by W.D. Vanlue
A good recumbent exercise bike can be had for less money than it might appear at first. For one thing, it is not necessary to choose a club bike or a commercial exercise machine to get a great workout or to get a bike that will last for a long time and perform well for the long haul. In fact, many of the most highly rated recumbent bikes are very much in the middle of the price range for exercise bikes. Here are some tips for getting a bike that will help you reach your goals.
Moderate cost bikes make for the better values. One of the first decisions in stationary bike shopping is the price range to look in and consider. There are some awesome machines in the higher end of the prices that are available. You can’t go wrong with some of the top bikes if the cost is not an object. But on the other hand, really cheap bikes are usually a poor choice. Why? Cheap bikes are often too light and quality of construction is poor. A poorly constructed bike will start to move around as you ride it and over time will loosen up. The bike will then tear itself apart as you ride it. Schwinn is a brand that offers many moderately priced bikes that offer quality construction. High priced bikes usually offer more features, especially more electronics power, and often boast of heavier construction as well. That may not be a real plus to the home user though. However the quality certainly is not a waste as is the lack of quality with very inexpensive machines.
The reason many of the most expensive stationary bikes cost so much is the larger number of features. Added computer power seems to really be part of the distinguishing difference between models of bike especially when you compare costs. Granted there are other differences between the better home model recumbent bikes and the best gym stationary bikes, but computer power is a prominent difference in medium priced bikes and the high priced options. Many of the medium range bikes in price offer much computing capability and that often may be all the features you could want. Models in the Schwinn recumbent line including the Schwinn 230 and 240 as well as the lighter but still feature rich Active 20 Series bikes remain popular.
One large advantage of most modern recumbent bikes is the magnetic drive system. What’s the big deal? Well it’s just magnetic resistance that gets generated by the pedaling that is responsible for the load that you are pedaling against. The resistance on many older bikes was a friction drum or belt. That was subject to constant wear and was a source of on-going maintenance. Then the dual action bikes like the Schwinn Air dyne produce higher resistance simply because the rider is turning a big fan. In either case, you get noise and commotion. On the contrary with most recumbents you simply get quiet and silence at the same time as you get a load to work against. That quiet ride means a more comfortable ride as well as an environment conducive to reading, watching movies or just thinking in quiet!
Another plus to most recumbent exercise bike is the large amount of data that can be accessed from the display not only about the bike but about the rider too. Most all bikes now feature not only the basics like speed and elapsed time as well as distance covered. You also likely get the amount of calories burned and other related information. That makes not only for all the information you need to evaluate your workouts but also the numbers to predict to some degree your results. Plus really part of the information just makes for an overall more interesting workout program. That’s just one more way to fight boredom and keep riding.
A recumbent exercise bike must be used for any good to result from purchasing the machine. With less capable bikes the bike may end up causing mostly frustration and not much progress toward fitness or weight loss. That’s because the lesser bikes often will not stand up to hard use and in addition often the poor quality bikes lack the durable construction and quality to really handle hard and regular use. That means getting a bike with the right quality and some heft as well as the features that will encourage regular use are the better deal in the long run.