Best Stationary Exercise Bikes Review 2021
With new forms of cardio equipment constantly coming onto the the fitness market, the humble exercise bike remains the top seller year after year. The reason is clear - cycling is one of the most efficient ways to lose weight, get fit, and strengthen your lower body that exists. And it’s fun. Finding the best exercise bike, though, can be a challenge. In this article, we take a close-up look at the top-rated exercise bikes of 2020.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 16 hrs of research
Heavy duty crank
Smooth chain drive
Felt pad resistance
10 Best Stationary Exercise Bikes
1. Sunny Health and Fitness Pro
Heavy duty crank
Smooth chain drive
Felt pad resistance
Bike is heavy
The Sunny Health and Fitness pro comes with an impressive 40-pound flywheel to give you an extremely smooth, natural ride.Read more
The flywheel is what drives the bike as you pedal. It is rare to get such a quality one at this price range. The flywheel is forty pounds and is made of chrome.
The heavy-duty steel frame is another impressive feature, allowing you to feel very safe and secure as you ride.
A heavy-duty crank and smooth chain drive provide a very fluid cycling motion. With fully adjustable best exercise bike seat and handlebars, this unit is able to accommodate all user shapes and sizes. The pedal resistance is fully adjustable. The Sunny Health and Fitness pro has a quiet operation and is free of the jerkiness that you often get with bikes at this price range.
The bike has attached wheels to make transporting it easier. It is chain driven, with resistance supplied by felt pads that clamp around the rim of the wheel. You can adjust the resistance with a knob in front of the seat.
Sunny Health Fitness provides comparison charts for its products, as well as troubleshooting guides, for free on its website.
2. Body Rider Fan Bike
An elliptical and cycling workout
Combined exercise bike with an arm workout
The seat has little padding for comfort
The Body Rider Fan exercise bike is a fan wheel unit with dual handles, allowing you to work both upper and lower body at the same time.Read more
The fan wheel produces a cooling breeze as you exercise, while the easily adjustable tension knob provides variable resistance. The seat is fully adjustable to accommodate different heights. The digital monitor presents a bright readout of your distance, time, speed, and calories consumed. And, perhaps best of all, the fan blows more cool air on you the harder you pedal. Think of it as an incentive. You can adjust the tension with a knurled knob in front of the seat.
The Body Rider Fan exercise bike has a solid, durable steel frame. It features a large, padded seat and ergonomic handle positioning. The cycle operation is very smooth and is whisper quiet. The Body Rider comes is priced well, and comes with a one-year frame warranty, making it a great overall purchase.
The Body Rider assembles easily with the included tools and hardware. Everything but the seat, pedals, and handles will already be in place when you purchase the bike. When assembled, the bike's handles allow you to get a full body workout.
Some reviewers said that users over 5'6" tall will have trouble with their knees hitting the handlebar.
3. XTERRA SB2.5r Recumbent Bike
Heavy duty flywheel
Poly V Belt
24 programs, some adjustable
Heart rate monitor not accurate
With 24 levels of progressive resistance, the Xterra Recumbent Bike will challenge you and help you push yourself.Read more
There are 24 built-in programs, which you can select and adjust using the 5” color LCD display. 12 of the programs are preset. 4 more are for heart rate, with one body fat program, 1 watt program, and four more are user-defined. Finally, there is a manual program to round everything out.
The console has a built-in MP3 player and headphone jack, or external speakers if you desire. Keeping with the theme of 24, there are 24 levels of resistance on the bike. A molded seat and generous back pad will keep you comfortable as you ride the best exercise bike. The heavy-duty flywheel, weighing in at 22 pounds, will provide smooth riding for as long as you use the best exercise bike.
Xterra stands behind its products, guaranteeing them in a way few other fitness equipment manufacturers do. With the SB2.5r Recumbent best exercise bike, you get a five-year warranty. The Xterra is a worthy investment that can provide you plenty of cardio workouts and sweat sessions.
4. Sole Fitness SB700
Kevlar braking system
Heavy Duty Construction
The bike is a little heavy
The Sole Fitness SB700 exercise bike is an exceptionally well made, responsive, high-quality light commercial best exercise bike.Read more
The best exercise bike features a heavy-duty 48-pound flywheel, which provides one of the smoothest riding experiences of any home bike we inspected. A robust Kevlar brake system combines with the flywheel to simulate the feel of an outdoor ride, all from the comfort of your home gym. This is an excellent spinning bike that can grow with you as you increase your cardiovascular fitness.
A wireless LCD screen keeps track of calories, distance, speed, and even RPM. The best exercise bike is easy to use, lightweight, and strong, so it will last a long time. Sole offers lifetime warranty for the steel tubing frame, and 3 years for parts.
