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Thread: Exercise bike?

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    Exercise bike?

    Hello All. I was thinking of getting an exercise bike, but now thinking it would be better to buy a regular bike and get an indoor trainer. Your thoughts? I do live in a warm climate, Phoenix. But gets real hot in the summer. I read somewhere that Trek bikes have a weight limit of 300 pounds. So would you agree that an FX 2.0 will be ok for me? I know the 3.0 would be better, but cost is an issue. Thanks!

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    Senior Member gforeman's Avatar
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    Personally, I decided to get a Spin Bike and have it set up exactly like my road bike. Same seat, pedals, and all measurements. It's sometimes a pain to get the bike all hooked to the trainer, etc. This way I'm always ready to go.
    Gary F.


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    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    Get a bike, go outside and ride. It is way to early to worry about summer heat.
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    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Weight limits on bikes are to protect the company from liability and are usually pretty conservative. It's not that the bike will fail if someone significantly heavier rides it, it's just that you can't go after the company for warranty or liability if it does. There are some companies that make bike specifically for heavier riders like http://www.worksmancycles.com/ or you can look at a touring bike which is similar to a road bike but with a more relaxed geometry and which is made for carrying heavier loads.

    IMHO, instead of buying a trainer or spin bike, put the money into a bike a grade up from the one you are considering and/or invest in a tougher rear wheel if you are worried about weight. Even in Phoenix you will be able to ride year-round. During the hottest parts of the year, just ride in the early morning or late evening rather than mid-day. On those days where you absolutely can't ride outside, do some kind of cross training like swimming, yoga/pilates, or weight lifting (aka resistance training).

    I have kind of the opposite situation up here in MN, where the roads get bad or the wind-chill becomes life threatening in the winter and there are often a few weeks at a time that I can't / won't ride due to the risk. It's not that I physically can't ride on ice and snow, it's that the roads become narrow and rough and the other traffic can't swerve, slow or stop as well. I use a spin bike at the gym some, but also focus on cross training for core and upper body strength during that time. It's not a bad idea to have other physical activities so that you can take a break from cycling once in a while. Even the pros take time off the bike from time to time.
    Last edited by Myosmith; 12-21-13 at 07:01 AM.
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    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Get the nice bike to ride whenever you can ----- and watch Craigslist for a Schwinn Airdyne for punishment when you can't.....

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    Senior Member gforeman's Avatar
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    BTW, if I could only have one, it would be the OUTSIDE bike, not the Spin.
    Gary F.


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    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    your plan for a trek fx and a trainer is a very good one
    although
    because of the time of year
    you should be able to ride comfortably outside for a couple months i would think
    so get the bike as a christmas present or for yourself
    and get a trainer as an easter present for yourself

    then ride in whichever way you want
    whenever you want

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    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    IMHO:
    Outside, a 2-hour ride is fun.
    Indoors, a 30 minute ride is torture.

    There is some leeway with the weight limits as stated above. Presumably the bike will not have the same stresses inside on a trainer (when outdoor rides aren't desirable) that they would outdoors.
    Learn to "ride light", treat your wheels gently (no curb hops or potholes), and don't load it down with cargo.
    I bought a less-expensive bike to sit on an expensive trainer and had it professionally fitted with saddle and pedals matching my good bike. After 2 years I still don't have the trainer set up. It is on my holiday to-do list. I have a gym membership and can use the stationary bikes or spin class; or (preferably) swim. Still, I need to set up the trainer for those time-crunched days where a 30-minute session and no travel time is all I can manage.
    My cheaper bike is mostly used as my backup bike and for rides where the bike has to be decorated.
    If you want a basic indoor trainer, I bet you can find a lightly-used model on Craigslist. A lot of people have good intentions but find they never use them.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I do live in a warm climate, Phoenix.
    I ride daily in a cold, wet, one..

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    Having been through the spin cycle myself, my recommendation would be for a regular bike in a trainer.

    I had a spin bike that now lives with my mum & sister. The pros for a spin bike is that they can be relatively cheap (get a second hand gym quality rather than a new cheapie - mine was $120), they are built for gym use and abuse, most of the parts are stainless on the good ones so sweat your backside off without worry and they can be adjusted to be exactly the same as your road bike. The big downer is the resistance as it just isn't the same as a road bike. The harder you push, the easier it gets unless you're constantly playing with the resistance.

    Since I got more serious about riding about 18mths ago, I've put my old road bike into a trainer and it lives there permanently. The resistance is great and so far I'm still on the original tyre of that bike. I had thoughts that I should have chewed it up by now as they have a reputation for killing them, but so far so good. The trainers also have a reputation for being hard on the rear triangle of bikes if you like to get out of the saddle. My bonus in this respect was that I kept my old road bike because I was going to get next to nothing for it, so no worries about hurting my present road bike.

