Exercise Bike vs Treadmill – Which Is the Better Exercise Machine?

spin bike vs treadmill

When it comes to cardio exercise, comparing the stationary bike vs treadmill is one of the most controversial topics. That is mostly because they are probably the most popular choice for exercise machines, whether in a gym or for use at home. The workout they can provide is effective, and there are several resistance levels on either to give you a better sense of progress.

Both machines do a great job of providing aerobic exercise, which is good for your body. And exercise also helps reduce pain since it allows your body to release endorphins. Endorphins are a type of hormone that inhibits pain signals, not to mention it makes you feel better.

Aerobic exercises are useful in improving the symptoms of depressive disorders.

Stationary Bike or Treadmill?

Since these two machines can both provide intense aerobic exercises, which are proven to be useful, it's time to decide on which one to get. But before you choose, you need to know the factors you need to consider. To get us started, here are the benefits and the possible downsides that you need to know about each machine.

Stationary Bike

echelon connect bike isolated on white background


  • Helps in improving the flexibility of various leg muscles as well as ligaments
  • Lessens pressure on the lower back
  • Good for people that have a poor sense of balance
  • Multitude of workout plans or programs to choose from
  • You can multitask while working out


  • Fewer benefits for bone-building
  • It burns fewer calories compared to a treadmill or other workouts with similar intensity
  • Low weight limit


Treadmill or Stationary bike


  • Can burn more calories
  • Multitude of workout plans or programs to choose from
  • Better for the joints compared to running outside
  • Has shut-off features for safety


  • It puts more pressure on the lower back and the joints
  • You have fewer options for multitasking
  • Might be dangerous for people with a low sense of balance

Which Machine Burns More Calories: Stationary Bike vs Treadmill

When it comes to burning calories, a treadmill will let you burn far more than a stationary bike. This difference is because a treadmill workout forces you to engage your entire body, which burns more energy. The main reason is the difference in the operating position while exercising. You will be standing up on the treadmill, which forces you to carry your entire weight and propel it forward.

On the other hand, you will be sitting on a stationary bike, so the seat will support most of your weight. Additionally, there is less upper body movement when using the exercise bike.

However, this 'doesn't mean that treadmills are always better. If 'you're using a stationary exercise bike, there will be less pressure on the joints, allowing for more comfort and, thus, longer workouts. The workouts available to stationary bikes are also more varied.

In short, if 'you're looking to burn calories, treadmills are better if you want fast, intense workouts in short periods. On the other hand, exercise bikes are better if you have more time. With the stationary bike, you will need about three times the amount of time to burn the same calories as on the treadmill.

Treadmill or Exercise Bike for Belly Fat?

One of the most effective ways to get rid of abdominal fat while maintaining muscle mass is through high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Luckily, HIIT programs are available for both stationary bikes and treadmills. Specific models of both might also come with the programs built-in, which can help your training.

So, in general, neither solution is better than the other as they can both be as effective in getting rid of stomach fat.

The aerobic exercises that you can get from either an exercise bike or a treadmill are great for shredding off unwanted body weight. According to the CDC, even a little body weight decrease of 5-10% can already have substantial health benefits.

They also mentioned that maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping it up is the secret to keeping your weight low. Because of this, make sure that the exercise machine you chose is something 'you'll enjoy, so 'you're still likely to continue using even in the future.

However, keep in mind that treadmills burn more calories than exercise bikes. But to combat that, you can exercise longer on the exercise bike to compensate.

In this regard, it is crucial to choose the one that will provide you with the exercises you'll enjoy the most. While bearing in mind the time it will take to burn enough calories. So if you have little time, then the treadmill is best. Otherwise, either solution will work adequately to help you lose weight.

How Does a Treadmill or Stationary Bike Compare to Other Fitness Machines?

There are several other machines capable of providing intense workouts for cardio. Elliptical machines, for example, simulate the movement involved in running while simultaneously reducing the strain on the joints to allow for longer, more intense workouts. However, the action is less dynamic, so the workouts are less varied.

Meanwhile, exercising with rowing machines is more thorough. Like exercise bikes, the cardio workout is low impact with minimal joint pains. However, a proper posture is necessary for rowing, so a certain degree of proficiency is necessary. Additionally, a rowing machine takes up much more space than the other equipment, which can also be noisy.

In the end, having a variety is always a plus, so using various types of equipment is the best choice. However, if you only wish to keep one exercise machine, it's better to go for one with more variety and several settings.

