Owning a stationary bike can help achieve fitness and competition goals for both the serious cyclist and the casual exerciser. Stationary bikes enable training in bad weather or when you lack access to usable roadways. Competition cyclists can use stationary bikes to focus on improving their pedalling technique or endurance under controlled conditions without having to worry about dodging cars. If you're trying to achieve fitness goals, mounting a bicycle on a stationary stand also lets you train in front of the television or read books while riding without having to buy a commercial recumbent bike found in most gyms.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Wrench (optional)
- Stationary bike stand
- Rubber matting 4-foot-by-6-foot, ½-inch thickness
- Wood blocks
Decide which type of stationary bike stand you want to purchase: upright or recumbent. Upright stands engage the same hip, lower back and leg muscles and mimic the same posture you would experience riding your bike on a road or track. Recumbent stands permit a more relaxed posture, but only work the leg muscles. Within these two categories, you can choose from the type of mechanism that provides resistance for the back wheel of your bike. Wind trainers connect to a fan, magnetic trainers use a series of magnets to generate resistance, while fluid trainers employ hydraulic pistons. All three provide adjustable levels of resistance.
Lay down rubber matting on the floor where you plan to mount your bike and stationary stand. The matting will protect your floor from scuffs. Pick an area where you can easily mount and dismount from the bike. Move any furniture or hanging plants out of the way.
Set up the stationary stand. Stationary bike stands come pre-assembled and only require you to mount rubber stoppers on the places where the stand will come in contact with your floor. Follow the instructions in the manual. Then place the stand in the back centre of the rubber mat. If you plan on watching TV while cycling, place the stand at the end of the matting that's farthest from the TV screen.
Mount the back wheel of your bike in the stationary stand. Stationary bike stands use two latches to hold the bike in place. Pre-tighten them until they sit about four inches apart. Then place the bolts holding the back wheel of the bike onto its frame between the two latches and tighten the latches until they securely hold the bike in place. Use the wrench to manually tighten the bolts, if necessary.
Place wood blocks underneath the front tire of your bicycle. A stationary bike stand holds the bike's back tire about six to 10 inches off the ground. Putting wood blocks under the front tire can eliminate the feel of pedalling downhill when you ride the stationary bike.
Tips and warnings
- Stationary bike stand types vary by expense. Magnetic-resistance stands cost the most but provide a ride that simulates road racing. Fan-resistance models cost the least, but the fan makes noise as you pedal.
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