In this age of business, not all of us have the time to go to the gym. Moreover, our mainly sedentary lifestyle makes it so that we must exercise on a regular basis. As such, there comes a time in someone’s life when they have to decide on an upright vs spin bike for their home or personal training den.
If this time came for you as well, it means that you cherish your health and you want to make the best decision. Not only that, but you also want to make the decision that fits you best. As such, in the following lines, we’ll tell you everything there is to know when it comes to upright vs spin bike types.
We’ll also show you some of the best models currently on the market, in case you’re looking for a quick and easy purchase!
Upright vs Spin Bike Types – What’s the Difference?
While both types of fitness equipment are essentially stationary bikes designed for indoor cardiovascular training, they are more than just different. One of the most obvious features is the position one needs to assume to use each type. But this is only the beginning.
Each type of bike is equipped with different handlebars, pedals, and types of seats. Moreover, the resistance, comfort, stability, as well as muscles used differ from type to type.
In short, while you get mainly the same type of intensive training – namely cardiovascular-, it can be achieved in two very different ways.
Upright Bike Overview and Features
Let’s start with the upright bike type, also known as stationary. This type is the one that’s different from the usual bike that you ride around town. The first noticeable difference is the handlebars, as they are positioned much higher than usual – as well as when compared with the ones of a spin bike.
Then, just as the name implies, this type implies the rider assuming a close-to-standing position when using this particular equipment. You barely have to bend when using an upright bike.
Since it’s used for low to moderate-intensity exercise, the upright bike is also not designed for standing while in use. As a bonus, the seat usually comes with additional padding and is also wider, to promote a better posture and ease of use.
Spin Bike Overview and Features
Spin bikes, on the other hand, are closer to the regular bikes, so to speak. After all, they are designed to act and feel like real bikes – but not just any type of bike. A spin bike is very similar to sports road bikes, meaning that they promote standing while riding.
Naturally, due to this, spin bikes are ideal for moderate to high-intensity exercise. Also, since the handlebars are almost as high as the seat, the rider has to lean forward quite a lot during exercise.
In short, spin bikes can offer you the real deal when it comes to bike riding simulation. Due to their build, you can easily stand only on the pedals while riding, thus achieving the high-intensity exercise we mentioned above.
This was an overview of both types of bikes. If you want to know more about both of them, keep on reading. We’ll go over every important feature so that you can make a wise decision regarding your purchase.
Upright vs Spin Bike – Detailed Comparison and Analysis
Spin Bike vs Upright Bike Handlebars
- Upright – this type comes with rather basic handlebars. They allow for secure and tight gripping, as well as for the resting of the forearm if needed. However, as mentioned, their shape is simple – this is because the rider doesn’t need to rely on them a lot. In fact, you could use an upright bike without resting on the handles.
- Spin – spin bikes, on the other hand, come with highly functional handlebars. Some of them even mimic those we see on professional sports bikes – with two or even three different gripping positions. There are also handlebars designed to allow for arm/elbow rest. Naturally, you can expect high quality and a soft, pleasant grip from the handlebars of a spin bike, as you’ll always rely on them.
Upright Stationary Bike vs Spin Bike Pedals
- Upright – for both bikes, the pedals are quite similar. They are resilient, can take some weight, and often feature spike-like indentations that allow for better stability when pedaling. You could also opt for pedals that use an additional Velcro strap to pin your foot in place when pedaling.
- Spin – as mentioned, there aren’t many differences. Spin bikes might not come with a Velcro strap, but they will surely come with indentations, as stability is more important when it comes to this type of bike.
Upright Exercise Bike vs Spin Bike Seat
- Upright – this is another major difference. For upright bikes, the seat is somewhat similar to a traditional bike, in the sense that it features padding and is decently wide. In short, it allows you to sit comfortably for a very long time. While not all traditional bikes have such a seat, it goes without saying that it should be the standard.
- Spin – spin bikes, however, feature a seat that promotes alternating between sitting and standing. Obviously, this translates to little padding, a cramped shape, and a narrower sitting surface. You won’t be able to sit a lot while exercising on a spin bike. It wants you to engage in high-intensity training, if we may say so.
Upright Bike vs Spin Bike Resistance
- Upright – resistance is given by the technology the bike employs. For upright bikes, we have to take into consideration either electromagnetic or magnetic systems. There are also upright bikes that use air systems to determine resistance. Due to such technology, the body of the bike is lighter. On top of that, you also enjoy more resistance settings thanks to such technology.
- Spin – naturally, a spin bike focuses more on pure training and exercise, and less on features and the number of settings. They use heavy basic flywheels that make for a traditional feeling, so to speak. In short, they feel quite close to pedaling on a regular road/sports bike.
