How to get the same feeling from an exercise bike as when you’re biking out on the road
You want to train regularly at home, so you’ve decided to buy a home fitness device. You love biking, though, and you’re not sure if an indoor exercise bike will capture that same feeling that comes with road cycling. Don’t worry. There is a simple solution: a racing bike.
Throw out your preconceptions
When you hear the words "exercise bike,” you probably envision a home fitness bike where you’re supposed to keep your head up and your back perfectly straight. This position is meant to spare your back, but it’s radically different from your position on your road bike. For you, a bike means curved handlebars for better aerodynamics, and it means you can stand up in the pedals to gain more power. An exercise bike? Not for you, right?
Forget all that! Exercise bikes have evolved. Today, you have two major kinds of exercise bikes: the "classic" one you’re picturing, and the racing bike.
The former has its uses: cardio training, progressive muscle building, or for getting back into shape after a long period of inactivity. Contrary to what you might think, this type of bike does a good job of combining comfort and performance. The other kind of bike, which first became popular in the 90s, is resolutely focused on speed and power. It was first designed to enable high-level athletes to train during the winter; then became popular in gyms, where it is used by all; and finally, it’s available for home use.
Biking, spinning or RPM: full speed ahead
Racing bikes are designed to be high-end devices, not intended for beginners. The handlebars are positioned lower than the seat, offering users the same things they seek when cycling outdoors: aerodynamics and speed. In addition, the bike’s heavy, fixed pinion flywheel forces the user to pedal without stopping: so you need to be in good physical condition!
If you’ve been in a gym In recent years, you know that racing bikes have become de rigueur. They are the stars of group cycling classes. Whether known as indoor cycling or RPM or spinning, these intensive cardio training sessions use racing bikes that offer gym goers the chance to burn calories and strengthen the thighs and glutes.
Today, the racing bike is available at home. If you’re already athletic, in shape and capable of training solo, it’s an ideal piece of equipment. Whether your goal is cardio training, muscle building or quick weight loss, or you’re just an avid cyclist trying to get through the winter months, the racing bike is for you.
(Mostly) independent training
The first racing bike models differed from exercise bikes, in that they didn’t provide any guidance to users. Exercise bikes have a motorized magnetic resistance system built in, which can automatically increase or decrease resistance, thus simulating hills. In this way, they can adjust difficulty to serve a specific goal (a target heart rate, for example).
Racing bikes initially had no automatic components to help with this, and it’s still the case for many models today. While these bikes are composed of a solid, reliable design, they can often come across as very basic from a technical standpoint. For example, on most models, you still need to manually turn a dial to increase or decrease the resistance. And the console displays only the most basic parameters (heart rate, miles traveled, etc.).
Not so with NordicTrack, which offers a highly innovative racing bike experience, complete with automatic course simulation. NordicTrack’s truly unique racing bike, aptly named the "Grand Tour,” offers the feel of road cycling, while creating a real course to navigate during your ride. Images of real landscapes roll by on your console, giving you a unique, immersive workout!
Everything for the serious cyclist
The racing bike has everything cyclists need to capture the sensation of biking on the open road. No need to worry about bad weather, either: they can keep in shape and build muscle and endurance throughout the year.
Finally, racing bikes help cyclists to let off steam. Cyclists will tell you: every pedal stroke helps to diffuse the stress of daily life. Only one question remains: are you ready to give it a try?