Spin Bike vs. Exercise Bike: Ultimate 2024 Comparison Guide

Spin Bike vs. Exercise Bike

Are you in the market for a new cardio machine but unsure whether to go for a spin bike or an exercise bike? With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to make the right choice.

To help you make an informed choice, we’ve put together this spin bike vs. exercise bike comparison guide. Join us as we navigate through the differences and similarities between these two gym equipment, as well as their respective pros and cons. By the end of this post, you’ll have a clear understanding of which one is best suited to your fitness goals and preferences.

Spin Bike vs. Exercise Bike Comparison Table

The following table summarises the key differences between a spin bike and an exercise bike based on 5 important criteria:

CriteriaSpin BikeExercise Bike
Workout IntensityHigh-intensity, challenging workoutsVersatile, customisable workouts
Sitting PositionForward-leaning; mimicking outdoor cyclingUpright or recumbent; adjustable and comfortable
AdjustabilityLimited adjustabilityHighly adjustable and customisable
Workout VarietySprints, hill climbs, and standing sprintsSteady-state cardio; varied intensity
Price RangeHigher price range for quality modelsVaries, with options for different budgets

Before we go in-depth in our exercise bike and spin bike comparison, it’s important we start by mentioning that both offer tremendous benefits, even though they differ in some ways. Stick with us as we walk you through these similarities and differences.

If you seek a visualised comparison, consider checking out this short video.

Spin Bike vs. Exercise Bike: Understanding Their Purpose

Let’s kickstart our spin bikes vs. exercise bikes comparison by analysing how they both fare in terms of purpose.

Spin Bike: A High-Intensity Cycling Experience

These machines are designed to replicate the experience of outdoor cycling in an indoor setting. Spin bikes are perfect for those who enjoy intense, high-energy workouts. They’re often used in group cycling classes and provide a challenging cardiovascular workout.

Exercise Bike: Versatility for All Fitness Levels

On the other hand, exercise bikes are designed to cater to a wide range of users, from beginners to seasoned cardio enthusiasts. These bikes offer a more comfortable and adjustable design, making them suitable for users of all fitness levels.

Besides their purposes, spin bikes and exercise bikes also have distinct appearances and designs, as we’ll observe in the next section.

Comparing Appearance and Design

There’s a lot to consider when comparing exercise bikes with spin bikes. In this section, we’ll be looking at how they differ based on their build and design. To summarise, spin bikes feature a minimalistic design, while exercise bikes are built for comfort.

Spin Bike: Minimalistic Design for Intense Workouts

When it comes to appearance and design, spin bikes have a minimalistic approach. They feature a sleek and compact frame, with small seats and pedals resembling those of a real road bike. The focus is on functionality rather than additional features. Spin bikes often have a simple LCD that provides essential workout data such as speed, distance, time, and calories burned.

Spin bikes tend to mimic the feel of riding a real road bike. They typically have a lean-forward position, similar to that of a professional cyclist. The handlebars are positioned lower than the seat, encouraging riders to engage their core and upper body while pedalling. This design allows for a more intense workout that targets multiple muscle groups simultaneously.

Exercise Bike: Comfort and Convenience

Exercise bikes, on the other hand, offer a more user-friendly design. They typically have larger seats and pedals, making them more comfortable for longer workouts.

Many exercise bikes include extra features such as built-in consoles with a variety of functions like heart rate monitoring, program options, and even tablet holders for entertainment during workouts. These additional features provide convenience and enhance the overall exercise experience.

Exercise bikes are also known for their versatility — they come in various styles, including upright bikes and recumbent bikes. Upright bikes closely resemble traditional bicycles, with a more upright riding position and handlebars at the same level as the seat. Recumbent bikes, on the other hand, have a reclined seating position with the pedals positioned in front of the rider. This design provides additional support for the lower back and is ideal for those with joint issues or injuries.

Having understood the difference between a spin bike and an exercise bike in terms of purpose, design, and appearance, the following section compares how adjustable and comfortable they can be.

Adjustability and Comfort

Spin bikes and exercise bikes offer different adjustability and comfort experiences. While spin bikes have limited ability, exercise bikes are more customisable. Your decision on which to add to your garage gym equipment collection will ultimately depend on your fitness goals and level, as we’ll see below.

Spin Bike: Limited Adjustability; Intense Workouts

Spin bikes are known for their restricted adjustability. The focus is on replicating the experience of outdoor cycling, where riders have less flexibility to adjust the bike to their liking. The seat height and handlebar inclination can be adjusted to some extent, but the range is often more limited compared to exercise bikes.

In terms of comfort, spin bikes may not be the most comfortable option, especially for beginners or those not accustomed to the riding position. The narrow seat and forward-leaning posture can put additional strain on the lower back and may take some time to get used to. However, for those seeking a challenging and intense workout, the discomfort may be worth it.

Exercise Bike: Customisable Comfort for All

Exercise bikes are preferred for their incredible adjustability and customisability to suit different workout preferences. They offer a wide range of seat and handlebar adjustments, allowing users to find their optimal riding position. This adjustability makes exercise bikes suitable for users of all heights and body types. The seats on exercise bikes are typically larger and more cushioned, providing a more comfortable experience, especially for longer workouts.

So, what types of workout routines can you do with spin bikes and exercise bikes? Keep reading to find out!

Supported Workouts

Spin bikes and exercise bikes allow you to engage in different types of workouts. While fitness enthusiasts may prefer a spin bike for more intense exercises, beginners may lean towards exercise bikes for their versatility.

