Spin bikes, or ‘Spinning’ as it’s now commonly called, has surged in popularity these past few years. In-fact, spinning is now so popular, that some studios will require you to pre-book your class in advance.
Spinning has a host of benefits. Not only does it help you burn calories, but it can also tone your body and improve your cardiovascular health. It’s also fun to do a low impact workout while listening to music. Below we have reviewed the 3 best spin bikes that are currently on the market.
- 1 Spin Bike Reviews
- 2 The Keiser M3 Plus Indoor Cycle
- 3 BodyCraft SPX Club Indoor Cycling Bike
- 4 Sole Fitness SB700 Exercise Bike
- 5 What’s the difference between a spin bike and a standard exercise bike?
- 6 The Features to consider when buying a spin bike
- 7 What Muscle Group Do Spin Bikes Target?
- 8 Spinning Technique
Spin Bike Reviews
The Keiser M3 Plus Indoor Cycle
The Keiser M3 Plus, with its brushed aluminium and compact look, is the most attractive Spinning Bike we have come across. It took a string of years to perfect the design for consumer use, but now it’s finally here, and comes with a 10-year frame warranty, and a 3-year parts warranty, just to show you how durable the bike actually is.
If you buy the Keiser M3 Plus, it is very unlikely that you will ever need to spend money on maintenance. The build quality is just that good. The M3 also features a high quality, foam-padded seat, which is surprisingly firm, but may not be comfortable for everyone, simply because of how wide it is.
The weight of the M3 is 140lbs, and it can support a maximum weight of 300lbs. It is obviously going to be quite heavy; however, it does come with transportation wheels.
The LCD screen is easy to use, and it shows you the number of calories you have burned, your speed, and the distance travelled.
There are 24 gears (Magnetic Resistance), and is extremely quiet while in use, which means that you will be able to use it without fear of disturbing anybody else.
The M3 is the most expensive Spin Bike on this list, but the build quality means that you won’t need to spend additional money on maintenance.
BodyCraft SPX Club Indoor Cycling Bike
The BodyCraft SPX has received favourable reviews since its release, and is highly endorsed for use in the home.
Like the M3, the SPX is very durable, and therefore you won’t need to spend a lot of money on maintenance. It’s built from thick steel, with a good distribution of weight, which means that the bike won’t shake when you are exerting yourself. In addition to this, it uses a special powder paint coating to prevent rust.
The heavy, 46lbs flywheel is enough to provide a smooth motion when pedalling, and it also comes with a water bottle holder, a more comfortable seat than the Keiser M3, standard pedals, and friction resistance.
Furthermore, the SPX is easy to adjust for a range of different sizes, and the handlebar and seat can be moved vertically and horizontally to give you a comfortable and efficient workout that is free from injury.
Adjusting the bike is easy. All you need to do is loosen the L-clamps on the adjustment poles, and move handlebars or seat into a position that’s comfortable for you. When you have it set at the correct height, you’ll just need to tighten it.
One problem with the SPX, however, is that there are no markings to show you the amount of resistance being applied. This could cause frustration in some people as they may not be able to get back to a previous setting once changed.
Sole Fitness SB700 Exercise Bike
The SB700 is said to be just as good as the Spin Bikes that you see in the gym and in studios, with the advantage being that you won’t have to spend time getting to the gym to use it.
With a heavy duty frame, and a heavy flywheel that weights 48 lbs, the SB700 is another durable Spin Bike that you will be able to use in even the most exhaustive of workouts.
The resistance on the SB700 is as smooth as the other two bikes on this list, and with its Kevlar braking system, fully adjustable handlebars that are padded to prevent hand slippage, and toe straps; the SB700 is a very safe bike.
The LCD screen, while occasionally suffering from the odd glitch here and there, is packed with options, being able to track calories burned, speed, time, and RPM. The handles do not have a heart rate sensor, but the SB700 is compatible with wireless chest straps.
The SB700 has a weight of 140lbs, and so it may be worth having someone on hand to help you move it, but the seat and handlebars both come pre-assembled, and it also has transportation wheels.
Like the M3, the SB700 is also very quiet in its operation, which makes it a good choice for to have at home. In addition to this, it has a weight capacity of 300 pounds.
One issue that has surfaced in some other user reviews online is that some models have been shipped with warped flywheels, which can cause the bike to become wobbly. However, Sole have excellent support, and will generally reply to you within 24 hours if you have an problem with your purchase
What’s the difference between a spin bike and a standard exercise bike?
Spin Bikes and their Standard Exercise Bike counterparts can seem very similar at first – and you can perform the same exercises on each – however, Spin bikes have some distinct advantages over standard exercise bikes.
First of all, Spin bikes have a fixed wheel, whereas Standard Exercise Bikes do not. The benefit of having a fixed wheel is that over the long term, if you use the Spin Bike consistently, you will have the opportunity to improve your pedalling technique.
Furthermore, the best Spin Bikes are generally manufactured to a much higher quality than Standard Exercise Bikes. The better the materials that compose the bike, the less you’ll have to spend in the long run, since you won’t need to purchase replacement parts every few months. Some of the higher end Spin Bikes, such as the Keiser M3 Plus – which will be reviewed later on in this article – will literally last for years because the materials are of a much higher quality.
