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Best Indoor Exercise Bikes for Home Workouts in Australia

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Best Indoor Exercise Bikes for Home Workouts in Australia

We all believed that the year 2020 would be much like the 1920s, roaring. And, oh boy, did we get that, another roaring global pandemic. Thank you, Universe. From COVID-19, we realised that our homes do need coffee machines, higher speed internet, dutch ovens, and, most importantly, home exercise bikes. And, whatever forced or encouraged you to buy a stationary bike (be it bad weather or the pandemic), we’re here for it. 

Indoor cycling is one of the most popular types of indoor exercising, followed by pedalling on an elliptical trainer and running on a treadmill. What puts indoor cycling above the rest is the variety of virtual platforms and apps included with most indoor bikesthey’re far more sophisticated than treadmills and elliptical trainers (for now). 

Best Indoor Exercise Bikes for Home Workouts

I can understand that some readers have arrived at this page and expect to find the biggest and baddest bike out on the market. But, the truth is, ‘the best’ really depends on youwhat do you want to achieve from riding a bike? Do you want to improve your stamina, lose weight, or watch TV more healthily? There are more reasons other than aspiring to be the next yellow lycra legend Robbie McEwen; you just have to consider what your personal goals might be! 

There are four significant indoor bikes that you should know about: air bikes, recumbent exercise bikes, upright exercise bikes, and spin bikes. Each bike’s focus and objective are different, so we’ll go through these various types to better inform you.

1. Air Bike

Let me pitch you a scenario. It’s hot, middle of summer in Australia. You want to exercise, and your icy-pole just isn’t cutting it. You and the kids are irritable and agitated because the cooling system isn’t cooling you enough. What can you do? Jump on an air bike!


Air bikesalso known as fan bikes, are a great option in this scenario as it uses wind resistance through a large fan. So the harder you work, the more resistance you feel and air you create! Perfect for you and the kids in the scenario mentioned above!

Pros

  • Whole-body workout. To power the bike, the user must also use their arms.
  • The ultimate High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Machine - 500 calories burned in a 30-minute workout!
  • You get the cardio benefits of running without the impactjust slow your pace down.
  • Well-built units do not require electrical support and can support users up to 160 kilos.
  • Air bikes are a CrossFit classic!
  • Uncomplicated and straightforward to use.

Cons

  • They are large and heavy due to their solid build.
  • It doesn’t accurately represent riding a bike.
  • Quality air bikes may be expensive (and expensive to ship).
  • Air bikes have a large footprint as they do not fold, are not compact, and may need their own dedicated space.

 


Créme of the Air Bike Crop
Schwinn Airdyne Assault AD8 Air Bike - Southern cross fitness australia

Our favourite air bike is the Schwinn Airdyne Assault AD8 Air Bike. While it is expensive, the Airdyne is an iconic, durable, comfortable, and challenging bike. This bike’s features make it a Cardio King and an all-round banger of a bike. Check out this link for more info.

The Same but Different Air Bike
Schwinn Airdyne AD2I Upright Bike - Southern Cross Fitness Australia

If you’re after something like this without the bells and whistles, there is also the Schwinn Airdyne AD2I Upright Bike. It offers the same thing as the Airdyne Assaultthe Airdyne technology, an adjustable seat, and dual action arm movements, just with a slightly different and less luxurious experience.

2. Stationary Recumbent Bike

Okay, here’s another scenario. You’ve just moved houses, and you’ve slipped a disc in your lower back. Your doctor tells you that you’ll be out of your exercise activities for at least a year. So, what exercises can you do given your current parameters? Well, you can pedal your way back to health on a recumbent exercise bike! 

The main difference between the recumbent bike and the others listed is your position while seated and, of course, the recumbent seat. And, to be clear, this bike isn’t just for people who like to live their exercise life in the slow laneit caters to high-intensity cardio workouts as well. 

 

Pros 

  • The most comfortable bike money can buy.
  • The best bike for low-impact cardiovascular activity (ATT: people who are elderly or obese).
  • Recumbent bikes offer a total body workout.
  • An excellent option for those with low back pain as it provides a lot of support for the rider’s back. 
  • Gentle on all your joints (ATT: people with arthritis).
  • Great for those who are new to cycling as it is very safe - riders can’t stand up on the pedals.
  • Great bike for people with neurological conditions as the cycle provides a workout for individuals of all ability levels. 
  • As recumbent bikes can be low impact and are low risk, the rider can safely build strength. 
  • Many recumbent bikes come with very sophisticated virtual platforms.
  • Relatively easy to use.

