Many of the indoor fitness bikes — Spin bike brand included — lack one thing: fitness monitors.
There is absolutely no way to determine how fast or how far or how long your workout was.
The best you can do is to get a stop watch and to measure the length of time you workout for. But that is hardly satisfactory.
And keep in mind that a cheap, off-brand version of these bikes costs at least $450.
For most of us, that is a high-end piece of equipment.
Now, even with this drawback, I prefer these stationary bikes to the cheaper versions that most people buy at Walmart and Sears. These are built better and can deliver a better workout.
All we need to do is figure out how to record our workout. And, for $30, you can do that.
Spinning makes the “BIO” a wireless monitor that is made for their bikes. With the big display and heartrate compatibility, this would be my first choice for using on the MaddDog brand of machines. ($70-$180)
However, you don’t have to buy their expensive model. Something like the Raniaco
One that also includes wireless heartrate monitoring is going to run closer to $100.
The trick is to find zip ties long enough that you can secure the speed sensor to the fork. Sometimes the ones included in the package aren’t sufficient, but you can connect them or spend $.94 at Walmart and get a small package of them.
The other thing is the magnet. If the magnet included won’t work, basically any small magnet will do. You just need it to stay attached to the wheel as you pedal. You can even tape it to the wheel with duct tape or two-sided carpenter’s tape if you want.
It’s not entirely accurate as a 35 lb flywheel will give you a harder workout than a 25 pound one, but until there are more scientific tests done, it should give you a mileage number you can use to compare one workout to the next and make sure that you are improving in both speed and distance.
The #1 rule in working out is consistency, and the #2 rule is tracking your progress. By adding a cheap cyclometer, you are inspired to workout more and can easily track your fitness progress.