View Full Version : Spin Bikes!!!???

10-02-2006, 11:22 PM
OK, I can't stand trainers and rollers and I have a bad history together so I am going to buy a spin bike for winter training. Does anyone have any experience with spin bikes and what is a really good one?

Needs Help
10-03-2006, 02:56 AM
What's so different between a trainer and a spin bike?

10-03-2006, 05:57 AM
I'm very pleased with my Lemond Revmaster. It is extremely stable (read: heavy) and it's easy to get out of the sadle to sprint or climb without having to worry about frame flex as is the case if your road bike is attached to a trainer.

The only downside is that you have to guess the proper resistance level to use if you're training with a Spinervals video. There is no pre-set selector to approximate a 53x15, etc...

I also attached the Lemond Pilot computer that works very well tracking heart rate and all other cyclocomputer functions. The first unit did not work, and Lemond's excellent customer service Fedex'd a new unit the next day.

Finally, I use it with Look pedals and my Flite saddle. It's infinitely adjustable so matching your road bike sizing specs shouldn't be a problem.

10-03-2006, 06:03 AM
As Jason noted, the Revmaster is very good. My LBS is carrying the Cycleops bikes and they are very nice as well. There are three models - no electronics, basic cycle computer functions, and full power meter w/ cycle computer.

Too Tall
10-03-2006, 06:47 AM

10-03-2006, 07:51 AM
I think you're wise to ask because I have one that I don't particularly care for, and the others I have tried leave me with the same feeling. I think that my problem with the spin bicycles I have tried is that they are very different from a regular road bike. The main difference seems to be that you can't fit it quite the same as your road bike, so you're never totally comfortable.

Of course, a spin bicycle on a rainy day is better than nothing. And they are great for spinning and reading, or watching a Real Madrid vs Barcelona game. In the case of spin bicycles heavier is better than lighter. Some of the cheaper ones are rather light and they feel like they are coming apart from the get go. Of course, if you like gadgets and a panel full of lights and information you'll go crazy with some of the spinners. Finally, I HATE the fat and cushy saddles provided with stationary bicycles, they are very uncomfortable after a little while.

Shop around, it'll be fun and I'll be necessary unless you want to regret your purchase after a few weeks. Hey, good luck...!

My Giant (except that mine is red and black):

10-03-2006, 08:02 AM
A spin bike is stationary and has a flywheel vs. a freewheel and no rear wheel, like Catulle's picture. Like on a fixie, you can't stop pedalling and coast, so I've found that they generally offer a better workout, though the first few sessions every winter take some getting used to as I inevitably unconsciously try to coast a bit and it won't let me! :p

I've found spin classes to be a great alternative to riding outside in the winter to keep some base "miles" in. I don't like putting the Queen Bee in a stiationary trainer because I just don't feel comfortable locking the frame into something that won't let it flex naturally the way it was designed. I just don't think it's good for the bike frame. I know everybody tells me they use theirs with no problem, but I guess it's one of those superstition things with me.

A spin bike is big and heavy in addition to the flywheel . . . I can just close my eyes and stand up and wail on it without worrying about balance or running into things. I also find the class atmosphere to be motivating if there's a good instructor. Kinda odd, since I generally don't have any trouble motivating myself to go out and ride in the summer, but anything that's going to keep me going through the winter is OK with me. There's also the music, seeing some of my friends and making new ones, and of course, women in skin shorts! :D

The only downside I can think of is that most gyms charge extra for spin class, and that because of the dial & canti brake device that puts the tension on the flywheel--increasing your pedalling effort--every set of pads is worn differently and the dials are not calibrated. So if the instructor says to tighten it "three turns" it may get you entirely different tension on different bikes. Very subjective . . .

I'm not sure how I'd do with my own spin bike in my basement. I tried a staionary trainer a few times at home years ago and was bored to death, even with the TV to watch.


10-03-2006, 09:01 AM
You might want to look at this site: http://www.x-biking.com

I test rode one of these spin bikes and was amazed at how life-like the ride was. The handlebars can move side-to-side to engage your upper body during the workout and the resistance control is moved to your handlebars so you don't have to reach down to tighten the flywheel.

10-03-2006, 03:01 PM
. . . but it still doesn't seem to solve what, for me, is the single most frustrating problem with spin bikes in a classroom environment. That's the lack of calibration on the resistance between bikes due to the use of those brake shoe pads. It takes several weeks of classes to get some feel for which bikes have what kind of resistance. Thank God they have them numbered at my gym so I can at least keep some sort of track. At my previous gym there were no numbers and I had to resort to bringing some little orange stickers I would paste on an out of the way place on the frame so I could tell which bikes were OK.

If you've got one of these things at home, then of course this problem is eliminated. But it just doesn't seem worth it to me to spend $1000 on one just to keep base miles in the winter. At $5 a class, I'd have to ride the thing for almost ten years for it to pay for itself. Some sort of other resistance scheme that can be more precisely calibrated would be great.


10-03-2006, 03:39 PM
Use your HRM.

Sustained effort at predetermined BPM does it for me on my spinner.


10-03-2006, 09:16 PM
Crescent POS frame, fixed gear with fenders.
Feels just like a spin bike, but weighs a lot less.
Also is good for picking up the Times on Sunday.

Scott G.
Not Belgian, but I like to pretend.

10-03-2006, 09:22 PM
riding indoors is mp.

unless you're training for something in particular and the weather or terrain precludes your structured program go outside and ride your bike or hike or ski or kick your dog or watch paint dry at a big construction site or whatever....it'll be more interesting...

that said the mrs. and i have a cycleops pro300. it has all the regular hrm features plus wattage which is sort of neato....she uses it. i hang wet bike clothes off it.


10-03-2006, 11:45 PM
Dave, you can put your Legend on a trainer. I do. No worries.

I use an electric Tacx with mileage, wattage, cadence. I also use a HR monitor. Mine sits in all it's glory right in the middle of the bedroom. Still married too.

10-03-2006, 11:49 PM
I tried the spin bike thing last winter.

Riding inside stinks.

The darn things are expensive and really heavy, also quite loud.

I also suggest using a hrm to keep your effort up.

This winter I hope to run more then log longer mileage indoors on the spin bike.

Its not a horrible thing, but its nothing like riding outside.

I agree with many other posters, unless your in love with the idea of buying one maybe just go to a class, or go do something else outside.

10-04-2006, 06:34 AM
ConceptII. :cool:


PS: Rollers when I feel like it.

10-04-2006, 06:38 AM
the music. There are many music CDs out there specifically designed for workouts. For me, AC/DC does the trick without the programmed fast and slow.


10-04-2006, 06:42 AM
the music. There are many music CDs out there specifically designed for workouts. For me, AC/DC does the trick without the programmed fast and slow.


WORD! Now you're making sense.

William ;)

10-04-2006, 07:00 AM
check out the new kinetic rock n road.
a trainer but it allows a lot of actual bike movement while riding.

10-04-2006, 10:58 AM
I highly suggest a concept II for indoor rowing. Its a good workout, but please if you have never done it before watch the goofy video and learn to do it right.

I learned to do it wrong and it has taken time to re-train myself to do the movements in the proper order. I used to bend my knees too soon thus my arms didn't track straight on the return. I was lifting my arms to clear my knees. My power was reduced but my rowing speed was increased. Don't be like me, watch the video and get it right from the start.

I prefer the Concept II to the spin bike if I have to be indoors, but in reality id rather run in snow then workout indoors.

I just don't like the bad wind chill freeze my parts off weather.

If I have to cover my face or hurt, I'd typically rather be inside.