Are Exercise Bikes Effective For Weight Loss? Top 7 Reasons To Use Them!

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Last updated on February 12, 2023


You are wondering are exercise bikes effective for weight loss? In this post, we will talk about calorie burning on an exercise bike. We will give you seven reasons why indoor cycling is one of the best forms of cardio you can and should do, and why it is very effective for weight loss. Stay tuned!


Reason #1: Cycling Is Low-impact

Stationary bikes are a form of low-impact cardio and low risk of injuries. This makes them great for beginners, but also for people who are severely overweight or suffering from injuries.

High-impact activities such as running, or playing most sports, tax your joints and bones very hard. When you run, you are basically jumping from one foot to another, over and over again. Sure, proper running technique minimizes the impact, but it is still present. Therefore, running is not ideal if you have bad joints or injury history.

Cycling, whether on a real, upright bike or recumbent bikes keeps the majority of your weight on the seat, relieving pressure on the joints. Plus, there is no impact, your feet are in contact with the pedals all the time. Although there are 4 primary injuries or discomfort that your will face on the bike (butt, knee, shoulders and back) if you are doing it for a very long period of time.

Reason #2: Exercise bikes Are Very Effective For Weight Loss

If your goal is weight loss, you should know that stationary bikes are terrific for that purpose. Although running burns the most calories, cycling is not too far behind.

While how much you burn depends on many factors, such as your weight, cycling intensity, and duration, you can expect to burn more than 500 per hour.

Considering that cycling is very joint-friendly, you can exercise longer than a treadmill without feeling any pain (at least when you get used to the seat). The more you do cardio, the more total calories you burn.

And if you like stationary bikes, you should try a spin class. These group sessions are famous for burning the most calories than any other class as they are  a HIIT workout. You will burn up to 1000 calories per class, all that while having fun.


Reason #3: Indoor Cycling Is Fun

And it is certainly more fun than you think! While it looks quite static, there are a lot of different ways how you can make cycling fun.

The above-mentioned spin class is one way of burning a good amount of calories, with a group of people, good music and work your upper body while having a blast. But, it doesn’t have to be that extreme.

Cycling is perfect for watching movies, sports, or your favorite shows. That way, you will do cardio without even thinking about it, losing weight while having fun.

A good tactic is to watch episodes of your favorite shows only while cycling. No cardio—no new episodes. That way, you will hold yourself accountable, and you will be less likely to skip workouts.


Reason #4: Exercise bike is great for developing legs

Are Exercise Bikes Effective For Weight Loss

Cycling is excellent for developing leg muscles, primarily quadriceps, but also glutes and hams to some extent.

Quadriceps is one of the biggest and strongest muscles in our body and is essential for knee health. Strong quads will protect your knees. If you already have knee issues, cycling is one of the best ways to improve your condition. That’s why almost all knee rehabs involve a stationary bike.

If you want to target glutes and hams more, lean more forward and cycle while standing on the pedals while raising the intensity for intervals of 2 to 3 minutes.  This will probably be something girls will be more interested in.


Reason #5: Stationary bike is weather-proof

If you are a fan of outdoor cycling, you know how rain can spoil your fun. And if you live in an area where winters are cold and snowy, your cycling season is quite short.

Indoor bicycle is a perfect alternative to its outdoor cousin. You will stay in shape all year long, no matter how the weather is. In fact, indoor cycling translates very well to regular bicycle workouts, and your conditioning won’t suffer at all. So there is no reason for you to quit your favorite activity just because cold and rainy weather came; you just move it inside.


Reason #6: Stationary bikes are always free

You know the struggle: you want to do a hill run, but every treadmill is busy. It kills your desire to do cardio, and you choose to shower and leave instead.

Among all cardio fitness equipment, a stationary bike is least likely to be occupied. Even elliptical, stair master and rowing machines are more likely to have people using them than stationary bikes.

Plus, every gym will have different types of bikes, at least one vertical, and one recumbent stationary bike. Because it is not a very popular piece of equipment, you will probably find one available even during the peak gym hours.


