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Best Exercise Bikes

Updated November 2023
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Best of the Best
NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle
S22i Studio Cycle
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Best for Experts
Bottom Line

An exceptional machine that performed well during our testing and earns our fitness expert's approval.


Includes 5 individual exercise profiles. CoolAire fan keeps you comfortable. Global ride allows you to ride any route in the world. Automatic trainer control adjusts resistance as you go. Our tests found that this is a real cycler's indoor bike.


In tests, studio classes didn't match up to Peloton's in quality.

Best Bang for the Buck
XTERRA Fitness Folding Exercise Bike
XTERRA Fitness
Folding Exercise Bike
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Compact & Portable
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This portable, folding exercise bike lets you work up a sweat and then fold it away when not in use.


Folds down to 18 x 18 inches of floor space, such as in a closet. Comes with a 3.3-pound flywheel with smooth magnetic resistance levels. Simple readout displays time, distance, calories, and heart rate. Padded and supportive seat. Quiet operation.


Lacks bells and whistles. Weight limit of 225 pounds.

Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike
IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike
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Connected & Versatile
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Compact and cheaper option for smaller households; according to our testing, it is Peloton class compatible.


Comes with weights for classes with upper-body strengthening exercises. Heart-rate monitor pairs with a number of apps, including Peloton, Les Mills, Kinetic, and Zwift. Explore the World app provides scenic routes.


Our tests found that the water bottle holder's placement wasn't optimal for easy use during intense workouts.

Peloton Indoor Stationary Exercise Bike
Indoor Stationary Exercise Bike
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Customer Favorite
Bottom Line

Peloton's social media hit continues to deliver an unparalleled workout experience.


Loaded with technology and features, Peloton's bike positions itself to form the foundation of your fitness regimen both on and off the cycle. Online leader boards gamify the experience and let you compete with other cyclists around the globe.


Requires a subscription to Peloton's app to use. At its price, it would be nice if dumbbells were included.

BowFlex VeloCore 16
VeloCore 16
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Unique Features
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This exercise bike offers access to your favorite streaming content and a unique leaning option.


This bike lets you lean as you ride, providing a realistic, core-engaging workout. Its 16-inch, HD touchscreen lets you watch streaming content or follow along with the JRNY app to bike along virtual courses with adaptive, dynamic resistance. It includes two 3-pound dumbbells.


You'll need a good amount of space to fit this bike in and use its lean feature safely.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

After going through an intensive research process to narrow down our short list of top products in this space, we tested most of our top five to be sure that these products are worth your time. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter and test to verify manufacturer claims.

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Buying guide for best exercise bikes

Maybe you’re a gym lover who is unable to hit the studio. Maybe you work from home and want to use your work breaks to get into shape. Exercise bikes exploded in popularity in recent years as a result of pandemic restrictions and the resurgent popularity of fitness in general. While life has mostly returned to normal, exercise bikes continue to ride the health-conscious wave thanks to their ease of use and unparalleled effectiveness.

Whether you’re interested in getting your health back on track while avoiding a gym membership, recovering from an injury or looking to do high-intensity training at home, the right exercise bike can provide everything you need to achieve your goals on your own schedule and at your convenience. Many options allow you to monitor your fitness beyond the cycle itself, offering access to apps and programs that include stretching routines, weight training and even outdoor yoga.

For those interested in a professional experience, our top pick, the NordicTrack S22i Commercial Studio Cycle, comes loaded with technology and features formerly only available in spin classes and athletic clubs. With its exceptional build quality and dynamic resistance that changes automatically as you ride along with its iFit workout programming, this bike is sure to inspire, engage and yield results. We also tested the Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike, which gives you easy access to the Peloton and Zwift cycling apps at a bargain price. 

