Exercise Bike vs Treadmill

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Exercise Bike vs Treadmill: three women riding exercise bikes on the left, a few people running on treadmills on the right and both images separated by a big VS

The age-old debate rages on: Exercise bike or treadmill? People have strong opinions about this. Even experienced exercisers can be confused.

This article will explain the differences. Then, you can decide which type of home exercise equipment is best for you.

Overview of exercise bike vs treadmill

When it comes to cardio, my two faves are the exercise bike and treadmill. I take into account my workout needs and time available when picking which one to use.

The exercise bike is low-impact and good for all fitness levels. It can be used inside in front of a TV or outside in the garden or patio. You can customize your workout by changing the resistance and speed settings.

Treadmills offer higher intensity cardio workouts that burn more calories. You can simulate trail running or walking with inclines and adjust the speed and incline to fit your fitness level. Some machines come with preloaded HIIT programs and heart rate monitoring to track your progress.

At a Glance

  • Comparing exercise bikes and treadmills, both offer great workouts. With a bike you can strengthen your core, adjust resistance and be mindful of posture.
  • Treadmills have benefits like simulating outdoor activity, incline resistance and calorie burn. Both machines can be used for HIIT and interval training.
  • Treadmills include settings like endurance and interval modes. Exercise bikes are good for seniors or those new to exercise, as riding is low-impact.
  • Whatever machine you choose, combine it with proper diet, rest and monitoring of performance results. That way, your workouts stay effective and fun!

Benefits of Exercise Bikes

Exercise bikes and treadmills are both popular home workout options. But they have distinct pros and cons. Bikes provide a way to boost aerobic fitness, cardio, and endurance without the impact of running on a treadmill.

This article covers some of the benefits of exercise bikes. So you can decide if one is right for your health and fitness goals.

Low-impact exercise

Exercising is all about keeping fit and building muscles. It’s important to note that any heart disease or injury can make activities like running and jumping dangerous. Low-impact exercises are good for people with joint problems. An exercise bike is one of these exercises, good for building leg and core strength without stressing knees.

It’s easier on joints than a treadmill and less time consuming too. For instance, HIIT (high intensity intervals) requires no movement when you use an exercise bike, unlike a treadmill or stair master. This reduces post-workout soreness and helps with healing after an injury or surgery.

Variety of resistance levels

I’m a personal trainer, and I know the importance of finding a balance between challenge and variability when it comes to exercise. An exercise bike can help you do that.

You can adjust the resistance level of the bike from low to high. That way, you can control your workout intensity and achieve different goals.

Many bikes come with pre-programmed levels. These range from muscle endurance and cardio training, to weight loss and movement recovery.

If you use the bike to supplement your regular fitness regime, like running or aerobics classes, you can match your current running pace. This helps you optimize your performance.

The adjustable resistances also give your muscles and joints the right amount of stress, depending on your needs. For example, on some days you can go easy with a light resistance setting, and on other days, increase the resistance for a more intense workout.

Easy to use

I’m a huge fan of exercise bikes – they are super easy to use, no prior knowledge or experience needed! Just adjust the seat and pedals to your size and you’re good to go. Plus, they can be used in the comfort of your own home, with no gym membership or long-distance travel required.

Exercise bikes are also a great low-impact form of cardio – no stress on joints like knees, ankles and hips, compared to running on hard surfaces or using a treadmill. So if you’re looking for an affordable way to get fit and improve your cardiovascular health, I suggest investing in one today!

Benefits of Treadmills

Benefits of using a treadmill? Many!

You can change your speed. Also, you can do different workouts. Plus, decide on walking or running. Let’s explore the treadmill benefits now!

More challenging workout

Treadmills are usually tougher than exercise bikes. That’s because they offer multiple ways to challenge yourself. You can adjust settings, like resistance and speed. Plus, you can make it incline or decline. You can do interval training or step up the intensity.

