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The home gym equipment landscape has changed a lot in recent years, but one thing that hasn’t gone out of style and shows no signs of slowing down is people’s love of exercise bikes. It’s easy to see why so many people have this cardio machine, even those without a home gym since you can get a heart-pumping cardio workout that burns calories while you do other things.

Our team of certified personal trainers, competitive triathletes, and home gym owners have tested and reviewed more than 50 of the best exercise bikes on the market, from the Peloton Bike all the way down to the Amazon favorite and budget-friendly pick YOSUDA Bike, to help you swim through the seemingly endless sea of options. We put these bikes through a 14-point equipment testing methodology to rate each one on factors like:

  • Durability: Does it have a high weight capacity and lasting components?
  • Functionality: Does it perform well on long rides, sprint, and HIIT work?
  • Resistance: Magnetic, air, or a hybrid, how easy is the resistance to adjust?
  • Programming: Can a beginner follow guided programs?

Our handy guide has picks for every budget level and specific fitness need so everyone can get a great bike. And if you’re looking to save on space, check out the best folding exercise bikes.

Best Exercise Bikes 2023

Best Exercise Bikes Video

Best Overall Exercise Bike: NordicTrack S22i

Good for: Cyclists who want to mimic the road riding experience with incline and decline training

Best Overall

NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 24 digital resistance levels
  • Incline and decline adjustments
  • Fully rotating touchscreen

Pros & Cons


  • Large 22" smart HD touchscreen
  • Incline and decline ability
  • Compatible with iFIT
  • Adjustable seat
  • Adjustable handles
  • Dual-sided pedals
  • Fan
  • Comes with 2 3-lb dumbbells
  • 24 digital resistance levels


  • Expensive
  • iFIT membership not necessary, but most beneficial
  • Difficult to assemble
  • Can’t be stored in the garage (brand states doing so will void the bike’s warranty)
  • Hard to move and weighs more than 200 pounds

Bottom Line

This is the bike to get if you want an indoor cycling bike with interactive programming, incline and decline capabilities, and all the extras.

The NordicTrack S22i is one of the best cycle bikes on the market for people looking for immersive, realistic indoor riding—if they can swallow the $2,000 price tag. It’s rare to find a bike that does incline training, let alone both incline and decline training. The S22i literally simulates riding on hills by moving the front of the bike up or down, and their live iFIT programming is one of the best workout programs on the market.

Our testers loved just about everything about this bike, giving it a perfect 5 out of 5 rating on multiple areas like conveniences and programming. GGR head of content and certified personal trainer Kate Meier noted the incline and decline adjustments felt less smooth when done manually than when automatically adjusted by iFIT.

Kate and other testers’ main complaint was about the seat, which they found to be pretty hard. “If that matters to you, you either might need to wear padded shorts or swap the seat out for a more comfortable option, though the slider-style seat rails might make finding a seat that fits difficult,” Kate says.

While many of us dream about spending $2,000 on an exercise bike without blinking, most of us may not want to. You’ll have to think about your budget or keep an eye out for bargains during holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Black Friday.

NordicTrack has an entire line of treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, and rowing machines that come equipped with a free year of iFIT training. This rivals the Peloton experience in that iFIT offers live classes, on-demand classes, and scenic workouts in places all over the country. One of our favorite things about interactive classes is that certain brands, including iFIT, allow the trainer to change the resistance levels and incline for you (though that feature can be disabled if you wish).

woman riding NordicTrack S22i exercise bike with virtual course on the screen

The S22i is easy to assemble by yourself, though NordicTrack recommends two people. The process is very involved, as you have to attach everything yourself, including doing the console wiring. Speaking of the console, it’s a massive, 22-inch full-color HD touchscreen. It’s huge and beautiful, but it also makes moving the bike around a bit of a clunky process.

“Also, there is no handle to make it convenient to move,” Kate adds. “It’s moderately heavy and some people will need a partner to help them move it.”

Read our full NordicTrack S22i review.

Weight193.6 lbs.
Footprint61” L x 22” W x 58” H
Resistance24 digital resistance levels
User weight capacity350 lbs.
Screen/console 22-inch rotating touchscreen
Max user height N/A
Interactive programming?Yes
Connects to fitness apps?Yes
Warranty10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year labor

Best Functional Fitness Bike: AssaultBike ProX

Good for: Anyone who wants a proven exercise bike that’s built to last

Best Functional Fitness Bike

AssaultBike ProX

GGR Score: 4.25 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Heavy-duty fan bike
  • 330-lb user weight capacity
  • Belt-drive system
  • 11 adjustable height settings
  • 6 front-to-back settings
  • Padded seat
  • LCD display
  • Work/rest LED lights
  • Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity

Pros & Cons


  • Durable, heavy-duty steel frame
  • Belt-drive system
  • Sealed bearings in each pivot point for smooth ride
  • Adjustable seat options
  • Financing available
  • Low-impact workout
  • Scalable to various fitness levels
  • Bluetooth connectivity


  • Reportedly poor customer service
  • Relatively large footprint

Bottom Line

The AssaultBike ProX offers a heavy-duty steel frame, belt-drive system, and seat adjustability to fit most home gym owners. The fan design also makes it scalable to every fitness level.

Assault Fitness has made some of the best functional fitness bikes for many years—heck, at one point the Assault AirBike was the official CrossFit air bike before being dethroned by the Rogue Echo Bike. While we still love the Assault AirBike Classic, the newer Assault Bike ProX is our top choice for anyone looking for a well-built exercise bike that delivers an intense cardio workout.

Coop Mitchell, home gym equipment expert and GGR founder, notes that this is pretty much the same bike as the AssaultBike Pro but with a belt drive. Chain drives, which was used on the AssaultBike Pro, create more noise and require more maintenance than a belt drive. Coop discovered during his testing that belt drives have some performance benefits, too, earning this bike a 5 out of 5 for its drive system.

“I think the belt drive is so much better,” Coop says. “One it’s quieter. Of air bikes, this one is very quiet. The noise that happens is from the fan blades.”

The fan blades are a unique component. Instead of the heavy, welded fan blades typically found on other air bikes the Assault ProX uses bicycle spokes with fan blades added in. “This has two benefits: It’s a little easier to move and get started,” Coop says. “It also doesn’t make a lot of noise because it’s not resisting as much wind.”

Coop’s one complaint is that Assault Fitness doesn’t sell a fan guard for the ProX, which might be a problem for home gym users in the winter. “Using an air bike that is blowing cold air on you while you’re already freezing sucks,” Coop says.