Spin Bike: High-Intensity Exercises

Spin bikes excel in supporting high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Their design and functionality make them ideal for alternating between periods of intense effort and recovery. Group cycling classes are often structured around this type of training, with instructors leading participants through challenging routines.

Spin bikes allow you to engage in home CrossFit workouts by simulating sprints, hill climbs, and standing sprints. This helps you achieve a versatile workout session that targets both your lower body and upper body. The heavy flywheel and adjustable resistance levels enable you to push yourself to your limits and achieve a high level of cardiovascular fitness.

Exercise Bike: Versatile and Customisable Workouts

Exercise bikes offer a more versatile range of workouts. They’re suitable for users of all fitness levels, from beginners to advanced athletes. Whether you prefer a leisurely ride or a more intense workout, exercise bikes can accommodate your needs.

With adjustable resistance levels, you can customise the intensity of your workout to suit your fitness goals. Exercise bikes are also great for steady-state cardio workouts, where you maintain a consistent effort level for an extended period. This type of workout is ideal for building endurance and burning calories.

Next, let’s summarise the differences between spin bikes and exercise bikes by outlining their respective pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of Spin Bikes

When considering the pros and cons of spin bikes, it’s essential to weigh the factors that align with your fitness goals and preferences.

Here are some key advantages and disadvantages of spin bikes to keep in mind:

Pros of Spin Bikes:

  • Supports intense, high-intensity workouts, e.g., sprints and hill climbs
  • Engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously
  • Mimics the feel of outdoor cycling
  • Builds cardiovascular endurance
  • Suitable for advanced fitness levels and experienced cyclists

Cons of Spin Bikes:

  • Less comfortable seating position
  • Potential discomfort for beginners or those not accustomed to the riding position
  • Limited adjustability compared to exercise bikes
  • It may put additional strain on the lower back
  • Higher price range for quality spin bikes

Pros and Cons of Exercise Bikes

In the same vein, here are important perks and downsides of exercise bikes to consider before purchasing one:

Pros of Exercise Bikes:

  • Versatile and customisable workouts
  • Suitable for users of all fitness levels
  • Comfortable seating position and larger seats
  • Adjustable resistance levels for varied intensity
  • Lower impact on joints
  • Additional features and functions for enhanced convenience

Cons of Exercise Bikes:

  • Less intense workouts compared to spin bikes
  • May not replicate the feel of outdoor cycling as closely as spin bikes
  • Larger size and footprint
  • More expensive models may have a higher price range

Going by the pros and cons of spin bikes vs exercise bikes, the decision of which to go for ultimately depends on certain factors like your fitness goals and level. To help you decipher which to opt for, check out our final verdict below, where we analyse the different deciding factors.

Spin Bike vs. Exercise Bike: Which Should You Buy?

When it comes to choosing between a spin bike and an exercise bike, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

If you thrive on intense, high-energy workouts and enjoy the feel of outdoor cycling, a spin bike may be the perfect choice for you. Spin bikes provide a challenging cardio experience that targets multiple muscle groups and builds cardiovascular endurance. However, keep in mind that they may require some time to get used to, especially if you’re new to indoor cycling.

On the other hand, if you prefer a more comfortable and versatile workout option, an exercise bike may be the better fit. Exercise bikes offer a wide range of customisation options, adjustable resistance levels, and additional features for enhanced convenience. They’re suitable for users of all fitness levels and can accommodate different workout styles, from leisurely rides to more intense sessions.

Ultimately, the most important factor is finding cardio gym equipment that you enjoy using, and that aligns with your fitness goals. Whichever option you choose, incorporating regular cardio workouts into your fitness routine is a fantastic way to improve cardiovascular health, burn calories, and enhance overall well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a spin bike burn more calories than a stationary bike?

Yes, a spin bike can indeed burn more calories than a stationary bike. When using a spin bike, you’re cycling at a much faster pace and also engaging your core and upper body by standing up. This additional effort leads to a more intense workout, resulting in a higher calorie burn. In fact, it’s estimated that on a spin bike, you can burn several hundred more calories per hour compared to a regular stationary upright bike.

So, if your goal is to maximise your calorie burn and have an intense cardiovascular workout, a spin bike is a great choice.

Which is better: a spin bike or exercise bike?

When it comes to determining which is better in a spin bike vs. an exercise bike comparison, it ultimately depends on your fitness goals and preferences. If you’re seeking a casual and user-friendly option that is gentle on your joints, an exercise bike may be the better choice.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to engage in intense bike workouts with high resistance levels, a spin bike might be more suitable. Spin bikes are designed to provide a more authentic cycling experience and offer the ability to perform standing exercises. With that being said, we suggest you consider your fitness goals and desired workout intensity when deciding between the two options.

Are all exercise bikes spin bikes?

Not all exercise bikes are spin bikes. Exercise bikes are designed for individual workouts of various intensity levels, offering a more relaxed experience. They’re commonly used by people working out on their own.

On the other hand, spin bikes are primarily used in high-intensity group cycling classes and are built for individuals seeking a more intense workout. This is facilitated by their heavy flywheel that mimics outdoor cycling and is specially designed to provide a challenging and immersive cycling experience.

In summary, while exercise bikes cater to a wider range of users, spin bikes are specifically designed for intense workouts in group settings.


The summary of our spin bike vs. exercise bike comparison is that regardless of your choice, both can be effective cardio machines for achieving your fitness goals. It ultimately comes down to your preferences and the level of intensity you’re seeking in your workouts. You can check out the HyGYM Spin Bike catalogue for more detailed info on the different cardio machines.

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