What Is the Difference between Spin Bike and Exercise Bike?

What is the difference between a spin bike and an exercise bike? Are they the same?

Spin bikes and exercise bikes are similar in many ways, so many people confuse between the two. There are many instances where people have bought an exercise bike instead of a spin bike and vice versa. If you have a problem differencing between the two, today you are in the right place. By the end of this article, you will not have a problem again differentiating between the two because I will review these two bikes in detail to help you know their differences.

What is the difference between a spin bike and an exercise bike?

Spine bikes and exercise bikes are similar but different in many ways. Below is a detailed overview of the major differences between these two bikes.

The difference in primary use

The first difference between a spin bike and an exercise bike is their main use. Exercise bikes are typically used in fitness and enhancement of general health. They tend to be ideal for anyone who wants to improve their overall health, including their fitness levels, cardiovascular health, build muscle strength, and more.

On the other hand, spin bikes are mostly used in spinning groups, fitness classes, and people who want to engage in cycling sports. They closely mimic the body position of a regular bike. For instance, their handlebar position is lower, thus mimic the real bike used in competitions. As a result, spin bikes are mainly used by professional cyclists who wish to train indoors in preparation for a cycling tournament.

Risk of injury

Although both exercise bike and spin bike are low impacts, meaning that they pile less pressure on your joints and knees, a spin bike has a lower injury risk than an exercise bike.

However, that does not mean that spin bikes do not help to enhance your health and fitness. It is easier on your knees because the flywheel is much easier and thus helps keep the bike in constant motion. This means that it is less impactful on your knees and joints.

However, if you perform intense spinning in the spin bike or stand on the bike while spinning, the great range of movement created can increase your risk of injury. So how you spin matters a lot. If you spin at moderate speed and don’t stand, your risk of injury will reduce drastically. However, spin bikes also put you at risk of suffering from back pain more than exercise bikes because of increased bending.

The difference in target muscles

The muscles targeted by both bikes are quite similar, but the difference comes when you stand on the spin bike. When you perform your workout while sitting on your exercise or spin bike, the muscles targeted include the calves, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and core.

However, when you sand on the spin bike, you will target other muscles, including the arms, back, and core, to some degree. Therefore, if you plan to target different muscle groups while performing your routine workout, a spin bike is a better choice.

Resistance levels

Both exercise bike and spin bike allows user to increase or decrease resistance to make their workout more or less difficult. The higher the resistance level, the harder your muscles will work and the more calories your body will burn. As said, both exercise bikes and spin bikes allow you to increase the resistance.

However, the difference between the two is that a spin bike allows you to stand and cycle, even when you increase resistance. On the other hand, an exercise bike does not allow you to stand. Yes, you can stand, but you will feel awkward and uncomfortable. A spin bike allows you to stand even when you increase resistance makes your workout more intense and enjoyable.

If you are the kind of person who gets bored fast, you should consider purchasing a spin bike because it allows more exercise variation, making your workout fun and enjoyable.

Calorie burned

Another difference between exercise bikes and spin bikes is the calories burned. Multiple studies have shown that people burn more calories when they work out on a spin bike than working on an exercised bike.

You burn more calories on the spin bike because it allows you to stand up, thus targeting more muscle groups that exercise bikes don’t. Additionally, it takes more energy to spin the flying compared to cycling on an exercise bike.

However, it is important to note that a major difference in calories burned comes when you stand on the spin bike. So, if you plan to ride in a seated position, then the difference in calories burned between the two bikes will be minimal. So if you are not planning to stand, you should choose whatever bike is comfortable, fun, and enjoyable.

Ease of use

First, I have to say that both exercise bikes and spin bikes are easy to use. All you need to do to get started is hop on and start cycling.

However, spin bikes are quite easy to use because they mimic the real bike. The flywheel they are equipped with provides a smoother and more consistent ride, making the entire process easy and stress-free.

On the other hand, if you are new to using an exercise bike, you will feel uncomfortable when using it for the first time, but after a day or two of using it, you will get used to it.


I hope that the information provided above has helped you know the difference between a spin bike and an exercise bike. Knowing the difference between the two is very important as it will help you not to regret later when you find out that the bike you have purchased does not provide what you wanted. When deciding whether to purchase a spin bike or an exercise bike, ensure that you consider the difference mentioned above. For instance, if you want a bike that will target more muscle groups and burn more calories, a spin bike is a better option.

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