Stationary Versus Road: Which Bike is Right for You?
Stationary versus road: Which bike is right for you?
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If you’re considering taking up cycling as an exercise, you may be wondering whether a stationary bike or road bike is the right piece of equipment for you. There are a lot of factors to consider when making that decision; hopefully, the following tips will help you settle on the best choice for you.
You might be amazed at the different types of stationary bikes available. You have the old-fashioned tension bikes, newer digital bikes, uprights, recumbent bikes and a variety of styles within each type. The majority of stationary bikes for sale today can measure your heart rate, the distance you travel, set different amounts of tension (for difficulty), simulate riding hills and even come with pre-programmed training programs.
You can go for a leisurely ride or for an intense workout without leaving the comfort of your home. You won’t have to worry about rain, snow or thunderstorms. You can stay dry (other than sweat) regardless of the weather while riding to your heart’s content. Need physical therapy? A stationary bike is the way to go; you ride it inside and there’s little worry of losing your balance and crashing to the ground. Depending on the type of workout you’re going after, you can throw on a movie or crank some music while you’re on the stationary bike, to keep you entertained. You probably won’t need to worry about pedestrians or cars while you’re on a stationary bike, either.
If you’re used to a stationary bike, the first thing you’re likely to notice that is different on a road bike are the brakes. You’ll have to bring yourself to a stop. Then you are likely to find the gears. If your bike isn’t a fixed-gear, you’ll notice shifters near the handlebars. These might take you a while to get used to, but don’t be afraid of them. The gears help you adjust your “tension,” or how hard you have to work when pedaling. There are no training programs, so you’ll need to come up with your own if you’re using it for exercise. Unless you can do it in your head (which we don’t recommend), you will also need a computer set up on your road bike to keep your heart rate, distance traveled and speed.
Need to go places? Obviously, a road bike is a much better bet than a stationary one. You can use it for commuting, traveling, touring or a variety of other activities that require you to get from one place to another. If you’re after a good long bout of exercise, you’ll need to find a good road that will allow you to go as fast as you like. Potholes and other bumps are always a danger. If you don’t mind the weather, then a road bike will put you out in the elements. Be careful though, as the wet road conditions can make bike travel dangerous. While you’re in the great outdoors, you can take in all the beauty of nature on your road bike. You should probably avoid music or other similar things blasting into your ears, though, so you can still hear traffic. Speaking of, you will likely want a helmet and maybe other cycling garb to make the ride outdoors a bit safer.
The long and the short
There are perks to each kind of bike, and each kind fits a different kind of lifestyle. Of course, you can always convert your road bike to stationary bike with a trainer or roller. It’s pretty nice to go tooling around on a road bike on a nice day; at the same time, it’s convenient to get a good workout on a bike while it’s snowing outside. Ultimately, go for the bike you’re going to use most often. A good bike, stationary or road, doesn’t deserve to sit and collect dust.