The best exercise bikes offer incredible workouts without taking up as much space as a treadmill or rowing machine. Their low-impact nature means they’re also gentler on the knees, and especially handy for getting a heart-pounding cardio fix in gloomy and gray weather.
For all these reasons and more, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best exercise bikes available right now to help you channel those spin class vibes into your living room. Before we dive into our list, though, there are a few things to consider – we’ve got the full rundown.
(And while you’re at it, feel free to check out our other fitness guides if you’re looking for things like running shoes, workout shorts, and workout shirts.)
What is the best exercise bike?
NordicTrack S15i studio bike
Looking for an exercise bike that matches the equipment you’d find at a gym? NordicTrack is for you. Working to create an indoor cycling experience that authentically replicates reality, the Commercial S15i Studio Cycle is equipped with a silent resistance system that can range between 24 digital levels, along with inclines ranging from 20 percent up to 10 percent . This flexibility is impressive and is a great way to challenge your body when things get too comfortable. A generously sized 14-inch touch LCD screen displays all your metrics and data while displaying virtual iFit workouts to keep you motivated and on track. Thanks to the 360-degree rotation of the screen, you can also use it for other types of training courses, aiming it in a different area of the room a la Peleton+. Like its Peloton-made rival, this bike can automatically adjust resistance, incline, and decline for a smoother workout. During the interactive live training, you can rotate with people from all over the world. And if you fancy a break, you can virtually cycle anywhere you feel like using the built-in Google Maps assistant.
A studio-quality bike that’s quiet to ride, has enough power to challenge even the most seasoned spin-obsessed, and a rotating touchscreen for truly versatile workouts. Expert classes are offered through NordicTrack’s iFit subscription service (from $180 per year).
Best Affordable Exercise Bike: Schwinn Speedbike IC8
Schwinn speed bike IC8 indoor cycle
The Schwinn IC8 Indoor Cycle is a formidable competitor with almost all the fancy, adjustable components you would expect from a high-end exercise bike, including 100 micro-adjustable resistance levels and 1.5 kg dumbbell holders. We say “almost” because while this bike has a console display, it doesn’t have a big screen, which helps keep costs down compared to some competitors. Instead, it has a tablet holder that gives you easy access to popular apps like JRNY, Zwift, and Peleton Digital.
This one invests in what matters most – the cycling experience – while saving you money on the bells and whistles. Just add the iPad you already own and cycle through a few seasons of The Sopranos.
Peloton’s newer Bike+ introduces a new “auto-follow” resistance system that scales based on your goal metrics and self-adjusts based on your trainer’s instructions. Another notable upgrade over the original is a new 23.8-inch rotating HD screen that makes it even easier to switch between cycling and floor training. Apple Health fans will also be excited to hear that it also works well with the Apple Watch – not only does this conveniently keep your workout stats in one convenient place, but you can compare your daily activities with friends and family for that all-important competitive edge . Peloton’s own real-time metrics are also available for an in-depth look at your performance, and you can maintain momentum by stacking bike and off-bike courses to provide the ultimate full-body workout without ever setting foot to need a gym. Forget about uncomfortable headphones, too, thanks to clear front and rear speakers and a near-silent belt drive for unobtrusive operation. Add in a tank-like build, adjustable seats and handlebars, and it’s easy to see why Peleton remains one of the most popular choices for the home.
The Peloton Bike+ reinvented home fitness, bringing a touch of luxury to your workout with automatic resistance adjustment, Apple Watch connectivity and a rotating touchscreen. As always, the popular list of courses and teachers is subscription based ($42 per month).
What are the benefits of exercise bikes?
Exercise bikes get your legs moving and your heart pumping. Use it regularly and you’ll soon notice an improvement in your overall fitness, especially if you opt for a high-intensity routine. Throw a sensible diet, upper body and lower body workout into the mix, and you’ll be losing weight, gaining muscle, and improving your overall fitness in no time.
What kind of console do exercise bikes use?
Many bikes use simple LCD displays for metrics like distance, pace, and calories. Pay a little more and you get an HD touchscreen. Look for Bluetooth or ANT+ connectivity to connect to other fitness trackers and apps.
Are the seat and handlebars adjustable?
Even the most basic home bikes have adjustable seats and handlebars for comfortable pedaling during your indoor cycling sessions.
Is a treadmill or exercise bike better?
Both treadmills and stationary bikes provide a great cardio workout and are excellent additions to home gym equipment. Treadmills generally cost more and take up more space and put more stress on your joints. If you’re looking for a lower-impact form of cardio, a bike might be a better choice in the long run. Both are great though – it’s just personal preference.
What extras do I have to look out for?
Built-in water bottle holders are a godsend for grueling HIIT sessions. Some bikes have tablet holders for binge Netflix. Others have wheels that make them easy to move around, while high quality foldable models are perfect for apartments and other small spaces.
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