What Is A Spin Bike Spinning Bike Vs Stationary Bike

What Is A Spin Bike: Spinning Bike Vs Stationary Bike

It might seem like everyone is participating in the current spin bike craze these days with the proliferation of cycle gyms and bars. But if you feel left out and are secretly asking yourself “what is a spin bike?” don’t worry, you’re not the only one.

A spin bike is a particular kind of stationary exercise bike, also known as an indoor cycle. The other 2 types of stationary bikes are traditional upright bikes and recumbent exercise bikes. All have benefits and drawbacks, but the focus of this article is on spin bikes specifically.

For more specific information, keep reading.

What Is A Spin Bike

Because they are made to resemble real road bikes more, spin bikes are unique. If you are a frequent rider, chances are good that you are already familiar with what a spin bike is and have even used one before. The seat, handlebars, and flywheel are just a few of the distinctive characteristics of spin bikes.


Smaller seats on spin bikes resemble the diminutive seats on a road bike. I’ll bet you won’t find the seat to be particularly comfortable if you don’t ride frequently. Because the seats of both road bikes and spin bikes aren’t particularly comfortable. Just the way things are, regrettably. Fortunately, you can always upgrade or add a seat cushion to your current chair. As you ride more, you will also become more accustomed to the seat.

Backrests are absent from spin bikes as well. They are made to look like road bikes once more. Back rests are absent from road bikes as well. For a proper fit, these seats should be able to be adjusted both vertically and horizontally.


An indoor cycle also has slightly different handlebars. On nice spin bikes, at least, they should be adjustable and have a variety of grips. Once more, the handlebars are very similar to those of a standard road bike. Depending on your riding posture, the various positions are useful.


The flywheel comes last, but by no means least. When you begin pedaling on a spin bike, the large wheel in front of you begins to spin. The biggest difference between a spin bike and an upright exercise bike is the flywheel. There appears to be a good reason why spin bikes have much heavier flywheels.

The flywheels are perimeter weighted, which means that most of the weight is concentrated on the wheel’s outer edge. As a result, starting the flywheel at first is a little more challenging. Consider starting a bike outside at a complete stop. The bike requires a little more effort to move, but once it does, your momentum will help (at least on flat ground).

The weighted flywheel on a spin bike operates under the same principle. Once the flywheel starts moving, its weight helps create momentum and slightly eases its motion. Additionally, it improves the comfort and ease of use of the spin bike. Additionally, when your workout is finished, it requires more energy to stop that big flywheel from spinning. Because of this, spin bikes have a manual brake to help you slow down the flywheel and prevent knee damage.

When it comes to flywheels, there is a general understanding that heavier is better. However, some high-end spin bikes, like the Keiser M3i, have chosen to use a light-weight flywheel because they like the way it feels. To each their own, but bikes with heavier flywheels typically cost more.

Flywheel weights vary, but most spin bikes have flywheels between 20-50 lb. Remember that the flywheel’s weight affects the bike’s total weight. Consider a bike with a lighter flywheel if you anticipate moving your bike frequently out of pure practicality.

Spin Bike
Spin Bike

Benefits Of Using A Spin Bike

Cardiovascular Fitness

Cardiovascular fitness, in a nutshell, is the capacity of your heart and lungs to deliver oxygen-rich blood to your muscles.

Lack of focus on your cardio during exercise can result in health issues down the road. Having good cardio is something that is very important.

If you have good cardiovascular fitness, spinning is one of the ways you can do that, which will significantly reduce your risk of heart disease.

For the entire 40–60 minutes that you are spinning, this exercise will continuously work your heart.

It is the cardio exercise for people looking for a quick and low-impact way to stay healthy. It’s very convenient to be able to exercise your cardiovascular system indoors and in safety.

Your stamina and longevity should improve as the weeks go on if you spin perhaps two to three times per week. Your heart is becoming stronger because of this.

Muscle Definition

Spinning, specifically, is beneficial for developing lean muscle definition in your legs and core.

Many people choose not to work their legs when they are trying to gain muscle because they are among the more taxing, challenging, and potentially dangerous exercises.

You could always work your leg muscles on the spin bike if you fall into this category and you don’t like doing squats or the intimidating leg press.

It works your quads, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, and soleus muscles, making it one of the most effective leg exercises available.

Each of these muscles receives attention from the single exercise because you are moving quickly and steadily for a long period of time.

Then there is your core as well. So you can work on developing a great figure while also doing your cardio.

Low Risk Of Injury

Despite being quite intense, spinning is a generally low-impact exercise, so you don’t need to worry too much about getting hurt.

You use your hips and knees but don’t put a lot of weight on them, so it’s relatively easy on your joints.

Due to their stiffer joints and increased risk of harm or injury, older people can also benefit greatly from this exercise.

To be clear, your muscles will react and you will experience delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), but it’s unlikely you will harm yourself seriously.

