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How To Buy An Exercise Bike

Exercise bikes work your legs, heart and lungs without putting impact or stress on your joints. They have always been very popular pieces of cardiovascular equipment because the exercise motion is very familiar to most people; you simply pedal as you would on a regular bike. You can set your own pace, and even read while exercising.

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Types of Exercise Bikes

Upright Bikes

  • Similar in form to traditional bikes and still the largest seller
  • Good lower body and cardiovascular workout
  • Fit easily in limited spaces

Recumbent Bikes, semi-recumbent bikes

  • These have chair-like, or bucket seat
  • More comfortable than an upright bike and provide better back support
  • Promote more efficient blood flow throughout the body
  • Prevent you from cheating on peddling because you can't stand up

Dual Action Bikes

  • These are Upright models with movable bars on arm handles
  • By utilizing both arms and legs the overall aerobic intensity is increased
  • Upper body toning is enhanced

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Resistance

  • Direct Tension - offers manual adjustment of resistance
  • Fly wheels - similar to a regular bicycle peddling motion
  • Air - resistance is achieved by peddling against the flow of air from a fan blade
  • Magnetic Frictionless Resistance - the most sophisticated type of resistance, allows for more variation in level of workout

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Feedback Mechanisms

  • Most exercise bikes provide information on speed, distance traveled, and time of the workout
  • The more advanced bikes today can include any or all of the following readouts:
    • Speed, Time and Distance
    • Total Calories and Fat Burned
    • Program Mode and Resistance Level
    • Pulse, Heart Rate, and Work Level
    • RPM, Watts, METS, Minutes Per Mile, MPH/KPH
  • More sophisticated models also offer pre-programmed workouts and information storage

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Size

  • It is important to match your size to the bike
  • Most exercise bikes are extremely adjustable to fit almost all body types

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