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What if you could get the same workout from a spin studio in the comforts of your own home? Technology has made it easier than ever to stream free classes online, and as more and more people are stuck indoors, having a dedicated piece of exercise equipment at home is no longer just a great alternative, but an important part of staying fit as well.
Whether you’re trying to save money, save time or just prefer sweating it out at home, we’ve found some great indoor exercise bikes that deliver on performance and power.
What You Should Know Before Buying an Exercise Bike
There are many factors to consider when choosing the right indoor exercise bike for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Construction and build: Exercise bikes come in all shapes and sizes, but we’ve found ones that are all made from sturdy steel frames with heavy-duty parts and construction. These bikes can withstand weight up to 300 pounds, with durable seats, handlebars and wheels that can really take a beating. Though all bikes look similar when assembled, make sure you’re buying a bike that fits your height. Some of the bikes on our list are best for people six-feet and under, while other options work for taller people as well.
Chain vs. Belt: While old indoor exercise bikes used to come with a chain-wheel design (to mimic an outdoor bike), the best spin bikes these days all use a belt-driven design, which is less likely to fray or snap. A belt-driven system is also a lot quieter and makes for a smoother, more consistent ride. You used to have to lay a mat down under your exercise bike as well, to make sure it didn’t slip or move while you were riding. These days, the best exercise bikes all have grippy, non-slip pads at the bottom, to ensure that your bike stays put on the floor.
Pedals: Most spin studio bikes use SPD clips, which let you “clip in” your spin shoes or biking cleats to the foot pedal. However, that requires either renting or buying a pair of shoes specifically for your bike. The options on our list work with a regular pair of sneakers (or socks if you prefer going shoe-less at home). Simply slide into the pedal compartments and you can either tighten a strap, or lock your feet into a “cage” to secure your feet.
Resistance: All home exercise bikes come with a padded, adjustable seat, adjustable handlebars and a resistance knob, usually between your legs, that lets you turn the resistance of your pedals up or down. Turn the knob to the right to add resistance and intensity (you’ll have to pedal harder to push through the weight). Turn it to the left when you want to give your legs a break. Note: you never want to ride with no resistance on the wheel, as that could leave your legs spinning out of control.
Extra features: Some of the bikes on our list come with built-in stands for a phone or tablet, letting you easily connect to an online spin class and follow along while you ride. Some of our picks also come with built-in monitors, that let you see your stats, from speed to time to calories burned.
Cycling is an easy way to get some aerobic activity going even when you’re stuck indoors. Just 30 minutes a day could go a long way towards burning calories, improving stamina, enhancing circulation and helping to tone your butt, legs, arms and core.
All of these bikes either fold down or come with with wheels for easy transport and storage. You don’t need a huge space either; these compact exercise bikes can fit in your living room, bedroom or garage, making them a great option when you want to get a workout in without having to leave the house.
These exercise bikes are also a great alternative to those pricey Peloton bikes, which require you to not only purchase the physical bike, but to sign up for a monthly subscription too. With these affordable spin bikes, you only pay once, and have the bike to use at your leisure whenever you want.
1. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Indoor Cycling Bike
Get a spin studio-quality ride without having to leave the comfort of home. This exercise bike is built with a durable steel frame that supports up to 300 pounds of weight. The bike features the same heavy-duty flywheel seen in name-brand fitness studios, along with a magnetic resistance belt that delivers an ultra smooth and silent ride. Adjust the intensity of your ride using the easily-accessible resistance knob.
Four different seat and handlebar heights let you find the best positioning and posture, while the steel-cage foot pedals come with adjustable straps.
Other details include a water bottle holder, foot pads to prevent the bike from shifting on the floor, and built-in wheels for easy transport. Keep in mind: at 48 x 23 x 45 inches, this is one of the largest bikes on our list.
A large device stand lets you securely place your phone or tablet right in front of you to easily follow an online video or instructions. This bike comes with a 44 pound flywheel, which is the heaviest weight on our list.
2. YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike
We love the sporty and streamlined look of this exercise bike from YOSUDA. Constructed from a durable steel frame, this indoor spin bike is packed with fitness-minded features, like a 35 pound bi-directional flywheel, smooth belt-driven movement, and a connected LCD monitor, which tracks your pace, speed, distance and calories burned.
The bike fits riders up to 270 pounds. Find your perfect riding position with a four-way adjustable seat and two different handlebar heights. A central knob increases or decreases resistance; press down firmly to use it as an emergency brake.
The bike comes with caged foot pedals, but they can be easily swapped out for SPD pedals if you have spin shoes. A built-in device stand lets you prop up a phone or tablet.
For its slim profile, this bike is surprisingly sturdy and delivers some pretty robust performance.
3. Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike
Don’t let the small size fool you: this home spin bike supports up to 300 pounds of weight and comes with eight levels of tension to deliver an effective, customizable workout.
A large LCD display clearly tracks your speed, time, distance, and calories burned. The handlebars have built-in hand and pulse sensors to monitor your heart rate.
For a smaller bike, the seat is surprisingly large and comfortable. The wrap-around design of the handlebars helps to stabilize your arms and core when you’re standing up. Note: the foot pedals use a single-strap, “slide-in” design, rather than the more secure cage design of other bikes on our list.
You won’t get the same heavy-duty construction and performance features as the other bikes on our list, but if you want to workout in a small space, this bike is a solid option for its size. We love the compact, space-saving design – the bike folds down to approximately half its size.
4. Schwinn Upright Bike
Schwinn has been making road bikes for decades, and the company applies its same manufacturing experience and attention to detail to these at-home exercise bikes. These are similar to bikes used by pro athletes to recover after a game, or to get some cardio going during their training.
This one features a classic upright design, which helps you avoid the “hunched over” look you get when using newer spin bikes. By forcing you to sit up straight, you’re activating more muscles in your upper body, and working to strengthen your core.
This bike measures 41.3 x 21.4 x 55.6 inches, and holds up to 300 pounds of weight. The upright design means it can accommodate the widest range of heights on our list, comfortably seating someone up to 6′ 6″.
Plug into any standard outlet to light up the high-resolution LCD screen, which tracks your time, distance, calorie burn and more. The screen also comes pre-set with 29 exercise programs to follow.
The ergonomic handlebars are comfortable to grip, and have built-in heart-rate sensors. The contoured seat is easily adjustable.
Little details abound, like an adjustable three-speed fan to help keep you cool, a water bottle holder, and the ability to plug in your device via the USB input to play music through the built-in speakers, all while charging your phone.