Best in-home alternatives to traditional bikes
Biking safety is a real problem. Not even the President of the United States is immune to biking accidents.
Malfunctioning gear, however, is not the main concern with bikes on the roads. According to the CDC, while bicycles only account for 1% of road trips in the U.S., over 2% of motor vehicle fatalities are bicyclists.
In many areas, it’s just not safe to pedal on the roads anymore. To get in your cardio and stay safe, you might want to consider buying an exercise bike.
Why is cycling on the roads dangerous?
There are three types of risks you encounter when biking: risk from self, risks from conditions and risk from others.
Risk from self
These types of risks are ones you have full control over, so you can reduce them over time. For example, if you are new to biking, you might not be as confident and steady as other riders. This could lead to mishaps due to balance issues, not being comfortable with the equipment and not knowing the laws of the road. If you are not in cycling shape, you might put yourself at risk of overexertion or forget to stay hydrated. Finally, one of the biggest safety risks is not wearing a bike helmet. These factors can all be diminished or eliminated with experience to make cycling safer.
Risk from conditions
These risks are environmental. You may be able to reduce many of them by biking in a different location or at a different time. Some of the most dangerous conditions include cycling where there is no bike lane, so you do not have your own space and must compete for asphalt with motor vehicles. Other things to be aware of are poorly paved roads, heavy traffic, poor visibility and slick or icy conditions. You can reduce these risks by traveling on safer roads at times when the road conditions are optimum and there is less traffic. If you must ride at night, you will need a bike light.
Risk from others
These risks are completely outside your control as they involve the carelessness of other drivers. If there is a collision between a 1.5-ton car and a 26-pound bike, the car is not going to sustain much damage. This means motor vehicle operators are probably not paying much attention to you and may drive too close or even cut you off. This is the primary reason why you might want to consider getting an exercise bike and staying off the roads.
What are the benefits of biking?
With all the potential hazards involved with cycling, you might be wondering why people choose to ride a bike. The answer is that there are numerous benefits that many believe far outweigh the risks.
- Biking is better for the environment.
- Biking increases your cardiovascular fitness and improves your breathing.
- Biking makes it easier to maintain a healthy body weight.
- Biking builds muscle tone.
- Biking reduces stress and improves mental health.
- Biking strengthens your immune system.
- Biking may increase your life expectancy.
- A bicycle doesn’t require gas to make it operate.
Are exercise bikes worth it?
If you live in a metropolitan area that is not road-friendly toward bikers, then it might not be as safe as you would like. Additionally, if you live in a region where the temperature and weather can keep you from going out on the road often, then you would benefit from purchasing an exercise bike.
An exercise bike provides almost all the benefits you get from street riding, such as toned muscles, increased cardiovascular abilities, better health and mental outlook, reduced stress and more. And, you can accomplish all of these without putting yourself at risk of careless drivers.
Top exercise bikes
If it’s a high-end option you want, this is the exercise bike for you. It has silent magnetic resistance, live and on-demand workouts, 24 resistance levels, a premium sound system and more.
With an air-resistance bike, the harder you pedal, the higher the difficulty level rises. This model has a heavy-duty chain drive system and a console that displays RPM, speed, time, distance, calories, heart rate and more.
Bowflex is a respected name in fitness gear. This versatile exercise bike offers 100 resistance levels so you can fine-tune your workout to the exact level you desire. The dual-sided pedals have either SPD clips or toe cages, and the bike comes with a one-year free JRNY membership.
Sold by Bowflex
This upright bike from Schwinn has infinite wind resistance. It monitors six workout metrics, and thanks to the movable handles, it provides an upper body workout as well. It features a built-in water bottle holder so you stay hydrated.
If you prefer working out in a reclined position, this bike is a solid choice. The contoured seat has a ventilated back for maximum comfort, while the flywheel system lets you have a smooth and quiet workout.
For people who do not have a lot of storage space, this model is ideal. Besides all the necessities, this model folds up so it doesn’t take up much space when not in use.
This model from Sunny Health and Fitness is for people looking for a budget option. It still has enough features to keep a beginner engaged, but it only costs a fraction of what high-end models cost.
Sold by Amazon
If you are looking for a compact, portable pedal set that can give you a workout, no matter where you are — even in the office — this is the model you want. It has a built-in handle for easy transport. The nonslip pedals also have finger grooves if you want an upper body workout.
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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