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Old 08.01.2021, 14:09
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Caleb Caleb is offline
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Re: Indoor bike-Schwinn vs cheaper knock offs?

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Then there are some bikes available for under CHF500, are they really that inferior for basic cardio?
I'll get a bit pedantic first: they are not all knock-offs. Horizon (the one you linked) is a reputable manufacturer of high-quality fitness products. Considering Schwinn was not the inventor of home trainers, theoretically they're ALL knock-offs.

Now to the constructive part of the post: I have used a ton of them during the last 20 years. Most of them will be, for your expected "basic" use, quite similar. The single most important element that you will notice a difference from day 1 would be the saddle, which is easily exchangeable. I would personally suggest you go to a store (if at all possible) and try 2 or 3 cheap ones, so you can experience where the cheapness plays. In my own experience the cheaper ones are much lighter, meaning less stable, more noisy (and not just from the moving parts, also from the cheap assembly design), and some parts will deteriorate faster (plastic and rubber parts may harden and crack, bad coating will allow some rust in the first 10 years, etc). The finish will also look cheaper.

One caveat: you mentioned that you don't care about the electronics so much, but they can be quite basic if the product you choose isn't good enough. Your watch will tell you about your cardio workout, but not the distance or cadence performance, and that's a fairly important callibration aspect that your watch cannot help you with. I would just avoid the VERY cheap ones (e.g. the Gorilla Sports basic one, or the Gonser model), and look at mid-tier brands better products (featuring some computer functionality).
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