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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am just curious what the general differences are in terms of physical benefits between riding a real bike and a stationary bike? I realize it depends on resistance (stationary) and outdoor conditions and route.<br><br>
Also, what differences are there in a recumbent stationary bike verses a regular one? I thought it focussed on different muscles or something. Anyone know?
 

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The big difference is wind resistance, imho. It's always harder to ride outside, similar to how it's usually harder to run outside than on a treadmill. Plus, I always feel like it's harder to sandbag when you are riding outside on a real bike. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
However, the other big factor for me is the actual bike and seat. I hate, hate, hate regular stationary bike seats. It's nothing like riding my road bike. So since I do triathlons, it's important that I train on my bike as often as possible.<br><br>
I think the recumbent does use some different muscles. But the ones at my gym make my knees hurt, so I don't use them...
 

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Right, wind is a huge factor outdoors that you can't duplicate indoors. It's amazing what winds do to your speed. Also road conditions, like a smooth road vs. more rough, make a difference outdoors. Outdoors you have to shift gears to adjust to changing conditions. My upper body feels it more outdoors as well partly because I still white knuckle on the road bike too much, but also just handling and controlling the bike. Little things like grabbing a water bottle require balance that you don't have to think about inside. Plus outdoors you have to be a lot more alert to traffic, debris in the road, changing conditions, etc., so it's mentally harder too.<br><br>
A recumbent bike is easier on your spine and back muscles, since you're in a more upright position, but IMO it's the La-Z-Boy of exercise machines. It's too easy to veg out with a book on a recumbent! <i>Or maybe that's just me.</i>
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wind resistance and balance both make alot of sense as big differences. I exclusively use the stationary bike because, ahem, <span style="font-size:xx-small;">I can't ride a bike.</span> I guess I just better make sure I put it on a challenging resistance and keep up the rpms.
 

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it depends. A stationary bike per se, I find easier. Today, I had my own bike on a trainer and I find it way touger than riding outside because you never stop pedaling and the trainer does put resistance on the wheel...I didn't have a computer on, so I have no idea if I was outputting more wattage though
 

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The main difference is that the stationary bike is -- stationary. The bike stays in the same position without any effort on your part. Riding stationary can make you sweat buckets, but it develops no bike handling skills whatsoever. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It depends on your goals. If you want to develop cycling strength and endurance, the stationary bike is a great tool. But, if you also want to develop the neuromuscular skills required to make the bike go exactly where you want it to go despite constantly varying road conditions, there is no substitute for riding outdoors.
 

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I agree with most of what has already been said, you don't get the advantage of the terrain, (read hills), etc<br><br>
But I use a road bike on a trainer, and to vary the work out, I change gears, although it does not create the same effect, there are workout benefits
 

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<img alt="hello2.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/hello2.gif"><br>
2 weeks on the bike and already 2 falls.<img alt="sad2.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/sad2.gif"> Today's was pretty bad as I had one foot already unclipped and then leaned to the clipped side...I did this coming into a pit stop of a bike tour and only about 30 people saw. <img alt="sad10.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/sad10.gif">
 

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I've done the exact same thing. Ouch and embarassing! Yesterday I could not click out and managed to fall once and narrowly avoid being hit by a car once. I don't think my friend will want to go riding together again!
 

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Cappy,<br>
why are you always on the trainer?<br><br><br>
I admit, I've been afraid to venture out since my flat tire. My tires are very difficult to change, I don't have the thumb strength to get the tire on the rim.
 

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I did the same thing at a stoplight recently, unclipped one side and put that foot down. Someone asked me to press the crosswalk signal (it's a bike trail that crosses a very busy road) and of course I leaned to the wrong side to press the button. The worst part was that my bike slid into the bike next to me and knocked that gal over. She probably won't ride with me again.<img alt="sad.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/sad.gif">
 
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