At the moment I cycle half an hour every evening, on a crappy indoor stationary bike.
BUT I'm pretty good, get some good speeds and distances etc.
I want to start cycling outside again, I want a bike similar to a stationary bike, one that rides similarly.
Maybe very few gears, or just one?
What would you guys recommend??

  • 2
    BTW, given how crappy even the best stationary bike is, I'm having trouble understanding why you'd want to duplicate the "feel" of one. Aug 3 '12 at 23:26

This really depends on the type of stationary bike you are talking about. There's the older style as well as bikes that resemble road bikes (at least in terms of body position), as well as some recumbent bikes. There are bicycles that match pretty well to all three of those stationary bikes. However, it's worth mentioning that just because you are comfortable on a stationary bike, does not mean you will be comfortable on a bike with the same posture. For instance the first bike I linked to is very much upright. A bike like that would be fine for a quick trip to the corner store, but you would probably tire of it quickly if you were trying to get some serious exercise.

  • Ah, that's very helpful. I have a stationary bike very similar to the first one you linked to. So try to get serious exercise on it would probably be quite uncomfortable. I think I need to experiment. Thanks Kibbee!!
    – twgoff
    Aug 3 '12 at 20:54
  • Yeah, the old upright style of bike would most closely resemble a cruiser such as this (trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/town/cruiser/mens_cruiser) which as the picture shows, are fine for cruising on the beach, or a ride through town, but for fitness they probably aren't the optimal choice.
    – Kibbee
    Aug 3 '12 at 20:58

A very significant factor with 99% of stationary bikes is that they have no momentum -- when you stop pedaling the bike stops, and it takes extra effort to resume pedaling, even if you only stopped for an instant. You simply can't reproduce this behavior on a "real world" bike.

Beyond that, your basic stationary bikes provide no variability in resistance, whereas "in the real world" even riding on the flat there is variability as the road goes up and down slightly, the wind shifts, etc. Reproducing the lack of variability requires a very smooth, flat road on a windless day. (More sophisticated stationary bikes do provide variability, though it's rarely very realistic.)

And, as Kibbee stated, stationary bikes vary in posture, from very upright to quite recumbent. The most upright stationary bikes probably resemble a track bike, while others more of a "cruiser".

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