You might think that built-in cooling fans in exercise bikes provide minor benefits that you can do without. However, science and researchers agree that good airflow makes a difference, particularly in your workout performance and experience.
With a built-in fan, you feel less hot during exercise and avoid overexerting your body. Protecting your body from overheating, in turn, preserves your indoor cycling power and optimises your workout. An integrated fan keeps you comfortable, too, so you perform your best.
Keep reading for a more in-depth explanation of these benefits. I’m also listing a few exercise bike models with this feature.
How Can an Exercise Bike with a Built-in Cooling Fan Benefit You?
Built-in fans are more than special features or add-ons. Here are a few reasons why you need them in exercise bikes.
1. It protects the body from overheating during indoor cycling.
Our bodies are like machines. The more we move or work, the more our bodies generate heat.
This heat mainly comes from the glycogen stores the muscles burn to fuel our workouts.
When our internal temperature increases, the body reacts to keep us cool. It redirects the heat throughout the body through blood circulation.
Then, our skin releases this excess heat through sweat. As sweat evaporates, your body starts to cool down. But this thermoregulation ability has a limit, though.
Without proper intervention, the body can no longer keep up with the heat you generate during exercise. And an overheated body is not good.
As explained by Johns Hopkins Medicine, continuous exercise, especially in a hot environment, can lead to heat exhaustion and other side effects.
So, to avoid further complications, help your body regulate your temperature when cycling indoors. One way to do that is to use an exercise bike with a built-in fan.
Increasing the airflow lets you replicate the outdoor cycling environment and make your sweat evaporate faster.
All these help your body control your temperature, allowing you to finish your workout without problems.
2. It helps enhance workout performance.
Have you experienced cycling indoors on a hot day? Without ample airflow, this environment will cause your heart to pump unusually fast and make you sweat profusely.
As a consequence, your cycling power also plummets. Suddenly, you feel tired after only a few minutes of pedalling, affecting your total work output.
This effect is only natural with prolonged exercise as your body reacts to heat stress (Périard et al. 2021).
Your body works extra hard during this time, spending so much energy to circulate blood fast enough to support the muscles and regulate your temperature.
These also limit the energy you get to fuel your cycling workout. You can read more about how the body uses energy from our previous article on how exercise bike workouts boost metabolism.
But, long story short, lack of proper air circulation makes it doubly hard for you and your body to get through your daily workouts.
So, rather than compete with your internal systems for energy, create a conducive environment to avoid heat stress during exercise.
Turning on the built-in fan of your exercise bike can help lessen the energy load your body needs for thermoregulation.
And you can use that energy instead to maintain a good cycling performance.
Researchers Tyler and colleagues (2013) even concluded that cooling during exercise positively affects exercise performance and capacity in a hot environment.
3. It makes intense cycling a bit more comfortable.
HIIT indoor cycling is hard. But doing it in a home gym with insufficient airflow is even more difficult.
With this environment, you sweat profusely and gasp for breath.
And once discomfort sets in, you are more likely to cut your workout short.
We know that exercise is tiring, but it doesn’t have to be unbearable to be effective.
Remember that exercise intensity, duration, and consistency are the key components of a good workout.
All these get affected the moment you feel uncomfortable and stop cycling altogether.
So, work out in a bright and airy home gym. Pick a spot with windows to let natural light and air come in.
Keeps your gym things and equipment orderly. Then, hop on your exercise bike with its built-in fan on. And don’t forget to turn up the music!
You might think these do not affect your workout or performance at all.
However, research findings from Portland State University tell otherwise.
This study compared the participants’ indoor cycling experience with and without a fan. It also studied the effects of two different fan speeds.
After the experiment, the researcher noted that fan use led to modest improvements in workout completion and power output.
Study participants also said cycling indoors under controlled conditions (without a fan) was significantly uncomfortable and stressful.
The use of a fan at any speed, they said, was preferable and less distressing.
4. It is convenient and more space-efficient.
On top of the workout benefits, exercise bikes with built-in cooling fans makes things convenient, especially if you have a small gym space.
Rather than use a separate floor, pedestal, or tower fan, a built-in air supply is right there when and where you need it.
You can move your bike and exercise anywhere at home without worrying about airflow or proper fan positioning.
Some intuitive exercise bike models even have workout fans that automatically adjust fan speeds based on your pedalling intensity.
It’s an excellent feature, especially if you are into intense cycling or quick resistance level changes.
Automated fan means you can focus on your workout and have fewer buttons to worry about.
What are the Best Exercise Bikes with Built-in Cooling Fans?
These exercise bikes with built-in cooling fans will ensure you get the benefits of a well-ventilated workout space.
1. Pro-Form 8.0 Exercise Bike
The Pro-Form 8.0 is the best model for comfortable indoor cycling. Aside from its cushioned seat, wide foot pedals, and padded handlebar, it also has a two-speed cooling fan.
There’s also a water bottle holder to keep you hydrated while working out.
Moreover, this upright exercise bike has a tablet holder, dual EKG pulse grips, iFit app compatibility, and 30 onboard workouts.
It’s an excellent option if you’re looking for a good-quality bike at a more affordable price point.
Jump to our Pro-Form 8.0 Exercise Bike review next and learn about our firsthand experience with this machine.
2. BH Fitness Airdyne HIIT Air Bike
You won’t have any problem with airflow with fan bikes like the BH Fitness Airdyne.
Its large wheel gives infinite resistance and helps circulate air within the room.
But to make your workouts even more comfortable, you can also turn on its integrated fan below the console.
The BH Fitness Airdyne lacks hi-tech features, like built-in speakers, touchscreen display, or app compatibility.
However, it’s a highly recommended machine for comfortable full-body workouts.
With its moveable handlebars and adjustable seat, you can power through those tough HIIT sessions without issues.
Best of all, this air bike works even without electricity. Discover more about this machine from our BH Fitness Airdyne full review.
3. NordicTrack R35 Recumbent Bike
If you want comfortable and immersive workouts, the NordicTrack R35 is for you.
This recumbent bike has adjustable extra-wide foot pedals, an oversized seat with lumbar support, and an impressive 14” touchscreen monitor.
It works with iFit, and syncing this bike to the app lets you experience automated resistance adjustments that match your selected cycling terrain.
Its autobreeze workout fan is a huge plus, too. Check out this article for more benefits of using a recumbent exercise bike.
Keeping yourself cool, hydrated, and comfortable during exercise is as crucial as working out regularly.
Also, indoor cycling doesn’t have to make you feel too tired or stressed to be effective.
So, relax, work out based on your fitness level, and use every means you have to make daily workouts enjoyable.
Consider getting an exercise bike with a built-in cooling fan to reap the benefits and rewards of indoor cycling.
1. What are the benefits of getting an exercise bike with a touchscreen display?
Compared with regular models, stationary bikes with touchscreens make indoor cycling more entertaining and engaging. Syncing these bikes to fitness apps also broadens your workout library, so you can keep progressing and avoid fitness plateaus. Some touchscreen bikes even let you interact with your trainer or online community.
2. Should I get an exercise bike with a tablet holder?
If touchscreen-equipped bikes are too expensive, models with built-in tablet holders are good alternatives. Your tablet should let you play and enjoy your favourite music, podcasts, or movies during workouts. You can also use the same device to download fitness apps to access various workout libraries or try virtual cycling.
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