Exercise bikes and spin bikes are two very common pieces of cardiovascular exercise equipment, with both having massive benefits for your health.
That said, although both are types of stationary bicycles, there are some big differences between them.
Right now, we're going to figure out what exactly both exercise bikes and spin bikes are, and what makes them different from each other.
Differences Between Exercise Bikes and Spin Bikes
There are a few main differences between exercise bikes and spin bikes to be aware of, which will help you make a decision between the two.
Exercise bikes are designed for users of all kinds, whether beginners looking for a light workout or more seasoned cardio experts looking to get their hearts pumping.
Although they are designed for everyone, their highly adjustable nature and more comfortable design makes them beginner-friendly.
Spin bikes are designed for high-intensity cycling, and are usually used by group cycling classes.
These lean forward and have a minimal design, with the aim being to mimic riding a real road bike. These bikes are made for challenging workouts and usually aren’t very beginner-friendly.
Want to find a good spin bike? Take a look at our best spin bikes for home list.
Appearance & Design
A big difference is that regular exercise bikes usually have large pedals, an oversized seat, have you seated upright with a relatively straight back, and usually have handlebars that allow for multiple grip positions.
Plus, they often have large consoles built into the bike with a variety of extra features such as tablet holders so you can watch your favourite show as you exercise.
They can be quite large and heavy, plus they usually have a large magnetic flywheel to provide smooth and constant resistance.
Whereas spin bikes are much more minimalistic in nature, as they often have small seats and pedals, like a real road bike, and often feature the ability for riders to use specialised cycling shoes.
A spin bike has you leaning forward, in true race mode as a result the console tends to be quite basic only showing the essential workout data.
Generally, a spin bike will have a flywheel mounted at the front which uses either friction or magnetic resistance.
Adjustability and Comfort
Regular exercise bikes generally have an adjustable seat, handlebars, and many different resistance levels, which makes them versatile and beginner-friendly.
Spin bikes usually aren’t nearly as adjustable, although they are designed to replicate a real road bike riding experience.
Normally, the biggest difference in terms of comfort is the seat, if you aren't used to using a spin bike, then the seat may feel quite uncomfortable at first. Especially if you don't have the spin bike set up correctly for you.
Related: The Best Exercise Bikes USA
The Type of Workout
Exercise bikes are usually used by people working out on their own. They can be used for exercise sessions of all intensity levels, although the experience is usually a bit more relaxed.
Spin bikes are most often used in high-intensity group cycling classes. Spin bikes are made for those looking for a serious workout.
Spin bikes are quite expensive due to their high-end designs, but a good regular exercise bike can be just as expensive. The difference is that you can find lower-end exercise bikes at much lower prices than starter spin bikes.
Pros and Cons of Exercise Bikes
Now that we know what the main differences between these two types of exercise equipment are, let’s figure out if it’s an exercise bike that you want.
Read more: Exercise Bike Benefits Guide
Pros and Cons of Spin Bikes
With the pros and cons of exercise bikes covered, let’s now do the same for spin bikes.
Exercise vs Spin Bike – Which Is Right for You?
If you are looking for something versatile, relatively comfortable, adjustable, and you just want to get some movement in, then a regular exercise bike will do the trick.
However, if you’re looking for an intense workout, and you want the experience to closely mimic riding a real road bike, then a spinning bike is what you need.