Meta: Looking for the best exercise bike? Here at the best options currently available, plus our expert advice on picking between them.
Exercise bikes are a great way to get fit and lose weight. In fact, the best exercise bike choices available today come with a wide variety of features that make your exercise more effective and, quite frankly, more fun. Here are the best options currently on the market.
How We Chose Our Ratings
Accuracy and honesty are always the top concern in our ratings – and that means explaining how we picked the products we recommend.
First, we took a look at testimonials and recommendations from buyers. We’ve always believed in the wisdom of the masses, and reviews from actual buyers and users are a better sample pool than our tests could ever be.
Next, we looked at the overall build quality of each bike. We felt the best exercise bike should be durable (more than lightweight), so we had a distinct preference for solid-metal construction.
After that, we considered the features of the bike. Models with features like pre-programmed exercise sets were valued more than those that only have one fixed setting at a time.
Finally, we glanced at the price and whether or not we felt it was appropriate for the features offered. Price was not a factor in the rankings – this is a list of the best products, not the most affordable ones – but we wanted to be sure the bikes weren’t overpriced. We took the listed prices from Amazon at the time we made this list – they may have changed since then.
The Top Exercise Bikes For Homes And Gyms
Let’s get right into the list.
#1: Sunny Health &Fitness Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike
Surprisingly, this bike doesn’t have a lot of electronic features – but it’s still our #1 choice. Several factors came together for our final decision here.
First, with a maximum user weight of 275 pounds, this bike is quite robust for its price range. The flywheel is 49 pounds all by itself, noticeably more substantial than many of this unit’s competitors. That alone wouldn’t be worth the #1 spot, though. This bike also has an unusually quiet ride thanks to a maintenance-free belt drive system. That makes it possible to exercise without bothering the people around you.
Meanwhile, the resistance gives a feeling of actually traveling on the road, and an emergency brake lets you bring the bike to a safe, immediate stop if you need to quit in the middle of your routine. If you have kids, you may end up using this feature more often than you expect, so don’t undervalue it.
For transport, a pair of wheels were stuck on the front to facilitate rolling. If you’d rather not move it around, we recommend listening to music through your smartphone or getting a pair of headphones and watching television while exercising. Either technique can maintain the quiet nature of this exercise bike.
#2: ProGear Foldable Magnetic Upright Bike
This bike isn’t quite as durable as our first choice, but it has a significant advantage in one particular area: Size. This is easily one of the most compact yet effective exercise bikes on the market, making it a top choice when you don’t have the room for a full-size model. As if that wasn’t enough, it also folds up for compact storage, making it one of the easiest bikes to fit into any home.
Unlike our top choice, this bike has an electronic system that provides information on details like the distance you’ve gone, how long you’ve been exercising, and your current pulse. There isn’t much in the way of pre-programmed exercise routines, but it’s easy to use this bike with a variety of fitness apps – we don’t see the lack of pre-programmed schedules as a significant drawback.
Some assembly is needed, but most of the small parts of this bike are already together. This makes it easy to set it up even without expert assembly, and once it’s finished, you can do as you like with positioning. Most people can put this bike together on their own, but don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it.
#3: DeskCycle Under Desk Exercise Bike And Pedal Exerciser
Price: $199, often on sale for less
Here’s an exercise bike that’s distinctly different from most – but it’s worth serious consideration if you want to put the exercise bike somewhere besides your living room. In fact, it may be going too far to call this a bike.
Essentially, DeskCycle’s product is an exercise bike without a seat or handlebars. As the name suggests, it’s designed to go under your desk at home (or work!), so you can exercise while sitting down and doing something else. It’s not as intense a workout as you can get with other bikes, but the ease of use makes it a cinch to work an exercise routine into your daily schedule.
At just ten inches tall, this product works with desks as low as 27 inches. A magnetic resistance system keeps the 39 lb flywheel quiet so you won’t be bothering others.
If there’s one thing we dislike about this product, it’s the limits of the display. The 5-function system is connected to the DeskCycle by a wire, and while we’re not expecting a fancy full-color screen, we’d like to see a few more options for controlling the unit. Failing that, we’d like to see more functions from the online calorie estimator.
Still, that’s a quibble at worst. This product is an excellent choice if you want to exercise while doing something productive, and we heartily recommend it.
Note: This is also a good choice for seniors and many people who are mobility-impaired. If you have physical limitations, be sure to ask your doctor before using any exercise bike. Some bikes may have a use for motor rehabilitation.
