Spin Bike vs Treadmills | What’s Best?

The main difference between spin bike and treadmill is that spin bikes are only for lower-body workouts while treadmills are for total-body workouts. In terms of size and floor-space, treadmills are larger and require more space than spin bikes. So, they are not ideal for small apartments and homes while spin bikes more compact and better choice for smaller homes.

It’s a question I am asked all the time as a Personal Trainer, “Should I get a Spin bike or a Treadmill?” It’s a really tough question to answer. I love running and I also love cycling too. It would be a tough answer for myself, talk about helping others with the decision. In this article I want to give you the pros and cons of each of the cardiovascular machines so you can make the right choice.

It’s all Cardio

Before we start the first thing to mention is it’s all to create a cardiovascular workout. When we talk about cardiovascular workouts we are talking about getting your heart rate higher and helping your body work through its energy systems. This has huge benefits such as…

  • Improves Cardiovascular Health
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Regulates Weight
  • Supports the Immune System
  • Helps Sleeping
  • Boosts Mood

Spinning Bikes

spinning exercise bike

A Spinning bike is a great tool for getting your cardio in. They are very affordable knowing you can pick an indoor bike up for less than $200 dollars delivered to your door. Though if you really wanted to splash out they go all the way up to around $3000+ and you will have something really special like this Life Fitness IC7. It’s not about the price though they will all serve the same purpose.

What I love about spinning bikes is the ability that they can suit anyone from a complete beginner at the start of their fitness journey to a seasoned professional. Each bike has adjustable resistance and you can literally have this as low or high as you want. The motion is exactly the same for each user and it’s quite a natural movement for most people as the majority of people have ridden a bike before. The process of starting and getting fitter can be as intense as you want it to be and it will be really easy to adjust that higher and lower with confidence. The calories you will burn will probably be less than running but I find the exercise much more manageable for longer amounts of time.

The next thing that I want to speak about is the fact is it very low impact, unlike running you could cycle pretty much everyday and you wouldn’t feel as achy as you would be if you were running you might suffer with issues such as shin splints or knee issues caused by the impacts of pounding on the floor. This also plays a part when it comes to noise as spinning bikes tend to be much quieter than a treadmill.

The options to be social are amazing when it comes to cycling. You can build up and go to a Spinning class, you can join a cycling club. When it comes to entertainment it’s much easier to be on a bike watching a screen rather than running. You also have a lot of applications that you can tap into such as Les Mills or the Peloton application if you want to get some motivation.

When it comes to going outside you can’t bike on the roads with an indoor cycle, haha. The spinning bike does limit you to being inside unless you have an outdoor bike to get on and ride. Then having this option can get expensive. If you plan on just spinning at home and doing a few classes in a studio though, it’s perfect.


  • Cheap to get started
  • Low Impact Exercise
  • Mush easier to do daily
  • Intensity can be regulated much easier
  • Can be done with Friends in a Spinning Studio
  • Application Variety


  • Training Outdoor would require a bike as well
  • You can end up spending a lot on equipment



Treadmills are such a great way to workout and it really is so simple just jumping on and starting to run. Price wise you can get a cheap treadmill for around $300 or something excellent for around $2000 dollars. Like Spinning bikes though they will both do the same job but it’s going to be much more comfortable on something higher spec.

What I really love about running is the simplicity of it. It’s something that comes so naturally to us. The beauty I have found about treadmills is it’s just literally chucking some shorts or leggings on and literally starting. It doesn’t have to be sprints, it could be an uphill walk or a slow jog. When starting from scratch it does take time to get your fitness up to be able to run without slowing for a walk but this is because running uses much more of your body compared to spinning. As far as calories go you get much more bang for your buck when it comes to running. The process does feel more intense but it does come quickly and it’s an amazing ability to have to be able to hold a jog for a lengthy time.

Unlike spinning, running does have more of an impact and I find from my clients they require more rest when training heavily as it does knock the body a little. This isn’t something to worry about unless you are getting pain. I would recommend lots of stretching to compensate for this though and a decent pair of shoes. Treadmills do tend to be a bit noisier than spinning bikes because they have more impact and moving parts.

The options to be social like the spinning bike is huge and there are clubs for every ability. I find running clubs are really supportive and you will get a lot of good advice from joining one. The online and interactive side of running you do have options again like the Peloton application or even Zwift to be able to run online.

When it comes to going outside, running is not an extra cost unlike spinning or cycling. It literally is so easy to just go outside and start. Running unlike cycling isn’t a sport where equipment makes as much difference as cycling so the playing field is much more level too.


  • Cheap to Start
  • Quick to workout
  • Easy to burn a lot of calories
  • Easy to join a club
  • Level playing field when running


  • Impact
  • Treadmills are noisier
  • More rest required
  • They are bulkier and need more space

Face off – Indoor Bikes vs Treadmills

Treadmill / Spinning Bike

As far as it goes an hour on the treadmill would probably burn more than an hour on the spin bike but it all depends on how hard you’re working but in general running burns more calories than cycling.

Easy winner here the spinning bike is much quieter than the treadmill, especially magnetic resistance spin bikes such as Keiser M3i. They are very quiet and require very little maintenance.

Some treadmills do fold away but not many have that ability. As far as space goes the Bike is definitely easier to store than the treadmill.

When we look at the high end treadmills and spin bikes you are looking about the same price. Though when it comes to the lower end of the market you get more for your money on a bike.

Treadmills have a lot of technology, especially the higher end models. When it comes to spinning bikes they have power meters and cadence sensors so it has to go to the spin bike here.

As far as maintenance goes they both require about the same but lots more can go wrong with the bike compared to the treadmill.

As far as comfort goes, the spinning bike is not always the way to go, although comfortable to use its not a natural position. Same with jogging it’s not a natural thing for you to be doing for long periods of time. One thing that is very natural is walking and this can only be done using the treadmill.

A Final Verdict

The best advice I can give you when picking either or is to pick what you enjoy doing the most, by doing that you will spend more time exercising and you will get the most benefit out of your purchase. Work out consistently and make sure you allow time to rest.

Robbie Ferri
Robbie Ferri

Robbie Ferri from “Riding with Robbie” has been cycling for almost ten years. In that time, he has broken World Records, Bikepacked all over the World, and also raced ultra distance at a top-level. Robbie picked up a bike and started cycling when he was about 25 years old and said it was the best thing he ever did. The experiences and the fun he’s had have given him a huge passion for helping inspire others to ride further, farther, and get fitter.