Are you looking for a new way to exercise at home? You must have heard about stationary exercise bikes to work out in the privacy of your home. However, these bikes can be quite large and heavy. Because of their size, they take too much space and they ruin the aesthetic of your home. For this reason, having something similar that is easier to handle sounds like a better option.
Folding exercise bikes sound like a solution to this problem. They have become quite popular due to their portability. You can unfold them and then fold them again after you finish exercising.
Usually, you would need a lot of space for your traditional non-folding exercising bike, which isn’t the case with folding bikes. So, these folding bikes seem like a dream come true. However, before you go and buy one for yourself, you should see if they are any good and whether they are the right choice for you.
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Types of folding exercise bikes
The best way to get yourself familiar with folding exercise bikes is to see what is offered on the market. You can choose the type that is very quiet, which makes it ideal for an office or if you have small children. The best example of this type is Marcy foldable exercise bike, a brand that is well-known among fitness enthusiasts.
The next feature that folding bike can give is a possibility to adjust the bike according to different body size. If you are on the taller side, then opt for Exerpeutic GOLD 500 XLS Folding Upright Bike.
The next type is easy to assemble and it has different levels of resistance if you like to challenge yourself. The best example of this type is Pleny Foldable Fitness Exercise Bike.
If you want to throw some fun in your cycling, then go for Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse. Just as the name suggests, you can monitor your heartbeat. It comes with 8-stages of the magnetic resistance, however, pedals can be a problem for shorter people as they are too forward, hence it is not as upright as you might expect it to be.
Lastly, there is a type of folding exercise bike that offers a holder for your iPad or Kindle – ProForm Duo Exercise Bike is one of those types. Isn’t it great to have an option to entertain yourself while trying to lose those extra pounds?
Features of folding exercise bikes
Folding exercise bikes come with different features and we’ll discuss these in details here. You should be well informed before you make your purchase. After all, you need to know what makes them better from traditional stationary bikes.
First things first, you might not know what resistance level is. Usually, all folding bikes have magnetic resistance. This means that when you are using the bike, you are slowly increasing the pedal resistance. This forces the magnets to move closer to the flywheel, thus creating tension you need for your exercise.
Most foldable exercise bikes have eight levels of magnet resistance, which is more than enough for an average user. You can either adjust this magnetic resistance manually or digitally, depending on the bike.
If you are an advanced cyclist, you should choose the bike with more levels of resistance to allow you to exercise harder.
Before you buy you should familiarise yourself with the weight capacity. Depending on a brand and model, they all have a different weight limit.
For example, from the brands mentioned earlier, Exerpeutic GOLD 500 XLS Folding Upright Bike can support 400 pounds while ProForm Duo Exercise Bike supports only 250 pounds.
The average weight limit for folding exercise bikes is around 300 pounds in most cases. However, be sure to check this information before you buy a model for yourself. People who are over this weight limit should opt for stationary exercise bikes (not foldable) since their average weight limit is usually around 400 pounds or more.
Exercise bikes have kept up with all the new technology. For this reason, many brands offer LCD display as a part of their model. This is really handy as it can help you keep track of time, speed, distance, calories burned, and so on.
If it is a more advanced model, you can even monitor your heart pulse, but not all folding exercise bikes come with this feature, it really depends on a model.
Nevertheless, the LCD display certainly makes cycling more enjoyable and satisfying. When you can see how much calories you burn, you feel more accomplished and motivated to continue on with exercising.
Heart Pulse Sensors
Monitoring your heart rate is one of the many features some people like to have on a stationary bike.
To monitor your heart rate, most machines have hand pulse sensors in the handlebars which you need to hold in order for you to see the heart rate on the LCD display.
Why is this feature important or is it really necessary? It is not necessary; you can still exercise without measuring your heart rate. However, this can help you reach and maintain the ideal heart rate for cardio exercise. Also, this can be quite useful for someone who has heart problems.
Construction of the folding bikes depends on a brand. Some models have larger seats with enough cushioning, which is very comfortable for people who plan to exercise for a longer period of time. In addition to this, you can adjust the height of the seat, which again helps to increase the comfort of using this type of bike.