#4: Marcy Exercise Fan Bike: AIR-1
Marcy’s AIR-1 bike is built with 14-gauge steel tubing to make it one of the sturdiest choices in its weight range. Unlike most of the best exercise bike options, this bike comes with dual-action arms to help you work out multiple muscle groups at the same time.
What sets this product apart is its use of a fan. Most exercise bikes use a weighted flywheel, which is used to store rotational energy and generate resistance during use. The AIR-1 switches to a fan system that provides more resistance at higher speeds while simultaneously creating a breeze to help cool your feet and increase comfort. It’s unusual, but it’s worth considering if you want to be comfortable.
A multi-function LCD supports the bike. While it’s not particularly complicated, it’s durable and helps keep the cost of the machine low while still providing a useful set of readouts. Overall, the AIR-1 offers a more intense workout than most of the best exercise bike options, so it’s easiest to use when you put it in front of a television or another form of entertainment.
#5: Peloton Exercise Bike
Price: Starts at $2,245, monthly financing available (from their official website)
Peloton’s exercise bike is easily the most expensive on this list – by an entire order of magnitude. The bike itself isn’t much different than the #1 choice on this list. What sets it apart (and explains the massively higher price) is the 22″ HD touchscreen built into this bike.
Peloton claims to offer 24/7 access to the world’s largest cycling class, and there may be some truth to their claims. They offer 14 daily live studio classes (so you can exercise whenever your schedule permits), as well as more than five thousand on-demand workouts you can access.
The classes are designed to fit a wide variety of styles, ranging from a focus on music to holiday-themed trips, live DJs, and even tips from professional cyclists.
The live classes offer an extra degree of interactivity with a public leaderboard so you can see how well you match up to other riders. Meanwhile, in-depth metrics help you get a better sense of how you’re progressing on your way to your fitness goals.
Peloton doesn’t sell the cheapest exercise bike, but if you have the money, the digital interactions make this bike unlike any other product on this list. Just be sure you have a good internet connection – without that, it would be impossible to justify getting this bike over one of the others.
#6: Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709
Price: $199, often on sale for a significant discount
After the Peloton bike, we thought this list needed another affordable option. Marcy makes its return to our list with a comfortable recumbent bike. If you’re not familiar with the style, recumbent bikes allow you to sit back and relax while exercising rather than encouraging you to lean forward. The workout isn’t as intense, and for many people, that’s a plus.
This particular model has eight magnetic resistance levels with knobs to control them and ensure you get the best workout at all times. The LCD screen provides extra-large numbers for easy visibility while you’re working out, and displays information like calories burned, time spent on the bike, and your current speed.
It’s not the most compact bike on our list, but the ME-709 still offers a small footprint that makes it suitable for most homes and gyms. Built-in wheels ensure mobility in case you don’t want to have the bike out at all times. We can’t recommend this over our top picks, but if you’re looking for a bike while on a budget, the ME-709 is worth considering.
While we’d like to recommend the bikes in the order they’re listed above, the truth is that most of these bikes are for people in different situations. Sunny Health & Fitness’ bike is the best overall, but each of the others brings something distinct and unique to your home or gym. Picking between those is the best way to decide which bike is appropriate.
If you skipped down here – or want a quick refresher – here’s a summary of our recommended bikes and the situations they’re most suitable for.
- Sunny Health & Fitness Belt Drive Bike: The best overall bike. Solid construction and flexible settings make it an excellent choice for the average buyer. If none of the other bikes sound better, pick this.
- ProGear Foldable: This bike is especially useful for people who have limited space or would struggle to move a larger, heavier bike around. It’s also the most affordable bike on this list, making it an excellent choice for anyone who wants to save money while still getting a good exercise bike.
- DeskCycle: This unusual exercise bike is for putting under desks. It’s most valuable for anyone who wants to get some exercise without giving up their ability to be productive on other tasks. It’s best for low-intensity, longer-term exercise rather than the short but intense workouts most exercise bikes offer.
- Marcy Fan Bike: Marcy’s fan bike has two crucial features. First, it uses a fan instead of a flywheel, making it a better choice for people who want (or need) to keep cool. Second, it increases resistance at higher speeds, encouraging you to push forward regularly and improve yourself.
- Peloton Exercise Bike: This bike is by far the most expensive of the group, but the massive library of digital content, high-definition screen, and frequent live workout sessions make it an experience unlike any other.
- Marcy Recumbent Bike: This affordable bike offers a relaxed approach to exercise, with less of an impact on your body than most of the other options on this list. This makes it an ideal choice for buyers who struggle to lean forward or need a better distribution of their weight while exercising.
Whatever your fitness and budgetary needs are, there’s a bike that meets your requirements.