Indoor vs. Outdoor Cycling: Which Is Best?

Published on 03/31/2021
Indoor vs. Outdoor Cycling: Which Is Best?

Indoor vs. Outdoor Cycling: Which Is Best?

There is an age-old debate that’s still ongoing: which is better for your health, indoor or outdoor cycling? While the answer isn’t quite clear-cut, there are some convincing arguments on either side of the debate. So let’s break it down and talk about all the pros and cons of each option. After all, not everything will suit everyone, so it makes sense the same is true in this case. After reading more about each option, you’ll have a better understanding of what you’d want and need, leading you to make the best decision for yourself.

Indoor Cycling Pro: More Control

When you’re cycling indoors, one major difference is that you get to choose the intensity. This means you can make every second count. There are no obstacles in your way like red lights or pedestrians slowing you down throughout your workout. When you don’t have a lot of time to train, this is ideal since it saves you a lot of time. If you have a setup at home, you’ll be able to just hop on and get a good workout in whenever you have time.

Indoor Cycling Pro: Structured Workouts

Cycling outside is harder to regulate since you have to navigate through all kinds of conditions and terrains. Inside, you can maintain a consistent pace and create a structured workout with a specific goal in mind. Not to mention, indoor cycling is more suited for interval training since you already have that measure of control. When cycling outside, you can’t decide when or where you’re going to have a steep uphill or a road with less traffic.

Indoor Cycling Pro: All Year-Round

It goes without saying that indoor cycling is a good option for those who live in areas with difficult weather conditions. Whether it’s raining, snowing, or scorching hot outside, cycling indoors gives you more comfort to work out properly without getting sidetracked by weather conditions.

Outdoor Cycling Pro: Builds Endurance

Not every ride needs to be the most intense one you’ve ever done. In fact, you need low-intensity rides to allow the body to properly recover between intense sessions. If you’re planning on competing in long-distance races, the long and slow rides are necessary. Finally, outdoor cycling is better when you want to put in over two hours on the bike since indoor cycling tends to lead to boredom or burnout.

Outdoor Cycling Pro: Better Bike Handling

There’s just one way to improve in bike-handling – outdoor cycling. Balance, awareness, cornering, braking, and descending are all crucial elements of cycling that you can only learn and practice on the road. Being exposed to all kinds of terrains and conditions will help you handle your bike better.

Outdoor Cycling Pro: Change of Scenery

Instead of staring at a computer screen or a blank wall, cycling outdoors allows you to get some fresh air and sunlight while spending time in nature. Cycling outside brings along helpful distractions that will allow you to ride further and harder instead of keeping you focused on the pain or difficulty of the workout. Even if you slightly change your terrain every once in a while will challenge you to use different muscle groups, leading you to become a well-rounded cyclist.