Stationary Bikes Vs Spin Bikes

Exercise bikes are excellent for low-impact cardio workouts.

Biking a stationary bike gives you a great opportunity to become more aerobically fit and improve your heart health, as well as burn calories, toning your legs and creating a positive feeling without the additional risks of bicycling outdoors in an area with high traffic. Additionally, it’s easier on your joints.

There are two primary types of exercise bikes: traditional stationary bikes and spin bikes, which are more broadly termed indoor cycles. Both types of exercise bikes provide the same general benefits, though there are pros and cons to each.
Whether you’re looking to buy an exercise bike for your home gym
or just want to know if you should be hopping on a stationary bike or a spin bike at your gym, keep reading to see how stationary bikes and spin bikes compare.
Differences Between Stationary Bikes and Spin Bikes

Bicycles that remain in one spot, usually the traditional kind that stands upright and can be seen in gyms, are called stationary bikes. They have a console and usually have pre-loaded programs.

You can alter the intensity of your workout by choosing the appropriate level, and you can change the difficulty by pedalling at a quicker or slower rate. There are also types of stationary bikes that have their seats inclined back. Stationary bikes usually used direct contact resistance.

Indoor cycles, known as spin bikes, don’t necessarily have a display screen but they do possess a flywheel that is more substantial in comparison to the flywheel of a regular exercise bicycle. Most indoor cycles use friction resistance or magnetic resistance.

The motion of the flywheel on the bike is resisted by felt or rubber pads pushing against it when one pedal, and there is a dial or knob for adjusting the resistance level. Magnetic resistance on stationary bikes offers distinct levels of challenge.

Workout Intensity

Usually, you can get a more powerful workout on a spin bike compared to a traditional stationary bike. On a spin bike, you have to use more muscles, including those in your arms and torso. Although a stationary bicycle only targets the muscles in the legs.

They also have a heavier flywheel. You can come out of the saddle and stand on a spin bike to put in intense efforts during ascents, yet it is not recommended to stand up when using a stationary bike.

The type of exercise involved also tends to vary, as most spinning or cycling classes are centred on HIIT or high-intensity exercises to develop improved cardiovascular endurance, while most stationary bike workouts are focused on more reasonable aerobic activities to boost overall wellness.

Certainly, a spin bike can be used for a light exercise session, and a stationary bike can be ridden intensely, yet their primary objectives are different in a fundamental way.


As previously stated, stationary and spin bikes can use a range of techniques to create resistance. Spin bikes using friction resistance offer the strongest level of resistance when the felt pads are completely pressed against the flywheel in a complete stop.

They have innumerable quantity of levels because the ability to be changed is not confined to stages but is steady. However, there are downsides to friction resistance spin bikes. The material that the pads are made from may be prone to deteriorating over time, and consequently, it may be necessary to switch them out for fresh ones.

It is hard to determine what degree you are at, thus making it complicated to keep up with exercises instructed by experts like Peloton courses or compare one workout to the next based on difficulty. In other words, you can’t easily quantify your effort.

Spin bikes with magnetic resistance are more precise. Bicycles with these features operate more smoothly and quietly, but you are confined to the gear settings that are available on the cycle.

The easiest level may be too hard for you, the highest level not stimulating enough, or you may not be able to adjust the level of difficulty to meet desired requirements.

The resistance experienced when using a stationary bike that involves direct contact is analogous to friction resistance and may diminish over time. In addition, the bikes don’t offer the ability to tweak the resistance using a knob. Instead, there are numbered levels you’re locked into choosing.

Muscles Worked

Both exercise bikes primarily target the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves, while the glutes are worked to a lesser degree. Using exercise bikes helps to enhance strength in the shoulders, abdominal muscles, and back.

Performing on a spin bike transforms it into an all-encompassing workout. It should be noted that recumbent bicycles provide the least amount of activation for the core muscles since your torso is held up by the seat.

The muscles that are activated when using both types of bicycles will be quite the same until you rise up from the seat on the spinner bike. When you’re cycling as usual, your quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal, and calf muscles will experience exercise. The centre of your body will also contribute to a minor extent to help maintain your equilibrium.

When you are in an upright position, you are increasing the strain on the muscles in your legs, in particular your calves, as well as requiring more effort from your shoulders, arms, back and abdomen.

Once you start to stand up, it becomes a more thorough exercise involving the entire body, so you should definitely think about taking advantage of this advantage. If you’re not actively participating in various physical activities, buying a spin bicycle may be your most beneficial decision.


You can alter the height of the seat and handlebars and also change the difficulty of the workout on the majority of exercise bikes. Spin bikes generally give users the ability to make adjustments to the seating and handlebars, as well as provide more levels of resistance.

Calories Burned

No matter what kind of exercise bike you utilize, the number of calories you work off while pedalling a stationary bike will be determined by the strength and length of your exercise.

Generally speaking, the caloric expenditure associated with spinning on a stationary bike is more intensive than on a spin bike, leading to a greater amount of calories being burned during a spin bike exercise compared to a similar one on a stationary bike.

