Squat jumps, land cycling, running. Can you imagine the impact that all of these sports have on your joints? Ouch. Even if you are not hurting at the moment, it’s inevitable that your time will come. Luckily (or unluckily, depending on the type of motivation you were looking for), it’s not time to quit yet! A new style of exercise has been introduced to us by the French. Underwater cycling.
This exercise uses the pressure of the water as resistance and produces an intense and high calorie-burning workout. Being underwater means that there is no hard surface for your ankles and knees to come in contact with. In fact, the buoyancy and pressure of the water actually relieve joint swelling. To get started with this great new form of exercise- you just need two things, an Aquabike and a pool.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 5 hrs of research
Folding design for easy storage
Easy to adjust resistance and seat settings
Three color options
Highly praised for its effectiveness
Folding design for easy storage
Easy to adjust resistance and seat settings
Three color options
Highly praised for its effectiveness
While other designs that we have seen have basic styles that you would find on land bound bikes, this aquabike from Tidalwave has a frame that was specifically designed to be used in the water. While it is one of the most expensive options out there on the market, the smart design and high quality make it well worth the padded price tag.Read more
Users are going to be able to select from three brightly frames that include pink, yellow, and green. It has a longer frame that offers a higher seat and handlebars that could stick up out of the water if placed in shallow waters.
One of the great things about this model is that it has a V frame design that can actually be folded up when not in use. The pedals have wide buckles that will keep feet securely in place, and you will be able to adjust the pedals and the seat, as well as resistance levels.
This unit is constructed from high-quality stainless steel with a shiny powder coat finish that is resistant to rusting and will not weaken over time.
The bad news about this design is that while it folds up flat for easy storage, it is quite a bit heavier than many similar designs. It weighs in at about 55 pounds, which will make taking it in and out of the pool a little difficult.
We hope you are sitting down because the cost of this unit is almost double that of the higher-end options that made out this list. While this price tag is a little shocking, we feel that it is still a great value when you consider the innovative styling and high-quality materials.
If you are willing to spare no expense to get the very best design that money can buy, this is going to be one of your better options. It may cost a pretty penny, but it is going to be a really great tool to help you build strength.
2. POOLBIKING Evolution
Easy to make adjustments
Made from high-quality materials
Built-in water bottle holder
POOLBIKING is a name that you are going to see quite a lot with aquabikes because they provide users with a wide variety of styles that are made to suit very specific fitness needs. The Evolutions is great because it is small and compact, but provides users with a lot of features that are convenient and helpful.Read more
This design is only offered in a sleek silver frame that is accented with bright blue pedals with red buckles. One unique feature that we noticed was the water bottle holder in the middle of the handlebars. It might seem like a strange addition to something you use in water, but it can come in handy in the middle of a tough workout.
What’s great about the Evolution model is that you will have the control to adjust pretty much everything. There are two adjustment knobs on the bottom of the unit to change the height from the floor, or to even stagger the height. There are also two knobs you can use to adjust the handlebars as well as the seat.
The materials used to construct this product are incredibly strong and durable. The frame is composed of AISI 316L stainless steel that is electropolished with a protective coating to prevent wear and rust.
The weight of this design is pretty heavy, but it is far from being one of the heaviest designs that we have seen. Weighing in at just over 48 pounds, it is going to be a little bit of a struggle lifting it up and out of the pool.
As far as price is concerned, this design is just priced slightly above average. It isn’t the most expensive design out there on the market, but it isn’t the most affordable as well.
For those that are looking for something that is going to be easy to use to provide a really great workout while in the pool, this is a really solid choice that is going to hold up quite well over the years.
3. Fitmax Hydrospin Lite
Easy to adjust
Cushioned seat and handlebars
If comfort is something that is important to you on those long rides in the pool, this is an option that is worth a look. Users like that it has a seat and handlebars that are a little more cushioned than most, and the smart pedals are going to give you a slightly more challenging workout.Read more
This unit is offered in a darker gray frame with red and blue accents on the wheel, pedals, and handlebars. What users like most about this design is that the seat and the handlebars are coated in a soft rubber that makes it more comfortable and less slippery when wet.
You are going to be able to adjust this device in a myriad of ways that are going to suit your physical needs. The pedals and the handlebars can be raised or lowered as you see fit by simply pulling up on a lever, positioning the bar, and clamping the lever back down in place.
Fitmax claims that their products are made from such high-quality materials that you will be able to leave this unit in the pool 24/7. The frame is made from marine grade SS316L stainless steel that is going to stay strong and won’t rust no matter how long you leave it in the water.
The weight of this unit runs pretty par for the course. It weighs in at just over 46 pounds, which means when you do want to take it out of the pool, it going to be pretty heavy.
