I need a high-quality exercise bike

JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp.I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
Winter is rapidly approaching, and as I can't drive anymore due to poor vision, the cold makes getting out to the gym difficult. Last year, when I was frozen inside my house, my only recourse for cardio was sort of half-jogging up and down the (short) length of my house. I'd like to do better this year.

Specifically, what I'd like is a comfortable, heavy-duty recumbent exercise bike. I mean like something that you'd find in a gym or a physical therapy center, something meant to stand up under a lot of use. I'd like to be able to crank out a couple hours a day on this thing while listening to podcasts, and I don't want it to shake itself apart or pop a chain or whatever these things are apt to do.

Obviously some rinky-dink $300 thing is not going to do the job, but I'm not sure what will. I don't know what brands are good, I don't know what I should expect to pay. My vision also makes long stretches of online research way more of a pain in the ass than it needs to be, so I was hoping someone here could point me in the right direction. What are the good brands? Even better, what are the good models? How much should I expect to pay? What other things should I know that I don't know enough to ask about right now?

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tyrannus

Posts

  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited October 2018
    I have one of these Airdyne Pro.

    I hate it, it's everything I despise about exercise. It's really pretty great. It's exhausting and if you decide to do interval training it can make you legitimately sore and feel like throwing up. It can also accept a wireless heart monitor if you're into that sort of thing. Being able to ignore the handlebars and just use your legs, or use the pegs and destroy your arms makes it feel like there's some built in variety.

    I used to have a recumbent and it killed my back and never felt quite right. It was a Schwinn, though I can't remember the model it lasted me for years and I eventually gave it away before moving because the things are heavy. I'd probably buy another Schwinn if I had a need to. You can almost always find exercise equipment on sale in late January when everyone falls off the new years resolution wagon and returns stuff.

    Important things about bikes is that if you're not used to sitting on a seat, it will be very painful to do so for long periods of time. It doesn't mean there's something wrong with the seat... your ass is just not used to sitting properly and will be much less sore after a couple of weeks, the discomfort was less with a recumbent but there was still a break in period. With the Airdyne, it was really uncomfortable and I had to stand and pedal every few minutes just to relieve the pain. It doesn't mean you need a new seat, it means your "sitting bones" aren't used to the load.

    I've put 60 minutes a day on the Airdyne for the last month and aside from having to tighten up some of the bolts because of break in, the thing is super solid. From what I understand it's a really popular design for crossfit people, so any local gym may have something similar set up.

    Edit: I'm 260lbs and 6'3" with back issues and it fits me just fine. A big problem with cheaper bikes is they don't really work for people over 6'.

    dispatch.o on
    JacobkoshJanson
  • m!ttensm!ttens Registered User regular
    Not an exercise bike but I'll throw in my $0.02 on a rowing machine. Concept2 is the gold standard and less maintenance than water resistance rowers. It can be as aerobic or anaerobic as you want (similar to stationary bikes). They retail for $900 but you can usually find used ones on Craigslist and the like pretty often. If you do buy used, spare parts are readily available (including replacement monitors) but try to get one with a PM5 monitor attached (that's the newest one).

    I usually watch netflix on a tablet I prop up on the handle hook and it works decently well to keep my mind from getting too bored doing long steady state.

    bowenAridhol
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    One thing to check when buying is to ensure the body is designed to allow for user maintenance. Exercise bikes break with alarming frequency and you want one with a chassis that allows you to snap off the plastic coating and fix whatever gets gummed up inside. The more expensive ones typically allow for maintenance, the cheaper ones tend not to. But check before you buy.

    dispatch.oJacobkoshSleep
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    I really enjoy using the rowing machine at the small gym at work. It takes coordination that I don't really have but it feels great. I'd probably have tried to get a rower if my back weren't an issue. Definitely try it out if you go browse equipment.

    Iruka
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    I enjoy my rower over my bike.

    It's more comfortable on my butt too.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    m!ttensAridhol
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    Hmm, okay. Thanks for the words so far, guys. I appreciate it.

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  • Banzai5150Banzai5150 Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    I own a Schwinn recumbent. I never could find the perfect settings of the seat to make it feel “right” but the bike is pretty awesome. Has enough variety in programs so you don’t get bored. I forget exactly how the resistance works but it’s awesome. It doesn’t have that impossible weird rotation that the screw down types have.

    I have a version without Bluetooth and the new ride with people thing.

    https://www.schwinnfitness.com/270/100515.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwpeXeBRA6EiwAyoJPKgX3RKHN_bqFNszDdrFUbQhRCjw6v4ANYhYYyuxir_Tyc5_flBo93RoCm54QAvD_BwE&adID=SDOSG2SSL2&psearch=1&gclsrc=aw.ds

    Banzai5150 on
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  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    Banzai5150 wrote: »
    I own a Schwinn recumbent. I never could find the perfect settings of the seat to make it feel “right” but the bike is pretty awesome. Has enough variety in programs so you don’t get bored. I forget exactly how the resistance works but it’s awesome. It doesn’t have that impossible weird rotation that the screw down types have.

