A Complete Guide To Exercise Bikes

A Complete Guide To Exercise Bikes

It’s one of the oldest and most popular forms of workout equipment, whether you’re using it at the gym or in your living room.

Exercise bikes have been proven to be great for cardio and can get you working up a sweat in just minutes. However, if you’ve been on the hunt for the best exercise bike for your home gym you might find yourself overwhelmed with just how many different styles and types there are now available.

Before you can even get started choosing a bike you’ll need to consider a few things like where you want to use it, if you need portability, if noise is an issue, and whether you want a modern or traditional approach to training. Finding the best stationary bike doesn’t need to be confusing, as we’ve laid out some of the best on the market to suit all kinds of price ranges.

Exercise Bikes Gym

Whether you want a cheap exercise bike without compromising on quality, or after the best upright exercise bike and don’t mind spending a few extra dollars, there’s something for every budget. All you need to decide is what special features are important to you, and then you can begin to enjoy your journey to better health and fitness with your exercise bike.

What To Look For In An Exercise Bike

Although some of the features you look for in exercise bike reviews will be important no matter what, there are many variations you can choose to suit your needs specifically. When searching for home gym equipment specifically, reading through the features and specifications can be confusing, so here are some common things you might need to consider:

  • Resistance – while not always as important on other gym machines, the resistance on an exercise bike is crucial. By changing the resistance you’re able to mimic gear changes on a road bike and can make a ride either more or less challenging. The best stationary bike will have at least a few options of resistance level, either with a manual or automatic adjustment.
  • Digital display – not all modern bikes have an LCD screen or digital display, and this is more than fine for some users. However, if you prefer to see your vital information such as distance traveled, speed, and calories burned, look for a machine with a screen.
  • Style – most exercise bikes are divided into recumbent or upright exercise bike, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your body style and preference, there’s bound to be one that suits you better.
  • Performance monitor – a performance monitor is something found on newer models and can engage with you like a personal trainer to give you detailed information about your workout. Some of these even sync with smartphone apps so you can create custom riding tracks and personal trainer certified workouts, bringing new life to the exercise bike.
Monitor of Exercise Bike
  • Ergonomics – depending on your physical status, there many things that are important to your body type in an exercise bike. Padded backrests, arm grips and handles, and foot pedals are just a few features designed to make easier more ergonomically correct for the user.
  • Portability – if you plan on moving your bike around the home, you’ll want something that’s easy to transport so look for rolling wheels somewhere on the machine. Additionally, if you plan on using your bike somewhere without power, make sure that your chosen model offers this option.
  • Storage – a popular style of exercise bike is the folding bike, which makes it simple to put away each day after use and store under your bed or in the closet. Other models also separate into two pieces, but some can’t be disassembled with as much ease.
  • Assembly – for those who aren’t mechanically savvy, you’ll need to choose a machine with an easy assembly. A general rule for exercise bikes is under an hour is ideal, so if the stationary bike review states anything longer, you might need to look for something easier.

After considering all of the options currently available, we’ve compiled a handy list of the top five exercise bikes on the market. These have been separated into the budget friendly choices as well as those that might cost a little extra, but are absolutely worth it. Once you’ve compared the stats, you’ll have a far easier time finding the best exercise bike to suit your needs.

Best Exercise Bike Under $250

Gone are the days when you wouldn’t be able to buy a piece of gym equipment for the home for under $1,000, with many of the bigger brands now making affordable and quality machines.

There are many reputable companies now focused on making home gym equipment a reality for the average user, and getting people fit and healthy in their own living rooms.

These bikes represent some of the better choices for under $250, and they can certainly get you fit and healthy in an enjoyable way. However, they may not have the extra bells and whistles that the higher priced machines have, so don’t expect anything that looks like it belongs in a professional gym.

For the home gym owner though, these are exceptional trainers that will last you for many years and give a smooth and gratifying ride.

Marcy ME 709 Recumbent Bike

Girl Riding On Marcy Recumbent Bike
  • Eight levels of preset resistance to suit different fitness requirements
  • Recumbent style exercise bike
  • Large digital display showing speed, distance, calories, and time
  • Adjustable foot straps, transport wheels, and counterbalanced pedals
  • Tension tightening knob for different fitness levels
  • Weighs 66lbs and measure 55.5 x 25 x 37.5”

If you’ve been researching the best home gym equipment, the Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike has probably popped up a few times in your search. This popular brand is known for making quality and extremely affordable home gym equipment, so they’re many people’s first choice when setting up their own fitness center at home.