One thing that we liked about this design is that while it is made from high-quality materials and sports an innovative design, it doesn’t have a price tag that is going to knock your socks off. It’s not one of the more affordable options out there, but we feel that it is offered at a great price point considering the quality.
For those that are looking for something incredibly solid and well made, and are willing to pay just a little bit extra to get there, this designs from Fitmax is going to be an excellent tool for your fitness goals.
4. POOLBIKING ONE
Made from really high-quality materials
More affordable than similar options
No way to manually adjust the resistance
This design might seem very similar to POOLBIKING’s Evolution model, but there are slight differences that make this design just a little bit different. One noticeable difference is that it is priced to be a little bit more affordable, but doesn’t have as many of the features.Read more
This unit is offered in a bright silver frame that is accented with red and blue pedals, and a solid black seat. One thing users really like about this design is that the seat is a lot more cushioned than other POOLBIKING designs, which will provide you a more comfortable ride.
Users will only be able to adjust the resistance of the pedals by increasing their speed. The faster that you pedal, the more resistance you accumulate. What users like about this design is that it is simple and t is easy to adjust the height of the seat as well as the position of the handlebars.
As always with POOLBIKING products, this is constructed of some really tough materials. The frame is made from stainless steel that is considered to be marine grade, so you can leave it in the pool and not have to worry.
The weight of this unit is just slightly lighter than some of the other designs in this line, but only by a few pounds. It weighs in at about 45 pounds, which will be just a little difficult to lift up out of the pool.
The cost of this design is expensive, but it is considered to be one of the more affordable options in the POOLBIKING line. If you are looking for something from this brand to give a try, this is going to be one of your better options.
We liked this design because it’s simple, easy to use, and small and compact. It might not have all of the bells and whistles as some of the other designs, but it does a great job of allowing you to get a great workout.
5. HYDRORIDER PRO FIX
Made from strong marine-grade materials
Sleek and slim design
If you are willing to spare no expense when it comes to your fitness gear, the HYDRORIDER PRO FIX is the Cadillac of this list. It provides users with all of the adjustments and features they will need. The only downside is that it comes in at a price point that is over double that of even some of the higher-end designs.Read more
This design is a lot more sleek and slim than other designs out there on the market. It is only offered in a basic light silver color and is accented by while bumpers on the base and a black seat.
Users love the multitude of ways that this device is able to be adjusted. You will have the power to change the height of the entire unit by adjusting the bottom arms, and you can also change the height of the seat and handlebars as well.
This unit is made from really high-quality materials that are going to hold up quite well even if you leave it in the water. The frame is composed of stainless steel that is considered to be marine grade.
The weight of this design runs about in the middle of the road. Weighing in at about 48 pounds, this isn’t the heaviest design out there on the market, but it is far from being the lightest.
We hope you are sitting down, because the cost of this unit packs quite the price tag, and will set you back about double the price of similar designs. However, when you consider the professional-grade style and materials, this may be worth the extra cost.
For those that are serious about their training and are willing to spare no expense to reach their fitness goals, this device is going to be an excellent tool to help you get there if you are willing to pay the extra cost.
6. POOLBIKING Ibiza
Large wheels make it easy to move
Easy to adjust
Made from rust and corrosion-resistant materials
What we liked about the Ibiza style is that is lives somewhere in between a bike and an elliptical. This design is going to work great at providing you a well-rounded workout and stronger muscles without wreaking havoc on your joints.Read more
As with any POOLBIKING style, this unit is only offered in the basic silver model with red and blue pedals and a black seat. What makes this design a little bit different is that it has pretty large wheels along the back to make transporting and lifting just a little bit easier.
The great thing about this model is that users will have the ability to adjust it to be taller by raising the bottom pins, and they can also adjust the seat and the handlebars as well.
Made from marine-grade stainless steel, this design is made to hold up quite well in all types of conditions- whether it is freshwater, chlorinated water, or even saltwater.
Clocking in at a whopping 60 pounds, this is one of the heaviest units out there on the market. However, the addition of the large wheels along the backside makes moving this beast around just a little easier.
The bad news about this easy design is that it comes in at one of the most expensive price points of any of the other options out there on the market. However, we do consider this unit a good value if you take into consideration the sturdy frame and innovative design features.
If you are in the market for something that is going to be a little more versatile than most, and will provide users with a sturdy machine that will hold up over time, this is an excellent option from a trusted brand.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When we considered style, we looked at a lot more than just how it looks.
Let’s face it, the look of the frame isn’t going to be all that important because while it is in use- it is going to be submerged in water! So, the styling of the frame from an aesthetic standpoint wasn’t at the top of our priority list. What we did look at, however, was the style of the seat, as well as the handlebars, and how the shape of the frame was going to benefit your workout. The seat is one of the big issues that we considered. The seats that are provided on most designs are not going to be soft and squishy like the seat on your land bike. This is because soft and squishy seats are going to absorb more water and wear-out quickly. Also, thanks to gravity, you simply do not need that much padding when you are underwater.
