Sporting Weekly

Real Bike Vs Gym Bike: Which Is Better For You?


By Luby Chow / 10 Sep 2021


"Cycling is an easy yet effective workout that brings loads of health benefits. Should you go cycling outside, or ride on a gym bike? We will find out in this article and help you decide which is best for you."


Cycling is a great form of exercise without a doubt. It is a low-impact cardio workout that builds strength and endurance for all ages. We all have that moment when cycling in wet weather and we wish we had a gym bike at home. Do gym bikes simulate outdoor cycling and offer the same advantages? Can gym bikes replace traditional bikes? Read on to get a better idea.

Real Bike vs Gym Bike: Similarities

Needless to say, gym bikes and traditional bikes generally work in very similar ways. In terms of structure, for example, both of them require pedalling, and have variable resistance. 

Real Bike vs Gym Bike: Variations

While commuter bikes are ideal for our everyday use, there are many other types of bicycles for different functions. Here are the most common options:
•    Road bike – Quick yet less comfortable, best for speedy rides on surfaced roads, with thin tires and drop handlebars
•    Mountain bike – Designed for off-road terrain, tough with a suspension and great brakes
•    Hybrid bike – Versatile for a variety of roads, combining the best of a road bike and a mountain bike
•    Touring bike – Comfortable and durable for long-distance adventure carrying luggage and heavy loads
•    Cyclocross bike – Made for riding fast on rugged terrain, with fat tires and drop handlebars

Gym bikes, also known as stationary bikes or exercise bikes, are mainly categorised into three types:
•    Upright bike – The most common gym bike, just like a road bike indoors, with a high seat and low handlebars, best for high-intensity workout
•    Recumbent bike – Featuring a reclined seating position, with a backrest providing back support, perfect for low-intensity training
•    Air bike – With a fan near the pedals to add resistance based on the speed and power of the handles and pedals

Read more: Why is it important to have a personal trainer?

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Real Bike vs Gym Bike: Benefits

Both indoor and outdoor cycling boost your physical and mental health, helping you lose weight and build strength in your legs and lower body. Also cycling is perfect for people with knee issues as it puts less stress on the joints compared to other sports like running.

Pros of real bikes:

•    Handling fun – Enjoying the real-world feeling of cycling when accelerating and making turns
•    Scenery – Getting some fresh air, experiencing the outdoors and challenging different routes
•    Activating more muscles – Using the whole body to maintain balance with unpredictable environments
•    Social life – Staying motivated working out and making new friends with the same passion
•    Practicality – Using a bike as a means of transport in addition to training

Pros of gym bikes:

•    Easy to learn – Just sit and pedal! You do not even have to know how to ride a physical bike!
•    Accessibility – Available anytime you want, whether it is a hot day or a rainy night
•    Controlled environment – Safe and peaceful, you can set your own pace without any road obstacles or traffic
•    Privacy – Exercising in your casual outfits while watching a movie or even closing your eyes
•    Low-cost maintenance – No need to deal with issues like flat tires and worn brake pads

There are different advantages of cycling outside and riding a stationary bike. If you are a serious cycling enthusiast who enjoys everything it has to offer, you should probably get a real bike to explore the outdoors. But if you simply want to get active and exercise regularly, a gym bike can be a great option. At the end of the day, the best choice is always the one you enjoy, and that works best for your long-term fitness goals and workout routine.

Read more: 7 tips for working out in a heatwave

Book your sessions with Somerton!

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Luby Chow Head of Content Somerton S.C.

Published By

Luby Chow
/ Head of Content