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Exercise bikes at the gym

Old 01-17-23, 11:18 AM
  #1  
mtnbud
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Exercise bikes at the gym

My gym has one upright exercise bike. It's a Stairmaster brand. The seat is so freaking wide. I don't understand how anyone could sit on the thing. I usually avoid it by getting the cardio portion of my workout other ways. I really don't like riding in the rain. I find cars don't see you as well and the rain adds a lot of bike maintenance.

I have to sit on the very tip of the saddle or lean unnaturally back to tolerate the seat. Are there narrower seats available that use the proprietary exercise bike attachment system?
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Old 01-17-23, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
Are there narrower seats available that use the proprietary exercise bike attachment system?
Even if there was...it's not like the gym management would let you change it out.

Gym bike seats are made to please the masses. I'm on the gym bike seat a few times a week (Life Fitness is the brand) I don't find it to be all that bad. It's the one bike seat I sit on that I don't have to wear bike shorts.
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Old 01-17-23, 02:15 PM
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Gym bikes seats are similar to beach cruiser seats, not made for cranking along at 15-20mph. I'll find something else to do besides going to a gym on a rainy day; I can't stand the indoor environment, especially the loud music.
1) Find a hill and do some repeats up-and-down it - either a paved street or even a dirt rise, and run it or briskly walk up and down it.
2) Find a parking garage and use the stairs - 'repeats' up and down a stairwell, skipping a step as you go up, or go from one stairwell to another. Stairs are kind of boring, but I'd rather do that than use a gym.
3) Just go out for a jog in the rain. Always fun. IF you're not cold it won't make you sick.

But if you do have to go to a gym try using the stairmaster of equivalent device instead of a bicycle. Great cross-training.
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Old 01-17-23, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
Gym bikes seats are similar to beach cruiser seats, not made for cranking along at 15-20mph.
This would not be true.

My last 3 sessions on the bike at the gym...

15.2 miles - 22.8 mph.
16 miles - 24 mph
25 miles - 21.4 mph
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Old 01-17-23, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
This would not be true.

My last 3 sessions on the bike at the gym...

15.2 miles - 22.8 mph.
16 miles - 24 mph
25 miles - 21.4 mph
Pretty good results
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Old 01-17-23, 03:48 PM
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I may have some influence with the owner. He bought the gym a couple of years ago and is a willing to listen to suggestions. He's been slowly updating the equipment since he bought the gym. The bike isn't much of a priority since most members go there for the free weights downstairs. I've been avoiding the bike for years, but decided to get on it today since it focuses on the specific muscle groups used in cycling. I quickly remembered how annoying the seat was as soon as I got on it, but toughed it out for 45 minutes. It'd be great with a cycling specific seat. Although hardly anyone ever uses the bike, the few that do might squawk if it was changed.

From what I remember there used to be a few spin classes offered in the long past. I might have a better chance seeing if he still has those spin bikes around. I believe those spin bikes have decent seats. I just wouldn't have access to the different programs options.
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Old 01-17-23, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
I quickly remembered how annoying the seat was as soon as I got on it, but toughed it out for 45 minutes.
I stream a lot of hard heavy metal through the headphones when on the bike. It's the only way I can make it through a 30 or 60 minute session.
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Old 01-17-23, 08:13 PM
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The stationary bike at the place I work out at is very similar to a road bike in function. The saddle is definitely a regular bike saddle. Maybe not the exact one I would use, but it's a bike saddle, not a cushy wide one. The saddle can be adjusted back and forth, up and down as can the handlebars. With just a minute of adjusting I can get it to fit very similar to my own road bikes. The handlebars are drop bar with "TT" extensions. I can't remember the brand name but it works very well. Could be because the proprietor is a cyclist among other things.
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Old 01-18-23, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
This would not be true.

My last 3 sessions on the bike at the gym...

15.2 miles - 22.8 mph.
16 miles - 24 mph
25 miles - 21.4 mph
That's great, but gym bikes rarely give you a realistic road speed. They are nearly always miles faster than you could ride on an actual road with the same power.
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Old 01-18-23, 08:12 AM
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Our rec center has a room of spin bikes that have standard bike saddles (and a really wide Q or tread factor). Also dozens of various stationary exercise machines in a larger, open space on the upper level. Most of those have some kind of really wide seat if they are for seated exercise.