You also don’t have to worry at all about crashing and barely at all about falling off because you aren’t outside and the bike is also pretty well fixed in place.

Consider purchasing a good pair of cycling shoes if you want to completely reduce the risk associated with that last point. You will be essentially fastened to the bike by these fitting into the pedals.

Good For The Immune System

You’re more likely to live a longer life and suffer from illnesses less frequently if your immune system is stronger.

A few factors, mainly related to diet and lifestyle, but also heavily influenced by your thymus gland, affect how strong your immune system is.

T-Cells are released by this specific gland, which seek out and kill bacteria-infected cells.

Less T-Cells are released into your body as you age because your thymus shrinks. The main cause of older people getting sick more frequently is this.

However, according to research, a 20-year-old who cycles regularly and is older will produce an equal number of T-cells.

While cycling or spinning, you’re working out your thymus and preventing it from contracting. If you spin regularly, you may have the immune system of a 20-year-old for the majority of your life.

Stress Reduction

This topic has also been covered previously here. Because it helps you divert your attention from the source of your anxiety, exercise is beneficial for reducing stress.

Funny enough, making a plan and sticking to it when it comes to exercising is something that causes stress for people who do actually exercise.

With spinning, there is hardly any of that. Simply get on the bike and pedal for about 40 minutes is all that is required.

You don’t need to consider anything else. You can simply let your thoughts go and concentrate on breathing and pedaling.

The same idea holds true for spinning: people who choose to bike to work instead of drive are frequently more comfortable throughout the day.

Just a convenient, stress-relieving way to get some exercise.

Should I Think About Getting A Spin Bike?

Really, a few factors are involved. Although they are not for everyone, spin bikes provide a great workout. A spin bike’s seat isn’t particularly comfortable, as I briefly mentioned above. They also don’t have any back support, which is also very true. Think of the roomy, comfortable seat and large, curved back support of a recumbent exercise bike. Now picture the complete opposite of that—a spin bike seat.

Despite the uncomfortable seat, you aren’t expected to spend the entire time on a spin bike sitting down. A spin bike has the great advantage of allowing you to increase the resistance while standing up. A traditional upright exercise bike or a recumbent bike cannot be used for this.

Intense cycling workouts like none other are possible on spin bikes. These bikes can really work you out thanks to their heavier flywheels and capacity for high resistances. This explains why they have recently drawn the attention of so many non-riders. An engaging way to get a great cardio workout is through spin classes. What’s not to like about loud music, dimmer lights, and a trainer shouting inspirational words at you??

But you should really test your ability to spin comfortably. You might not be able to do it if you have bad hips, shoulders, or knees. I should also take wrists into account because, when you are standing up and riding those hills, your wrists can experience a lot of pressure.

I doubt these bikes will be comfortable for you if you have sore hips or a bad back. On these indoor cycles, there are no back rests, and you have to stand most of the time or flex over the handlebars. People with sore joints don’t typically enjoy these positions, especially for long periods of time.

If that’s the case, no problem. There are other nice exercise bikes that can do the job if a spin bike is not for you.

I would advise trying one out at the neighborhood gym or cycle class before buying a spin bike for your home gym. You might be able to find one at your neighborhood sporting goods store if you don’t have access to a gym or a cycling class. I am aware that the Dick’s Sporting Goods store nearby always has assembled fitness equipment available for customers to try before buying.

A spin bike can be a great addition to your home if you are sure you can tolerate the seat without discomfort and you don’t have any joint issues. It makes perfect sense to buy your own if you currently pay a gym membership fee just to use the spinning machines because you will end up saving a ton of money over time. In reality, spin bikes are among the most affordable home exercise equipment options.

Because they can deliver an intense cardio workout while taking up much less space than a recumbent bike or treadmill, spin bikes are common in homes.

Spinning Bike Vs Stationary Bike

Stationary Bike
Stationary Bike

Primary Use

Typically, programs for general health and fitness use stationary bikes. They are effective at boosting your level of cardiovascular fitness and building stronger calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps muscles. Your core, back, and gluteal muscles are all also worked out by them. Furthermore, using a stationary bike can aid in efficient weight loss.

Conversely, spinning bikes are preferred by cyclists and athletes because they let you mimic the competitive cycling body position. You can exercise your whole body vigorously in this way. Spin bikes are the perfect indoor training tool if you want to practice cycling. They are also utilized in group fitness classes that use spinning.

Ease Of Use

Using either of the two bikes won’t be difficult for you if you’ve ever used a regular bike. And even if you do notice anything different from a standard bike, it won’t be noticeable enough to present a riding challenge.

In contrast to stationary bikes, spin bikes are more challenging to use. In addition, because of the flywheel, they frequently differ in size and weight from their stationary counterparts. Stationary bikes are lighter, smaller, and more compact than spin bikes (and occasionally even foldable!).)


