The exercise bike (also: home trainer) is one of the classics of endurance training and one of the most popular fitness devices for home use.
No matter if it's raining, blustering or snowing - the bike for home use allows you to train your endurance at any time and burn a lot of calories. The best thing about it: thanks to a comfortable sitting position, your joints are not only protected, but also strengthened at the same time.
You also burn off excess pounds, reduce stress and prevent diseases such as diabetes. Sounds almost too good to be true. But it isn't. The fact is that the exercise bike enables comparatively injury-free endurance training and is therefore suitable for every fitness level and age. By the way: ergometers or bicycle ergometers are often equated with exercise bikes.
Visually, they are indeed confusingly similar, but certain technical aspects allow exercise bikes and ergometers to be distinguished from each other. We reveal the differences.
Frequently, any equipment used for home fitness is referred to synonymously as an "exercise bike". This also includes rowing machines or cross trainers. However, over the course of time, the term "exercise bike" has come to refer to the so-called bicycle trainer or trim bike.
A characteristic feature of an exercise bike is that the magnetic braking system can be controlled manually or electronically. The resistances are selected step by step. These also remain constant, no matter how weakly or strongly you pedal.
If you want to do moderate endurance training, you are well equipped with your own exercise bike.
While the exercise bike can be controlled both electronically and manually, the ergometer can only be controlled with an electronic magnetic brake. The main difference to an exercise bike is that the resistance cannot be set in steps, but very precisely in watts and can therefore also be measured. Depending on how strong your cadence is, the set resistance adjusts: If you pedal slowly, the resistance increases. When pedalling fast, the resistance decreases.
In general, the maximum resistance of ergometers is significantly higher than that of exercise bikes, which is why ergometers are more suitable for advanced hobby athletes.
Due to the small technical differences such as the resistance setting, the devices are suitable for different training goals and target groups. Exercise bikes are suitable for:
Ergometers are the perfect choice for:
The flywheel mass determines the training comfort. The higher the weight of the flywheel, the greater the comfort and the smoother the step. Use the table to find out which flywheel mass is right for you:
|> 15kg||Professional||Competitive sport, competition|
|Fat burning, endurance training|
|1-9kg||Beginners||Warm-up, endurance training,
The more adjustment options an exercise bike or ergometer has, the more individually and qualitatively the device and therefore the training can be adapted to your needs.
Especially if you have back problems, for example, adjusting the backrest is very important to take care of your posture. In the case of permanent back problems, a recumbent ergometer should possibly be considered, as it is particularly gentle on the back due to the back support and comfortable sitting position.
In general, the higher the weight and maximum load of the exercise bike or bicycle ergometer, the more stable it will be. Lightweight exercise bikes with a load of <90kg can be a little wobbly at high speed. A look at the following table will tell you what maximum weight load is recommended depending on the training level.
|Profile||Max. User weight|
|Hobby athletes||120kg up to 150kg|
A major advantage of lightweight home trainers is that they are usually also foldable. Foldable exercise bikes are especially practical for flats that do not have much space for large equipment.
Many modern and high-quality ergometers have a built-in console and a screen that displays the stored time, distance, pulse, calories burned, etc., similar to a treadmill. Integrated training programmes are also not uncommon. If you want to connect your mobile phone or tablet to the exercise bike, you should first check whether a mobile phone or tablet holder is built in. If so, there is usually the option of linking the tablet to the device using Bluetooth.