Buying Guide for Exercise Bikes
Why buy an exercise bike?
Determined to get more exercise but not sure where to start? Or maybe you’re looking for an affordable home workout solution—either way, a high-quality, versatile stationary exercise bike could be the answer, especially if you’re starting your workout journey or are interested in adding more to your current cardio routine. Exercise bikes are low-impact yet highly effective, working out important leg muscles and burning up to 400 calories in just 30 minutes. Plus, having equipment at home means never having to pay for a gym membership or leave your home for a satisfying workout session.
What should you look for in an exercise bike?
- Type: There are three different exercise bikes: upright, recumbent, and indoor. Upright bikes help you stay upright while cycling and can be adjusted from sitting to standing, and they usually give you a full-body workout. Recumbent bikes are known for their wider seats and reclined position, giving a lower-body workout. Indoor bikes are made for fast pedaling and have built-in resistance knobs, giving you more control.
- Features: Resistance capabilities are important so that you can adjust the difficulty level to match your abilities, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cyclist. They can also come with built-in LED screens, integrated desktops, cupholders, and tablet/iPad mounts. Depending on what your exercise routine demands, make sure the bike you choose will suit your needs.
How much should you expect to spend on an exercise bike?
Depending on the features and the material that the bike is constructed of, the range of what you could spend on an exercise bike is vast. For a bike with a built-in LCD monitor, adjustable resistance knobs, and an iPad holder, you may pay close to $300 or up to $800, whereas the more basic exercise bike without these types of features that still gives you a good workout will be around $100.
Our Picks for the Best Exercise Bikes
ADVENOR Magnetic Resistance Exercise Bike
The hyper-quiet design helps eliminate noise long-term.
Pros: There are no loud, distracting noises while riding this comfortable, silent indoor bike. It features a magnetic, noise-canceling system that controls sound at 20DB, even after many uses (a saving grace if you have sleeping kids). It’s constructed from thickened, commercial-grade steel for more stability and includes a personalized fit with seven adjustable seat levels and a five-level adjustable handlebar for the best fit. Monitor your speed, time, calories, distance, and more on an LCD monitor, and watch your favorite show, or workout guide, with help from a convenient iPad/tablet mount.
Cons: This bike is ideal for folks 6 feet tall and shorter. So, if you’re taller, you may have to adjust your riding style to ensure the most efficient workout.
Bottom Line: Enjoy quiet, smooth rides with this magnetic-resistance bike, choosing from 100 micro-adjustable levels with a simple twist. This is a strong, quality cycling machine for beginners, intermediates, and experts.
YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike
An exercise bike featuring adjustable, nonslip handles for fast speeds.
Pros: Work out your muscles, enhance your heart, and improve lung function with this smooth YOSUDA exercise bike with cage pedals and a nonslip handle to help you cycle faster safely. Featuring a two-way adjustable, a nonslip handlebar, and a four-way padded seat, you’ll experience a comfortable, personalized workout every time—adjust according to your height and regimen. Its LCD monitor allows you to monitor your time, speed, distance, calories, and rotations. At the same time, a tablet/iPad mount helps keep you entertained and motivated with your favorite exercise guru or gym music. Plus, you can easily hold and refill a water bottle while riding and transport it to another room with handy wheel castors.
Cons: The bike’s resistance knob doesn’t show you how much resistance you’re adding or taking away; you’ll feel the difference as you adjust the knob up or down.
Bottom Line: It’s hard to go wrong with this YOSUDA exercise bike regarding price and quality. It’s easy to assemble, smooth and quiet when in use and allows you to ride safely.
Hausse Portable Exercise Pedal Bike for Legs and Arms
Utilize this pedal bike for brain breaks at the office to stay healthy and energized.
Pros: This compact pedal bike can easily fit under your desk, making it almost effortless to fit in a bit of extra fitness into your day. This pedal bike features an LCD screen that displays RPM, time, speed, distance, and calories burned, making it easy to track progress. For extra stability, the pedal bike comes with an extra strap for securing it to a sturdy surface, like a table. To increase resistance, there’s an easy-to-turn knob so you can continue to challenge yourself. A built-in handle makes this pedal bike portable and comfortable to carry.
Cons: Pedaling can be choppy, especially when using it with feet, as opposed to arms. The instruction manual doesn’t explain how to use the extra strap for stability.
Bottom Line: This is a light pedal bike, which can make it unstable if it’s not properly positioned or if you want to use it more aggressively. While it comes with a strap to provide extra security during use, the instruction manual doesn’t explain how to secure it. Users seem to agree that this is best for rehabilitative exercise or those who are just beginning their journey to a more active lifestyle.
pooboo Folding Exercise Bike
Combine your cardio with resistance training with this folding exercise bike that comes with bands.
Pros: This bike features eight levels of magnetic resistance to customize your workouts. The ride is smooth and quiet, which makes it convenient to use in your home or office. Save space in your home while staying in shape thanks to this bike’s folding design. When it’s folded, it only takes up 2 square feet of your space. This bike has a multifunctional design catering to competitive cycling workouts, handles and a backrest to support a recumbent position, and resistance bands that can be used for upper body exercises. The LCD monitor tracks your time, speed, distance, calories burned, and heart rate while you are cycling. The bike includes a water bottle holder for convenient hydration during your workouts. It also includes an iPad holder for accessible entertainment options during your workouts. Made of steel, this bike can support up to 300 pounds.
Cons: Even though assembly isn’t too challenging, the instructions are unclear, and videos would be helpful.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking to add a variety of cardio and strength workouts to your fitness routine without sacrificing floor space, this folding bike is an option to consider. The strong frame supports high-intensity cycling workouts in addition to recumbent rides. Resistance bands allow for strength workouts as well. The bike features an informative LCD screen, iPad holder, and water bottle holder, all while being able to easily fold up while not being used. For clear instructions, it’s best to watch an assembly tutorial since the instructions are a bit unclear.
XTERRA Fitness FB150 Folding Exercise Bike
A space-conscious, budget-friendly cardio option.
Pros: Talk about space-saving. You won’t need to find a permanent place for this FB150 folding bike from XTERRA Fitness; unfold, break a sweat, fold, and store. With an 18×18 footprint, when folded, your bike will take up as much space as your ironing board, making it an excellent addition to studio apartments and smaller homes. Its thick steel tubing ensures a smooth, balanced ride powered by eight levels of friction-free magnetic resistance, and you’ll sit comfortably for long periods on its oversized, padded seat. Just because it’s foldable doesn’t mean you can’t track your stats—it also includes a multifunctional LCD. The FB150 is also incredibly quiet, especially for a smaller, portable model. It’s easy to assemble and maneuver for younger and older alike.
Cons: This XTERRA Fitness bike comfortably fits most users 4 feet, 10 inches to 5 feet, 10 inches tall and has a weight limit of 225 pounds, so it may not work well outside these ranges.
Bottom Line: This portable, folding exercise bike is an optimal choice. The price is fair, and the size is forgiving, allowing you to easily roam your smaller home and hide unsightly exercise equipment from guests.
Home workouts come with advantages over using a public gym, especially if you’re not into the crowded gym scene. With the right equipment, you can accomplish an equally effective workout in the comfort of your home. Exercise bikes are a great way to increase your heart rate and break a sweat whenever you have a few minutes, no matter the weather outside.