Exercise Bike Vs. Treadmill: Which One is Perfect for You?

Cardiovascular workouts boost the heart rate and your overall health. And there are many workout machines that will help you accomplish that. But, exercise bikes and treadmills are the most popular options for cardio workout sessions.

Although both machines are suitable for cardio workouts, they've some notable differences. So, if you've access to both machines or intend to buy one, you've to choose between an exercise bike Vs. Treadmill!

Read on to determine the perfect equipment for your fitness routine!

Cardio Training: Exercise Bike or Treadmill?

Stationary bikes and treadmills are the best machines for indoor cardiovascular training. That's because they help to burn calories and target muscles in the lower body. In essence, cardio training builds endurance, improves lung capacity, and burns calories.

Nonetheless, these machines have some notable differences in cardio training. So let's learn more about that!

· Treadmill Cardio

Treadmill running involves basic movements that you can perform even without a machine. For that, this type of workout is considered a 'natural' cardio workout. However, it's a more effective and complete way of improving lung capacity and heart health.

Similarly, treadmills provide the best cardio workouts for losing weight—besides, models with an incline level of more than 10% help to burn more calories. As a result, you'll lose weight faster than training on the exercise bike.

· Exercise Bike Cardio

Unlike treadmills, exercise bikes provide a lighter way of exercising cardio activities. These machines have a seat. On the knees, cardio training on an exercise bike while sitting will be less strenuous. Yet, it provides an adequate exercise of the glutes, thighs, and calves. Cycling offers a complete cardiovascular workout while being less demanding than treadmills.

Another benefit of using an exercise bike for cardio is that they're simple to use, even for beginners. Not to forget that they're less compact, so they occupy less space in your living area.

Which is Better for Cardio Training?

Although both workout machines are effective in cardio workouts, treadmills are more functional. Exercise bikes involve movements you'll not do in your routine activities. Contrarily, treadmill training engages muscles you regularly use when running and walking.

Top 3 Treadmills

1. NordicTrack Commercial 1750 Treadmill

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This Commercial Treadmill series from NordicTrack is modern workout equipment with many inbuilt features. For instance, it's compatible with a monthly subscription-based program, iFit. Therefore, you can stream live workouts at any time of the day. Best of all, you'll get 1 year of free iFit membership once you purchase this treadmill.

With this equipment, you can change the incline and speed automatically. But that will rely on the intensity and flow of your workout. For example, you can add the incline level up to 15% or reduce it up to -3%. At the same time, the speed adjustments start from 0 to 12 mph.

Moreover, the 10" LCD screen features an enhanced graphic processing capability. Better still, it's compatible with Bluetooth headphones and Wi-Fi connectivity. These upgrades are intended to improve your experiences while training on the machine. Although the 3.75 CHP motor is quiet during operations, it's strong enough for professional runners. Once you're done training, you can fold this treadmill in less than 10 seconds to save in storage space.

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If you want a treadmill that is affordable and ideal for beginners, Horizon Fitness T101 may be the best option. It's pretty simple to use and has many good features. Therefore, it's an excellent option that will help you incorporate more activity into your routines.

Like most modern treadmills out there, this workout equipment is foldable. Also, it has a sturdy frame and a zoned cushioning system. This helps prevent fatigue and minimize the workout impact on your body & joints.

You'll also note that a 2.25 continuous motor powers this treadmill. Interestingly, this motor has a perfect balance of noise reduction and power. This keeps it very quiet when you're jogging or running on the machine. Other features include; inbuilt tablet rack and Bluetooth speakers.

T101 doesn't have more advanced workout options like different inclines and speed on the downside. Also, it doesn't support on-demand or live instructor-led classes. Instead, it comes with 30 inbuilt workout programs that you can use for your training.

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Like the NordicTrack model I've listed earlier, T6.5 S is iFit-enabled. But, more importantly, you'll get 1 month of free iFit subscription on buying the device. This allows you to enjoy on-demand and live training classes. Best of all, the instructor will adjust the speed and incline for you during the live fitness classes.

The running belt is 55" long and 20" wide. More notably, it's fitted with FlexSelect Cushioning. This will allow you to replicate on-road running while reducing impacts on the joints. Also, this workout equipment provides a modest pace of up to 10mph and an incline of about 10%.

