Indoor Cycling vs Outdoor Cycling – Best Workout for You


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You have probably wondered about the title? Right?

You have seen people cycling indoors in a cycling class or trying out stationary bikes at gyms. Now you want to know, “what is this indoor cycling? What are the benefits of it? How it is different than indoor cycling?”

No worries, we are going to discuss all of these questions. But first, we are starting from the bottom by discussing some basic benefits of cycling.

What are the Basic Benefits of Cycling?

Just before discussing the differences between indoor and outdoor cycling, we are going to learn the benefits of cycling whether it is indoor or outdoor.

There are lots of workouts for your optimal health’s fitness and goals. But in Cardio workouts, nothing beats cycling. There are also some more benefits.

  • Low impacts in exercise
  • Better workout than any other
  • Builds strength and stamina
  • An entertaining way to stay fit
  • Very easy as an exercise for long hours

There are many more benefits than these points above in cycling.

Health Improvement Points

Gymnasium’s consultants or sometimes doctors recommend cycling for some reason. Those are

  • Cardiovascular Fitness
  • Muscle Strength and flexibility
  • Joint mobility improvement
  • Stress lever reduction
  • Posture and coordination improvement
  • Decreased fats
  • Strengthen bones
  • Anxiety and depression reduction

Thus cycling is thought to be one of the greatest exercises there is.

Exercise for Your Joints

There are lots of cardio exercises to strengthen your joints to a extend. Running, weight-bearing workouts are such. But for people with injuries, pains or arthritic joints, these workouts are not recommended.

Cycling is perfectly suitable for them. It is a workout that is very gentle on your joints. In cycling, weight is not being forces on the hips, knees. ankles or your foot joints but the pelvis bone. Thus, cycling is highly recommended for people who have stiff joints to improve them.

It is also a great exercise for people who want to lose weight in a gentle way other than heavy lifting.

Burning Calories

No matter how is cycling, indoor or outdoor, both burn your calories. A person who weighs around 160 pounds can burn 400-600 calories from half-hour cycling though it depends on the riding speed or and friction intensity. Thus it is a perfect weight loss and weight maintenance exercise that can include many variations. It is considered an efficient calorie-burning activity.


All these healthy exercise cycling includes; how can those help you out? Right?

In the final sense, all these for the fitness for you. Outdoor cycling or indoor cycling whatever you do will help you to stay fit.

People usually give up on exercises and gyms but not cycling. Thus the people who do cycling regularly can stay fit regularly without any extra exercise.

Indoor or Outdoor Cycling?

Now into the main discussion. Both of these types of cycling will improve your health and fitness including building some muscles without much pressure on your body. Some major points from both of these cycling are.

  • Both are Better Workouts than any other
  • Both are Very Efficient
  • Both are Good Exercise for Your Mental Health and Body
  • Both include Bigger Communities

Indoor Cycling

Indoor cycling means riding a stationary bike while staying inside your home. Mainly gymnasium contains spin classes. Some people bought stationery to do cycling in their home. Some use bike trainers or rollers to ride their bikes inside their home.

It’s for the people who don’t have time to do outdoor cycling. It is also very easy to do while you do other exercises. Thus, indoor cycling is considered a multitasking exercise.

There are two ways of doing indoor cycling.

  1. Getting a stationary bike which is usually the main idea
  2. Getting a Trainer or Roller

This is an optional choice for the people who are new to getting into indoor cycling or the main option for the people who already have a cycle and willing to get into indoor cycling.

If you happen to have a bike then you can easily get into indoor biking just by buying a trainer or roller.

  • A trainer will lift your cycle’s rear wheel by forcing some friction to it.
  • A roller will help you to ride your bike including balance over some rolling long wheels. It will not just help you in exercise but will also develop your cycling skills by giving you almost real-life riding experience which includes balancing.

Riding a stationary bike is a better workout than outdoor biking as these bikes have flywheels that weigh over 40 pounds which is great as a cardio and muscle exercise. But don’t think that indoor cycling has no negative sides. You will also be missing out on some awesome benefits if you just do indoor cycling. But we will be discussing the advantages first.

Pros of Cycling Indoor

For the job holders or the busy businessman, the only free time is their weekends or sometimes none. There is no other option for them to hit the roads with their bikes other than cycling inside. Thus considering indoor cycling is the best option for them.