AssaultBike ProX in use

The belt drive requires almost no maintenance. Speaking of maintenance, you can relax knowing your AssaultBike will likely last for many years. “If an AssaultBike can last years in a CrossFit box, it can probably last decades in a home gym with proper maintenance,” says Amanda Capritto, a seasoned triathlete and CrossFit coach.

Read our AssaultBike ProX review for our full thoughts on this classic air bike.

Weight125 lbs
Footprint51.73” L X 24.52” W X 52.51” H
User weight capacity330 lbs.
Screen/console LCD
Max user height N/A
Interactive programming?No
Connects to fitness apps?No
Warranty7-Year frame, 3-Year non-wear parts

Best Budget Exercise Bike: Sunny Health and Fitness Indoor Cycle Bike (SF-B1002)

Good for: Cyclists on a budget seeking a low-maintenance bike

Best Budget Exercise Bike

Sunny Health and Fitness SF-B1002 Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Trainer

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 49-lb flywheel
  • 275-lb user weight capacity
  • Stable
  • Feels like road bicycle
  • Under $300

Pros & Cons


  • Priced under $400
  • 49-pound flywheel provides a smooth ride
  • Hundreds of micro levels of resistance adjusted manually
  • Four-way adjustable seat and two-way adjustable multi-grip handlebars
  • Conveniences like water bottle holder and transportation wheels


  • Leather pad resistance will eventually require maintenance
  • No monitor or display at all
  • No tech compatibility
  • No preset workouts

Bottom Line

A budget-friendly exercise bike that provides a good amount of bang for not too much buck.

The Sunny Health and Fitness Belt Drive Indoor Cycle Exercise Bike (SF-B1002) is a budget exercise bike that costs under $400. Don’t let the price fool you, as you get a super-quiet, belt-driven bike that won’t drown out the TV or wake up your roommates if you’re getting an early morning ride in.

“I was afraid to get on it because I thought it was going to feel like a cheap bike, but boy was I wrong,” says Anthony O’Reilly, GGR’s performance editor and an expert product tester. “It felt sturdy at all times and had enough resistance to challenge me. This is the exercise bike I’d recommend to most people who just want a simple indoor bike.”

The durable 49-pound flywheel provides a smooth ride while making each workout challenging. There are also hundreds of manual micro-adjustment levels, so you can go from a calm Sunday ride to a mountain bike-level experience in seconds.

sunny health and fitness bike in use

And because it has a four-way adjustable seat, just about anyone will be able to use it. 

That’s a lot for a budget-friendly exercise bike, but you do have to sacrifice some conveniences, which is where this bike took its lowest scores on our rating system. Those sacrifices will mostly come in the form of tech (there’s no screen or built-in workout programs on this one), and the leather pad resistance will need maintenance from time to time.

Some people don’t care about those features, so if you fall into that category and are simply looking for a good workout every time you hop on, we think you’ll be pleased with this bike. 

Don’t just take our word for it, though. This is one of the most-reviewed exercise bikes on Amazon, and despite having more than 6,000 Amazon customer reviews, it has a rating of 4.4/5 stars. For a bike under $400 with free shipping to your door, that’s hard to ignore.

Find the right Sunny Health & Fitness bike for you by reading our Sunny Health and Fitness Exercise Bike reviews.

RELATED: Ultimate $1,000 Budget Home Gym

Weight‎113.4 lbs.
Footprint59″L x 23″W x 50″H
ResistanceMicro-adjustable friction resistance
User weight capacity275 lbs.
Screen/console LCD
Max user height N/A
Interactive programming?No
Connects to fitness apps?No
Warranty3-year structural frame, 180 days parts and components

Best Exercise Bike Under $500: YOSUDA Bike

Good for: Anyone looking for a budget-friendly exercise bike who doesn’t care about getting the best-of-the-best

Best Under $500

YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike

GGR Score: 3.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Affordable at around $300
  • The bike is compact and easily portable
  • Comes with caged pedals for extra grip
  • Free replacement parts for a year

Pros & Cons


  • Affordable at around $300
  • Bike is compact and easily portable
  • Comes with caged pedals for extra grip
  • Free replacement parts for a year


  • Doesn’t have built-in dynamic programming or any smart features
  • A lot of parts, from the device holder to the pedals, feel flimsy
  • Some reviewers claim the bike has fallen apart in a matter of weeks

Bottom Line

A budget-friendly exercise bike that provides a good ride, but lacks long-term durability.

The YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike sells for around $300, and it provides a great cycling workout experience. You can customize your ride each time with the manual micro-adjustment, and it comes with a 35-pound flywheel that simulates road cycling and a belt drive that provides a quiet and smooth ride. 

The caged pedals are also easily adjustable and should fit people of all foot sizes. The entire bike is compact and lightweight, and we found that there was minimal wobbling during more intense rides. You won’t get any built-in dynamic programming, but for an exercise bike that’s under $500, that’s to be expected. 

Yosuda bike in GGR warehouse

To be clear, this isn’t a bike for those who are serious about cycling, be that indoors or outdoors. The main reason we say that is this is not a well-built piece of equipment. The seat cover on ours is already tearing, the LCD monitor felt flimsy even though we tried tightening it, and there are multiple online reviews claiming it fell apart during use. 

“I think this exercise bike is for the people who simply want a heart-pumping cardio workout while doing something like watching TV or listening to an online meeting,” says Anthony O’Reilly, GGR performance editor and expert product tester. “There are a lot of people who can get great use out of it, just not anyone who considers themselves a workout enthusiast.”

In other words, if you just need an exercise bike now and want to spend the least amount of money we’d recommend this one. This isn’t a bike that can take intense daily use, but it should be fine if you only use it a few times a week to maintain your cardiovascular fitness.   

For more, read our full YOSUDA bike review

Weight‎68 lbs.
Footprint40″ L x 22” W x 45″ H
ResistanceMicro-adjustable magnetic resistance
User weight capacity300 lbs.
Screen/console LCD
Max user height N/A
Interactive programming?No
Connects to fitness apps?No
Warranty3-year warranty, 180 days parts, 12 months labor

Best Exercise Bike to Simulate Outdoor Riding: Bowflex VeloCore

Good for: Anyone who wants to feel like they’re riding an actual bicycle while remaining indoors 

Just Like a Real Bike

Bowflex VeloCore

GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Makes you feel like you’re riding an outdoor bike
  • Large monitor makes it easy to follow workout classes
  • Incredibly stable and durable
  • Easy to use

Pros & Cons


  • Leaning feature activates core muscles
  • Large monitor with lots of information
  • Durable with almost no shaking while in use
  • User-friendly and simple to get started


  • Difficult assembly with unclear instruction
  • Limited music options with JRNY membership
  • Uncomfortable seat
  • Sub-par warranty

Bottom Line

We were very impressed with the Bowflex VeloCore. It’s a durable, innovative exercise bike that will appeal to a lot of people. We would consider adding it to your fitness equipment repertoire.

