Sport-Tiedje puts each fitness equipment through its paces. Then our team of sports scientists, serious athletes, and service technicians of many years of experience evaluate the products of different categories.
Compare easily the products using the Sport-Tiedje expert review and find your appropriate equipment.
Ergometers are such popular items of fitness equipment and with good reason: working out is particularly easy, it is comfortable and it is gentle on the joints, and the machines are very space-saving. In principle, ergometer training works like riding a bicycle. First, the saddle is adjusted correctly, then the user gets on and pedals - depending on the design of the ergometer, various programmes can be set and the sitting position can be changed. Ergometers are aimed at a wide target group of home athletes: they are just as suitable for losing weight as they are for improving fitness or top speed. Thanks to the joint-gentle rotation and the finely adjustable resistance, they are also perfect for getting back into training after injuries or phases of longer abstinence from sport.
Purchase advice for exercise bikes: the most important facts about the popular fitness equipment
- Train at home with the exercise bike
Exercise bikes or bike trainers have been the most popular and most frequent fitness machines for a long time. It's due to their very simple principle: they work like bikes and that's what everyone knows. Despite the simple principle, there are many little differences between the different models. That's why it is all the more important to find and buy the correct or - more precisely - the appropriate training machine. It's very often that ppor exercise bikes of the discounter or the store end as dust catcher or coat stand. Offering our purchase advice for exercise bike, we would like to call your attention to the important differences and help you in deciding what to purchase.
Why should I buy an exercise bike?
At first, we would like to explain you the advantages of an exercise bike in short, so you can be sure that the exercise bike is the ideal fitness machine for you and not just another category of equipment, as for instance treadmill
Exercise bikes offer some advantages for all users, being absolutely independent from age, fitness level or training goal. One of the biggest advantages of a bike trainer is the accessibility: There's no need of exercise to work out with an exercise bike. Those, who can sit down and pedal, can do an effective cardiovascular training, lose weight or train for the next triathlon.
Cardio training with an exercise bike is possible at any time. Just doing a few sessions a week will result in good successes for health or in losing weight - and for the general fitness. The training in the sitting position is very comfortable and mainly more joint-gentle than running. Hence, many healthy training programmes are developed according to the bike trainer.
Exercise bike with Watt control
The major difference between exercise bikes is the ability to control the resistance. The resistance can be manually controlled in levels or by the Watt value entered into the training computer.
Exercise bikes with Watt control have the advantage that a much preciser resistance can be set: you can decide to the Watt value and train to the intensity you want to. This lets you exactly measure your performance. Additionally Watt controlled training doesn't overload you. That's why Watt controlled exerise bikes, for example, are used often with rehabilitation measures.
Exercise bikes without Watt control loose the possibility for exact control over your training. Setting the resistance is available in levels over the keys or knob. They normally also have less setting possibilities and training programs as exercise bikes with Watt control.
Purchase advice for an exercise bike: Recumbent bike or exercise bike
At first, it is important to differentiate between two designs of exercise bikes: Recumbent bike and the upright exercise bike. The upright exercise bike is actually like a stationary bike. Saddle, pedals, handles - everything you expect from a real bike is included in an exercise bike.
- Recumbent Bikes are
back-gentle exercise bikes
Recumbent bikes differ from the common bike design. The pedals are not below the seat, but they are mounted in the front of the machine. The saddle is situated below the pedals and are a bit lower. Hence, the training position on the recumbent bike is almost lying, just the upper body is upright. Recumbent bikes offer an even more comfortable training and the back is additionally supported and relieved. Even though the position on the recumbent bike looks more comfortable, the training is as effective and intensive as with a common upright exercise bike. Find the recumbent bikes at our online shop under its own category.
Your new exercise bike should be equipped with a height-adjustable seat. The more precise the adjustment, the better! Pleasy pay attention that the height adjustment has a scale so that every user can quickly find its best sitting height. The height adjustment should be as simple as possible, i. e., with a control knob or a lever. For a better seat adjustment, the seat should also be adjustable in horizontal direction - that means in the space between saddle and handlebar.
The seat should be big enough so that everyone, who uses the machine, can comfortable sit down on it. The upholstery should be soft and thick so that long training sessions remain comfortable. The most comfort is offered by gel saddles. The saddle of many exercise bikes can also be exchanged. For instance, you can use your bike saddle on the exercise bike or exchange the saddle against another model. That's an interesting feature, when different persons train with the machine or when you want to cycle with a more sporty racing saddle.
