What Is A Cycle Ergometer?

A cycle ergometer is used as a fitness machine and is still known under some other names. It is called exercise bike, fitness or exercise bike, spinning bike or indoor cycle. In part, these terms are also used for certain variants of the bicycle ergometer, so buyers should take a close look at which exercise equipment they are currently facing. The similarity with a classic bicycle is shown in the cycle ergometer in the typical saddle, in the pedals and handles. However, the bicycle ergometer is out of the test on a solid construction in which only the pedals and associated elements move.

During fitness training this supports the bicycle ergometer the condition and the muscle building. As an ergometer, this exercise equipment is responsible for setting the physical performance in advance and then repeating it. This makes it possible to assess one’s own performance results and optimize his fitness specifically. This ergometry is made possible by the integrated sensors and the data read out. Among other things, the speed of the pedals and the measured pulse play a role. Through an appropriate analysis one learns his training values, for example the heart rate, the energy consumption and the average speed. This data can be converted to realistic conditions, so you can determine how far the distance would have been with a real bike.

What Is A Cycle Ergometer?

The cycle ergometers from the 2019 test are equipped so that the operation is quite simple. Depending on the individual settings can the device can be used for occasional endurance training. So you’re weather independent and can save the way to the gym. The promotion of physical fitness is the main function of the bicycle ergometer. The difference to other fitness equipment shows above all in that mainly the leg muscles are activated. In a crosstrainer , however, the upper body is also involved in the movement.

The functionality of a cycle ergometer is closely related to the design. This corresponds to the basic structure of a conventional bicycle. You sit on the saddle, put your feet on the pedals and hold on to the handles, which are set similar to the conventional bicycle handlebars. Instead of the wheels, however, the cycle ergometer has a flywheel, which is set in motion as soon as you step on the pedals. Depending on the design, this flywheel is directly connected to the pedal shaft and is located directly under the device, or a drive belt connects the pedals over the longitudinal axis with the flywheel. This flywheel includes a brake that provides some resistance. This is not operated with a brake lever, but before the bike training set. This creates a constant braking effect, which makes pedaling a bit more difficult and strengthens the muscles in this way. Optionally, one can adjust the braking effect manually or by means of an electrical control function to make the training easier or to intensify. If the control console is at the front of the ergometer, you can simulate a climb. Such a training computer is not only found in the test winners of the bicycle ergometer.

For a good seating position, individual components such as handlebar and saddle can be adjusted. This means that users of different sizes can use the best cycle ergometer . By adapting to the respective body size, back-friendly training is possible.

The training computer provides information about the relevant data that shows on the console the distance covered, the heart rate and the calories consumed. Depending on which accessory belongs to the cycle ergometer, the pulse is measured by sensors on the handles or via a chest strap, which has been previously created.

This is a weather-independent form of training, so there is no excuse for users to miss a training session. In some cases, the cycle ergometers can be folded out of the test to save space. Others stay in place and invite you to a shorter or longer workout at any time of the day. In some specific variants you do not train in the usual sitting position, but half lying down. On other spinning bikes you sit bent forward, much like a racing bike. Compared to the classic bike wheels from the comparison test, the spinning bikes are often equipped with a larger and heavier flywheel. The correspondingly higher moment of inertia creates a particularly realistic driving experience.

Advantages & Applications

The well-known movements of the cycle ergometer make getting started easy, in addition, the realistic stresses of the muscles provide a good training effect. For this purpose, the fitness wheels are provided with a braking resistor which exerts a certain counterforce. The exercisers have to overcome this resistance. Due to the different adjustment possibilities of the best cycle ergometers from the test , it is possible to adapt the forces to the usual situations in normal cycling.

The benefits of training on the trim-your-bike are particularly evident when you have made the ideal settings. In the optimal case, a soft overcoming occurs at the upper and lower reversal point during the pedal movement. For the training session, it is best to set the force beforehand and keep it constant. If necessary, a change in the power makes sense, but one should orientate to the individual training plan or align the controller at the current heart rate.

The adjustment options of the saddle and the handlebar allow several people to use the cycle ergometer without having to take an uncomfortable posture. Another advantage of the favorites of these ergometers is the good stability and safety. By default, these fitness machines have a freewheel, so you do not lose the grip on the pedals, even if the power to continue pedaling is missing.