Exercise bikes can simulate the cycling experience, in that you’re pedaling and can change the resistance so it feels like you’re going up and down hills, but it still doesn’t feel quite the same. The Bowflex VeloCore changes that with its “leaning feature.” Simply hit the giant red button in front of the seat and the frame begins to lean, forcing you to use your core to steady yourself. 

This does two things: forces you to work your core muscles a little more than a traditional upright or recumbent bike, and makes it feel like you’re pedaling down an open road. Granted, you don’t have to worry about falling over at any time like on a real bike (the base remains steady) but it does add a little bit of spice to your home workouts. 

Our expert product testers found this feature entertaining and challenging.

RELATED: Recumbent Bike vs Upright Bike

bowflex velocore bike from front

The bike also comes with a two-month subscription to JRNY programming, Bowflex’s answer to iFIT and Zwift, which comes with plenty of workout programming options that you can access after taking a 15-minute fitness assessment. In terms of workout experience, our only complaint is that there’s no digital resistance adjustment so you have to change it manually when your instructor tells you to (which can disrupt your flow). 

It’s also a very heavy-duty bike with a 325-pound weight capacity, earning a 5 out of 5 for durability. We found there was virtually no shaking, even during standing climbs. Speaking of standing, you may find yourself doing that more often than not because this seat is rock-hard (luckily, it’s easily replaceable). The assembly also isn’t the easiest, but once it’s all together, we think you’ll enjoy riding on this thing. 

Find out more by reading our full Bowflex VeloCore review

Weight158.3 pounds
Footprint59.8″ L x 24.1″ W x 55.3″ H
Resistance100 levels of micro-adjustable magnetic resistance
User weight capacity325 lbs.
Screen/console 16″/22″ touchscreen
Max user height N/A
Interactive programming?Yes
Connects to fitness apps?Yes
Warranty2 years frame and parts, 1-year electronics and labor

Best Air Bike: Rogue Echo Bike

Good for: People who want a really hard workout from an extremely durable bike

Best Air Bike

Rogue Echo Bike

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 2.7 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Heavy duty steel
  • Overbuilt for smooth ride 
  • 350 lb weight limit 
  • Solid foundation for max outs 
  • Easily portable

Pros & Cons


  • Extremely durable, beefy construction
  • Very little rocking or side-to-side movement
  • Black powder-coated metal on almost everything
  • Belt-driven fan for much less maintenance.
  • Easy-to-read LCD console screen
  • Legs feature adjustable leveling feet
  • Somewhat compact
  • Oversized, heavy-duty front wheels
  • Sleek, attractive look


  • Larger than other stationary bikes
  • Belt drive is overall harder to push than a chain drive
  • Not the cheapest air bike on the market

Bottom Line

We’ve tested just about every air bike on the market, and the Echo combines many of our favorite features into one. The belt drive is much more durable and requires less maintenance than a chain drive. The size and weight make it extremely stable, and the price is much less than we’d expect for such a quality piece of equipment.

Looking for a bike that is the most likely to survive the Apocalypse? Rogue definitely outdid themselves when they released the Rogue Echo Air Bike. The Rogue Echo Bike is a well-built machine that is basically a deconstructed version of a Rogue squat rack.

With its combined rock-solid foundation and smooth ride, it’s at the top of the game. It uses a belt drive system that requires virtually no maintenance and a monitor that tracks useful metrics.

Oh, and if you’re looking for the best bike for CrossFit, the Rogue Echo Bike is the official air bike of the CrossFit Games so you can’t do much better than that. This bike can also be found in tons of CrossFit affiliate gyms. 

Although GGR founder Coop Mitchel isn’t a professional CrossFitter, he is a cardio equipment wizard who has used the Echo Bike for many years and hasn’t gotten tired of it. He calls it “bomb proof” and notes that while he’s done minimal maintenance on it, the bike still looks and feels new.

It is relatively heavy at 123 pounds, but it has wheels on the front that make it easier to move. The seat adjusts vertically with eight settings and horizontally with five. It’s an air bike, so there are no manually or digitally adjustable resistance levels. Instead, the steel fan picks up more resistance the faster it moves. In other words: You dictate how hard your workout is.

rogue echo bike peg

If you want to be absolutely smoked at the end of a workout without having to learn a lot of technique or put a lot of thought into it, the Rogue Echo Bike is king. In fact, we’ve picked it as our top choice for the best air bike for the past several years.

Read more on our Rogue Echo Air Bike review.

Weight‎123 lbs.
Footprint55″ L x 29.5″ W x 52.25″
User weight capacity330 lbs.
Screen/console LCD
Max user height N/A
Interactive programming?No
Connects to fitness apps?No
Warranty2 years

Best Budget Air Bike: Titan Fan Bike

Good for: Those who want a durable air bike at a budget-friendly price 

Best Budget Air Bike

Titan Fan Bike

GGR Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Affordable air bike
  • 111-pounds of heavy-gauge steel
  • Integrated with sealed cartridge bearings
  • Powder-coated finish.

Pros & Cons


  • Made of heavy-duty steel
  • Priced under $700
  • Easy to transport
  • Free shipping
  • Fan guard


  • Large footprint
  • Chain-drive belt
  • Can be loud

Bottom Line

The Titan Fan Bike is an affordable alternative for those looking for a quality air bike. Its ease of use, portability, and ability to deliver an intense workout make it a top choice for us.

Across the board, equipment from Titan Fitness is typically budget-friendly without sacrificing quality. This rings true of the Titan Fan Bike, which costs around $700, is like a pimped-out version of the AssaultBike Classic, and is one of the best cheap exercise bikes. We say that because the Titan Fan Bike has conveniences the AssaultBike does not, like a red water bottle holder and a cell phone holder on top of the monitor. That’s why this scores an almost-perfect 4.5 out of 5 on value with us.

titan fan bike

Another key perk of the Titan Fan Bike is a fan guard, which is usually extra with other bikes, or not even offered at all. Yes, if it’s the dead heat of summer, the breeze from an air bike is a welcome thing. But if you’re like Coop and have very cold winters, a fan guard is nice to keep that air from blowing on you. The bike also has these huge turf wheels on the front so you can easily move it around your garage or home.

Coop Mitchell, GGR founder and exercise bike baron, still recommends the Titan Fan Bike to anyone who wants something similar to the Rogue Echo Bike but doesn’t want to spend Rogue-level money.

Like the Assault Bike, the Titan Fan Bike uses a chain drive system, which is high maintenance because you have to take care of it, just like you would take care of the chain on a road bike. Also similar to many air bikes, the monitor leaves much to be desired. It’s a simple LCD display with just a few preset workout buttons.

