TA bike is a powerful fitness engine; cycling for weight loss doesn’t need to be strenuous. Many people have difficulty differentiating between the gear and the non-gear cycle. Thus, you must understand whether to choose a gear or a non-geared bike for weight loss because they have different components, and their own pros and cons.
How Does Cycling Help You Lose Weight?
Cycling is one of the low-cost exercises. Riding a bike more often, you burn more calories, reducing weight. Cycling is estimated to burn calories between 400 and 1000 an hour, depending on intensity and rider weight.
But to lose weight, there are several things you must know for an effective biking workout. You should do it regularly for a certain period, at a particular pace, to secure weight-loss rewards from cycling.
First, you must have a bicycle made for losing weight. It is readily available, whether road, mountain, gravel, fat tire bikes, or even electric bikes; search them online. However, people are often confused about which one to buy, gear or non-gear cycle. We are here to deliver the correct advice by stating the facts and then allowing you to choose the best for you.
What Is A Non-Geared Cycle or Single-Speed Cycle?
There are different types of bicycles, but the one with only one gear ratio is called a gearless cycle or single-speed bike. Non-geared bicycles are the standard or regular bicycles.
Since they have a single gear ratio, such bicycles don't have derailleur gears, hub gearing, or other mechanisms that would let the rider change the bicycle gear.
Your cycle speed is dependent on how fast you pedal. Hard pedalling uses more energy and burns more calories than a gear cycle. Therefore, non-geared cycles can be your best bet for weight loss.
Types Of Single-Speed Bikes
FREEWHEEL Non-Geared Bikes
Freewheel non-geared cycles are the most well-known single-speed bikes being sold. Here, the rear wheel cassette isn't fixed to the pedal, allowing you to stop pedalling once you reach a specific speed and the cycle moves on.
The easiest way to analyze this freewheel mechanism is when a non-geared cycle cruises downhill. The gravity force helps you roll down easier versus pedalling continuously. Also, you can cycle on flat terrain with a freewheel non-geared cycle if you have hit a high enough speed.
Fixed Gear Bikes or Fixie Bikes
The back wheel of the fixed-gear bike is connected directly to the pedal so that the bicycle only advances when you pedal. This setup lets you control the bike's speed with your legs— without the need to brake.
Hence, fixie bikes need more physical effort than their freewheel counterparts. This is why professional cyclists mostly use them in indoor racing events. These bikes can also be used for exercise by experienced riders. You can't coast on a fixed non-gear, but this is part of the bike's workout.
A spin/stationary bike is an example of a fixed-gear cycle.
If you are a newbie and desire to ride a fixed-gear bike, make sure to practice stopping your cycle abruptly and changing the speed, even if you are mid-way. Don't ride fixie bikes on busy streets or in public places as it's hazardous.
Advantages Of Gearless Bicycle
They are easier to ride since you don't need to worry about which gear is right for you.
They are more cost-efficient than geared cycles because they are simpler to manufacture.
They are easy to use and low-maintenance bikes because of having fewer moving parts.
Disadvantages Of Non-Gear Cycle
Riding single-speed bikes on hilly terrains, flyovers, bridges, etc., are complicated.
In non-geared bicycles, the bike's speed depends on your pedalling speed; thus, speed always remains limited
Long-distance rides with single-speed bicycles can be challenging and might cause strains and injuries in leg muscles.
What Is A Geared Cycle or A Multi-Speed Cycle?
A geared cycle is what the name suggests – it's a bike with gears. More specifically, it is a bicycle with a multiple gears ratio. Like, mountain bikes are equipped with several low gears so you can easily climb steep inclines, while road bikes have more high gears to increase maximum speed.
The modern state-of-the-art geared bike enables cyclists to change from one gear combination to another, depending on the terrain. Plus, this allows them to maintain an even cadence throughout the entire land. And this is why geared bikes are highly valued and are handy for long-distance rides.
You have read the term Cadence above or the rate at which a cyclist pedals, measured in rotations per minute (RPM). A 60-90 RPM cadence at a low gear is better for losing weight.
If you're a beginner or a recreational cyclist, you may get to cycling at a cadence of roughly 60-80 RPM at first, keeping your muscles relaxed and comfortable while you cruise.
Riding at a higher cadence, such as over 90 RPM, tends to place more strain on your pulmonary and cardiovascular system and stress on your lower limbs' muscles.
How Gear Cycle Shifts Gear Ratio
Most gear cycles come with a derailleur gear system. These derailleurs are innovative devices that change gear ratios in geared bikes. It is a system comprising a chain, multiple sprockets of various sizes, and a mechanism to move the chain from one sprocket to another.
A geared bike commonly has two derailleurs: front and back derailleurs. The front derailleur moves the chain between your chainrings, while the rear derailleur keeps the chain tense and switches gears.
When you shift gears on your bike while pedalling, the switch in cable tension drives the chain guide from side to side. This movement is aided by specially shaped teeth, known as shift ramps, which allow the chain to rise/fall to another sprocket.
Advantages Of Geared Bikes
Geared cycles need much less physical effort than non-geared bikes because you can choose the right gear for the terrain.
They are suited for all terrains (slopes, hills, and flat terrain).
You can travel long distances without straining your muscles.
You can ride faster and accelerate better with a gear cycle.
Disadvantages of Geared Bikes
The geared bicycles are costlier than the gearless ones.
They are heavier than non-geared cycles because of the presence of multiple gears.
They need good experience in shifting gears.
Geared bikes require more maintenance, unlike gearless ones.
Gear Or Non-Gear Cycle For Weight Loss?
You'll get no exact answer to this question because the number of calories burned will revolve around the person's weight, speed, and riding style. Non-gear and gear cycles are essential and compelling for exercising to reduce weight.