An upright bike has a few kilogram flywheel that makes riding more comfortable. The flywheel continues to turn after you stop pedaling, but the pedals stop moving. This is comparable to how you coast on a regular bike when going downhill.

On a spin bike, the pedals continue to spin even when you stop peddling because the flywheel is heavier and directly attached to them.

The flywheel of the spin bike has different levels of resistance that you can use to precisely mimic the challenging terrain you might ride on a bike outside. You have the option of choosing the workout you want because of the resistance’s magnetic or friction-based nature.

Risk Of Injury

In comparison to an upright bike, the spin bike carries a higher risk of injury. This is because the flywheel on a spin bike keeps the bike moving continuously.

Though the flywheel of the spin bike allows for less impact on the rider’s joints, intense/faster spinning while standing can increase injury risk due to the wider range of motion.

Therefore, if you’re using a spinning bike, keep in mind that standing while spinning puts you at a higher risk of injury than sitting while spinning. Furthermore, although sitting and spinning pose fewer risks, leaning forward while riding may cause back pain.

Workout Difficulty And Variety

By adjusting the resistance on both bikes, you can make your workout harder. On both bikes, you can enjoy speed, but only the spin bike enables standing while you pedal.

Exercises that you can’t comfortably perform on an upright bike can be explored while cycling while standing.

So, if you like to mix up your workouts, you might find the upright bike’s simplicity boring.

Targeted Muscles

When you stand and spin on a spinning bike, you can work out your entire body. Your lower body muscles, such as your calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes, are put under more strain when you stand. In addition, compared to using a stationary bike, it exerts more of a core, back, shoulders, and arm workout. Your best option for a total-body workout is the spin bike.

Calorie Burn

Because it requires more energy for you to maintain the flywheel’s motion, the spin bike burns more calories. However, if you intend to sit while exercising, either bike will work just as well because the amount of calories they both burn will be about the same.

Riding Position

An upright exercise bike’s riding position is typically exactly what it sounds like: upright. The seat is also quite wide for comfort, though the adjustability isn’t very good.

In contrast, a spin bike resembles a road racing bike. You can lean forward to perform exercises because the handlebars are more horizontally inclined and the riding position.

It more closely resembles a road bike because there is more adjustment available than on an upright bike. However, if you prefer, you can still ride with your seat more upright.


The upright bike is unquestionably the winner in terms of the console. While stationary bikes give you the stats of your workout, spinning bikes frequently do not have consoles.

Basic workout information like speed, distance, time, and calories will be available to riders on the spin bike LCD.

It does not, however, provide comprehensive data like program charts, body fat calculators, speed, distance traveled, calories burned, and other programmable options that you would find on an exercise bike.


What Is An Exercise Bike?

Any stationary bike that is made to be used indoors is an exercise bike. Since they allow you to sit still and pedal, all indoor bikes are considered exercise bikes. However, most “exercise bikes” have a specific frame design that is patterned after outdoor road bikes with a flywheel in front, the handlebars and seat roughly in line with each other, and the pedals positioned underneath the seat. This style is also referred to as a “studio bike” since indoor cycling classes occur in a studio. In most cases, the handlebars on exercise bikes can be adjusted so that users can lean forward or sit up. The torso resting on the handlebars allows for a more aggressive riding style thanks to this design. Exercise bikes with heavier flywheels allow users to stand up while riding.

What Is An Upright Exercise Bike?

An upright bike is another kind of indoor exercise bike. With this design, the rider can sit upright while riding thanks to the elevated handlebars and lower seat. For riders who want to keep their shoulders and torso elevated for simpler breathing and less aggressive positioning, upright bikes are typically the best option. Flywheels on upright bikes are typically lighter, and they don’t support extensive riding outside of the saddle. These bicycles, which are based on casual beach cruisers or commuter bikes, are ideal for riders who prefer a more relaxed ride with less aggressive positioning.

What Is A Recumbent Bike?

A recumbent bike with a low, wide seat and pedals in front of the saddle as opposed to beneath it is another common indoor bike design. The low seat usually makes it simpler to get on and off the bike, and the design of recumbent bikes reduces stress on the lower body joints, making them ideal for riders with mobility issues or joint sensitivities. The saddles on recumbent bikes are typically wide and have lumbar support built in. There are frequently handles on the front of the bike as well as ones next to the seat on these.

What Is An Air Bike?

Last but not least, air or assault bikes use an upright fan in the front rather than a traditional flywheel to propel the air blades. Similar to how an air-resistance rower works, this kind of bicycle does the same. With their lower body they pedal, and the rider uses their upper body to move the blades. In CrossFit workouts or HIIT sessions, fan bikes offer a more intense, all-body workout and are frequently used for brief HIIT intervals. 

Final Words

The best bike for you will depend on your physical needs and fitness objectives. You can choose what’s best for you if you take these into account. Make sure to use, whichever one you select. Cheers!

Many thanks for reading.

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