Read more in our Titan Fan Bike review.

Weight‎111 lbs.
Footprint50.25″ L x 20.375″ W x 42.75″ H
User weight capacity330 lbs.
Screen/console LCD
Max user height N/A
Interactive programming?No
Connects to fitness apps?No

Best Exercise Bike for Cycling Apps: Diamondback Fitness 1260sc Rear Wheel Studio Cycle

Good for: Those who want a bike that’s compatible with multiple cycling and fitness apps

Best for Cycling Apps

Diamondback Fitness 1260sc Rear Wheel Studio Cycle

GGR Score: 3.9 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Compatible with any cycling app
  • 16 levels of magnetic resistance
  • 300-lb user weight capacity
  • Dual pedals with SPD clips/adjustable toe cages

Pros & Cons


  • Compatible with any cycling app
  • Rear-mounted flywheel
  • Dual pedals


  • Only 16 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Expensive at around $1,500
  • Basic LCD console

Bottom Line

A high-quality studio cycling bike that's compatible with any cycling or fitness app.

Cycling apps are great because they provide live and on-demand workouts that help to shake up people’s training routines, but most bikes are only compatible with one app (usually made by the company that also manufactured the bike).

Enter the Diamondback Fitness 1260sc Rear Wheel Studio Cycle, which can connect with Peloton, iFIT, Zwift, Strava, and more. In testing, we did give this a 3 out of 5 for programming, only because it doesn’t have high-tech, built-in programs you’ll find on other bikes on this list.

Before we continue, we should note that to access these apps you’ll need to use your own smartphone or tablet since the 1260sc only has a basic LCD console. It’s still pretty great that you can use all the cycling apps you’re subscribed to (or the ones you’re borrowing from your friends…we all do it) to access thousands of workouts.

Diamondback 1260Sc Feature Photo

As far as the hardware goes, this bike has a 31-pound rear-mounted flywheel that prevents any sweat from dripping into the wheel and causing corrosion. You also get a four-way adjustable seat and a multi-position handlebar to accommodate riders ranging from 5 feet, 2 inches all the way up to 6 feet, 5 inches tall.

Coop Mitchell, GGR founder and home gym equipment guru, said the heavy flywheel had him feeling “locked to the ground” and didn’t mind that the resistance adjustment could be found on a dial (which might’ve been common on exercise bikes 20-30 years ago, but not so much these days).

“It’s very intuitive and quick to change,” he says. “I think I prefer it to a dial, which I didn’t expect.”

The 31-pound flywheel should provide a good challenge to people of all fitness levels, even if there are only 16 levels of magnetic resistance.

At around $1,700 this isn’t the most expensive exercise bike but it’s also not the most affordable we think it’s a good value for this who want a good bike and like to utilize different fitness apps.

Our testers gave more thoughts on this bike in our full Diamondback 1260sc review.

Weight130 lbs.
Footprint59″L x 23″W x 50″H
ResistanceMicro-adjustable magnetic resistance
User weight capacity300 lbs.
Screen/console LCD
Max user height 6’5″
Interactive programming?No
Connects to fitness apps?Yes
Warranty5-year frame and brakes, 3-year parts and electronics, 1-year labor, 90-day seat, handlebars, and grips

Best Exercise Bike for HIIT: CAROL Bike

Good for: Trainees who want an intense workout experience 

Best Exercise Bike for HIIT


GGR Score: 4.1 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Science-backed intervals
  • Automated and highly-effective resistance system
  • Many adjustments to fit bike to any body type
  • Expensive

Pros & Cons


  • Lots of adjustment options make this a good option for lots of different people
  • Automatically applied resistance takes the guesswork out of cycling
  • Belt-driven, which makes it a quieter ride
  • Shows up already assembled


  • Small monitor
  • Extras are sold separately for an additional $400
  • Doesn’t have constantly updated programming, so someone who likes new classes might have to additionally pay for something like Peloton programming separately

Bottom Line

CAROL offers a unique, indoor cycling experience to really challenge your cardiovascular system. If you have close to $2,500 to spare and like quick but intense cardio workouts, this bike will be a dream come true for you. However, I do think the AI technology was focused on so heavily that the idea of fun programming wasn’t thought as much about. I’ve found myself using the CAROL Bike nearly every weekday and it’s replaced typical workouts I would do on a rower or air bike. For all of these reasons, I’m a massive fan and highly recommend it if you have the money to spend and value both your time and health highly.

Across the board, the CAROL bike tested highest with our product reviewers on factors like dynamic programming, technology, and customizations. The reason the CAROL bike is so great for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is that it uses artificial intelligence (AI) to learn how fit you are and customizes the resistance for you during your ride. So if it senses you’re pedaling too easily, it will kick up the resistance without you having to touch a thing to make the ride more challenging, and vice-versa when it’s time to cool down. 

And it keeps up with your fitness levels, making each ride harder the better you get at it. You can easily get a sweat-inducing, heart-pounding ride in under 10 minutes on this thing. It does all of this while still being quiet and smooth, thanks to the belt-drive system and 30-pound flywheel. 

Our expert product testers took this bike for a spin and highly recommend you only check it out if you’re prepared to sweat. “The Endurance Mode is absolutely grueling,” says Coop Mitchell, GGR founder. “I suspect the draw of the bike is the expediency of the workouts so an intense ride of 8 minutes and 40 seconds with two 20-second max effort sprints will be the most often used ride mode. It’s what I like the best, too.”

carol 2.0 bike pedal

A bonus is that it comes with dual pedals, so you can wear regular shoes or bicycle cleats if you decide to attach the SPD clips. But there’s also quite a bit that it doesn’t come with: mainly a water bottle or tablet holder. Strictly speaking, these aren’t necessary on an exercise bike, but it’s a little annoying to have to pay around $2,600 for the bike and not have the convenience of a cold beverage right within arm’s reach. 

It also doesn’t update its programming regularly, so if you’re someone who likes following an instructor, you may have to pay extra for things like Peloton or iFIT classes. 

But if you’re a cycling fanatic or want the best cardio experience on the market, we can’t recommend this bike enough. 