Reason #7: Stationary bikes are affordable and practical

Stationary bikes are quite cheap, at least when compared to treadmills. Plus, they require less space, and are often foldable, have wheels, and are easier to store away when you finish your workout.

All that makes them perfect for home gyms. Treadmills are more expensive, especially if you get a quality one. They eat up more space and are not as mobile, which means you will need to have a dedicated space for them.

If you get a lightweight or foldable exercise bike, you can put it in the middle of your living room, and put on a show on the TV. Once you finish the workout, store it away in the closet, and voila, it doesn’t require any space. Even the smallest apartments have room for stationary bikes, so no excuses to skip cardio sessions.

Indoor Cycling Tips

  • Set your bike up in an area where you will see and use it the most often. Most people find it a good idea to put it within viewing of the television.
  • Leave the bike permanently set up if at all possible. If you have to drag it out of the cupboard and set it up every time, you will be far less likely to use it.
  • Keep your sessions short and regular. After 20 minutes your butt will probably be getting sore and boredom will be setting in.
  • If you don’t have an indoor cycle, you can convert your outdoor cycle to an indoor by attaching a turbo bike trainer to the rear wheel. There is a wide variety of turbo bike trainers available with process ranging from $30 to several hundred.
  • Consider a dual action exercycle which allows you to burn more calories. That’s because it has movable handles which allow you to exercise your upper body as well as your lower body. This means that you will burn more calories and lose more stored body fat. These bikes are bulkier and take up more space than conventional stationary bikes.
  • If you have balance or lower back problems, consider getting a recumbent exercise bike. These cycles have you sitting in a recline position as if you were sitting in a recliner arm chair. They have plenty of padding support. Recumbent bikes also have you pedaling in a more horizontal motion, which works your muscles differently. It is easier and far more comfortable to watch TV while you are exercising on a recumbent bike.
  • If you want to ramp up your cardio endurance and burn a ton of calories in the process, consider buying a spin cycle. With this type of indoor bike, you have to continuously pedal. Spin bikes are great for interval training and for HIIT style workouts. Spin bikes have a heavier flywheel than other exercise bikes. This makes them much heavier than other exercise bikes. For that reason, you will probably want to find a spot for it and keep it there.

What Else to Do to Lose Weight

Using any type of stationary bike will allow you to burn calories quickly. Try to get in 15-20-minute bike workouts every day. If you are a gym goer or have an elliptical machine in your home, you can alternate from day to day between bike workouts and training on your elliptical machine.

In addition to using cardio equipment like exercise bikes to lose weight, you should also do some form of resistance training. A lot of people don’t realize that resistance training is a very effective calorie burner. Focus on doing such compound exercises as squats, lunges, deadlifts and pull ups. Perform these resistance training exercises three times per week to burn calories quickly. Combining them with your bike workouts will get you to your weight loss goals even faster.

You May Also Like: Elliptical workouts for Weight Loss



As you can see, riding an exercise bikes are not only effective for weight loss but one of the best forms of cardio you can do. The exercise bike allows you burn a ton of calories, increase cardiovascular fitness, joint mobility, strengthen bones and on top of that it is fun, safe and low-impact. So, you can appreciate the benefits of exercise bikes. Home exercise bikes are very affordable so you do your cardio workout and burn fat in the comfort of your home. For those with limited space you can purchase a folding bike.

Whatever your fitness goal regular cardio is important for your overall fitness. For those on a weight loss program using an indoor cycling bike, in particular with a HIIT workout, will you lose fat faster. If your not sure high-intensity interval training it right for you then speak with a personal trainer.  

Karla Isaac is an ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association) Certify Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach (ISSA CNC) with over 10 years of experience in Fitness and Nutritional one on one personal coaching. She has lived, work and study in California for 14 years. Karla’s passion for fitness began when she was 22, due to feeling unhealthy and overweight. Ever since she’s been passionate to change her life and help others transform their lives by making health and wellness accessible, so they can achieve their goals for a healthier and a more active life style.

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