Stationary Bike vs. Treadmill: Which is Better?

Stationary Bike vs. Treadmill: Which is Better?

Are you in the process of creating a home gym? Or are you simply looking for a new exercise machine to add to your current ones? If so, then you may have thought about getting a treadmill or a stationary bike. These are two of the most commonly bought fitness equipment. But if you’re unsure which among them is the best option for you, then this guide can certainly help.

Not all cardio equipment is created the same. The stationary bike and the treadmill each offers its own benefits and also have its share of drawbacks. Let’s take a look at their pros and cons:



  • Burns a lot of calories when you use the step incline feature
  • Exercising on a treadmill is something almost anyone can do
  • You get the choose from different speed and incline level


  • Could put you at risk of back or knee pain
  • High impact and could hurt the joints
  • Risk of falling

Stationary Bike


  • Lower risk of injury
  • Helps strengthen the lower body
  • Low impact


  • Doesn’t burn as much calories
  • Does not utilize the upper body
  • Sitting for long periods can lead to pain in the pelvis and glutes

Aside from the abovementioned list of pros and cons, you also need to consider some factors when making a decision.

1. Which Burns More Calories?

In order to lose body fat or excess weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. Harvard Health Publishing states that a 155-pound person can burn up to 319 calories for every 30-minute intense session on a stationary bike. Meanwhile, this person could burn up to 335 calories running on a treadmill at a speed of 5 mph (fast). Jogging or running using an incline also burns a lot of calories but take note, this already turns your workout into a high impact exercise which could very well put you at risk of injury if you don’t warm up properly or if you push yourself too hard.

2. How Much Does It Cost?

Generally speaking, treadmills cost more than exercise bikes. Price range do vary greatly and the top units can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000. Top models of stationary bikes are usually under $2,000. The cost would vary depending on the brand, features and bells and whistles.

3. What About Maintenance?

Treadmills require more maintenance than stationary bikes. Treadmills are built with a motor, belt and an incline feature, which all need to be checked from time to time so it doesn’t break down. Stationary bikes rarely need servicing.

4. Which One Offers the Best Variability?

Continual progression with your workouts is a must and you can do this by regularly switching up your workouts, increasing intensity and stress levels, and so on. You don’t want your body to adapt to the current level you are on otherwise it will stop exerting effort and growing. Both stationary bike and treadmill are tied in this department since you can increase the speed, difficulty level and intensity of your workouts on both machines.

5. How Much Space is Needed?

One thing you should consider for your home gym is space. If you have a small space to work with, you’re better off with a stationary bike. Treadmills are a lot bigger and will take up more space. There are treadmills you can fold when not in use but when you do use them, you’d still need a sufficient amount of space for it.

Check out this video from QATNIP to help you decide whether to go with a treadmill or a stationary bike:

Treadmill vs Stationary Bike | Want to Lose Weight? Which one is Better?

Category: Featured