How are a stationary bike and a spinning bike different?

They are similar but not the same and each of them is designed for a specific type of training and to achieve very specific objectives. Discover the differences between a stationary bike and a spinning bike and get the most out of each of them.

The two machines make intense aerobic exercise possible, although with important nuances. Actually, they share the fact that they are two stationary bikes, that is, with which you do not advance while pedaling, but their technical differences make very different training sessions possible.

For a test day, almost anything goes, but, on a regular basis, it is not advisable to spin on a stationary bike and vice versa because each of them has been designed to meet the needs of well-differentiated sports practices.

Stationary bike vs. spinning bike

It is not a matter of comparison because there is not one better than the other, they are simply designed for different purposes. Although at first glance they seem very similar, their structure and operating mechanism have nothing to do with it. There are a number of key points that make the difference between a stationary bike and a spinning bike:

1. The inertia wheel

It is the key that marks the distance between both bicycles and the one that makes the work on each of them different. The inertia wheel or flywheel, which carries the spinning bike, allows the mechanism to continue rotating even when you stop giving impulse to pedal.

2. The pedaling

Do not think that the fact that inertia keeps the wheel moving implies a smoother and more comfortable pedaling. On the contrary, the second major difference between a traditional stationary bike and a spinning bike is that, in the second, moving the pedal involves not only pushing it down but also “pulling” it to get it up and thus completing the movement. . Spinning is, therefore, a maximum intensity exercise.

3. The distance between the handlebar and the saddle

In both types of bike, its two essential elements, the saddle and the handlebar, are adjustable in height to be able to adapt to the characteristics of each athlete, but in a spinning bike you can also regulate the distance between the saddle and the handlebar, something that it does not occur in static. It is this greater adaptability that makes it possible for you to do a more varied training on a spinning bike, even pedaling standing up or moving the pedestal to achieve a slight lateral sway. The possibility of adopting different postures when pedaling is another important nuance that allows more work options on an indoor cycling bike than on a traditional stationary bike, which is designed solely for you to pedal seated.

4. Triathlon handlebar

Regardless of the design of both machines, another basic difference between a stationary bike and a spinning bike is in the triathlon handlebars that the second has. This type of handlebar allows a greater range of movement to facilitate torsion of the trunk and the ability to turn the whole body with each pedal stroke. With these possibilities, in a spinning session you can not only perform an intense cardio training but also work thoroughly on the development of large muscle groups.

Differences in training on a stationary bike or a spinning bike

The technical and functional characteristics of these two bikes available in the gym are what make the difference when training with one or the other. On the one hand, the spinning sessions are usually collective workouts, of an average duration of around 40 minutes, in which you will not stop for a second and in which you will not only pedal to the rhythm of the music, but also make changes of rhythm, and different exercises, of arms and trunk, on the bike.

On the other hand, on the stationary bike the pace is set by you. It is true that you can also pedal at different speeds and with more or less resistance but, in general, it is a less dynamic training, focused mainly on gaining strength and power in the lower body.

Knowing a little more about the differences between a stationary bike and a spinning bike, you will be able to decide which is the most appropriate to achieve your goals.