How Many Types of Resistance in Exercise Bike and Which is Best?

Stationary exercise bikes come with different types of mechanism, such as strap-based, air, friction and magnetic. Exercise bike resistance is necessary for exercise bikes to stimulate the riding experience of an actual bike. The resistance offers a particular tension to pedaling. It is important to give an appropriate workout for calf and leg muscles.

The resistance bikes come with a knob to adjust the intensity of the workout. If you want to increase the challenge in your workout, you can stimulate a hill climb by setting the tension knob. The resistance mechanism is an essential aspect to consider while purchasing an exercise bike.

The 5 Types of Resistance in Exercise Bikes

Exercise bikes come with four types of resistance, such as fan-based, belt based, magnetic and mechanical.

Magnetic Resistance

Magnetic resistance exercise bike allows you to get non-intrusive resistance during your workout. Some bikes come with tension knobs, but electromagnetic bikes will enable you to change the level of resistance digitally. Both sides of the flywheel have two magnetic bars to deter each other.

Electromagnetic bikes come with a steadfast motor to pass a particular amount of current to support the repelling action of magnets for powerful resistance. The magnets will offer more resistance because these move away to the flywheel.

Several magnetic bikes offer eight levels of variable power of workouts. The incremental escalation in the resistance is rare to see in different magnetic bikes because of the latest technology. These bikes are maintenance-free so don’t worry about wear and tear. It can work well without periodic lubrication.

Friction resistance has different limitations, but the magnetic strength can eliminate the drawbacks of other resistances. Stationary exercise bikes with magnetic resistance offer a competitive advantage over direct contact resistance.

Unlike other types of bikes, the magnetic resistance works well. You can enjoy workouts in a quiet environment without any disturbance. These bikes allow you to enjoy your favorite music or read magazines. This bike is suitable to use in residential areas.

Friction resistance exercise bikes don’t offer any marked resistance level. You will get knobs to adjust your resistance levels. Mechanism of magnetic resistance bikes is entirely different. Manufacturers program the resistance levels. The console has indications on resistance levels. You can get the advantage of a button on the console to adjust your preferred resistance.

The speed of cycling can modify the magnetic resistance. The higher speed of bike can increase the resistance. Friction bikes require you to change the pads on a regular basis. Dusting and lubrication are essential because of wear and tear in moving parts. The maintenance cost of friction bikes is higher than magnetic bikes.

Magnetic resistance bikes work well without any wear and tear in the components. You can use it without regular lubrication and dusting.

Mechanical Resistance

You can get this resistance in spin bikes and upright bikes. The resistance system of these bikes is similar to the brake mechanism of bikes. These bikes come with rubber pads on both sides of a flywheel to make pedaling hard. You can increase the pressure between flywheel and rubber pads by tightening a tension knob.

The resistance mechanism creates a heckling noise while riding because the pads are rubbed against the flywheel. When you notice louder sound while riding these bikes, you have to lubricate the flywheel.

Fan-based Resistance

These bikes have a huge fan that rotates through a pulley and belt mechanism while pedaling. When you pedal at a faster speed, the fan rotates at a faster speed, and air offers more resistance to fan blades. To increase the intensity of the workout, you have to pedal at a faster rate. The blades of fans are located in a way to offer cool breeze during exercise. You can run this bike without maintenance just like Stationary bike magnetic resistance.

Strap-based Resistance

This mechanism is common in old bikes because the latest models come with fan-based ore magnetic resistance mechanisms. In this type, the bile is attached to a pedaling wheel and a flywheel. You can increase resistance by adjusting its tension knob to move the bike with extra force.

Direct Contact Resistance

The main idea behind this resistance is a friction principle. Durable braking pads fit along the flywheel to create the effects of braking. The rotation decelerates as the pads touch the flywheel. You can increase the resistance by escalating the rotational speed of the flywheel.

The resistance creates a challenge for you because you have to exert extra force on pedaling to reach greater cycling speeds. You will get a chance to make you work out advance from normal to the higher power.

These bikes are reliable and accurate to offer unbeatable resistance level. These levels are similar to gears on the real road bikes. You can customize your workout as per your needs. The brake paddings are available in different durable materials.

Some bikes with contact resistance mechanism use different friction bands instead of pads. These pads are adjusted on the edges of the flywheel. These bikes may go through serious mechanical abuse. They are prone to wear and tear with the passage of time. The replacement costs of these models may vary. This resistance system produces excessive noise and can disturb you during workouts.

Final Verdict

If you want a quiet, maintenance-free and advanced workout, you must choose magnetic stationary exercise bikes. While using this bike, there is no need to worry about the friction in rubber pads and friction marks on the flywheel.

Numerous entry-level bikes are available with mechanical resistance. You can go for a spin bike that comes with magnetic resistance. These bikes are durable and everlasting. These can work silently and require low maintenance than other resistance bikes.

The fan resistance bikes may not suit you because these will take extra time in adjustment. You must have excellent expertise for their setup. These bikes are more demanding and expensive than regular workout bikes. Regarding performance and durability, magnetic resistance bikes are highly recommended. These bikes are convenient to use and allow you to adjust your workout as per your needs.

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2 thoughts on “How Many Types of Resistance in Exercise Bike and Which is Best?”

  1. Hello,
    Thank you for the informative blog. Can you give some products that work on direct contact resistance? I am trying to source one for a heart patient with a pacemaker.
    Thank you,

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