Popular in the fitness world, indoor cycles can make great additions to your home gym equipment. However, to find the best indoor spin bikes that suit your needs will require you to have some basic understandings of what distinguishes them from other bike types.
Keeping fit should always be a priority for your short and long term health, and cycling is among the low impact exercises that still challenge you every day. It is not losing popularity either, as indoor spin classes become increasingly popular and indoor spin bikes are becoming increasingly affordable.
Since outdoor cycling presents quite a number of dangers, it is not surprising that people are turning to indoor cycling because it is a safer workout. With that said, there are very many varieties of these bikes available and it can feel overwhelming trying to narrow down your possible picks. In this article, we highlight 7 of our best picks, as well as tips that will help you make an informed purchase and avoid the classic ‘buyer’s remorse’ that leaves your bike languishing at a corner of your home.
Before we begin: Knowing the difference between spin and stationary bikes
Before starting off these reviews, it is important to examine the differences between a stationary bike and a spin bike, even though they may seem the same to the uninitiated.
The most important difference of note is the greater solidity of spin bikes, due to the use of a heavier flywheel. This flywheel also allows you to change the resistance levels and increase the challenge levels you give yourself during your workouts. Essentially, this flywheel and the resistance it uses aims to mimic outdoor bikes as closely as possible, with the momentum increasing as your increase the flywheel strength and resistance.
The other distinction is the bike shape, with spin bikes looking very similar to road bikes. A stationary bike requires the user to sit very upright while cycling, while a spin bike requires a posture where you are leaning slightly forward towards the handles – even though you can choose to work out your upper body alone by standing.
What are some of the advantages of a spin bike?
- Its fixed flywheel helps you to enhance your pedaling technique
- It makes it easier for the user to sprint and climb
- The general structure is better in build compared to a stationary bike
- Comparatively easier to adjust, which makes it easier for you to use the bike according to your height
- Allows you to isolate specific muscle groups during your workout
Best indoor spin bikes – Comparison table
Best indoor spin bikes comparison overview
This is a premium-quality indoor spin bike, and you may have heard of it among fitness enthusiasts due to its popularity. Using a sturdy aluminum frame, it is significantly lighter compared to most spin bikes, yet retains a high level of stability.
The resistance of the machine is ultra-smooth and very consistent, thanks to its 6-magnet system of braking. Its mechanism is also quiet and frictionless because the magnets never come into contact with the flywheel – that is good news if you want a spin bike with low maintenance costs. The bike is suitable for people of heights between 4’11” and 6’8”, and its design uses a 12-degree incline that accommodates multiple users.
Its aero bars and performance handlebars will make it comfortable enough when you need to use it during prolonged workouts. Working alongside the double link pedals, you will always get a secure area for your footing, and its use of carbon blue technology simulates the actual feeling of riding a bike outdoors. Included in the purchase is a 1-year warranty on labor, 2-year warranty on the mechanical parts, and 10-year warranty on the frame.
- Very comfortable to ride
- Use of magnetic resistance
- Lightweight yet retains its strength
- Lacks a computer monitor
- Aluminum frame construction manufactured by Giant - provides rust-free performance and is significantly lighter than steel
- 6-Magnet brake system allows for smooth, consistent control and provides maintenance-free resistance that won't wear or change over time
- Virtual Contact Resistance Technology - the magnetic brake does not contact the flywheel, eliminating friction and wear
- Belt drive using Carbon Blue technology for an authentic outdoor ride feel and virtually zero maintenance
This spin bike is comprised of a steel frame of high quality, so it is significantly heavier than most options in the market. Its construction has a significant advantage though, as it can accommodate up to 33 pounds in weight, and the materials comprising it ensure it will last for a long time. Additionally, the 44-pound flywheel is a guarantee of stability as you ride. The bike seat is also easily adjustable and fits to multiple user needs.
Like most spin bikes, it uses a magnetic resistance system. As you increase the resistance in the pedals, the magnets continuously move closer to the flywheel and increase the tension. This system allows for little maintenance requirements and increasing the bike’s usefulness in your exercise regimen. It uses a belt drive mechanism as well, which increases its smooth motion during pedaling and remains quiet.
This bike will work well for anyone looking for home gym equipment, and its easy adjustability makes it great for beginners and seasoned users alike.
- Suitable for beginners
- Quiet working mechanism
- Resistance is easy to adjust
- Solid construction
- Easy to assemble
- Tends to make slight clicking sounds when you adjust it
- Included Components: Exercise Bike, User Manual, Hardware, Tool
- Sport Type: Exercise & Fitness
This is among the high-end spin bikes on this list, but its functionality is not in doubt. It is very low-maintenance, strong, and has a durable build.
