As avid cycling enthusiasts we are often looking to train for big events or just to keep our legs in tip top condition for upcoming bike rides. The trouble is, especially when living in a country like England, that the opportunities to ride during the week are few and far between if you have a day job. Throw autumn and/or winter in the equation and managing any kind of midweek bike ride is nigh on impossible.
For some cyclists the idea of using an exercise bike to train is out of the question, with some preferring to brave the cold, dark and whatever other elements the great British weather can throw at them. But for some, the thought of training in the warmth at their convenience is a good option – and we are probably in that camp too. But even if you are enamored with the idea of training on an exercise bike, there are often other hurdles to overcome – namely – the cost of the exercise bike, and having space to store it. That’s where the foldable exercise bike comes in – but are they actually any good and will it break the bank to buy one that is good enough for training purposes and not just for someone looking to start a home-based fitness regime at a beginner level?
Foldable Exercise Bikes For Training?
There is no doubt at all that folding exercise bikes have their place in the home fitness world – but just doing some light cardio on an exercise bike is generally going to be pretty different to a seasoned cyclist wanting to use one for training for the next big race. The reality is that like most things the answer to the question of whether folding exercise bikes are any good for training with is that it depends.
There are two key factors when it comes to a foldable exercise bike. Firstly, it really depends on your goals. If you are using it to give yourself a good cycling based cardio workout then yes, most of these types of exercise bikes will be great for that purpose. However, if you are using them to build strength or power then you may come a little unstuck as it is likely that you won’t find enough of a challenge to really give establish enough time under significant tension for your muscles.
The second key factor and really it links to the first is cost. There is a massively varying quality when it comes to folding exercise bikes that is usually dependent on price. If you are looking to spend under £100/$100 then you may as well give up and opt for some resistance bands (if strength is what you are looking to build). But if you have a budget of around £250/$250 then you should be able to find something a little more up to the task.
The advantages of a foldable bike are pretty clear. The main reason people buy these is so that they can fold them down and store them – in turn not needing a dedicated space to keep them permanently. However, if you do have a home gym and you have space to store a fixed upright exercise bike then it may be better to opt for something a little more sturdy and challenging.
In summary, we think foldable exercise bikes certainly have their place and if it means not training or training on a foldable bike then the latter is going to be better every time. Just be aware that you will not get your usual level of workout from a folding bike as you would from your actual bike so maybe try to plan in some outdoor rides too – not to mention that it will be a lot more fun too!