You'll also love that this unit has an AUX input port and 2 inbuilt speakers. Yet, it's an affordable model for hikers, joggers, and walkers. Besides, its foldable design uses accessible lift assist, making it easy to fold up its deck.

Burned Calories: Treadmill Vs. Exercise Bike.

Most people engage in cardio workouts intending to burn calories. In return, that will help you get in shape or lose weight. Since treadmills and exercise bikes are suitable for cardio training, they can help you.

What Burns More Calories, Walking or Biking? Let's Find Out!

Walking provides a calorie-burning treadmill workout that engages various body parts. For example, an average 150-lbs person walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes burns about 130 calories. However, increasing the pace or incline can lead to higher caloric expenditure. For example, walking or jogging on the treadmill using a brisk pace at a higher angle can burn around 600- 700 calories per hour.

Contrarily, the same person will burn 105 calories after cycling at a light pace for 30 minutes. The amount of burned calories will depend on the workout format and type of stationary bike. For example, if the person does a vigorous workout on a spin bike for the same duration can burn up to 425 calories.

When it comes to calories burned, treadmills are better workout machines than cycling. Treadmill training can burn 700 calories on average per hour. At the same time, training on a stationary bike can only burn 400- 500 calories within the same duration. Note that both machines' burned calories depend on the training duration and intensity.

The 3 Best Exercise Bikes

1. Schwinn Fitness IC3 Exercise Bike

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Schwinn Fitness IC3 bike is one of the best workout equipment for keeping your fitness and exercise goals on track. It has a more solid build, but it's reasonably priced. Moreover, it's much more reliable than IC2 in terms of features, quality, and weight capacity.

First, it's fitted with shaped handlebars to support various poses. Not to forget that they're padded to provide a comfortable grip. This machine is equipped with a 40-lbs flywheel that provides resistance. You can use the dial beneath the handlebars to adjust resistance.

The other stand-out feature is that the bike is fitted with a 3" by 4" data monitor. Here, you can track calories burned, RPM, speed, and distance. Better still, this exercise bike is compatible with a chest strap, and your pulse will appear on the monitor.

Lastly, this bike allows you to choose between shoe clips and toe cages, thanks to the dual SPD pedals. Besides, you can easily adjust the seat position, either horizontally or vertically.

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Apart from the fact that this spin bike is only available in 1 color option, it has several great features. It measures 46.5 by 18 by 46", occupying less space. On the same note, it weighs about 100 lbs. Also, it has 2 roller wheels, making it easy to move around the room.

Regarding the handlebars, they are ergonomic, slip-free, and padded. Moreover, their design allows them to handle various cycling styles for multiple workouts. Best of all, you can adjust them vertically to match your height.

In terms of construction, this unit features a sturdy steel frame. The saddle is also adjustable, accommodating users with a height of between 5' 1" and 6' 2". Moreover, the pedals have both straps and toe clips. In summation, this stationary bike uses a chain drive mechanism, providing smooth resistance than traditional exercise bikes.

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YOSUDA is a reputable fitness brand that was founded in 2018. However, despite being relatively new in the fitness industry, they're known for manufacturing superior workout equipment. Well, their indoor stationary bikes are no exception!

Their indoor stationary bike features a 35 lb flywheel. This flywheel has weight momentum to keep the pedaling motion constant. As a result, the slowness occurring at the bottom/ top of the pedaling cycle will be significantly reduced. This will minimize the impact on the joints and provide a consistent and quiet resistance.

Talking of resistance, this spin bike uses a felt wool pad. Thus, you can decrease or increase the cycling resistance based on your workout level. Interestingly, you can adjust the resistance using the knob near the water bottle holder. Also, the ergonomic seat is adjustable, so you can move it front & back or up & down.

Finally, it's easy to track your progress with the included LCD monitor. Besides, the bike has a flat bracket, allowing you to enjoy music or videos while cycling.

Treadmill or Exercise Bike for Toning Legs?

Training on a spin bike or treadmill running tends to engage the leg muscles. But, more interestingly, both machines target the same powers. For instance, they target hamstrings, quads, calves, shins, and quads. Therefore, working out on these machines will strengthen the leg muscles.

Typically, stationary bikes help to tone and develop leg muscles more than treadmills. That's because cycling a stationary bike is a leg-driven activity. As a result, it will help you build more excellent muscle definition than treadmill training.

