The age old argument of a road bike versus an exercise bike is still a conundrum most people encounter when they decide they want to get fit and lose some weight. So which option is better for weight loss? And which one is best suited to the beginner cyclist? Here’s our top 5 reasons to choose a road bicycle over a stationary exercise bike for weight loss.

1) Avoid boredom and burnout

A stationary bike (or exercise bike) is usually something that you keep in the garage and eventually, it ends up collecting dust. You might put it in the lounge room so you can watch TV while you ride, but let’s face it – sitting on an exercise bike, pedalling your heart out and going nowhere just doesn’t compare to the great outdoors and the beautiful scenery you can take in on a road bicycle. You can change your route on a bicycle to keep your rides interesting, and you’ve got the benefit of being outside in the fresh air, which can help you to stay on the bike for longer periods than if you are indoors and overheating.

If you are truly looking to achieve long term, steady weight loss, the more interesting you can keep the exercise, the better chance you have of sticking with your goals.

2) The weather

One of the biggest reasons people opt for an exercise bike is because they might want to avoid particular weather situations, but if you are training for an event as part of your weight loss goal, the truth is you are better training in all weather conditions. You can never predict what the weather will be like on race day, but if you are conditioned to all of the fun that incremental weather can throw your way, the better chance you have of completing your goal. Outdoors exercise isn’t just about the distance, but the environment and the terrain. The best way to train for outdoors rides is by riding outdoors.

Cycling outdoors

3) The cost

The cost will be a big factor in your decision, and if you are completely new to cycling, it can be far more cost-effective to opt for a standard road bicycle to get you started. Eventually, you may want to purchase a bike that is built for high performance, but to begin with, a couple of hundred dollars will get you a fantastic bicycle to get you started.

Exercise bikes can be a costly piece of equipment, particularly if you want to buy one that can be adjusted to emulate outdoors riding, with steep inclines and heart rate monitors to keep track of your goals.

But with the range of fitness watches and bike GPS computers available on the market, you can track your outdoors cycling activities just as easily, whilst saving some dollars on the bike itself.

Garmin Cycling Computers

4) Overall workout

A road bike or a mountain bike can offer a more intense, full-body work out as opposed to the stationary exercise bike, which targets legs and buttocks.

Road bikes and mountain bikes require a strong core to control the bike and keep you balanced on uneven terrain, meaning it also hones in on your stomach muscles and even your upper body can get quite a workout, depending on the type of riding you’re doing. Legs still get the biggest overall workout on a road bicycle, but you also get a mental workout because you need to remain alert and navigate the course while you’re outdoors on your bicycle.

5) Seats

Seats or Saddles might seem insignificant in this argument, but in fact, there is an important reason to consider the benefits of a road bike versus an exercise bike. Exercise bikes come with one seat and don’t usually have interchangeable parts. The seat is usually small, and the posture of the exercise bike isn’t something you can easily change.

A road bike can be adjusted to your frame and size. You can change everything from seats to handlebar positioning and pedals. Why is this important you might ask? Because you will get longevity out of a road bike that is customised to suit your frame, and avoid lower back injury and discomfort if the bicycle has been set up for you to ride. If you purchase a bike in-store at 99 Bikes, you can get one of our friendly technicians to help you adjust your bike and change any parts you like to make your ride more comfortable for you.

Bonus Tip: If you love your road bike that much, but really want to stay inside and avoid the weather or just watch some Netflix while you ride, try an indoor trainer and combine the two to get the best of both worlds. You can ride on Zwift and get that realistic road experience that tests your limits, or just enjoy the comforts of your roadie without leaving the lounge room. If you need some more information on indoor trainers we have a helpful Indoor Trainers Buying Guide.

Friends Riding

Shop Road Cycling Essentials

Getting started with road cycling requires a few things to begin. Things such as helmets and lights are essential for safety, see below some essential items required:

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