Can I Use My Exercise Bike Without a Mat?
It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of getting home gym equipment such as an exercise bike and forget important accessories such as a mat underneath.
Having a mat underneath your exercise bike is essential to keep you stable while you use your bike and protect the flooring you have underneath it, whether this flooring is carpet or tiles.
To find out more about why you need an exercise mat underneath your bike, whether or not you can use one on a carpet, the benefits of using a mat and how to find the best one, we have composed an informative guide with everything you need to know below.
Why Are Exercise Mats Important?
Before we get into more about the types of mat you should be looking for to cushion your exercise bike, let’s discuss why you shouldn’t skip these mats in the first place when buying your machine.
The first and most important reason as to why you need a mat is because it protects the floor underneath your heavy machine from getting damaged, it also keeps the noise level low that comes from your exercise bike and provides cushioning and balance while you are using the machine.
Using your exercise bike without a mat, to begin with, might be okay, but over time you will notice the effects of the heavyweight machine on your floor. This is why at nearly every professional gym, each piece of equipment will have some kind of matting under it.
Can I Use My Exercise Bike On The Carpet?
Many people who are planning to use their exercise bike on a carpeted floor might be tempted to skip a mat altogether as the carpet itself is a cushion for the machine, however, this is a bad idea.
Although carpets might be better to cushion your machine than hardwood flooring does, they attract a lot of dust and dirt into the machine which can affect its overall lifespan, the bike might also sink into the sides of the carpet causing instability during use.
Having your exercise bike on the carpet without a mat is also unhygienic as your carpet will catch all of your sweat during a workout, not only is this gross but will eventually impact the lifespan of your carpet too.
Benefits Of Using a Mat Under Your Bike
Now we have covered why you need a mat under your exercise bike, you might still not be swayed to make the extra purchase, so we have listed a few other benefits of putting an exercise mat under your machine below.
- Easy to clean – Mats catch all the fallout from your machine underneath, whether this is sweat or lubricant, making clean-up afterwards much easier.
- Stops noise – A mat underneath your exercise bike acts as a shock absorber which reduces the amount of noise your bike makes dramatically, making it nicer to use in your house and more pleasant for your neighbours too!
- Keeps you stable – By having a flat surface underneath your exercise bike, it will stop the bike from rocking side to side during use or the machine slipping if you were planning to use it on hardwood flooring.
- Protects your floor – We will mention again, a mat underneath your bike is essential to protect the flooring underneath, this stops expensive flooring from getting scuffed is even more important if you are planning to use the machine in a rental home.
Which Size Mat Should I Get For My Bike?
Choosing what kind of mat you need underneath your exercise bike is not always as easy as you think, you need to consider the type of exercise bike you have so you can be getting the appropriate size mat for it underneath.
For example, if you have a spin bike, then you can get away with using a smaller size mat as a stepper, this kind of mat should have dimensions of around 3 feet in length and 2 feet in width. On the other hand, a recumbent bike is much wider and bigger than a spin bike so you will need a larger mat to cushion this type of machine, dimensions should be around 5 feet in length and 2.5 feet in width.
It is always best to measure your specific machine beforehand and account for some extra space around the width and length, your mat should technically be slightly larger than the total area of your machine.
What To Look For In The Best Exercise Mat
When looking for the best exercise mat on the market you should ensure that it has all the features you need such as the right material and non-slip design.
To help you find the best mat in terms of value for money for your exercise bike, we have listed to main specs to look out for in your mat below.
- Floor-type – The type of mat you buy and its material will depend on the flooring you are planning to put the machine on, for example, if you want to place your exercise bike on carpet flooring then a PVC mat might be best, however for floors which are a little harder such as concrete a foam mat will be best as it has more cushioning.
- Material – You will likely come across three main types of mats on the market; PVC, rubber and foam mats. PVC is great for all-around use, while rubber is exceptional for providing stability and foam mats are needed for harsher floor surfaces.
- Non-slip – Double check that your exercise mat is rated a non-slip, you want to ensure that your mat acts as a stabiliser on your floor, not for it to be sliding around while you use the machine.
- Type – Not all exercise mats look the same, some can be all-purpose and switched into a yoga mat as well, while others come in the form of puzzle pieces so as you can even build a gym size floor or mat to the size of your liking.
Additional Tips For Taking Care Of Your Exercise Bike
In addition to having an exercise mat under your machine, there are a couple of tips and tricks we would suggest implementing so as you can keep your exercise bike and the space around it in the best condition possible.
We have listed our best care tips for you to follow below.
- Get a cover for your bike – Having a cover for your exercise bike is just as important as a mat is for keeping dust from getting inside the machine and ruining its performance, ensure you get the right size cover or just use the average scooter type cover.
- Vacuum around the machine – Even if you have a mat underneath your bike it is important to vacuum around it so as you can get rid of dust.
- Lubricate the bike – As your manufacturer has likely stated, to get the best performance out of your bike and increase its lifespan you need to make sure you are lubricating it when needed.
- Wipe it down after use – Dust can be removed from your bike by wiping the machine down after use, this will also get rid of sweat which when left on the machine can cause corrosion over time and shorten the lifespan of the bike.
Frequently Asked Questions About Buying An Exercise Mat For Your Bike
How much does a mat for my exercise bike cost?
Typically, mats to put under your exercise bike aren’t too expensive and differ in price according to the size and material that you pick, they can range between a price of £20-£60 on average.
Can I use my exercise bike on concrete?
Yes, there is no reason as to why you can’t use your exercise bike on concrete, just make sure that there is a foam mat underneath as this will provide the best thickness and support.
Could I use a yoga mat as a mat for my exercise bike?
It is possible to use a yoga mat as a mat for under your exercise bike but it will likely not be as thick as exercise mats would be for this use, so might not provide as much grip and cushion.
Will a mat make my exercise bike last longer?
Yes, using a mat underneath your stationary bike will indeed help to increase the machine’s lifespan as it keeps out dust and stops too much wear and tear on the machine.
To conclude, it is very important to use a mat underneath your exercise bike, not only to protect your flooring from getting scuffed over time but also to increase the lifespan of the machine by keeping dust and dirt from getting into the motor of the bike.
When choosing the best mat to put under your exercise bike do ensure you get the right material according to the floor type you are planning to place it on and the right size according to the type of exercise bike you have, whether recumbent or upright.