To a certain extent any spin bike or indoor cycle can be effective in burning calories and help with weight loss as they can be used for HIIT and more moderate training. However, many of them don’t come with a heart rate monitor or a console for that matter, which can be used to determine the effort you are putting in and thereby calories being burned.
With any effort in weight loss the most important factor is your diet and second to that is exercising as they say you can’t out exercise a bad diet.
With that said you want your exercise to be as effective as possible and this is where the discussion on heart rate and high intensity interval training is important – as you probably want to get in shape and maximize the amount of calories lost.
How Spin Bikes Can Work Best For Fat Loss
The best explanations of how training using heart rate zones work with a spin bike are here, so that you get the most bang for your buck as well as be safe and healthy too.
But, this next article to give you the full picture contradicts the first about the effectiveness of the heart rate zones but the first is better to get you started on your weight loss and the next is more for you as you advance and want to get into HIIT to get the after burn effect and be more efficient while still being safe and healthy. Although technically correct its best to start off slow and get fitness levels up first before going full out as suggested in this article.
A Word About Heart Rate Monitor And Calories Burned Calculations
Having mentioned earlier that many spin bikes/indoor cycle don’t have heart rate monitor, it is usual for those that do to be over $1000 (however I’ve my list includes bikes under $1000 for my best of list) especially if they include a heart rate strap.
Also, the calories burned on all the consoles is an estimate at best and can really only be used for tracking effort between workouts rather than an accurate number on calories burned to be relied on for tracking calories in/out on a daily basis.
The Selection Criteria
In selecting the bikes for best spin bikes for weight loss I’ve chosen bikes that are:
Price below $1000. I’ve made an assumption that if you are just getting into cardio workouts you want something that is well made but doesn’t cost the earth
Heart Rate Monitor. To help you for training in the zones for effort and recovery the bike needs to have a monitor.
Durable and Robust. The bike must provide a safe low impact ride and be able to stand up to it for a number of years too.
Fat Burning Zone and HIIT. The bikes need to cater for both types of training and any in between too.
The 2 best spin bikes for weight loss are:
Ironman Triathlon X-Class 510 Indoor Training Cycle
This bike comes with a heart rate strap and console for monitoring your workouts. There is also a Fitness App that the information that you can use for tracking of your progress towards your fitness goals.
The monitor is easy to read as you cycle to keep an eye on your heart rate and other numbers such as RPM, time elapsed, distance travelled etc.
It has a heavy flywheel of 44 lbs that give you a natural and smooth riding experience which gives you the basis for a low impact workout as tough as you want. You can increase the hardness of the ride by increasing the resistance using the resistance knob at the front of the bike.
It is designed to ridden hard but it can be used by people who want more moderate exercise as they start on their fitness goals, so as you progress the bike will keep pace with you.
Read more about it here.
This is a commercial grade bike that is priced below $800 that provides a low impact cardio workout which is good for the joints with a 48 lbs flywheel that pulls the pedals through steadily and smoothly.
It takes just a little effort to get the flywheel started but then gives a fluid riding experience. To make the workouts tougher you adjust the tension knob at the top of the frame where it can go from easy to very difficult on a continuous scale – so you can set it just where you want it.
It doesn’t come with the heart rate strap but you can get one of those for under $20 from Amazon – either a Polar or Garmin straps can work with it. You read your heart rate on the monitor in front of you that can be read easily as you ride.
This is a well constructed bike that doesn’t move around, can be used by beginners and more experienced riders to get as intense a workout as you want making it ideal for weight loss goals and getting in shape.
Read the review of the bike here.
If you want a more affordable bike which costs less than $500 the Exerpeutic LX7 is a reasonable option – it comes with a heart rate monitor on the handlebars it is just less reliable than the 2 best bikes that made the list
A worthy mention is the Spinner S1 or Spinner Aero – they didn’t make this list because they didn’t come with a heart rate monitor. These 2 spin bikes come with 4 workout DVDs. To help with heart rate monitoring you can buy a Polar Heart Rate Monitor for under $60 to help in maximizing your training effort.
If you do want a spin bike with pre-set workouts the only bike that is affordably priced that gives you that is the Diamondback Fitness 510 IC – but it does need to be plugged into work.
P.S. For other great spin bike options and inddor cycle to help meet your weight loss goals:
Best spin bikes below $500 can be seen here