Best Exercise Bike for Home Use – Detailed Reviews and Buying Guide – Shape Junkie

Best Exercise Bike for Home Use – Detailed Reviews and Buying Guide

BEST EXERCISE BIKE for home use

When it comes to getting in a great cardio workout, there are all sorts of new and innovative options available. However, the simple exercise bike continues to outsell them all. That’s hardly a surprise when you consider that the exercise bike is one of the most joint-friendly, efficient and accessible methods of getting in shape at home that exists.

In this article, we provide you with a comprehensive review of the ten best exercise bikes on the current market for home use. We’ll also give you an overview of the 5 most popular types of exercise bike. Finally, we’ve got a comprehensive buying guide so that you know exactly what to look for when making your purchasing decision. It all adds up to the most complete exercise bike review you’re likely to find.

5 Popular Exercise Bike Types

There are five types of indoor exercise bike as follows:

1

Upright

These are the most common type of indoor bike, providing you with an upright seating position that is similar to an outdoor cycle.

2

Recumbent

This type of bike provides you with a low seated position with full back support. The pedals are horizontal to the body so that you are exercising in a reclined position.

3

Dual Action

A dual-action stationary bike is a combination of an exercise bike and an elliptical machine in that it provides you with handlebars that can be pulled back and forth to engage the upper body while also pedaling.

4

Under Desk

An under-desk bike is a small compact unit that consists of a set of pedals and a motor mechanism. It is designed to be placed under a desk so that the person can exercise while working.

5

Folding Bikes

Folding bikes usually have a design that is similar to a folding ironing board. These bikes are cheaper and not as sturdy as non-folding bikes.

The Top 10 Best Exercise Bikes

Product Name

Preview

Type and Our Rating

Buying Options

1. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1002

Sunny Health & Fitness 49 Lb Chromed Flywheel, Silent Belt Drive Indoor Cycle Bike with Leather Resistance Pad, 275 lb Max Weight - SF-B1002

Best Overall Exercise Bike

2. Diamondback Fitness 1260Sc

Diamondback Fitness 1260Sc Studio Cycle, Commercial Grade Rear Wheel Magnetic Resistance Spin Bike

Best High End Exercise Bike

3. Schwinn 130

Schwinn 130 Upright Bike

Best Upright Exercise Bike

4. Schwinn 270

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

Best Recumbent Bike

5. Stamina Elite Total Body

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike

Best High-End Recumbent Bike

6. Marcy ME-709

Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709

Best Cheap Recumbent Bike

7. Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike

Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike with Pulse

Best Folding Exercise Bike

8. Exerpeutic ExerWorK 1000

EXERPEUTIC EXERWORK 2000i Bluetooth Folding Exercise Desk Bike with 24 Workout Programs and Free App

Best Desk Semi-Recumbent Bike

9. DeskCycle 2

DeskCycle 2 Under Desk Exercise Bike and Pedal Exerciser

Best Under Desk Bike

10. Assault Air Bike Classic

Assault AirBike Classic, Black

Best Fan Air Bike

1. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1002


Sunny Health & Fitness 49 Lb Chromed Flywheel, Silent Belt Drive Indoor Cycle Bike with Leather Resistance Pad, 275 lb Max Weight - SF-B1002

Best Overall Exercise Bike

PROS
  • 49-pound flywheel
  • Very smooth and natural
  • 275-pound max user weight
  • Fully adjustable
CONS
  • No display console
Features

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1002 is a home use spin cycle that allows you to get an extremely intense workout. It provides you with a heavyweight flywheel of 49 pounds. This provides the bike with a huge level of stability and smoothness. It provides you with a smooth and quiet belt transmission and a heavy-duty belt and crank. It has a four-way adjustable seat, 2-way adjustable handlebars. Transportation wheels allow for ease of movement around your lounge.

Size

The adjustable inseam height of the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1002 has a minimum height of 29 inches and a max of 49 inches. The handlebars are fully adjustable up and down to accommodate all user heights. The seat is four-way adjustable, allowing for adjustment both fore and aft as well as up and down.

The bike’s dimensions are 44 x 20 x 44 inches and the total weight is 115 pounds.

Materials

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1002 is made from heavy-duty metal tube framing. The build quality is impressive with solid connections and a heavy-duty crank.

Display/control panel

The control panel on the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1002 does not come with a control panel. This is consistent with most spin cycles.

Pedals

This bike provides you with cage-type pedals to allow you to securely strap yourself in for a secure peddling experience.

Max weight

The max user weight of this bike is 275 pounds, which is pretty impressive for a budget-priced exercise bike.

