Bike Trainer vs Exercise Bike – How do they compare?

Technology and innovation have providedrides with two great cycle training options to pick from. Given the choice between the bike trainer and exercise bike, which is the better alternative?

We spent Christmas holidays with a friend of mine last year and it was in this cold winter season that we got to experience the joy of indoor cycling.

Lucky for us, Chrissie’s parents had spent part of their retirement benefits on a fully stocked home gym and we made every possible use of it.

By the end of the Christmas week, we were no longer newbies to any of the equipment. I particularly loved the cycling options and this review is packed with information I acquired during my time there.

What are the differences between Bike Trainer and Exercise Bike?

 
Bike Trainer
Exercise Bike
Resistance
wind, liquid or electromagnetic
electromagnetic, wind or direct contact
Posture
Upright over handlebars
Upright or recumbent
Console
None
Yes
Availability

Bike Trainer vs Exercise Bike – How they compare 

ResistanceType

Bike trainers can have wind, liquid, or electromagnetic sources of resistance which doesn’t differ much from the exercise bike that has electromagnetic, wind, or direct contact types of resistance.

By using a bike trainer’s liquid or wind type resistance, the rider will benefit from a more realistic riding experience.The drawback to this is the leaking that may possibly occur.

Some electromagnetic trainers provide some real experiences as well. They would be a great addition over the liquid or wind kind.

In exercise bike option, electromagnetic type of resistance is expensive. However, it provides a real riding experience and it does not require regular maintenance.

However, the most common type of resistance you will come across in the exercise bikes is the direct contact type of resistance that is less expensive.

However, it will break often because of the mechanical rubbing needed to create the source and it also doesn’t feel so outdoorsy.

Ease of Use 

Bike trainers take time to set up and get it going while the exercise bike is better because it is ready to go after the first installation

Bike trainers are problematic. This is trueespecially if you need to remove the bike to do some outdoor cycling. It is also true if you live with other individuals who would want to have a go at it but need to use their bike for the right fit.

In terms of posture, the bike trainer keeps you in a body-forward over the position of the handlebars. This is great for road racing but it will give you more aches and pains when indoor cycling.

Exercise bikes are ready to go after setup and no matter how many people want to use it, adjustments to fit different proportions are easily and effectively done.

The posture on the exercise bike is more upright or reclined and this gives more variety in terms of riding comfort and minimizes the joint or muscle pain that may come from indoor cycling.

Training Software

With bike trainers, you would need to get a third-party application to add some spice to your indoor cycling.That’s less than whatmost exercise bikes provide: they have both the preset programs plus an option to integrate with third party cycling apps.

There are now programs that you can integrate that help you import cycling workouts that take your training to the next level. This is made possible by screencasting to a big screen like television for easier visibility.

In the past, exercise bikes came programmed with preset interfaces with preloaded workouts that keep the user engaged. Now, most exercise bikes have both the preset programs plus an option to integrate with third party cycling apps.

Some are so cool that they allow the rider to adjust the bike to a riding position that simulates the outdoors allowing for downhill and uphill riding too.

There is a host of these third-party apps that can be configured to your bike in a way that gives them complete control over the bike. This is effective in managing the various modes of resistance settings if and when available.

