Spinning bikes were invented by Johnny G, the man behind the first Spinning program and the original Spinner bikes. In the beginning, there was one type of Spinning bike, and what most differentiated it from other stationary bikes was that instead of a belt to connect the pedals to the flywheel, it used a chainlike a normal bike. While there are imitation Spinning bikes on the market today, only bikes made by Johnny G’s company--Mad Dogg Athletics--can be called Spinning or Spinner bikes.
As of 2010, the Spinner Sport is the least expensive of the Spinning bikes. While all Spinners have the same aerodynamics--to achieve the closest body positioning to that of a road bike--some have more adjustment potential. The Spinner Sport is the lightest of the five, making it easily movable. It’s made of steel, which, if not wiped down after a sweaty ride, will rust. The handlebars adjust up or down, and are covered in a rubber grip, which can become very slippery with sweat. The seat can be height adjusted and can also slide forward or back to fit the rider more precisely. The pedals are flat--designed for a tennis shoe, not a cycling shoe--and have a toe cage on one side (to tighten the foot to the pedal). The flywheel is painted black; the frame is grey.
The biggest difference between the Spinner Velo and the Spinner Sport is that the Velo is 12.5 Kilogram heavier, and the flywheel itself is heavier, which makes for a more challenging workout and a longer-lasting piece of equipment. Because it's also made of steel, it should be wiped down between uses. The Velo, like the Sport, has a one-year warranty on parts, but the warranty doesn’t include labour. Even though the pedals are not made for cycling shoes (which clip into the pedal), it is possible to buy clipless pedals and install them on the bike.
The Spinner Pro is a middle-of-the-line bike. This is the bike typically found at gyms and clubs. It is heavier than the Spinner Velo by almost 9.07 Kilogram, but it’s all in the sturdier frame, as the flywheel is the same weight. Its handlebars have two water bottle holders built into them, and are coated in a non-slip material instead of rubber. The adjustability of the Spinner Pro is much better than that of either the Spinner Sport or the Spinner Velo; the forward/backward seat adjustment (called the fore and aft adjustments) is a micro-adjustment, which means that you can move it to any position and tighten it in place. The Velo and the Sport require adjustment by a pin-in-hole method. The Pro’s seat and handlebar height is still adjusted that way, by tightening a pin in a pre-cut hole, but the Pro has more holes, and therefore is more adjustable.
The Spinner Elite is two pounds heavier than the Pro, so there’s no real difference in the heft of the bike. All Spinner bikes can be moved by tilting them up onto their wheels (located on the base of the frame) and rolling them along the floor. The Elite is the only bike with a red flywheel, all others have black. Instead of a matt grey, the frame is painted silver. It’s the first bike in the line of Spinners to have dual-sided pedals for cycling shoes: one side has the toe cage, but the other can be clipped into by shoes with SPD clips. The Elite, like the Pro, has non-slip grip coverings on the handlebars (which also have the two water bottle holders built in). Both the Pro and the Elite have two-year warranties for parts and a five-year warranty for frame issues, but no labour.
The only real difference between the Spinner NXT and the Spinner Elite is that the NXT is made of aluminium, making it about 4.54 Kilogram lighter than the Elite. The flywheel is what is moved on a spin bike, and from the Velo on up, all the flywheels weigh 19.5 Kilogram. Aside from that, the Spinner NXT is basically the same as the Spinner Elite, but with a black flywheel and a slightly larger price tag.
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