Resistance is through an adjustable knob. There are foot straps on the pedals. A wireless receiver, with an optional chest strap, measures your heart rate while you work out.
5. Marcy Air 1 Fan Bike
Dual arms for elliptical training
Air resistance exercise bike
Very smooth resistance level
Automatic resistance based on pedaling
A little noisy when in operation
The Marcy Air 1 Fan Bike is the heavy-duty cousin of the Body Rider fan bike that made our top three.Read more
The dual arms mimic an elliptical machine, with air providing the resistance. As you pedal faster, you get more resistance. You also get more cold air from the fan, inspiring you to keep going. The high-density foam seat is adjustable, so users of all different heights can use the Marcy 1. Installed transport wheels make moving the bike a bit easier. Dual-action arms help you work out the rest of your body along with your legs and heart.
An onboard computer, with simple operation, gives you calories burned as well as speed, distance, and time. The screen is easy to read and intuitive to use. A 14-gauge frame, made of steel tubing, gives the Marcy Air 1 its strength. Powder coating gives the best exercise bike a smooth, attractive finish. For the finishing touch, the feet on the bike use levelers that will adapt and shape themselves to must surfaces. This ensures a solid, level ride and you will not have to worry about leveling the best exercise bike when you set it up.
Marcy offers a two-year limited warranty for the AIR-1.
6. Kettler Giro R Recumbent Exercise Bike
Very stylish appearance
16 levels of variable magnetic exercise bike resistance
8 computer programs
Heart rate data tracker
Power adaptor plug poorly designed
A comfortable seat and backrest are the most noticeable features on this stylish black and white bike.Read more
The bike uses magnetic resistance, lending a fluid wheel motion. The wheels will not jam on you or suddenly resist turning, and the design practically eliminates noise. There are 16 resistance settings, all put in place using the LCD touch screen. The onboard computer provides 8 different workouts you can use.
The customizable settings make this a good choice for a family's best exercise bike. Family members of many ages will be able to use it. The walk-thru design, which is more open than a traditional best home exercise bike, makes it easy to get on and off.
The Kettler Giro R also includes heart rate control monitoring. When you are using the heart rate program, the bike will adjust training intensity to keep you in your target heart rate zone. The 17.5-pound flywheel turns smoothly, keeping up with you even when you pedal fast. A feature called Recovery keeps track of your heart rate over time and can help you check your progress. Take a look at our list and find the best fitness tracker for cycling - a device that will help you monitor your overall progress.
7. Sole Fitness Exercise Bike
Functional, ergonomic design
Heavy duty frame
300-pound max user weight
Fully adjustable seat
A little noisy when cycling
The Sole Exercise Bike provides a challenging, comfortable workout.Read more
This best home exercise bike features a seat that is both vertically and horizontally adjustable to allow for precision customization. Ergonomically designed extra length handles allow for ideal positioning. The indoor best exercise bike computer provides ten different programs, including two heart rate workouts. A user design feature even allows you to design your own workout. The pedal design features a unique two-degree inward cant, which prevents joint ache.
The frame of the Sole is constructed from heavy-duty steel tubing and covered in a light aluminum shroud. This makes the bike strong enough for light commercial use, which remaining lightweight. It features two wheels for easy transport.
8. Goplus Adjustable Exercise Bike
Includes water kettle for easy hydration
Quiet, belt driven resistance
You have to pay more for upgraded versions
The Goplus Adjustable Exercise Bike is a very cool looking unit with curved edges and a stylish black finish that is also a great performer.Read more
The Goplus Adjustable Exercise Bike is an exercise machine that has an adjustable angle console that features a large LCD screen. It provides a clear readout of such training data as speed, distance, time, and calories consumed. You also get a full complement of built-in workouts as well as having the freedom to create your own. It is designed for low impact cardio and also features a workout fan, speakers and a drink holder.
The 22-pound inertia-enhanced flywheel provides a smooth, jerk-free pedaling motion and the pedals feature adjustable straps to secure your feet in place. The console and handlebars are adjustable. The unit weighs 55 pounds, with a weight limit of 286 pounds. The seat is adjustable up to 36 inches, and the handlebars up to 46 inches, so even taller users can enjoy this product. You can also buy a plus version, with an iPad holder, or an upgraded version with a 48-pound flywheel.
9. Exerpeutic Folding Upright Bike
Heavy duty frame
Folds up compactly
Max user weight 300 pounds
Can accommodate taller users
People under 5’3” may not be able to reach the pedals
The Exerpeutic folding upright bike is a lightweight bike with a heavy-duty frame.Read more
Constructed from heavy-duty steel tubing, and equipped with leg stabilizers for extra rigidity, this bike can take user weights up to 300 pounds. The large seat cushion makes for a comfortable riding experience. A centrally located knob allows you to adjust the tension over 8 settings, dual handle pulse sensors take a reading of your training heart rate.