Last winter when I wasnít in the habit of running, I preferred the stair climber, partly because it was in the weight area which has good air circulation. Also in part because I didnít have to deal with some weird, generic seating apparatus. The rowing machines I can only tolerate for about ten minutes before the seat feels uncomfortable.

However, the rec center also has a 1/6 mile indoor track around the perimeter on the upper level, so now I just run there three times a week instead of using those stationary machines. Having a safe, well-lit, conditioned indoor track is quite the luxury. Lots of folks use it for walking and some of us also run there regularly, especially this time of year.

Itís a lot cooler moving through the air. I donít get nearly as sweaty and hot at a given level of effort. Plus I stay in practice at actually running even when itís dark, cold and nasty out.

Otto

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Old 01-18-23, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
That's great, but gym bikes rarely give you a realistic road speed. They are nearly always miles faster than you could ride on an actual road with the same power.
Agree. No wind resistance and no pedaling my 185 lb body up a a steep hill. But when it's raining in January (should be snowing) I take what I can get. The bike has different modes and I always do the "hill intervals" mode to try and simulate my outside rides. The other perks of the gym that I have are elliptical machine, treadmill and various pieces of nautilus equipment that target specific muscles. The best part though is the sauna!!
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Old 01-19-23, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
This would not be true.

My last 3 sessions on the bike at the gym...

15.2 miles - 22.8 mph.
16 miles - 24 mph
25 miles - 21.4 mph
I'll go with that for your local gym. The two closest to me both have bicycles with 'comfort' saddles typically found on cruiser bicycles in the visible areas. One of the gyms is a larger chain store gym (24-Hr Fitness IIRC) and has a dedicated spin classroom with stationary bicycles that DO have saddles that look more like road bike seats, but the general workout area only has bikes with 'comfort' saddles that can be seen from the front windows. The other is a smaller YMCA gym with just comfort saddles (about 10 bikes).
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Old 01-19-23, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
The stationary bike at the place I work out at is very similar to a road bike in function. The saddle is definitely a regular bike saddle. Maybe not the exact one I would use, but it's a bike saddle, not a cushy wide one. The saddle can be adjusted back and forth, up and down as can the handlebars. With just a minute of adjusting I can get it to fit very similar to my own road bikes. The handlebars are drop bar with "TT" extensions. I can't remember the brand name but it works very well. Could be because the proprietor is a cyclist among other things.
The bike in question is WattBike. A very authentic bike feel (For a stationary bike).
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Old 01-19-23, 10:14 PM
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I assume you own a bicycle. You can buy a bike trainer on Amazon for $100, place your bike on it, stay home and be completely comfortable.
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Old 01-19-23, 10:29 PM
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A bike that doesn't go anywhere...not for me thanks. I mean granted I do have a trainer but it is my regular road bike and I do it at home where I can be in just bib shorts and shoes...grrrrrrrrr! Even that I don't love but it is good to do when I can.

I guess if i had to use a gym spinning machine I would just have to suck it up and accept it or find a gym where I can use my own saddle like my home gym which is just a trainer in my basement it has a massage chair and bike parts.
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Old 01-20-23, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
A bike that doesn't go anywhere...not for me thanks. I mean granted I do have a trainer but it is my regular road bike and I do it at home where I can be in just bib shorts and shoes...grrrrrrrrr! Even that I don't love but it is good to do when I can.

I guess if i had to use a gym spinning machine I would just have to suck it up and accept it or find a gym where I can use my own saddle like my home gym which is just a trainer in my basement it has a massage chair and bike parts.
It's not that bad. Heavy metal music helps me through it. I find fast paced musics that snycs with my pedaling. With the music...40 minutes on the spin bike seems like 10 minutes.

