Reviews and Tips on Buying Mini Exercise Bikes
The mini exercise bike, also known as the seatless exercise bike, is popular for its small size and ease of use. A high-quality product provides the same workout as a full size exercise bike without taking up so much space, making it ideal for people who live in apartments or who otherwise don't have much room for exercise equipment. In this article we'll take a look at the various types of mini exercise bikes, as well as features you'll want to look for when making a purchase. Plus, we'll discuss the best brands on the market and examine average customer reviews and ratings to help you choose the best mini exercise bike to suit your needs.
Advantages of Mini Exercise Bikes
Perhaps the greatest advantage of using a mini exercise bike is that it takes up much less space than the standard models. It can be easily stored away in a closet or under your bed when not in use. Other advantages include:
- Portability - A mini exercise cycle is easy to move around your home, and you can even take it with you while you travel for a workout on the road, if necessary. If you have enough clearance, you could even use one under your desk while you work.
- Lower Price - Because they're so much smaller, mini bikes typically cost much less than full-size exercise bikes, which makes them a good inexpensive workout option.
- Ease of Use - The mini exercise bike typically only consists of a base and petals, which means there's not much of a learning curb; simply sit down and start pedaling.
- Privacy - When you buy a miniature exercise bike you can keep up your fitness routine in the comfort of your own home without the need to go to the gym or join a cycling class. For many people, privacy is important when trying to get in shape.
- More Comfort - Because you can use it while sitting in a chair, the mini exercise bike is more comfortable. It can even be used by senior citizens and individuals with sedentary lifestyles who aren't accustomed to exercise.
Disadvantages of Mini Exercise Bikes
Although the mini exercise cycle has several advantages over full-size models, it also has some disadvantages you might want to consider, including:
- Less stability - The smaller size may be convenient, but a mini model can never give you as much stability as a large exercise bike. Buying the highest quality model you can afford will help, as you'll definitely get what you pay for in this market.
- Noise Level - In some cases, a miniature exercise bike can be much noisier than larger versions. Some types run on batteries and produce a mechanical whirring sound that some people might find annoying. Purchasing a name brand will usually mean less noise, however.
- Low Impact - A mini exercise cycle does not offer a vigorous workout, since you're only using your lower body. While it's not ideal for full cardio exercise, it can definitely serve as part of a full body workout or as a quick exercise routine when you don't have much time. It's also great for people who have difficulty exercising.
Features to Look For in a Mini Exercise Bike
If you're sure the mini exercise bike is right for you, there are a few features you'll want to look for before purchasing. A high-quality mini bike will include the following:
- Non-Slip Base - Because of their small size and weight, mini exercise bikes tend to slip around when you use them. Look for a model that has a non-slip base or sturdy steel construction to prevent it from moving around. If you buy one without this feature, be prepared to place a rubber mat underneath it to prevent slipping, which could cause injury.
- Progress Monitor - Many models include an electronic progress monitor of some sort, such as a small screen, that lets you know how long you've worked out, distance, speed, calories burned and other metrics to help you reach your goals.
- Adjustable Tension - Another good feature to look for is an adjustable tension knob so that you can adjust the resistance and intensity of your workout as you progress.
- Quiet Operation - Mini exercise bikes are notorious for their noise levels, so look for a model that claims quieter operation to prevent annoying squeaking while you work out.
- Carrying Handles - If you'll be moving the bike around often, look for a model with built-in carrying handles to make transporting the machine easier.
The Best Mini Exercise Bike: Reviews
Retail stores and fitness shops typically have many different brands of mini exercise bikes for sale, and you can also find great deals from online retailers. Prices typically vary from around $50 to more than $200. Two of the best brands on the market include the Paradigm 7101 ACTIVcycle Motorized Exercise Cycle and the Magnetrainer Extended Range Mini Exercise Bike. Let's take a look at why these two models stand out from the rest.
The Paradigm 7101 ACTIVcycle Motorized Exercise Cycle features an adjustable speed motor for a low-impact workout that's easy on joints, multi-function LCD screen that displays your distance, speed, time and calories burned, built-in carrying handle and non-skid floor mat. It comes pre-assembled and ready to use right out of the box, and you can use it without the motor if desired for greater resistance and quieter operation. Other features include hand-held speed control and adjustable foot straps to prevent slipping. The entire bike measures 16 inches wide by 16 inches long by 13 inches high and you can sit in your favorite chair while you use it.
At the time of this writing, the Paradigm mini exercise bike has an average customer rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, and costs around $95 to buy new on Amazon.com. Customers who are disabled or in physical therapy find the bike very easy to use, as the motor can keep your legs moving even when you're too fatigued to move them yourself. However, if you don't need this feature, you can still use it without the motor.
Although it's a bit more expensive than the Paradigm model, the Magnetrainer Extended Range Mini Exercise Bike is also a great value. It features smooth and quiet operation, adjustable magnetic resistance, enhanced base support for maximum stability, and a sturdy steel frame with added support. It claims to be the highest quality portable fitness bike in its price range, and many happy customers agree. It fits easily under a table or desk, and can even be placed on a tabletop and pedaled with your arms for a full-body workout. It includes a multi-function display that measures speed, distance, time and calories burned, and an adjustable resistance knob so you can adjust your workout intensity. Foot straps and non-slip rubber pads keep your feet in place, the adjustable steel base prevents slipping.
The Magnetrainer mini exercise bike has a current Amazon.com customer rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars (at the time of this writing) and costs around $150 to buy brand new. This is a great value for the money, but people who need a motorized mini exercise bike might want to opt for the Paradigm model. If you're just looking for a high-quality, effective product with all the features you could want, then the Magnetrainer is definitely for you.