Indoor Vs. Outdoor Cycling - Which Is Truly the Better Workout?

Indoor Vs. Outdoor Cycling – Which Is Truly the Better Workout?

An obvious, yet under-rated common point must be made as it cannot be stressed enough. It is simple, yet so often over-looked for its simplicity. The fact of the matter is this: You define what is better, and you define what is worse. It is a world of picking and choosing, as they say, and what is garbage to one man is divine treasure to another.

Indoor Vs. Outdoor Cycling

What some consider a better workout, others do not. Yet each has its own unique sets of benefits, pros and cons. Let’s look at a few to get you started on the correct path, shall we? You can then, as the mature and independent adult, decide where to take it all from there; facts and opinions will always fluctuate, for that is human nature, and such natural causality cannot be reversed or undone.

Indoor Cycling: A Brief Introduction to Get You Started

The first benefit to indoor cycling is the fact that it can be done all year long, as can outdoor cycling, but not in the same way. It is more difficult to cycle outdoors during the winter months, for example, and only the most seasoned and educated trainers or cyclists are both able and willing to do so. Yet with indoor cycling, the most novice cyclists learn to gain a steady momentum and routine without having to worry about the weather or traffic, and that alone is a fantastic head start in itself. One can stay in shape throughout the year without worrying about adjusting to numerous other known or unknown outside factors that may affect the overall experience.

Training indoors is also easier and less stressful as there are no moving obstacles in one’s path, and one will not need to make right or left turns at all either. This alone is a common fact that most people often forget. With less head frontal incoming debris or obstacles, the road remains the same: It is whatever space is in front of you as you cycle, and you continue to stare at the same wall or TV screen as you do so, making the process simpler, easier and more basic or direct.

Indoor Cycling

The mind and body are required to train far harder when outdoors and facing the world in the cold or heat. This fact cannot be overstated. Just think about it. Where would you prefer to cycle, outside where people are in a hurry, often rude and always in the way or in the inner comforts of controlled air conditioning and television privacy space?

Would you not prefer the comfort of your own home or local gym? Many likewise agree that the latter option is always the more preferable. Yet we are human, and we forget. Indoor cycling specializes itself in benefiting the active cycler through better outdoor conditions, a more consistent routine and a simpler experience.

But Still, Why Indoor Cycling?

“An indoor cycling activity is able to keep your heart rate at 75 to 95 percent of your maximum. That’s very good for your body if your doctor allowed you to go in for sports. The reason for such heart rate increase is the heat of an indoor cycling room, the…” (, pg. 1 and para. 2 verbatim quote)

Accidents or breakdowns do not occur when cycling inside the house as they do on the street. Keep this vital fact in mind, especially if you plan to cycle for longer distances. In both cases, never fail to have a backup plan, otherwise you plan to fail.

Indoor Exercise Bike

A cell phone or other means of communication, as well as a map of the general area that you find yourself in, and a working knowledge of how to properly maintain and fix your bike or cycling machine when needed, is always essential to any cycling adventure, even for the most experienced enthusiast; one can never be too prepared or too cautious, for unexpected emergencies do not always show compassion or mercy to their victims. Nor do they give their victims time to prepare.

This stated fact alone is another top reason for why many consider indoor cycling to be the better option. Indoor cycling machines almost never require a tune-up or repair as they are custom-designed by modern technology and never go out on the roads. They do not need changed bike tires or air pumps as do regular, outdoor bikes under such common and short notice. Spare yourself of this extra need for the to-do list, and stick with the indoor cycling bike, where it is warm and will usually not break down at any moment’s notice.

To dramatically speed up the process of mileage and calories burned, indoor cycling may benefit you as well. With less obstacles in the way and an easier workout, you tend to move faster. The machine usually keeps track of such progress achieved and miles cycled. You will feel like a champion in no time as opposed to keeping track of your own mileage and moving along at a slower rate when cycling in the great outdoors. Those small details truly make the experience better in the long run.

Outdoor Cycling: A Brief Introduction to Get You Started

Outdoor cycling has its unique privileges as well, benefits which even many outdoor cyclists fail to consider at times. First of all, outdoor cycling is for the most dedicated. It is not for everyone. It usually serves as a stimulus for those who desire to compete as medalists and Olympic cyclists as well; in fact, it is the perfect training ground, and a better cross-country cycling trainer’s field cannot be found.

Outdoor Cycling

Triathlons or cycling marathons are not done in a day. Neither is the respective training for these challenging events. Time and patience are always required, and when you choose to cycle outside, then you open yourself up to all of the possibilities that await. You take a greater risk, but you also risk a greater reward in the process, and there is no feeling on earth like it; you need to experiment it for yourself to fully understand what I refer to.

Many consider outdoor biking to be more effective in preparing one mentally and physically as the cyclist does not only peddle in one direction but is also prepared for anything. It requires more daily discipline and dedication as a sport, and though it is not the better form for getting in shape or started initially, it offers greater lifelong challenges and muscle or calorie gain or loss opportunities. Although colder temperatures reduce one’s outdoor exercise capacity as less blood and oxygen flow into the muscles, such factors may, on the other hand, further encourage one to push forward even harder and commit all energy and passion into becoming a better cyclist; these accomplishments can only be fully realized through outdoor cycling.

But Still, Why Outdoor Cycling?

Another top reason that outdoor cycling is superior to indoor cycling is the fact that you get to see the world and not remain confined within the same, old small indoor cycling space that you are so comfortably accustomed to. Such commodity can get boring and repetitive. You may get comfortable in the same rhythm and never truly push yourself to doing better or achieving newer, higher goals at a faster rate; after time, you continue to exercise at the same rate without outdoor motivation to remind you of the beauty of being alive, which comes in the forms of wind and sunlight. Where are the vitamin D and nature motivation when cycling inside an office or a gym?

Final Thoughts on the Matter: Anything Goes

For heart rates, variety, convenience and long term goals, you need to carefully consider which option is better for you. Having considered only about 1/3 of all crucial known factors, I personally recommend outdoor cycling, yet beginning with indoor cycling. Indoor cycling is far easier for beginners to get into a workout rhythm and get comfortable with cycling as they burn a few initial calories.

Yet the exercise that is preferred by most, especially in the long run, is outdoor cycling. With all factors of benefit considered in turn, outdoor cycling is the more complete and beneficial sport overall.

Indoor and Outdoor Cycling

Outdoor cycling burns more calories, prepares one’s mindset more realistically and allows for a greater lifelong hobby development. What many fail to gain indoors often leads to their surrender of the activity as well. Indoor isolation and discouragement tend to kick in, and one gives up. It is as simple as that, and it happens more often than you can imagine.

Discouragement is less common with natural beauty and other people cycling nearby in the great outdoors. With the stated exception of winter seasons and their own sets of obstacles, which may also further motivate one to excel at the sport and persevere to the end, simply looking at the beauty of nature outside will keep one coming back for more. Do not cycle outside in a dangerous or ugly area; choose a beautiful route and destination to keep you motivated as you push forward to reach your best goals.

Subscribe to our Newsletter


    Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

    Leave a Comment:

    Back to TOP