It is strange that more spin bikes don’t come with the ability to monitor heart rate as standard.
But it’s not surprising as many of them don’t even come with a console at all.
Heart rate is important information to determine that you are training efficiently and it is the one number that you can objectively compare between spin bikes, outdoor bikes and other forms of cardio training
For bikes that do have the ability to monitor heart rate they come with 2 options for capturing the heart rate. They either have sensors in the handlebars or can be paired with a heart rate strap.
The sensor in the handlebars has the advantage that it does come with the bike and you don’t have to wear anything extra. The disadvantage is that you have to keep your hands on the sensors to get a reading and if you more them for another grip you lose the reading of course.
The heart rate strap is much better as you can place your hands in the right place for the riding position and workout. The issue with this is that most spin bikes don’t supply a strap, so it has to be bought separately.
In choosing the bikes for this best of list I looked at firstly that it had a console which had a heart rate monitoring capability. Then after that obvious point I looked for:
Console. The console needed to be easy to read, to set up and if it possible to upload the information to the internet for further analysis (Only 2 bikes met this criteria).
Other Features. I chose the ones that had the best levels of adjustability and dual pedals, good resistance and flywheels
Overall Quality. I looked at the bikes to ensure they provided the ability to get a good quality workout and training . They needed to sturdy and robust so they could stand up to intense workouts.
Price. In looking at these bikes I’ve looked at quality and other features to decide which one are best in the price category rather than the least expensive. I’ve included one affordable bike but it is not as highly rated as the others in this list but it was the only one in that category that monitored heart rate.
The bikes below are the best bikes in their price category:
The heart rate monitor works with an ANT+ heart rate strap which is not included.
The console is basic. It is easy to read with a backlight. The information it provides includes RPM, calories burned, heart rate (with heart strap but not included), speed, distance, time elapsed and the time. Speed, distance, time elapsed and the clock don’t all show at the same time and need to cycled through to read. Other information is on permanently.
The flywheel weighs 48 lbs to provide a constant and fluid pedaling motion, the resistance is by a friction pad that sits on the flywheel. The drive is a belt drive providing a smooth and quiet ride that is a little different to that of an outdoor bike
The bike can be quickly adjusted to fit people between 4ft 10 ins and 6ft 4 ins. It is suitable for people who are beginners and more experienced.
The bike is mid range bike that is priced more affordably.
Find out more about the spin bike here
Ironman Triathlon X-Class 510 Indoor Training Cycle
The heart rate monitoring works with a heart rate strap and this is provided with the bike which is great to see.
The console also measures RPM, time elapsed, calories burned and speed.
You can upload your workout and monitor it using an App that is compatible with devices with Android 2.2 or iOS 7.
You can use this to see how you are progressing towards your goals and use your device in place of the monitor by placing it on top of it.
The information is loaded up on to a fitness account for further analysis, review and to track progress towards fitness goals
The flywheel weighs 44lbs to provide a natural pedal motion. The resistance is provided by a fabric pad on the flywheel – the resistance is consistent and moves up incrementally. The bike is belt driven given a quiet and low maintenance workout.
The pedals are Wellgo and are dual with toes cages and straps on one side and cleat for specialist bike shoes on the other side.
The heart rate monitor works with a Polar compatible heart rate chest strap, which is not supplied.
The monitor measures RPM, Watts, calories, elapsed time, distance (not kilometres or miles) and gear. It has a backlight which come automatically when it senses the light is poor. It is easy to read. The information can be uploaded to the GoInd App with an IOS 7 and up mobile device (No Android App at this time).
It has magnetic resistance and belt drive that provide a quiet and low maintenance ride. The magnetic resistance works with the console to let you know how much resistance you are applying give a more objective way to set resistance to know how hard you are working within a workout and from workout to workout.
The pedals are dual with one side taking normal athletic shoe and the other for SPD style shoes.
This bike is different to the others here in that its flywheel is only 8 lbs so the riding experience is different.
Combining this with the magnetic resistance gives you a variable resistance as you experience on an outdoor bike but it doesn’t pull your legs through the stroke in the same way that heavier flywheels fo.
The bike is premium priced but it is one of the most highly rated bike that very well made and delivers a great riding experience. It is one the top selling bikes to gyms across the country.
The budget option bike is the
Exerpeutic LX7 Training Cycle
This is the more affordably priced bike. To monitor heart rate you need to place your hands on the pulse sensors on the middle of the bullhorn handles. You do need to get a good grip or else the sensors will lose contact and not give an accurate reading. To get any reading at all your hands do need to be on the sensors.
The console itself has a small LCD screen that can be difficult to read and it isn’t backlit. As well as heart rate it displays RPM, calories burned, speed, distance and time elapsed. It only displays one set of data at once. You can set it to just display one number for the whole workout or have it scan through the numbers every few seconds.
If you want to keep a record of your workout you have to record the information manually.
Resistance is provided by friction pads and the drive is a chain drive.
The pedals are designed for athletic shoes with toe cages and straps for holding your feet in place. It can be adjusted to fit people between the heights of 5 ft 2 ins and 6 ft 2 ins.