My gym also has other amenities...such as a pool, hot tub and sauna. Plus treadmill, elliptical machine that I use often, free weights and various other exercise machines. I use the sauna there a lot. I'll often spend an hour in there after spinning on the bike for 30-40 minutes.
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Old 01-20-23, 10:29 AM
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yeah gym bikes can be pretty crummy
my last gym had pretty good ones
my current gym has a spin class room but haven't seen any spin classes & I believe I can use one of those cool bikes w/ my own cleated shoes whenever I want but I haven't investigated
my last gym had many stationary bikes, including many recumbent bikes, which I prefer at the gym
my current gym has a single stationary recumbent bike, which I only used once

when it's rainy & I don't want to ride outside I sometimes go to the gym & use the treadmill & watch a movie on on my phone
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Old 01-20-23, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
A bike that doesn't go anywhere...not for me thanks.
But it can "virtually" go somewhere on Zwift or Rouvy. I actually find that more fun than riding solo on crappy roads in crappy weather.
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Old 01-20-23, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
yeah gym bikes can be pretty crummy
my last gym had pretty good ones
my current gym has a spin class room but haven't seen any spin classes & I believe I can use one of those cool bikes w/ my own cleated shoes whenever I want but I haven't investigated
my last gym had many stationary bikes, including many recumbent bikes, which I prefer at the gym
my current gym has a single stationary recumbent bike, which I only used once

when it's rainy & I don't want to ride outside I sometimes go to the gym & use the treadmill & watch a movie on on my phone
I'd say my local gym is more upscale. They have good equipment from a a company called Life Fitness.

https://www.lifefitness.com/en-us

I do see a lot of people there with phones or tablets watching a movie. I haven't tried that yet, but probably will someday.
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Old 01-20-23, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
I do see a lot of people there with phones or tablets watching a movie. I haven't tried that yet, but probably will someday.
yeah if you want to get some miles in & not talk to anyone. walking, running & cycling indoors is depressing to me. maybe that's not the right word. but I only do it out of desperation now. when I had a strict routine, it just wrapped up into the big picture & it was useful. swimming indoors is better, because I can't get such controlled water conditions outside

was next to a young lady on a cpl stair masters one time. 3 giant TVs in front of us w/ no audio & she was reading a hardcover book, sobbing every now & then . I don't know man, it's a gym, stuff happens, eh?
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Old 01-20-23, 07:26 PM
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checked my gym spin bike pedals today. 1 side SPD & the other side w/ toe clips/straps. so I can bring my shoes. wonder how they have the tension set
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Old 01-20-23, 07:38 PM
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I set my favorite bike up on a trainer and adapted a Ram mount for my Kindle reader. I still use ear buds for background sound while reading and the time really flies by. I had to get out of the gym. Of course, the DW started complaining when I steamed up the windows in the living room so I had to relocate to the (unheated) shed. Now referred to as the man cave. Whatever works for you, right? Now if it's even marginal outside, I'm on it.
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Old 01-20-23, 07:54 PM
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Try a different gym. I live in a city of about 100k inhabitants. We have several gyms and except the one heavy iron place full of large tattooed males, they have many stationary bikes with reasonable seats. The suggestion of a used trainer is a good one. I have also used gym bikes successfully, but that all depends on the bike and the saddle. Other than a gym bike, some gyms have Stepmills, which also give a very good workout. Some riders prefer that to gym bikes. Speaking personally, I can sit on a gym bike for an hour easy if the saddle works for me. It's just a matter of mental control and level of desire for fitness.
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Old 01-20-23, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
But it can "virtually" go somewhere on Zwift or Rouvy. I actually find that more fun than riding solo on crappy roads in crappy weather.
Agreed Zwift was pretty fun.
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Old 01-21-23, 08:19 PM
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Are the gym's bikes now equipped with the same attachments as a regular personal recreational bicycle? Last time I was on a gym bike, it didn't have the same seat post config.
It's been a minute since I hopped on a gym bike, & as time went on, people wanted to do that whole small talk thing. Unless the conversation really is meaningful, I can see how a paying membership patron would be annoyed by the short chit chats when someone is in the groove. It would always happen to me when I am using a machine/weights, never at the water fountain or during checking in/out time. If being social is the thing, those chatter boxers might have better chances at the Y or going out in the public for a stranger encounter.
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