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Don't Just Spin Your Wheels...Get the Most Out of Your Bike Workout!

It may be tempting to think that all exercise bikes are created equal, but there are some differences which may be useful to know when incorporating indoor cycling into your exercise program.


For instance, there are three distinct modes of operation on CYBEX bicycles – Bike mode, Constant Power mode and an Isokinetic option (which we’ll get into later with a different article). The Bike mode program responds as if you were riding outdoors. While riding outside, the faster you go, the harder the pedaling gets.  This is due to wind resistance, and the drag it places on your body.  At relatively slow speeds, there’s a small increase in pedaling effort, but when your pace exceeds 15 MPH, the going gets much harder.  Over 20 MPH and the going gets very tough.  Bike mode functions the same way.  The faster you pedal, the harder it gets. This is the ideal mode to get you ready for the road. If you’re a bit competitive, try challenging your training partner – it is applied to the Quick Start and Manual options on the CYBEX Cyclone bike.

The Constant Power mode works a little differently.  Very simply, the power on the bike varies with resistance and speed.  This means that if you’re riding at a fixed resistance and you increase your speed, your power will increase as well.  Reduce your speed, and your power declines.  With Constant Power mode, you can set the bike at a specific power training level, and the bike will keep you there, regardless of how your speed fluctuates.  In other words, slow down and resistance increases; speed up, and resistance declines.

The first advanced program on the Cyclone bike is Constant Power, from which you can select any power level from 20-900 watts for your workout. This mode of use can be a huge value for instructors, trainers and users alike to control minimum or maximum power output, irrespective of pace. Knowing that your power output will be consistent even if your pace varies is often really helpful especially if your RPM varies according the beat of your favorite music!

Ben Wilde
International Director of Education and Training