Expert Tip
Warm up for 5 minutes by first pedaling at an easy pace. This creates blood flow to muscles that are not yet warmed and increases your core temperature.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

Best exercise bikes

NordicTrack S22i Commercial Studio Cycle

With a 22-inch HD touchscreen, Bluetooth headphone connectivity and 30-day free trial of NordicTrack’s iFit workout program, this cycle comes with everything you need to get motivated and stay fit. It has a smooth, quiet incline and decline motor that you can adjust to your needs manually or engage through iFit programs that automatically change the bike’s resistance as you pedal through guided challenges or international bike courses. 

You can adjust the height of the bike’s seat as well as the handlebars for comfort. Two water bottle holders, a small weight rack and two 3-pound dumbbells are included for cross-training workouts.

Xterra Fitness Folding Exercise Bike

For those uninterested in the high-tech features and smart capabilities of so many of today’s exercise bikes, Xterra’s cycle provides a simple yet effective workout. Its basic LCD readout shows your speed, calories burned, time, distance and pulse, and its one-button interface makes scanning through your data as easy as possible. 

Eight levels of magnetic resistance are offered, and the overstuffed seat is adjustable. What’s more, you get a holder for a drink or phone.

Ideal for apartment living or anyone short on space but high on willpower, this bike’s wheels and foldable design keep it compact and out of the way between rides.

Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike

Bring Schwinn’s cycling reputation off the road and into your living room with this exercise bike that is fully compatible with popular workout apps. During testing, we loved how easy it was to access all the classes from Peloton and Zwift as well as other apps without being locked into one app or technology. We were also impressed by how quiet it was and that setup took only 30 minutes with the included tools. 

You can customize its magnetic resistance to your preference with the conveniently located twist knob and monitor your heart rate with its included Bluetooth armband. It includes a backlit LCD display, two water bottle holders and two 3-pound dumbbells that hang from a built-in cradle below its handlebars. 

It lacks some of the smart integrations that other bikes at this price point include, but its racing seat and SPD clip pedals make it a great option for biking enthusiasts looking to stay in shape over the winter.

Peloton Indoor Stationary Exercise Bike

No exercise bike roundup would be complete without an entry from Peloton, the company that made staying cardio-fit a social media sensation. This cycle is compact and loaded with tech including a built-in camera, microphone, stereo speakers, 24-inch HD touchscreen, Bluetooth compatibility and delta-compatible pedals for maximum cycling efficiency. 

Getting the most out of Peloton’s bike requires All-Access membership to their app, which isn’t cheap. But with thousands of workouts to choose from, ranging from intense calorie burns to mindful yoga and stretching, this cycle has everything it needs to become the foundation of your fitness routine and lifestyle.

Bowflex VeloCore 16 Exercise Bike

Bowflex is a top name in exercise gear, and this bike delivers on the Bowflex reputation, offering premium equipment designed to take your workout to the max. What sets this cycle apart from the competition is the ability to lean left or right as you pedal, providing a realistic, core-tightening experience. It features a 16-inch touchscreen that you can use with Bowflex’s JRNY real-time coaching app or to stream your favorite shows and movies. 

It includes a pair of 3-pound dumbbells, an adjustable seat and handlebars, dual-sided pedals, a Bluetooth armband and more. It’s also compatible with both Peloton and Zwift workout platforms.

Schwinn AD78 AirDyne Fan Bike

With its moving handlebars, this upright exercise cycle from Schwinn engages your arms as well as your legs. Its belt-driven fan increases resistance the harder you push, putting you in full control of your workout intensity. The seat features fore/aft and height adjustments to accommodate a wide range of riders, including those who prefer a more upright configuration. 

If you enjoy the rush of HIIT workouts, you’ll find that this cycle lets you take your endurance to the extreme without getting bogged down by technology. While its price tag might make some think twice, buyers are thrilled with this bike’s solid construction and no-nonsense delivery of calorie-burning cardio.  

Schwinn 290 Recumbent Exercise Bike

Schwinn’s recently released 290 recumbent bike gives those who prefer a more comfortable cycling style features usually reserved for more aggressive options. Its large, ventilated seat and hand grips let you focus exclusively on your legs and lower body, while its 7-inch LCD display, Bluetooth connectivity and stereo speakers allow you to enjoy virtual courses and custom workouts through the JRNY app. 