To find out more, read our CAROL bike review

Weight120 lbs.
Footprint45.5” L x 22” W
ResistanceAI-controlled magnetic resistance
User weight capacity330 lbs.
Screen/console 11” IPS touchscreen
Max user height 6’7″
Interactive programming?Yes
Connects to fitness apps?Yes
Warranty1-year warranty

Best Exercise Bike Without Arms: Concept2 BikeErg

Good for: People who want to feel their quads burn from a Concept2-quality machine

Best Exercise Bike Without Arms

Concept 2 BikeErg

GGR Score: 3.8 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Priced in the low $1,000s
  • Uses air resistance via an adjustable damper
  • High-performing PM5 monitor 
  • Highly adjustable 
  • Chain-free belt system that decreases need for maintenance

Pros & Cons


  • Durable and performs well year after year
  • PM5 performance monitor is among the best
  • Seat, handlebars, and pedals are interchangeable with standard bicycle parts
  • Damper adjusts airflow
  • Frame uses a black powder coat
  • Self-tensioning polygroove belts that provide a quiet ride
  • Extremely light at only 58 lbs
  • Adjustable handles and seat


  • Seat cannot adjust forward and back
  • Some find the seat uncomfortable
  • Height of the seat post has been known to not go low enough for some users

Bottom Line

After using the Concept 2 BikeErg over the course of two years in a variety of workouts from sprints to long-distance bikes, we highly recommend it to anyone wanting an air bike. Although we like air bikes with arms, we actually prefer the BikeErg and have found it to be great for general fitness as well as simply blowing up the quads. The BikeErg is a Concept 2 product; we think that speaks for itself.

Concept2 BikeErg is the bike that, when released, absolutely took the CrossFit world by storm. This is largely because its maker, Concept2, dominates the rowing machine market. The BikeErg and the Concept2 rowers weren’t designed for CrossFitters (although they are both great for those that compete and train CrossFit). The BikeErg was actually designed more with traditional cyclists in mind.

Now if you’re wondering if the BikeErg delivers a killer workout, the answer is a resounding YES. It’s different from a traditional exercise bike in that it uses a flywheel and damper system where the wind generates resistance, as opposed to a brake. And trust us, the BikeErg can absolutely make you cry like a little baby if used properly.

Concept2 has taken what they do exceedingly well—building very durable and effective equipment like the Model D Rower (which is one of the best rowing machines out there)—and applied it to an exercise bike equivalent. It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing design, but it is made to take a beating and keep on going.

This bike has earned a 4.5 out of 5 for its durability. Coop Mitchell, GGR’s founder and lover of all things challenging in fitness, has more than 1 million meters on the BikeErg that he’s been testing for a few years. Despite it being absolutely used and abused in his garage gym, as well as in his personal training studio, it’s as good as it was on day one. Now, that’s special.

Check out our in-depth Concept 2 BikeErg review.

Weight68 lbs.
Footprint48” L x 24” W x 41” H
User weight capacity300 lbs.
Screen/console LCD
Max user height N/A
Interactive programming?No
Connects to fitness apps?Yes
Warranty5-year frame, 2-year parts

Best Folding Exercise Bike: Marcy Foldable Bike

Good for: Anyone who needs a compact and budget-friendly exercise bike

Best Folding Exercise Bike

Marcy Fitness Upright Foldable Exercise Bike

GGR Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Sturdy
  • 14-gauge steel frame
  • Adjustable seat
  • Transport wheels for portability
  • Comfortable seat
  • 8 resistance levels
  • Weighs just 37 lbs

Pros & Cons


  • Sturdy, even when pedaling hard
  • Design is aesthetically pleasing
  • Comfortable padded seat
  • Made of 14-gauge steel


  • Heavier than most competitors
  • Shows only basic stats (time, distance, calories)
  • No heart rate monitoring

Bottom Line

A sturdy and affordable exercise bike that's a great fit for home gyms of any sizes.

People with compact home gyms or those living in studio apartments need something that can be stowed away when not in use. Enter the Marcy Foldable Bike, an upright exercise bike that costs less than $200 and can easily fit behind a couch, under a bed, or anywhere else that’s not in your way. 

On the surface, this is like many other upright bikes you’ll find on the market, but it comes with its own companion app to track your ride history and stats. This is incredibly rare for a folding exercise bike, and while it doesn’t improve its functionality at all, it’s a cool feature and does increase its value just a little bit. 

The Marcy Foldable Exercise Bike in a living room

While it’s no surprise that this bike received high ratings for its footprint and portability, you might be surprised to know that our testers also gave it a perfect score for durability at a 5 out of 5. The workout experience itself is smooth, and the bike doesn’t wobble much at all though we did hear some creaking on it, according to our expert product testers. There are eight different resistance levels that help get the job done, but if you’re someone who’s really into cardio you probably should go for something a little more challenging. 

You should also know this bike only has a max user weight of 250 pounds and only has a 90-day warranty. We wouldn’t recommend treating this thing like a Peloton, but if you want something to keep active while watching TV then this is a good choice. 

Read our full Marcy Foldable Exercise Bike review for our full thoughts.

Weight37 lbs.
FootprintAssembled: 34” L x 19” W x 44” H
Folded: 18.5” L x 18.5” W x 51.5” H
Resistance8 levels of magnetic resistance
User weight capacity250 lbs.
Screen/console LCD
Max user height N/A
Interactive programming?No
Connects to fitness apps?No
Warranty2-year limited warranty

Best Exercise Bike with Screen: Peloton Bike

Good for: People with money to burn seeking interactive and on-demand classes

Best Exercise Bike with Screen

Peloton Indoor Exercise Bike

GGR Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 21.5" touchscreen for immersive training
  • Live classes and on-demand cycling sessions
  • Leaderboard-style competition
  • Adjustable screen, seat, and handlebars
  • 5-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Bluetooth connectivity
Editor’s note: Peloton in May 2023 announced a voluntary recall of all original Peloton Bikes sold from January 2018 to May 2023 because of a defect with the seat post that causes it to break while in use. Peloton has identified 35 reports of broken seats, resulting in 13 injuries including a wrist fracture, lacerations and bruises.The original Peloton Bike can be identified by “its PL-01 model number on the label located on the inside front fork (near the flywheel), the red ‘P’ logo followed by the white-colored’ ‘Peloton’ brand name on the Bike's frame, and by its non-swivel display.” If your bike is impacted or if you have any questions, call Peloton’s support team toll-free at 866-679-9129 from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. ET, 7 days a week or by visiting onepeloton.com and clicking on Product Recalls at the bottom of the page.

Pros & Cons


  • Immersive experience
  • Access to thousands of classes, challenges, and a large variety of workout options
  • Compact footprint
  • Sleek design
  • Financing options
  • “Try before you buy” option


  • Disappointing warranty
  • Membership is required to use bike
  • Expensive
  • Shipping is not included

Bottom Line

One of the more expensive options for virtual biking, the Peloton Bike is designed to be an all-in-one fitness solution on a high-quality cardio machine. You’re paying not only for the bike, but the unique training experience it makes accessible from the comfort of your home.

