Spin or indoor cycling classes have been the most popular and well attended classes in gyms for the last three years. It’s no surprise then that more and more health clubs want to buy commercial spin bikes to fill the demand.
Group exercise bikes are one of the most affordable and productive pieces of gym equipment. Not only are they fairly inexpensive to manufacture but they don’t take up too much space.
Kate Fearon, of FitnessCompared, said: “Indoor bikes are an industry big seller. They are fantastic for low impact exercise at any age, and are now a regular feature on the gym floor as well as in classes - no gym really feels complete without at least one to provide a real cycling experience.
I choose to train on an Indoor cycle and try to make sure I always have access to one both at home and on holiday. There are so many makes and brands available these days that there really is something for every price point and purpose.’’
“Things to look out for when choosing a used commercial indoor cycle, is the overall standard of its construction. Frames are usually made of aluminium or steel and there are various types of resistance to choose from which impact the of the ride. Generally a heavier flywheel is better, as it creates a smoother pedalling experience, you should be looking at anything around 18kg-20kg on a good commercial spin bike.
Is the bike robust and durable enough? It is essential to consider both these points before investing. What are going to be the main ‘wear and tear’ items e.g. pedals, straps, cranks, resistance pads and adjustments? Look at how many classes you have a week or the overall usage, and make sure that you have a bike that is up to that level of work. In this current climate, cleaning and maintenance is more important than ever. Consider how often you will need to do this and how to encourage customers to also clean after each ride.
What level of expertise do your clients have? If you are dealing with the likes of Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins (or even their wannabes) you know you have to invest in the best commercial spin bikes available. Most people know how to ride a bike, or at least how to pedal a stationary one, which is why spin classes appeal to all ages and abilities.
Pedals should come complete with racing clips for safety and because your regular ‘spin’ customers like to bring their own cycle shoes! If a bike is labelled as 'C Class', this means it was designed for commercial use and therefore particularly frequent use. These are likely to be the more expensive option. Alternatively, many manufacturers produce spinning bikes specifically with the home market in mind. Bear in mind that although these are designed for regular use, they are not designed for the heavy use of a commercial exercise bike. Typically 3 -7 hours a week is the recommended usage for home spin bikes.
Consider the experience you want your clients to have? Do they want the feel of a real bike, chain driven? Smooth and silent, belt driven or magnetic? As well as the clients’ experience, you also need to think about the set up and ease of adjusting the seat height, distance to handlebars etc for a range of users. Indoor cycling is a great workout that doesn't exert too much pressure on the hips, knees or ankles so is great option for a many customers including absolute beginners, the elderly and rehabilitation.
Connectivity is hugely important – will they have a console, or screen? On-demand classes are hugely popular now and they are a great way to create another gym floor experience. In classes consider the music and lighting and how this will impact the experience and how to connect with riders when they are in the class. This can be via a screen showing the group positions or performance results, or the use of coloured lighting on the bikes linked to intensity.
There are of course more traditional gym floor bikes with amazing technology and connectivity. There are two main types - either an upright exercise bike, where you sit in a traditional bike riding position or recumbent. On a recumbent bike the user is sat in more of a horizontal position. Recumbent exercise bikes are generally used by less experienced or less fit customers and provide a supported comfortable ride.
Whatever you are looking for in a gym be sure to ask the experts. You can get free expert advice from FitnessCompared. Investigate the range of new exercise bikes at www.FitnessCompared.com or book a chat with one of our experienced gym designers here fitnesscompared.co.uk/contact