There are many different types of bikes—some for cruising around, some for sport, and others just for working out. What types of bikes are best for working out and weight loss?
The best types of bicycles for weight loss are road bikes, gravel bikes, fitness bikes, and mountain bikes. These bicycles are designed to ride over hills and rough, uneven ground, making them great for working out. Electric bikes, tandem bikes, and cruising bikes should be avoided.
Depending on where you will use the bike and what the trails or roads are like, one of these types of bikes may work better for you. So, let’s break down each type of bike, where to use it, and why it is good for working out.
Road & Gravel Bikes
This bike is good for riding anywhere. The tread on the tires is great for gravel, dirt, streets, and more. You can go on intense trails or simply ride along the roads in your area. If your intention for getting a bike is so that you can work out and lose weight, then this is a great option.
When you work out on a bike, you will ride for a certain amount of time, a certain distance, or for the most elevation while riding (meaning hills). However you base your rides, they are good methods to follow. You can go out and ride to one destination and back, you can plan to ride for a certain amount of time, you can go out until you’re tired enough to turn around, and more. A road and gravel bike is great for any purpose. It will give you a smooth ride to any destination.
A fitness bike is stationary and can be used inside a home. The handlebars on this type of bike are higher set than the road and gravel bike, so it makes riding more comfortable. It allows you to sit more upright and not bent over as if you were racing.
Indoor fitness bikes have many benefits; you can ride safely at any time day, you can ride in any weather, and you can accomplish your workout in the comfort of your home. Many fitness bikes come with additional features to help you with your workouts, so shop around to see which one is best for you. Fitness bikes are also excellent because you can even watch TV or a movie while you ride!
A mountain bike is used for exactly the place it is named after. If you live on a mountain or near one, and that is where you intend on riding your bike, then this is a great option. Mountain bikes have tires made for rough mountain roads and trails, and it is meant to get you over some rough terrain.
Mountains, naturally, have steep climbs, and mountain bikes are made to conquer those. You will be able to go up hills easier than you could with other bikes. This is because of the size of the tires and the traction. The tread on the tires is made to have a good grip on dirt, rocky roads, and more.
Indoor Bike vs. Outdoor Bike for Losing Weight
There are indoor bikes and outdoor bikes. Depending on what you prefer, you can get a stationary bike to put in your home for working out, or you can get an outdoor bike like one of the types listed above. The best way to lose weight from bike riding is consistency. You will be exercising your heart and keeping it healthy, so if there are days you ride less than others, that is okay. You just need to evaluate your schedule and your lifestyle to figure out which bike suits you best.
If you do not have space for an indoor bike, then buying a bike for outdoor use is perfect for you. You also have the choice of going to the gym and riding a stationary bike there. If you find that you prefer stationary bikes, then a gym membership might be beneficial because not only will you get to ride on a stationary bike, but you will be able to use other equipment if you desire.
A lot of people prefer being out in nature when they ride on a bike. They like going out and finding new trails, working hard to get up and over a hill, feeling and smelling the fresh air, and simply being out in nature is a huge draw. If you prefer being in nature, then an outdoor bike will be a great fit for you.
Depending on your schedule, you might decide that you will use a stationary bike more than an outdoor bike, or vise versa. If you don’t have time to go out to a gym or to ride a bike along a road or trail, then owning a stationary bike might help you keep up with riding. You will have the option of using the bike at any time, regardless of the weather. If you were planning on going out for a ride and it started raining, or the weather got too hot, then that might stop you from riding until the weather cooled down or stopped raining. However, an indoor bike will not run into this issue.
Products for Indoor and Outdoor Bikes
There are a lot of great brands that manufacture bikes for various types of rides and purposes. Depending on how much you want to ride the bike, how often you will use it, and your budget for a bike, there are both cheap and expensive options that will give you a great ride.
Vilano Gravel Bike with Disc Brakes, 14 Speeds, Road and Trail Bicycle Drop Bars (link): This bike is $549 on Amazon, and it is an excellent bike. There are amazing reviews on this bike, and it is cheaper than a lot of gravel bikes online. Many of these bikes go for $1,000-4,000 online from different expensive brands, so this is definitely a nice price for a great bike.
