The 5 Best Stationary Exercise Bikes for Home Use in 2020
If you want to exercise in a convenient way, why not buy one of the best exercise bikes?
If you want to work out at home, invest in equipment that will help you meet your exercise needs. Home gym equipment should and be things you enjoy doing, which is one reason exercise bikes are so popular.
Exercise bikes have been on the market for decades, but new technology and with “spinning” becoming such a popular workout have made the exercise bike the home gym equipment of choice.
Our favorite exercise bikes allow you to experience the same on-road cycling or in-studio energy in the comfort of your own home.
Cycling offers many benefits from cardiovascular to muscle endurance. With today’s choices on various online workout programs and apps available on bikes, working out at home has become a lot easier and much more enjoyable.
Here are the 5 best exercise bikes and a buying guide to help you meet your fitness goals.
#1 Echelon Smart Connect Bike
The Echelon Smart Connect Bike EX5S is affordable, easy to set up and caters to tech-savvy riders wanting to take advantage of training programs from the comfort of their own home. The bike is much more affordable compared to the over hyped Peloton. The bike comes equipped with the option to use SPD clips on one side and cage clips on the other allowing riders to use cycling shoes or their own sneakers. The Echelon is affordable, easy to set up and caters to tech-savvy riders wanting to take advantage of training programs from the comfort of their own home.
Some of the top features of this bike include:
- 14 daily live classes
- Magnetic Resistance
- Offers total comfort with customizable settings
- Over 10,000 on demand classes to choose from
- Clip-in & Cage Pedals
#2 Diamondback 510Ic Indoor Cycle Magnetic Trainer
Rated “best buy” four years in a row, the Diamondback exercise bike offers the best value for its price range. Built for a wide range of indoor and outdoor cycling enthusiasts, the Diamondback Indoor Cycling Trainer works well for all levels. Features include:
- 16 pre-set workouts and 16 resistance levels
- 32 lb flywheel makes it an incredibly smooth ride
- Console provides real-time rider data
#3 NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Bike
The NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle is the best in its class offering over 30 onboard workouts, plus access to NordicTrack’s iFit that has custom workouts, training resources and much more. Features include:
- 22 inches Interactive HD Touchscreen Display streams
- Join trainer-led classes where the instructor digitally adjusts your LIVE incline and resistance, keeping you focused on your high-energy workout.
- Trainers Who Move You with on-demand, streaming workouts feature LIVE Interactions™ where world-class trainers digitally adjust your incline, decline, and resistance for a great workout.
- Training Variety – With studio sessions to global workouts and even cross-training options like yoga and full-body sculpting, your options are limitless.
- Sleek design and front mounted wheels make it easy to transport
#4 Sole R92 Bike
The Sole Recumbent bikes are the perfect way to give yourself a low impact workout. The Sole® R92 is the industry standard for a recumbent bike providing physical challenges that are easier on the joints.
- Patented 2 degree inward foot pedal design
- 32 workout programs and 32 levels of resistance
- Integrated 9.0″ LCD screen
- Bluetooth audio speakers
- Ergonomic seating and adjustability
- Frictionless magnetic resistance delivers a smooth and quiet ride
#5 Sunny Health & Fitness Total Body Indoor Exercise Bike
This lightweight exercise bike is perfect for any home gym and anyone that is looking to add cycling to their daily workout routine, especially for those with limited space as it stores neatly away. Features include:
- 8 resistance levels
- Adjustable resistance bands for added upper or lower body workouts
- Magnetic belt drive
Editors' Choice: Diamondback 510Ic Indoor Cycle Magnetic Trainer
The Diamondback exercise bike was the best buy in exercise bikes for four years in a row. It offers the best value for its price range. No wonder it’s our top pick!
For around $900, you get one of the most high-tech indoor exercise bikes. It comes with a state-of-the-art computer electronic resistance system, a 32lbs flywheel, a quiet chain-drive, and a heavy-duty frame.
Built for a wide range of indoor and outdoor cycling enthusiasts, the Diamondback Indoor Cycling Trainers works well for beginners or experienced spinners. This bike has rider comfort, innovation, and durability in mind.
The Diamondback comes with 16 different pre-set workouts and 16 levels of resistance.
Diamondback 510Ic Indoor Cycle Magnetic Trainer Pros
- 16 levels of resistance: These computer-controlled resistance settings help make sure you get the workout you need.
- Complete rider customization settings: You can choose the saddle fore/aft positioning, handlebar height, seat height, and handlebar fore/aft positioning.
- Heart rate sensors: Heart rate sensors make it easy to monitor your heart while you exercise.
- Pre-Set Programs: Getting started is easy with the 16 pre-set workouts, 12 workout programs, and 4 heart rate controlled programs.
- Real-time data: The console lets you keep track of your profile, speed, distance, watts, heart rate, cadence, and elapsed time.
Diamondback 510Ic Indoor Cycle Magnetic Trainer Cons
- Beginner resistance levels: The levels may not be hard enough for experienced riders.
