Help choosing a stationary bike

Discussion in 'General Bike Discussion' started by detroitr, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. detroitr

    detroitr Guest

    1
    0
    0
    I am hoping for general feedback on the Schwinn 220 recumbent or 120 upright stationary bike, i.e. reliablity, good/ bad or anything else. Would be using it for cross training for my primary sport of Tennis.

    Any other recommendations in the $500 range?

    Also considering a spin bike, i.e Star Trac Velo, Fit or Sport.
     
  2. shiboleth

    shiboleth New Member

    30
    0
    0
    choosing a stationary bike

    I am a big fan of the Schwinn airdyne. The resistance is natural to a bike rider and it does translate to the road. the arm action might help your tennis a bit.
    I recommend that you cruise craigslist until you find a good one. Mine is the full-sized AD-5 in new condition for which I paid $350 from a guy who bought it an then didn't use it. I say this even though I have a home built that is actually a better bike simulator. Given the choice now I go for the Airdyne every time. I am not a big fan of the newer smaller Airdyne. It uses some sort of band drive and there are reports of problems with this. Also the thing doesn't save that much room.
    Avoid bikes with resistance systems that use up a part. This would include felt brake pads and strap brakes etc. I really like wind resistance, but magnetic is supposed to be almost as good. Here are some pictures if you are looking for ideas. One of themost effective X-bikes I ever had was an old Schwinn XR-5 with a three speed wheel running NoMorFlats inner tube and a smooth tread tire with a pair of squirrel cage blowers hung over the front wheel. I built my first one for about $100 plus the cost of the X-bike. I see these old Schwinn front wheel X-bikes on craigslist every once in a while for prices from $15 to $80 depending on condition and owner's optimism.
    Good luck on your quest for the most natural indoor riding.
     

    Attached Files:


  3. shiboleth

    shiboleth New Member

    30
    0
    0
    This schwinn flywheel is not what I would recommend. The friction brake mechanism operates through the slow destruction of the pads which have to be replaced. The relationship between the tightness of the brake and the energy stored in the flywheel does not generate measurable resistance which is also repeatable. How many turns of the tightening screw will make one mile on this machine require the same effort as one mile on a bicycle? On an air resistance machine, a certain number of rpm for a certain time will require a certain effort. The flywheel type machines won't do that and in my experience the exercise does not translate to the road. Do you know why they brag about the weight of the flywheel? It needs to be that heavy to smooth out the jerkiness inherent in the mechanism. Air and magnetic resistance machines can be thirty pounds lighter. Most of the other doodads on this device are there to provide universal fit. That is a good thing. The old exercise machines like my XR-5 did not provide for much adjustment in top tube distance or handlebar height. I repeat: workouts on this Schwinn 220 do not translate to the road.
     
  4. flanderscycling

    flanderscycling New Member

    199
    0
    0
    Well, for a "real" road feeling, this is what you need.
    But, it more expensive than $ 500!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. shiboleth

    shiboleth New Member

    30
    0
    0
    I went to their website and couldn't figure out what the mode of resistance was. They do brag about their 45 lb. flywheel which probably puts the weight of this thing at around eighty pounds. At $2700 that is a lot of expensive tin that may not get used. C'mon Flanders, don't leave me all alone out here. I have made no secret of how I feel about this kind of machine. What are its good points? More specifically, how does this thing fight back against the user. With a fan it is not hard to calculate the force required at any given rpm using the heating and air conditioning standards guide. So many rpm on a blower with such and such a diameter and width will require so much power. Modern electronic speedometers are really revolution counters so to get the rpm at any given speed you just take the pedal cadence and multiply it through the chain gear ratio and then the ratio of the takeup roller to the big wheel. That ugly gray homebuilt above generates about 1,000 rpm at the blower shaft when the speedo is showing 20 mph. That uses about 1/4 hp which is quite respectable for non-racers. In third gear (something else the $2700 machine doesn't have) I can stand up on the pedals and thus be literally walking on air. The wind in your hair effect is also nice and makes it more of a simulator than a mere exercise machine.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
  6. flanderscycling

    flanderscycling New Member

    199
    0
    0
    Thought you wanted to have a bike with the "real road" feeling...
    I can say that I have some experience on this matter. I ride about 6.000 miles on a road bike every year. Since I'm an indoor cycling instructor, I use these "things" a few times in a week.
    If you want a real (race) bike feeling, an "indoor bike" like the Schwinn IC a Star Trac, Lemond, etc can help you.
    To train, you take a HR meter, distance does not matter. You train at low endurance or at high endurance...
    The cycleops is a splendid bike, it is a real racebike. You can buy it with a freewheel.
    Think resistance is "magnetic", but what's more: it has the Cycleops power tap and the registration of the power you had during your training.
    You can stand up on your pedals, believe me!
    If you want the wind in your hair, go and ride outside!
    Whats more, Cycleops is "silent"
     
  7. shiboleth

    shiboleth New Member

    30
    0
    0
    It is true, blowers generate white noise. The gray homemade produces 85db at the intake port.
    The whole point of this exercise is that outside is not practical for some reason, rain sleet, snow, muggers or whatever. Nice try though, to take one thing where wind resistance clearly beats the cyclops and say that it doesn't matter.
    My years of 6,000 miles are probably behind me now. I just don't have the time. But in my thirties and forties I cranked out several 5.000 mile years as a club rider and tourist. I still get a couple of thousand a year. I don't understand what you mean by a "real race bike." It's a trainer. For half the money it cost I could build a matched pair that you could race against each other. Just keep all the ratios the same and may the best rider win. You say that distance doesn't matter. I don't get this concept either unless your argument is purely semantic. d=rt so distance is a way of measuring time and effort. If you drive a fan fast enough to finish ten miles on the odometer in 30 minutes you will not work as hard as if you finished it in 25 minutes. Also more time on the bike enables one to drain cellular energy more completely thus increasing the training effect as the body works to resupply the cells. Did I mention the internally geared hub? These give the exerciser predictable resistance ranges though they do not change the relationship between speed and effort. They do change the cadence needed to produce any given rotational speed. The guy was looking for something in the $500 range.