The bike has a very simplistic yet stylish V-shape design that allows it to work well for all body sizes and shapes. There is an interesting element to its design, as the flywheel is at the rear of the bike rather than its front. This positioning has a purpose; it prevents the chances of corrosion from sweat droplets when working out.
The bike includes a smart computer display screen that gives you all the information you need at a glance – this includes your trip distance, gear, elapsed time, heart rate, energy and power (in Kilocalories and Watts), and Revolutions per Minute (RPM). The screen also has Bluetooth connectivity, which allows you to sync the data to your smartphone or tablet through its open API system. One great aspect of the display is its backlighting; it will turn on automatically when the room lighting is low.
The total weight of the bike is 85 pounds, with transport wheels assisting in easier movements. It also promotes ideal body positioning due to its adjustable seat and four-way adjustable handlebars, with the company re-designing their bike pedals by adding ramped barbs to secure your foot placements, a cage integrated design, as well as stronger bearings and curvature that reduce the load on your feet.
- Very easy to use
- Quiet and very smooth mechanism
- Addition of a display screen
- Easy to adjust
- Quite pricey
- Bundle Includes: Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle, Floor Mat, Media Tray, Stretch Pads, Polar Heart Rate Monitor, M Connect display!
- Industry’s First V-Shape Frame: Enables M3i to mimic different road-bike frames by allowing seat and handlebars to be raised in conjunction to accommodate riders...
- M Connect - The M Series Connected Computer connects seamlessly to your favorite fitness apps!
- Durability and Beauty: Simple, elegant design makes the M3i extremely durable, virtually maintenance-free, and a stunning showpiece for your home or gym
This is among the more affordable spin bikes, but does not compromise its quality. It comes in a heavy-duty design that ensures that it remains stable while you work out. The flywheel weighs 40 pounds and guarantees quiet and smooth operation, and it uses a belt-driven mechanism that remains quiet and allows you to use it anywhere in your house.
It includes a display monitor that will showcase your progress in various parameters, which are heart rate, calories, distance, and time. It also has an ergonomic and soft PU that will increase your comfort during a long workout. Its seat is easily adjustable to accommodate your height, and the handlebars are adjustable to add comfort and convenience.
- Easily adjustable
- Solid and stable construction
- Relatively affordable
- Comfortable handlebars and seat
- None noted so far
- A 40-pound Heavy Duty Star Flywheel and body frame significantly enhances experience a near realistic bike ride whilst ensuring safety.onal brand, focuses on...
- Heavy-duty crank and smooth belt driven mechanism provide a quite smooth and quiet riding experience.a quite smooth and quiet riding experience.ooth belt driven...
- The monitor equipped to record time, speed, distance, calories, odometer and heart rate by pulse and you will be able to see your results to keep you motivated.
- Soft and ergonomic PU Seat for longer periods of fitness training time. The supported weight is up to 330lbs. Find more highlights in product description. Assembly...
This bike option has a design that keeps any serious athlete in mind, and is great if you are looking for a mid-range choice because it offers value for your money. It will fit both outdoor and indoor cyclists thanks to its reliability, durability, and ease of use.
Its adjustments are very easy to make as the handlebars and seats can move both horizontally and vertically, while finding its optimal resistance level is not challenging. It includes a great LCD console as well, which displays your speed, distance, Kcal, time spent, and RPM. The package may also include a wireless heart rate monitor, though you will need to purchase it separately.
Its seat is a gel type one, which is much more comfortable, compared to the alternative rigid foam, and the bike uses a Kevlar braking system in its resistance to keep it smooth and quiet. What we find interesting though is the oversize foot pedals that have an inward sloping angle of 2 degrees, which ultimately reduces its impact on your ankles and knees.
- Quiet and smooth mechanism
- Small footprint
- Heavy-duty design
- Low in maintenance
- None noted so far
- Features. Weight Capacity: 300lbs.. Platform: Upright/Cycle.
- Adjustable seat & handlebars: Vertical/Horizontal. Felt pad brake resistance. Made in Taiwan.
- Model: SB700.
This is another of the affordable options, and will suit anyone on a budget that is looking for a high quality bike. It accommodates all body sizes, which makes it great for family usage. It also has an adjustable seat that keeps you working out at a comfortable height, and interestingly includes a patented belt-drive system rather than the conventional chain belt.
