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Is the bike worth it?

I have creaky knees and through reading many threads here, have heard that the bike is a good alternative for running etc. So I tried it yesterday, and frankly I didn't feel much. I barely broke a sweat (and I'm not super fit), and if I pedaled any faster I may have taken flight. And yes, I did have resistance programmed in. This is a serious question: am I just not doing it right or is the bike a waste of time compared to other activities?

Tue. Apr 1, 9:23am

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Maybe the bike was broken...

just kidding....

were you on a recumbant or regular bike? I find I workout harder on the Spinning type bikes. I tend to adjust the resistance manually and work in intervals. I am in pretty good shape and break a sweat everytime. Just make sure you have enough resistance and you should get a good workout in.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008, 9:28 AM

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with bikes you have to work more to get a workout - as in you have to really figure out the resistance that works for you. Crank it up to about 3/4 the max resistance before you can not push the pedals and do that for 10 min, then drop it down to 50% for 5, and back up to 75% again, and so on.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008, 9:32 AM

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waste of time

I cannot see how the bike could possibly be a better workout than the eliptical with handles or nordic track or rowing machine for your "creaky knees". You are sitting on your butt for cryin' out loud! I know Lance Armstrong is in great shape, but majority of the time when I do it (rarely) or see someone else on the bike, they are not getting a good workout - even if you could set the resistance and go hard, YOU ARE SITTING ON YOUR BUTT !

Try some of the other options first. - Just my take.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008, 9:52 AM

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I was on the recumbent bike b/c I figured it wouldn't hurt my butt as much. And I've been told by my ortho that ellipticals can be damaging to knees because your foot/knee/hip alignment is out of whack. Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking for an easy ride (no pun intended). I enjoy running and the doing the elliptical. This was my first time really using a bike for cardio and I didn't want to write it off if there were some tips out there.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008, 10:19 AM

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A real bike (road or mountain) will give you much more of a workout than a stationary bike. That is why lance armstrong is so buff. That and exercise is job. The spinning bikes are the closest to the real deal.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008, 10:57 AM

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I have a stationary bike with the handles like an elliptical. I use it on days where I want to take it a bit easier, and I still break a good sweat.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008, 11:49 AM

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Yeah....I am a big supporter of real biking too. I definitely get a good workout that way. The intervals are real (hills) and it is fun.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008, 12:04 PM

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I don't know if it's possible to get a good "bike" workout at the gym, Especially on one of those lay-down-and-nap things. As others have said, the spin bikes are the closest to riding a real bike, but those are no match for actually riding a real bike.

I can tell you that if you start putting on 50-100 miles a week on the road, you'll get a good workout and you will break a sweat.

My advice would be to get a real bike.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008, 12:13 PM

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I hate the bike - it works nothing but my quads and takes a ridiculous amount of effort to burn even 350 cals/hr, but I can fast-walk on the treadmill on a pretty minor incline for about 450 cals/hr and really feel it in my hamstrings and even obliques. So I skip the bike for its inefficient calorie burning (because, as the shouting poster above pointed out, it's not weight-bearing because you're sitting) and concentration on a single muscle.

If walking doesn't bother your creaky knee, hop on the treadmill and build up some serious speed. Don't mess with the incline at first though, because that's usually a stumbling block for people with knee problems. Stick to a 2.0 or less.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008, 12:13 PM

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The calorie burn was what alarmed me too! Here I was, busting my butt (well maybe just my legs), I was barely sweating and I had only burned like 150 cal!! I think any exercise that allows you to read during it is suspicious......

Tuesday, April 01, 2008, 2:15 PM

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I love my recumbent bike. I do 60-90 minutes every day and my shirt is soaked every time even though I don't feel like I am really working very hard. I've been able to consistently lose 1lb per week when doing this along with calorie counting.

Everyone has to find what works for them. It's easy for me because I get to see in front of the TV and burn calories. If I switched to something else, I just might not stick to it very long.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008, 11:32 PM

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My butt would literally fall off if I sat on that thing for 60-90 minutes. I was uncomfortable after 30!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008, 9:31 AM

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Stationary Bike = Going nowhere with your fitness level

Wednesday, April 02, 2008, 10:11 AM

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I use the stationary bike on my "days off" (1-2x/week) and watch the TV, read, etc. just to keep my muscles moving and keep my mind in fitness mode.
I also ride it every other day for about 10-15 min before or after my "real" cardio because I have knee problems and it helps with patellar tracking and VMO strength.
As PP have said, try spinning classes or get a real (outdoor) bike if you want a good workout on a bike.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008, 10:18 AM

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l sweat buckets in my spinning classes. Its a great cardio workout. However its not as good as outdoor cycling on hills for engaging the core, working on balance, etc. I agree with earlier post, I fall asleep on recumbants at the gym.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008, 6:34 PM

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It makes my thighs big!!

Thursday, April 03, 2008, 4:44 PM

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I use to use the recumbant bike when I was in my 240's it worked well for me at that weight, but now at 160 it doesn't do a thing for me. So if you are starting out I think it should help but after awhile it won't do so well. Just my experience.

Friday, April 04, 2008, 10:52 PM

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Real bikes and spinners

Hey OP,
Real bikes are what you need to be on, or as a PP said, spinning bikes. I had the same issues as you with stationary bikes- an hour or more on the thing would be the only way for me to really break a sweat, and then I could barely walk, my butt hurt so much.
Spinning bikes, if your gym has them, are insane. The resistance wheel in the middle will have you crying for your mama after 5 mins. Try a spinning class, you won't regret it!
I happen to think Ellipticals are a waste of time. All that bouncing up and down? ugh.
Skiers like Nordic Track are good though. Try those if this whole bike thing goes bust! :)

Saturday, April 05, 2008, 9:19 PM

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