All of us want to be fit and live a healthy lifestyle, which is why gyms are so popular. However, you may want to diversify from simply signing up for a gym membership by investing in home exercise equipment – and exercise bikes are a priority on that list.
When you are looking for a cardio machine that is all-purpose, stationary bikes are your best bet to keep your heart pumping. A whole session of pedaling has numerous benefits for your health and longevity, and it helps you to attain all the goals you set regarding your fitness levels.
The bottom line is that getting your own arrangements for an exercise bike is among the best investments you will make for your long term health. We have done all the research regarding this equipment and narrowed it down to seven of the best options that stood out from most of the rest. Get ready to ride!
Why should you bother getting an exercise bike?
It offers low impact exercise
Unlike most aerobic exercises like running, cycling does not strain your joints – instead, it uses a smooth pedaling motion that has varied resistance levels while keeping you active. Having an exercise bike gives you all the benefits of increased cardio while helping you stay in shape.
Exercise bikes are excellent investments for your home and long term health. They do not take up much space, and you will find that some are foldable enough to occupy less than half of their functioning space demands. They are also quiet in their functionality, so you can use them without disturbing others.
Allows you to monitor your progress
Since many exercise bikes can connect to other devices through Bluetooth, you can save your progress in another device. This will also allow you to make variations in your workouts, since you will know your own preferences during workout sessions.
Best exercise bikes Comparison table
Best exercise bikes comparison overview
NordicTrack NTEX76016 Commercial recumbent bike
In the NordicTrack series of recumbent exercise bikes, this is the most affordable model you can get. Regardless of its price, it will not disappoint on the features – there are plenty of them, including an integrated tablet holder, iFit Coach Compatibility, 32 in-built workouts, and 25 digital resistance levels.
Its core comes pre-assembled, though you will need to attach quite a number of parts that include the handlebars, console, console mast, the seat alongside the backrest, and the pedals. The total installation time can take up to an hour. It makes up for this seemingly challenging setup through its durability, as ABS covers surround the entire metallic frame and offer an attractive look, while the precision-wielded steel is protected by corrosion and scratch-resistant paint.
The machine has a step-thru design that makes it excellent for users with disabilities and older people. It can accommodate a maximum user weight of 350 pounds and has excellent levels of stability, allowing you to use it as much as you want without worry. The seat is easy to adjust and attached to an aluminum rail, which can accommodate any user from 5’0 to 6’5. It is worth noting that while the seat has plenty of padding, the backrest does not – instead. It prioritizes ventilation through its supple nylon material and has firm support without reclining.
The bike includes a wide variety of controls, and we were particularly impressed by the 5-inch LCD display screen. The console is compatible with iFit, so you can easily sync it with your laptop, tablet or phone when you want to use the iFit app and track your progress. The bad news is that you cannot use iFit or the console unless you have an active iFit subscription, and you will need to purchase this separately.
- Very strong, commercial-grade build
- Console compatibility with iFit
- LCD display is easy to read
- Excellent levels of stability
- It includes plenty of workout programs
- Almost noiseless
- Mandatory subscription
- Does not include a HR chest strap
- Its cooling fan is not the most powerful
- 30-Day iFIT Membership Included; Stream live & on-demand workouts on your equipment with Global Workouts & Studio Classes; Elite trainers adjust your equipment ($15...
- 5-inch Backlit Display; Track distance, cadence, and estimated calorie burn; Auxiliary music port with dual 2-inch speakers project high-quality sound for your iFIT...
- 25 Resistance Levels; Manually choose your resistance or let your iFIT Trainers auto-adjust your bike; SMR Silent Magnetic Resistance keeps every pedal stroke quiet...
- Oversized Adjustable Seat; Enjoy lumbar support as you find the most comfortable seat position for your exercise; Water Bottle Holder for hydration; Transport Wheels...
Assault Fitness classic AirBike
Air bikes are not exactly the newest invention, as they have been around for more than 40 years. This particular exercise bike originates from a company that is well known for producing durable bikes and rowers, and this bike offers you plenty of resistance to ensure you achieve a full-body workout.
It has unlimited resistance levels, thanks to the spinning fan system, and it increases its resistance as you accustom yourself to the bike by pedaling faster. Additionally, it has plenty of ball bearings, all strategically-placed at all moving joints to ensure smooth operation and improve its durability.
Most air bikes have an infamous reputation of uncomfortable seating because the seats are small and quite hard, making it difficult to sit on them for long hours. This bike is different though, as the seat is large enough and has plenty of padding to enhance your user experience. Other than that, you can adjust the seat easily to achieve the most comfortable positioning, as the seat post has excellent balance and solidity.
Even though its display screen is not the most high-definition type, it is still large enough to view comfortably. We particularly like the integration of ANT+ and Bluetooth in the console. As for the weight, it weighs 350 pounds, which you will not find too heavy for indoor exercise bikes, and it can accommodate user weights of up to 340 pounds.
