Best Exercise Bikes Reviewed and Compared
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Cycling indoors is a challenging, refreshing, exhilarating, and ultimately extremely effective form of aerobic exercise that is becoming very popular. On average, a normal hour-long bike ride can burn up to 298 for someone weighing around 150 pounds. On the other hand an indoor cyclist can burn 20 calories in a minute. Riding a stationary bike indoors isn’t just good exercise — it’s a great way to get rid of fat and improve overall fitness and cardio.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Exerpeutic Bike
- Sunny Health Bike
- Great Design
- Marcy Bike
Using a stationary bike on a regular basis is one of the most efficient types of exercise. Cycling cardio has been proven to increase energy, mental well-being, and overall heart health, not to mention plenty of other health benefits to the metabolism and muscles/joints. Indoor cycling is only one facet of aerobic exercise, and is increasingly becoming an extremely popular one. Moreover, you aerobic activities are a recommended part of every fitness routine, as it can improve your ability to lose fat and increase your overall stamina. Adults should exercise for at least 2 hours on a weekly basis. If you’re exercising to be healthy, at least half an hour or exercise per day will provide great results, but if you want to shed fat it is recommended to exercise for up to 45 minutes, notes the ACE.
Recently, a large increase in cycling class popularity has helped to drive interest and innovation within the workout bike industry. This inflation of interest is due to the high intensity and proven effectiveness of a good cycling routine. With the option to be able to cycle easily for an easy cardio option or amp up the resistance and incline, workouts can result in great cardio activation and a very heavy calorie-burning effect. Whether you are looking for a home cycling option, or an efficient rainy day biking substitute machine, our guide is designed to help you become educated on the products and what you should keep in mind when buying and owning an exercise bike.
When initially searching for an exercise bike, it is very important to know the different styles and features of each bike you are looking at. Exercise bikes can vary greatly in size, shape, and functionality, so understanding what your preferences are in relation to size and shape are important to ensure satisfaction and amount of comfort throughout ownership of the product. Normally, product descriptions detail the dimensions so the consumer can best match their body type and length to the correct product.
Exercise bikes have many features to keep in mind when shopping that include:
How much resistance are you looking for during your workouts, and how do you want to be able to adjust it? Most bikes in today’s market come with added resistance options, but it is important to ensure this function as some products geared towards elderly and rehabilitation do not provide enough resistance for the average fit individual. Increasing and decreasing resistance and pushing your endurance are a big aspect of what makes these workout routines so effective. Whether you are looking for a home machine to just get your legs moving and maintain healthy joints or a home cycling substitute to push yourself on days in, there is an option for you.
It is important to search for products that feature clear and easy to read displays. A good display will feature all of the relevant information, including heart rate, distance, resistance, time spent or time left in workout, calories burned, as well as speed. These details help to keep you on top of your workouts and know how effective they are, as well as providing an easy to see display of information to keep you on track during exertion.
Bikes that feature programming options based on fitness level and type of workout desired will add to the overall customization ability of your workouts and lead to a more enjoyable experience. Having the ability to customize your experience can make your exercise more fun. Some products can include features such as races, time trials, simulated bike paths, and more to add to your home cycling experience. If you enjoy setting goals and tracking progress, having a bike with multiple functions can add a fun dimension to your home cycling routine.
Heart Rate Monitor
10 Best Exercise Bikes
1. Exerpeutic Folding
Heart rate monitor
Comfortable seat cushion
8 level magnetic tension resistance system
1 year warranty
Space saving design
3 piece crank system for smooth biking
This bike has a weight capacity of 300 pounds and fits anyone from 5’3 to 6’1, making it fit a wide variety of individuals. All of these features make it great for any size home or workout room, and its unique crank system ensures it will not produce distracting noise during your workout, allowing you to enjoy your music, TV, and not annoy fellow housemates. The LCD screen displays distance, calories burned, heart rate, allowing you to stay on top of your workouts and crush your goals faster. With the ability to fold the bike up and store it in tight spaces, this is a cost-effective and consumer-savvy workout bike that is sure to satisfy even the highest cycling aficionados.