Royce Union Men’s Gravel Bike 27.5″ or 700c Wheels, Lightweight Aluminum w/Shimano (link): This is a more expensive gravel bike than the one above, but it also has great reviews. It is priced at $1,249.99 and has 4/5 stars on Amazon. Depending on your height, you can get a bike size that will best suit you. If you are shorter or taller and you are worried about how the bike will be height-wise, then simply look at their size chart, and it will let you know what size frame and wheels will work best on the bike.
Schwinn Mountain-Bicycles High Timber (link): This is a great mountain bike, and you can see some noticeable features that make it more equipped for mountain terrain. Firstly, the tires are wider and have a thicker tread so that it can get over bumps, rocks, dirt, pebbles, and more. It is made for tackling the mountainside, and its tough grip allows you to ride freely without worrying that your bike won’t be able to ride through certain areas. This bike is quite affordable with a price of $409.99, and it has 4/5 stars with over a thousand ratings.
There are a few indoor fitness bikes that are great for putting inside of your home. You can save some money by getting these options and not spending over $1,000 on a bike, and there are thousands of reviews claiming that these bikes are amazing. Below is a list of great indoor stationary bike options.
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike (link): This bike works great and has amazing reviews. The stationary bike has over 2,000 reviews and 4.5/5 stars on Amazon. It is being sold for $499.00, and it makes riding at home easy, convenient, and comfortable.
YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike Stationary (link): This stationary bike is sold for $315.99, and it has over 16,000 reviews giving it an average of 4.5/5 stars. So, if you want an indoor stationary bike to ride, this one sounds like it will fit the job. Many people highly recommend this bike for how well it works. The price is pretty low for such a big piece of workout equipment.
SOVNIA Stationary Bike (link): This is a great quality cheap priced stationary bike that has over 1,000 reviews totaling 4.4/5 stars, and it costs $199.99.
Bikes That Are Not Good for Losing Weight
You should not get a cruiser bike if you are cycling to lose weight. These are bikes are made for riding around town or riding along the beach, not for working out. They are nice comfortable bikes to have, but if your intention is to use a bike for working out and weight loss, then you should stay away from this style of bike.
Another bike you won’t want for working out with is a tandem bike. This is obvious, but some people think it would be great to work out on the same bike with their spouse, friend, or other family members. The truth is that it is a lot easier to work out when you are controlling your own bike, and you don’t always need another person on the bike for when you want to go out and ride. With a tandem, you will always need a partner, and it can complicate the workout more, which is unnecessary.
Another bike that is not an ideal choice for someone who is looking to lose weight when riding is an electric bike. Getting a bike that does not require much effort from you is not ideal. You are looking for a bike that will go on trails, on the road, get dirty, and more. An electric bike is mostly used for getting around places in a city, and it is meant for the roads. So, this is not an ideal choice for someone who is trying to use the bike to lose weight; it will be taking most of the workout aspect out of the bike riding experience.
Bike Accessories and Needs
When riding a bike, there are some accessories that make bicycling more convenient and safe. You should always wear a helmet. Helmets can be the difference between life or death if you fall with your bike or if a vehicle on the road doesn’t see you, so always wear one. Also, cars need to easily see you. Wear lights or reflectors. Your bike should have reflectors on it, but you should wear a shirt, jacket, or vest that has reflective material on it. That way, when a car approaches you, you will be seen.
You should also consider investing in some biking gloves. This will make your grip on the handlebars better for when you get sweaty and your hands have a hard time gripping onto the bars.
You might also want to get a phone holder for your bike. Your bike might have a place for your water bottle, but you might want to get a pouch to put your phone in. This way you don’t have to worry about wearing a backpack, you can put small essentials in the pouch and it straps onto the bike for your convenience.
The workout clothes you should wear should be tight. You do not want shorts or pants getting caught on or in the bike while you’re pedaling. Getting bike shorts and appropriate workout tops will make your riding safer and easier. Clothes that are appropriate for riding are important, but also getting shoes that are good for riding bikes is important. It hurts when your shoes do not grip onto the pedals of a bike well, and if the pedal hits your shin, it can leave a scrape or bruise. So, getting biking shoes that have the right grip for holding onto the pedals will help you when riding a bike.
My Recommended Gear for Year-Round Cycling on a Budget
It took me years of trial and error to figure out the best and most affordable setup for my daily bike commuting. I would only recommend the gear that is good quality for a good price. Here’s my full year-round gear recommendation guide.
Want to know how much your cycling gear should cost? Check out my guide with different budget options here.