  • Practicality

One of the most major benefits of indoor cycling is its practicality. You can place a spinner or a roller anywhere in your home wherever you prefer. It is most practical for you as you can get the most out of it from anywhere you want at any time.

  • Comfortable

No matter what you say, indoor cycling is more comfortable too much extend than outdoor cycling. No traffic, sunburn or windburn or any disturbance while do cycling inside. Nothing can be more comfortable than this in riding.

  • Doesn’t affect by Environment and Weather

For indoor cycling, you never have to worry about the weather. Whatever the weather is, you could do cycling inside of your home by a spinner or a roller. The environment has no impact on indoor cycling.

  • No Worries over Traffic

Traffic is the biggest harassment for a cyclist. Cyclists hate traffic and especially traffic jams and always try to avoid roads containing traffics and jams from it. A cyclist can’t ever ride his bicycle fluently and comfortably due to traffic.

But indoor cycling has the perfect solution for them. No traffic, no worries while you are riding in your home.

  • Easy Exercise from Home

Cycling is considered a comfortable and easy exercise. If you have a spinner you can do this exercise from home. And no worries as you don’t need to have a spinner for indoor cycling. You can easily ride your cycle inside your home with the help of a cheap roller.

  • Multitasking

Multitasking means doing a plural number of works at the same time. While riding outdoor, you can never do multitasking as you need to be focused all the time.

But while riding indoor, there is no need of being fully focused. You can do other things while cycling such as watching Televisions, listening to music or doing any light work that requires less attention or focus.

  • Style Variation

There are several various variations for indoor cycling.

Classic upright bikes: This provides the perfect exercising opportunity for the cardio system and legs exercise.

Assault bikes: This unique bike includes hand’s muscle exercise. The modern Air Resistance Assault Bikes can also make cycling practical by making air friction.

Studio bikes: This machine offers specified workouts to the cycling sport rather than exercise.

  • Less Maintenance and Repairs

Indoor cycling machines and components require less maintenance and thus repairs. Most of the machines are heavy and the components are very durable. So you don’t have to worry about the maintenance such as washing, lubing and repairing.

  • Low Cost

Now about the pricing. Indoors spinners are much cheaper compare to a good bike. If you happen to have a tight budget and willing to get into cycling then getting a stationary bike is a good option.

On the other hand, if you have a bike, you can ride it inside your home just by buying a cheaper roller or trainer.

Cons of Indoor Cycling

  • Boring

Indoor cycling is very boring. The unchanging environment, no challenging terrains means no fun to the riders who love to ride bikes outside.

  • Indoor Cycling Classes are Intensive

For riding or exercising together, there are some classes for indoor cycling. Some riders find it too intensive, some intimidating to even start a cycling class.

  • Expensive

You can afford regular normal bikes at very cheap prices. Thus stationary bikes are a bit expensive compare to those but not as expensive as modern carbon fiber or titanium bikes.

  • Missing out on Nature and Scenery

The most important thing that you will be missing out in indoor cycling is the beautiful nature and scenery to ride into. Most people ride in different terrines and parts to enjoy nature but in indoor cycling, there is no opportunity for it.

Pros of Outdoor Cycling

  • Outdoor Cycling is Very Easy

Outside cycling is very easy. You don’t need to have an expensive stationary bike or go to the gym to do cycling. You can get a normal bike to start cycling. All you need is to have will power to do cycling. And don’t worry, you’re your budget is tight you can get a cheap used bike from anywhere for outdoor cycling.

  • More Enjoyable

One of the most essentials factors that only comes from outdoor cycling is Enjoyment. You can’t enjoy indoor cycling if you are attached and prefer outdoor cycling. The environment and the natural beauties, are some of the most enjoyable things you will find while cycling outside. These are almost impossible to have while cycling indoor.

  • Regular Commute

Outdoor cycling could be included in your regular commute. You don’t need to make time for getting out with your bike. Instead, you can ride your bike regularly to your working places as a part of outdoor cycling.

  • Gaining More Control

Cycling is an exercise. The more you ride it, the more experience you have. It will help you to develop your skills of cycling and control over your cycle to much more extent.

