Exercise or stationary bikes are one of the most common home aerobic workout machines. They are used for body toning, weight loss, conditioning, endurance training, etc.
They range in models and prices significantly and one must be careful when choosing the right one. Due to circular motion, stationary bikes provide low-impact exercise, which is very important for people having joint issues. Also, overweight and obese people and people having heart-related issues can exercise in a controlled environment with all their parameters being monitored by trained professionals during exercise (blood pressure, blood oxygen, heart rate, etc.).
Exercise bikes have various mechanisms for applying resistance to the pedals, thus increasing the intensity of the workout and simulating real outdoor cycling.
Most of the resistance mechanisms include fans, magnets, friction systems, and/or their combinations.
Unlike normal bikes, some exercise bike models enable the trainee to pedal even backward.
Upright bikes are the traditionally styled models that look like classic bikes and many people that use exercise bikes during bad weather, but prefer cycling outside during nice weather, choose this type of exercise bikes. Also they occupy less space than recumbent bikes, especially foldable models.
For more info about indoor spinning bikes, feel free to check our 10 Best Spin Exercise Indoor Cycling Bikes article.
Recumbent bikes allow a person to exercise in a reclining position which some people may find more comfortable than upright position, especially during longer workouts due to extra support provided by the larger seat and backrest.
For more info about recumbent bikes, check our Top 5 Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes - Recumbent Bikes 101 guide.
A bike stand is piece of equipment that enables using normal bike as exercise bike in privacy of our homes.
Their resistance is usually harder to set, when compared with, for example, magnetic braking system of stationary bikes. On the other hand, there are more expensive bike stands that provide even that.
When buying exercise bike, there are few things to consider:
- size and weight of the bike - these 'toys' can be big and relatively heavy. Folding bikes can fit tight spaces and are easier to store till next use. But, before buying, find the place where will you store and use bike and measure it - be sure to have enough space around the bike for normal exercise.
- transport wheels - most of the bikes are equipped with some sort of transport wheels and are more or less, easily moved around. However, if you can keep your bike on the same place where you will exercise, you will exercise more often - seriously.
- breaking system - magnetic brake system in combination with preset workout program can provide very realistic hill terrain workout. Fans and friction systems are present in cheaper models and their resistance can't be changed automatically. Fan system require least parts and last for a long time.
Magnetic system is controlled electronically with no moving parts like friction brakes and plates, but can be pricy due to electronics. On the other hand, if you are going to use stationary bike often, go for model with a magnetic brake system, with various preset and customized cycling programs - these programs not only simulate hill and similar terrains, they, for example, can be optimized to burn as many calories as possible, while keeping your heart rate below preset value.
- LCD display - displays distance covered, time elapsed, calories burned, pulse rate etc. Higher end models have stand for laptop, iPhone and similar gadgets that can be used during workout and thus saving us some time - we work and workout at the same time :)
- safety features vary from model to model. First of all, stationary bike must be stable, otherwise trainee could fall down, with to without bike. Other safety features include heart rate monitors, oxygen monitor, bike maintenance status lights and other sensors that can come useful during exercise.
- warranty vary from few months to several years. Note that there are warranties for various parts - for example, flying disk and frame can have 3 years warranty, while other parts can have 1 year warranty. Also, some models require that you register your bike online in order to have valid warranty.
- maximum allowed weight - this value vary from light and rather small exercise bikes having maximum user weight of less than 90kg (200 pounds), to big and sturdy bikes having maximum allowed user weight of or even more than 150 kg (330 pounds). Big and sturdy means - more expensive, heavier and more space required.
Exercise bikes are great, but in the end, you are the one who is going to use them.
Excerise bike reviews and recommendations ordered according to the date added or modified:
The Nautilus U614 Upright Bike is a high-quality yet low-priced upright bike for home use with a solid construction and a number of features including 20 levels of ECB magnetic resistance, 22 workout programs, a balanced flywheel, two integrated levelers, angle-adjustable handlebars providing comfortable riding positions that can match those in a spin bike and a large mid-frame support that offers users a solid and stable bike platform.
It’s an appropriate bike to burn one’s daily extra calories and thereby shed pounds. Since it’s an upright bike, it works just like an outdoor bike and offers cardio workout with low impact on joints.
Updated: December 30, 2020.
The 3G Cardio Elite RB Recumbent Bike meets all the expectations that people keep from a recumbent bike. This is a heavy-duty machine being a light commercial recumbent bike.
It has an innovative design with its flywheel and jack for the power cord located on the rear, unlike similar bikes that have these parts normally at their front side. Its console may not feature online connectivity, but that doesn’t make a big difference because the bike is full of programs that are enough to bring great diversity to one’s workout routine and thus, keep them motivated.
Published: September 5, 2020.
The 3G Cardio Elite UB Upright Bike is a powerful light commercial upright exercise bike. It has an impressive maximum user weight capacity of 350 lbs. and quite a few features.
It features a motorized magnetic resistance system and is backed by a commercial warranty as well as an excellent in-home warranty. Being an upright bike, it offers users the same riding position as that of road bikes, and offers a low impact cardio workout with low impact on users’ joints.
Published: July 25, 2020.
It’s really admirable that a company considers the opinion of users and upgrades their products so as to make them more useful, convenient, and functional for consumers.
The new Schwinn 170 or Schwinn M717 170 Upright Bike is such a product which is an upgraded version of an older Schwinn 170. Comparing to the old model, it has an improved control unit with Bluetooth connectivity. The seat is also slightly improved.
Published: June 12, 2020.
The ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Bike is certainly worth a glance of health enthusiasts looking for affordable exercise machines.
Not only is it one of the lowest-priced machines from ProForm, but also one of the most affordable recumbent bikes with an automatic resistance system.
Published: May 8, 2020.
The XTERRA Fitness FB350 Folding Exercise Bike has a design and set of features similar to that of the FB150 model of which it is an upgrade. There is an additional set of handlebars attached to the seat of FB350 as well as a small backrest.
Due to these additional features, FB350 comes under the category of semi-recumbent bikes.
Published: December 9, 2019.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-1002 and SF-1002C are two very similar indoor cycling exercise bikes, offering excellent cardio exercise at the privacy of your home.
Main difference between these models is that SF-1002 uses belt drive, while SF-1002C uses chain drive to power large 49 lbs (~22.2 kg) chromed flywheel. Both units are sturdy and stable units, offering smooth ride - SF-1002 is slightly quieter and easier to maintain, while SF-1002C offer ride slightly more similar to the road bike than SF-1002 model.
Published: November 5, 2019.
XTERRA Fitness FB150 Folding Exercise Bike is one of the most reasonably priced exercise bikes by Xterra Fitness. It folds upright and is trainer designed for light cardio workouts.
Thus it’s a basic bike. However, it’s amazingly feature-rich.
Published: October 11, 2019.
The main reason for diseases like obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease is considered to be sedentary lifestyle. People whose work involves sitting at a desk all the time can’t get time for exercise, no matter how much they are willing to. But they are constantly worried that some or the other time, they will contract the above dangerous diseases and are confused how to engage in a physical activity.
These people will find Flexispot Deskcise Pro V9U a lifesaver as it allows exercising while working, so, users don’t have to set aside time for exercise and can keep away the adverse effects of sedentary life. Flexispot Deskcise Pro V9U allows users to sit, stand or bike all while working.
Published: September 21, 2019.
If an exercise enthusiast wants a stable, smooth and quiet ride on a stationary exercise bike, Ancheer Exercise Bike is the perfect choice.
Featuring a 40-pound flywheel, belt-driven tension and a maximum load capacity of 330 pounds, this bike delivers a smooth and consistent operation.
Published: September 3, 2019.
If a health enthusiast is looking for an exercise bike with a sleek and stylish foldable design, LCD display panel with a pulse rate monitor and adjustable arm resistance bands, MaxKare Foldable Semi Recumbent Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike is a perfect fit for him. Although the product has got just a few reviews so far since it’s a quite newly launched product, all the reviews are 5-star positive ones.
The rides the bike gives are quite stable, smooth and quiet, thanks to its friction-free magnetic resistance that doesn’t come in contact with the flywheel. This has another benefit that the machine requires a very low maintenance.
Published: August 17, 2019.
Schwinn 230 and Schwinn 270 recumbent bikes are excellent and very popular mid-range home recumbent exercise bikes. They are sturdy and stable units, offering easy on and off access even to elderly people, they are easy to use, with very smooth ride.
Schwinn 230 and Schwinn 270 recumbent bikes feature very good maximum user weight and share many other similarities, not just externally. However, there are also few important differences between these cardio machines, dictating difference in the price, too.
Published: January 9, 2019.
Exerpeutic Gold 575 XLS is compact and sturdy exercise bike, requiring not much storage area and supporting users up to 400 pounds (~181 kg). Console is simple to use, providing all required information during exercise.
Onboard computer support two user profiles - also, the Exerpeutic Gold 575 XLS exercise bike features Bluetooth Smart Technology, allowing its users to connect the bike with the free MyFitness4 App, available on the iOS, and store their individual data on their own smartphones.
Exerpeutic GOLD 975XBT Recumbent Exercise Bike is medium range, very quiet, home exercise bike. It comes with 21 pre-set workout programs, 3 goal settings, excellent maximum user weight and many other features very interesting to people needing a good recumbent bike for a home gym or just a good recumbent bike for training at home.
Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse is a simple and a robust exercise bike. It is easily folded and transported on it's own wheels when not in use. With 300 pounds maximum user weight, Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse is suitable for entire family.
If you need both affordable and reliable home exercise bike, and its features and specifications suits your needs, consider this one, too.
Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike Review is one of the most popular home recumbent exercise bikes. It comes with very good maximum user weight, it's very quiet and low maintenance unit, it's very affordable etc.
Recumbent bikes are great for fitness enthusiasts looking for a high-intensity, low-impact workout.
Marcy ME 709 Recumbent Exercise Bike is affordable and very popular home recumbent exercise bike. Thanks to the magnetic resistance system, it is very quiet during exercise. It is not the lightest unit around, but it is very sturdy and durable.
FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike with Massage Bar is upright and semi-recumbent exercise bike featuring non-slip desk surface, easy access drawer, massage rollers and integrated resistance bands. It enables light cardio workout, while doing some simpler office jobs at the same time.
Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike is high quality spinning bike suitable for home use - it is easily comparable with more expensive models suitable for both home and gym use. Money well spent.
Velocity Fitness CHB-R2003 Magnetic Recumbent Bike is 'classic' recumbent exercise bike - at acceptable price it provides sturdy and durable piece of exercise equipment that will work properly for long time. It does miss some features that more expensive bikes have, but are they really needed for you?
Keiser M3 Indoor Cycle Stationary Indoor Trainer Exercise Bike is great and expensive stationary bike built to last and to provide quiet, smooth and realistic cycling workout. Again, it is expensive, but what you pay is what you get ...