Cons

  • It doesn’t accurately represent riding a bike.
  • Recumbent bikes have the largest footprint of indoor bikes (by a small margin).
  • Typically, these bikes are more expensive than upright bikes.
  • If you’re not after a semi-relaxing bike riding experience, the recumbent bike can be less exciting.
  • If you’re after an inexpensive recumbent bike (without the virtual platform/s), riding the bike can be a little boring. 
  • Extra small and tall people may have trouble reaching/fitting in this bike.

 

Reigning Recumbent Indoor Bike Champions

In no particular, these are the best of the best in this heavyweight category.

 

Nautilus R626 Recumbent Bike - Southern cross fitness australia
Nautilus R626 Recumbent Bike

 

Nautilus is an internationally renowned brand, and this bike is no exception. What distinguishes this bike from the other 2 is its super smooth-riding action and its connectivity options. A rider can easily connect to Nautilus’ EXPLORE THE WORLD app through a phone or tablet, and travel the globe virtually. This bike also has 29 programs, calorie tracking, 25 resistance levels, an adjustable seat, and a weighted flywheel. For more info, click here.

 

Schwinn 570R Recumbent Bike 

 

Schwinn 570R Recumbent Bike - southern cross fitness australia

The Schwinn 570R is a fabulous recumbent bike and such an experience to ride! It has all the goodies you could need such as a ventilated and contoured seat with lumbar support backrest as well as 29 programs, calorie tracking, 25 resistance levels, an adjustable seat, and a weighted flywheel ! Click the link for more info.

The Cadillac of Recumbent Bikes
Matrix R1x Recumbent Bike - southern cross fitness australia

The Matrix R1x Recumbent Bike—what a comfortable ride this bad boy gives you, much like the title says, it’s the Cadillac of recumbent bikes. Riders can pedal

away feeling relaxed on a stable, versatile step-through bike. The recumbent design allows you to distribute your weight and maximise support comfortably. You can learn more about this bike here.

3. Spin Bike 

Now, if you do aspire to be the yellow lycra legend Robbie McEwen, we would advise you to look into a spin bike. Similarly, if you want to live out an ‘80s spin class fantasy, interestingly, this is also the bike for you.

 

Pros 

  • The most accurate representation of riding a road bike as they feel and operate like one.
  • A mean HIIT machineyou can lose up to 600 calories in a 45-minute spin class!
  • Spin classes! One of the most popular ways to exercise to date.
  • Many spin bikes include very sophisticated virtual platformssuch as live virtual spin classes.
  • Great muscle focus on lower legsquads, hamstrings, and glutes. 
  • Spinning burns both calories and stored body fat. Spinning over 30 minutes will burn available carbs and stored glycogen and then tap into fat stores for fuel.
  • Spin bikes’ heavy flywheels make for a very smooth ride. This technology enables you to get out of your saddle for high-intensity workouts.
  • ‘Spinning’ also helps counteract the effects of spending long hours sitting and strengthening the connections between your core and lower body.
  • Low-impact spin cycling is known to help people recover from injuries - studies have linked spinning workouts to improved lung, heart, kidney, circulatory, digestive, immune, hormone, emotional, and organ health.
  • Lycra is not required but heavily encouraged (wear yellow or a leotard to boost morale).

Cons 

  • Modern, high-quality spinning bikes can be costly, and cheaper bikes don’t accurately represent riding a bike.
  • Not designed for comfort; however, you can purchase different accessories to make the ride a lot more comfortable.
  • Not a full-body workout only lower muscles are targeted.
  • Spin classes don’t allow for intermittent breaks throughout the exercises. Moving for almost an hour, non-stop runs the risk of pushing yourself too hard.
  • Not as easy to use or set upthe bike needs to be correctly fitted to the rider.

 

Superior Spinners

There are a few 10/10 options in this category; the Matrix is the most superior model out of the three listed. What differentiates it is its top-quality manufacturing and ergonomic design. However, you’ll pay a pretty penny for such luxuries. Nonetheless, let’s jump in.

Matrix CXC Commercial Spin Bike

Matrix CXC Commercial Spin Bike - southern cross fitness australia

The Matrix CXC is such an exquisite bike it is almost too beautiful to use. Its top-of-the-line, slim and ergonomic design makes your riding experience practically identical to outdoor riding; making this the preferred bike by cyclists and spin instructors. What is more, the design is low-maintenance (single belt drive), and the rear flywheel is well-protected, which includes magnetic resistance for smooth, consistent adjustments. To learn even more about this show-stopping bike, click here.

