts because resistance is continuous, increasing exponentially during use. Yet, it's also suitable for beginners since the resistance matches the user's power output. So, if you're moving slowly, there's less resistance. As you get stronger, your output increases, which boosts the resistance.


This equipment also supports injury recovery. Many models have footrests. They allow you to rest sore or injured muscles while continuing to exercise other body parts


  • Suitable for users up to 160kg
  • Can be used for warming up and cooling down with other exercise sessions
  • Includes upper body training


  • Not foldable for convenient storage
  • Takes time to learn how to use
  • More expensive option compared to other bikes on the market

Advantages Over Upright Bikes

  • Wider seat
  • Shorter, more efficient workout sessions
  • Targeted upper body workout
  • Better posture decreases pressure on the back


Advantages Over Spin Bikes

  • Superior seat comfort
  • Infinite progressive resistance levels
  • More durable
  • Upper body strength training
  • Self-pacing allows for low or high impact cardio


Advantages Over Recumbent Bikes

  • Suitable for both beginners and advanced users
  • More intense cardio sessions
  • Delivers a full body workout


Recumbent Bikes

Recumbent bikes allow riders to use the equipment in a comfortable, semi-reclining position. The user's body weight is distributed over a large seat with a back. Riders stretch their legs out in front of them to pedal. They require more floor space than their counterparts. The design positions these exercise bikes closer to the floor than upright bikes, spin bikes, and air bikes.


Users are more likely to engage in low impact cardio on a recumbent bike for longer sessions than they would on other exercise bikes. This helps builds endurance and stamina.


The low center of gravity makes recumbent bikes suitable for individuals with balance and stability issues, like senior citizens. Athletes also use recumbent bikes to maintain their exercise schedule while recovering from muscle injuries.


  • Comfortable
  • Easy to get on and off
  • Low impact makes them suitable for the elderly and heavier people


  • Requires extra effort and time to get a good workout
  • Takes up fair amount of floor space
  • More expensive than an upright bike

Advantages Over Upright Bikes

  • Better hamstring workout
  • Roomier seat
  • Back support
  • Stability allows you to read during use
  • Avoids tailbone issues


Advantages Over Spin Bikes

  • Lower risk of injury
  • More comfortable
  • Less back strain
  • Better for beginners
  • Ability to watch or read visual media = reduces boredom


Advantages Over Air Bikes

  • Better suited to individuals with shoulder pain or pain in the lower limbs
  • Superior comfort level and ease of use encourages longer, more frequent sessions
  • Easier to use for low impact exercise
  • Avoids arm, wrist and neck strain


Exercise Bikes vs. Ellipticals

Still not sure whether an exercise bike is right for you? Maybe you're on the fence about an elliptical. While exercise bikes are a versatile and popular choice, ellipticals can be brilliant as well. They combine many of the features and benefits of both a bike and a treadmill


How Ellipticals Compare To Exercise Bikes

Like most exercise bikes, ellipticals also provide a good lower body workout. Additionally, both pieces of equipment are joint-friendly, sparing your body from the jarring impact of running or some other high-impact exercises. So, which one is better? The answer depends on you and your exercise goals.


Do you want quick, effective cardio sessions or longer, easier workouts? Ellipticals typically burn calories faster than exercise bikes. So, you must ride longer on most exercise bikes to get the same effects you'd get from a shorter session on an elliptical.


However, ellipticals are usually large with no fold-away feature. So, you need a lot of space for this piece of equipment. In contrast, you have a great deal more choice with exercise bikes. Some are quite small, and you can partially fold up many of them when they're not in use.


There's also the matter of preference. If you like cycling, then an exercise bike is likely the better option.
Is it difficult to exercise while carrying your body weight? Opt for a bike over an elliptical then. But if you want to work your core and strengthen your back muscles, an elliptical may be the better choice.


Generally speaking, heavier people, elderly individuals, and those who are just getting into home exercise may prefer an exercise bike over an elliptical. Regardless, consider the reasons you're acquiring exercise equipment, and the different features and benefits of an exercise bike vs. an elliptical to decide which one is best for your needs.

Exercise Bike FAQ's

Do you still have questions? Get answers below!


What's the best type of exercise bike?

That depends on what you want from your bike. If you want quick cardio sessions with a focus on lower body strength, consider a spin bike. If you're looking for a full body workout and equipment that adjusts to your level of fitness, try an air bike. Do you prefer the versatility of sitting or standing, while using an exercise bike? Is space a concern? An upright bike may be the solution. But for individuals with the space for a comfortable, low-impact, low-intensity workout, a recumbent bike may work best.


Are exercise bikes good for weight loss?

Yes. Exercise bikes can be very helpful on your weight loss journey. Healthy eating and burning calories are key for losing weight and keeping it off. Cardio exercise is excellent for calorie burn and exercise bikes deliver in that department. Plus, bad weather won't ruin your fitness plans. Also, exercise bikes let you work out in the comfort of your own home, giving you more incentive to drop that weight.


Where can I buy an exercise bike?

If you live in Australia, browse our line of quality exercise bikes to find the right design, price, and size for your fitness needs.

For a quality exercise bike in Australia, choose Gym Direct.

Gym Direct has a wide range of exercise bikes to meet your specific needs and fitness goals. Whether you're looking for home gym equipment or commercial exercise bikes for your business, we are the source you are searching for. What's more, our prices are affordable and highly competitive.

So, shop our exercise bikes today for a great deal on quality equipment with excellent customer service that you can depend on!

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