The adjustment of the training level is an important plus point, therefore, the test winner of the bicycle ergometer are not only suitable for advanced athletes, but also for beginners and for people who do a rehab. A gentle start to the bike training is therefore no problem. The training on the fitness bike is also very gentle on the joints and is thus suitable, among other things for a little older people or for people with joint problems. Therefore, the bicycle ergometers are also used in the physiotherapeutic field.

In elite sports , an ergometer is often used for conditioning and warming up. Of course cycling is also healthy and keeps you fit, but when it’s cold or raining outdoors, you’re looking forward to an indoor device that offers the same possibilities in terms of movement. In addition, the training computer helps to control and save your own performance. So you can not only see how much calories you consume, but also check the results and understand an improvement.]

What Types Of Cycle Ergometers Are There?

Bicycle ergometers are available in different types. This ranges from a simple trim-up bike to professional training bikes. If you want to find out more about the different functionalities, you will find several options in a well-equipped fitness center. The typical pedal movement is present on all models, so that the focus during training is on the leg muscles.

In addition to the bicycle ergometer, in which one exercises while sitting, there are also the versions for the lying bike training. Here you sit leaning far back in a kind of armchair. This is a very comfortable posture for the back, so these recumbent stationary ergometers are recommended for people with back and intervertebral disc problems. But the more common design is the bicycle ergometer with classic saddle. This is probably related to the known movements and the usual weight distribution. As a result, sitting training is generally felt to be more effective.

Apart from the distinction between the training gauges for sitting and lying also a categorization according to price ranges and functionality is possible. Some of the bike ergometers from the 2019 test were designed for beginners, others for advanced training and the spinning and speed bikes are especially suitable for professionals.

Also with the bicycle ergometers for beginners a training computer is included. It displays important data such as exercise time, pace, distance traveled, revolutions and watts, and heart rate and calories burned. The pulse measurement is recorded with a hand-held pulse meter, which is installed in the handlebar. Even the basic variant can offer up to 16 programs and sometimes even more resistance levels. With the flywheel you should make sure that it is not lower than 7.5 kg, otherwise the concentricity is not perfect.

In the cycle ergometer test, the advanced models were also examined. These are the mid-priced fitness bikes with a more powerful training computer and more adjustment options. For example, a better computer can create a variety of training profiles so you can call a performance chart. There are also special functions such as body fat measurement or an individual fitness check. In part, there are 30 resistance levels and 20 training programs with pulse controlavailable. With such an ergometer, the cardiovascular system can be specifically optimized. Also the successful weight reduction is supported by such a cycle ergometer test winner. The comfort is also convincing, because these advanced training devices often have holders for drinking bottles and towels as well as an MP3 connection, in contrast to the basic models.

The top bike ergometers from the test were developed for the professional sector and have correspondingly many extras. In addition to the training computer, there is an interface via which the data can be transferred to the PC or smartphone. It also lets you download more exercise programs and access more performance charts. Particularly ambitious cyclists have the opportunity to prepare for a real competition.

In the high-priced segment of the cycle ergometer there are also special models for competitive athletes, who offer a high level of comfort with their equipment and at the same time are highly effective.

The Advantages Of The Stationary Ergometer For All Variants:
  • Weather independent training possible,
  • Improvement of condition and performance,
  • Good control by training computer,
  • Good stability and operating safety,
  • By setting options for multiple users.
The Disadvantages Of The Cycle Ergometer:
  • Quality-dependent high price,
  • Some space required.

This Is How The Exercise Bikes Are Tested

In the bicycle ergometer test , the various classifications, the technical device data and the customization options were checked for the respective user requirements. Anyone who learns about the functions of the ergometer must take into account that many criteria can influence the selection. The features collected here show what is particularly important in the search for a suitable bicycle ergometer.

1. The flywheel

The inertia of the best cycle ergometer is the disc that rotates when pedaling. With the increasing weight of this flywheel, the rotation becomes more uniform. Therefore, a low flywheel can lead to irregular movements that strain the joints during training excessive. Even with the simple bike ergometers from the test, you should therefore select a flywheel mass of at least 5 kg.

