Folding Exercise Bikes: Should You Get One?

Are you considering buying an at-home stationary bike, but you don’t have the budget for a Peloton bike? There are many other, lower-cost options for your at-home cycling workouts. A cost and space-efficient option for a stationary bike is a folding exercise bike.

What is a folding exercise bike?

A folding exercise bike is an option to consider when planning your home workout routine. A folding bike is a lower cost option than a typical stationary bike. It will also take up less space because you can fold it and store it upright. You can still get a high-quality fitness workout in the comfort of your own home.

A folding exercise bike is a good option for a home gym, especially when you are trying to save space. You can pull the bike out and have a quick workout, and when you finish, you can easily fold it up and put it away.

Types of folding bikes: upright versus recumbent bikes

You can get folding exercise bikes for both upright and recumbent positions to suit your workout plan. Both have different fitness benefits:

While any stationary bike will be low impact compared to an outdoor bike, a recumbent bike will be even lower impact than an upright. The position you are in to ride a recumbent bike is easier on your joints.

An upright stationary bike will work your core and upper body muscles more than a recumbent exercise bike. It will be a closer experience to an outdoor bike, so if you are using a folding exercise bike to train for an outdoor event, an upright stationary bike will be more beneficial.

How much does the foldaway exercise bike weigh?

Typically they weigh between 30 and 50 pounds. The heavier the bike, the more stable it will be, and the pedals’ motion will be more fluid. On the other hand, a lighter bike will be easier to move and position where you want it so that you can find a happy medium for your needs.

Every bike will have a different weight capacity. The heavier the bike, the more weight it will be able to hold. Most stationary folding bikes can hold around 300 to 400 pounds, but weight capacity is something you will want to check for each bike you are considering buying.

Are folding exercise bikes any good?

Folding exercise bikes are totally worth it! They can provide essentially the same workout as a normal stationary bike while taking up less space. Just like any bike, you will need to look for one to fit your needs. There is no “one bike fits all.” 

If you find a foldable exercise bike that is the right size and resistance for you, it should function just fine. Finding the best way to establish your fitness is important, and you should find a way to make it easy for you.

Are folding bikes slow?

The speed of the folding bike will vary depending on the kind of bike you decide to get. Like a normal bike, the handlebars, seat, and pedal position will make it easier or harder for you to ride it. 

Some people find foldable bikes to be slower because of the pedals’ position, but it depends on the bike. It is always important to check any reviews or notes on bikes you are considering buying so you can see how it performs.

Can you lose weight using a folding exercise bike?

Yes! A foldable exercise bike is great for losing weight. The average person typically burns around 300 calories for every 30 minutes spent working out on a stationary exercise bike. Every person is different, and you may burn more or less than that, but you will burn calories. You can look here for more tips on stationary bike riding for fitness and weight loss.

An upright folding exercise bike will burn more calories than a recumbent exercise bike, but you can still burn calories with a recumbent folding bike. As long as you are regularly using your bike, regardless of the type, you will eventually lose weight.  

What muscles do biking workout?

Biking mostly works out the leg muscles. It is a good way to build muscle in your calves, hamstrings, and thighs. Biking is also a great cardio workout to get your heart rate up. Your core, back muscles, and glutes are also strengthened by biking. If your bike has handlebars, you can also workout your biceps, triceps, and shoulder muscles. 

Cycling raises your heart rate and burns lots of calories, both of which are beneficial to weight loss. The key to losing fat and building muscle using your indoor cycling bike is regularity. If you can cycle every day, you will get in healthier shape quicker. 

Indoor cycling is easier to do every day because the weather won’t play a factor, and it will take less time. It will be easier for you to build a habit of it because you have a guaranteed safe and comfortable ride in your own home. 

Building healthy habits is crucial to your fitness. Folding stationary bikes are a great way to build those habits you need. 

How long should I ride an exercise bike?

The minimum recommended time for a cycling workout is half an hour. However, a good place to start is 20 minutes a day, and then build up to 30 minutes over a couple of weeks to help your body adjust to the workout. You can find a good workout plan for beginners here. As you get more comfortable on your bike, you can add more time and experiment with more intense workouts to continue building and strengthening muscles. 

Of course, any time spent working out will be more beneficial to your fitness than not spending any time. Any kind of cardio workout that improves your heart rate will be worth the time spent on it.

Is riding a stationary bike a weight-bearing exercise?

Biking is not considered a weight-bearing exercise. It is a low impact sport and is very easy on joints. Riding an upright bike with pedals that you can stand on will be slightly weight-bearing while riding a recumbent bicycle won’t be at all. If your goal is to strengthen your bones, you will need to add a different exercise to your fitness plan. Bicycling is very good for your health, but it doesn’t do much for your bones. 

Bicycling is not recommended for people with osteoporosis or those at high risk for it. While biking is still beneficial to your overall fitness, it doesn’t strengthen your bones. If it is not accompanied by a sufficient weight-bearing exercise, like walking, running, or dancing, it can lead to osteoporosis or worsen it if it’s a pre-existing condition.

