If you are someone who prefers to train at home instead of doing it in the gym and you also like cycling or spinning, maybe it is time to assess if it is a good idea to acquire your own spinning bike. Both in sports websites and shopping platforms we can find a good number of spinning bikes at different prices, but do you know what you have to fix before making your purchase? We tell you so that you can acquire the bike that best suits you.
The flywheel or wheel of inertia
One of the most important things to consider when buying a spinning bike is the wheel or inertia wheel : it is the one that accumulates the kinetic energy that we transmit from our legs through the pedals and the transmission, it is usually made of aluminum and its weight ranges between 13 and 30 kilograms.
The wheel of inertia is what gives us the feeling of riding a road bike when pedaling a spinning bike, and the most important part when distinguishing it from a traditional static bicycle (not suitable for spinning, as we have already commented on some occasion). It can be placed indistinctly on the front or rear of the bike, although it is more usual to place it where the front wheel of the bike would be.
The most important feature in which we must look at the wheel of inertia is in its weight: to make us with a bicycle of good quality, the weight of the wheel of inertia should not be less than 18 kilograms. If we are going to give it an intensive use (more than two or three hours a day), it is convenient to have a greater weight.
A heavier inertia wheel makes, on the one hand, that our bicycle is more stable, and on the other, that the pedaling is much smoother. In addition, it is also related to greater resistance when exercising: the more force we exert on pedaling and the more resistance we use, the greater the load on the inertia wheel, so it should be heavy.
Transmission: Belt or chain
Transmission is the other element to which we must pay more attention when purchasing a spinning bicycle : it is what connects the pedals with the inertia wheel and that, as its name suggests, transmits the effort from our body to the bicycle.
We can find them of two types and has different characteristics:
- Chain transmission: it is more reliable than the belt transmission, although it needs more adjustments and maintenance, besides being noisier. It is the same transmission that is used in bicycles for walk or road, with a metal chain coupled to a disk with pinions.
- Belt transmission: personally, I think it is a better option, since it does not need any maintenance and is much quieter than chain transmission.
Other aspects to consider
Although the two most important characteristics are the wheel of inertia and the type of transmission of our bike, there are other characteristics that we must bear in mind before buying our spinning bike:
- Type of resistance: the resistance used by spinning bikes can be of two types, either magnetic or friction.
- Magnetic resistance: it is much more modern, more durable, silent and ensures progressive braking. The only “but” that it has is that it makes the price of the bicycle rise much more than in the case of bicycles with friction resistance.
- Friction resistance: it is carried out by means of one or two shoes . If it is a shoe, the brake is placed on the inertia wheel, while if it is of two shoes, both are placed on the sides of the inertia wheel, as is done with the brakes of a road bike to use. They tend to be cheaper, although they demand maintenance (with the use you have to change the shoe) and tend to be less progressive.
- Bicycle materials: when it comes to making a good spinning bike we must ensure that it is robust and stable. The most normal thing is that the frame is made of steel and the aluminum inertia wheel.
- Possibility of adjustments in handlebar and saddle: both the saddle and the handle must be adjustable in all directions (that is: in height and from back to front). This assures us to be able to take a good position on the bike while we are pedaling.
Of course, other aspects such as a handlebar triathlete grip, the possibility of changing the pedals to adjust a few coves or the fact that it has wheels to facilitate transport are characteristics that we must take into account.
Have you ever bought a spinning bike? What have you noticed?