Smart indoor bikes with large, shiny screens can be pricey. However, these exercise bikes with touchscreen displays offer plenty of benefits that you might be missing out on.
Compared with regular models, stationary bikes with screens 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.
Here are the reasons that make touchscreen-equipped exercise bikes an excellent addition to any home gym.
How Can Exercise Bikes with a Touchscreen Display Benefit You?
Touchscreens on exercise bikes are not limited to being a healthy distraction while you burn excess calories away. They also make your cycling workouts convenient and fun.
1. It’s handy for HIIT.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) on exercise bikes requires constant resistance adjustments, which can be difficult on manual machines.
On the other hand, interactive indoor exercise bikes have touchscreen buttons to adjust your resistance, incline, and other features.
All you need is a few taps to make quick changes. This feature also benefits zone-based training enthusiasts. Even regular navigation is faster with a touchscreen.
2. It keeps you focused.
Smartphones or tablets are good alternatives for bikes without a touchscreen, especially if your machine has a built-in holder. The problem is you can easily get distracted by multiple email, text, or social media notifications during exercise time.
These alerts only force you to stop mid-workout and lose momentum. Moreover, your phone or tablet is dependent on battery power.
A low-battery device can be a problem, especially during long cycling workouts. You can avoid all these unnecessary distractions with a touchscreen-equipped bike. Moreover, it won’t consume your phone or tablet’s battery charge.
3. It lets you sync to a compatible app.
This benefit of using an exercise bike with a touchscreen display is a favourite.
By syncing your machine to a fitness app, you get access to a massive workout library. Most of these libraries also get occasional updates, which means you always have new cycling programs to try.
If you prefer instructor-led classes or workouts with other cyclists, an app-ready bike should suit you, too. Premium smart bikes typically have automated functions you can activate and enjoy through the app.
Some fitness apps also allow you to create multiple workout profiles so everyone in the household can keep track of their cycling progress.
4. It makes your exercise bike versatile.
Cycling apps are not limited to exercise bike workouts. They also include off-bike programs to target other muscle groups.
I think it’s a huge plus, considering that indoor cycling is primarily a lower-body-muscle activity. Access to other forms of exercise means you also get full-body workout benefits.
Also, it makes the most of exercise bike investment.
5. It gives you access to indoor cycling bike developments.
Have you heard of virtual reality exercise bike workouts?
It’s a fun and engaging indoor cycling variation that became popular during the pandemic.
It works like most fitness apps, but this one lets you experience outdoor cycling or bike racing while enjoying realistic views indoors. You can set up a virtual cycling space at home with a laptop, computer, or TV.
However, you can instantly enjoy virtual cycling benefits if you have an exercise bike with a touchscreen display. With fast-changing technology, it won’t be a surprise to see similar indoor cycling innovations a few years from now.
So, getting a touchscreen-equipped bike is like getting a future-proof exercise machine.
What Should You Look for When Buying Exercise Bikes with Screens?
While exercise bikes with a touchscreen display have several benefits, they are also investments. So, choose your machine well based on essential factors like:
- Screen quality. A 15-inch screen is often good enough for most riders, but you might want a bigger screen if you have eye problems. Make sure to check its resolution, too. A 720 to 1080p or high-definition screen is best.
- Applications. Most smart exercise bikes work with a compatible fitness app. Check if that app suits your fitness goals and workout preferences. Also, assess if your budget allows a long-term subscription. iFit is one of the popular fitness apps that works with several established exercise bike brands. Learn more about iFit and its latest iFit+ package here.
- Connectivity. Check if the machine is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-ready. You need both features to make the app work and to link external devices, like headphones and heart rate monitors, to your bike. Of course, you have to ensure that your Internet connection at home is stable, too.
- Adjustability. This factor is crucial, especially if you share the bike with other users. Check if you can move the screen up and down, forward and back. Also, find out if the machine has height restrictions, too. Ideally, choose a bike with a swivelling screen for your off-bike workouts.
- Speakers. If you dislike wearing headphones during workouts, check the speakers of your exercise bike options. Ideally, select one with the speakers facing you while on the bike for optimum sound quality. Check that the speakers are not in the way of any console feature or button. Test it, if possible, especially if you plan to put the exercise bike in an apartment.
What are the Best Touchscreen Exercise Bikes?
Based on the considerations mentioned, here are some of my top exercise bike models with a touchscreen display.
NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Bike
The NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike is among the most modern workout bikes of the brand. It comes with all the features you need for a cycling studio-like experience. It is also iFit compatible, which works well with the 22-inch touchscreen.
On top of a crisp display and adjustable resolution, this large monitor also moves from side to side or up and down. The front-facing 30W speakers produce clear sounds for more immersive workouts, too.
Check out our full review to learn more about this ultra-high-tech machine.
Pro-Form Studio Bike Pro 22
The Pro-Form Pro 22 is perfect if you’re after a more budget-friendly touchscreen exercise bike. Like the NordicTrack S22i, this one also has a 22-inch HD touchscreen that swivels from side to side.
It also works with the iFit app, and purchasing this model gives you a 30-day free access. I like how you can easily adjust the handlebar height, too. That way, you can position the screen well during on or off-bike workouts.
This bike has built-in 2-inch speakers and an audio port. Plus, it syncs with an optional Pro-Form forearm heart rate monitor.
NordicTrack R35 Recumbent Bike
Do you love working out on a recumbent bike with a touchscreen? The NordicTrack R35 features an impressive 14-inch touchscreen monitor. Its HD screen is easy to navigate and perfect for making its partner app, iFit, even more immersive.
Syncing the NordicTrack R35 to iFit also lets you experience automated resistance adjustments to match your selected cycling terrain.
This bike has 2-inch digitally amplified speakers above the display, complementing the high-quality workout videos and music. The NordicTrack R35 doesn’t have built-in plug-ins for your devices, though.
It is Bluetooth-ready, however, so connecting your phone, tablet, or earbuds to the bike should be easy.
1. Should I try virtual cycling workouts?
Virtual cycling is 100% worth trying, especially if you have a stationary bike with a screen and fitness app access. This fun exercise variation combines indoor cycling and video gaming. It helps enhance your workout performance and motivation. Studies also suggest that it encourages healthy competitiveness and brain functioning.
2. Why are adjustable exercise bike seats and handlebars important?
Our body structures are unique. Some have shorter legs, while others have longer arms. And our exercise bikes have to be adjustable to accommodate these variable characteristics. Otherwise, indoor cycling will only be uncomfortable or painful for many riders. Adjustability is also crucial for exercise bikes with screens to ensure the display matches your eye level.
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