The Exerpeutic foldaway features a large-screen LCD display, which provides a continuous readout of all your vital training data. A great feature of this unit is its collapsible design, allowing it to fold up like an ironing board for quick and convenient storage.
Magnetic resistance provides eight different settings to challenge yourself. Thanks to the smooth flywheel and v-belt, this is a quiet best exercise bike that will not make noise or interfere with others. The legs are equipped with stabilizers, keeping the bike stable while in use. The legs fold up during storage.
Taller users will be happy to know the best exercise bike is adjustable for heights up to 6'1".
10. Fitleader FS1
Bidirectional magnetic flywheel
8 levels of adjustable resistance
Max user weight of 290 pounds
Can accommodate taller riders
This is a well-priced home spin cycle that will allow you to push your training while staying stable on the best exercise bike.Read more
The Fitleader FS1 is another spinning cycle that has a magnetic bi-directional flywheel. The tough but lightweight frame can take whatever punishment you dish out during hard workouts. A central knob lets you adjust between eight levels of resistance. The seat and handles are fully adjustable to allow you to set up for an intense spin session. A dual-action safety brake and resistance adjustment lever provide smooth action. The best exercise bike provides you with a quality LCD console that gives constant readouts of all of your vital training stats, including RPM and hand pulse readouts. It is unusual to see the pulse feature on a bike in this price range, making this best exercise bike a great option for budget-minded athletes.
The Fitleader FS1 weighs 69 pounds, with a weight capacity of 293 pounds. The cushioned seat is adjustable, and there is a water bottle holder so you can hydrate while riding.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The best equipment adapts to you--not the other way around.
What are the possible adjustment points on the best exercise bike?
The most basic one, which even prototypical bikes would have had, is resistance. Usually, resistance is adjusted through a tension knob. But some of the bikes we reviewed adjust tension automatically according to how hard you pedal.
Seat height is important, just like it would be on a road bike. If your seat is too low, you will have knee pain and might bump the handlebars. Unfortunately, plenty of bikes are not suited to users over six feet. This is a good thing to know before you purchase.
Seat angle, incline, handlebars, and LCD screen tilt are another adjustable factor. They may seem minor compared to seat height or tension. But comfort is important. In addition, having to look at a screen that is not angled for you can lead to neck strain.
Support means peace of mind because you are stable and can work hard.
In the gym and in sport, anything that carries your complete or partial weight has to be supportive for safety reasons. Shoes, weight benches, and aerobic steps are all sturdy and supportive pieces of equipment. And of course, since you sit on a bike, the stationary bike reviews which are on that list as well.
The number one measure of an indoor bike's stability is its frame. The ones we reviewed all had metal frames. In recent years, technology has helped enable bikes with strong frames that are still lightweight. This is a great development, making stationary bikes portable in a way they were not before.
The other piece of support, for a bike, is the padding on the seat. The handlebars should support you, too, because without them you might fall off the bike.
Life has enough uncomfortable situations without your workout is one of them.
Usually, we seek comfort. We want to wear comfortable clothes, sleep in a comfortable bed, and be comfortable with our family and friend groups. Certain places, in fact, can be comforts. Coming home to the couch after a hard day of work will help the stress melt off of you.
We don't see why your gym equipment should be any different. So in our reviews, we looked for top-rated exercise bikes with ergonomic or walk thru designs, padded seats, curved handlebars, and other features that will keep you comfortable. A too-small seat, or a hard one, might cause you to cut a workout short because it gets painful. Comfort is one factor that will keep your workouts consistent and effective.
The features of your bike will extend its usefulness and help you achieve your fitness goals.
The earliest exercise bikes were just like road bikes of the time. They had wheels, handlebars, a frame, and a seat. Movable handlebars were unheard of. You couldn't track your calories or heart rate, and there was definitely no place to stow your water and quickly reach for it.
Times have certainly changed. Seats and handlebars are both adjustable. Cupholders are taken for granted because they are so common. Onboard computers, with brightly colored displays, will give you all your metrics and, on some top exercise bikes, keep track of them over time.
Every bike does not offer every feature, and not every user will want all the features. So in your preliminary shopping, it is a good idea to pick and choose just the features you want. This will go a long way towards narrowing down your own top ten, five, or three choices.
The quality of the ride on an indoor bike is just as important as it is on a road bike.
Features, construction, stability, and engineering are all factors that can make up a strong ride or a poor one.
The biggest things that come to mind are the wheels and pedals. Have you ever been on a bike that gave you are a sluggish response when you turned the pedal? This is not the same as increased resistance, which will also make pedaling difficult. A slow pedal is the result of an imbalance. The pedal is not rotating as it should. Since the pedals are what rotates the wheels, they will not respond properly either.