- No data upload options: You can’t upload data from the console to an online fitness program
Best Upright Bike: NordicTrack Commercial S22i Upright Stationary Bike
This NordicTrack bike is the best in its class offering over 30 workouts, plus access to NordicTrack’s iFit that has custom workouts and training resources.
The NordicTrack 19lb inertia-enhanced flywheel and silent magnetic resistance offer 24 digital resistance levels.
NordicTrack Commercial Studio Cycle S22i
- 7” Touchscreen: This helps you access a variety of workouts and keep track of your settings.
- Cooling fan: The built-in fan will help keep you from getting overheated while you bike.
- Easy transport: The sleek design and front mounted wheels make the bike easy to transport from room to room.
- Ergonomic foot pedals: The caged pedals give you extra stability.
- Grip heart rate monitor: Keep track of your heart’s activity the easy way.
- Integrated tablet holder: You can easily watch your favorite shows while you bike.
- Music options: This bike comes with an auxiliary music port and Bluetooth compatible speakers to make listening to your favorite music while you exercise simple.
- NordicTrack iFit membership: You’ll get on-demand cycling classes and be able to ride trails all over the world virtually. You can subscribe for longer after the free year is over.
- Oversized cushion seat: The extra cushioning helps you stay comfortable while you stay fit.
- Seat adjustments: You can move your seat vertically and horizontally.
NordicTrack Commercial S22i Cons
- Complicated assembly: This bike is hard to assemble with one person. Try to have two people build it.
- Plastic flywheel cover: The plastic isn’t as sturdy as other materials.
- Small touchscreen: The screen isn’t as large as it is on some other equipment.
- Weaker resistance: The resistance may not be powerful enough for strong cyclists.
Best Recumbent Bike: Sole R92 Bike
With its advanced ergonomics, the Sole Recumbent bikes are the perfect way to give yourself a low impact workout. The Sole® R92 is the industry standard for a recumbent bike providing physical challenges that are easier on the joints than a traditional bike.
This home exercise bike offers 10 different pre-set programs for all levels of fitness.
It also offers bluetooth technology to enables fast syncing of fitness data.
Sole R92 Recumbent Bike Pros
- The most comfortable recumbent bike on the market
- Compact size allows you to put it anywhere in the home or office
- Integrated technology provides real-time workout data to monitor progress
- Smooth transitions when navigating between different resistance levels
- Bright, easy to read display
Sole R92 Recumbent Bike Cons
- Footprint: The Sole R92 isn’t oversized, but it’s not the most space-saving recumbent bike we’ve seen. It has a footprint of 57″ x 30″.
- Weak Fans: You might find that the integrated workout fans are weak. That’s a minor factor though given the machine’s overall quality.
Best Folding Bike: Sunny Health & Fitness Total Body Indoor Exercise Bike
This lightweight exercise bike is perfect for any home gym and anyone that is looking to add cycling to their daily workout routine, especially for those with limited space as it stores neatly away.
This folding exercise bike comes with adjustable resistance bands, which is a nice added touch for those who have limited equipment and space.
Sunny Health & Fitness Total Body Indoor Exercise Bike Pros
- Adjustable resistance bands: These provide added upper or lower body workouts.
- Adjustable resistance levels: The bike lets you set the level that will give you the best workout.
- Affordable and low maintenance: This bike is ideal for people who want an easy way to exercise but don’t want to spend a lot of money on a fancy machine.
- Digital monitor: The monitor displays time, speed, and calories burned.
- Lightweight materials: The bike is easy to store and transport.
- Textured foot pedals: The pedals are non-slip with adjustable straps.
Sunny Health & Fitness Total Body Indoor Exercise Bike Cons
- Eight levels of resistance: Many bikes have many more.
- Max user weight: This bike is for people who weigh less than 265lbs.
- No pre-set or sample workouts: You’ll need to create your ideal workout instead of having it planned for you.
Best Spin Bike: Echelon Smart Connect Bike EX5S
The Echelon Smart Bike EX5S offers you the most convenient and interactive indoor cycling experience.
The live and on-demand studio classes give you the same high-energy in class feel.
For people who aren’t ready to give up the high energy atmosphere of a spin class, the Echelon Smart Bike has done an excellent job at capturing that experience through its on-demand courses. It offers 14 live ones per day over 10,000 past classes, including a variety of other exercises such as running, walking, boot camps, yoga and strength classes.
The digital screen with state-of-the-art technology lets you stream up to three devices and tracks your progress in every class, including cadence, resistance, output, and heart rate.
Echelon Smart Connect Bike EX5S
- 1-year frame warranty: Your bike frame has protection for one year from the date of delivery. The frame is sturdy carbon steel.
- Lightweight (105lbs)
- Customizable settings: You can customize lots of things on this bike. Move the handlebars to support any position, use the LOOK Delta Clip-in pedals (compatible with a variety of cycling shoes) and take advantage of the leveling feet that provide stability and comfort.
