Working out outdoors can be an awesome way to change up your workout routine. Spin bikes are a favorite cardio tool of many. So can you actually leave the spin bike outside for extended periods of time? Let’s find out.
Keeping a spin or any type of stationary bike outside is going to deteriorate the condition of the bike much quicker than stored inside. Any electronics will be damaged after the first rain shower, steel frames will corrode and dirt gets into the moving parts wearing them out very quickly.
Let’s see in detail what happens when you leave a stationary bike outside and what your best alternatives are.
Can you keep a stationary spin bike outside?
Keeping a spin bike outside is not the best idea since weather conditions and other people can deteriorate the condition of the bike quite quickly.
As long as the weather is nice and the bike doesn’t get wet or dirty, there isn’t anything about being outside that will be detrimental to the bike. However, when it does get wet or dirty, some bad things can happen pretty quickly.
Dirt gets into the moving parts and can damage bearings very quickly. The bike won’t be as smooth as it was when new and parts will have to be replaced faster than they would inside. The metal parts will start corroding and weaken the frame. This might not be a problem for one season but your bike will have issues surviving a few seasons outside in a row.
Regular cleaning and maintenance will help a little as does covering the bike up with something waterproof. However, even with those measures, your bike will age much faster than inside. Water can still get in from the floor which causes unseen damage.
Here are a few other things why keeping your bike outside is not the best plan;
Sadly, many places will see things magically disappear if you leave them unattended. Of course you know what kind of neighborhood you live in but theft is always a possibility.
You could chain up the bike to a pole or something similar. However, you’ll probably not have that option where you actually want to work out. And if you have to move the bike around, you might as well move it inside where it’s the safest.
You need a spot to actually put the bike. Of course it really depends on what your outdoor space looks like. But if your garden or front yard is small, you might want to use that space for other things like a BBQ or a little seating area.
Most stationary spin bikes are pretty simple and don’t have any electronics in them. So if your spin bike doesn’t have any display or console and the resistance is set mechanically, you don’t have to worry about this.
However, many higher end new spin bikes do increasingly have screens and electronics. This is obviously a problem when the bike lives outside. The first rain shower is going to ruin your bike and reduce it to a piece of outdoor furniture.
Spin bikes are mobile
This doesn’t have to be a black and white question. Just putting a spin bike outside and leaving it there is not a great idea, even if you live in the best climate possible where it never rains and there is zero crime.
Spin bikes have a big advantage over other types of exercise bikes. Spin bikes are;
That means they are pretty easy to move around. Many models even come with a handle on the back and little wheels on the front. That means you can just pick up the rear and easily move it around.
Now the decision has become a whole lot easier. Just wheel the bike outside when you want and put it back inside when you’re done. If you have a good place to work out outside, chances are you have a garage or shed somewhere as well. This makes it super easy to get in and outside.
This gives you the best of both worlds. You get the fresh air and better environment when you want/possible but keep your bike safe and in good working condition at the same time.
If you’ve got the space, you can do something really cool with a shed. Building a garden shed for your home gym does take up space, money and effort but it can be an awesome addition to your house. With a new shed, you have the benefit that you can set it up exactly how you like.
Want to combine working out inside and outside? Build a shed that has one or possibly even two walls that are glass sliding doors. Expensive? Yes. But also really cool, looks great and you’ve got the view of your garden while working out. When the weather isn’t great, leave the doors closed or just open them a little bit. Great weather? Just slide all the doors open and you’re practically working out outside. From there it’s easy to move equipment in and out of the shed as well.
Get a real bike
If you’re used to working out on a stationary bike and just want to get your workout done outside for a change, moving the bike around does make a lot of sense.
If you want to do this all the time, getting an actual bike might be a much better solution. You get the fresh air and changing scenery to boot.
Of course in the ‘real world’ you’ll have to deal with traffic and road conditions which can interrupt your workout. Not to mention cyclists can be a bit of a nuisance on the road to other people. If you have a super strict workout program that’s timed and you want to follow it strictly, a spin bike is a better option since you won’t be interrupted.
Spin bikes are great for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) This is a great way to burn more calories in a short period of time. A good interval timer is going to make HIIT workouts much more enjoyable. Check out the GymNext Flex timer. It’s super easy to set up and control contrary to most other interval timers making the set up for any workout a breeze.
If you really want a stationary bike to work out outdoors, there is a pretty good alternative. Check out the Titan fan bike. It’s a simple bike that creates resistance by spinning a fan blade. It’s simple and has limited electronics.
The fact that it does have electronics does mean you can’t keep it outside but, there’s one feature that makes it really easy to move this bike around; It has big rubber tires that easily go over obstacles. That means it’s super easy to move this bike around, even over grass and small rocks.
Again, this is not a bike to keep outside since all the same things that make it bad for a spin bike to stay outside are just as valid for this fan bike. It’s just that the big wheels make it so much easier to move anywhere.
Favorite Cardio Machine Accessories
Check out these accessories that improve a home cardio workout:
- Equipment mat: All cardio equipment should be put on an equipment mat. The Rubber-Cal mat (Amazon) is an affordable yet very high quality choice.
- Interval timer: To time your intervals and workouts, there is no better choice than the GymNext Flex. It’s super easy to use and set up with a phone app.
- Tablet holder: Cardio can be boring. With this tablet holder (Amazon) you can follow along with on-demand workouts or just watch a movie on any cardio machine.
- Heart rate monitor: Monitoring your heart rate is very important while doing cardio. The Polar H10 (Amazon) connects to almost anything you can imagine and is very accurate.
To find which cardio machines I recommend for home gyms, click here.