  • Exercise in Regular Travelling

You don’t need to make time for exercise if you ride your bike regularly for the commute. In your daily commute by your cycle will let you have the exercise you need

  • Practice of Mindfulness

Outdoor cycling is very good for your mental health. It is not just a muscle exercise but also a mental exercise. Riding it nature helps cyclists to gain more peace and better mental health. Outdoor cycling will always keep you motivated and inspired.

Cons of Outdoor Cycling

  • Needs to Hit the Road

You will always need to get out with your bike. No matter what you do, you can’t do outdoor cycling from your home. You also need to cover some distances for outdoor cycling.

  • Affected by Weather and Environment

Weather affects outdoor cycling to an extend. You cannot do outdoor cycling whenever you want such as on rainy or stormy days. It will also depend on the environment. Not all cycles are easy to ride in any kind of environment. For example, you can’t ride a road bike on sandy or muddy dirt roads easily.

  • No suitable for Jampacked Cities

Outdoor cycling is not suitable for jampacked city roads. Instead, you will be bored while riding jampacked roads and traffic will never let to have a peaceful ride.

  • Causes Skin Problems

Regular Outdoor cycling can cause various types of skin problems such as sunburn, pimples on the face, etc. Regular cycling in the high-intensity sun increases the possibility of skin cancer.

  • Safety Risks

The most dangerous part of cycling is that it bears safety risks. The higher the road traffic the more possibility of accidents. In big busy cities, accidents occur to cyclists as a regular normal matter though sometimes it is deadly.

Thus wearing protective gear while cycling in busy cities with huge traffic is recommended.

Should You be Doing Both Indoor and Outdoor Cycling?

Cycling indoor and outdoor both are taken as a great fitness activity. No matter what kind of cycling you do, it will be an exercise for your health and will help you to stay fit.

Some people could argue about it. To them, one is better than another. But the direct result from the argument is never the same, there are many things to consider. Not a single option is right or suitable for everyone and their time is limited for exercise.

Thus it is up to you. If you have time and prefer doing more exercise just by cycling you can do both or just singularly do indoor or outdoor cycling over time or in your limited time.

Which is The Winner?

Which will be the winner? Which will be recommended? Which will be prioritized? Indoor cycling or Outdoor cycling?

Well, there is no fixed answer to these questions. As mentioned above, there are many things to consider. What seems right and suitable for you could seem wrong and unsuitable for other people.

Maybe you don’t have access to safe trails nearby then indoor cycling is a better choice for you.

Or you prefer enjoying nature and the environment, like to face struggles while cycling then outdoor is the best option for you.


1. Indoor cycling or outdoor cycling which burns more calories?

The calories burnt both in these cycling are almost the same. But you can increase your workout pressure in indoor cycling which usually helps you to burn more calories.

2. How is indoor cycling different than outdoor?

Well, you know the answer as we have discussed the answer to the question above.

3. Indoor or outdoor which is better for cycling training?

None is better than the other. Both have benefits, advantages and disadvantages. But it fully depends on many factors moreover on a rider.

4. Is an exercise bike as good as cycling?

Yes, sometimes even better. Both have advantages and disadvantages. But on an exercise bike, you will be missing a real-life experience including lots of things.

5. Can cycling reduce fat belly?

Yes, it usually burns and uses fats from your belly but not to an extent as belly exercises.

6. Is cycling good for your butt?

Newbie cyclists face butt pain problems while they start riding. Riding a bike daily reduces and adjust this problem. Regular cyclists can easily get used to it. Bit it is not good nor bad for your butt. But it is recommended to wear cycling pants with pads for the comfort of your butt in long rides.

7. Is outdoor cycling a full-body workout?

No, cycling is not a full-body workout but it includes most of your body parts in motions and provides an almost like a full-body workout. Outdoor cycling also includes mind refreshment as an exercise.

8. Is it ok to ride a stationary bike every day?

Yes, it is fully ok to exercise with a stationary bike every day. There is no harm doing it regularly except for some health improvement.

9. Is 30 minutes of cycling a day enough?

It is more than enough but depends on you. Cycling daily could provide you with a sound health a mind.

Final Words

You now know a-z of indoor cycling and outdoor cycling and the difference between them. None of these are better than the other one, instead equally awesome and similar to workouts.

Now it’s your turn to get into cycling which suits you most.

Indoor cycling or outdoor cycling, just enjoy cycling whenever you can wherever you want.