One of the best ways to exercise is on a bicycle, but most people do not want to get up in the morning and put on biking clothes and a helmet any more than they want to put on gym shorts and go to their local fitness center. Working out from home can be a much more convenient way to burn those calories and build muscle, and the way that you can achieve the same results as riding a bike is with the stationary bike.
Generally, people choose between foldable, portable exercise bikes and the much more permanent fixture of a stationary bike. A foldable bike definitely has some advantages, including being able to break down and lean against the wall or store it in a closet. For people in small apartments, the foldable bike may be the perfect solution. But a stationary bike has several advantages over a folding bike.
Even if you have decided to get a stationary bike, you still need to choose the best one. That’s why we have selected 10 that represent the best stationary bikes on the market. Any of these 10 will make a solid purchase and help you get into shape. Just make sure that you know how much space the bike is going to take and that you have room for it. Bikes are far less expensive than home gyms and take up a fraction of the space of most of them, but they still can have a wide footprint and you want to make sure that you have room for it in your home.
Review on how to Choose a Stationary Bike
There are several things to consider when it comes to choosing a stationary bike. Before we get into the reviews, you may want to understand a little more about the selection process that went into choosing the bikes on this list and how you can tell the difference between them to determine which one is the perfect bike for you. There are four basic factors that will be looking at here.
Type of Resistance
First, make sure that you know the difference between the various types of resistance that you get with stationary bikes. Some bikes have brake-based chain systems that offer resistance, and others have a different type of brake resistance called direct contact. This is actually the same way that your bicycle stops when you apply the hand brakes. Magnetic resistance is also a popular type of resistance with exercise bikes, and some of them even use fan based resistance. Which one you choose depends upon your personal preference, but most people go with magnetic because of the smoother ride.
Recumbent vs. Upright
Choosing the style of riding comes down to two basic choices: recumbent or upright. Recumbent bikes have you sitting on the bike with your legs out in front of you instead of pointing straight down. Often, these bikes include a backrest that keeps you from feeling the strain of bicycling and staying straight. Upright bikes, on the other hand, work the same way that a regular bicycle does with the advantage of offering more calories burned and a better workout.
Footprint & Weight
The footprint of your bike and how heavy it is are both things that you need to consider when it comes to a stationary bike. Although weight is not that big of deal, especially if you are planning to leave your bike in one place for the foreseeable future, it is something you should think about because if you decide to move or want to shampoo your carpet, you are still going to need to be able to move it. The footprint is another consideration because every room has a limited amount of space and you want to make sure that your bike fits.
There are lots of tech features that are included with exercise bikes these days. One of the most common tech features is monitoring of speed, calories burned, distance traveled, time spent exercising and more. Usually, this is displayed upon an LCD screen that is attached to the bike. In some cases, your bike may connect with your smart phone or tablet and work with an app designed by the bike manufacturer. There may be additional features – both tech and non-tech – that you will see on some of the bikes on this list.
1. L NOW Indoor Cycling Bike Smooth Belt Driven
This exercise bike is one of the most versatile ones on this list, at least when it comes to how you ride it. The handlebars are ergonomically designed and offer three different grip positions which not only give you a great deal more flexibility when it comes to getting comfortable, they also offer different training postures, specifically designed to work out different parts of your body depending upon how you grip the bike. In addition, these handgrips add stability while you work out.
You also get an advanced LED monitor that allows you to track all of the standard metrics including speed, calories burned, heart rate, distance traveled and more. This bike is extremely stable and offers a wider seat than average, providing you with a comfortable place to sit but also built with features that provide airflow and air permeability so that you can cool down while in an intense workout.
This bike is durable and sturdy, with thick pedals and a flywheel that adjusts silently for various resistance settings. This is also a customizable exercise bike with adjustments both vertically and horizontally. The footprint is a little larger than average, but it adds stability to the bike and make sure that you don’t tip over while you are working out.
2. Schwinn 170 Upright Bike
Schwinn is a really popular brand when it comes to bicycles, and most people are not even aware that they make exercise bikes. However, Schwinn leads in both of these industries. This particular model is one of the most advanced upright exercise bikes out there with a design that has been reworked over and over to provide the maximum amount of comfort in an upright bike while still giving you a pretty intense workout.
