Sationary Bike - Advice?

January 7, 2010

I have decided to purchase a used stationary bike so I can work out at home while I still can not drive. Any suggestions on the types I should and should not get? From what I see so far there are recumbant and upright bikes. My sense is that the upright bike would probably give better workout, but put more preassure on the tendon. This is simply from looking at it. Any opinions?

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. GerryR  |  January 7th, 2010 at 8:43 am

    I bicycled a lot prior to my ATR and have used both recumbent and upright stationary bikes. I also have a set of rollers and a computerized mag trainer so I can ride my own bike inside during the winter. I vastly prefer riding my own bike over stationary bikes. I hate the recumbent ones but would like to try riding a real recumbent some day. The recumbent stationary bikes just never seem to fit or feel right, no matter how much I fiddle with the seat position. From talking to other cyclists this seems to be pretty common among those of us who ride upright bicycles. Neither one will provide much of a workout for your tendon as the ankle doesn’t flex all that much in cycling. I’ve been using my mag trainer and just don’t feel anything in the tendon area at all, even at relatively high power output. What the stationary bike will do for you is exercise the muscles in your thighs, quads I think and done properly will also give you a good aerobic workout and burn calories.

    Finding a good used one may or may not be easy, probably depends on where you live. In general, you want one with a large heavy flywheel because it gives a smoother ride and feels more like a real bicycle in terms of peddling. There have been lots of cheaply and poorly made stationary bikes sold so you have to be careful. Stay away from ones that use a belt to vary the resistance. If you can easily lift up the end where the flywheel is, you probably don’t want it. If there are bike shops where you live, call them and see if they have any used ones as they are unlikely to take any poorly made ones in trade.

  • 2. mshap  |  January 7th, 2010 at 9:57 am


    Thank you very much for your feedback - very informative as usual. I called a bike shop and they are suggesting that I get a bike trainer. Have you aver used those? They are saying that it gives you much more real workout then any type of stationary bike.


  • 3. GerryR  |  January 7th, 2010 at 10:13 am

    I bought a set of rollers last year which are great, but you have to pay attention to your balance when you use them because there is nothing that mechanically holds the bike up. I didn’t want to take any chances with falling over and doing some damage so I bought the computerized mag trainer, a bike trainer, this year so I can still ride inside without needing to concentrate on balance. The bike shop is correct about using a trainer being more like regular riding, but if you don’t have a bike already, it doesn’t make a lot of sense and would ultimately be more expensive. If you already have a bike, then a trainer is the way to go. You didn’t say you have a bicycle so I didn’t mention it before.

  • 4. fitnessgenie  |  January 17th, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    You might want to talk to your PT. They’ve got me riding on a recumbent. The whole point is to not cause the calf muscle to work with a lot of weight. One’s flexibility is low after surgery, the last thing you need is to push. You should be at 15 and 12 degrees for basic everyday fitness. If you’re an athlete they like it to be 18 and 15. I was at 22 and 18 before surgery. At six weeks post surgery it was 5 and 5.

    Don’t push too much. Been there, done that, don’t recommend it. If you belong to a gym, you could always use their stationary bikes. Both the gyms I work at have both upright and recumbent and that’s where I go as I didn’t want to buy something I’d probably never use again. I know it stinks riding indoors but it’s a good place to start. I recommend talking to your surgeon or PT to get a little guidance from someone who knows you, your fitness level and what your surgery entailed.

  • 5. GerryR  |  February 13th, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    I missed this earlier, but will state it once again. Cycling does next to nothing for calf muscles, even standing in the pedals up a steep incline. Also, there is virtually no flexing of the ankle when pedaling. The principal reason is that you’re not pushing off as in running. Just look at pro cyclist legs. Their calves are must normal looking, but their thighs are very heavily muscled because that is where the power comes from.

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