Exercise Bike 2016 Buying Guide

Gym & Fitness at Home

Exercise bikes have grown in popularity as an at-home option with the steady rise in spinning classes over the past two decades. While you can create a simulation for as little as $54 for indoor bike stands, you can also invest upwards of $2-3k or more for fully featured, long-lasting and versatile bikes. Many people seek out bikes as a substitue for running or to focus on stengthing legs, glutes, and hips with incremental resistance workouts.

There are two main types of exercise bikes: the upright and the recumbent. An upright bike aims to simulate a standard bicycle. A recumbent bike offers back support to the user. Users who have balance, back, or lower-limb issues often opt for exercise bikes as their primary cardiovascular workout machine.

The qualities to look for in a good bike are: size, durability, versatility (resistance and adjustments), comfort & ergonimics, pedal size, and additional features (data tracking and even gamification, because let's be honest...this stuff can get boring fast). Below we have reviewed and listed over a dozen options for exercise bikes, including a few twists for your consideration. 

Conquer Indoor Bike Trainer Portable Exercise Bicycle Magnetic Stand

Info: If you already own a bike and have a very tight budget, consider just picking up stands to simulate an indoor bike experience. Heavy duty construction, sturdy mounting cups reduce slippage (quick release included), single adjustment, progressive magnetic resistance, and comes with a front wheel riser block. Compatible with 26 in., 27 in. and 700c bikes

Price: $54

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Folding Exercise Bike

Info: One of the most affordable and effecient entry-level bikes; offers 8 adjustable tension levels, adjustable cushion and hieght, easy to assemble and fold/store, meter displays time, speed, pulse, distance, and calories burned. 220 lb max user weight (users note it does fine for people weighing around 250). Long usage may wear down parts after 1,000+ miles.

Price: $129

Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse

Info: This is the most popular entry level magnetic folding bike offering an array of features for a reasonably affordable price. Supports up to 300 lbs, adjustable cushion for users 5'3 - 6'1 inch, hand pulse heart rate monitor, easy assembly, compact design, 8 level magnetic tensions options, 1.5 in LCD displaying distance, calories burned, time, speed, scan and heart rate monitor. Similar to the previous bike, users note that without proper upkeep the bike can wear down and get louder with parts breaking/deteriorating after 1,000+ miles. 

Price: $149

Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike

Info: A rock solid exercise bike; one of the best bang-for-your-buck bikes on the market. Features a 40-pound flywheel, heavy duty crank that runs smooth, adjustable seat, handlebars, and resistance. Supports up to 275 lbs. Some users note assembly is simple while others had some struggles. An all-around awesome bike that brings near gym quality into your home.

Price: $232

FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike with Massage Bar

Info: A compact, comfortable, lightweight, and supringsly well-built desk bike; designed for people who want to stay productive / work while getting in a cardiovascular workout. Runs quiet and smooth, desk has a non-slip surface and ample space, small/narrow drawer undernearth, massage rollers, digital resistance meter which tracks multiple metrics, and adjustable back seat and extender allows for upright and semi-recumbent usage. Users note the readings can be severly off at time and repairs can be a hastle. 

Price: $299

Nautilus U616 Upright Bike

Info: Simply put: a fantastically smooth, quiet, durable, and effective exercise bike for the price. Features 2 LCD windows showing up to 13 workout details, Bluetooth connectivity + charging USB port, grip heart rate + telemetry enabled chest strap for heart rate monitoring, 29 workout programs, 25 levels of resistance, 4 user profiles and more data features. Also comes with a supringsly good speakers. Some users note that after 1yr+ of usage the seat may begin to deteriorate. Almost commercial gym-grade quality for much less of the cost.

Price: $449

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

Info: A well designed, durable, and smooth running recumbent bike. Features two LCD windows monitoring up to 13 different display feedbacks, goal tracking data export, 29 programs, 25 levels of resistance, 4 user profiles, charging USB port, decent speakers, comfortable seat, and a sleek design. For the price there's a lot of value. Users note that assembly can range from easy to difficult. 

Price: $464

Spinner Sprint Premium Authentic Indoor Cycle

Info: Essentially the first true commercial grade bike at a still reasonably affordable price. Very durable/longlasting, heavy duty flywheel with smooth momentum, stable ergonomic handlebar, and responsive/effective braking, optimized Q-factor at 155mm. Also comes with 4 Spinning DVDs. There are no fancy frills or electronic/data components; simply a high quality bike designed for heavy usage.

Price: $749

Lifecore Fitness Assault Air Bike Trainer

Info: A widely popular, commercial and even military grade air bike that is built to take a beating. No fancy gizmos; gives users a serious workout. Built with high quality and durable parts, runs smooth, unlimited resistance (cross-fit style workouts), features programs with readouts in tabata, intervals, watts, and heart rate. Features a 25 inch diamater steel fan, 6-way adjustable seat. This is a powerful bike built to withstand the demands of a competitive athlete, but also provide an all around full-body workout for any person. 

Price: $999

Schwinn A.C. Sport Indoor Cycle Trainer

Info: A superior quality chain-driven spin bike designed with adjustable smart release for the flywheel. Easy to assemble, generates smooth, non-wearing resistance, multiple magentic resistance levels via the flywheel, 3 position adjustable handlebars, comfortable seat with vertical+horizontal adjustments, dual waterbottle holders, 300 lb capacity. Moderate noise (music or TV cancels it out). Overall a high quality, commerical grade spin bike that easily creates a tough, high-energy workout.

Price: $1235

Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle

Info: An extremely smooth, quiet, durable, excellent quality spin bike. Magnetic resistance, bluetooth enabled computer conencts to smartphone apps, 4-way handlebar and seat adjustments, comfortable for long periods, easily handles heavy use, compact, great balance. Made in the USA and also comes with an exercise mat as a nice bonus. Overall a slight improvement from the previous Schwinn with a little more weight and electronic data offerings. 

Price: $1995

ElliptiGO 8C

Info:  "The World's First Outdoor Elliptical Bike AND Your Best Indoor Elliptical Trainer" - this is a unique elliptical / exercise bike option. It's more elliptical like than it is bike as far as lower body motions, but has recieved a suprinsgly large, positive acceptance from professional athletes and regular riders alike. Offers indoor/outdoor options (you'll need a stationary trainer for indoor use). Users note it results in a 30% harder (and thus slower) than biking workout due to the weight and lack of aerodynamic position, but this also adds more intensity to the workout. This is presented as something to consider to show the variety of options on the current 2016 market.

Price: $2499

Star Trac E-RB Recumbent Bike

Info: Simply put; one of the best recumbent bikes on the market. Sleek design, 20 resistance levels of intensity, full featured electronic entertainment system, 3-piece crank, 10 workout programs, dual sided pedals with inline skate clips and extra long 14in pedal straps, personal cooling fans, adjustable reading station, armrests, adjustable and very comfortable seat, complete dashboard readouts (calories, watts, distance, etc.), contoured backrest, dynamic heart rate control program. Runs smooth, very durable; a high quality commercial grade recumbent bike.

Price: $2999

Expresso HD Upright Exercise Bike - HDU

Info: One of the coolest and most motivating virtual reality bikes on the market. Ride through over 40 different worlds ranging from a one mile speed course to a twenty mile mountain climb. The internet connected bike remembers you and tracks your progress automatically as you become stronger and more healthy. Expresso even helps you stay motivated by riding against your past "ghosts" or challenging your friends "ghosts". Offers commercial grade bike quality with more thoughtfully designed readouts for data and usage. Users note increased enjoyment, challenge and motivation.

Price: $6999