Magnetic resistance bikes

Magnetic resistance is just what it sounds like. Stationary bikes that use magnetic resistance create an electromagnetic field that the wheel spins in. you can adjust the amount of resistance you have on the wheel because the magnetic field is controlled by electricity. You can turn the power up or down depending on how intense you want your workout to be. 

Stationary bikes using a magnetic resistance system are a better option than a resistance band because the magnetic resistance system is generally silent because there is no contact between the wheel and the resistor. There is little to no maintenance required because there is no friction wear-down. You can get a range of workouts because of the adjustable resistance.

Spin bikes

Spin bikes are a little different than a typical upright stationary bike. They are shaped more like an outdoor bicycle and provide a workout much closer to it than an upright exercise bike. Spin bikes are better for training for an outdoor bicycle event because it is much more similar to the real thing. 

Spin bikes can also provide a better, more intense workout than an upright bike. You can stand up on a spin bike, working your whole body harder. They also generally have a heavier flywheel, and therefore require more effort to pedal, burning more calories.

If you are looking for a harder workout that closely resembles an outdoor bike, go for a spin bike. But if you are looking for an easier workout and a bike that is easy to store, an upright exercise bike is the best one. If you are injured or have joint problems, or are just looking for a gentle, light workout, a recumbent exercise bike will be very easy on your body.

For more information on spin bikes versus upright bikes or recumbent bikes, you can go here.

Why would you want a seat back or backrest on your foldable exercise bike?

If you have a bad back, whether from an injury, age, or some other reason, you will want a backrest on your bicycle seat. While every bike will come with its own adjustable seat, most bikes don’t have the right cushioned seat, so it’s a good idea to look into buying your own. 

If you have a weak back, it is especially important to make sure you have a padded seat with a backrest. A good seat will give your back the support it needs and help you keep a good posture while cycling. 

A bad seat can result in bad posture and won’t distribute your body weight well, leading to back pain and injury.

Again, this is just something you need to look out for when buying a bike. Some foldable exercise bikes may come with a backrest for the seat, but most probably won’t. When looking for an exercise bike to buy, check the seats that are available for that type of bike. It’s worth it to buy a nice seat instead of dealing with a weak seat without a backrest.

Advantages of a folding exercise bike

At-home, stationary bikes are incredibly convenient and easy to use. They are the best way to try to get into the habit of doing any kind of aerobic exercise or cardio workouts. Unlike outside bikes, you can use a foldable exercise bike whenever you want. You don’t have to wait for good weather, and you don’t have a designated time frame.

You can always cycle inside; you don’t have to worry about rain, snow, wind, or extreme weather temperatures. You can control the temperature that you workout in because it’s your own home. 

You can also workout inside whenever you want. Especially for women, it can be dangerous to workout outside at night. With a foldable exercise bike, you can always be assured of a safe place and good lighting to exercise your fitness.

The most obvious benefit of a foldable exercise bike is that it is foldable. The problem most people run into with creating an at-home gym is space. Most stationary bikes don’t take up a huge area, but it still requires a sizable chunk of the room. However, with a folding exercise bike, you can store it and only take it out when you need to use it. You don’t need a dedicated area for your exercise bike.

Another benefit to a folding exercise bike is that it is very low impact and easy on your joints, just like any other stationary bike. It is a very easy workout that is very effective for losing weight but isn’t hard on your body.

You can go here for more information on the benefits of stationary bikes.

How much space will a folding bike take up?

Most folding bikes will take up a few square feet of space once set up and even less when folded away for storage. The wider the base, the more stable the bike will be, so try to get as big as you can fit in your workout space. Even the wider bikes will still fold up pretty small to store.

Disadvantages of a folding exercise bike

Because a folding bike is designed to be easy to fold up and move, it will generally be made of a lightweight material. This can make folding bikes unstable and can lower their weight capacity. 

Because of their simple design, they have limited resistance and high-intensity workout options. For all the serious cyclists out there looking for a good option for at-home training, you should probably invest in a spin bike or another bigger, more stable stationary bike. 

You can find a list of some of the pros and cons of folding exercise bikes here

What to know when purchasing an exercise bike

Buyers guide to how to choose the best folding exercise bike

Everyone has different needs, and every bike is different. It is going to take some research on your part to find the bike that you want, so always check reviews and notes on any bike you look at to make sure it is going to work for you.

Some options of folding exercise bikes worth looking into are:

What should you look for when buying an exercise bike?

The most important factors will be the size and cost of the bike, those are the parameters that you need to stay within. Look for an affordable bike that you are sure will fit in your space.

Make sure the bike comes with a good seat, if not, order one. A good seat will provide you with the support you need to avoid back pain.

There are other factors that you should consider but aren’t really necessary to the bike working well, like a pulse sensor, adjustable tension and resistance, and transportation wheels.

Of course, you are the rider, and you know what you need to satisfy your fitness level. In the end, it’s your decision on what’s important to you and what’s not.

How do you choose an exercise bike?

Take your time, a bike is a pretty big investment. You will (hopefully) use it almost every day, and so you should be sure that it is what you want before you buy it. Do your research on the bike, make sure it fits your needs before finalizing your decision. 

Your health is important, so make sure that the bike fits all your criteria so that you can use it properly. Find the right bike for you.