- Exercise bike with deep step-through
Frame and body with step-through
More and more exercise bikes models offer a deep step-through. Between the upright post and seat, the frame is not closed - so you can easily step through. For persons with limited mobility, a deep step-trhough is essential. It is also recommendable for all other users, because getting on and off is much easier.
Training control via pulse
Exercise bikes are great for losing weight. In order to make a weight reduction as successful as possible, the exercise bike should be equipped with the possibility of heart rate monitoring. A heart rate monitoring offers the advantage that you you can set a certain pulse zone. You achieve more effectively some training goals in certain pulse zones. The machine adjusts automatically the resistance so that you always remain in the set pulse zone. For instance, you train at 55 to 65 % of the maximum heart rate in the optimal fat burning zone. The following illustration makes clear which training goals can be best achieved in which pulse zone:
||50 - 60%
||60 - 70%
||Fat buring zone
||Activation of the fat metabolism, improvement of the basic cardio
||70 - 80%
||Aerobic training / Fitness zone
||Improvement of the aerobic fitness, increase in cardio performance
||80 - 90%
||Anaerobic training / Anaerobic Zone
||Improvement of lactage tolerance, training for maximum increase in performance
||90 - 100%
||Max training / competition zone
||Improvement of maximum performance and speed
- An example of the Sport-Tiedje exercise bike test rating
It is important that all mobile parts of the exercise bike, especially the drive belt, are completely covered. Hence it is ensured that nothing gets caught or clamped while exercising. In addition, a cover ensures that the sensitive inside of the exercise bike is protected from dust, dirt, and sweat. Moreover, the stability provides a higher safety - we tested it for you. Please find the rating in the Sport-Tiedje test rating. Our Sport-Tiedje test rating offers you an evaluation with respect to equipment, ergonomics, and concentric run as well.
Training programs offer diversion and support you in achieving your training goals more effectively. Many programs are not really required. – it is usually a question of personal taste. We recommend at least one programme for controlling the performance via the heart rate, an interval programme as well as a small selection of pre-set profile programmes. Hence, new stimulations can be set in the training again and again and progress is quicker achieved.
- Exercise bike console with hot keys
for pre-set profile programs
The training computer should be easy to use. When the whole family works out with the machine, the computer should be equipped with a user memory. Hence, grandma, father or daughter can immediately use their personal settings.
An ergonomic design prevents signs of fatigue and avoids physiologically false postures. Details like the adjustability of saddle and handlebar, a deep step-through, the pedal space, and the general design of the machine ensure good ergonomics. Please find an overall evaluation of the ergonomics of all our exercise bikes in the Sport-Tiedje test rating. Furthermore, you can test exercise bikes at all our stores in order to find out which design of an exercise bike is best for you.
- Exercise bike with a multi-grip handlebar
The more grip possibility an exercise bike offers, the better it is. First, different persons can chose the preferred grip position and secondly, you sit more comfortably, when you can support yourself as you like it. In addition, you can change the hand position during the training. Please make sure that the handles are non-slip. When the handlebar is also adjustable in height or incline, it offers an additional comfort.
The training experience with an exercise bike
The concentric run or the training experience is closely linked to the ergonomics - a comfortable training position. Many small factors ensure a good concentric run, of it the workmanship and the material quality. We cycled with all exercise bikes and evaluated all exercise bikes according to the criterion "concentric run" in our Sport-Tiedje test rating.
We are often asked for balance mass. However, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that the weight of the balance mass of an exercise bike is not a decisive feature. The workmanship of the whole resistance system and its quality are much more important. A big balance mass might be a sign for a good exercise bike, but not necessarily.
Do you have other questions about exercise bikes - we are happy to give advice!
We hope that we help and support you with our purchase advice for exercise bikes to choose your fitness equipment. If you still have questions, please give us a call on our free service number, write us an email or use our Live-Support chat. When you want to test an exercise bike, we invite you to visit one of our several stores.
Good reasons to buy an exercise bike
Finally, we would like to summarise the most important advantages of an exercise bike for you:
- When you get an exercise bike, you train independently of the weather and time.
- The relatively small equipment is space-efficient and easy to use.
- The training is easy and motivating.
- Exercise bikes with Watt control offer a precise resistance level.
- Exercise bikes are easily "accessible": everyone, who can pedal, can benefit from the training!