Warranty

Sunny provides the following warranty on this product:

3 years frame / 180 days other parts and components

2. Diamondback Fitness 1260Sc


Diamondback Fitness 1260Sc Studio Cycle, Commercial Grade Rear Wheel Magnetic Resistance Spin Bike

Best High End Exercise Bike

PROS
  • 16 resistance levels
  • Wireless heart rate monitoring
  • 31-pound flywheel
  • 300-pound max user weight
  • Lifetime frame warranty
CONS
  • No built-in exercise programs
Features

The Diamondback Fitness Recumbent 1260Sc is one of the latest home gym offerings from Diamondback. This bike is more of a light commercial grade cardio machine that a home use bike. The bike features magnetic resistance with a heavy-duty, 31-pound, flywheel. It has a belt drive system and comes with 16 levels of very smooth, natural resistance. This provides even the fittest exerciser with a challenging workout, while also suiting the needs of beginners at the lower resistance levels.

Size

The assembled dimensions of the Diamondback Fitness Recumbent 1260 Sc are 59 inches in length by 23 inches in width and 50 inches in height. The user height of the bike is 5’2” to 6’6”. It weighs 130 pounds.

This bike allows for total adjustability, with the seat allowing for 4-way adjustability, both up and down and fore and aft. The handlebars can also be fully adjusted.

Materials

The Diamondback Fitness Recumbent 1260 Sc is made from heavy-duty tubular metal framing. It also features commercial-grade componentry.

Display/control panel

The console of this bike allows you to connect to any apps or wearable technology that is ANT+ or BLE FTMS compatible. This allows you to very effectively monitor your workouts and track your progress. You get running readouts of your key training diagnostics on a clear easy to read the screen.

Pedals

This bike allows you to choose between standard or SPD clipless pedals with just a flip of the pedal. You also get a heavy-duty 3-piece crank to deliver an extremely smooth riding experience.

Max weight

The max user weight on this bike is 300 pounds, which speaks of the impressive build of the unit.

Warranty

Diamondback Fitness provides the following warranty on this exercise bike:

Lifetime warranty on frame and brakes / 3 years on parts and electronics / 1 year on labor / 90 days on wear items.

3. Schwinn 130


Schwinn 130 Upright Bike

Best Upright Exercise Bike

Features

The Schwinn 130 Upright Bike is an upgrade on a previous version that has been upgraded in response to customer feedback. It now has a dual-track monitoring system, so you can monitor your training data while also watching your tablet.

You get 20 levels of eddy current magnetic resistance to allow for a very smooth, natural pedaling experience. You also get 20 levels of resistance to provide a challenging workout for all levels of fitness.

Size

The Schwinn 130 has the following dimensions:

41.3 x 21.3 x 55 inches.

The weight of the bike is 70.5 pounds.

The handlebars and seat are adjustable to accommodate people from 5’2” to 6’ 2”.

Materials

The Schwinn 130 is constructed from tubular steel and plastic. The sturdy frame provides a solid base to work from.

Display/control panel

The dual-track monitoring system provides you with feedback on 13 different training data points. These include heart rate, calories burned, distance, speed, RPMs and training time. The heart rate monitoring is by way of hand sensors, which is not overly accurate.

You can sync your monitor data to the Schwinn Connect app. This allows you to fully analyze your training data after the workout. You can also pair the console with myfitness pal to integrate your nutritional data. In addition, you can save multiple user profiles on the console.

There are 22 workout programs on the Schwinn 130. This includes 9 profile, 8 heart rate, and two customized workouts.

Max weight

The maximum user weight on the Schwinn 130 is 300 LBS.

Warranty

You get a 10-year frame warranty, with two years on the mechanics, one year on the electricals and 90 days on labor.

4. Schwinn 270


Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

Best Recumbent Bike

PROS
  • 29 workout programs
  • 25 levels of resistance
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Quiet, smooth operation
CONS
  • Light flywheel
  • Unreliable heart rate monitor
Features

The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike is an upgrade on a previous version that makes it, even more, user-friendly. With 25 levels of resistance and 29 levels of workout programs, there are plenty of training options.

This bike provides you with Bluetooth connectivity. This allows you to download all of your training data for future analysis. You can also connect to the Schwinn fitness app, which provides you with plenty of other training options.

The seat of the Schwinn 270 sits on a slightly angled aluminum rail system. It is easy to adjust but will only move back and forth, not up and down. This recumbent comes with a ventilated backrest for increased lumbar support. The entire seat construction is impressive, providing you with a level of comfort that is rarely found in a recumbent at this price point.

