Is a Stationary Bike Better Than a Real Bike?

Cycling has been proven to be an excellent way to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. But with the rising popularity of indoor cycling classes and the convenience of at-home stationary bikes. One question that is often asked is whether a stationary bike is better than a real bike.

Advantages of Stationary Bikes

  1. Convenience and Accessibility:

One major advantage of a stationary bike is the convenience it provides. With an indoor bike, there's no need to worry about traffic, adverse weather conditions, or finding a suitable route. You can cycle anytime, anywhere, and even binge-watch your favorite shows as you pedal. In contrast, outdoor bikes offer the thrill of exploration and the joy of scenic views.
  1. Workout Intensity:

Both stationary and real bikes provide excellent cardiovascular workouts, but the intensity can vary depending on your goals. Stationary bikes typically offer more workout options, resistance levels, and a better way to track progress. You can tailor the gear and resistance to match your fitness goals, leveraging diverse workout programs like hill simulations, sprints, and endurance sessions. However, real bikes offer a more engaging experience that requires you to put in more effort and move across different terrains, leading to a more varied workout.

  1. Joint Health and Injury Prevention:

Cycling can sometimes exert strain on the knees, hips, and back. With stationary bikes, adjustments to the seat and handlebars can mitigate the joint impact, ensuring you still receive an effective workout. On a real bike, you will need to focus on proper form and take necessary breaks to avoid injuries

For example, riding uphill requires proper form and a different set of muscles than riding on a flat surface. To avoid injury, it's important to maintain proper form while riding uphill.

  1. Reduced Cholesterol Levels:

Elevated cholesterol levels can pose health risks. Regular exercise, especially cycling, can effectively lower these levels. A study conducted in 2010 found that after 12 weeks of indoor cycling, cholesterol levels in participants dropped significantly, indicating the potential of indoor cycling to help people with weight loss. Another study from 2018 supported this, indicating that combining cycling with strength training—even without significant dietary changes—leads to substantial health benefits, including lowered cholesterol.
  1. Social Connections:

Though cycling can be a solitary activity, outdoor bikes provide opportunities to participate in group rides and foster connections with fellow cyclists. Joining cycling clubs or engaging in organized group rides provide an opportunity for socializing and meeting like-minded people. Riding with others can also help to motivate you to ride further or harder than you would on your own. However, with the introduction of virtual indoor cycling classes, you can network with other stationary bike riders from all over the world through live or pre-recorded sessions. freebeat unique 3D Avatar leaderboard system is indeed a game-changer in the online fitness industry. It not only enhances the user experience but also brings a new level of engagement and motivation to the workouts. Earn rewards, points, and fame by competing against friends in freebeat fitness challenges, events, and games.

  1. Cost:

Another factor to consider when deciding between exercise bikes and real bikes is the cost. While high-quality stationary bikes for home workouts might come with a hefty price tag, they represent a long-term investment. For instance, freebeat offers a feature where you can include family and friends, accommodating up to 10 profiles under 1 membership, and experience gamified bike out there. On the other hand, the cost of a real bike can vary significantly. Add to that, the additional expenses for accessories including helmets, lights, racks, locks, and water bottles, among others. Investing in the right protective gear can set you back a few hundred dollars, but it’s an essential expense.

Advantages of Riding a Real Bike

  1. An Opportunity to Explore

Unlike stationary bikes, riding a real bike allows you to explore and discover new places. Real bikes can take you to new parts of the city, nearby towns, or even different countries. The variety of routes and trails can make going for a bike ride an adventure, and there is a sense of freedom that comes with exploration. This sense of freedom and adventure is something that can not be matched by a stationary bike.
  1. A Fun Activity

Riding a real bike is a fun and engaging activity. Riders get to relish the feeling of the breeze against their skin, the warmth of the sun on their face, and the exhilarating rush as landscapes rush by. The ability to feel the bike beneath you and the movement of the terrain enhances the experience. While stationary bikes are useful for building endurance and fitness, they can never replace the excitement that comes with using a real bike.
  1. Easier to Integrate into Your Lifestyle

Riding a real bike can easily be incorporated into your daily routine, which makes it a more practical mode of transport. For example, riding a real bike to work can be a form of commuting and can save money on gas, parking, and public transport. This can also provide riders with a fitness boost, which is a bonus.
  1. Environmental Benefits

Lastly, choosing to ride a real bike instead of a stationary bike can be great for the environment. Every time you ride a bike, you’re helping to reduce the amount of harmful emissions released into the air. Unlike cars, bikes don’t emit any exhaust fumes and don’t consume fossil fuels. In turn, real bikes serve as a more eco-friendly transportation option.

Outdoor vs. Indoor Cycling - Which Burns More Calories?

One of the most common reasons people take up cycling is to lose weight. It’s no surprise, that many cycling enthusiasts want to know how many calories cycling can burn and whether the location whether it's outdoor or indoor matters.

The first thing that we need to understand is that the number of calories burned during cycling also depends on a person’s body weight and the intensity of the workout.

According to the Harvard Medical School, a 125-pound individual burns between 210 to 315 calories during a 30-minute stationary bike ride depending on the intensity, while outdoor cycling can burn between 240 to 495 calories burned depending on the speed. In contrast, a 155-pound individual burns between 260 to 391 calories during a 30-minute stationary bike ride with increasing intensity, while outdoor cycling can burn between 298 to 614 calories.

The calorie-burning capacity of outdoor cycling increases with high-intensity or fast cycling and also depends on the terrain, the incline, and wind resistance. Hilly terrain can contribute to a higher calorie burn than flat terrain. However, the calorie burn in stationary cycling depends on the resistance level set by the user. Indoor cycling can burn fewer calories than outdoor cycling, but it provides a low impact training. Indoor cycling can be done at home on a stationary bike or at the gym, and the advantage of indoor cycling is that the user has more control over the workout's intensity. Stationary bikes come with resistance levels that the user can adjust for high-intensity cycling.


So, which is the better option for you - a stationary bike or a real bike? If you're comparing the two, indoor cycling may burn fewer calories in comparison to outdoor cycling, but it doesn’t mean that it’s a less effective way to lose weight. Indoor cycling has a lower impact on the joints, making it the safer option for those who have joint pain concerns. Also, indoor cycling is an excellent way to build strength, which helps to increase metabolism and aid in weight loss.

The answer depends on your fitness goals, preferences, and lifestyle. If convenience and safety are top priorities, a stationary bike may be your best bet. But if you crave the adventure and social connections that come with outdoor cycling, a real bike may be the way to go. If you prefer both indoor cycling and outdoor riding , freebeat MorphRover 2 In 1 eBike will be the perfect bike for you. The 2-in-1 Smart Motor Control Algorithm delivers a smooth ride indoors & turns calories into CO2-free mileage during indoor cycling rides. With just 30 minutes of indoor riding, you'll generate enough energy to cover 10 miles outside.

riding freebeat MorphRover 2 In 1 eBike at home