Honestly, how could we not include the Peloton Indoor Exercise Bike, the ultimate smart bike? There are few pieces of gym equipment that have revolutionized the home gym training market quite as much as the Peloton Bike. Yes, we’ve all seen the commercials; it’s not just hype, this bike is revolutionary and has changed the industry.

RELATED: Best Smart Home Gym Equipment

The reason I recommend the Peloton Bike isn’t that it’s built extremely well. In fact, the bike itself isn’t all that good, and earned just slightly-above-average marks from our testers on durability and adjustability. Reviews constantly mention it breaking down, warranty replacements taking a while, and just an overall bad experience with the hardware on the bike.

RELATED: Peloton Bike Plus Review

However, what causes people to continue flocking to the bike like seagulls on a trash-filled beach? The experience. Seriously, there is nothing else like the Peloton Bike experience. We’ve tested and reviewed many Peloton alternatives (and even have some recommended on this list) but few can compare to the feeling of taking a Peloton cycling class.

For what it’s worth, GGR senior editor and product tester Nicole Davis actually likes the Peloton Bike and said she found it sturdy and quiet while in use.

An exercise bike is only as good as the workout it produces. If you don’t use it, it’s worthless outside of the clothes you use to hang on it for drying purposes. This is why Peloton is so great. Nearly every rider who owns a Peloton Bike works out more than they would without it because of the live classes. If you struggle to work out at home, Peloton is truly your best option.

Read our Peloton bike review for our full thoughts.

using peloton bike

Editor’s note: Peloton in May 2023 announced a voluntary recall of all original Peloton Bikes sold from January 2018 to May 2023 because of a defect with the seat post that causes it to break while in use. Peloton has identified 35 reports of broken seats, resulting in 13 injuries including a wrist fracture, lacerations and bruises.

The original Peloton Bike can be identified by “its PL-01 model number on the label located on the inside front fork (near the flywheel), the red ‘P’ logo followed by the white-colored’ ‘Peloton’ brand name on the Bike’s frame, and by its non-swivel display.” 

If your bike is impacted or if you have any questions, call Peloton’s support team toll-free at 866-679-9129 from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. ET, 7 days a week or by visiting onepeloton.com and clicking on Product Recalls at the bottom of the page.

Weight135 lbs
Footprint59” L X 53” H X 23” W
Resistance100 levels of micro-adjustable magnetic resistance
User weight capacity297 lbs.
Screen/console 21.5-inch HD touchscreen
Max user height 6’4”
Interactive programming?Yes
Connects to fitness apps?Yes
Warranty5-year frame, 12 months screen, parts, electronics, and labor

Best Recumbent Exercise Bike: Schwinn 290

Good for: Older people or those who are rehabbing a physical injury

Best Recumbent Exercise Bike

Schwinn 290 Recumbent Bike

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Compatible with JRNY app and Zwift
  • Padded and ventilated seat
  • 1-year free trial to JRNY app
  • Transport wheels

Pros & Cons


  • Ventilated seat prevents sweat buildup
  • Transport wheels
  • Compatible with Zwift and JRNY
  • One free year of JRNY app
  • Under $1,000


  • Relatively low number of cycling apps
  • Basic LCD console
  • Not compact

Bottom Line

One of the best recumbent exercise bike that comes at a relatively low price point.

The best recumbent exercise bikes aren’t found in many home gyms since they’re not as challenging as upright exercise bikes—though that’s for a reason since most people who use them have limited mobility either because they’re older or are recovering from an injury. If you fall into either two categories, or you just want a recumbent exercise bike, we recommend the Schwinn 290.

Recumbent bikes are better for seniors or those rehabbing an injury because the pedals are in front of your body, which puts less strain on your lower-body muscles compared to being on an upright bike where the pedals are below your posterior chain. The Schwinn 290 also has the all-important step-through design that allows people to sit in front of the seat and sit down, rather than forcing them to hoist themselves up (which could risk further injury).

schwinn 270 recumbent bike being moved
Pictured: The Schwinn 270, the Schwinn 290’s predecessor

To be completely honest, we haven’t tested the Schwinn 290 Recumbent Bike just yet, though we’ve tried its older sibling, the Schwinn 270. That bike had smooth pedaling, a comfortable seat and ventilated backrest, and wide adjustability. The Schwinn 290 is an upgrade from the 270 in that it has a 7-inch touchscreen instead of the LCD screen that came with the older model.

While that’s a nice touch, the bike is only compatible with the JRNY and Zwift apps.

RELATED: The Best Schwinn Exercise Bikes

Weight110 lbs.
Footprint66.4″ L x 28″ W x 47″ H
Resistance25 magnetic resistance levels
User weight capacity330 lbs.
Screen/console 7″ LCD display
Max user height N/A
Interactive programming?Yes
Connects to fitness apps?Yes
WarrantyFrame: 10 years / Parts: 2 years / Electronics: 1 year / Labor: 90 days

Best Peloton Bike Alternative: Schwinn IC4

Good for: People who want a group studio cycling experience at a fraction of the cost

Best Peloton Bike Alternative

Schwinn IC4

GGR Score: 4.4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Connects to Peloton and Zwift apps
  • 100 levels of resistance
  • Sturdy and doesn’t shake while exercising

Pros & Cons


  • Connects to Peloton and Zwift apps
  • 100 levels of resistance
  • Sturdy and doesn’t shake while exercising


  • LCD display is bare bones
  • Android users may notice a lag in metrics shown
  • Parts note clearly labeled to help with assembly

Bottom Line

For under $1,000, the Schwinn IC4 is a solid purchase and one of the best exercise bikes if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to Peloton.

Sure, the Schwinn IC4 doesn’t seem like a worthy Peloton alternative at first glance. Once you take a deeper look at it, however, you’ll see that it’s one of the most versatile pieces of cardio equipment for those who enjoy studio cycling classes. That’s because the bike can connect to multiple cycling apps, including our favorite, the Peloton app.

You can also sync it with Zwift, JRNY, Sufferfest, Rouvy, Fulgaz, Tacz, TrainerRoad, and MyFitnessPal. The only major app that doesn’t work with the Schwinn IC4 is iFIT, which is made by the same parent company that produces NordicTrack exercise bikes.

With the Peloton you can only use the Peloton app—and there’s nothing wrong with that. Again, we love the Peloton bike and its instructors are second-to-none when it comes to motivating riders and making sweat-inducing cardio workouts actually seem like fun. But if we can find a less expensive bike that allows us to access those and other workout programs we’re going to take advantage of it.

Our testers gave the IC4 perfect 5-out-of-5 ratings for durability, customizations, and adjustability. Where it fell short is in tech capabilities. The one hang-up is that the Schwinn IC4 doesn’t have its own monitor, so you’ll have to watch classes on a smartphone, tablet, or TV.

