I've ridden one exercise bike into the ground since I've started on this weight loss/maintenance journey. This was a bike I got my wife so she could keep fit but she found that it wasn't her thing so it ended up as most exercise bikes do as dust gatherers or clotheslines. Little did we imagine at the time of purchase that I would end up on it exercising my heart out.
Fortunately when I "killed" the bike I sent a text to my sister to that affect and she offered her unused exercise bike as replacement.
It was a very good bike...much better than the old one and I was able to continue on my way without missing a beat.
In the last week or so I've been noticing that this bike was starting to give up the ghost as well. I've found my exercise bike such an efficient tool to use that I started to price out a replacement bike. I was shocked at the price of a reasonable sort of bike would cost. Even the cheaper bikes were pricey for what they were. I can understand why these gym equipment selling places were offering "terms" - it is the only way one could buy them.
I was ready to bite the bullet and plug down hundreds of dollars for a so-so bike (not as good as I had but not the cheapest) when my good wife had a brainwave - why not check out some hock shops? First one had a good enough bike in it for $200 (a lot cheaper than buying one new) but we decide to check another shop out. Next shop had one for $79. Yes it wasn't as good as the one I had but at that price if it lasted only a year I would still be in front. Brought it for $70 (never buy any big ticket item at a hock shop without asking for a discount).
So now I'm on to my third exercise bike. It is interesting to compare them as each behaves differently from the others. Those read outs like calories burned and resistance levels vary wildly. For example, on my last exercise bike 30 minutes on level 4 would give me a read out of 500 calories burnt however 30 minutes on my new bike on level 8 (which is about the same resistance as the old bike's level 4) would only give me 200 calories. Also the seat is different...although this one is actually softer - my bottom is so use to the contours of the old bike that there is going to be an adjustment period while my bottom develops the new calluses to cope.
So the moral of the story is - don't pay full price for an exercise bike. Many people buy exercise equipment with good intentions but don't follow through...and sell near new items at very cheap prices. One guy was selling a bells and whistles cross trainer costing over a thousand for near half price on Gumtree with the words "Only used a few times. Bloody women"
Go to a hock shop, Gumtree or the like...and grab a bargain!