However, there still is such a thing as a seat that is uncomfortable. We found that narrow seats were typically regarded better because they allow the user to shift their weight or even stand up if they needed to, without the seat getting in the way. Handlebars are also something that we considered. Most of these designs have bars that are high enough to stick up out of the water. Features that we looked at were things like water bottle holders and grooved plastic handles for a surefire grip.
We also took into consideration how well you were going to be able to adjust it.
Not all body types are all created equal, which is why you want something that you are going to be able to shift up and down. The best options we found were designs that had four points of adjustments- two on the base and two on the top. Most of the designs that we found had the basic method of adjustment that you would find in most gyms- the long arm with holes held in place by a central screw. These methods are the most common, but they are not the easiest to shift. Our favorite design for adjustments is the crank. To make your adjustments, simply flick up the crank, pull up your seat to the desired height, and then flick the crank back down into position. This method is going to be ideal for those with weaker hands.
For something that works when submerged in water- it is going to need to be made from some pretty strong materials.
We wanted to make sure that we selected aquabikes that are constructed from materials that won’t rust. Once a device begins to rust, it will soon spread and weaken the entire system.
One of the best materials we found that is going to hold up over time and not rust is marine-grade stainless steel. Hands down, stainless steel is the material that you want for the frame of your device. However, the downside to stainless steel is that it is going to make your product incredibly heavy. If you want to select something that is going to be a lot lighter and also rust-resistant, marine-grade aluminum is going to be your second best option. While aluminum is going to be a lot lighter and easier to handle than stainless steel, it is considered to be just a little less durable.
We have mentioned it a few times before, but weight is something that you want to keep an eye on because these devices are meant to move.
Unlike the elliptical machine that you put in your bedroom that quickly turned into a coat rack- you are actually going to be able to lift this unit up and move it. From what we could gather, the heaviest design weighed in at about 60 pounds, but it also had a small set of wheels that make it easier to move. We wanted to ensure that we select designs that were going to be able to be accessible to everyone. The average weight of these devices is around 50 pounds, with some being a little higher and some being a little less. The lightest design we found out there weighs just 18 pounds- but that still is pretty heavy if you are not used to lifting heavy things. If you want something that is going to be easier to move, be sure that the design that you land on has wheels!
Of course, we want to save you a little bit of money when we can without sacrificing quality.
The bad news here is that there are very few designs that one could classify as inexpensive. Most of the designs out there on the market carry quite a hefty price tag- even the more affordable options. We wanted to make sure that we selected designs that ranged the entire price spectrum- from the affordable to the expensive.
However, we did discover that there were few differences between the extremely expensive and those that ran in the middle of the roads in terms of price. Both options were typically made from stainless steel, and they all sported very similar frame designs with the same level of adjustments. The more affordable options were typically made from lower-quality materials that would break, and they also didn’t come with the same level of features and adjustments as the higher-end models.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Seats and handlebars are going to be something that you are going to want to take a good look at. While most of the seats are made from hard plastic, there are some designs out there that use a nonporous but soft plastic that will provide a soft ride. Keep in mind, however, that you are not going to need as much padding under the water as you do on top.
For superior adjustability, you need to look further than simply the seat or the handlebars. Adjustments at the bottom of the unit are great because this is going to raise or lower the whole device, which may be imperative when faced with deep or shallow bodies of water.
How much a piece of workout equipment weighs typically isn't something worth worrying about, because you will just need to set it up and leave it there until the end of time. However, these products are going to be on the move, and you are going to need to be able to lift them up and out of the water after each workout. If you aren't working with a lot of upper body strength, we recommend ensuring that you select a device that has wheels to make your life easier.
Other Factors to Consider
Ultimately, this is up to you. It depends how hard you train, how dedicated you are, and how often you do it. Each machine gives you more or less the same platform to indulge in the exercise. A machine that is adjusted to your size and height and that feels most comfortable will increase its effectiveness for you specifically. Aquabikes do not have resistance settings. You can increase the resistance by pedaling faster. As you can imagine, pedaling quickly underwater is not an easy task. It has been said that on-land cycling burns around six-hundred calories per hour. Underwater cycling has been said to burn around seven-hundred calories per hour. As you can see the difference is not gigantic, but most people are drawn to this sport for the sake of their aching joints or simply because they enjoy being in the water. Either way, this sport has proven to be effective, safe, fun, and a great way to give your joints a break.
