Are you looking for an indoor bike, but are you not sure whether to purchase an exercise bike or sprinter bike? Learn everything about the main differences.
An exercise bike and sprinter bike belong to the same category of fitness equipment. They are both indoor bikes: fitness bicycles to exercise at home, which are perfectly suitable to improve your endurance, help you lose weight and strengthen your leg muscles. Still, there are substantial differences between the two machines, and it depends on a number of factors which bike suits you best. For example: what are your training goals, how much cycling experience do you have, and do you have any injuries or limitations?
Upright versus hunched over
The most noticeable difference can be seen when you look at your body posture while exercising on a sprinter bike. It is significantly different than your posture on an exercise bike. When you work out on a sprinter bike, your body has the same posture as if you were cycling on a racing bike. The handlebar of a sprinter bike is placed in a lower position, which automatically causes you to hunch over. The big advantage of this position is that it allows you to gain more speed while cycling.
Standing up versus sitting down
An exercise bike is the perfect choice if you prefer a ‘casual’ workout, for example to improve your endurance, strengthen your muscles or lose weight. A sprinter bike is more often used by people who cycle as a sport. This is because a sprinter bike also allows you to cycle while standing, which adds variety to your workout. You can alternate between positions and you work more muscles while standing, most noticeably your back and core. However, standing while cycling puts extra pressure on your joints, which in turn increases the risk of injuries. A regular exercise bike does not allow standing while cycling and it also has a lower entry. This makes it the more ideal choice for those who suffer from a mobility impairment or are recovering from minor injuries. If you are rehabilitating from a serious injury, the recumbent bike is your best choice.
Continuing versus stopping
There is a big difference between the pedaling system of an exercise bike and a sprinter bike. On a sprinter bike, the pedals are directly attached to the flywheel. When the flywheel starts to turn when you are cycling, the pedals will automatically turn as well. This is an ideal way to ‘force’ your legs to continue to cycle and that can help you push your limits just a tiny bit further. However, it also means you cannot suddenly stop cycling because the pedals will continue to turn. If you want to stop, you will have to pull the brake knob. An exercise bike does allow you to stop cycling at any moment, which makes this type of cardio machine more accessible for beginners and it is less prone to injury.
Resistance and results
Working out on a sprinter bike doesn’t necessarily has to be more strenuous. Both types of indoor bikes have the option to increase the resistance, which makes your workout more challenging. When your legs have to work harder against the increased resistance, your heart will do the same. This does not only strengthen your muscles, you will also burn more calories and increase your endurance. You choose the resistance level, so you are always in control of the intensity level of your workout. Still, the sprinter bike is more commonly known as the real calorie burner. This is due to the 'sporty' posture of your body, the extra option to cycle while standing and of course the possibility to join a sprint class and give it your all.