Can anyone recommend a decent but basic exercise bike please?

As subject line really. I don't need all the bells and whistles, just something that isn't too big to go in the boxroom and that will help me improve my stamina and leg strength. I have a normal bike but haven't ridden it much as, despite walking quite a bit, I just don't seem to have the strength (I'm 66) that I used to and can't cycle even the slightest incline without getting off which is just too humiliating! I live in a very rural area surrounded by hills most of which seem to go up! I also found myself using my hands to lift my leg over a stile the other day. Ridiculous!

I want to use an indoor bike over winter so I can build up strength and start to use the outside bike again in Spring. Or would one of these combined cross trainer/bike thingies be better? Ilona, do you still find yours helpful?

I thought maybe about £100? Or is that too ridiculous? Advice please. Thanks



  • amfanamfan Forumite
    108 Posts
    Fifth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Forumite the OP in this thread ended up buying an exericse bike, they quoted the catalogue number in post 16 and seemed fairly pleased with it.
  • PollycatPollycat Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Savvy Shopper!
    I did have a very cheap exercise bike years ago but found it very uncomfortable seat-wise.

    I then bought a cross trainer and love it - and use it 6 days a week - but you might find it too big for your room.
  • IlonaIlona Forumite
    2.4K Posts
    Ilona, do you still find yours helpful?

    Hi. I still have my cross trainer....but....I don't use it as much as I used to, or should do. After a few minutes my mind wanders and I think about other things I could be doing. It's good in the winter when the days are shorter and I can use it at any time of the day and night. I also get on it to keep warm rather than put the heating on.

    Personally I think a cross trainer is better than a bike, it exercises your whole body. Mine cost £150, but I had £50 of vouchers to put to it.

    I wonder what levels of fitness you are expecting to get up to. Yes, 66 year old's do go on long bike rides, but if you are not used to it you will be a bit creaky. If you get a machine now and stick at it all through the winter you might be ready to get on your road bike in the spring. Are you prepared to put the time in? You might be bored with it in a month or two.

    You say you walk quite a bit, is that rambling or fast power walking? You might think about upping your game. Set yourself targets, like the Walk 1000 miles in one year. I started with that last year, now I am doing 100 miles a month. I have a three mile route around my village which I do almost every day, it takes me 50 minutes. I also do longer walks as well. I recently walked 110 miles in six days. I am 68 and I am doing pretty good with just walking.

    What I am saying is that you can up your fitness levels without spending a lot of money. All you need is a good pair of boots or trainers.

    Don't be embarrassed about getting of your bike and walking up a hill, who cares what anyone else thinks.

    Also look at your diet. Try and eat the best food that you can.

    I love skip diving.
  • GloomendoomGloomendoom Forumite
    16.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Where are you located? I have a gadget that turns an ordinary bike into an exercise bike that you can have if you want it.
  • downshifterdownshifter Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    Well gosh, thank you so much for the responses everyone. I hadn't come across the thread you mention amfan even though I thought I'd done a fairly comprehensive search. That's interesting. Thanks too for the advice about the cross trainer Pollycat and Ilona. Yes I have a similar circular walk to the nearest village, it's about 5 miles and I try and cut back across the fields which is a steep hill up, weather allowing, and I also try to keep a steady upbeat pace. (I imagine I'm Julia Bradbury marching across the moors, she goes at a good pace and rhythm I reckon) - but I don't do it every day and a combination of work and dark nights will soon mean I do it less too. I also walk further once a week with a friend, usually about 8 miles or so, but that's more of a ramble and a gossip catchup! I also like the Youtube videos by Leslie Sansone. None of this really seems to strengthen my legs any more tho.

    And Gloomendoom, what an incredibly kind offer, thank you. I have actually looked into those gizmos (turbo somethings? they were in Aldi a while back) but I have nowhere downstairs or outside to use it and doubt I'd be able to get my bike up to the boxroom, let alone down again, it's fiendishly heavy. So I will reluctantly turn down your offer but hope you can rehome it elsewhere.

    I cycle on holiday with no problem, tow paths, campsites, old railway lines, that sort of thing but not at home in these hills!

    Thank you everyone, lots of food for thought and more research needed I reckon, but I'm getting the feeling that a trainer would be more useful. Maybe if I find a folding one it would be best so it can be stored away when I have visitors.

    DS X
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