Screwed by the temperature! My treadmill is frozen again. So, I hit the stationary bike for my second workout today. I kept it at 45 minutes and held the speed from 20-24 MPH. I always bring a book and it really passes the time.
One of the biggest issues with stationary bikes that most people are not aware of is the unnecessary knee strain that can come from improper seat height. When you are sitting on the bike, extend one foot/pedal to the lowest point. At its lowest point, your knee should have a slight bend to it. If the seat is too high, the knee will be straight at the bottom and it will extend your knee too much. If the seat is too low, the knee will stay in a bent position and put too much stress on the joint.
I personally feel that adding tension is not a good idea at all. I feel it is an unnatural way of riding and it stresses the joint. A better option to simulate climbing is to elevate the front of the bike about 8-10 inches on a simple wooden platform or board setup. Make sure it's safe please, but it is better for you that the tension wheel, trust me.