Comparing Indoor Cycling and Outdoor Biking

Comparing Indoor Cycling and Outdoor Biking

Incorporating regular exercise into your lifestyle yields many long-term health benefits. And today, biking is largely recognized by health educators as one of the most effective ways to exercise. It has been attributed to reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and diabetes. It has also been linked to strengthening self-esteem and emotional, social, and cognitive well-being.

As health educators are dedicated to helping individuals achieve wellness at all stages in their lives, they recommend biking because it is very easy to integrate into daily routines.

Cycling can be done both indoors and outdoors, offering a diverse range of experiences. But what are the main differences between the two?

Health benefits

Cycling has been linked to health benefits like improved cardiovascular and lung health, maintaining weight and blood pressure, and improved mental health. In addition to upping your fitness levels, it’s also low-impact so it’s a safe choice for older adults with weaker joints.


When it comes to burning calories with cycling, medical experts note that stationary biking has been found to burn slightly fewer calories than outdoor biking. However, it is much easier to undertake a fat-burning exercise on an indoor bike using high-intensity interval or HIIT training. A 125lb person doing a HIIT cycling session for 30 minutes can burn up to 468 calories. An outdoor cyclist would find it much harder to find the right environment to do a HIIT workout but the results would most likely be much greater.


But when exercising at a moderate pace, outdoor cycling can be more effective at burning calories. A 155lb individual biking outdoors at a moderate pace for 30 minutes can burn approximately 298 calories. A person of the same weight biking at the same pace and time can burn about 260 calories indoors. Outdoor cycling is also a full-body workout, while indoor cycling focuses more on the legs.

When it comes to sweat rate, though, indoor cycling has the upper hand. Indoor cycling can also lead to a higher sweat rate. Outdoor cycling allows natural air circulation to lower skin temperatures, but working out indoors leads to reduced airflow.


Experience is where the activity can vary dramatically, especially in terms of versatility and safety. Indoor cycling can be more relaxing, as you don’t have to be focused on your environment. All your attention is on performance. You can also elevate your workout by controlling the air conditioning or watching TV as you cycle. It can also be community-oriented if you want to hire a trainer or join a virtual or in-person spin class. This way, it can be very versatile depending on your mood.

Outdoor biking, however, requires your full attention since you’re exposed to environmental factors. And unlike indoor biking, you have to take into consideration your location and the potential risk of a flat tire. Yet, the biggest benefit of outdoor cycling is how easily you can incorporate it into your day-to-day life, such as making it part of your commute. There are also many more options, such as discovering new trails or roads. It can also be community-oriented if you recruit a group of friends to go with you. Cycling to travel can make you one with the scenery, promote health, and build new memories.





Depending on your preferences, cycling can be very affordable or costly. Many dedicated outdoor bikers like to customize their road bikes, and if you’re going for high-end models or gear, they can cost over $10,000. However, if you’re just starting out and aren’t planning to engage in challenging routes just yet, then you can find road bikes in the $200 to $900 range, depending on whether you buy brand new or secondhand.


On the other hand, a stationary indoor bike can range anywhere from $300 to $3,000. Again, it all depends on your preference. You can break a sweat easily with a standard stationary bike, but it can get pricier if you’re looking for more sophisticated display options or add-on accessories. You might also have to consider fees if you’re going to join a class.

Whether you do it indoors or outdoors, cycling offers countless health benefits. If you are looking for a fully-rounded workout, outdoor biking is the best option. Indoor cycling is recommended for those with less time, in urban areas, or looking for shorter high intensity exercises. These three comparisons show how many factors you can control when it comes to cycling to improve your well-being.


Exclusively prepared for

Prepared by: JBedford


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