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How and where to buy an exercise bike: these retailers still have stock

An exercise bike is a great way to get a good workout indoors, whether it's an intense anaerobic spin session or a long endurance ride. They take up less space than a treadmill, are typically more affordable, and although demand has spiked while people are under lockdown, they're much easier to find.

Exercise bikes are still a big investment though, and your choice can make the difference between a machine that gives you a great daily workout, and something that just gathers dust.

How to buy an exercise bike

Choosing the right exercise bike is a big decision, so what should you look for when making your choice? Olivia Neely, personal trainer at Starks Fitness (currently sharing home workout videos at starksfitnessgym on Instagram), gives the following advice.

Olivia Neely (Starks Fitness personal trainer):

We're several weeks into lockdown, and no doubt lifestyle adaptions are well underway. A strong positive is that it seems health and well-being has remained a primary focus for most. With that, home-workout equipment is widely sought after so we’re having to be strategic about our purchases. It’s worth considering equipment that can be used longer term. And of course, one that will match all your training desires; cardiovascular, endurance or strength. So how about an indoor exercise bike to help reach those goals, come rain or shine.

Here are a few tips to ensure you’re buying the right kit for your needs.

What type of bike?

The most obvious but important consideration. There are many types, all focusing on different cycling methods. An upright bike, a recumbent bike, a spin bike, the list goes on…

Think about your previous cycling experiences. Do you usually take a leisurely cycle along the river road? Or are you an avid mountain biker? Try and match your previous experience to your current goals.

Design

We all want a bike that’s aesthetically pleasing, but more first, how much space do you have for it? For most, the bike will remain in your living room or bedroom so make sure it fits! Also note, there more advanced equipment (with a higher price tag) will no doubt offer a neater design requiring less space.

Features

Features will vary depending on the bike you choose, but here are a few things to look out for:

  • Emergency brake feature – a must
  • Adjustable saddle and handlebar
  • Resistance feature – the better the resistance variations, the more versatile the bike
  • Interactive or self-motivating – if your budget can stretch, it's useful to have a bike that offer pre-programmed options to keep you motivated. Look out for enhancements such as Bluetooth connection so you can track your progress.

Price

With such a diversity of options, it’s important to be realistic with your budget. Consider brand new models vs second hand, as you can often find a ‘nearly new’ model for a fraction of the price.

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