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A bike mat is one of the most important add-ons to your spin bike. But what about using an already available yoga mat instead?
An appropriate mat is needed to help your stationary bike stay in place, especially if the floor of your studio is slippery. It should also protect your hardwood flooring from scratches and damage during a vigorous workout session. Do you think a yoga mat can serve all these purposes?
You can't use a yoga mat for a spin bike because it isn't designed to hold heavy equipment. A yoga mat, in comparison to a bike mat, lacks the dimensions, thickness, cushioning, pliability, and grip required to keep a spin bike in place. The best option here is to use equipment mats.
A yoga mat is meant to sustain a person, not the exercise equipment. Taking this fact into consideration, we compared the characteristics of different yoga mats and bike mats to draw a conclusion as to why yoga mats can't be used underneath stationary bikes. These characteristics will be discussed in the next sections.
If your yoga mat isn't cutting it on the spin bike, you'll need to upgrade to a bike mat sooner or later. It's fine to spend some money on a mat unless you don't want your bike or floor to be damaged.
Can You Use a Yoga Mat for a Spin Bike?
No, a yoga mat should not be used as a spin bike's flooring. Even if you use it, it will most likely defeat the purpose of an equipment mat that you actually require for your bike. Therefore, it's necessary to buy a bike mat for your spin bike to avoid any hassle during your workout sessions.
The more expensive an exercise bike is, the more accessories you'll need to keep it running smoothly. However, a few key add-ons, such as a bike mat, can help you avoid the high cost of future equipment and floor repairs. Furthermore, a good bike mat absorbs vibrations and sounds generated by the bike's movement, ensuring a comfortable workout.
The Difference Between a Yoga Mat and a Bike Mat
A slip mat, or yoga mat, is entirely different from the equipment mats when it comes to its material and function. Let's see how both mats differ from each other.
Purpose of Use
A yoga mat's purpose is to act as a floor covering that helps to stabilize a person's posture while exercising. It provides resistance to keeping a person's body in place while doing yoga and other exercises such as squats, push-ups, and planks.
Quite the contrary, a bike mat is used to cover the floor beneath the exercise equipment like stationary bikes. It protects the flooring and equipment from damage by absorbing the vibrations of the exercise bike during workouts.
Bike mats are far thicker and heavier than yoga mats. Most of the yoga mats available on the market are ⅛ inches thick. Sometimes, the thickness may range from ⅛ to ¼ inches. It's very uncommon for an average yoga mat to have a thickness of 1 inch. On the other hand, the standard thickness of a bike mat typically ranges from 1 to 3 inches.
Both the bike mats and the yoga mats are generally made of PVC material, foam, or high-density rubber. Sometimes, yoga mats also come in the carpet stuff which the bike mats don't.
Some yoga mats are extremely light because they are made of softer and lower-density foam as compared to bike mats. This is why they are compressed and misshaped easily and are insufficient to support heavy equipment like stationary bikes.
All bike mats come with water-resistant coatings on their surface. However, not all yoga mats are made of water-resistant materials. Therefore, the drops of sweat dripping down on a yoga mat become stuck on the mat. It may result in a bad odor if the mat is not properly washed off.
Usually, a bike mat has a more textured surface which offers greater friction to the equipment placed on it. The greater amount of texture and friction makes bike mats more grippy as compared to yoga mats. The greater the grip on the equipment, the more likely it is to remain stable during strenuous biking sessions.
Reasons Why You Can't Use a Yoga Mat for a Spin Bike
Here are the reasons why you can't use yoga mats for flooring under spin bikes.
Although yoga mats come in a variety of sizes, the standard ones are too small to be used under a spin bike. An average-sized spin bike is about 2 to 2.5 feet. The majority of yoga mats are also 2 to 3 feet long. What good does it do to use a mat that is the same size as the equipment? To accommodate a spin bike and create a little extra space around it, we recommend using a bike mat, which is usually 5 feet long and sometimes even longer.
As mentioned above, yoga mats are generally 4 to 8 times thinner than bike mats. A thin mat is not able to absorb the vibrations of equipment due to inadequate cushioning. Moreover, when we tested the yoga mat for spin bikes, we could feel the ground from the mat which should not be the case with an ideal bike mat.
Yoga mats are less durable than bike mats. The average lifespan of a yoga mat is about 1 to 2 years. Due to its lack of thickness, this mat is damaged easily. This is why experts recommend replacing your exercise mat every two years. Bike mats are more resistant to damage and therefore last many years. The lifespan of most bike mats is about 10 to 15 years.
Yoga mats are less pliable. In other words, they lack the elasticity to resort to their original state after they are compressed. This is why the heavyweights of the spin bikes will cause these mats to distort. Bike mats, on the other hand, do not distort due to their large weights.
Although the material of yoga mats may differ widely between different mats, they eventually lose their ability to absorb sweat over time. When they neither resist nor absorb moisture, they tend to become slippery. On the contrary, bike mats are made to resist moisture and can be cleaned easily.
Why Should You Use a Bike Mat Under a Spin Bike?
- A bike mat contains sufficient cushioning of foam that is designed to protect the floor of your studio or gym from skid marks and damage.
- It keeps the bike from moving and keeps it in a stable position when you ride on and off the saddle.
- Bike mats are usually water-repellent, which is why they are easy to clean when you sweat a lot during your workout session.
- These are thick and absorbent enough to nullify the harsh vibrations that result when you increase the speed of your bike.
- The thick layer of the bike mat prevents contact between the metallic edges of the bike and the floor, thus preventing the bike from wearing out and increasing its longevity.