Pedal Power: What Is a Spin Bike and Why You Need One

What is a "spin" bike?

A spin bike, also known as an indoor cycling bike, is your ticket to high-intensity indoor cycling workouts, also known as "Spinning." During a spin bike workout, you'll dive into a dynamic, low-impact cardiovascular exercise session, often guided by an instructor—either in person or via an app. It's all about adjusting resistance levels and pedal intensity to boost your endurance and strength.


How long is a spin bike session?

In the world of spin, you'll typically find sessions pedalling away for anywhere from 45 minutes to a full hour, though keep in mind, that class durations might flex a bit based on your instructor or your personal program. These times are based on commercial and online class lengths.


How many calories does a spin bike session burn?

In an eye-opening 2021 study conducted by, they measured the calorie burn of six participants, both men and women, spanning ages from 25 to 77, and discovered an astonishing range of 467 to 617 calories torched during just a 40-minute spin workout. This demonstrates the effectiveness of spin classes for weight loss and improving cardiovascular fitness.




Are spin bikes healthy for you?

In 2017, the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation conducted a study on female middle school students with positive results: 16 weeks of consistent aerobic workouts sparked remarkable transformations in body composition, physical fitness, and blood parameters. What's truly eye-opening is that the spin exercise group eclipsed the general bicycle group in these extraordinary fitness and health gains. So, spin bikes are not only effective for weight loss but also for overall health improvements.


What are some of the mental health benefits of cycling?

A fascinating study published in Behaviour Research and Therapy (Volume 42, Issue 2) found that participants who cycled often demonstrated their prowess in tackling stress and depression. Subjects in the study who biked regularly experienced 21.6% fewer mental health days than those who did not. This highlights the positive impact of indoor cycling, such as spin classes, on mental well-being.


Are spin bikes safe for people with knee problems?

In a 2017 randomized controlled trial conducted by, the merits of Spinning came into sharp focus, showcasing its unique advantage in preserving the health of your knees and feet when compared to traditional cardio alternatives. With the capacity to exert yourself intensely on a spin bike while minimizing impact, you can pursue fitness gains with a heightened sense of comfort and well-being, making spin bikes a suitable option for individuals with knee problems.



What to look for in a spin bike?

When hunting for the perfect spin bike, here are your top priorities:

  • What Flywheel Weight?
  • Magnetic or Friction Pad Resistance?
  • Belt Drive or Chain Drive?


What is a spin bike flywheel?

A spin bike flywheel is a heavy, weighted wheel located at the front of the bike that creates resistance and provides momentum as it spins. One of the first things you’ll want to keep in mind when buying a spin bike is the flywheel weight. A heavier flywheel results in a smoother ride and a more effective full-body workout. The sweet spot for flywheel weight is typically between 14kg and 22kg.


What is better magnetic or friction pad resistance?

The next thing you will have to decide is if you would like a bike with magnetic resistance or friction pad resistance. Magnetic resistance on a spin bike is a type of resistance mechanism that uses magnets to control and adjust the level of resistance you encounter while pedalling. Friction pad resistance on a spin bike is a type of resistance mechanism that uses brake pads to create friction against the flywheel, thereby increasing the resistance experienced while pedalling.

Magnetic resistance is generally quieter since it doesn't involve physical contact with the flywheel and requires less maintenance, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a quiet home gym experience. Friction Pad Resistance is generally more affordable upfront but may have higher maintenance costs over time.


What is the difference between a belt and a chain drive?

A belt drive on a spin bike refers to the type of mechanism used to transfer power from the pedals to the flywheel. A chain drive on a spin bike is a mechanism that uses a metal chain to transfer power from the pedals to the flywheel. Belt drives are generally quieter with less short-term maintenance, providing a smoother and quieter workout experience. Chain drives, if well maintained, often last longer but may result in a slightly less smooth ride.


What are other features to look at while spin bike shopping?

The amount of adjustability of the bike via seat post and handlebars can make your spin bike sessions more comfortable. An informative console can help you track progress, including heart rate, which is crucial for effective cardio workouts. Another large factor to consider is the pedal clips on the bike, as some require clip-in shoes for a secure grip. Having an easily reachable water bottle holder is also a feature that is worth looking for, ensuring you stay hydrated during your indoor cycling sessions.


What are Flaman Fitness's recommended spin bikes?

Here are some recommended spin bikes from Flaman Fitness:

Schwinn IC4 Spin Bike

The Schwinn IC4 has a 18kg flywheel, with magnetic resistance and is belt drive. The adjustability options are huge with horizontal and vertical adjustability of the seat and handlebars. The IC4 offers a backlit LCD metric console. The pedals allow the use of both specialist indoor cycling shoes with SPD cleats and normal athletic shoes.

Schwinn IC4 Standout Features

  • Backlit LCD metric console
  • 100 resistance levels
  • Dual-sided pedals (SPD® clips | toe cages)
  • 3 lb. dumbbells included
  • Adjustable seat and handlebars
  • Bluetooth® HR armband
  • Device holder
  • 4-way adjustable handlebars
  • Dual water bottle holders


Get Yours Today at Flaman Fitness: Schwinn IC4


Progression Club 40

The Progression Club has a 14kg flywheel, with magnetic resistance (manually adjusted) and is belt drive. The adjustability options are awesome with horizontal and vertical adjustability of the seat and handlebars. The Club 40 offers an interactive monitor.

  • 16 levels of resistance
  • Low-impact sprint on standard SPD pedals.
  • Adjustable seat and handlebars
  • Tablet Holder
  • Built-in Bluetooth connectivity access to top apps like Zwift, Kinomap, Wahoo and Vortec, which comes free with your progression bike.
  • Interactive Monitor
  • Wireless Heart Rate Compatible
  • Dual Water Bottle Cages
  • Features Quick Start and Programmable Time and Distance Goals


Get Yours Today at Flaman Fitness: Progression Club 40


Spirit XIC600 Spin Bike

The Spirit XIC has a 22kg flywheel, with magnetic resistance (manually adjusted) and is belt drive.  The adjustability options are great with horizontal and vertical adjustability of the seat and handlebars. The XIC600 offers a wireless LCD console. The pedals are a standard flat surface with a toe cage that appeals to the average exerciser.

  • 20 Levels of resistance
  • Adjustable toe clip pedals
  • Adjustable seat and handlebars
  • Dual Water Bottle Holder
  • Heart Rate Receiver (Chest Strap Sold Separately)
  • Lifetime frame warranty, 3 years brake, parts and 1 year labor
  • PVC coated multi-grip handlebars


Get Your Today At Flaman Fitness: Spirit XIC600


These spin bikes offer a range of features to cater to different fitness levels and preferences, ensuring a satisfying indoor cycling experience. So, whether you're a beginner or an experienced cyclist, there's a spin bike option to suit your needs.


If you're looking for more information on the Schwinn IC4 check out this blogpost:

The Proof is in the Pedaling: Six Online Reviewers Deliver a Schwinn IC4 Bike-Build Report Card


Category: Your Fitness Resource
Tags:  bike  Equipment  exercisebike  progressionfitness  schwinnfitness  spin  spinbike  spiritfitness 

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