You’ve made your choice; you want to start Indoor Cycling. But what do you need for Indoor Cycling to get started? What should you pay attention to when buying a bike? Do you need special shoes? And a pair of bicycle pants, is that a must-have?
Excercise at home
You can take Indoor Cycling classes at the gym, but more and more people are opting to take Indoor Cycling classes at home. This can be done, for example, by means of online classes via an app. You can stream these to a tablet or TV and follow a class or program at home when it suits you. Of course, what you do need is a special bike; an Indoor Cycling bike.
Buying a good Indoor Cycling bike, wat should you look for? Chain or V-belt?
You can buy an Indoor Cycling bike at several online and offline stores. However, it is advisable to choose a store or specialty store where you will be properly advised on the right model. Indoor Cycling bikes come in different price ranges and you can buy them new and second-hand. An Indoor Cycling bike has different characteristics than an exercise bike. The Indoor Cycling bike has a flywheel and a button with which you can set the resistance. The heavier the flywheel, the more stable the bike and the heavier you can set the resistance. A flywheel usually weighs about 20 kilograms.
The type of drive of the Indoor Cycling bike is also a point of attention. The Indoor Cycling bike can be driven by a chain or by a V-belt. A bike with a chain drive basically makes more noise and needs more maintenance. You’ll have to lubricate it once in a while, for example. In terms of sports performance, the type of drive of the bike makes no difference. But because the V-bike is quieter, it is often a bit more expensive.
Most Indoor Cycling bikes have a display screen on which you can see data during your workouts, such as your speed and distance traveled. Some models have a built-in training computer in which more extensive training data is stored and tracked. But you can also choose to use a separate app to keep track of your workouts. Some examples are the apps Strava, Rouvy or Exercise Bike Workout, but a health app on your own phone or fitwatch is often sufficient to make your workout measurable.
There are Indoor Cycling bikes that have sensors in the handlebars that measure your heart rate, but there are also bikes to which you can connect a heart rate monitor. In the latter case, you are not dependent on holding the steering wheel in a certain way. The adjustability of the saddle and handlebars is also very important because it affects your cycling posture. If these can’t be adjusted properly, you’re more susceptible to injuries.
Stability and pedal choice
Another important point to pay attention to when buying an Indoor Cycling bike is the stability of the bike. The bike should feel stable when you ride it. Also, make sure that the frame and legs look solid and sturdy. An Indoor Cycling bike that is not stable can cause dangerous situations and damage your floor due to the extreme forces exerted. You can also choose which pedals you want to have on your bike. These can be click pedals, which you can click special cycling shoes into. These pedals are called SPD pedals, this stands for Shimano Pedaling Dynamics. For people who love bicycle racing, this is the most logical choice.
You can also choose pedals with straps, which you don’t need special cycling shoes for. You slide your shoes into the so-called toeclips so that your foot doesn’t slide off the pedal. So take a good look at which pedals are on the bike and whether they can be changed. Some Indoor Cycling bikes have both options on the pedals.
What shoes and clothing do you need for Indoor Cycling?
Okay, you’ve bought an Indoor Cycling bike or have one in mind. Now for the rest… what else do you need for your Indoor Cycling workouts? If you have chosen pedals with straps on your bike, you can wear regular sports shoes while cycling. But if you have chosen SPD pedals, you will need special cycling shoes to click into them. There are several brands of cycling shoes and you can buy them at large sports stores and, of course, at specialty stores. Make sure they’re comfortable and that they fit well. If the shoes are too tight or too loose, this will be detrimental to your cycling.
Whether or not to wear cycling shorts with a seat pad is a personal choice. Cycling shorts with a seat pad have a padded insert at the seat so that you are less likely to suffer from saddle pain. Men tend to find it a necessity more often than women. You can always try without cycling pants and buy a pair later if needed. When it comes to clothing, it is best to choose breathable sportswear. You can imagine that a wide pair of jogging pants won’t ride well and will soon get too hot. And during an Indoor Cycling workout, you probably won’t be cold…;)
Useful apps for Indoor Cycling
We’ve already listed some apps above that you can use to measure and track your progress. These apps keep tracking of things like how many calories you burned, what your average heart rate was, and how long your workout lasted. But how do you stay motivated to keep getting on your Indoor Cycling bike and which workout are you going to do? (Online) workouts are available at some gyms, or maybe you more or less remember what you did during the group classes at the fitness club. Sometimes you get a DVD with workouts when you purchase a bike.
An alternative is to opt for the workouts of CycleMasters. You can then follow different types of classes and programs. Workouts to music and classes that take you on a ride through the Alps. For each class, you will be supervised by a trainer of your choice. You can try CycleMasters’ online classes for free for 7 days.