Stationary bikes that operate with a spinning motion necessitate increased use of muscles, have a larger flywheel, and can be used at a greater degree of intensity. It’s worth repeating that spin bike exercises generally tend to be more intense than those performed on a regular stationary bike.

The amount of calories that are burned is an element to take into account when deciding between a stationary bike or a spin bike.

Generally, you will likely burn more calories using a stationary bike, due to engaging more muscles while exercising (if you choose to stand up) as well as requiring more effort to maintain momentum with the flywheel.

The flywheels on the spin bike are more substantial than those on a typical bicycle, which means that each repetition you do will require more energy.

No large caloric expenditure variations will be noticed while sitting on the bike, so if you’re not planning to stand, then you should opt for whichever cycle is the most comfortable if that is the key factor.

Primary Use

Let us begin by analyzing the primary purpose of the different kinds of bicycles.

Stationary bikes are generally employed in exercise regimens and they are beneficial for those looking to upgrade their cardiovascular fitness, grow muscular strength, and achieve more positive results from their weight loss plan.

Bicycles intended for spin classes, as opposed to regular road bikes, are customarily utilized in spinning workouts and are more likely to be used by folks who take cycling seriously as a sport.

These bikes simulate the posture of the body when riding regular bikes, as the handlebar placement is lower and require you to be more bent over when riding.

Hence, if you are a regular cyclist and just looking to do some indoor exercise, you can gain more advantages.

This being the case, it does not imply that incorporating spinning as part of your overall wellness and physical fitness routine is not an option. It is perfectly okay, and there are still many advantages to doing it.

Ease of Use

Next, consider ease of use. Examining the distinction between a stationary bike and a spin bike, operating both typically prove to be quite straightforward. Jump on and start your journey.

If you are familiar with riding a traditional bike, as a juvenile or a grownup, you should be able to switch to one rapidly. The stance of the upright bike might not feel precisely the same as a customary bike, yet the distinction isn’t significant enough to meddle with completing the exercise.

Additionally, stationary bikes are generally bigger and weightier because of the flywheel.

These kinds of furniture pieces may be slightly more difficult to change position in a room, making them more appropriate for the purpose for which they were made, though they can still be a bit unwieldy. At the same time, exercise bikes tend to be sleeker, more lightweight, not as large, and maybe even collapsible.

Coziness is taken into account here as the stationary bikes are made for faster, more concise exercise regimens and their seats are also a bit more uncomfortable. Stationary bicycles generally have more comfortable seats and are made for extended rides.

Injury Risk

When analysing the potential for injuries, the stationary bike with a spin feature is safer than the usual vertical version. The flywheel is simpler, so it allows the bike to remain in continual motion, therefore not being as harsh on the joints.

This being said, those who spin very vigorously usually cycle faster and may also be pedalling while standing, which can potentially raise the chance of being injured due to the wider array of motions involved.

The risk of injury is greater when you stand and spin compared to when you sit and spin, so you should take that into account.

The likelihood of suffering an injury if you take the stationary bicycle for a leisurely ride is minuscule. The most likely issue you will experience on this cycle is discomfort in your back from slouching.

Progression Model

The progression process is quite alike for both varieties of bicycles. You can make each exercise more challenging by raising the resistance level.

The muscles need to be challenged more to build strength and fitness. Exerting more strain on your muscle groups requires your heart to work harder, which increases the level of your cardiovascular fitness.

If your goal is to go quickly, then you can easily achieve that on either one of these bicycles.

The main distinction between the two is that with a spin bike, one can cycle while standing. The traditional two-wheeled bicycle is not designed for exercising in an upright position; therefore, you should consider whether or not you want to add this method of exercise to your routine.

Being able to stand during your workout allows for a greater variety of exercises, so if you tend to get bored quickly with the same routine, this could be a good choice for you.


There has been a growth in the number of indoor bicycles which have advanced technology and built-in consoles, however, a lot of spinning bikes do not come equipped with a display. In contrast, exercise bikes come with an integrated computerized monitor.

The console usually records data such as exercise duration, intensity, amount of calories burned, distance travelled, heart rate, etc. It may also have preconfigured workout sessions.

Indoor cycles like the MYX II Plus, Peloton, Schwinn IC4, and Echelon bikes with more elaborate designs sport touchscreen displays and include the ability to connect to apps, which provides the same advantages of a regular stationary bike console plus extra features such as video streaming. In addition, you can access online classes to increase your enthusiasm.

Similarity to Outdoor Cycling

Indoor cycles, or spin bikes, are built in a manner that makes the seating position more similar to that of an outdoor bicycle, requiring you to lean forward more. Bicycles that stay in one place are more upright and have a non-threatening posture when ridden.

The pedalling action on a spin bike is said to have a more realistic feel than a regular stationary bike. Indoor cycles with chain drives rather than belt drives are more akin to outdoor bicycles.


It may be difficult to pick between a stationary bike and a spin bike, however, if you know how you want to use it and you give a couple different models a go, it should be a cinch to decide. aerobically


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