Another huge advantage that Spin Bikes possess is that they have better options for adjusting the bike to suit your body. Not only can you adjust the seat height, but you can adjust the handle bars too. This decreases the probability of you getting injured, allowing you to Spin without worry. So if you’ve experienced back or leg problems in the past, skip the Standard Exercise bike and get a Spin Bike.
The Features to consider when buying a spin bike
When considering buying a Spin Bike, there are a couple of things that you might want to figure out first, as the models can differ from one another in different areas.
There are six main things that you should consider when looking to buy a spin bike. We will start with Resistance.
The resistance function found in Spin Bikes can be a useful way for the rider to increase the difficulty of the exercise. The mechanism works by simply tightening a pad on the spinning wheel which will then act like a break, providing more resistance and forcing the rider to work harder in order the make the wheel spin.
There are four types of resistance in use today: Cable, manual screw, electronic magnet, and electromagnetic.
Spin Bikes with Cable systems generally receive worse reviews than the others, simply because of its increased probability to slip. Cable systems are more likely to be found in lower end models.
Manual Screw Functions are a much safer bet than cable systems because of the fact that they don’t slip. If you are choosing between a Manual Screw Function, and a Cable System, I would definitely recommend the Manual Screw System, if only for the added safety. One problem with Manual Screw Systems however, is that it’s more difficult than the other methods to measure the amount of resistance in use. For most people this won’t be a problem, though if you do need to accurately measure the resistance, choose one of the other resistance methods.
Our recommendation goes to the Electronic Magnet System. This System uses magnets in order to increase or decrease the resistance. The closer the magnets are the more resistance you will feel, and vice versa. Electronic Magnet Systems are safe (no slippage), and make it easy to measure how much resistance is actually being applied. Electromagnetic Systems work in a similar fashion, however, they are a lot harder to find.
If you are able to, I recommend actually testing each of the different systems, so that you can find which one works best for you. Everyone is different, and thus what works for one person may not work for another.
The Flywheel is what causes the wheel to move when pedalling. Spin bikes that are available for home use generally have a Flywheel weight of around 18 kilograms. The commercial variety, however, weigh more – usually around 20 kilograms.
Lighter Flywheels aren’t usually as smooth as the heavier variety, but won’t need as much force to move.
Adjustable Handlebars, Seat Position, and Pedals
Whether you’re planning to consistently use your Spin Bike for large periods of time, or just want it for the occasional use, you should definitely consider buying a Spin Bike that you can adjust. Higher end models come with more adjustability than lower end models, allowing you to adjust your the height of your seat and handlebars.
Your bike may also come with an adjustable strap for your feet. You don’t want it to be too tight, but you definitely don’t want it to be too loose, either.
In order to choose a spin bike that works for you, it is always better to choose a spin bike that you can adjust to suit your body.
Water Bottle Holder
Not only do good spin bikes allow you to adjust them, but some will come with additional features, such as a water bottle holder. Most water bottle holders can be purchased for around £7.
You should always check how much weight your spin bike can actually accommodate before you buy, as not all bikes can support the same weight.
Most good spin bikes will support an individual who is 250 pounds or under, and some of the best spin bikes will support close to 300 pounds.
Does it come with a digital Screen?
Some exercise bikes will come with a digital screen that can provide you with your exercise data. These digital screens can show you the time you have spent exercising during that session, estimated calories burned, and your heart rate.
In addition to this, some bikes with a digital screen may allow you to play games while you are riding, if you want that extra bit of entertainment. Whilst digital screens are good you won't find them on most commercial grade spin bikes such as the ones featured here.
What Muscle Group Do Spin Bikes Target?
Spin bikes work a variety of muscles in your legs, which can tone your hamstrings, calves, and thighs.
In addition to your leg muscles, spinning can also work and tone your abs.
The key, however, is consistency. You will not see the results right away, but you will if you stay consistent.
When spinning, you should first make sure that you have the right posture, making sure that you are keeping your feet flat on the peddle, rather than having your toes pointing down.
If you feel that there is too much pressure on in your wrists, you should make sure that you aren’t pushing down too hard, as this can eventually lead to injury.
It’s important that you adjust your bike to the right levels for your body.
The seat should not be too high, and it should not be too low. The same goes for your handlebars. Do not set the height of your handlebars lower than the height of your seat, or your body will need to work extra hard to minimize the excess rounding of the back.
Another important thing to get right is your clothing. Even though a lot of bikes these days are manufactured so that your clothing doesn’t get caught, wearing baggy clothing can disrupt your rhythm, and hinder your workout. Stick to wearing tight-fitting clothes.
Last but not least, make sure you are breathing properly. Many spinners find that they will hold their breath for longer than they should when they are exerting themselves. You should always be breathing at a steady pace.
Hi I’m James and I’m a self confessed fitness fanatic. When I’m not personal training I enjoy multi discipline endurance events, mma and hitting the gym. I also love to write about my passion and I’m a firm believer in healthy body healthy mind.