As mentioned before, the durability has a lot to do with the materials used to build the machine. Just about every aquabike created is made with marine-grade aluminum or marine-grade stainless steel. Both are great options, however, stainless steel will be heavier and more durable. Aside from the materials that dictate how well these machines will live in the water, you should also take a look into their warranties, if one is offered. Each company has its own repertoire, some with no warranty, some that put different warranty times on different pieces of the machine. Luckily, seeing as how these items spend a good amount of time underwater, they are not subject to the pressures of gravity or technical malfunctions. The time when you need to be most cautious is when you are putting the machine in the water or taking it out. It does not happen often, but this is the most likely situation for dings and bruises. A stainless steel machine will be much more durable in these situations.
In reality, you do not need to know how to swim to use these bikes. Whether you are an Olympic swimmer or not, one thing that you should be cautious of is pushing yourself too hard. It is one thing when you get light headed on land, but in the water is more dangerous. If you are going to use this machine at home, alone, it is always a good idea to do it when someone else is in the house with you or to call someone before and after a session. Even though you are exercising in a body of water, you still need to stay hydrated. Being hydrated strengthens your cardiovascular system, improves muscle function and brainpower, and also lubricates your joints.
There are not many hazards to be cautious of when using these machines. Perhaps the most strenuous and possibly dangerous part is lowering the machine in and out of the water. Most of these machines weigh about 45-pounds. You want to be sure that you don’t accidentally fall into the shallow water when lowering it in, and also that it doesn’t fall on you when lifting it out. This is always a better task to do with a partner.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What are some of the benefits of using an aquabike?
Running or cycling on planet earth can be murder on your joints and tendons. With every step or cycle, the earth is trying desperately to pull you back to the surface, and that’s where joint damage comes into play. An excellent way to give your joints a break is to conduct your daily workouts on the moon. Unfortunately, there are no gyms open on the moon, and even if there were- there are no bus lines that will take you there. The next best thing to working out on the moon, however, is to conduct your workouts underwater. By submerging your body, there is going to be no pull from gravity impacting your joints, and you will be able to effectively build muscle while giving you bones a break.
q: Can I leave them in the pool full time?
While many companies claim that their products can be stored in a body of water full time, we have discovered otherwise. Many people that use these products do not suggest that you leave them in the pool full time. Most units are designed with marine quality materials, but keeping them in the water for incredibly long periods means that you are shortening it’s lifespan- even if only slightly. These products typically do not come at a low price point, so it is always going to be in your best interest to err on the side of caution to help protect your investment.
q: Will they damage the bottom of my pool?
The good news here is that almost all of the products we have researched and placed on our list have been designed that they will not harm the bottoms of pools that are made from materials such as tile, cement, or PVC. They achieve this by placing rubber bumpers along the bottom points. Some designs even use a series of suction cups to not only keep it in place but to also prevent it from moving around too much and running the risk of scuffing the bottom of your pool.
q: How deep does the water need to be?
You might assume that the entire unit needs to be submerged in order to reap the highest benefits, but that simply isn’t the case. Typically, you will only need about 3-5 feet of water, and you might be able to get away with even less if you adjust the height setting on your device to the lowest setting. What you are looking for is to ensure that the lower half of your body is completely submerged in water. Many devices use long and exaggerated handlebars that stick up and out of the water to keep your grip firm.
q: Who can benefit the most from these types of products?
While it is never a bad idea for even the most hardcore athlete to give their joints a break every once in a while, these products are geared more towards those that are recovering from a setback or an injury. There is nothing worse than suffering some type of injury while training- such as a sprained ankle or pulled muscle. A small set back can turn into a huge valley if you decide to tackle your healing with a Netflix marathon on your couch. Just because you are down doesn’t mean that you are out- you just need to be smarter about training. Using one of these products inside of a pool will keep your muscles engage and strong, and you will be able to get a pretty tough workout in while you are waiting to get back to 100 percent. These types of products are also perfect for those that want to start a workout routine but that want to start slow, or for older folks that want to ease back into a workout routine without worrying about injury.
q: Are they hard to get in and out of the water?
We aren’t going to sugar coat it here- they can be a bit of a pain to lug in and out of the water. Most people leave their unit in the water until they need to clean their pool- but we don’t recommend that because it is going to shorten the lifespan of your product. If carting it in and out of the water is going to be a problem for you with the models that are 45 pounds and up, there are a few solutions that you can consider. Be sure that you select a design that has wheels running along the back. This isn’t going to do much to reduce the weight of the product, but it is going to help you a great deal when you need to wheel it up and out of the pool and store it in the garage.
q: Are they going to be easy to store?
This is another downside to these products- they aren’t typically able to be folded down for easy storage (for the exception of the Tidalwave design that can be folded in half). The good news, however, is that these products aren’t going to be the same size as your standard land model, so while they will be a little bit of a hassle to toss into storage, it could always be a lot worse.