 

Horizon GR7 Indoor Spin Bike

Horizon GR7 Indoor Spin Bike - southern cross fitness australia

Much like the Matrix, the Horizon GR7 is geared towards providing riders with a real cycling experience. This is through a rear-drive design, ergonomic handlebars, seat, pedals, and a magnetic resistance system. However, unique to the Horizon GR7, are their inbuilt phone cradles and FITDISPLAY app - it is FREE and exclusive to the GR7 and includes cool programs, workout data and even virtual riding maps. If you want to ‘expand your horizons,’ you can learn more about this bike here.

 

Schwinn IC8 Indoor Cycling Spin Bike

Schwinn IC8 Indoor Cycling Spin Bike - southern cross fitness australia

Again, the Schwinn IC8 also closely replicates a real outdoor riding experience. However, the IC8 is a unique bike - it is the ONLY bike to have 100 micro-adjustable resistance levels! And, one of the few lucky brands who’s bikes are ZWIFT compatible! Another notable goodie is its aluminium flywheel which makes the ride very smooth and very quiet. If you want a spin bike for spin classes - this is your most attractive candidate - to learn more click here.

Tour-de-Living-Room-Trainers
Schwinn IC2 exercise bike australia - southern cross fitness

A spin bike that does a fair job is the Schwinn IC2it’s solid, it spins, and has an adjustable seat. The IC2i doesn’t include all the bells and whistles like the IC8 buuuuuut, if you’re after a simple, good quality spin bike - we’d definitely recommend the IC2i

4. Upright Exercise Bike

Now, if you’re thinking upright and spin bikes are the same, technically you’d be right - a spin bike is an upright bike; however, there are several differences. The main difference is the rider’s position on the bike - you’re in an upright position, your back is straight (as opposed to being hunched over), and your arms are outstretched in front of you. An upright bike’s focus isn’t to closely replicate a real outdoor riding experience as spin bikes do. Instead, the focus is more on weight loss and fitness. 

 

Pros 

  • Upright bikes are one of the best bikes for rehab - they’re smooth, very controlled and safe.
  • A lot more value for money and much cheaper than a spin bike.
  • Smaller footprint - you can easily fold most upright bikes away.
  • Many upright bikes come with very sophisticated virtual platforms and a wide range of cycling and fitness programs.
  • Upright bikes are used for a ‘real’ workout; however, they are more comfortable than spin bikes. Upright bikes have some of the most comfortable seats! 
  • Workouts are varied, can do low impact or HIITs.
  • Upright bikes can offer a total body workout.
  • Upright bikes similarly simulate riding a bike.
  • Relatively easy to use.
  • Upright bikes use magnetic resistance, which makes for a smooth transition over extensive resistance range settings.
  • These bikes are great for people with knee problems and some hip injuries - check with your GP.
  • Upright bikes are virtually silent!

Cons 

  • Although you can achieve a total body workout with an upright exercise bike, the upper body workout is mild. The focus remains on working the legs and core.

 

Upright Bike Beast

Nautilus Light Commercial U628 Series

Nautilus Light Commercial U628 Series - southern cross fitness australia

What can we say about the U628? Other than it being a solid, sturdy, and well-made unit, and it is one of our BEST bikes! The super cool and smooth U628 uses induction resistance instead of magnetic resistance. This difference makes the resistance changes instant and enables the bike to last a lot longer. And, much like it’s recumbent cousin the R626, riders of the U628 can also connect to Nautilus’ very popular EXPLORE THE WORLD app. However, the cool additions don’t stop there - the U628 also comes with a 3-speed cooling fan! You can learn all about it here.

An Upright Award Winner

York C415 Exercise Bike

York C415 Exercise Bike - southern cross fitness australia

The York C415 is the best bike under $1,000, and it is an award winner for a reason - fantastic build quality, great design, and fair price. In fact, it is regarded as one of the best exercise bikes ever created at this price point! The C415 has a large comfortable seat and 12 programs that range from fat burning to intense cardio. Check it out here!

Upright and Humble

Tempo U1050 Manual Bike

Tempo U1050 Manual Bike - southern cross fitness australia

I understand that some of you don’t want to get amongst the hype - just good old fashioned indoor cycling with a small footprint. The Tempo U1050 is your bike. It has all the things you fundamentally need from an upright bike. The Tempo also has an adjustable seat and more of an upper arm workout but, if this bike is for you, you can read more about it here.

 

Now, this is where our journey (finally) ends. I know this article has been a bit of an exhaustive read; however, you are now fully informed. You can go into Southern Cross Fitness and make the right decisions about what bike you should buy. Think about your lifestyle, the fitness goals you want to achieve, and what suits your current fitness level and make your decision accordingly. Happy shopping and riding!

 

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