Not Your Mom’s Exercise Bike

By admin
March 07, 2012

The old-style, stationary exercise bike has been around for over two centuries. In more recent history, it has been an exercise staple in many American homes, since the 1960s. But nobody ever said it gave anything other than a monotonous ride, and besides the pedals and handlebars, bore little resemblance to the appearance or experience of an actual bicycle.

Let’s face it…our mom’s exercise bike was built for comfort not for authenticity. While there has been a definite trend toward more hi-tech stationary cycling solutions, until recently, few indoor bikes went far enough to realistically simulate the movement and feel of a real road bike.

“The times they are a-changin’ ”

Today’s indoor cycling bikes bear a much closer resemblance to the experience of a real road bike.

  • The frame is built like a road bike.
  • There are toe clips or toe cages that replicate road bike foot securing mechanisms.
  • The resistance is smoother, especially if the indoor cycling bike uses magnetic resistance technology.
  • The seat replicates a rod bike seat instead of a cushy large old-school exercise bike seat.
  • Indoor cycling bikes are upright in design rather than recumbent.
  • Many indoor cycling bikes are outfitted with extremely sophisticated computers to monitor your experience and improve road condition simulation.
  • The frame is much stronger, allowing the rider to stand up for a more intense ride and closer replicate outdoor riding.

Indoor Cycling Bikes:
“The Next Generation”

Thankfully, there are now a number of state-of-the-art, advanced stationary training bikes that not only look and feel like road bikes, they actually provide side-to-side motion requiring continuous adjustments and corrections that correspond to a rider’s movements on the road while encountering wind shifts, obstacles, and banked and curving surfaces.

Besides the realistic ride, they engage more muscles than the traditional indoor bike, they work the core more efficiently, burn more calories, and without question, are a heck of a lot more fun and challenging to ride.

Just a few of the latest generation of indoor bikes are: the LeMond Fitness Bike Trainer; The RealRyder; and the Tour de France by Pro-Form. Locally you can check out the RealRyder at The Fitness Factory Studio, at 1491 Canton Mart Road in Jackson.

Bo Smith, of northeast Jackson, uses the RealRyder equipment at the Fitness Factory, in addition to swimming, for a comprehensive cardio workout twice a week. “In 30 minutes, I can get the kind of workout it would take 2 – 3 hours to get on my road bike,” Bo explains. “I have young children and work responsibilities that just don’t allow me to spend the kind of time I once did. The RealRyder is a great cardio workout, excellent for core balance and makes efficient use of my limited time.”

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