While larger and heavier than upright bikes, if you experience upper body pain while you do your cardio, this bike could be just what you need to maintain your health and stay strong without discomfort.

Expert Tip
Proper seat height is very important for preventing injury and maximizing a great workout. If your hips are rocking while pedaling, your seat is too high. If you are bending your knees beyond 10 degrees, your seat is too low. Excessive hip movement and knee bend can lead to lower back, hip, and knee pain.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

How we tested

After researching what each exercise bike offers, we tested the Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike to see how it did in the following areas.  

Ease of use 

  • Setup: We timed the entire setup process, from attaching the pedals, handlebars and seat to the frame to adding the console and media tray with the included tools.

  • Comfort: We noted whether the seat was comfortable while riding and whether the water bottle holder was conveniently located.  


  • Appearance: We evaluated the bike’s aesthetic appeal and whether it would take up a lot of floor space.

  • Pedals: We tested the cages that come with the pedals (for riding with regular tennis shoes) as well as the clips for clip-in cycling shoes.

  • Noise: We evaluated how quiet it was while pedaling and whether it would disturb others in the room.

Advanced features 

  • Apps: We tested how easy and intuitive it was to connect to the available workout apps and evaluated how well they performed with the bike. 

  • Heart rate monitor: We evaluated how straightforward it was to operate the heart rate monitor and whether it was simple to pair it to various apps.

What to know before buying an exercise bike

Types of exercise bikes 

Let's take a look at the most common types of exercise bikes and their main features.

Upright exercise bikes

  • Upright exercise bikes are the standard type of stationary bike most users are familiar with.
  • Users sit in an upright position, not crouched forward like on a road bike.
  • Resistance is created using magnets or electromagnetic induction, so the feel of pedaling is slightly different from riding a regular bike.
  • Upright exercise bikes tend to be the most affordable type of exercise bike, with some basic models priced under $100.

Spinning bikes

  • Also known as indoor-cycling bikes, spinning bikes give you the experience closest to riding a regular road bike.
  • The handlebars on spinning bikes are lower, so you have to crouch forward while using them. This makes it easier to lift yourself out of the saddle for a more intense workout.
  • The weighted flywheel keeps turning with inertia when you stop pedaling, so it feels more like riding a regular bicycle.

Recumbent exercise bikes

  • The seats of recumbent exercise bikes are reclined and have backs. They're much more comfortable for long workouts and for those who suffer from lower back pain.
  • Because your upper body is supported, your legs work harder on a recumbent bike.
  • A recumbent exercise bike can come with the same kind of enclosed flywheel as an upright bike or a weighted flywheel like a spinning bike.
  • Due to their size and extra parts, recumbent exercise bikes generally cost more than upright exercise bikes and spinning bikes.


Even low-cost exercise bikes usually have an LCD display that shows certain measurements, such as your heart rate, speed, distance traveled and how long you've been pedaling.

Mid-level and premium bikes feature full-color screens capable of displaying health data, streamed content and guided workouts.

Look for a bike with a clear and easy-to-use display, as you don't want to be struggling to figure it out while you're sweating away.

Heart rate monitor

Many bikes come with a heart rate monitor, often in the form of an armband. It's important to keep an eye on your heart rate during exercise because you may gain more benefits if you elevate it above a certain level.

Some people with detailed exercise plans know the optimum heart rate they must reach to meet their goals. For these people, an accurate monitor is vital to keeping the heart rate in the desired range.


Look at how many levels of resistance the exercise bike you're considering has. Twenty is the average number of levels for a gym-quality fitness cycle, but basic models may have less than that.

Normally, the highest resistance on a bike with 20 levels is the same as one with 10 levels, but you have fewer levels in between. As such, it's harder to fine-tune the resistance to your current fitness level and goals with a 10-level bike than it is with a 20-level bike.


