The humble exercise bike has long been a gym staple, as these simple and quite compact machines are capable of delivering an intense cardio workout to a broad spectrum of gym-goers.
Commercial gyms require machines that are up to the task of being used almost constantly. So which is the best commercial stationary bike? In this guide we’ll walk – or perhaps pedal – through everything you need to know about the best commercial indoor cycling bikes: what they look like, the traits they share, and where you can find your perfect machine.
Types of Exercise Bike
Before we look at the common traits of the best commercial spin bikes, we should first understand the different types of bike that are available, as you’ll need to identify the models that best align with the needs and wants of your gym members.
There are four main types of commercial exercise bike:
1. Indoor Spin Bike
Designed to replicate the experience of a road bike (apart from the wind in your hair), indoor spin bikes apply resistance to a flywheel through friction or magnets to vary the intensity of the workout. This type of bike is super robust, designed to handle large adults standing up and pedalling hard, making it ideal for a commercial gym setting. That said, some people can find the thin seat and hunched posture a little uncomfortable.
2. Upright Bike
Upright bikes are exactly what they say on the packet – an upright exercise bike designed for people who don’t enjoy hunching over an indoor spin bike. The best commercial upright exercise bikes feature a digital display to track your workout and a comfortable seat that allows anyone to enjoy a workout. These bikes should be used in a seated position only – the axles, cranks and pedals aren’t designed to be completely weight bearing, so they aren’t appropriate for use in a spin class.
3. Recumbent Bike
Arguably an even more comfortable configuration than an upright bike, although one that some find a little too strange, is offered by commercial recumbent exercise bikes. The rider sits close to the ground, in an almost reclined position, with the pedals out in front of them. The best commercial recumbent exercise bikes are built for those with limited mobility, and offer a lower impact workout.
4. Air Bike
Anyone who has been to a CrossFit gym will be familiar with the whir of an air bike, which uses air resistance to provide a full-body workout. Riders don’t just spin the flywheel fan blade with foot pedals – swinging handles engage the arms and upper body too. The faster you pedal and push, the greater the resistance, and the more intense the workout.
What to look for in the best commercial exercise bike
Having identified the types of bikes that your gym members will want to use, how do you find the best professional exercise bike for your gym? The best machines share a few common traits. Here’s what to look for.
In order to attract and retain members, your gym needs to offer quality equipment that feels great and that people will enjoy using. A gym filled with cheap, low quality equipment simply doesn’t offer an experience that people will want to come back to. Look for high quality commercial exercise bikes from brands like Circle Fitness and Concept2.
2. Durability and Warranty
Quality bikes also tend to be more durable than cheaper options. Your commercial exercise bikes will be used constantly, often by people who may not treat them that well. As such you should look for strong, durable machines – the length of the warranty is generally a good indicator of how long you can expect a commercial spin bike to last.
As a gym owner or manager, budget will likely be front of mind; it’s vital that you get value from every gym equipment purchase you make. But how you frame value is critical. A commercial exercise bike isn’t a cost – it’s an investment that must generate a return. Generally speaking, the more you’re willing to spend, the longer the bike will last, and the better the user experience will be. In the end a high quality bike will usually turn out to be far better value than a cheap and cheerful option.
4.Innovation and Technology
The expectations of gym members are always changing. Ask your members what technology they are looking for in an exercise bike, and do your best to cater to those tastes. The best commercial exercise bike brands are always innovating with new technology.
5. Customer Reviews
The best commercial upright bikes and best commercial recumbent bikes should have reviews that say exactly that: these are the best. That said, reviews for these pieces of equipment can be harder to come by, because the customers for these items are gym owners, not end users.
6. Post-Sales Support
This consideration refers more to the supplier than to the piece of equipment itself. Buy your bikes from a trusted commercial exercise bike supplier that offers high-end after-sales service and support in terms of delivery, installation, maintenance, repair and replacement.
While perhaps a less important factor in your choice of commercial exercise bike, the look of your equipment will contribute to the overall feel of your gym, so aesthetics should be considered in your decision making.
Gymquip: your commercial exercise bike specialists
The best commercial exercise bikes come from the best commercial gym equipment dealers – those that have deep knowledge and expertise, a proven track record, and access to all the top brands… like we do at Gymquip.
At Gymquip we have been helping Aussie gyms find their perfect equipment for over 30 years. From designing gym layouts, to complete commercial gym fit outs, (delivered and installed by our own team), to maintaining your bikes and equipment, at Gymquip we have all your commercial gym equipment needs covered.
We provide customised design and installation services that are based on the equipment you're receiving – from home setups to commercial gyms, you can expect the same expert service!
Visit our sprawling Canberra store, or let us come to you wherever you are in Australia. Get in touch with our friendly team today.