When it comes to getting a great workout, your motivation isn’t the only thing that matters. The type of cardio equipment you use can make a big impact on your workout intensity, enjoyment, and the results you are able to achieve.
Treadmills are excellent cardio machines for walking, jogging, and running. Everyone from occasional walkers to marathon runners can enjoy a treadmill workout from the comfort of their own home. Likewise, spin bikes are excellent machines for people of all ages and fitness levels. They offer a convenient cardio workout with low stress on joints and ligaments.
Many people don’t have the space for a full home gym or only want to invest time and money in one machine. If you are on the fence about whether to get a home treadmill or spin bike, consider which machine better suits your needs and offers the most benefits. Both cardio machines are incredibly beginner friendly, easy to set up, and easy to use, so when it comes to buying a spin bike vs treadmill, which is better for you?
Which Machine Burns More Calories– It Depends
Many people purchase cardio equipment to get in better shape and lose weight. If losing weight is your primary motivation in comparing a spin bike vs treadmill and choosing a type of machine, calculate calorie burn for your workouts on both a treadmill and spin bike.
For example, a 155-pound (70.3 kg) person running at 5 mph (12-minute mile pace) for 30 minutes on a treadmill burns approximately 288 calories. The same person cycling for 30 minutes on a spin bike at a moderate pace would burn approximately 252 calories, while a vigorous stationary bike pace would burn approximately 278 calories (according to a recent Harvard University study).
A simple METS to calories calculator and a list of common activity METS can help you decide which machine will help you burn more calories. If you are interested in purchasing cardio equipment based solely on the number of calories you can burn in a short amount of time, the way you use each machine will help you to choose the better machine for your needs.
Which is Better for Posture – Treadmill
Many people are guilty of neglecting their posture or getting into poor posture habits due to the way they sit, work, and even exercise. When it comes to maintaining good posture and keeping the spine in a neutral position, the treadmill is the better option when compared to a spin bike.
A natural spin position, as opposed to a curving or arching at the lower back, is important for maintaining a healthy and strong spine and reducing spinal pain or conditions from developing. Cycling often results in a hunched-over posture or a position that has the head down and the back or backside raised.
Some cyclists can get tight hips and a bad back if they fail to stretch out after spin bike sessions. If you already sit at a desk for work or school, or you crane your neck for your job, then a treadmill is a natural way to work on your posture and get a good workout. In the spin bike vs treadmill debate, the treadmill wins for better posture.
Which is Better for Joints – Spin Bike
Many people seek out low-impact exercise to reduce the risk of injury or to reduce the impact on their joints. Running on a treadmill is a high-impact exercise and is less beneficial to joints and ligaments compared to cycling on a spin bike.
Cycling is a low-impact exercise, which means that it puts less stress on bones, joints, and ligaments when compared to walking or running on a treadmill. Stationary bikes are also typically safer than treadmills, which can cause slip and fall or tripping injuries. If you suffer from a chronic injury or pain, a spin bike may be a better option for staying fit and reducing the chance of further injury or pain flare-ups.
However, walking on a treadmill and cycling on a spin bike are two of the gentlest exercises for those who have had a knee replaced with an artificial joint, so don’t discount walking on a treadmill entirely.
Which Takes Up Less Space – Tie
Spin bikes typically have a smaller footprint than treadmills; however, many treadmills fold up smaller and take up less space when stored in a closet or under a bed or couch. Spin bikes don’t offer the benefit of folding flat or neatly storing away underneath furniture.
For a very space conscious shopper, a folding treadmill is the best option for a great workout that won’t take over your home. However, if you prefer a full-size machine that offers more durability, then a spin bike may be the better option.
Non-folding treadmills are typically larger than spin bikes of comparable brands and features and require access to an electrical outlet–whereas many spin bikes do not require electricity to use.
Which is Better for Building Muscle – Spin Bike
Although you may not initially think about building muscle when using cardio equipment, they are a great way to get toned and target muscle groups you want to focus on working out.
You might notice that those who frequently bike have large thigh and calf muscles, because cycling on a spin bike activates the quadriceps and is an excellent workout for many lower body muscles. In the debate between spin bike vs treadmill for building muscle, the spin bike tends to do a better job for casual users.
While running on a treadmill is also a great way to work out your legs, thighs, and calves, along with increasing your cardiovascular health, the spin bike takes the win for building total body muscle. This makes owning a spin bike the perfect option for anyone from pro athletes to normal people who want to improve the appearance of their lower body muscles.
Which is Better for Program Intensity– Treadmill
Although spin bikes and treadmills offer build-in programs, guided exercise, and even group classes in some cases, they do differ when it comes to program intensity. A spin bike is usually self-guided, meaning the workout is as intense as you make it. You can enjoy a light workout or join a high-intensity spin class and follow along to your instructor’s guided workout.
A treadmill has pre-set intensity levels and training programs that force the user to follow along at a certain incline, speed, or interval to achieve their goals. For users who want a machine that they can easily follow along to at the push of a button, consider purchasing a treadmill.
Treadmills offer low, medium, and high intensity workout intervals to help users build up to their desired workout and cool down after reaching their goals. When deciding between a spin bike vs treadmill, a treadmill offers more built-in intensity programs to push your limits.
Which Machine Costs Less – Tie
Although some might say one type of machine costs less than another, the price of a treadmill and a spin bike are comparable–especially with different brands, features, and deals available to choose from for each machine. When it comes to a spin bike vs treadmill, the prices tend to be similar.
A budget home treadmill typically costs $300-$700; a mid-range treadmill costs $800-$1,800; and a high-end treadmill, $2,000-$5,500+. Similarly, spin bikes start at around $300 and can range up to over $6,000 for premium bikes with sought-after features. Many people find a price of about $1,000-$2,000 to be the sweet spot for a good quality machine that doesn’t break the bank.
At Gymsportz, we offer a variety of budget, mid-range, and high-end spin bike and treadmill equipment with price options for every budget. Whether you only have a few hundred to spend on a budget machine or have the money to invest in a high-end piece of equipment, we have options for every type of shopper and fitness enthusiast.
Which is Better? – You Decide
The truth is, neither machine is better than the other. Each piece of exercise equipment has its purpose and millions of people enjoy using the two machines to achieve the kind of fitness results they desire.
Whether you like going to spin class but don’t always have the time to go in person or love long walks or jogs but don’t have a safe or spacious area to do so, both kinds of machines offer an at-home workout you can enjoy. The best machine will depend on your workout intensity, personal preference, and the amount of effort that you are willing to put into using either a spin bike or treadmill.
Some people are naturally more drawn to cycling while others love walking or running, so the decision of which machine is better between spin bike vs treadmill comes down to personal preference. If you only have the space or money for one machine, consider which will best help you reach your goals.
Cross Training With Both Machines
Still not sure whether a spin bike vs treadmill is better for you? Try using both machines.
For weight loss, and improved aerobic fitness, consider cross training with both a home spin bike and a home treadmill. Using both machines will help you increase your cardio health and target and activate lower body muscles.
Modern versions of both machines offer integrated tablets for streaming entertainment, immersive workouts, and even group classes for added motivation and sense of community.