  11. #11
    Senior Member WebFootFreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nkfrench View Post
    IMHO:
    Outside, a 2-hour ride is fun.
    Indoors, a 30 minute ride is torture.
    I have to agree with this. I went with the cheap fan bike option for a trainer, and have been regretting it. I do sweat like nobody's business, but I've not managed to spin more than 45minutes at a time, whereas I could (and have) ride 2-3hrs on the bike an love every minute of it.
    Due to recurring injury, I no longer have a yearly goal. How far I go is how far I go.
    As of 7/13 - Bike: 416.0mi Walk/Run: 116.0mi Weight 255.5

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    The trick with indoor training is to give yourself something to do. Don't just saddle up expecting to tick over the pedals for an hour or so. Look up sufferfest etc, and get a program happening or chase down some interval sessions. You can get the equivalent of a 2 hour plus road ride on a trainer with a focussed workout in an hour or less. Giving yourself something to concentrate on really helps the time pass easily.

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    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nkfrench View Post

    There is some leeway with the weight limits as stated above. Presumably the bike will not have the same stresses inside on a trainer (when outdoor rides aren't desirable) that they would outdoors
    i belive you have it backwards
    i believe
    although i may be wrong
    clamping the rear end of a bike into a trainer
    will direct much greater force ito the frame
    than anything short of riding straight into a ditch

    there used to be a lot of talk about
    whether or not
    lightweight frames were designed to handle trainer use

    the general consensus
    as i recall
    was that trainers do put more stress on the frame
    but that it was nothing to worry about

  14. #14
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
    i belive you have it backwards
    i believe
    although i may be wrong
    clamping the rear end of a bike into a trainer
    will direct much greater force ito the frame
    than anything short of riding straight into a ditch

    there used to be a lot of talk about
    whether or not
    lightweight frames were designed to handle trainer use

    the general consensus
    as i recall
    was that trainers do put more stress on the frame
    but that it was nothing to worry about
    As clarification - presumably the bike will not have the SAME stresses, I was not suggesting that a bike in a trainer does not undergo any stress.
    Most heavy cyclists seem to have more problems with the wheels rather than the frames while riding outdoors.

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    IMHO:
    Outside, a 2-hour ride is fun.
    Indoors, a 30 minute ride is torture.
    I also agree with the above.

    Go for a bike and get an an indoor trainer for the bike!
    Last edited by lenny866; 12-30-13 at 07:59 PM.

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    I actually just picked up a spin bike - a Schwinn IC Evo for $400... And, I just started going to my first spin classes.. A spin class is pretty awesome, they turn down the lights so I'm not embarassed at how quickly I can get gassed, or if I'm not standing when instructed to, etc.. They even have a board where you can opt in to have your RPMs and 'Power' numbers posted to see how you're doing in the class.. I honestly think this is great.
    Anyway, back on course here. So, I bought the spin bike because I cannot ride outside in the winter due to my asthma acting up. So, I have this bike now, and the next step is definitely to get some videos/programs going. I made a rule that I could only watch TV if I was on the bike, BUT even if I'm watching a show I enjoy, I'm still a mean clockwatcher.
    On the contrary, in the spin class, it seriously feels like you're only there for 20 minutes, but it's an all out 45 minute sweat fest. I'm talking shirt wringing out even though they have fans/temp control going.
    If you're going to get a spin bike, get one worth while, or at least get one that you can sell off if you find you want to go full throttle into it. As the late Jeff Wimmer taught me, you MUST get one that has weight on the flywheel. This guarantees the most 'bike-like' feel of resistance in terms of getting going, and what not. And also eliminates what Jeff used to call 'stair mastering' where there is no power exertion needed to keep going except for the up and down motions.
    Back when I spoke to him in the spring of last year, he said that us Clydes should go with the Schwinn series bikes with the ISIS bottom bracket as it is near bulletproof. Check out his videos on Youtube, they are incredibly informative. It's really horrible that he's no longer with us, as he is honestly the reason why I felt confident enough to go off on this spinning adventure on my own. He was arguably the best spin bike tech there ever was, having supposedly started helping Johnny G make the bikes before the sport existed.

    Ok, enough of that... Honestly, I love the spin bike, but it certainly doesn't carry over the same energy if you were to be in a class. So, if you get a spin bike, plan on at least attending a few classes to get the jist of how to go about it, and definitely look into some videos. Spinning is all about intervals, and adjusting resistance.

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