The Marcy Exercise Bike is packed full of features you wouldn’t normally expect from a cheaper model, which is part of what makes these so popular. If you’re particularly low on floor space or room in your home, these are ideal as they’re extremely lightweight and have a small footprint.

However, if you’re looking for one to store away in the closet this doesn’t just fold up so easily, but with the small size, you hopefully shouldn’t need to.

This bike is one of the smoothest and quietest running machines in the home gym equipment range, which isn’t usual for something so affordable. There are so many features such as adjustable foot straps, a large digital display, and eight levels of present resistance, which only add to how much enjoyment you can get from your daily exercise.

8 Resistance Levels

According to the online reviews, a few people have commented that seat padding could be a little better. For a quick fix, you can simply place a towel underneath or behind you as you work out. For the extremely low price and otherwise excellent benefits, this is a seemingly small price to pay for your own piece of home gym equipment.

Overall, the Marcy Exercise Bike is an exception option for those looking for a recumbent style bike, and with so many pleased customers praising it, you won’t be disappointed when you get the same results yourself. As one of the top budget picks, this one ticks all of the boxes for home gym equipment.

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Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike

Riding On Exerpeutic Bike
  • Recumbent exercise back for those with lower back issues
  • Eight levels of tension control to adjust the challenge level of your ride
  • Large LCD display which shows vital stats including heart rate, time, speed, calories burned and more
  • Three-year manufacturer’s warranty included
  • Measure 22 x 34 x 54 and weighs only 63lbs
  • Capable of holding a 300lbs weight user

While there are many great bikes out there, sadly most of them cater to people under 250lbs or even less. The Exerpeutic Bike is one of a kind, though, as it has a 300lbs weight capacity which is phenomenal for something in this price range. Whether you need the larger weight capacity or not, you can be sure that this is a quality built bike with a durable construction.

Great for people over 250 lbs

The display is fairly basic on this model, so while it can show you the vital statistics such as heart rate, calories burned, and distance traveled, you won’t be able to enjoy any special programs or preset training sessions. For the person who prefers something low key with their workout, this will be more of a plus than a disadvantage, though.

This bike doesn’t have as comfortable a seat as the Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse, but this really is its only downfall. Everything else about it shows how well it was made and that it can cater to a wider range of users, which isn’t often found with the more budget friendly models of gym equipment.

Living Room Exercise

Although the seat may not be as comfortable as you’d like, the smoothness of each pedal is amazing for something of its price. It’s extremely quiet to operate as well, so if you’re thinking of sneaking in a workout in the early mornings or once everyone has gone to bed, you’ll be sure not to disturb anyone as you get your daily exercise in.

The Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike is one of the standout models when you look at recumbent bike reviews, and really anything made by this brand is going to be of great value. Whether you’re a larger user or not, this bike can cater to all types of cardio and strength workouts you might want to put it through in your pursuit for a fitter body.

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Best Exercise Bikes Over $250

If you’re happy to spend a little more on your exercise bike to ensure you get something you really enjoy, there are plenty of options over the $250 mark. Granted, most of these don’t go too much higher than that price range, but if you’re looking to spend more than $1,000 you’ll be sure to find plenty of options too.

Exercise bikes once cost a lot more to purchase, but the current trend of bikes mean that they’re more affordable for the average user and manufacturers are able to make them better quality than ever. However, for a truly smooth ride and lots of the extra features that make exercise more enjoyable, it can sometimes be worth it to spring for a little more.

Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike

Sunny Health Exercise Bike
  • Indoor exercise bike with 40lbs flywheel
  • Seat and handlebars are fully adjustable for all sizes
  • 275lb weight capacity
  • Smooth chain drive mechanisms and heavy duty crank for an enjoyable ride
  • Transport wheels for mobility
  • Adjustable resistance settings to meet different fitness levels

Sunny Health and Fitness are known for creating affordable fitness products that cater to a wide variety of users. Their Pro Indoor Cycling Bike is a prime example of how they manage to get all of the essential features in without compromising on quality and still keep it affordable for the everyday user.

Although this sits in the price category over $250, it barely goes over and is fantastic value for money.

This bike is completely portable, just by attaching the handy wheels you can use it anywhere you like. Because it operates without any outlet needed, you can literally workout wherever you want and transform any space of your home into your very own professional gym.