2. The brake system

Unlike cycling, the brake system of stationary bikes is not about the occasional slowing down of the movements. Instead, the brake provides a higher resistance, which intensifies the training. The braking of the flywheel can be done by different systems. Often it is a magnetic or induction brake. These two brake systems work quietly and require no maintenance because they do not come into direct contact with the flywheel. Only the belt brake has a higher wear, so it comes only with a few trim-you wheels used and plays only a minor role.

Most often, the magnetic brake is used, which is quite inexpensive. It works with a permanent magnet and brakes by turning on and off the flywheel in its rotation. As the magnet approaches the disk, the braking effect increases, which automatically translates to resistance.

The induction brake is also called the eddy current brake. Here the magnetic field is produced by an integrated coil. Regulation is via the power supply. Thus, a very fine regulation in the resistance gradations is possible, also works the brake system even quieter. Especially in the test winners of the bicycle ergometer such induction brake is used, which achieves optimum braking with their high quality.

3. Performance levels and settings

For a controlled training on the bicycle ergometer certain power settings can be made. This allows you to determine your own results and understand. The gradations relate primarily to the resistance. The more levels you can set here, the finer are the differences, so you can gradually increase your training and not over-exert yourself. As a minimum, 16 difficulty levels are already indicated in the entry-level bicycle ergometers. The gradations are in watts and split in steps of 5 or 10. There are also special programs that simulate different routes. So you can do a virtual uphill or downhill on the ergometer. The training computer is responsible for the programming, in addition to the devices with additional interface complementary training programs to choose from, you can download.

4. The carrying capacity

The maximum carrying capacity indicates how much the exercising person is allowed to weigh. For some of the best cycle ergometers from the test, the weight limit is 100 kg, others have a load capacity of 120 or 150 kg. These weights indicate the stability of the equipment and may be of interest to users who weigh less. If the bike ergometer is designed only for a body weight of 80 kg, the stability seems rather weak, so it is safer to buy another model. The maximum weight load should not be exceeded in any case, otherwise quickly show the first damage to the bicycle ergometer. It may even lead to an accident and injuries.

5. The pulse measurement

In many bicycle ergometers a function for the pulse measurement is provided. This allows controlling the pulse rate during cycling training to avoid overloading. The ergometers can work with different methods. Many standard devices incorporate hand pulse sensors on the handlebar grips. Here, two electrodes determine the pulse rate, which, however, does not provide a particularly reliable statement. Therefore, this method is not suitable for a reliable analysis.

For another type of pulse measurement, an ear clip is used. The ear clip cable is plugged into the ergometer socket so that the values ​​measured at the ear are transferred to the training computer. However, it can happen that the ear clip slips off the earlobe. In addition, some people feel the clip as annoying.

Particularly safe and reliable are the chest straps that you put on before training. The modern chest straps for pulse rate measurement are wireless and work with two electrodes. The pulse measurement is very precise. To record the measurement data, the training computer on the ergometer needs the appropriate receiver.

6. The adjustability

To be able to sit comfortably, the bicycle ergometer must enable the corresponding seat and handlebar settings. So you can adjust the seat and the handles perfectly to your own body size. Especially for very tall and small people, it may be difficult to make the appropriate optimal settings. At best, the seat and handlebars can not only be adjusted vertically, but also forward and backward. The advanced ergometers even offer the possibility to define individual user profiles. This makes it easy for the exercisers to adjust their ergometer to their own needs.

7. The comfort

For the ideal comfort, the adjustability alone is not enough. Above all, the saddle should be as comfortable as possible, otherwise you will not enjoy training and will soon be available again. An ergonomic saddle avoids pain and an uncomfortable feeling. On the other hand, if the bicycle saddle is too narrow or does not fit in the shape of the buttocks, you may take a wrong posture. If necessary, it is even necessary to replace the saddle on the ergometer .

Other comfort and ergonomic features relate to the shape and grip of the handlebar and to the ideal distances. In addition, it is worth taking a look at the entry, especially for beginners and less mobile users. The easier you get on the bike ergometer, the safer you feel. The entry should therefore be as deep as a normal bike deep enough.