Extremely comfy seat
Not made for bigger individuals over 300lbs or 6’1
2. Sunny Health
Smooth/reliable chain drive system
Heavy-duty crank system
Integrated transport wheels for ease of storage and mobility
Adjustable resistance system
With all of the basic functionality of the bike at your favorite spin class, this product allows you to bring the gym home easily and efficiently. Featuring a great design, adjustability, and a resistance system that will challenge even the most experienced bikers, you will fall in love with your new home cycling setup. The Sunny Health and fitness bike provides invigorating and quiet workouts that you can do from any part of your home.
Great design with quiet workouts
Great resistance options
No LED screen or display, simply bike simulation
3. Marcy Foldable
Adjustable 8 level magnetic resistance
Foldable design for easy storage
Easy access cpu screen
Heavy duty construction
Foam padded, adjustable seat.
The great design presents slipping and fits any height and body type. Save room and limit the space your workout bike takes up, while not sacrificing any of the features to look for in top of the market workout bikes. The included cpu monitor helps you keep track of distance and resistance, allowing you to stay on top of your workout.
Save space and money and don’t compromise functionality, and get into the best shape of your life for a fraction of the cost.
- Versatile functionality
- Simple to assemble and easy fold up
- Extremely portable
4. Exerpeutic WORKFIT 1000
Sliding desktop with adjustability to fit your desired working position
8 level magnetic tension control
Foldable for storage
300 lb weight limit
Heart pulse monitoring
This creative option allows you to turn any work, reading, or iPad session into a productive workout. With all of the great features to expect from a modern workout bike and a great price point for the features included, you can get a great cardio experience from your home.
- Workout desk hybrid
- Versatile features
- Airsoft seat
- Desktop large, fits mouse and keyboard too
Designed for lighter cardio workouts
5. PROGEAR 555LXT
Wide screen LCD for easy viewing of stats and workout
250 lb weigh limit
“Step-through” design allows ease of mount and dismount
14 levels of smooth, magnetically driven resistance
3 computer goal setting of distance, time, and burned calories
If you are looking for maximum functionality and a lower impact workout, this bike provides customizability and goal setting for maximum efficiency and tracking. The easy adjustment and wide range of comfortable fits due to the infinite slider rails will provide a perfect fit to any rider.
- Recumbent seat
- LCD screen
- Easy storage
Less similar than most spin class bikes
6. Xspec Foldable
Foldable and compact
Comfortable foam seat
Diverse terrain functionality
Providing features including different terrain simulating resistance capabilities, you can have fun and immerse yourself in your home cycling experience. The LED screen displays relevant information such as distance, calories burned, speed, and time allowing for easy tracking of your cycling episodes. It's compact and foldable design along with great price point make this a great pick.
- Easy construction
- Low price
- Perfect features
May be harder to use for bigger individuals over 220 lbs
7. Steel Bike
Non-slide design for stability on any surface
Low price point
This stationary bike adaptor is a perfect option with a lower price point than most workout bikes on the market, making it a great option for cycling fanatics that don’t want to leave the comfort of their favorite bike. Its durable design and ability to adapt to any surface push it towards the top of our list. Turn your living room into your cycling training room!
- Low price
- Extreme portability
Manual instructions difficult to read
Some users complain it's unstable
Chain drive for smooth and quiet pedaling
Adjustable height eat
This fitness bike can provide you with an intensive home workout that will transform your cardio routine. Featuring an LCD display, you can track your progress, speed, and resistance to stay on track and achieve your goals. This bike is ideal for indoor fitness and can provide you with a great new training option.
Great design for cycling training
Does not fit all body types well
9. Body Xtreme
250lb weight limit
Aluminum water bottle holder
Super strength resistance bands for upper body training options during workout!
Comfortable ergonomic seat
40lb flywheel for smooth cycling
This is a quality product with a strong architecture and function. This bike can provide a killer cycling workout for spin class vets and newcomers alike. Bring your favorite workout bike home from the gym and start your journey to better cardiac health.
Water bottle holder
Small and light
Not for heavy duty workouts
10. L Now
LCD monitor for tracking of calories, distance, speed, time, and progress
Stability and quiet pedaling
35.3 lb heavy duty flywheel
Tough pedals with straps
Transport wheels for easy moving
This bike has many great features, and is great at providing multiple options at increasing intensity during your workout to simulates true cycling techniques. The adjustable seat can provide standing or sitting, or hybrid experiences to burn calories faster. Train for the tour and get into great shape with this modern and consumer minded product.