Coop riding the Schwinn IC4 Bike in a gym with a row of other exercise bikes in background

Coop Mitchell, GGR founder and exercise bike expert, tested the Schwinn IC4 for several months, noted it comes with dual-sided pedals: an SPD clip for those who wear cycling shoes, these are the pedals found on the Peloton bike, and caged pedals for regular shoes.

During his testing, Coop found the Schwinn IC4 to be quiet and smooth. “Ultimately, you’ll have to decide if price is a determining factor in your purchasing decision,” he adds. “I believe the IC4 has a lot going for it and is a great way to get the Peloton experience on a cheaper budget.”

Read our full Schwinn IC4 review for more details.

Weight106 lbs.
Footprint48.7” L x 21.2” W x 51.8” H
Resistance100 levels of micro-adjustable magnetic resistance
User weight capacity330 lbs.
Screen/console None
Max user height N/A
Interactive programming?No
Connects to fitness apps?Yes
WarrantyFrame: 10 years / Electronics: 3 years / Labor: 1 year

Other Best Exercises Bikes We’ve Researched

If you think these are the only exercise bikes we researched or tested, you must be new around here. Here are the other bikes that didn’t quite make the final cut. 

NordicTrack S15i: This bike has similar features to the NordicTrack S22i, but with a smaller screen and fewer resistance levels. It’s not a bad exercise bike, we just find it’s worth it to pay a little more for the extra features on its bigger brother. 

Fringe Sport Raptor Air Bike: We really liked the Fringe Sport Raptor Air Bike when we first reviewed it and even said it could be a Rogue Echo killer. Since that was written, the bike has increased to nearly $1,000, nearly $200 more than the Echo. 

Schwinn Airdyne AD7: This is another air bike that costs more than the Rogue Echo Bike, and while it comes with a more advanced display, we don’t think that’s worth the extra price. 

Xterra Fitness FB150 Folding Bike: This folding exercise bike costs around $100, but our testers were simply underwhelmed and found that even getting it out of the box was a challenge. 

Echelon SmartConnect: In terms of functionality, this bike is pretty much on par with a Peloton, but pricier. (Check out the Echelon vs Peloton comparison.)  

Benefits of Exercise Bikes

When practiced regularly, exercise bikes and other types of cardio are excellent for lowering your chance of developing major illnesses and enhancing your level of cardiovascular fitness. However, the advantages of exercise bikes go well beyond just improving body composition, according to competitive triathlete and GGR senior staff writer Amanda Capritto.

Using an exercise bike on a regular basis has a number of advantages that can improve your general health and fitness. Exercise on a stationary bike might also assist you with reducing body fat, building lower body strength, promoting weight loss, burning calories, strengthening your core, and also has mental health benefits.

RELATED: Benefits Of Indoor Cycling

Here are just a few more reasons why an exercise bike might be the right purchase for you.

carol bike 2.0 bike woman seated on bike

Better Cardiovascular Conditioning

Consistent pedaling, especially when you’re riding with the resistance all the way up, is a great way of improving your stamina and cardiovascular conditioning. Adults should get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week, according to the American Heart Association, and reaching this number may be easier on an exercise bike than other cardio machines.

It’s Low-Impact Training

Exercise bikes put much less strain on your knees, feet, and hips when compared to running. This makes it a great pick for anyone who’s trying not to aggravate an underlying injury or strain, senior citizens, or those who are trying to recover from injury. “Exercise bikes are a great option for people who need to keep undue pressure and shock off of their joints,” says Amanda, a certified personal trainer.

Good for Lower-Body Muscles

Here’s the thing: An exercise bike won’t train your lower-body muscles quite as well as a deadlift or back squat, however, regular biking can help develop and strengthen certain muscles in your legs and lower body.

Can Be Done By Anyone

This is true for running and other cardio exercises, though it should be noted that biking is so simple that even a toddler can do it. Unless you have a special cycling bike, there’s no special equipment needed and most bikes can be adjusted for people of varying fitness levels. “Indoor exercise bikes allow fitness enthusiasts of all kinds exercise even when the weather is unsafe or there are other reasons to avoid going outdoors for cardio, such as it getting dark before you can get your workout in,” Amanda says.

Great for Mental Health

You probably know that movement is a great stress-reliever. There is sufficient anecdotal evidence to support this, as you can simply go for a walk and start to feel better. Additionally, recent studies1 show that exercising multiple times a week can reduce depression and anxiety.

How We Picked and Tested the Best Exercise Bikes

It’s important to me to give our Garage Gym Review family all the information they need to make a great buying decision. We carefully selected the exercise bikes we wanted to test and tested each one. From there, we used the bikes for multiple workouts. 

best bikes under 500 feature photo coop on bike arms raised surrounded by bikes in front of garage gym reviews wall

While testing, we made sure to consider the following things:


Weight capacity is an important factor in determining the durability of a bike, and how accessible it is. We prefer cardio equipment to have a user weight capacity of at least 300 pounds. We also ask ourselves questions in testing like how much does the bike weigh assembled? Is the bike sturdy? What materials are the bikes made of? How do those materials generally hold up over time? Do the handlebars or screen wiggle when in use?

Assembly and Ease of Setup

We personally assemble the bikes we test so we can share with our readers what the process is like. We report back on if the directions are easy to follow and if you need additional tools. On particularly difficult assemblies, we rate a bike on if there are there options to have a professional with the company assemble the bike for a fee.


What is the warranty? How does this warranty compare to other bikes in the same price range?

Resistance Type and Levels

We score bikes on their resistance, both in the type used and the range offered. Some cheaper bikes may only offer a few manual resistance settings, which doesn’t give the user many options. Higher-end bikes allow for hundreds of microlevels of resistance that can be adjusted with the push of a button.

Price and Value

How expensive is this exercise bike? Is this bike a good value? How does it compare to other bikes on the market, price-wise?


Does the bike have a compatible app? Do you have to pay a membership fee to utilize the app? Is there an included display? What kind of screen is the display? How large is the screen? Is it a touchscreen? Does the screen swivel or move?

using touchscreen peloton bike

Footprint and Portability

As home gym owners, we know how valuable space is. Therefore, we rated bikes on their size and their portability. How large is the bike? Can it be easily moved? Is it foldable? Do you need extra people to help move it?

Ergonomics and Adjustability

A good bike is one that can fit your body, meaning you can adjust it for your size, but it also feels comfortable enough to use. So we scored bikes on factors like:

  • How comfortable is the seat?
  • Can you replace the seat easily?
  • Does the seat adjust vertically and horizontally?
  • Are the pedals adjustable?


