exercise bike vs outdoorcycling vs turbo

K9K9 ✭✭✭
OK, so apparently treadmill running is easier than outdoors running, and you need a 1% gradient or so for it to compare interms of speed.....

How much 'easier' is it to use a gym exercise bike than to cycle outdoors?

I've not done a lot of cycling, but on my MTB am truly rubbish and slow....however, at the gym I seem to be able to go lots faster. I guess I'm more focussed on the exercise bike, for shorter periods of time, but I also assume it must be 'easier'


  • I really don't think you can compare... Exercise bikes and indoor turbo's you can alter the resistance and make it alot easier on yerself...

    On the road or off road you have balance, obstacles, wind resistance, different ground conditions and friction..
  • Calibration is probably way off on gym bikes. Also out on the road alot of resistance is down to cutting through the air infront of you - not down to friction on the road. Plus, this resistance is exponential (i think that's the right word.)

    So, with cycling to go faster gets increasingly harder due to the greater air resitance.

    In summary it's easier because:

    1. gym bike is lying - calibration is probably wrong.

    2. easier as you're not working against the air in front of you.

    most peeps using gym bikes or turbos will do their sessions according to HR and not speed. or will do them according to power output if they have a funky turbo.
  • M.ister WM.ister W ✭✭✭
    You can set up a gym bike or turbo to be as hard or easy as you like. You don't have to work against the air but you can compensate by increasing the resistance or working in a higher gear.

    I have a three hour turbo session on DVD which is a lot harder than a three hour session on the road.
  • I have a three hour turbo session on DVD which is a lot harder than a three hour session on the road

    I'm lost?
  • I can go much faster on the gym bike! There is no way I could replicate the times I do on this on the road. I put it down to the wind as you say and also the hills we get around here and the stopping and starting that comes with the traffic, lights, roundabouts, junctions and so on. I do work with HR on the gym bike to ensure there is no slacking and i always use a hill program and put it on a good level. Tonight I was up to 165 on the hills (my max is 183). But of course in between the hills it did drop to around the 150 mark. Tonight I covered 34:05k in one hour on the stationary bike.

    As a comparison I did 40 miles on Sunday and covered about 15 mph. I do live in a hilly area. So as you can see nowhere near the speed of the stationary bike and yet I was seriously shattered at the end of that ride! but then I guess I was out for longer...

    I see the stionary bike and outdoor biking as two different things altogether.

    One question though. I don;t have a turbo so I use the staionary bike. Now is this as good as long as I work with HR, or is it better to use a turbo?
  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭
    If the contact points are the same then it shouldn't matter - pedals, saddle, bars. That includes the distance between the pedals and the crank length.

  • Depends on your "road" bike too - mountain bike with knobblies would be much harder than carbon framed narrow tired racing bike, so to then try and compare with turbo or stat bike on a speed parameter is simply not realistic - HR is the way to go if you are going to compare benefits of sessions on each - IMHO
  • Gym bike not set up for you,etc. Would never have thought of comparing the two tbh.
    Which writes better, this chalk or this (admittedly hard) cheese?
  • I think the efforts are different too - much more to concentrate on when on the road,(not falling off, tri bars, clipon pedals and falling off) on the turbo you just sit there and pedal through your sets. No respite!
  • The gym bikes with the big wedge type saddles are rubbish - last resort and as everyone says, the calibration is way off. Unless its calibrated for a downhill slope.

    A turbo session is more intensive than a road ride - theres no freewheeling, coasting, descending, waiting at junctions or traffic lights. Three hours on a turbo is very hard. Three hours on the road isnt so bad.

    Best for you is lots of real riding. If you cant do that, then do some riding and some turbo. The gym bike lags behind both.

    Of course spin bikes are an altogether different proposition to gym bikes - they're good and you get a nice view in the classes too. :-)
  • A better option would be to join a gym where the free weights area has a good view of the spinning area. Then you can just sit back and enjoy the view.
  • I would also say there is no falling off clipped on moments either!
  • I don't know about that!! One or two peeps on here have a few stories of falling off while on the turbo :-)
  • JjJj ✭✭✭
    I fell off a spin bike and broke a rib.

  • I like both the Exercise Bike and turbo. I fit toward the turbo and mixing it up a bit by setting off to the gym and turning or doing a hard hours incline on an exercise bike.
  • Simo429Simo429 ✭✭✭
    4 hours is the max I have managed on the turbo, far harder than the same outdoor. Also on the turbo I can push myself far more because I can close my eyes and switch off.
Sign In or Register to comment.