Treadmills Or Exercise Bikes? A Comparison

Okay, so those of us like myself who have lost weight will know that there are many ways to skin a cat, so to speak. If someone tells you that there is only one exercise that can get rid of body fat, they are lying. There, I said it! However, what I do acknowledge is that getting started is the difficult bit.

For those of us thinking about exercise, especially indoor exercises, one of the questions we might be considering is whether to get a treadmill or an exercise bike. In my particular case, I lost a lot of weight jogging in real life. Then my knees started to take an issue with it, and I moved on to an exercise bike. The rest of this article will talk more about the comparisons between them.

3dman_eu / Pixabay

There are hundreds of types of exercise equipment on the market, but for those who are after cardio, or even interval training, the most popular are treadmills and exercise bikes. Both of these are tried and tested, and unlike the other gimmicks, they actually do mimic well-known exercises that have stood the test of time.

The major problem most people find with at home exercise equipment is overcoming boredom. This is the case for me as well – that’s why I joined the gym. But I understand if you are not at that point yet, or if you have reasons why you will never reach that point. Totally understand it – I was once at that point myself.

Whether I’m at the gym or not, the only way for me to deal with it is to watch TV. Yes, I admit it. It’s almost a faux pas these days to admit that one watches TV, but I do. Of course, there is now a smorgasbord of other options such as Netflix. No one said that being on a cardio machine is fun. But it is healthy in the long run.

While the TV is relevant for both the exercise bike and treadmill, the main concern is safety. If you think about it in general terms, outdoor running is more taxing on the body than cycling outdoors. Obviously, if you have a history of knee injuries, like myself, you would want to favour cycling. This is relevant to both the exercise bike and outdoor cycling.

Another thing I would like to add is that people who have a lot of weight to lose should favour cycling also. That being said, ensure that the exercise bike in question has the strength to handle your weight – and you have to be honest about it. If you’re not there yet, get a treadmill, but start off slowly i.e. walking pace.

With treadmills, you also have to remember that you are putting much more stress on your joints.  With an upright exercise bike, users may stress your back while trying to reach handlebars. As such, another option might be recumbent bikes. Some have sworn that they can improve existing back pain by forcing proper posture and giving you support while exercising. I’m personally not a fan of it, so I’m just relaying what I know.

Time for my next hard truth! In general, running will burn more calories compared with cycling. This is because it takes more energy to move the entire body weight than have it supported by a device. That being said, cycling uphill or with high resistance at a sufficient intensity can burn as many calories as running.

There is also one more point I would like to make, although I’m not sure if it only applies to me. When I’m on the exercise bike with a high resistance level, I’m still able to watch TV while pedalling forcefully. With a treadmill, however, I find it hard to do that if I’m running at a high speed. This might not apply to you, so you can try it out yourself.

So what is the conclusion? Which should you get? Well, I hate to be wishy-washy about it, but it really depends on your needs and current state of fitness. If you have a lot of weight to lose, then walking on the treadmill, not running, is your best bet. If you have knee issues, then go with the exercise bike for sure. If you want to watch TV, then possibly the exercise bike too. All the best! We have plenty of treadmills and bikes on the Granite Fitness Online Store with heaps of reviews. Check them out.

These digital products are good too:


Disclaimer: This site still has affiliate links, i.e., we get a commission if you buy from us. However, we removed them as of 2023 :)


Thank you, but we are no longer accepting comments. Take that, bots!