If you want a better quality folding exercise bike, look for a heavy-duty steel construction frame which will ensure better stability and safety.
There are two types of folding bike with back support worth mentioning. The first one is a recumbent bike where you can sit back and lean against a backrest thus supporting your back.
This is a good option for someone who suffers from back problems. However, it is harder to get your heart rate up by using a recumbent bike since you are more or less in a horizontal position, but it is perfect when you want to read or just be on your phone during the exercise.
The other type of folding bike with back support is an upright bike that resembles a traditional outdoor bike. This type is more effective when it comes to engaging the core muscles. In addition to this, you will get your heart rate up quite easy with this model, which makes it perfect for a cardio workout.
Height Adjustments Choices
Not only is your weight important when it comes to choosing a folding bike for yourself but also your height.
A person who is taller or shorter than an average one needs to adjust the height of the bike. That’s because you need to be able to comfortably reach the pedals of your bike. If you happen to be bellow or above the average height, make sure your bike has this feature.
Some folding exercise bikes come with transportation wheels which is a feature that comes handy if the bike is on a heavier side and you need to move it around after it’s been folded. Again, this depends on a model you want to buy. If you think that a bike is too heavy for you to carry, then get yourself the one with transportation wheels.
Do you want to work your arms as well? Then, you should buy a model that comes with this feature.
Many brands include moving arms, you just have to find the one that you like the best. You can choose whether you want to work your arms simultaneously or separately from the rest of your body. This feature is great for those who want to strengthen their arm muscles along with other muscles of their body.
Apart from the standard features, there are a few other features you may find that are worth mentioning.
For example, some models have a holder for iPad or Kindle. This can make your workout fun since you can read a book or catch up with the most recent news or watch something on YouTube while exercising.
And some models come with Bluetooth or a cup holder for your favourite drink so you can refresh yourself, and so on. Again, you don’t have to buy a model with these features, but it can motivate you to exercise and make the whole process much more alluring.
How many calories can you burn using a folding exercise bike?
The answer to this question depends on the level of resistance. However, according to the Harvard University study, people weighting from 125lbs can burn from 210-315 calories by riding a stationary bike for 30 minutes.
People weighing 155 lbs, can burn around 260-391 calories, while people who have 185 lbs, burn from 322-466 calories.
In addition to this, if you are riding a bike on a moderate speed, then you can burn around 200-300 calories in 30 minutes.
On the other hand, if you pedal faster, then the number of calories increases up to 400-450 calories for 30 minutes. So, how many calories you will burn during a workout largely depends on the speed of pedalling.
Pros of folding exercise bikes
- They are much cheaper than non-folding bikes
- They save up space
- You can store them away when you are not using them
- Suitable for small apartments
- They make it easier for you to exercise at home so you can exercise even when watching a TV
Cons of folding exercise bikes
- You have to assemble them each time you decide to use them although most types are very easy to unfold
- They are not as sturdy as non-folding bikes, however, you can find well-built models made with a steel frame which makes them pretty sturdy
- They have a smaller weight limit than non-folding bikes
- Not all models are made for tall or short people
- The resistance cannot compare with that of non-folding stationary bikes
Are folding exercise bikes any good?
It is hard to give an answer to this question since it depends on your needs. If you have limited space but still want to exercise at your home, then folding exercise bikes are a good solution. Also, the folding process is quite simple and easy hence you can take the bike with you practically everywhere, even with you on holiday if you wish! (if you travel by car)
In addition to this, these bikes are suitable for beginners or for people who are sitting all day, since you can assemble them, work out for some time, then store them away.
Usually, everyone should be able to find an adequate model for themselves, unless they are extremely overweight. All in all, any exercise is good for your body and health, and this type of bike can provide this for you.
Sofia Alves is a fitness enthusiast who loves running and motivating others to adopt and stick to healthy habits. She is always learning, searching and investing in further education to build her knowledge. She strongly believes the worst workout is the one you didn’t bother to do.