High-end exercise bikes tend to come with preset programs to boost your workout. These programs automatically change the resistance of your cycle. For example, a program might start at low resistance and build up to medium resistance before going back to low resistance.

Programs are great if you're not clear on how to build your exercise routine or if you find it hard to push yourself without encouragement. An exercise bike with a wide range of programs will suit people at a variety of fitness levels.

Height adjustability

Exercise bikes have adjustable seats, making them suitable for adults of most heights.

That said, exercise bikes do have a recommended height range – often between 5'3" and 6'3" – so an average model can still leave a good chunk of people out.

It's not advisable to use an exercise bike you're too tall or short for, as over-extending or under-extending your knees when cycling can be uncomfortable and could lead to injuries.

Weight limit

All exercise bikes have a maximum weight limit, so check to make sure you don't exceed it.

In most cases, the weight limit is between 220 and 300 pounds. Recumbent bikes sometimes have higher weight limits.

Tips for using an exercise bike

  • A water bottle holder on an exercise bike is highly convenient. Without one, you'd have to stop your workout and dismount your exercise bike every time you wanted to quench your thirst.
  • If you're short on space, a folding exercise bike is ideal. You can fold it up and store it when it's not in use.
  • Many people find it easier to stay motivated when listening to music or watching TV while cycling. Some exercise bikes even have speakers and audio input, allowing you to listen to music from your phone or MP3 player.
  • Keep children away from exercise bikes without safety locks. Curious fingers could get trapped in several moving parts.
  • Stay hydrated when working out on your exercise bike. This will help prevent muscle cramps and dehydration.
  • Double-check that your exercise bike is stable before riding. During a serious workout, some bikes may wobble or fall over if not situated properly.
  • Monitor the amount of pressure on your hands when gripping the handlebars. If it’s too much, adjust your body so your weight is on your legs.
Expert TIp
If your indoor bike’s set up allows, occasionally get off the seat to use different lower-body muscles and provide any necessary relief from the pressure on your glute muscles caused by sitting and pedaling for an extended period of time.
BestReviews Fitness Expert


Q. How much does an exercise bike cost? 

A. Exercise bikes span a huge price range. Whatever type you prefer, no-frills options can be purchased for as little as $100 to $200. However, bikes at this level come with significant sacrifices to their features, build quality and comfort. If you have the willpower to keep up with a very basic, self-guided workout plan, you can save a lot of money.

However, if you’re looking for a well-made cycle that will keep you interested, grow with your workout journey and inspire you to jump on time and time again, expect to pay between $400 and $800. Bikes in this range are made to last and allow for a great deal of customization.

Those in search of a premium exercise bike will find offerings from major manufacturers to suit their needs from $800 to $1,300. Cycles at this level will include Bluetooth technology, HD touchscreen displays, stereo sound and the ability to engage with a wealth of workout programs via app subscriptions.

Q. What kind of exercise bike is best if I'm recovering from an injury?

A. Recumbent bikes require riders to use fewer muscle groups, and they're more comfortable to sit on, so many people find them the gentlest type of exercise bike to use when recovering from an injury. However, you should check with your doctor before starting an exercise routine after an injury.

Q. Can I use a separate heart rate monitor on my exercise bike?

A. If getting an accurate heart rate reading during your workout is vital and your chosen exercise bike has a poor-quality heart rate monitor or none at all, don't worry. You can use a heart rate monitor of your choosing to get a better reading. The only inconvenience is that you'd have to look at the display on the heart rate monitor, as it wouldn’t show up on your exercise bike's LCD display.

Q. Can cycling be my only form of exercise?

A. Cycling is a great form of cardiovascular exercise, which is important for your health. However, most experts recommend you do some strength training in addition to cardiovascular exercise to keep your body in tip-top condition. This doesn't mean you have to start pumping iron at the gym if you don’t want to. Forms of exercise where you work with your body weight, such as yoga and Pilates, count as strength training.

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