Spin Bike vs Upright Bike Comfort
- Upright – it goes without saying that, if you’re looking for comfort when training, an upright bike is an ideal choice for you. However, if we’re talking about muscle comfort, keep in mind that this type of bike might actively train your upper body as well. Take into account balance as well as position. A more upright position will train your upper body and, if you grab onto the handlebars for support as well, you will also train your arms.
- Spin – as mentioned many times so far, spin bikes are all about training and intensive exercise. You might not be quite comfortable while using one. However, if you assess your comfort based on how much a piece of equipment makes you train, then you’ll be very comfortable training on a spin bike.
Upright Stationary Bike vs Spin Bike Stability
- Upright – due to the technology and lighter flywheel, an upright bike is likely to wobble under your weight, especially if you move left and right a lot while pedaling. However, most products come with additional weight on the support legs. Still, it’s recommended to test the bike thoroughly for stability so that you know whether to refund it or not.
- Spin – spin bikes come with heavier flywheels. At the same time, the rider tends to wobble more, especially if they’re pedaling while standing. As such, we recommend exceptional stability when it comes to this type of bike. Test the product for every scenario and make sure that it doesn’t move at all, or else you might find it hard focusing on your training.
Spin Bike vs Upright Bike Muscles Trained
- Upright – when it comes to muscles, an upright bike will allow you to work on your glutes, quads, calves, and hamstrings. But as we mentioned above, keep in mind that your upper body will also be trained, but at a lower intensity.
- Spin – this type of bike, on the other hand, helps you train your glutes, quads, calves, hamstrings, and shoulders, triceps, biceps, back, and core – especially when standing. If you’re looking for full-body training, this bike is the type for you. If you choose to do most of your workouts without sitting on the seat, then you’ll train more than just your legs.
Upright Exercise Bike vs Spin Bike Risk of Injury
- Upright – with upright exercise bikes, the right of any type of injury is very low, as you’re constantly sitting down. There are no sudden movements and no intensive workouts that might affect you.
- Spin – spin bikes, on the other hand, imply more intensive workouts. Naturally, this increases the risk of injury, but not that much. For example, pedaling while standing exposes you to foot slips, a case in which you can hurt your shin – and not only – quite badly. But this depends on how careful you are.
Upright Bike vs Spin Bike Exercise Intensity
- Upright – generally, upright bikes allow for low to medium-intensity workouts. Thanks to the technology they might feature, you can increase the resistance levels and experience a more intensive workout. However, you might not be able to train as hard as while standing on a spin bike.
- Spin – designed for moderate to high-intensity workouts, a spin bike usually doesn’t come with an explosive number of features. If you want to train harder, you pedal faster – or you increase the resistance and stand up while pedaling, for the best results.
Spin Bike vs Upright Bike Technology
- Upright – speaking of technology, upright bikes often feature consoles that allow for customization and not only. For example, you can track your workouts, as well as several other statistics – such as heart rate, distance, calories burned, and so on. For this, the handlebars might even have built-in sensors.
- Spin – this type of bike is simpler and focuses more on rougher training, if we may say so. There are products that feature consoles and such, but those are not that popular as the simple, good old spin bike.
Both upright and spin bikes come with the same weight loss potential. Intensive lower body workouts are extremely potent when it comes to losing some weight. The same applies to moderate lower and upper body workouts, in the case of upright bikes.
If weight loss is one of your goals, then purchasing either of the mentioned types of bikes will help you in your journey.
If you’re looking to buy an upright or spin bike, then the information presented above should help you make the right decision. We hope that we covered everything there is – what’s left is design, but we’re sure you already know what you’re looking for there.
The Best Upright vs Spin Bike – Top Products
Now that we know more about each type of bike, let’s take a look at the top products for each category. The following are the best bikes that you can buy at the moment.
The Best Upright Bike
This stationary bike with upright handlebars uses a belt-drive mechanism to provide you with more and more resistance – the flywheel of this model weighs 6.6 pounds. As a result, the equipment can be used effectively even if it’s not plugged in.
You can gather more data about your workouts using the built-in pulse sensors – they are located on the handlebars. Heart rate and more essential data are displayed on the product’s performance monitor. As such, you can see your speed, time, calories burned, distance, RPM, heart rate, wattage, and so on.
For even more customizability, there are 24 workout programs that you can choose from. On top of that, you can make use of a BMI calculator, manual presents, different resistance levels, and many more.
In terms of weight, the product can support weights of up to 240lbs.
This is a more advanced upright bike model. Nevertheless, it comes with enough positive reviews and can make for a quite nice purchase. It features a 10-pound flywheel and can support weights of up to 300lbs.