High price point
Maintenance and Cleaning Tips
Indoor fitness bikes are some of the most popular items available for home exercise and cardio routines. With all of the benefits that come with ownership, and with most modern models being constructed with great durability, proper cleaning and maintenance can lead to your bike lasting a lifetime. Here are Some general tips to dramatically increase the lifespan and functionality of your bike.
Clean After Every Use
When you are pushing yourself to get a great cardio workout, especially a great spin workout, chances are you are going to sweat a decent amount. Wiping down handlebars and seat followed by drying will not only keep your bike germ free and sanitary, but it can dramatically increase the lifespan of your cycle.
For most exercise bikes, the pedals are the piece of the machine that receive the most wear and tear, as it is the main component of the bike that provides resistance. It is recommended to check tightness, clean, and take care of the pedals when using and storing the bike.
Wiping down your flywheel can help dramatically increase lifespan and maintain functionality of your bike. Over time, the flywheel can accumulate dust and sweat, hindering its ability to spin smoothly and fluidly. Once a week, be sure to wipe it down and ensure proper, good-as-new spinning.
Most bikes have a brake pad, and over time it can easily become damaged due to wear and tear. Once a week be sure to check for dryness, wear, and debris, and be sure to keep it lubricated and clean in order to maximize its lifespan.
The tension belt is important to consider, because it is what is used to provide increasing resistance to your routine. The more you ride and the harder you push, the more wear you are placing on your tension belt. It is important to make sure the belt is not frayed, cracked, or showing signs of damage at least once a month. This belt may require replacement after certain periods of time.
The bottom bracket is important, as it is what holds the machine together. If this bracket becomes loose, you can begin to lose stability and the bike could dismantle during exercise, resulting in possible injury. See your manual and make sure top check that this bracket is secure at least every couple weeks.
Over time and after some initial usage, you may notice the positioning of handlebars and your seat changing. Ensuring proper positioning and alignment are key in getting the most out of your workouts. Seats and handlebars in incorrect positions can cause hip and joint pains in the legs. See your manual for correct positioning of the bikes moving parts and how to properly maintain them.
Exercise Bike Training Tips
When it comes to working out, perhaps you are nothing short of dedicated for doing things like cardio, lifting weights, meditation and yoga, and so forth. You strive to be as healthy as possible, thereby leading you to performing a lot of workout sessions in a given week, let alone a given day.
Besides exercising regularly, you also make a plan to change up your workout routine every so often, so that you do not get bored or too accustomed to only a limited amount of exercises. This is to keep your body constantly working hard, so that you can continue to make gains, instead of leveling off. Perhaps you have tried treadmill running one week before switching to the stationary bike the next.
Concerning stationary bikes (aka “exercise bikes”), you have probably had some experience using them, whether as a form of recovering from injuries or during “easy” days of working out. Usually, you do not think otherwise of them besides as an “easy way” to exercise. Believe it or not, stationary bikes can work as quite the workout that you might need to challenge yourself. That said, our article will offer you some exercise bike training tips to help you get started: soon enough, you will be on your way to a solid, sweat-inducing workout! Let’s get started.
How to on the exercise bike
Before you go ahead and max out on the stationary bike, remind yourself to take a step back and reflect on not only your goals, but also your abilities for doing so. After all, going from zero to 100 within seconds is not a healthy strategy, for not only will you burn out quickly, but also put yourself at risk for injuries.
That said, we highlight down below just a few essential tips you ought to take to get you started in a safe and beneficial way:
1. Adjust the stationary bike. First things first, the position of your exercise bike will make a huge difference on your performance, as well as the possible gains you will make in the process. This also prevents you from getting injured, and otherwise safe and secured while you are working out.
In essence, adjusting the stationary bike boils down to a few essential positions that you need to take note of:
a. Seat level. The rule of thumb in this position is to adjust the seat to your hip level when you stand next to the bike. This is the best indicator of just how high you ought to position the seat, although factors like shorter legs and whatnot might throw this rule of thumb off.
b. Leg position. Considering that you will be bending your knees plenty of times while cycling, it is important to adjust to make sure that your leg does not fully extend out at the bottom of the pedal, for that forces an unnatural rhythm to occur. Instead, aim for at least five degrees of bended joints at the very bottom of the pedal, to ensure comfort, efficiency, and safety when it comes down to it.
c. Back position. This adjustment will vary, depending on what your exercise goal is. Generally speaking, if you adjust for a straight, 180-degree back, you will be comfortable, but will not generate as much power as what it could be if you extend the back rest forward, at 225 and 275 degrees. Again, it will depend on what you would like to do: cycle leisurely or competitively.
