treadmill vs spin bike

Treadmill vs Spin Bike: Which is Better for Cardio?

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Working out at home is the new norm. If you’re a newbie, choosing exercise equipment for your home gym might be challenging. Treadmill vs spin bike, which machine should you go for?

In the article below we compare running on a treadmill vs spinning on a bike. Both exercises have their respective advantages to help you achieve your fitness goals as well as disadvantages that may concern you.

Face Off: Treadmill Vs Spin Bike

Body Muscles Worked

What muscles does spinning work? Most exercise bikes like the Peloton are designed to work triceps, quads, and hamstrings. Also, because of the upright posture when spinning, this exercise equipment will work your core and back muscles.

On the other hand, treadmills are built to work the whole body. As you run on the treadmill, you work out your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and your upper body.

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Calories Burned – Runner Vs Spinner

Automatically, your next question is which machine burns more calories? For fat loss, you need to burn a higher number calories per session than you consume each day.

According to research, running on a treadmill burns more calories per hour than when working out on an exercise bike.

A person running uphill on a treadmill will burn up to 700 calories per hour (see sprinting treadmills ), significantly more than 400 calories burned per hour on a a stationary bike.

To burn more fat per session, most people use workout program that are preset on their machine.

Workout Programs

Bike vs treadmill, which has the best classes for interval training?

bike vs treadmill calories burned

Recently, we reviewed some treadmills with workout programs. We know from experience that treadmills with built-in workout programs provide exercise routines that are engaging so you burn more calories and keep your heart rate up throughout the sessions. Most treadmills offer about 15 programs and some are compatible to iFit, which gives you access to a personal trainer and more.

Most spin bikes do not have preset trainings. What you do, instead, is join a spin class. A good spin class will cost between $1500 and $2000. The advantages of joining spin classes include getting guidance from cycling coaches, having a supportive community around you, joining competitions, and so much more.

Now if you are on a budget, a good treadmill with free training programs is the right choice. On the other hand, if you enjoy spinning and the social aspect of spinning classes and becoming part of a community, then you should go for a good indoor foldable bike and join an online spin class near your location.


Another important factor to consider when choosing a fitness equipment is the ease of use or posture. Once again we will compare spinning vs running and find out which posture or form is easier for you, thus posing the least risk of injury. Of course, the risk is there regardless of the type of machine you use at home, but with proper posture and form, you can do your fitness routine without any incident.

posture spinning vs running

On a spin bike the correct posture is sit upright with legs at 90 degrees angle and feet on the pedals. This trainer is not ideal for people with knee problems or back issues.

If you suffer from these issues, we recommend a treadmill with adequate cushioning. The correct posture is standing upright, with your head up and eyes looking straight ahead. You may choose to walk, run, sprint, or do combinations, depending on your health condition. A good treadmill is integrated with shock absorption technology that minimizes impact on joints, making it the best pick for people with knee or joint pain.

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HIIT / Strength Training

One of the health benefits of working out from a gym is you can switch between machines. The main challenge exercising at home is the lack of variety. What you can do, instead, is add high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your routine to ensure progress in your workouts.


bike and treadmill

For a stationary bike, you can do HIIT training by increasing the resistance level on your bike. Most spin bikes offer 8 levels magnetic resistance. With this feature you’ll burn more calories per minute compared to normal cycling.

HIIT workout on treadmill includes running uphill (incline) or running downhill (decline) and increasing speed. A 20-minute HIIT on a treadmill routine will help you maximize calories burned.

Both these machines are great for resistance training, but when you compare them, there seems to be more variety and opportunities do HIIT and strength training on a treadmill than on a bike.

Size and Portability

You also have to take into account the space of your home gym or garage. If you have limited space, a stationary bike is the right pick. Most cycling bikes occupy about 40″ x 21″ x 46″ worth of space. For people living in an apartment, this size is just right. You can just move a couch and store the bike behind it.

portability and space

Treadmills are available in various sizes. We have the large Nordictrack treadmills and the smaller walkpads that slide under bed. If you have sufficient space, opt for larger machines that will give you access to numerous preset exercises. For smaller spaces, you can always choose a small treadmill that you can keep under your couch or bed after use. For easy portability, a spin bike weighs lighter than a treadmill.

Durability / Life Span

How long will your trainer last? It depends on many factors, starting with the material used to construct the machine that you choose. Frequency of use and maintenance will also greatly impact its lifespan.

To prolong the life of your bike you’ll have to regularly clean the chrome and flywheel, grease the chain, and check the seat.

Maintaining a treadmill is easier. All you need to do is, is lubricate the belt, vacuum the motor part and place a good mat underneath it.


What is your budget? The price usually seals a decision when buying something as important as a fitness machine. Bikes cost between $300 and $500. There are other options that costs below $250. A good treadmill with a lot of programs and good speed could set you back from $500 to $2000.

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Stationary Bike

spin cycle


  • Ideal for cross training routine, exercising different muscles groups together
  • More convenient than cycling outdoors
  • Easy to move around and store
  • Great resistance for cardio training


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Treadmill equipment


  • Most options come with preset programs to help you meet your fitness goals more efficiently
  • Cushioned to protect legs and joints from injury
  • Great for different fitness needs
  • Heart rate monitoring for intense training


  • Occupies more space compared to bikes
  • Costs more

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Final Thoughts

Spin bike vs treadmill, which machine should you choose? The treadmill wins! While cycling has plenty of benefits, it lags behind the good old treadmill. A modern running trainer will come with guided workouts, good cushioning, speed and more. We hope this article helped you in deciding the best piece of equipment for your home.

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1. Is a spin bike better than a treadmill?

Which is better a spin bike or a treadmill? In terms of health benefits, both equipment will help meet your fitness goals. However, running on treadmills has better results than spinning on a bike. Most treadmills have preset programs to help you work out at your optimum capability. If you choose a bike, you can add cross training to your routine for faster fat loss.

When it comes to storage, millions of people prefer bikes because their easier to carry and store. Also, spinning cycles are more affordable than treadmills.

2. Which is better for losing belly fat, running or biking?

Running on a treadmill has better results and burns belly fat faster than biking does. However, its worth noting that both routines do not directly recruit your core muscles. If you want a flat tummy, consider changing your diet and incorporating other trainings such as squats and crunches.