Size

The dimensions of the Schwinn 270 are 62.5 inches long, 26.6 inches wide and 52.5 inches tall. It will require a footprint of 72.5 inches long and 36.6 inches in width. This is a smaller footprint than on many competing models.

This bike is not really suitable for people who are over 6’3”.

The weight of the Schwinn 270 is 88 pounds.

Materials

The Schwinn 270 is a very sturdily constructed bike. It is made from solid steel framing and tubing and consists of two integrated levelers and large mid-frame support.

Display/control panel

The console of the Schwinn 270 looks great and provides impressive functionality. It allows you to monitor all of your training data along with a media rack to allow you to safely place your tablet on the console. You also get a handy USB charge port.

The monitor provides you with a dual-track display which provides details of your intensity level, heart rate zone and selected goal.

Max weight

The maximum user weight of the Schwinn 270 is 300 pounds.

Warranty

Schwinn provides the following warranty on this bike: 2 year mechanical warranty, 1 year electrical warranty and a 90-day labor.

5. Stamina Elite Total Body


Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike

Best High-End Recumbent Bike

Features

The Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike looks different from most recumbent bikes. That’s because it provides you with two flywheels so that you can work both the arms and the legs. This gives it extra weight but the bike is still lightweight enough to move around, thanks to the beefy transport wheels.

The ergonomic seat on this bike provides maximum comfort and back support.

Size

The Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent bike measures 50 x 24 x 49 inches and weighs in at 117 pounds. This bike is not designed for tall people, being unsuitable for people who are more than 6 feet tall.

Materials

This bike is made from sturdy box steel to provide you with a solid frame that will last for many years.

Display/control panel

This Stamina Elite Recumbent provides you with a simple but functional display that gives readouts of your heart rate, speed, calories burned and workout time.

Pedals

The textured pedals have adjustable straps to keep your feet securely locked in place.

Max weight

The Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent bike has a maximum user weight of 250 pounds.

Warranty

There is no specific warranty information on the Stamina website on this bike.

6. Marcy ME-709


Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709

Best Cheap Recumbent Bike

PROS
  • Great price
  • Compact footprint
  • Sturdy construction
  • Variable resistance
CONS
  • No workout programs
  • No heart rate monitor
Features

The Marcy Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike is a high-quality low cost recumbent that provides you with such features as fore and aft seat adjustment, variable resistance and a reliable monitor. It also offers easy on-off access, quiet, smooth operation and a compact footprint.

Size

This bike has a smaller footprint than most recumbent bikes. The dimensions are 48 inches in length by 24.5 inches in width and 38 inches in height. It weighs 61 pounds.

Materials

The Marcy Recumbent is surprisingly solid for a low-cost bike. It is made from solid steel, hardened plastic and vinyl seat covering.

Display/control panel

The monitor on this bike is very simple. There are no built-in workout programs on the bike. You also do not get a heart rate monitor.

Max weight

The maximum user weight on this Marcy Recumbent is 300 pounds.

Warranty

The Marcy Recumbent bike comes with a two-year frame warranty.

7. Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike


Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike with Pulse

Best Folding Exercise Bike

PROS
  • Compact design
  • Quiet operation
  • High torque cranking system
  • 8 levels of resistance
CONS
  • Inaccurate heart rate monitor
  • Pedals too far forward
Features

The Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike is a surprisingly hardy lightweight bike. In contrast to many folding bikes, this one both looks and feel rigid. You also get wheels to make it easy to move the bike around your home.

There are eight levels of resistance on this bike which are adjusted by a turn dial. The bike operates very quietly and smoothly.

Size

This is an extremely compact bike, being collapsible for easy storage under a bed or in a cupboard. The bike weighs just 43 pounds. The bike’s dimensions are 43 inches by 31 inches by 19 inches.

Materials

The Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic bike is solidly made from heavy-duty steel framing. It is more rigid than many competing foldable bikes. Leg stabilizers provide you with extra solidity.

Display/control panel

The large-screen LCD display on this bike gives you an attractive, easy to read display that provides you with readouts of your workout progress, speed, distance, time and heart rate.

Pedals

The pedals on the Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic bike are attached to the bike by way of a three-piece torque cranking system to deliver a very smooth pedaling motion.

Max weight

The maximum user weight on this bike is an extremely impressive 300 pounds.

Warranty

The Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic bike comes with a two-year frame warranty.

