If you’ve looked at indoor cycle bikes, you’ve likely seen varying flywheel sizes. Some wheels are heavy and upwards of 40 pounds. Other flywheels are much lighter, maxing out around 8 pounds. While there might be stark differences in size, there is very little difference in functionality.
Bigger isn’t better?
Weight does have some effect on flywheel performance. We’ve seen in basic physics that it takes more energy to get a heavier object moving, compared to smaller objects. Upon the first pedaling stroke, you’ll expend more energy getting the flywheel in motion on an indoor cycling bike. But once the flywheel is in motion, it’s all about keeping up the speed.
This is similar to how outdoor bikes work. A bicycle is rarely quick to start; it takes a lot of pedaling force to get it up to full speed. And when it is up to speed, the momentum created by pedaling will keep the bike moving.
Some indoor cyclists prefer larger flywheels. Larger flywheels simulate outdoor bikes and can often make pedaling a smoother experience. You can find larger flywheels in cycle bikes such as our best-selling SF-B901 Indoor Cycling Bike.
If you’re not looking for a bike that simulates the hard-to-start experience, consider getting a cycle bike with a lighter flywheel. These bikes make getting up to speed and starting your workout easer. Indoor cyclist that are looking jump straight into action may enjoy lighter flywheels. We’ve designed slim and sleek performance bikes with lighter flywheels, such as our SF-B1709 Magnetic Indoor Cycling Bike.
Which one burns the most calories?
While heavier flywheels require more energy to get moving, that experience has little to do with how many calories you can burn. For the most part, you’ll exert the most energy maintaining a set speed with applied resistance. The more resistance forced on your flywheel, the more calories you can expect to burn while keeping it in motion.
Not all resistance is the same. You’ll find bikes with contact resistance, such as felt and leather brake pads, and magnetic resistance.
So, which one should I buy?
Always remember, the best exercise equipment is the one that gets you moving every day. So, find a bike that fits your budget and your home gym space. Heavier flywheels can be ideal for individuals that prefer the feel of a bicycle. Lighter flywheels are great for the rider that’s ready to jump into action. But workout intensity is less about flywheel weight and more about applied resistance.
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