- Very strong build quality
- Offers you a full body workout
- Includes seven preset workout programs
- Optional workouts for the upper body only
- Wireless monitoring of your heart rate
- Easy to assemble and transport
- Adjustable seat
- The seat tends to be wobbly, though you can replace it with a standard saddle
- Twenty Sealed Ball Bearings throughout the frame and pivot points to provide a smooth and durable feel
- Unlimited Resistance for upper and lower body extremities based on Air Resistance; Get a complete Cross-Fit Workout
- Computer features motivational programs providing many programs (Tabata, Intervals, Watts, Heart Rate) to accomplish your fitness goals.Aluminum seat post
- Maximum user weight: 350 pounds . Twenty Five inch diameter steel fan delivers maximum resistance, with six way adjustable seat fore and aft, up and down and tilt....
Swhwinn Upright Bike
Schwinn is well-known for their indoor cycling bikes for almost 100 years, and the upright bike follows the standards they set over the years. It features 25 resistance levels that use an eddy current brake resistance system to provide maximum support and safety as you use it. Its most notable feature though is its DualTrack console, a trademark feature from the company that comes with 28 in-built workout programs (including 12 exercise activities like fun rides and mountain climbing, and 9 heart-rate programs).
It is easy to monitor your progress as you work out, thanks to the two backlit screens on the console, as well as the use of Bluetooth connections when you want to transfer your statistics. The features are generally user friendly, and you can also assemble the bike in a few minutes. We like the use of ambidextrous handgrips and a contoured seat, which will allow you to adapt to the most optimal riding position.
Additionally, the pedals will not wear out easily, since the forearm rests are easily detachable and the handgrips adjustable.
- Includes 22 preset workouts
- Quiet resistance system
- Compact frame that is easy to assemble
- Two-year warranty
- Useful extras included
- The seat does not adjust horizontally, even though it can do so vertically
- Lightweight flywheel
- Very basic handlebars
- Non-compatibility with wireless chest straps
- Goal track capability enables users to set individual exercise goals
- DualTrack LCD screen displays offer increased visibility to 22 workout programs and goal tracking
- High speed, high inertia drive system for easy start-up and smooth, quiet workouts; Input: 120V 60Hz AC
- 20 levels of resistance for a wide range of workout intensity options
Sunny Health & Fitness cycling bike
This option is widely considered among the best exercise bikes from Sunny & Fitness, especially among spin bikes. Excellent levels of comfort are all due to the varieties in its height positions through its adjustable handlebar and seat.
It weighs 97 pounds, with the flywheel occupying almost half this weight. Plenty of studies show that smoother resistance is due to a heavier flywheel, so it guarantees you that its motion will remain smooth and easy to use. We like the easy adjustability of the speed, resistance, seat, and handgrips through a knob, though the lack of a resistance level indicator is a glaring omission.
The handgrips have very good cushioning and padding to make them easier to hold even when you get sweaty, while the padded seat ensures your comfort. One thing to note though is its tendency to get uncomfortable when you sit on it for a long time, so using an extra gel cover should help if this is the case. The setup of the machine is very easy as the flywheel and frame are already pre-assembled, so the total time takes less than 30 minutes.
- Belt drive mechanism
- Very strong frame
- Interchangeable and adjustable handlebar and seat
- Easy to assemble and move
- Transportation wheels
- Adjustable resistance
- Compact design
- Lacks an indicator for resistance levels
- Not for people weighing more than 275 pounds
- Lacks a display console
- STATIONARY EXERCISE BIKE: The sturdy steel frame, heavy 49 lb weighted flywheel, and 275 lb maximum user weight gives this bike a rock solid build that will keep it...
- RESISTANCE: Resistance system gives you the experience of a realistic, real-road feeling. Push down emergency brake will bring the bike to an immediate stop
- SILENT RIDE: Experience a smooth and quiet ride with the maintenance free belt drive system which allows you to workout without interrupting your workout or anyone...
- CUSTOMIZABILITY: 4-way adjustable seat and 2-way adjustable handlebars adapt to any user type. Use the caged pedals with straps to keep your feet in place
Marcy ME-709 recumbent exercise bike
This bike offers you a slightly different experience to the other bikes on this list. It is a recumbent option, which allows you to recline during use, and is quite affordable compared to most options, making it a good choice for beginners.
Unlike most options though, its display is quite small and not as advanced. It will display the calories burnt, distance, speed, and time, all in a large-enough display. Alongside its eight resistance levels, it will give you enough to handle different workouts. The pedals have plenty of counterbalances as well to give you additional control over them, while the adjustable foot straps will reduce the chances of injuries occurring.
- Setup is very easy
- Noiseless operation
- Very easy-to-read LCD screen
- Does not require much power to function
- Great for seniors and anyone recovering from injuries
- Some components tend to be fragile
- May not suit users with shorter legs
- Weight limit of 300 pounds
- STEP-THROUGH DESIGN – Featuring heavy-duty construction 14-gauge steel tubing with a powder coated finish, the step-through design allows maximum mobility during...