However, the tech is probably the greatest thing about this bike. There is so much technology included with this upright Schwinn that you have an almost unlimited amount of customization options. There are dozens of different cardio workouts included with the programs, a console that is packed with features and data tracking that works with multiple users and monitors your progress.
You can also export your data, sync with the Schwinn trainer app or use an entirely different third-party application like my fitness pal. It also syncs with the ride social app so that you can take bike rides across the virtual world with your friends. Some of the other features include 25 levels of resistance, two different dual track LCD displays, super smooth flywheel operation and padded handlebars and saddle for comfortable riding. It even includes an adjustable three-speed fan and a USB port for charging your device.
3. FLEXISPOT Desk Bike Stand up Folding Exercise Desk
If you have considered a standing desk at some point, then you’re going to love this exercise bicycle from Flexispot. You can get work done while you exercise with this standup desk that is completely adjustable and sturdy enough to support your laptop and other devices as well as the weight of your arms while you use those devices. There are a lot of good reasons to use a standing desk, but riding a bike while you work burns a ton more calories and gives you lots of physical benefits that the regular standing desk will not.
The FlexiSpot Deskcise Pro is the perfect combination of standing desk and exercise bike, and while there isn’t a whole lot of technology included with this model, it is still very comfortable and easy to ride and offers several different adjustments besides the desk itself that allows you to get into the perfect position to spend a couple of hours on your laptop while burning calories with your legs.
The desk will stay until you apply enough pressure to move up or down, and you don’t have any pins or knobs that you have to set to get it into position. It is one of the most innovative exercise ideas currently on the market.
4. Schwinn 130 Upright Bike
Another Schwinn entry on this list is this 130 model, which is very similar to the 170 but not quite as fully featured. Of course, the price reflects this, and so if you loved what was included with the other Schwinn, but you just want to pay a little less, then this bike should definitely be at the top of your consideration list.
Don’t let that fool you into thinking that this doesn’t have a massive amount of tech included though. The average person isn’t going to notice a huge difference between 170 and this bike. There is definitely enough tech included here to make it worth the purchase price. Some of that includes goal tracking, with multiple users able to set individual exercise goals, 22 different preset exercise programs, nine different user profiles, eight heart rate controls and tracking, a couple different fitness tests and a QuickStart for those that just want to work out immediately.
There are also two LCD displays on this bike as well so you can see everything that you are tracking. You can also adjust the range of resistance with 20 different preset levels, and there are contact heart rate monitors on the handlebars, a USB port and an MP3 input with built-in speakers on the bike.
5. Merax RB1020 Magnetic Recumbent Bike
Merax makes the next entry on the list, and this recumbent exercise bike is one of the most comfortable out there right now. One of the things that make the stationary bike unique is that it has a higher weight capacity and just about any other model on this list. This bike will support a listed 380 pounds and probably more than that for a short period of time.
It also comes with a large LCD screen that displays everything that you want to know about your workout including calories burned and distance traveled, all accessible from the extra-large cushion seat with back support and strap-in pedals that will prevent you from slipping off the bike.
The bike features eight different levels of magnetic resistance, a compact design; but one that is intended to be stable and prevent tipping, and most of all, an extremely comfortable workout that will let you burn calories without any strain on your back or neck. It can also be adjusted between 41 and 48 inches and with a total weight of 52 pounds, this bike is not that much heavier than some of the folding bikes that are out there. You should be able to move it around easily.
6. Exerpeutic GOLD 525XLR Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike
This bike is pretty unique among the other ones on this list because it has an even higher weight capacity than the Merax model. This bike will support up to 400 pounds and it has plenty of advantages over other exercise bikes. For one thing, this is made to be compact, just as much so as the folding bikes that are out there.
But there is more to this bike. The design is extremely smart, and the steel is reinforced so that it is durable and made to last for a very long time. This bike is going to be a little heavier when transporting it, but it takes up very little space once you have installed. There are eight different resistance levels, a pretty massive backrest and seat cushion that will easily accommodate people as tall as six foot five; all combined with a large LCD screen that tracks everything from your calories burned to your current heart rate compared to your target.