What do I have to pay attention to when buying thr best cycle ergometer?

As a guide to the purchase decision of a bicycle ergometer , the detailed product features are very important. In addition one should talk about theInform device dimensions and the other criteria so that one is also satisfied with the selected training device. If you do not have much space in the apartment, you often want an ergometer that can be folded after training. Some buyers pay more attention to the simplified operation, others are interested in a particularly high level of training.

Anyone who sets up a training plan and would like to buy a bicycle ergometer at the same time should seek advice from an expert. Sometimes it is just a matter of light condition training and an increased calorie consumption. However, if you want to start intensive cardio training, you should be careful to find the right performance range.

For those who want to lose weight, the bicycle ergometers are interesting with a calorie consumptionindicator . In contrast, the ambitious athletes need a device that offers a particularly large number of programs and can be set to multiple loads. For seniors, the models come with clear controls and a large display in question.

If you have back problems, it is advisable to think about a stationary ergometer for lying training. If a bodybuilding is planned, you have to keep your own pulse rate in view and therefore needs an accurate display function. Sometimes a larger screen is desired, on which a natural landscape passes, so that the time on the ergometer passes faster. So there is the right bicycle ergometer for every need.

To set up a bicycle ergometer , you do not need much space. The simple models only take up an area of ​​100 x 50 cm. With a larger spinning bike you have to expect a length of about 130 cm, but in the width there is hardly a change. A recumbent bike or recumbent bike needs 170 x 60 cm but a little more space.

If you have a good seat for the ergometer , but no outlet in the immediate vicinity, a model with induction power generator makes sense. Such a bicycle ergometer can be placed anywhere and provides its own power supply.

Brief information on leading 7 manufacturers

The big fitness brands present a wide range of sports and exercise equipment. Therefore, the manufacturers of bicycle ergometers are also known from other sports fields. The following companies are among the most renowned names, also on the international fitness market.


One of the most important German manufacturers of fitness equipment is Christopeit in Velbert. The manufacturer not only equips training centers, but also provides many devices for private users. The bicycle ergometers from Christopeit convince by their good quality characteristics and by a fair pricing. There is also a customer-friendly support and a warranty period of two years. During the tests of the bicycle ergometer, Christopeit’s models repeatedly appear among the favorites.

Kinetic Sports

The ergometers of Kinetic Sports have been proven for a long time, not only for the newcomers, but also for the experienced athletes. Here the good price-performance ratio is an important argument.

Sport Plus

At SportPlus , buyers receive innovative fitness products with optimum functionality. In addition to the bicycle ergometers and other exercise equipment, the brand also presents leisure items. The focus is on the one hand the reliable quality, on the other hand, the excellent service. The low prices also support the success of the SportPlus brand.

Ultra Sport

Ultra Sport is also one of the major producers of sports and leisure products. The company from Itzehoe presents a wide range of products, which is not only limited to fitness equipment, but also includes leisure products and toys.


In Skandika is a manufacturer of fitness and outdoor items from food. The solid workmanship is reflected in the high durability of the equipment and in the two-year warranty. In the new advertising campaign, the company relies on the popular Joey Kelly. Fitness and fun are closely linked with each other at Skandika and make you feel like an effective sports training.


The traditional company kettler , founded in 1949, comes from the North Rhine-Westphalian Ense-Parsit. The brand develops and produces a variety of sports, leisure and games items. Kettler has always relied on strict quality management, which applies not only to the training equipment and other products produced in Germany, but also to the imported goods.

Vision Fitness

Vision Fitness was originally a division of Trek® Bicycle Company, an American producer of outdoor bicycles. Vision Fitness became an independent company in 1996, focusing on the development and launch of modern exercise products. This is evident in the bicycle ergometers as well as in other fitness equipment of the popular brand.

Worth knowing & advice about the best bicycle ergometer

For bicycle ergometers you often use some other terms such as exercise bikes. In fact, it is aboutdifferent types of devices. Among other things, this can be recognized by the prescribed standards that apply to ergometers and exercise bikes. These standards relate on the one hand to the device classes, on the other hand to the safety regulations.