- EIGHT RESISTANCE LEVELS – This stationary bike uses a magnetic resistance mechanism with 8 levels of resistance. The tension knobs control the difficulty to...
- EASY-TO-READ COMPUTER SCREEN – The ultra-functional LCD computer screen acts as a odometer and has a sharp panel display that shows time, speed, distance, and...
- COMFORTABLE PADDED SEAT – The equipment has an ergonomically designed saddle furnished with comfortable high-density foam. It features contoured foam-covered...
XTERRA Fitness FB350 exercise bike
The popularity of this bike is all thanks to its ease of use and portability, even when you compare it to other bikes in the market. It is also the most compact choice in this review, and the combination of that and transport wheels make it very easy to store away and move when you need to do so.
The fully functional and oversize screen allows you to monitor your metrics, which are measured by handlebar-mounted pulse sensors. Aside from that, the seat has good, firm padding and is at an ergonomic angle to increase your comfort when working out. The base of the frame has a knob that connects the bike to the seat, and you can use it to adjust its height and angle.
The use of counterbalanced pedals gives you maximum control, and the handlebars are easy to adjust according to your comfort levels. The magnetic resistance is easily controllable as well and will vary your workout intensity while maintaining a noiseless operation.
- Very easy to use and ultra-portable
- Durable and solid build quality
- Includes 8 adjustable resistance levels
- It has a save-space foldable design
- The flywheel offers frictionless magnetic resistance
- Lacks preset workout programs
- Solid X-frame design folds to just 20.5" x 20.5" of floor space when not in use
- Large anatomically designed seat with back pad and multi-grip padded handlebars are designed for long-lasting comfort and support
- 2" x 1" LCD window clearly displays speed, distance, time, calories, and pulse
- 8 levels of manual resistance are easily controlled through the large dial tension knob for users of all fitness levels
SYRINX Indoor cycling bike
This is another of our favorite affordable exercise bikes, and saves you plenty of money while still providing as much value as possible. Its functionality is very simple, since it does not include heart rate monitors and Bluetooth connectivity – if these features are very important to you, then you are better off looking for another exercise bike.
It uses a friction resistance system, where you can alter the resistance level through the tension knob. All these levels are suitable enough for anyone, though you will find that it lacks predefined resistance levels – so it may be challenging if you do not know the levels to work with.
- Easily customizable for users of different heights
- Transportable and compact
- Low maintenance
- Foot alignment in the pedals
- Easy to replace the seat and pedals
- Includes a water bottle and tablet holder
- Monitor lacks backlighting
- Lack of defined resistance levels
- Lacks a heart rate monitor
- Display is blocked when you place a device on it
Tips to help you find the best exercise bikes
Before you spend your hard earned money on an exercise bike, there are some factors you need to keep in mind.
Another name for exercise bikes is spinning bikes. This is because the working mechanism involves you pedaling to make their flywheels spin round. The resistance levels are regulated partly by the flywheel, as heavier flywheels will require more effort to spin them, but they will also have smoother motion than a lighter flywheel. For this reason, it is essential to look for bikes that have heavier flywheels.
The last thing you want is to exercise in a specific setting for the rest of your life. To achieve more gains from your exercise session you need to increase the flywheel resistance level to make things harder for you. Different training techniques will also require a variation of resistance levels.
For instance, doing heart-strengthening exercises will need lower resistance settings and longer cycling times, while cardio training will need higher resistance and shorter cycling time.
This may or may not be important to you, but it is always important to have a display that you are comfortable using while on the bike. It will tell you various metrics, including distance traveled, calories burnt, speed, heart rate, and so on. In some cases, you can even choose different goals based on preset workouts to make your experience easier.
You may think that using an exercise bike does not expose you to as much danger as cycling outdoors, but the truth is that it has the potential to be more dangerous. Therefore, safety should be a priority for you.
Ensure that the bike height is comfortable enough for you to use, or else you risk injuring yourself when mounting or dismounting from the machine. Your leg needs to bend slightly when its pedal is at the lowest point, and this will ensure you remain comfortable while pedaling.
Additionally, ensure that the bike is in a room with ample space to avoid moving parts hitting other objects. Finally, the footwear you use should also grip the pedals properly and comfortably, and this will avoid sprains or accidents due to the pedal slipping and hitting you.
Some exercise bikes are foldable, while others are not. While this is not essential, having a foldable bike is a useful aspect if you are exercising in a small place or want to carry it with you.
We live in a time when getting in shape is easier than ever, and you can get plenty of advice on living a healthy lifestyle. However, getting to a gym is not easy, because you may be too busy to do so or it may be expensive to get a regular membership, as well as you not preferring it at all. That is where exercise bikes step in, as they offer a good alternative since you will have them at home and use them in the comfort of your space without the risk of missing workouts.
Last update on 2021-12-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API