We also recommend identifying your fitness goals, as that will help you select the right machine for you. For cardio exercise, we recommend the treadmill or elliptical. The stationary bike or rower machine is excellent if you want a low-intensity workout.

Also, consider whether or not a machine has programs built into it; these will help in making your workouts easier but still enjoyable.

Which Is the Better Solution for Exercising with Bad Knees?

The motion of running is inherently bad for your knees, regardless of whether you do it on a treadmill or outdoors. The jarring motion produced on the knees every time you land on a hard surface will further damage your knees.

On the other hand, the exercises you can do on a stationary bike are low impact. As a result, they will put less strain on the joints while still working out your leg muscles. We've recently compiled a list of the best exercise for bad knees, where we reviewed the top models. Exercise bikes are especially suitable for bad knees if recovering from knee injuries.

The Cost Difference: Exercise Bike vs Treadmill

When comparing exercise equipment for your home gym, you also want to take a closer look at the price differences between the two.

Treadmills are generally going to be more expensive than stationary bikes. The different price points you will find for treadmills vary greatly depending on the features they have and the type you choose. There are motorized and manual models. Motorized are more expensive and are packed full of more advanced features such as incline, motor, heart rate monitor, and calorie counter.

Spin Bike vs Treadmill

What about a spin bike vs treadmill? Spin bikes and stationary bikes are similar, but there are a few notable differences to keep in mind. The biggest difference is the weight of the flywheel and how it operates. A spin bike will have a heavier flywheel than a stationary bike. It is also connected directly to the bike's pedals with a chain. It is very similar to how a bicycle is designed.

Since a spin bike more closely represents the type of bike you would use on the roadways, it is a more customizable workout involving acceleration and coasting. An exercise bike or stationary bike is less intense because you use them for indoor cycling during endurance sessions and are used from a seated position.

Recumbent Bike vs Upright Bike

If you have decided that an exercise bike is the best exercise equipment for you, then you may be wondering about the differences between a recumbent bike and upright bike.

An upright bike is recommended for those without physical limitations. It promotes a full body workout and engages more muscles than a recumbent bike.

A recumbent bike is for those who find pedaling and sitting for too long unbearable. A recumbent bike allows you to work out your lower body and muscles with less impact on your joints. The seat is larger and lower, making it easier to get on and off and maintain your balance. It offers a cardiovascular workout without much pedaling effort.


After comparing the stationary bike vs treadmill, the bottom line is that the solution for you all depends on your personal preferences. For most persons, a treadmill is perfect as they help you burn calories quickly. However, if you suffer from any physical injury, the exercise bike is the better solution.

FAQ: Exercise Bike vs Treadmill

Still have questions? Review our brief FAQ below for more valuable information you can use to choose the best treadmill or the best bike to reach your fitness goals.

Should I exercise on both a treadmill and exercise bike?

If you want to mix your treadmill exercise with your exercise bike workout, then you may be onto something great. Alternating your cardio workout like this can help reduce your risk of overuse injury and can also help increase your motivation and endurance during your workouts. You won't find yourself becoming bored with just one piece of exercise equipment when you have two to switch between.

How does exercising on a treadmill or exercise bike compare to other exercise machines?

The answer to this really depends on a few things, including your resistance and how fast you are performing. When it comes to your cardiovascular health, running and cycling can prove to be equally beneficial. However, when it comes to weight loss, you want to use exercise equipment that works out more muscle groups and burns more calories.

When will I see results from using a treadmill?

You can begin to notice a positive difference after using your treadmill for two to three weeks while following a regular exercise routine. When you find that the workout isn't as challenging as it once was, increase the duration of the workout.

How many calories do you burn on a stationary bike?

If you cycle at a moderate pace on a stationary bike for 30 minutes, you can burn approximately 260 calories. More vigorous biking can allow you to burn close to 400 calories in that same timeframe.

What is the best to increase stamina, running on the treadmill or riding an exercise bike?

To build up and increase stamina when using an exercise bike, you want to increase the resistance every once in a while. This can help build strength and work out the lower body muscles. On a treadmill, consider using different inclines and variations of speed to improve stamina.

What are the best ways to lose belly fat while cycling?

To lose belly fat while cycling, maintain a steady pace, try interval training, combine cycling with off-the-bike exercise, eat right, lower stress levels, and note the importance of post-cycling rest and recovery.

What are the best ways to lose belly fat while on the treadmill?

To lose more weight on the treadmill, consider using weighted bands or walking with weights. This can increase the number of calories you burn with each treadmill workout. In addition to the weight, add an incline to get your heart rate up and increase your endurance.