    I have a version without Bluetooth and the new ride with people thing.

    https://www.schwinnfitness.com/270/100515.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwpeXeBRA6EiwAyoJPKgX3RKHN_bqFNszDdrFUbQhRCjw6v4ANYhYYyuxir_Tyc5_flBo93RoCm54QAvD_BwE&adID=SDOSG2SSL2&psearch=1&gclsrc=aw.ds

    That's using magnetic resistance, which is probably a good choice for the OP. Basically, there's almost no moving parts. The pedals are connected directly to the flywheel, which has nearby magnets to slow it down. Therefore, there's very little to break, which is good if you plan to use it for 2 hours/day.

    JacobkoshElvenshae
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Do you have an actual bike? Modern direct drive trainers are magical and let you ride in virtual world's (check out zwift) . They also pack away better vs a big exercise bike.

  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    I have an actual bike, but haven't ridden for like a decade, because my neighborhood is wildly bike-unfriendly. And with Kansas City weather, there are definitely going to be days or even weeks at a time where I really, really, really don't want to go outside.

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  • OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    I have an actual bike, but haven't ridden for like a decade, because my neighborhood is wildly bike-unfriendly. And with Kansas City weather, there are definitely going to be days or even weeks at a time where I really, really, really don't want to go outside.

    I think that's why he mentioned the trainer. Even better if you're not using your bike. I know you take the rear wheel off and maybe there's more to it, and then hook it up to the machine, which provides resistance. I think the virtual worlds part is on your TV or computer screen?

    Elvenshaeschuss
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Orogogus wrote: »
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    I have an actual bike, but haven't ridden for like a decade, because my neighborhood is wildly bike-unfriendly. And with Kansas City weather, there are definitely going to be days or even weeks at a time where I really, really, really don't want to go outside.

    I think that's why he mentioned the trainer. Even better if you're not using your bike. I know you take the rear wheel off and maybe there's more to it, and then hook it up to the machine, which provides resistance. I think the virtual worlds part is on your TV or computer screen?

    https://zwift.com
    Can connect via Bluetooth to a trainer and dynamically alter resistance to mimic climbing a hill.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I'm really sad that they don't have that working in VR yet, I would probably eviscerate my savings getting that set up for myself if they did.

    Siskabowen
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    I'm really sad that they don't have that working in VR yet, I would probably eviscerate my savings getting that set up for myself if they did.

    It wouldn't be that bad, honestly. Lowest end direct drive is 600ish (direto/flux), you could probably just use a daydream or the Lenovo mr set for 200 or so, so under 1k and likely would last forever

  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    I'm really sad that they don't have that working in VR yet, I would probably eviscerate my savings getting that set up for myself if they did.

    The sweat might be a bit of an issue with that

    The again Beat Saber exists so

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Sweatbands do wonders for helping that on vr sets

  • baudattitudebaudattitude Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    I mean, I know it flies in the face of common sense, but I have put a SHOCKING number of hours on to this Sears-basement special that set me back all of about $250. Right now I am playing Overwatch from it and I can put two hours into making the pedals go, without even noticing the time go by.

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    Pro-Form 185U. Out of production now but they have newer models.

    Features: It has a dial. If you want to have more resistance, you turn it one way. For less resistance, you turn it the other way. There's an SD card slot that does... something, I don't know what. It has a heart rate monitor which I occasionally use to make sure I'm still alive. There's also a cupholder. It takes two D batteries which you need to replace occasionally.

    Durability: I'm a larger guy and it hasn't broken yet.

    baudattitude on
    ElvenshaeJacobkosh
  • AridholAridhol Daddliest Catch Registered User regular
    If I had the money I'd absolutely go for a concept rower.
    It's the only cardio that I actually enjoy.
    I do 2000m at the beginning of every workout at the gym.

    For a recumbent bike we have these at the gym I go to
    https://www.solefitness.ca/R92-recumbent-cycle.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiA8f_eBRDcARIsAEKwRGc9vk9FiaW1H6zOQlDZef4iTc9O4VG4Y5iY3k1Aq9VHPuOWBugffE4aAqtOEALw_wcB

    Super comfy and built like a tank.
    Not sure if they're available where you are.

  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    Thanks for the help, everyone. I'm going to be looking around at stores today.

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  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    ....And I went ahead and picked up that Sole R92. It's on a 50% off flash sale today with free shipping and every review said things like "built like a tank," "indestructible," etc. I like those words! I like saving a grand. Thanks, @Aridhol !

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    AridholbaudattitudeschussHappylilElftyrannusElvenshaebowen
  • baudattitudebaudattitude Registered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    ....And I went ahead and picked up that Sole R92. It's on a 50% off flash sale today with free shipping and every review said things like "built like a tank," "indestructible," etc. I like those words! I like saving a grand. Thanks, @Aridhol !

    The SIZE of those cupholders. I am in awe.

    Jacobkosh
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Nice, I have a sole treadmill and it's great.

    twmjr
  • tyrannustyrannus Registered User regular
    Nice! YOU THE MAN KOSH!

    Jacobkosh
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