The frame is comprised of heavy-duty steel and has a bi-directional flywheel weighing 35 pounds. Its design will provide more options when you need to increase your workout intensity. The bike also has an LCD monitor that displays your heart rate, calories burned, distance, speed, and time.
- Easy to customize and adjust
- Ergonomic handlebars
- Provides a variety of workouts
- Handy display
- Slightly loud when speed is high
- Monitor measures the distance in km
This is a mid-range spin bike that aims to simulate a realistic riding experience, and has a 44-pound flywheel that will give you a rigorous workout experience. Alongside its felt pad resistance system, you will get an efficient and smooth riding experience.
Its use of a belt system makes it quiet at all times, and it is very stable – but quite heavy. Ideally, you should keep it in one place, though its transport wheels make it slightly easier to move around. Its LCD display screen is compatible with polar heart rate monitors (though you will need to purchase this separately).
- Quiet and smooth to use
- Flywheel is heavy and provides stability
- Challenging to assemble
- Adjustable sport saddle seat features an ergonomic design for ongoing comfort during long workouts and an ergonomic racing design features adjustable fore/aft and...
- 45-pound, heavyweight flywheel provides a natural feel and consistent momentum featuring quiet belt drives ensures a smooth, silent workout.
- LED console is easy to read and provides motivational feedback allowing you to track and displays calories, distance, heart rate, RPM, speed, time, and watts.
- Aluminum pedals with toe baskets provide a secure platform for your feet and maximize the efficiency of your workout with club-style brake system with top-down...
Important features to look for when searching for an indoor spin bike
If you are completely new to spin bikes, this section aims to help you know what to look for when checking out different bikes. They may appear similar to each other at first glance though, so you should look at the finer details that we will discuss below.
If you look at the bikes we outlined in this review, you probably have a good idea about the importance of a flywheel in an indoor spin bike. It basically functions as the ‘heart’ of the machine, since it gives it its ‘feel’ and also acts as the source of the resistance mechanism.
There are many sizes of flywheels that all come in the same shape. Usually, most users will ask about the weight of the flywheel when examining the bike’s attributes – this is because the traditional consensus is that a heavier flywheel provides you with a more realistic and smoother ride. They work by adding momentum as you pedal which in turn keeps the pedals in a smooth rotational motion at all times. Most of the best quality spin bikes have flywheels weighing at least 30 pounds, though it is not strange coming across bikes with 40 to 50-pound flywheels.
On the other hand, you may come across lighter flywheels that still provide a smooth pedaling motion, and this is due to the use of magnetic resistance, as well as a more sophisticated gear system that does not need extra weight. Some manufacturers even place the flywheel at the rear to prevent damage from sweat, and we have Keiser to thank for that.
Whether it uses a chain or belt drive
The type of drive chain that the bike uses is another important variable to keep in mind, even though it is not as crucial as the flywheel.
The drive is what connects the flywheel to the pedals. Road bikes use a chain as the drive, while indoor cycles can use both belt and chain drives. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
The chain drive is great, but it can be noisy because you always hear the ‘clanking’ noises it makes as the chain links and gear come into contact. You will also need to lubricate it more often to ensure its smooth operation. On the other hand, belt drives are silent in operation, and they are much more low-maintenance unless the belt snaps (which is very rare).
Indoor cycles have one annoying aspect in common – their uncomfortable seating. Because they have a narrow shape, they end up putting more pressure on your bottom, compared to the wider seats you usually get on a standard upright bike.
For this reason, always check if the seat is fully adjustable (both vertically and horizontally). This will give you a better chance of staying comfortable while exercising and reduce the chances of injury.
The maximum weight capacity that the bike can accommodate is primarily due to the frame. All spin bikes will use aluminum or steel, but you can always tell how ‘tough’ the bike is by checking its weight limits.
At the very least, you should aim for a bike with a minimum capacity of 300 pounds, as it will feel more stable when you are using it.
You should always have multi-grip handlebars on a spin bike, so that you can continuously change the positions of your hands depending on the workout you are doing. These handlebars will come in all sizes and shapes, as well as allowances for adjustment (in some cases).
This is not as essential if you want a spin bike, though it is a nice bonus. Most of these bikes will include a small LCD screen that only displays basic information, though you can opt for more expensive options that include heart rate monitors.
Indoor spin bikes can give you an excellent workout, thanks to their abilities to reach high tempos and produce heavy resistance. However, they are also the least comfortable exercise bike, so you need to consider quite a few factors before settling on one.
Last update on 2021-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API