Living Room Exercise With Sunny Health Bike

As it comes in the box, this bike has been known to make some noise for users. However, with some slight modifications using your own tools, you will be able to create a smoother and quieter ride. If you’re not mechanically savvy, you might want to look elsewhere for a bike that doesn’t require any ongoing maintenance.

Overall, Sunny Health and Fitness know how to make a quality piece of gym equipment, and that’s clearly evident in this device. It’s durable and reliable which you can feel the instant you take a seat on it, and once you put a little bit of time into perfecting it to your needs you’ll experience a smooth and quiet ride each and every time.

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FitDesk 2.0 Desk Exercise Bike With Massage Bar

Riding FitDesk Table
  • A twin belt and high-velocity flywheel make it a smooth and quiet ride
  • Inbuilt desk which features a drawer, massage rollers for your wrists, and a non-slip desk
  • Fully adjustable seat and extender for either upright or recumbent positions
  • Digital resistance meter for important stats such as calories, time, and mileage
  • Quality gearbox components makes it built to last
  • With a desk and drawers equipped with the handles, you’ll be able to get the blood pumping while you work and take multitasking to a new level.

This product is fairly unique when compared to the others in our guide, in that it doubles as both an exercise bike and a modern workstation. You’ve probably heard of standing desks before and the benefits they can have on the user, and this exercise bike is no exception.

Best of all, you won’t even realize you’re getting a workout until you start to see the pounds disappear.

However, to ensure you get the most use out of it, you may want to adjust the seat with something more comfortable. While it is padded, it could do with a little more, especially when you consider people are meant to spend their entire day on this bike. This aside, it’s a truly innovative way to mix health and productivity, so you can kill two birds with one stone.

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Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

Enjoying Nice Ride
  • 29 programs and 4 user settings to challenge the rider
  • Charging USB port with data exchange
  • Schwinn Connect goal tracking system
  • Dual LCD window system with up to 13 different feedbacks
  • 25 levels of resistance
  • High inertia perimeter weighted flywheel for a smooth and quiet ride

For the absolute top of the line in exercise bikes, you can trust the Schwinn name to deliver. This recumbent bike from them might be the priciest in our list, but it is worth every penny when you consider the performance and features it offers. Schwinn is no stranger to making quality bikes, and their exercise bikes are no exception.

The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike has been designed with weight loss and fitness in mind. This unique bike offers the user 29 different programs and four different user settings that allow you to completely personalize your cycling experience to suit your fitness goals. Whether you want to lose weight or tone up, there’s a program here for you.

The high inertia flywheel is one of its best features and means you can really feel where the extra money went. It’s smooth to ride and whisper quiet, so you won’t disturb anyone as you enjoy it. One issue, though, is with the difficult assembly. So while it’s nice to have something of such high quality you can be expected to take close to two hours to get the job done, and you may need an extra set of hands.

There’s a good reason Schwinn spin bikes are found in many professional gyms, and now you can have this quality and craftsmanship in your personal home gym too. If you’re looking for the best recumbent exercise bike, this company certainly knows how to leave you satisfied.

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The Verdict

According to ExerciseRig blog, home gym equipment as an entire market has seen a huge boom in recent years, as people are looking for ways to tighten their purse strings and cut out unnecessary expenses such as a monthly or week gym membership payment.

With a one-off purchase, you can get a quality piece of equipment in your own home, packed full of other advantages when compared to working out in a fitness club.

Size of The Gym Market
  • Fitness Equipment Market size to exceed USD 13.5 billion by 2023

Exercise bikes are now more affordable than ever, and their convenience factor is only increasing too. People are looking for compact solutions to home workout gear, but they don’t want to compromise on quality or comfort either.

As riding a bike can be uncomfortable enough to get used to as it is, these bikes are now made with the user in mind more than ever with padded seats and ergonomic handles.

With so many great options available for the best stationary bike, it’s no wonder that people can feel confused on their search for the best. No longer are exercise bikes just a simple machine to ride on, they now come equipped with all kinds of features and special extras that make getting your 30 minutes of exercise in more enjoyable than ever.

When looking at the more budget options, you can’t go past the Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike. This bike has an incredible amount of features and a smooth ride for such a budget friendly bike and would make any home gym owner happy.

However, when you consider everything from the value for money to the features, and how enjoyable the ride is for the user, the clear winner is the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike. Although you’ll need to pay extra for this one, but it won’t let you down and will give you years of enjoyable and quality riding to reach your fitness goals with.

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