The European Standard EC 957-1 classifies fitness equipmentfrom the perspective of accident prevention and environmental compatibility. There are six subdivisions of this standard, which refer to the respective device types. The ergometers fall into subclass A of the equipment group EN 957-1 / 5. This classification specifies the power delivered, which must be at least 250 watts, and a freewheel. In actual performance, certain deviations are allowed, but for which there are certain limits. The performance statement in watts, it is possible to regulate the training load exactly and comply with the respective limits. This means that the ergometers not only qualify for athletic use, but also for use in the medical and therapeutic environment.

Some bike trainers work without power measurement in watts and are therefore not among the ergometers. They are therefore listed in subclass B or C of the equipment group EN 957-1 / 5. The devices of subclass B fall into the category of exercise bikes with freewheel, adjustable braking force and with a flywheel mass of 5 kg or more. The devices of subclass C are simple exercise bikes, which may only be used privately and have nothing to look for in the fitness center.

This bike ergometer guide covers the various device details, standards, and other background information, which are discussed in more detail in the following chapters.

10 questions about the bicycle ergometer

If you do not continue pedaling the bicycle ergometer, you will remain in position while freewheeling and stop turning. The freewheel decoupled so the drive between the pedals and flywheel, if this disc rotates faster than the cadence. Thus, the pedal entry and the coupling to the vibrating disc work just like a conventional bicycle.

Some models of stationary bikes use a rigid drive. In a spinning bike or indoor cycle, but also in a simple built-in home exercise bike, the rigid drive ensures direct power transmission. The drive and the flywheel are coupled with each other, which facilitates training, especially at fast pedaling frequencies. In addition, the rigid drive is not so susceptible to wear because of its simple structure.

The flywheel only designates the disc-shaped component, which is set in rotation during pedaling. In the flywheel weight of the other components is also taken into account, which are also moved. These are the drive wheel, the belt and the crank arms. The corresponding details of the bicycle ergometers often contain no uniform information about the parts, which are included in the flywheel. That is why it is difficult to make a precise comparison. Basically, a flywheel with high weight is beneficial for quiet concentricity.

The current stationary bikes are equipped with a magnetic brake, with an induction brake or with a film brake. All brake systems act on the flywheel and increase the resistance here. This increases the training effect, regardless of whether you are training on a spinning bike or on a stationary bike for beginners.

To determine the correct height of the saddle, you orient yourself to the usual calculation in the bike area. However, this works only with a crank length between 170 and 175 millimeters, which corresponds to the product data on the bike and refers to the distance between the pedal axle and the central axle. The calculation formula from the 1980s is: stride times 0.885 equal to saddle height. It was developed by Wilfried Hügi.

The saddle comes from outdoor cycling and refers to getting up from the saddle and swaying back and forth while pedaling. The bike moves in opposite directions to the weight transfer of the cyclist whose upper body remains in the middle. When kicking, not only the leg muscles are activated, but also the muscles in the upper body and in the arms, so that the pulse rate and calorie consumption increase. For the saddle, the bicycle ergometer must be absolutely stable. Among other things, one uses the kicking when spinning or in between, to reduce tension and increase blood flow in the arms.

In ergometer training, cadence or cadence play an essential role in measuring performance. The trained athletes are usually at a cadence between 90 and 120 revolutions per minute. Less ambitious people usually only make 50 to a maximum of 70 turns. Through regular training sessions you can gradually increase your cadence.

The higher pedaling frequencies of competitive athletes are a great challenge for the beginners. In fact, the muscles are better supplied by the higher speeds with oxygen, also relieved the speed of the joints. So it pays off to pedal faster, but especially the beginners are barely able to catch their breath. Only during the training sessions will improve the motor skills, so you can also 90 rotations or more for a longer phase.

Ergometer training programs are designed to help users achieve their own training goals soon. Which programs are needed in the individual case, depends on your own fitness level and the ambitions. At least one program for the automatic power control via the heart rate measurement should be available, you also need an interval program and some profile programs. So you can put alternating stimuli while training on the bicycle ergometer and keep improving.

Anyone who suffers from movement restrictions and still wants to complete bike training should choose a low-entry bicycle ergometer. Such a model provides enough space between the seat and the console mast with handles. The low entry makes it easier to ascend and later descend. Not only are the seniors looking forward to it.

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