Exercise bikes have fewer options. You can only make slight adjustments with stationary bikes, or change the tension level with a spinning bike.

Can adjust speed and incline

Treadmills are a great exercise machine. I, as a personal trainer and nutritionist, often recommend them.

The first advantage is they can be used at home. This means no trips to the gym, and no need to leave your comfort zone. All you need is some space to set it up.

The next major advantage is the adjustability. You can customize it to your needs. Athletic professionals, novice exercisers, and everyone in between can tailor their routines on treadmills.

Speed adjustment lets you decide how fast or slow you want to jog or sprint. Additionally, incline adjustment lets you choose the terrain, whether steep or flat. This gives you control over the type of sloping terrain you want while exercising.

Can track progress

A treadmill is great for tracking progress in and out of the gym. You can check how much you’ve run or walked, measure elevation and monitor your heart rate. Many treadmills come with tracking options such as speed, incline and calorie burn. This helps you target your goals: weight-loss or muscle toning.

Tracking progress is essential. You can keep a record of time spent exercising, stay on course and see yourself getting fitter and stronger. You’ll be motivated when your hard work pays off!


Making a decision between an exercise bike and a treadmill for your home workouts? Let’s compare the pros and cons of each.

Here are all the key factors to consider when comparing them!


Comparing the cost of an exercise bike and a treadmill? Consider long-term costs. Treadmills may be pricier due to bigger motors and features. Shop around and compare prices. Get a bargain! Used or refurbished equipment might be cheaper. When buying used, check condition and ask for a warranty.

Electric treadmills use more electricity than a bike. Choose the most energy-efficient motor you can afford. Maintenance is another factor. Most good brands require annual servicing. Be sure to factor that in.


An exercise bike and treadmill have different space requirements. An exercise bike takes up much less room than a treadmill – 24 to 26 inches wide and 48 to 51 inches long. It’s easy to fit into a corner or along a wall.

Treadmills have a larger footprint. The minimum size recommended is 72 inches by 34 inches. The size of the running belt affects your stride length and running surface area. Consider a larger model if you plan to run regularly and need more freedom.


For safety, exercise bikes and treadmills are similar products. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

On an exercise bike, adjust the tension so you don’t hurt yourself. Sit up straight with your back against the backrest. Never stand on the pedals, as this could cause them to break or slip.

Before starting a treadmill, stretch properly. Wear shoes with good cushioning for shock absorption. Higher speeds need better balance or you could strain your back. Lastly, never hold onto the handrails while running, as this could throw off your center of gravity and lead to falls or slips.


Gettin’ asked a lot as a personal trainer and performance nutritionist, which type of cardio machine is comfier – an exercise bike or a treadmill? Both can offer good levels of comfort, but I reckon treadmills come out on top in terms of versatility and range of motion.

You can control your pace and environment with a treadmill, plus it gives a cushioned platform for running or walking. You can speed up and slow down, compete with yourself or a friend, and increase the incline for more intense workouts.

Treadmills often come with hand rails, perfect for those with joint pains needing extra stability and support. Versus an exercise bike, treadmills have more features to make it comfortable – bigger step space, adjustable stride length and cooling fans/air conditioners.

So when choosin’, consider what your goals are – large aerobic capacity, or just something comfortable?

Wrapping Up

After examining features, pros, and cons of each exercise machine, the best choice comes down to evaluating needs and preferences. Treadmills are top-notch for cardio endurance but require more space and electricity than a bike. Exercise bikes are perfect for gaining strength and muscle mass without a gym. It’s up to you to make the best decision based on personal needs.

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Hi, I'm William Greco, a 28-year-old Personal Trainer and Performance Nutritionist based in Mesa, Phoenix, AZ. With 8 years of experience as a Personal Trainer and 4 years as a Performance Nutritionist, I'm passionate about helping my clients achieve their fitness goals. At Fitness Koala, I provide recommendations on a variety of training equipment, including Treadmills, Indoor Rowers, Stationary Bikes, and more.

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