We have presented bikes that have solid construction. No matter where they rank on our top ten, they would not be on it at all if we weren't confident in their ride performance. These top exercise bikes will give a nice, fluid motion when you unbox them, and over time will continue to perform so you can enjoy the ride.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
We have all heard of interval training. It is where you work out hard for a set amount of time, rest for another set amount, and then go back to physical and cardio intensity. Resting consists of very light activity, not sitting or standing still. Repeat for 20 minutes or so.
High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, became very popular a few years ago. It consists of short bursts of intensity, followed by a shorter rest period. A HIIT workout can last just 10 or 15 minutes and still be effective.
To get more benefits out of an exercise bike, try some intervals on it. You don't have to do a full-on HIIT workout. After warming up, you could set the resistance or speed to just beyond your comfort level for a few minutes. Then after the rest period--which should be shorter than the work period you can ratchet up the resistance just a bit more. You can repeat this process until you are at max resistance, either for yourself or for the bike, or you can do a set number of rounds.
If your bike has training programs, there may be some interval training built-in. Hill intervals, climbing hills with level spurts in between, is a fun way to challenge yourself and get your heart rate up fairly quickly.
Planning your workout is important and can be a lot of fun. But before you even get that far, you should take some time and set the bike up for optimal use. Optimal use means getting the most you possibly can out of the equipment.
Adjust the handlebar and saddle. Get on the bike, making sure you can reach the pedals, and hold the bars without any strain. The seat should always be level, never tilted too far back or forward.
To adjust the seat height, sit on the bike. You should be wearing comfortable clothes and your gym shoes. If you put your feet on the pedals and pedal backward, you should get a full extension when the pedals are all the way. Your hips should not move, just your legs.
If your knees are fully extended during the backpedaling, then your knees will have a slight bend when you pedal backward or forwards and reach the top of the rotation. You should not have to hyperextend your legs or point your toes to get a fully pedal cycle.
Other Factors to Consider
Size is important, in our reviews, because many of our visitors are using home gyms, and space is at a premium. We have looked for upright and recumbent bikes that can fit into a small space or perhaps be folded and put away.
A challenge, where size is concerned, is stability. If the bike is not balanced on the floor, it could tip over. The bike might also slide over time, leaving marks on a floor.
To overcome this problem, manufacturers use rubberized feet that will adapt to the floor. You may also see bottom bars, where the feet attach, that are wedge-shaped to give a larger flat surface on the bottom.
Durability is always a prime concern when we do our reviews. It may be impossible to prevent some wear and tear over time, but it is possible for you to make an informed decision about your equipment. You will want something that can keep running, like it did the day you got it, with little or no downtime because of repair.
The frame, of course, is what we think about the most when we consider durability for indoor bikes. But everything in the best exercise bike needs to last. Pedals, flywheels, tension adjusters, fans, LCD screens, even the cushions on the seat or the handlebar grips are all points to consider when shopping for the best exercise bike.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Are spin bikes and upright bikes different?
Yes. Upright bikes have a wider seat, and many of them will not have resistance. They will often have computer screens for heart rate, speed, distance, and calories burned, but not all of them do.
A spin bike is built more like a skinny tire road bike. It will have a racing saddle and more streamlined handlebars. A spin bike is designed for intensity.
q: Shouldn't every indoor bike have a computer?
No, because manufacturers have found over the years that a lot of people do not use computers. So, in order to provide that group of customers a lower-priced product, many manufacturers offer models that do not have computers.
q: I want to get my elderly mother into indoor cycling. Any suggestions?
We strongly recommend a recumbent bike for seniors. The design makes it easy to mount and dismount. The backrest will keep your mother's back from hurting during and after her workouts. The seated position will be more comfortable for her, too, as opposed to an upright bike.
For these reasons, a recumbent bike is usually the better choice for anyone with chronic pain or mobility problems, no matter their age.
q: How should I maintain my indoor bike?
Your indoor bike, by design, is virtually maintenance-free. There may be batteries in the console that will have to be changed periodically. The flywheel assembly is enclosed, so you cannot service it, but you can wipe down the casing and make sure any screws are in tight and not coming loose. There may be screws in the pedals and toe straps if your best exercise bike has them.
After every workout, it is wise to wipe down the contact surfaces of your bike and wipe down any place where you sweated.
q: I just got a new indoor bike, and I can't get used to the seat. What can I do?
You have a few options if your seat is causing you discomfort. You could place a gel cover over it, replace it with a different seat, or call the manufacturer. If you are still in the warranty period for your best exercise bike, they may replace the seat.
Also, remember that there is a breaking in period, where you get used to the seat. This could be all that is going on. But if the trouble with the seat lasts more than a few weeks, or if it gets to the point where you do not want to use the bike, we recommend one of the courses of action above.