With that in mind, treadmill training can tone and strengthen the leg muscles. Especially if you take advantage of their incline range as it will imitate running on a hill. Incline running forces you to engage your core, glutes, quads, and calves to a greater extent. Regardless of the form of workout you choose, remember to stretch your legs after exercise.

Injury Rate: Stationary Bike Vs. Treadmill

The risk of injuries is the other factor you can't ignore when comparing treadmills and cycling. So now, let's check out how these pieces of equipment compare when it comes to injury rates.

Generally speaking, treadmill running is a high-impact workout since it's more strenuous to the joints. Also, you can quickly lose balance during treadmill workouts and fall of the equipment.

Luckily, such injury risks don't exist when cycling on an exercise bike. Besides, cycling is less strenuous on your joints. However, you can still be injured when training on a stationary bike.

Instead, there are 3 types of injury risks that exercise bikes can expose you to:

  1. The constant rotations made with your legs while cycling can cause knee pain.
  2. You can experience back pain from hunching over for an extended period.
  3. Sitting on the bike for so long can lead to butt pain.

Nonetheless, treadmill training has a higher rate of inflicting injuries than stationary bikes. For instance, treadmill running can cause injury to your hips, knees, lower back, and ankles. Worst of all, treadmill injuries are less avoidable and more severe. Cycling is preferred over the treadmill for bad knees, joint issues, and chronic pain.

Cost Comparisons: Treadmill Vs. Exercise bike

The price of stationary bikes and treadmills can help you make your buying decision. However, both machines have basic options that are as low as $200. Similarly, both are available in interactive models that cost thousands of dollars.

Either way, stationary bikes are generally much more affordable than treadmills. But as I said earlier, the price will largely depend on the machine's features and model. For instance, low-end treadmill models without displays can cost around $250 to $300. Interestingly, the best treadmills for runners on a budget are within this price range. High-end treadmill models with heart rate monitors and displays start from $1500. On the other hand, the price of exercise bikes can range between $200 and $800.

Which is Better: Treadmill or Exercise Bike?

Now that you've seen how these machines compare in various situations, which is the best option for you? In most cases, that will depend on your personal preference and workout intensity. That way, you'll be more inclined to commit to the selected equipment since you'll enjoy training on it.

Your decision can also be influenced by other factors like budget and workout goals. For instance, if you are fit enough to handle strenuous workouts, you can choose a treadmill.

At the same time, a treadmill is a versatile machine that allows indoor walking, jogging, and running. Not to forget that a treadmill will enable you to move downhill, uphill, or on a level incline. These movements stimulate natural movement, making it easy for everybody, including the elderly. Best of all, the treadmill provides a full-body workout to an extent you'll not get with exercise. But, as I've repeatedly said, choosing between Exercise bikes Vs. Treadmill usually narrows down to personal preference.

FAQs

1. Is an exercise bike and a treadmill better for weight loss?

Training on a superior treadmill like TR4000i Folding Treadmill burns more calories than cycling a stationary bike. For that, it's considered the best option for weight loss since it burns calories at a higher rate. However, both forms of workouts provide various health benefits. For example, they build and maintain healthy muscles and reduce disease risk. 

2. How long does a good workout on an exercise bike last?

A good workout on a stationary bike entails riding for 30 to 60 minutes for about 3-5 days every week. Also, make sure you choose a good exercise bike like Sunny Health & Fitness Spin Bike.

3. Cycling or treadmill, which is better?

Treadmill burns more calories than cycling since it engages more muscles. On the contrary, cycling is a low-impact exercise, so you can do it faster and longer than running. Either way, you can choose any method based on your target and fitness goals.

4. Can cycling and treadmill running reduce belly fat?

Treadmill running and cycling don't target specific body parts to help you lose weight. Nonetheless, both workouts are very effective in burning belly fat.

Conclusion

Set clear training goals before you pick between Treadmill Vs. exercise bikes. As an example, treadmills provide a very intense workout. Therefore, they'll help you burn more calories than exercise bikes. However, if you want the general benefits of a cardio workout, you can choose any material. More importantly, consult your healthcare professional before you start exercising on any machine.

About the Author Treadmill Express plus

"Erik Brown" is the health and fitness author for treadmillexpressplus.com. He works with a team of committed experts to create detailed reviews and informative articles about health and fitness. For instance, he covers various fitness-related topics especially on workout equipment like treadmills, stationary bikes and more. If you want to make a wise decision when buying any training equipment, check out more of his unbiased articles."

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