Spin Bike or Treadmill: Which is the Better Option?

Spin Bike or Treadmill
Written by Steve M. Ford

One of the best ways to get a good cardio workout is to invest in an indoor exercise machine. Two great examples are the spin bike and treadmill. Both machines do not only work on your cardio but can also up your heart rate, helping you burn some calories. They are a great alternative to training outdoors which might not always be convenient.

If you’re thinking about setting up your home gym or attending a local gym class, you may be wondering which is better – spin bike or treadmill. The quick answer is that both machines are great, and the best match for you will depend on your personal preference, fitness goals, and the type of workout you’re looking for. 

In this write-up, we will compare the treadmill and spin bike to help you decide which one to prioritize in your fitness routine. Let’s delve straight in!

What is a Treadmill

A treadmill is a type of cardio machine that allows users to work out indoors by running or walking on the machine. Its main feature is a belt platform that constantly moves when the machine is in operation. At any point, you can change the speed of the belt to suit your workout intensity.

The treadmill described above is motorized. 

Non-motorized treadmills also exist though they are not as popular as the motorized versions. This option usually features a running surface that is slightly curved. Users are required to move the belt themselves to generate speed. As a result, you are more likely to expend more energy on the machine than you would on the motorized version.

Treadmills typically have a handle on both sides of the running platform. 

What is a Spin Bike?

A spin bike is another cardio equipment that is used for indoor cycling. It is outfitted with a seat and pedals that enable it to perform like a standard road bike. It’s basically a stripped-down version of the latter. So, riding on a spin bike will give you the feeling of riding a regular bicycle with the added benefit that you would be cycling indoors. 

Spin bikes generally have a heavier flywheel than regular exercise bikes. Thus, it requires more effort from riders to get the bike moving, which can result in higher cadence. 

Spin Bike or Treadmill Comparison

So, how does a spin bike stack against a treadmill? In this section, we will look at five main areas where a spin bike differs from a treadmill.

Safety and Impact

A spin bike is generally safer to use than a treadmill. This is because it has a low impact on the joints, which can be great for people who are still nursing an injury. Also, if you don’t want something that will stress you too much, a spin bike will be a perfect match, especially if it has a heavy flywheel.

On the other hand, treadmills have a higher impact on the joints and may not be the best option for someone with an injury problem. 

Another thing to note here is that, with a treadmill, you run the risk of hurting yourself if you miss a step. Whereas, on a spin bike, the risk of slipping is significantly lower though you still need to be careful when slowing down. The inclusion of an emergency brake system makes things much easier.

Noise Level

Treadmills typically make a lot of noise, which comes from the pounding of your feet, the weight of the equipment, and sometimes, a sweating motor. So, it might be difficult to watch TV or listen to music while using the machine, except if you use earphones or headphones. 

On the other hand, spin bikes are not noisy, which makes them great for apartments. 

Two things that determine the noise level are the type of drive and resistance. Bikes with a belt drive and magnetic resistance are usually very quiet. However, chain-driven models with frictional resistance can be a bit noisy but not as noisy as treadmills.


In terms of price, treadmills are typically more expensive than spin bikes. This is why you will find more people opting for a spin bike or exercise bike generally. 

The higher cost of treadmills is mainly linked to their use of electric motors, more sophisticated consoles and massive size. 

The exact cost of a treadmill or bike will depend on the exact model you purchase. Factors such as the size of the treadmill, the inclusion of an electric motor, and the features of the spin bike will ultimately determine what you spend at the end of the day.

Spin Bike or Treadmill: Which One Should You Choose?

Overall, the better choice between a treadmill and a spin bike will depend on the type of workout you are accustomed to and what you wish to achieve. That said, both pieces of equipment will provide a good cardio workout. However, while a treadmill is meant for indoor running, a spin bike is designed for indoor cycling.

A spin bike is quieter and will not take up as much space as a treadmill. It is also easier to maintain. But a treadmill can help you burn slightly more calories due to its ground resistance. 

Instead of choosing one, you can combine both pieces of equipment as a cross-training routine. It will do great for your weight loss goals and overall health. 

About the author

Steve M. Ford

Hey! My name is Steve M. Ford and I am a fitness expert. I have been working in the fitness industry for over 10 years, and I have a lot of experience and knowledge to share with others. I am 6’0″ tall and weigh 149.2 pounds. I am in the best shape of my life and I want to help others achieve the same level of fitness and health. I have a lot of advice to share when it comes to diet, exercise, and overall health. I believe that living a healthy lifestyle is one of the most important things you can do for yourself, and I am passionate about helping others achieve this.

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