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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.
Built-in screen displays easy-to-read information, including time, speed, distance, or calories burned. Pedals have straps and counterbalanced design so users won’t have to worry about slipping off. Seat adjusts to individual heights. Eight levels of resistance.
Though the seat can move, some users report that it is difficult to adjust on a daily basis.
Bluetooth capability allows uploads from Schwinn’s Trainer app. Syncs with third-party fitness apps. Easy to put together and set up. Runs very quiet, with a large, easy-to-read console. Comfortable seat and riding position.
Heart-rate contact sensors are inaccurate unless gripped exactly right. Built-in speakers are tinny at best. Shorter users may find this bike uncomfortable.
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.
Smooth, quiet ride with magnetic resistance. Equipped with a Bluetooth enabled heart monitor, easy-to-reach dumbbell cradles, and backlit LCD screen. Can be connected to popular fitness apps, including Peloton.
Assembly is required, and hiring a pro for assembly through the site is expensive.
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.
We know it can be hard to find time to hit the gym. But you don’t have to when there’s an exercise bike in your living room. These stationary bikes can help you achieve your fitness goals, all while you save money and hassle.
With all the bikes on the market, you should consider the bike type. There are the more traditional upright bikes, spinning bikes that mimic road bikes, and recumbent bikes that recline. Also keep in mind the bike’s weight limit, adjustability, ease of use, resistance, and preset programs.
Let's take a look at the most common types of exercise bikes and their main features.
Upright exercise bikes are the standard type of stationary bike that 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 at under $100.
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, meaning you have to crouch forward while using them. This also makes it easier to lift yourself out of the saddle for a more intense workout.
The weighted flywheel keeps turning with its own inertia when you stop pedaling, so it feels more like riding a regular bicycle.
The seats of recumbent exercise bikes are reclined and have backs, so they're much more comfortable, particularly for long workouts or 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.
Most exercise bikes have an LCD display that shows certain measurements, such as your heart rate, speed, distance traveled, and how long you've been pedaling.
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.
Even the most basic exercise bikes tend to come with a heart rate monitor. It's important to keep an eye on your heart rate during exercise because you’ll only benefit if you're working hard enough to elevate it.
People with more detailed exercise plans may know their optimum heart rate for reaching their specific goals. In this case, an accurate monitor is vital to make sure heart rate is kept in the desired range.
Look at how many levels of resistance the exercise bike you're considering has. About 20 levels is the average for a gym-quality fitness cycle, but basic models may have fewer.
Normally, the high resistance on a bike with 20 resistance levels is the same as one with 10 levels, but you have fewer levels in between. This means it's harder to fine-tune the resistance to your current fitness levels and goals.
Higher-end exercise bikes tend to come with preset programs to help boost your workout. These programs automatically change the resistance on your cycle. A program might start on a low resistance, then build up to a medium resistance before going back to a lower resistance, and so on.
Programs are great if you're not clear on how to build your exercise regimen or if you find it hard to push yourself without encouragement. An exercise bike with a wide range of programs will suit people with a variety of fitness levels.
Exercise bikes have adjustable seats, so they're 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- or under-extending your knees when cycling can be uncomfortable and even lead to injuries.
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, but this does vary. Heavier users may find some recumbent models have higher weight limits.
Recumbent exercise bikes start at around $130 to $150 for very basic models.
The most expensive models can cost over $500. For this price, expect all the best features, such as fitness tracking synced with an app via Bluetooth, built-in speakers with audio input, extra-comfortable seats, and a range of preset programs.
Basic spinning bikes start around $120 to $150. While you can find some gems in this price range, expect a spartan finish.
However, even the most expensive spinning bikes — usually around $350 to $400 — tend not to have too many extra features. The more expensive spinning bikes generally have heavier flywheels and better build quality.
Upright exercise bikes can cost as little as $70 to $120 for basic models with nothing but a simple LCD display tracking factors such as speed and distance.
And they can cost as much as $350 to $400 for high-end models with a range of programs, built-in speakers, a quality heart rate monitor, and other extra features.
It might sound basic, but a water bottle holder on an exercise bike can be a real lifesaver. Otherwise, you'll have to stop your workout and dismount your exercise bike every time you want 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, so you can listen to music from your phone or MP3 player.
Keep children away from exercise bikes that don't come with safety locks. Curious fingers could get trapped in several moving parts.
Make sure that you stay hydrated when working out on your exercise bike. This will help prevent muscle cramps and dehydration.
Always 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.
When riding your exercise bike, monitor if you are putting too much pressure on your hands when gripping the handlebars. If so, adjust your body so your weight is on your legs.
A. You should always check with your doctor before restarting your exercise routine after an injury. However, 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.
A. If getting an accurate heart rate reading during your workout is vital to you, 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'll have to look at the display on the heart rate monitor, as it won't show up on your exercise bike's LCD display.
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.