Bike Trainer vs Exercise Bike – A Comparison Overview 

Bike Trainer Review 

Sale
Bike Trainer Stand Bicycle Trainers Road Bike Trainer for Indoor Riding Magnetic Bike Trainer with 5 Levels Resistance
  • ✿『EASY TO ASSEMBLE』 Our bike trainer with only a small amount of spare parts. According to our instructions, you can finish the dirty combination of the bike trainer stand in 15 minutes and start your workout. We suggest that you use the bicycle trainers in a more open area.bike trainer bike trainer stand bicycle trainers.
  • ✿『FIVE RESISTANCE SETTING』 Our bike trainer can adjust to five resistance levels. When you reach one level, you feel like riding on a flat ground. When you adjust bike trainer stand resistance to three levels, you will experience something like riding on the sand. If you have confidence in yourself, you can set the bicycle trainers resistance level to five. It's like climbing a slope. bicycle trainers road bike trainer indoor bike trainer.
  • ✿『EASY TO CARRY AND STORE』 It doesn't take up much space to carry and place our bike trainer. You can fold it up and put it in the car's trunk easily. You can also place the bike trainer stand in a corner of the room. When you want to use it, just take the bicycle trainers out and start exercising. Of course, first you have to have a bike.bike trainer indoor bike trainer road bike trainer.
  • ✿『SUPER MUTE』 If you want to make sure that you don't disturb others while exercising, then our bike trainer is a good choice for you. When you use the bike trainer stand and set the first resistance, the sound will not exceed 60 decibels. Of course, the higher the resistance you set, the lower the noise you will make. If you set the 5 levels ,and bicycle trainers still makes a lot of noise, so that means you are too strong.bike trainer stand bicycle trainers indoor bike trainer.
  • ✿『QUALITY ASSURANCE』 Our bike trainer is made of high quality carbon steel and can guarantee at least 300 pounds of weight. We guarantee that you will like our bike trainer stand. If any quality problems occur on our bicycle trainers, please contact us.bike trainer indoor bike trainer bicycle trainers.

This setup refers to a motor that is attached to your bike either on the front or rear tire allowing you to use your outdoor bike to exercise indoors.

There is a separate type of bike trainer known as the direct-drive that takes the place of your bike entirely.

By use of a flywheel or through the bike’s cassette, the trainer provides the resistance that is meant to simulate the outdoor riding experience.

While they don’t feature a console in the setup, there are a variety of trainers that are smart enough to allow for a connection to your Tv, tablet, or third-party app loaded with preprogrammed workouts for varied terrains.

They are mostly used by ardent or competitive cyclists who like to pedal all year round regardless of the weather especially because they can ride on their favorite regular bike and in the same posture.

Pros

  • Maintains actual bike riding posture
  • Takes up less space
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Mimics outdoor riding if using third-party software

Cons

  • Needs a separate bike to work
  • Must be setup every time
  • Different users need different bikes
  • Can get noisy

View Price on Amazon

Exercise Bike Review 

This is a stationary bike that doesn’t feature any road-worthy tires. It comes with a saddle, pedals, and handlebars that are based on an immobile structure that stays in place while you cycle.

They offer different adjustments in the seat and sometimes handlebars to help accommodate users of different proportions in weight and height.

The riding position can be either upright or recumbent depending on the bike and their resistance is sourced from the air, straps, mechanical or direct contact.

Most of these bikes come with a digital console with preprogrammed workouts and depending on the app or mode selected, could also give you access to live on-demand virtual classes.

A plus on these bikes is their ability to monitor and track your performance metrics like heart rate, speed, duration, and calories burned.

They are recommended for everyone who is into health and fitness for cardiovascular training, body toning, weight loss, and muscle strengthening.

Pros 

  • Only one installation needed
  • Adjustable to fit multiple riders
  • Doesn’t require a bike
  • Quieter indoor cycling option
  • More programs available

Cons 

  • Needs a dedicated space
  • Heavy and cumbersome

View Price on Amazon

Verdict: So, which is better – Bike Trainer or Exercise Bike?

Ultimately, the exercise bike stands out to me as being the better option compared to the bike trainer. This is because of the one-time setup, the fact that it’s a one-in-all alternative, and the multiple options in workout available.

FAQ

I suffer from chronic back pain but I love to cycle. Which indoor bike is best for me?

The exercise bike is ideal for anyone suffering from chronic aches and pains because there are varied postures possible with different bikes and adjustment settings.

I’m training for a cycling marathon over winter. What indoor bike should I go for?

The bike trainer would serve you best because it will train your body on the same riding posture you will be riding on and you will have the advantage to use your preferred bike while cycling indoors.