17-03-2023 |

How to start Indoor Cycling

Start indoor cycling

You want to know how to get started with Indoor Cycling? Which bike is right for you? Do you need special shoes? How do you keep track of your progress? And what kind of clothing do you need? Read all about it here.

Practicing Indoor Cycling at home

You can take Indoor Cycling classes at the gym, but more and more people are also choosing to start Indoor Cycling at home. This can be done, for example, by taking online classes through an app. You can stream these to a tablet or TV and follow a lesson or program at home whenever it suits you. Which app we recommend, we will tell you in a moment. Let’s start with the first and perhaps most important step: buying a bike. You really need one to start indoor cycling!

Buying a good Indoor Cycling bike, what should you look for?

To start Indoor Cycling at home, you can buy an Indoor Cycling bike from different on and offline stores. It is advisable to go for a store or speciality store where you will be well advised on the right model for you. Indoor Cycling bikes come in different versions and price ranges. To save costs, you can also buy a used bike. CycleMasters has an extensive network of partners offering bikes that suit you. With each of these partners, you will receive one month of free access to the workouts, so you can get started right away.

Indoor cycling bike vs. an exercise bike

An indoor cycling bike does differ from an exercise bike. An Indoor Cycling bike is made to mimic the experience of a road bike. One of the biggest differences between an Indoor Cycling bike and an exercise bike is the pedaling system. When you start cycling on an Indoor Cycling bike, you set a flywheel in motion. This ensures that you can’t just stop pedaling because the flywheel continues to spin.

With an exercise bike, this works differently, and you can keep your legs still during a workout. Another difference is the posture adopted on both bikes. The saddle of an Indoor Cycling bike is set at the same height as the handlebars, so the cyclist assumes the same posture as on a road bike. With an exercise bike, you’re more likely to sit more upright. For this reason, an Indoor Cycling bike is more suitable for more intensive workouts.

Read more about the differences between an exercise bike and an Indoor Cycling bike here.

Drive: chain or V-belt?

An Indoor Cycling bike can be powered by a chain or by a V-belt. A chain drive bike delivers that authentic outdoor cycling feeling, including the sound. That noise is also directly the downside, when you want to be able to exercise at home any time of day without making too much noise for any roommates. In addition, a bike with a chain drive requires more maintenance. With a V-belt, you don’t have to deal with this as much. Because the bike is powered by a belt instead of a chain, bikes with this drive are whisper quiet. Ideal if you want to exercise at any time of day.

Track training dates

Some Indoor Cycling bikes have a display screen on which you can read data during your workouts, such as your speed and distance traveled. Some models have a built-in training computer in which more extensive training data is stored and tracked. Bikes with such a training computer are also called smart-bikes. Smart-bikes are often slightly more expensive than Indoor Cycling bikes without a training computer.

Should you want to purchase a bike without a computer, but still want to track your training data? Then you can choose to track your workouts in a separate app. A very suitable free app is Strava, but apps such as Google Fit or Apple Health are also suitable for tracking workouts.

There are Indoor Cycling bikes that have sensors in the handlebars that measure your heart rate, but there are also bikes and apps to which you can attach a heart rate monitor. In the latter case, you are not dependent on holding the handlebars in a certain way. The adjustability of the saddle and handlebars is also very important because it affects your cycling position. If these are not adjusted properly, you are more prone to injury.

Stability & pedal selection

Another important thing to look out for when buying an Indoor Cycling bike is the stability of the bike. The bike should feel stable when you ride it. Also make sure that the frame and legs look solid and sturdy. A bike that is not stable can create dangerous situations and damage your floor due to the extreme forces exerted.

Then you have a choice of which pedals you want on your bike. These can be click pedals where you click in special cycling shoes. These pedals are called SPD pedals, which stands for Shimano Pedaling Dynamics. For people who like cycling, this is the most logical choice because most cycling bikes have SPD pedals. However you don’t really need these pedals on your bike to start Indoor Cycling.

In fact, you can also choose pedals with straps. These don’t require special cycling shoes and are probably good enough if you are going to start Indoor Cycling and want to master the lessons first. You slide your shoes into the so-called toe clips, so your foot doesn’t slide off the pedal. So look carefully to see which pedals are on the bike and/or whether they are interchangeable. Some bikes have both options on the pedals.

Read more about buying an Indoor Cycling bike.

What shoes and clothing do you need for Indoor Cycling?

Okay, you’ve bought an Indoor Cycling bike. Now you can start Indoor Cycling. At least, almost! Because what else do you really need for your Indoor Cycling workouts? If you have chosen belted pedals on your bike, then you can wear regular sneakers while cycling. But if you have chosen SPD pedals, then you need special cycling shoes to clip into them. In addition, you can choose to wear cycling shorts. Cycling shorts with chamois have an insert at the seat so that you are less likely to suffer from saddle sores. Men find it necessary more often than women. You can always try without cycling shorts and if necessary still purchase them.

Clothing is also a personal choice. Put on what you feel comfortable in. We do recommend light, breathable sportswear. As you can imagine, wide-legged sweatpants are not comfortable and will quickly become too hot. And during an Indoor Cycling workout, you won’t be cold … 😉

Click here to read more about buying the right gear for Indoor Cycling.

Tracking progress

We mentioned above some apps you can use to measure and track your progress. For example, these apps track how many calories you burned, what your average heart rate was and how long your workout lasted. Do you want to train primarily by heart rate? Then in the case of CycleMasters workouts, you can display it directly on your screen, so you can always match your intensity directly to the recommended heart rate zone.

Workouts for Indoor Cycling

And then finally, how do you stay motivated to keep getting on your Indoor Cycling bike and what workout will you do? The most important thing is just to start indoor cycling. The workouts from CycleMasters can help you with that. CycleMasters creates studio workouts to great music and classes that take you through beautiful landscapes. With each class, you will receive guidance from a trainer of your choice.

You can try CycleMasters’ online classes for free for 14 days or start a free workout on our website.

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