Just as the model above, it comes equipped with an LCD console that has 20 built-in workout programs, making it a good, if not the best exercise bike with a screen. For increased convenience, the manufacturers have placed a 3-speed fan on this console, to help you cool down during more intense workouts.
The seat is contoured and reportedly adjustable. The handlebars, on the other hand, are ergonomic, feature resting areas for the forearms, as well as heart rate sensors. Last but not least, the model features speakers that can play your favorite music via a USB or MP3 input.
The Best Spin Bike
One of Amazon’s Choices for this type of product, this spin bike features a 22kg flywheel to provide you with the required resistance while training. Given this weight, it’s unlikely that the bike will wobble.
Speaking of resistance, the system is built with realism in mind. As such, there is even a push down-type of brake in place. Using it will stop the bike completely, in an instant. The resistance is provided via a belt-drive system. The latter was used mainly due to the fact that it requires little to no maintenance.
The seat and handlebars are adjustable so that they can fit your needs. Also, the pedals are caged, increasing your safety during training.
Once again, this spin bike features a belt-drive system. However, the flywheel is reportedly bigger, which helps with the noise the bike makes – according to the manufacturers, the product is whisper quiet.
When it comes to adjustability, the handlebars and the seat are equipped with 2, respectively 4 ways of adjustment. The resistance can also be adjusted, via a pull knob. The same knob can be pressed down – when doing so, it acts as an emergency stop and stops the bike in an instant.
Moreover, the product also comes with an LCD monitor that can help you track various statistics and data or select between workout presets. For more stability, the bike has been equipped with floor levelers.
Upright vs Spin Bike – Online Order Peculiarities
- Warranty – most, if not all models come with 1 or 2 years of warranty. This period can be extended via various services provided by the seller’s website if appliable. However, you do enjoy a warranty, regardless of purchase.
- Money-Back – depending on the seller or platform, you might enjoy a money-back service. If you’re using a reputable platform, you will most likely have no issue claiming this right, so to speak. For example, the Schwinn upright bike mentioned above can be returned within 90 days with no issues.
- Shipping Costs – shipping, as you know, can be quite troublesome. Most, if not all US states enjoy free shipping and handling. Not the same can be said about European countries, where shipping can cost a bit. However, whatever the cost, you enjoy quality shipping services, with no risk of receiving damaged products and such.
For a better online purchase experience, it’s recommended to use only reputable platforms and buy products from manufacturers that are well-known in the industry.
Upright vs Spin Bike – FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a spin bike and an upright bike?
A spin bike is a stationary replica of a traditional bike. It allows you to pedal while standing up and promotes more intensive workouts. Upright bikes, on the other hand, don’t allow you to stand up and are ideal for moderate-intensity workouts. They also don’t make you bend forward as much as spin bikes.
Is a spin bike better than an exercise bike?
Not necessarily. Spin bikes are better for those that want more intense workouts. A workout can have the same results, regardless of the piece of fitness equipment used.
Is an upright bike better?
An upright bike is better for you if you prefer sitting comfortably while pedaling. At the same time, upright bikes are recommended for people that shouldn’t engage in high-intensity workouts.
What is the difference between spinning and cycling?
Unlike cycling, spinning makes you use your hamstrings more than usual. This is due to the weight of the flywheel – in short, the resistance of the spin bike. While both types train the same muscles, a spin bike trains the lower leg muscles a bit harder – and perhaps better.
How does a spin bike work?
Spin bikes usually employ belt-drive systems connected to a flywheel. A set of pedals is then connected to this flywheel and, with the help of a knob usually, you can increase or decrease the resistance level.
Is a recumbent bike better than an upright one?
Not necessarily. In some cases, recumbent bikes can provide you with better training for your lower body muscles, if that’s what you’re after. At the same time, recumbent bikes favor low-intensity workouts, due to the seating position of the rider.
What is the best upright exercise bike for home?
The best upright exercise bike for home is the bike that’s stable enough to support your weight and doesn’t wobble around. We recommend you choose one with plenty of features, especially for the resistance levels. It also helps if you can easily move it around.
What to do if a spin bike doesn’t have a computer?
If you’re serious about spinning, you don’t even need a computer, to be honest. However, if you wish to track your training, you can equip yourself with a smart fitness band that will track everything for you – from distance to heart rate and so on.
What is the difference between spinning and stationary bikes?
The main difference is the weight of the flywheel. Spin bikes will usually come with a much heavier flywheel so that they can provide you with much more resistance and, as the main result, a much more intensive workout.
The Bottom Line
If you don’t know what to choose between an upright vs spin bike, then this article will surely help you make the right call! Everything you need to know is right here, and all that’s left for you is to search for the bike that’s just the one for you and your family.