We look at bikes to assess how brands have tried to accommodate the user. For example, are there extra accessories you can buy for the bike? What extra cupholders or weights are included in the purchase?


We take a good look at the pedals on each exercise bike. We make sure they’re secure, are compatible with all types of shoes, and note if they’re interchangeable.

How to Choose an Exercise Bike

The best exercise bike is completely subjective because what works for you might not work for someone else. I’ve developed a how to choose an exercise bike guide based on one’s living space, budget, and fitness goals. Here are our suggestions for items to consider when looking for an indoor exercise bike:

Build and Quality

An exercise bike with a heavy frame that’s made of high-quality steel is going to last much longer and be more stable than a bike made of more lightweight material, with the trade-off being that the bike with high-quality construction will be much more expensive.


Regardless of what type of resistance system your bike uses, you’ll want to make sure there’s a good number of adjustments you can make on the bike, by which we mean making it easier or more difficult to pedal. More affordable bikes will have less adjustability than more expensive options.

Ride Experience

This not only refers to how stable the bike was and how the resistance felt, but also encompasses things like interactive workout programming and whether or not the bike had any cooling system (such as a fan).

anthony pedaling on bowflex c6


Simply put, make sure the bike gives you enough bang for your buck. You also might want to look at whether it’s worth spending a little more than you originally budgeted to get a bike with useful features such as multiple workout profiles or a water bottle holder (some bikes don’t have one).


It should go without saying—find an exercise bike that will fit in your living or training space.

Tech/Connectivity Options

Not all the best exercise bikes with screens come equipped with Netflix—some just allow you to access workout programming. Of course, this comes down to personal preference.


Keep in mind that some exercise bikes have separate warranties for the frame and things like technology or the pedals.

Which Type Of Exercise Bike Is Right For You?

There are several types and styles of stationary bikes, each serving a different purpose:

Air Bike

An air bike, which is truly a pain machine, uses air for resistance. The pedals—and in many cases, movable arms—turn the fan, giving you a full-body workout. The levels of resistance on an air bike do not adjust; essentially, the faster you go, the harder it is.

Most air bikes are lightweight and easy to move. They are often in the most affordable price range compared to other at-home exercise bikes, as air bikes have very simple monitors and usually only a few preset workouts if any.

Coop pedaling the Fringe Raptor Air Bike

Studio Cycle Bike

A studio cycle bike is exactly as the name suggests: A bike you would find in a typical studio cycle class. It looks similar to a road bike when it comes to pedal, seat, and handlebar positioning. The wheel is often a flywheel, which is weighted and creates stability in the machine.

Resistance may either be friction-based, like a brake or magnetic, which is lower maintenance. Your body position using an exercise cycle bike is usually either leaning forward or out of the saddle, leaning further over the handles (as though you are climbing a hill).

Recumbent Exercise Bike

Recumbent exercise bikes are known for large, comfortable seats that have backs to them. The pedals are located out in front of your body, and there are often handles on either side of the seat for you to hold. These are great for very low-impact exercise, either for seniors or people recovering from an injury.

RELATED: Best Exercise Bike For Seniors

nordictrack commercial r35 recumbent bike in use

Upright Exercise Bike

The upright exercise bike is a fairly rare breed and not one you see often. The pedals are located almost directly under the seat, and the handles are closer to your body. This puts you in a completely upright position on the bike. For many people, this creates lower amounts of strain on the back than, say, a studio cycle bike. One benefit to upright exercise bikes is that they often have a very small footprint, as they tend to be taller as opposed to longer or wider.

RELATED: Stationary Bike Benefits

What Type Of Exercise Bike Resistance Is Best?

Resistance is what makes biking harder like you would feel climbing a hill if you were on the road. The type of resistance a bike uses actually does matter, if you care about some of the particulars:

Magnetic Resistance

Magnetic resistance is found on bikes that use flywheels, which are heavy, metal wheels that provide the bike greater stability the heavier they are. The advantages to magnetic resistance are that it is often quiet, which is great if you exercise around people, and it is much lower maintenance than other forms of resistance. One downside is that magnetic resistance is often more expensive.

Fan-Based Resistance

Air bikes have a fan that generates resistance. The faster you pedal, the more the fan turns, and the harder it gets. Be aware, fan bikes are anything but silent. You will hear that whirring sound as the fan moves faster. However, fan bikes are lower maintenance than friction-based resistance bikes, and at least you get a cool breeze as you exercise.

Friction Resistance

The friction-based resistance model tends to be the most affordable because it is the easiest to build. Pads on either side of the flywheel tighten to make the wheel harder to turn. You do get what you pay for, so be aware that the pads wear down and will need to be replaced if you bike frequently.

Experts Who Contributed to This Article

Best Exercise Bike FAQs

Which exercise bike is best for home?

Here’s our picks for the best exercise bike for home for different training styles and fitness goals:

Best Overall Exercise Bike: NordicTrack S22i
Best Functional Fitness Bike: AssaultBike ProX
Best Budget Exercise Bike: Sunny Health and Fitness Indoor Cycle Bike -B1002
Best Exercise Bike Under $500: YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike
Best Air Bike: Rogue Echo Bike
Best Budget Air Bike: Titan Fan Bike
Best Exercise Bike for Cycling Apps: Diamondback Fitness 1260sc Rear Wheel Studio Cycle
Best Exercise Bike for HIIT: CAROL Bike
Best Exercise Bike Without Arms: Concept2 BikeErg
Best Folding Exercise Bike: Marcy Foldable Bike
Best Exercise Bike to Simulate Outdoor Riding: Bowflex Velocore
Best Exercise Bike with Screen: Peloton Bike
Best Recumbent Exercise Bike: Schwinn 290 Recumbent Bike

Can you lose belly fat by riding a stationary bike?

An exercise bike is an excellent choice if you’re thinking about buying some home gym gear to assist you reach your weight reduction objectives. The typical individual can burn about 260 calories when riding a stationary bike for 30 minutes. Your exercise bike will be able to provide you with a more accurate estimate of the number of calories you will burn if you set it up with your weight and height.

RELATED: Can you lose weight on an exercise bike?

Which exercise bike is most like a real bike?

If you’re looking for an indoor exercise bike that feels like a real bike, go for the Bowflex VeloCore. It has a leaning feature that engages the core and mimics the movement of an outdoor bicycle.

What’s the best exercise bike for a beginner?

We’d recommend the YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike for beginners looking for an exercise bike. It’s budget-friendly, has durable magnetic resistance, and doesn’t have many special features though you can sync it to some fitness apps.


  1. Sharma A, Madaan V, Petty FD. Exercise for mental health. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2006;8(2):106. doi: 10.4088/pcc.v08n0208a. PMID: 16862239; PMCID: PMC1470658.

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