8. Exerpeutic ExerWorK 1000


EXERPEUTIC EXERWORK 2000i Bluetooth Folding Exercise Desk Bike with 24 Workout Programs and Free App

Best Desk Semi-Recumbent Bike

PROS
  • Adjustable desk
  • 8 resistance levels
  • Very solid
  • Comfortable seat
CONS
  • Very simple display console
Features

The Exerpeutic ExerWorK 1000 is a great option for those looking to work out while doing their work. It comes with eight magnetic resistance levels, a very smooth, natural belt drive operation, and a spacious sturdy desktop. The desktop can be adjusted to three angles and adjusted to five heights between 41 and 45 inches. It will hold objects that weigh up to 44 pounds.

Size

The Exerpeutic Exerwork 1000 measures 45.3” length x 25” width x 51.3” height. When folded up it has a footprint of 21.3 (L) x 25.5 (W) x 54 (H).

Materials

The Exerpeutic Exerwork 1000 is solidly constructed. The metal frame tubing provides a rigid base to work from while the 2.5-inch airsoft seat gives you the comfort and support you need for hours of work.

Display/control panel

The display on this bike is rather basic with a small readout of your key training diagnostics which is not backlit.

Max weight

The max user weight on this bike is 300 pounds.

Warranty

The Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic bike comes with a two-year frame warranty.

9. DeskCycle 2


DeskCycle 2 Under Desk Exercise Bike and Pedal Exerciser

Best Under Desk Bike

PROS
  • Adjustable height
  • Smooth operation
  • 8 resistance settings
CONS
  • Limited warranty
Features

The DeskCycle 2 is an upgrade of the original desk cycle that adds an adjustable leg. This allows you to adjust the height between nine and ten inches. The pedal motion on the Deskcycle 2 is smooth and natural. The precision flywheel has an effective weight of 40 pounds. You get 8 calibrated resistance settings with this model, which is far more than most competitors offer.

The magnetic resistance of the Deskcycle 2 provides you with a smooth, jerk-free pedal motion. The internal machine flywheel spins at 14 times the pedal speed of competitor models.

Size

The Deskcycle 2 has a max height of ten inches. This allows it to be used with a desk table height as low as 27 inches from the floor.

Display/control panel

A small display unit on the Deskcycle 2 provides you with a 1,000-minute display, online calorie calculator and progress logger.

Pedals

The pedal height of the Deskcycle 2 is fully adjustable to between nine and ten inches. There are also adjustable Velcro straps to keep your feet securely in place.

Max weight

Maximum user weights do not apply to under desk cycles as your body weight is supported by your desk chair.

Warranty

The warranty conditions on the Deskcycle 2 offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 12-month warranty.

10. Assault Air Bike Classic


Assault AirBike Classic, Black

Best Fan Air Bike

PROS
  • Unlimited resistance levels
  • Eight workout programs
  • 350-pound max user weight
  • Provides upper body training
CONS
  • Saddle may come loose
Features

The Assault Air Bike Classic is a very functional air bike that comes with fully movable arms so that you can work the upper and lower body together. You get 12 built-in workout programs with this bike. The fan resistance measures 27 inches in diameter. It delivers a smooth pedal motion that matches the amount of effort that you put in.

You get seven onboard programs with this bike. Being an air bike, the harder you pedal, the greater the resistance becomes, so the bike adjusts to your exertion level.

Size

The bike has a fully adjustable seat to accommodate most people. It can be moved up and down as well as forward and back. The moving arm bars also fit most users.

Materials

The Assault Air Bike Classic is made from thick steel tubing to provide you with a very sturdy, rugged frame. Other parts are made from hard plastic.

Display/control panel

The control monitor on the Assault Air Bike provides you with an ongoing readout of your segment time, total time, distance, speed, RPM, watts, and heart rate.

Max weight

The maximum user weight on the Assault Air bike is 300 pounds.

Warranty

The warranty on the Assault Air bike is as follows: 5 years frame / 2 years parts / 1-year labor

Exercise Bike Buyers Guide

Buying an exercise bike can be quite confusing. It’s easy to be taken by the look of the bike and not notice the important details that really matter. Here are 8 key buying considerations to put you in the driver’s (or should that be rider’s) seat.

exercise bike buying guide

Resistance

There are three types of resistance that exercise bikes use to provide their power:

  • Direct tension which makes use of a spinning wheel and brake system that applies tension to the pedals.
  • Air resistance which makes use of various air pressure speeds to apply resistance.
  • Magnetic resistance which makes use of electromagnetic brakes to adjust the flywheel tension against magnets.

The most accurate and reliable system is magnetic tension. It is also the most expensive. Air resistance bikes are noisier and bulkier.