2. Select the training mode. If you are a beginner, then settling for a shorter, less-intense workout will be the way to go. On the other hand, if you have experience and want a challenge, then incline and cardio options will be the right fit for you. It will depend on your ability level, so it is best to know yourself well, swallow any pride, and just go for it.
3. Start warming up. Now that you have an idea of where you are at in terms of ability level for training mode, it is time to start exercising. Begin by warming up, which starts by stretching your muscles off the stationary bike (e.g. hamstrings, quadriceps, abductors and adductors, calves) to loosen them up before climbing onto the bike and begin at a slow speed (measuring as at 30 to 50 percent of your maximum speed) for about five to ten minutes, or until you feel your legs warming up. Generally speaking, 70 to 80 rounds per minute on the bike is the way to go.
4. Keep it consistent. Once you have warmed up well, it is now time to pick up the speed (100 rounds per minute and more) until you start to feel your heartrate increase, as measured on the stationary bike. Try to aim for a consistent pace through the main chunk of your workout, as well as not straining yourself during the challenging parts, should you have chosen to do the incline or cardio options on the workout screen.
5. Cool down. Just like with the warm up, the cool down is at around 50 percent of your maximum speed, as well as for five to ten minutes until you feel your muscles start to relax. This is probably the most-important part of the workout next to the warm up, since failing to do so can cause tight, sore muscles the following day, which is certainly unpleasant.
Afterwards, it is essential to stretch out your muscles off the stationary bike, to ensure that you avoid soreness the next day. Stretching the calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, and everything in between will do wonders for your body, all the while benefitting from the workout done.
Criteria For Evaluation
For this list, all of the exercise bikes were chosen based off of rigorous examination of important factors. These factors include functionality, price point, features, and more. Modern exercise bikes can come with a lot of features geared towards a wide variety of consumers, and it is important to understand the type of workout and style of bike you are looking for. We aimed to bring in multiple styles of exercise bikes including spin bikes, recumbent bikes, desk/bike hybrids, and even bike mounts that can turn your bike into a home spin bike, in order to illustrate the options available, and to whom these options are best suited for. Each product has its own unique features and functionality that it specializes in, whether that is durability, ease of setup, functionality, or workout intensity, depends on the model. This list took demographic information from FAQ’s and customer reviews to provide top-tier equipment that is built to last, while not breaking the bank or taking up too much space in your home. All bikes on this list are highly recommended and well-reviewed, but each product should be thoroughly reviewed by the consumer to ensure you are receiving the exercise bike that is right for you and your fitness plans.
What is the difference between chain driven bikes, flywheels, and magnetic resistance?
These mechanisms are what provide resistance and make the stationary pedaling possible. Magnetic resistance is a great option because it allows for less chance of damage and wear. Flywheel is usually preferred over chain for the same reasons as well.
What is the height/weight requirement for most bikes?
For most products, it depends on the model. There are bikes included on our list that can support up to 300 lbs, and some bikes that will not be comfortable for anyone over 6’2 and 225 lbs. Be sure to check the dimensions, as all products listed will show if the product you are checking fits.
How difficult is the assembly of these bikes?
All bikes on this list come with easy, self-assembly for quick startup and usage. Be sure to be careful of sharp objects and your personal safety when putting together your new exercise bike.
How much are replacement parts?
Replacement parts for bikes are not normally required until at least 2-3 years of usage, and the first parts that need replacing are normally the seat, the pedals, or the flywheel/resistance mechanism. These parts can normally be replaced through the manufacturer and sometimes are covered under warranties or special deals if properly maintained.
What if I don’t find the seat comfortable?
If your seat is not as comfortable as you would like, it is possible to add a seat cover or get a replacement seat. It is not guaranteed that all seats will fit your exercise bike, so check your manual to see your options. Most manufacturers offer alternative options for customization and maximum comfort during your workout.