The great thing about this bike is that it is a combination stationary bike and folding bike. It is meant to be installed as a stationary bike, but if you ever do need to move it, you can fold it up to where it is only about half us large and transported elsewhere.
7. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1002 Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike
This exercise bike features a belt drive system that makes for a smooth and quiet ride and allows you to exercise indoors whenever you want. This bike features a 49-pound flywheel with crank, easily adjustable resistance and a top press brake, fully adjustable seat and handlebar and a water bottle. The maximum weight capacity for this model is 275 pounds, and it is one of the most durable and sturdy bikes on this list.
Getting deeper into the adjustability and portability, the padded seat is fully adjustable allowing you to pull it up or down or move it forward or backward so that it fits you perfectly. The seat can also be adjusted for proximity to the handlebars and there are no pins or difficult adjustments to be made. All you have to do is twist a knob. This means that your workout can go on longer because you are comfortable for the entire duration.
Another thing about this bike is that even though it is a little heavier, it does provide sturdy wheels that make it easy to roll across the floor. As long as you do not have to put it in the back of a truck, you will have no problems moving this around because it simply tilts and rolls out for use or can be collapsed the same way and rolled back into storage.
This bike offers all the standard features plus a really smooth ride and lots of adjustments to make sure that you get the perfect fit. It also has a steel bottle holder located at the perfect length from your arms so you can stay hydrated when you work out.
8. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike Exercise Bike
Another terrific bike from the same brand is this recumbent exercise bike that will give you a great workout without having to be uncomfortable, and this particular model is pretty unique because the way it is designed it works out your entire body instead of just your quads, calves, gluts in other areas below the waist. This bike was designed to give you an upper body workout and give you some definition on your arms, chest, abdominals and back and shoulders.
As if that wasn’t enough, there are plenty of other features that you will love such as the digital monitor that measures all of the standard metrics including calories in total distance traveled, adjustable inseam that will allow you to move anywhere from 29 inches to 36 inches, magnetic resistance system with multiple controls and a max weight capacity of 350 pounds.
This model also includes a heart rate monitor so they can get your heart rate up to the target amount where you burn the maximum amount of calories for the duration spend working out. There are also multiple levels of resistance so that you can start small and move up as you progress through the workouts, and a convenient tension knob that makes it easy to change that resistance when you need to.
9. Body Rider Exercise Upright Fan Bike
This upright fan bike from Body Rider is the only one on this list that uses a fan as the resistance. While most people prefer magnetic resistance, the benefit of having a fan as your resistance method is that you generate lots of airflow which cools you off during your workout.
This bike also provides you with an upper body workout at the same time that you work out your lower body. It does this because it is not only an exercise bike; it is also an elliptical in one machine. The target workout for this bike is cardio, but you get plenty of strength training throughout the entire body as well.
The seat is adjustable and easily moves to accommodate multiple users, so this could easily be used in a commercial setting like a gym or spending class. Plus, with an ergonomic design, this is a perfectly comfortable bike that will allow you to sweat without putting any strain on your body.
Just some of the features that this comes with include various resistance levels, dual action extended handlebars, high-speed fan-wheel system, comfortable and adjustable seat and frame design for maximum stability. This is a versatile stationary bike that doubles as an elliptical so that you can get an upper body workout.
10. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B0418 Magnetic Mini Exercise Bike
The budget model on our list is this magnetic mini exercise bike from Sunny Health & Fitness. This bike is not going to give you the features that the other bikes do, nor is it going to give you the full body workout. However, it does feature a solid workout that will allow you to burn some extra calories while you’re doing just about anything. Because this bike is for the lower body only, you can use it underneath your work desk, you can use it while you are on the couch watching TV or just about anywhere you can think of.
There are eight levels of tension, and even though they are micro adjustments compared to the full-sized bikes, it still provides you with a great deal of flexibility for your workout. In addition, there is a digital display that shows you how much time you worked out, how many calories you burned, distance traveled and speed. The bike comes with safety pedal straps and is designed to be completely portable and able to be moved around with no effort whatsoever. This is definitely a budget option, and is not a conventional stationary bike that you install in your living room, but for those with very little to spend this might be the perfect solution.