Crank System

The crank system of the bike consists of metal rods which connect to the pedals. On cheaper bikes, the crank will consist of a single piece of metal that has been bent into shape. Far better is a three-piece crank, which is made up of individual pieces that are bolted together.

Display Panel

The feedback mechanism of your bike will vary a markedly depending on how much money you re willing to pay. The simplest control monitors will provide you with a running readout of your speed, distance and exercise time. As the price goes up, they will add heart rate, rpm, and calories burned. You want the display panel to provide you with a bright, clear, backlit display.

Size and Stability

If you don’t get a bike that is right for your size of body, you are never going to be comfortable when riding. Make sure that the cycle is as adjustable as possible. Low-cost bikes may not give you adjustable handlebars. You should look for a model that has an adjustable seat, with both fore and aft and up and down adjustment.

The best bikes will also allow for reach adjustment. You will also want to have a water bottle holder that is within easy reach of your sitting position.

Check out the maximum user weight on the bike. The last thing you want is to be sitting on a machine that is going to shake and threaten collapse when you begin pedaling at max intensity. As a general rule of thumb, you will want a bike that is around 50 pounds more than your actual body weight.

Look for a bike that has sturdy feet. Oblong shaped feet appear to give the best footing. Slip-resistant feet will allow you to get a secure footing on every type of surface.

Heart Rate Monitor

Even the cheapest of bikes will provide you with a heart rate monitor. However, you will find that budget bikes give you a simple handlebar heart rate detection system that is extremely unreliable. Top-end models will come with a wireless heart rate system and may even provide you with a wireless heart rate strap. This is the most reliable heart rate monitoring system.

Flywheel

The flywheel is a heavy-duty disk that is usually located at the front of the bike. A belt or chain connects the flywheel to the pedals. Because you don’t get the forward movement of a road bike, the flywheel stores that inertia. The heavier the flywheel, the more resistance potential it will provide. Heavy flywheel bikes are also sturdier than lightweight ones. For the best natural, smooth pedaling action and resistance, you should look for a bike that has a flywheel that weighs at least 20 pounds.

Programs and Other Features

As the price of the bike increases, the more features that will be packed into the console. Top-end bikes may have dozens of pre-set exercise programs. However, you can get cheaper bikes that allow you to connect to various apps that provide you with hundreds of programs, so built-in programs are not such a huge factor.

Other features that are handy, but by no means essential, include a tablet holder (that doesn’t obscure the display window), a fan, built-in speakers and pedal straps.

Seat

Seat comfort is important. No one wants to be having to exercise on something that’s going to hurt their butt, so look for a seat with a decent amount of padding (you should be able to compress your thumb into it) and that has a wide base. If you are buying a cheap bike, make sure that the set can be upgraded as desired.

Warranty

It's no surprise that the cheaper bikes come with short warranties. You really don’t want to buy anything, however, that offers less than 5 years on the frame, 90 days labor and six months on parts.

Best Exercise Bike Manufacturers

It is always best to go with a reputable manufacturer. Here are the top 5 players in the exercise market right now:

Sunny Health & Fitness

Sunny is a California based company who have built a reputation for excellent low-cost home fitness equipment backed up by great after-sales service.

Schwinn Fitness

Schwinn has been producing bikes out of Chicago for more than a hundred years. Over that time, they have built a reputation as a high-end specialist and this is certainly the case with their indoor bikes.

Sole Fitness

Sole produce exercise equipment for light commercial and home use. They specialize in producing middle of the road bikes that are sturdy, reliable and highly functional.

Diamondback Fitness

Diamondback Fitness has been involved in the bike business for many decades. They were the innovators behind BMX bikes and were one of the first to enter the indoor fitness market. They focus on bikes in the mid to high price point.

Keiser

Keiser has established themselves as the leading manufacturer of spin cycles on the market. They provide spin bikes for both the commercial and home market

The Best Place for Your Exercise Bike

Once you’ve made your exercise bike purchase, your next decision is going to be where to put it in your home. The best place to put your bike is where it is most likely to be used. For many people, this will be in the lounge room where the TV is. Others, however, may prefer to keep their workouts completely separate from the rest of their home life and so may wish to set up a dedicated exercise space. Your choice of location will also be dictated by available space. However, ease of use should be a priority when choosing location.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we’ve waded through the thousands of indoor bikes on the market, to identify the top performers in every category. At the end of the day, our absolute favorite indoor exercise bike is the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B100. With a 49-pound flywheel, 275-pound max user weight, rock-solid build, and smooth, quiet belt transmission combined with a very sharp price point, this bike impresses in all areas.

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