But most people go for non-geared cycles for weight loss as these cycles consume more energy and need extra effort while cycling on a slope. A gearless bike is even ideal and compatible with a morning exercise routine that is reasonably safe. It is easier to burn more calories and lose weight faster when riding a gearless or regular bike because you use your legs and muscles rather than your back and gears. However, the pace will be slower, and your endurance will be your primary concern.
Meanwhile, choose geared bicycles if you are into some adventure added to cycling for weight loss. If you also value speed, the geared cycle can satisfy your desire because it assures you a fantastic experience. Furthermore, such bicycles are the best options for long-distance rides because when you are tired, you can switch to the lower gears. This bicycle is ideal for uphill riding, which helps reduce belly fat, and connects to managing health and fitness.
Cycling is remarkable for a cardio workout as it helps you burn fat and calories. You should note that in connection with gear or gearless cycles for weight loss, it rests on a personal preference. Thus, it is proper that you make a rational decision when your objective is to lose weight.
Which Cycle Is Best For Weight Loss For Beginners?
If you are a beginner at riding bicycles, go easy and start with a simple bike.
Opt for geared bikes when you want to lose some weight or see some developments in the forthcoming months, even as a first-time rider. When you have a gear option, you can shift to the convenient gear you like to ride, which is suitable for beginner riders.
Or suppose you decide to lose weight in a fixed gear bike because you are a newbie to riding a fixie, you will consume most of your workout time grasping how to maneuver a fixed gear. It is more challenging to ride fixed gear bikes than gear bikes for beginners.
As a rule, it is better to pick gear bikes to lose weight for beginners. You can go with any non-gear bike if you are a skilled cyclist.
How Many Days Must You Cycle To Reduce Weight?
You must cycle for around five hours weekly for the ultimate weight loss benefit. You can quickly achieve this with one hour of exercise daily, five days each week. You can increase calorie burn by cycling longer or levelling up your workouts' intensity.
You may not lose much if you have limited time or don't have the needed weight to lose. Three (3) days is still enough to lose weight, but a more rational number would be 5-7 days a week if you are overweight. Cutting 1 or 2 pounds weekly is a practical and attainable goal for losing weight.
Cycling alone is deficient in losing weight; diet is necessary as well. Cycling and diet should eliminate 3,500 calories together to burn one pound of fat.
What Is The Best Cycling Workout?
Start With A Goal
Having a main goal makes decision-making easier when striving to lose weight. Usually, when eliminating the pounds, the objective can become the digit on the scale.
Each body is different. The healthy weight of another individual might not be fit for you. Alternately, focus on living a healthy lifestyle that leads to better functioning.
Choose Your Gear
When trying to lose weight, geared and fixed gear cycles deliver almost the same result or burn around the same amount of calories. Deciding to ride a bike depends on the place you leave, the cycling experience you have, and the type of diet you maintain.
Plan Your Routine
Go long and easy: You don't always need to exert yourself to have an effect. Instead, take a long but slow ride every week, especially during preparation. Long rides (up to six hours) eliminate a lot of fat and award you a strong endurance core throughout the session.
Ride at a moderate pace: You should ride at a speed that produces a heart rate of around 68 to 79 percent of your maximum. Aim for a pace that leaves you breathless but still can manage to have a conversation.
Add hills: Build strength in your lower body, raise your aerobic capacity, and increase your calorie-burning potential by incorporating some inclinations into your course. You can even see one large slope and ride the hill multiple times as a single workout cycle.
Do high-intensity interval training: HIIT can be a brilliant way to challenge your body, mitigate fat, and lose weight if that's your intent.
- Cycle with all speeds on high resistance for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Then for 2 to 3 minutes, do casual cycling against low resistance.
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the next 20 to 30 minutes.
Have A Balanced Diet
You can remove a substantial amount of calories by cutting empty calories, such as soft drinks, processed sugars, junk food, and alcohol.
If you want to lose weight, your meals should contain lots of fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and veggies are best, though frozen versions are perfect. Be cautious when buying canned fruits and vegetables with added sodium and sugar.
Include more carbohydrates to improve performance. Ultimately, be sure you have enough protein. Chicken and turkey are top-of-the-line because their saturated fats are low.
Although you don't want to adjust your diet, you must be flexible. Align your eating habits with your goals.
Aim For Consistency
Consistency is your ultimate ally. A slowly but steadily cutting of pounds each week is more effective for long-term weight loss. It will help you identify what is working and what's not so that you can set new beneficial routines. Consistency also enables you to avoid the crash diet cycle.
Keep your bike visible and accessible because putting your bike elsewhere lets other priorities interrupt your biking routine. A fitness tracking app may also help you stay motivated by tracking your mileage or intensity.
An occasional change of scenery will cut off the redundancy of riding the same path repeatedly, offering new challenges.
You can also get to know other bikers. Having friends you can cycle with, whether in a spinning class at the gym or on a public street, means you can exercise and hang out simultaneously.
So, Which Bicycle Should You Choose:
Geared Bike or a Non-Geared Bike?
Biking is an exciting, accessible, low-impact exercise on your joints, making it suitable for everyone regardless of age or fitness level.
Whether you prefer a gear or a gearless cycle, it will deliver outstanding performance. The only difference is that geared bicycles are pricey, while gearless bicycles are inexpensive and require less maintenance. Pick any cycle for weight loss, but the bike might be inappropriate for you, your body type, or the terrain you ride, so go for which is more fitting and comfortable.
If your objective is to reduce body weight through cycling, ride the bicycle regularly and observe a balanced diet to fulfill your goals and strengthen your cardiovascular health.