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A stationary bicycle (also known as exercise bicycle, exercise bike, spinning bike, spin bike, or exercycle) is a device with saddle, pedals, and some form of handlebars arranged as on a bicycle, but used as exercise equipment rather than transportation.
A stationary bicycle is usually a special-purpose exercise machine resembling a bicycle without true wheels, but it is also possible to adapt an ordinary bicycle for stationary exercise by placing it on bicycle rollers or a trainer. Rollers and trainers are often used by racing cyclists to warm up before racing, or to train on their own machines indoors.
The ancestors of modern stationary bicycles date back to the end of the eighteenth century. The Gymnasticon was an early example.
Some models feature handlebars that are connected to the pedals so that the upper body can be exercised along with the lower body. Most exercise bikes provide a mechanism for applying resistance to the pedals which increases the intensity of the exercise. Resistance mechanisms include magnets, fans, and friction mechanisms. Some models allow the user to pedal backwards to exercise antagonist muscles which are not exercised in forward pedaling. Exercise bicycles are typically manufactured using a crankshaft and bottom bracket, which turns a flywheel by means of a belt or chain. The bearings on these moving parts become worn with use and may require replacement.
Specialized indoor bicycles manufactured using a weighted flywheel at the front are used in the indoor cycling exercises called spinning.
Exercise bikes are used for exercise, to increase general fitness, and for training for cycle events. The exercise bike has long been used for physical therapy because of the low-impact, safe, and effective cardiovascular exercise it provides. The low-impact movement involved in operating an exercise bike does not put much stress on joints and does not involve sporadic motions that some other fitness equipment may require. However, as with typical biking, extended use of a stationary bike has been linked to decreased sexual function.
Stationary bikes are also used to exercise for weight loss. Veloergometers, such as CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization System), are used in space (e.g. in the ISS) to counter cardiovascular deconditioning in the microgravity environment.
- Maurer, Tim (6 November 2016). "Stationary Bicycles: Usage and Maintenance". Bike Indoor. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
- Simon, Harvey B. (14 September 2012). "Biking and sex—avoid the vicious cycle". Harvard Health Blog. Harvard University. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
- "Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization System (CEVIS)". www.nasa.gov. NASA. Retrieved 14 November 2016.