Are spin bikes good cardio?

Spin Bike vs Watt Bike- a complete outline

Indoor cycling is an exhilarating workout plan because it is just like riding in the outdoors. A spin bike and watt bike are hugely similar as they offer you an experience like cycling outside on the road as well as on hilly terrain. With both you get a pumped cardiovascular workout and toned muscles in the process.

To know which one to choose between the two can therefore be hectic sometimes. This guide has been designed to be a complete overview of this equipment. It highlights their subtle difference so as to know which one best suits you. For instance, a spin bike is a product to go for if you are looking for an intense workout. This is partly because of its fly front wheel that weighs around 40 pounds having been made entirely out of steel. The watt bike on the other hand is an exercise bike well-loved for a fulfilling workout. It is eerily similar to an outdoor bike. With the different resistance levels, you can easily hit all your fitness goals on it.

Here is a further comparison of both this equipment to know which one is the best option for you.

Spin Bike v Watt Bike- How do they compare?

Product
Spin Bike
Watt Bike
Calories Burned (per hour)
400-800kcal
400-800kcal
Muscles Toned
Lower body: legs, thighs and calves
Upper legs, abdominal area, quads and calves
Weight Capacity
330lbs (150kg)
330lbs (150kg)

What are the differences between a Spin Bike and Watt Bike?

Intensity

Compared to other exercise bikes in the market, spin bikes offer a rather intense workout. This is partly because of the fly front wheel made entirely out of steel. In itself, it is quite heavy and intended for people who are looking to put the extra effort.

A watt bike on the other hand offers a good experience. It allows for adjustments depending on the rider’s ability. If you are up for it, you can go for the intense workouts as well. With both, the type of workout is made better with the simulation of the outdoors. The type of intensity you get from a spin bike and watt bike is not too far from what happens outdoors.

Toned Muscles

Being stationary bikes, they give a full body workout. For the spin bike, the emphasis is placed on the lower body in areas like the thighs, knees and calves. You can expect to tone of muscles around this area. Your upper body also gains some muscle as well.

For the watt bike, there is also a focus on lower body fitness. Toned muscles will be around your quads, abs and back as well. For both, consider supplementing your workouts. Using dumbbells or lifting weights every so often is good for whole body toning.

Calories Burned

Depending on the intensity you are riding at, you can lose between 400-800 calories per hour on either of these indoor bikes. According to fitness experts, a person of average weight (115lb) can lose upwards of 400 calories if they hit the pedal at a vigorous pace.

If you are looking to lose weight, you will not go wrong with settling for any of these products. With regular lifting weights or using dumbbells for upper body fitness, a spin bike or watt bike can burn away the fats. All it requires is commitment and a well-designed workout plan.

Construction

Spin bikes have a front flywheel that weighs 38-42 pounds. This flywheel adds to the intensity of this bike. When set at the highest resistance, even budging this wheel can take a lot of effort.

Watt bikes on the other hand have two key features that are responsible for its performance. First, it has a magnetic braking system that is designed using both air and electric currents. This construction is what makes the different levels of resistance feel so real through the regulation of air entering the flywheel. You can flick through high intensity to a low intensity like taking a light stroll through the park.

Some of the similar features include the cleats which are used to attach your shoes to the pedals. Most indoor bikes have this included so that you have a stable experience even when you are powering through your workout. They are both easy to use with many adjustments to make them suitable for all kinds of people. For the watt bike particularly, it has an adjustable handlebar and saddle. This makes it a good fit for children and adults as well.

Spin Bike Overview

Which spin bike should I buy?

After constant tweaks on the design with athletes in mind, the first spin bike was released in the 80s. It is mainly known for the go-to indoor bike if you are looking for an intense workout. In fact, according to the stats, you can lose between 400-800 calories on it per hour. Intensive sessions also build your endurance and strength levels as well.

Broadly, its main components are the front flywheel that is made of steel, its adjustable saddle and handlebars. This type of training bike is particularly popular because of its simple design yet innumerable benefits. For instance, it is a low impact workout bike that greatly tones your muscles. Modern ones are even tech-powered to give you real-time updates on your progress.

Some of the quality options available are the Spinner L1 and the Spinner A1. The L1 has more tech-features like power controls and computer console. On the flip side, the A1 is rather simple but it is stable, durable and offers consistent heavy resistance.

A few things to look out for include its front wheel that might not stop immediately you stop pedaling. Take care not to hurt yourself while in the way. To add, a spin bike requires a certain level of fitness to it. It might not be the perfect fit for people who are entirely new to indoor cycling. Also, those with chronic knee or back pains might find this type of bike too strenuous.

Pros

  • High level of intensity for stronger workouts
  • Low impact enough to be gentle on joints
  • Comes with a digital console, water bottle holder
  • Offers an exciting workout that is similar to riding outdoors

Cons

  • A tad unsuitable for beginners and unfit people

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Watt Bike Overview

Watt bike is a well-designed indoor bike that is a favorite among professional cyclists. Actually, many of the world renowned athletes were used to test the bike before it was released. After eight years of painstaking design, watt bikes were launched in 2008. According to its engineers, it gives you the closest simulation to riding on the road with its tech-advancements and modifications. In fact, it might be the closest to an outdoor experience.

It has many notable features. For instance, it is modern with its data processing system. A watt bike gives you visual data on how effective your workout session is. It measures many variables including your pedaling style using its Polar View. It also tracks your cadence, heart rate and power. To add to its tech-capabilities, riders are able to get their cycling data via the watt bike’s smartphone app- the Power app.

While the watt bike was developed with pros in mind, it can also be tweaked to your own personal level. You are also not left to figure out for yourself where you lie. The bike uses your stats to gauge your fitness level and what resistance you should be riding on. It does this by analyzing your speed, pedaling technique and revolutions per minute. The watt bike also goes a step further by providing you with an analysis of your performance. This is possible because it stores all your pedaling sessions. It then measures your power output and speed to determine whether you are maxing out your potential. This added feature makes a watt bike highly efficient.

Another impressive feature with the watt bike is that it can be endlessly adjusted. With the dimensions from your outdoors bike, you can make sure your watt bike is as well set-up as can be. It allows for forwarding and backward adjustments for the saddle and handlebars as well. This makes it a good option for adults and children alike.

Pros

  • Gives you a fitness core to monitor your progress
  • Easy to set up
  • Minimal wear and tear

Cons

  • Workout might be too intense for people with chronic knee/back pains

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Final Word

Cycling is all about how you work your muscles, mind and body according to the level of intensity you are on. Both of these indoor bikes provide you with all you need to get your heart pumping. They also boost your energy levels, mood and immune system as well.

When settling for any of these products, there are a few factors to consider. For instance, keep in mind that cycling can be a bit boring at times. Consider going out to gyms in your area for a class environment so that you hit your targets.

In summary, if you are looking for an intense workout, a spin bike is good enough. If you are looking for the closest simulation to riding outdoors, go for the watt bike.

About Marjorie

Hi, my name is Marjorie, a health and fitness expert. Sports and fitness have always been my area of expertise since I could remember. For me, one of the greatest things I accomplished is opening my own gym as well as starting this blog on spin bike and fitness. Spin bikes have brought a massive break for me and my clients, they have enabled me to look past some of my client’s many challenges during work out and achieve the best results they can. I would say that I am proud to help people understand the benefits that come with spin bikes when it comes to fitness and health and how to find the best one for the cause.

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