- Compact: This bike is only 4 x 2, making it easy to fit almost anywhere.
- Contour bike seat: This seat comfortably supports all levels and body types. It’s adjustable in two dimensions.
- In-home delivery: The bike comes mostly pre-assembled, and the remaining parts will be set up by the delivery team.
- Nearly silent belt drive: You won’t have to worry about annoying noises while you exercise.
- On-demand classes: With 14 daily classes and 10,000 on-demand classes, you’ll never lack exercises to try.
- Echelon online membership and app: The membership gives you access to all the workout information you need.
- Resistance knob: This bike makes it easy to adjust how hard it is to exercise. This bike has a smooth, natural-feeling magnetic resistance.
Echelon Bike Cons
- Older ergonomic setup
- Less Extensive Programs: While the membership offers many benefits and on-demand classes, but there are not as many classes as the more expensive Peloton.
Types of Exercise Bikes
Exercise bikes come in several varieties. Get to know the types to help you decide which bike would be best for you.
- Affordable: These bikes tend to be the most affordable type of exercise bike.
- Ergonomic position: Consumers sit in an upright position, not crouched forward, which is the ergonomically correct way to sit.
- Familiarity: Most users are familiar with this style because it’s the most common.
- Limited resistance: These bikes may not provide enough resistance for an advanced rider.
- Support for injuries and beginners: The recumbent setting is ideal for people who are recovering from knee or back injuries or for beginners.
- Upper body support: Seats resemble a chair rather than a saddle.
- Not suitable for advanced riders: These bikes have limited resistance levels, so advanced riders won’t get the workout they want.
- Cost-effective: These bikes are good exercise machines but still don’t cost a fortune.
- Convenient storage: These bikes are easy to put away when you need them out of the way.
- Lightweight and compact: These bikes provide most of the same features an upright bike has. However, folding bikes are more lightweight and compact.
- Most do not come with pre-programmed workouts: If you like to use a workout already planned for you, you’ll have to look harder to find a folding bike that offers them.
- Not suitable for advanced riders: These bikes offer limited resistance and levels.
- Closest experience to riding a road bike: If you want to feel like you’re riding a regular bike, this is the best option.
- Interactive: These bikes often have consoles and workouts to improve your exercise routine.
- Suitable for all levels: These bikes provide interval training and have a larger range of resistance levels. You can also change the intensity by standing or sitting.
- High cost: Spinning bikes are the most expensive of all exercise bikes.
Exercise Bike Buyers Guide
With so many options available for exercise bikes, you should have a good idea of what to look for when you’re shopping for yours. Here are some things to consider so you can feel confident with your buying decision.
Some bikes let you adjust them.
Here are some things to check if the bike will let you change:
- Foot straps to fit any foot size
- Handlebars adjustment for both height and tilt to allow you to sit ergonomically
- Seat height to accommodate the height of the rider
Selecting the right exercise bike comes down to how you plan to use it and what your goals are.
Each person should train at an appreciate intensity level. Although aiming to push yourself is great, make sure the exercise bike you chose can support you as a beginner as well.
For athletic purposes, choose a forward-leaning position bike (spin bike) that allows you to generate power when pedaling and provides interval training.
For a gentler option that is part of your regular workout regime, an upright position bike may be more applicable to your goals.
For physical rehabilitation or if you have restrictions with movement, a recumbent bike that provides full lumbar support would be ideal.
The price range for exercise bikes can range between $300-$3000.
Deciding which features you need and which you don’t will help you in your search for the best bike for you.
Bikes come with different types of resistance:
- Break-based resistance: The flywheel weight determines the comfort and fluidity of cycling. The higher the weight, the more fluid it is. We recommend choosing a bike with a flywheel weight above 19lbs.
- Fan-based resistance: The resistance is adjusted automatically. The faster you pedal, the faster the blades spin and the more resistance it will generate. This type requires you to move handles to generate power, which sometimes requires full-body movements. Fan-based bikes do not use a flywheel
- Magnetic resistance: Magnetic resistance allows the opposition to be modified directly from the bike’s console. Well-calibrated resistance levels offer a wide range of tension settings.
Choose a resistance level based on where you are currently and where you’d like to be in your exercise.
Size and Weight
Exercise bikes come in different size and weight options.
Know how much space you have before you buy a bike, and always looks at the dimensions (including height) to be sure it’ll fit in the space.
If you want your bike to be easily transportable, it should weigh between 130-150lbs.
Many of the best exercise bikes come with smart functions. Here are some to look for:
- Audio options: Many people find it easier to stay motivated when listening to music or watching TV. Look for models that have speakers, or audio output.
- Built-in workouts: Some bikes also have integrated workout programs that will challenge your workout, especially if you are not using an app or online program.
- Display console: Some bikes have a display console that shows you your distance, time, and speed.
- Heart rate monitor: Some bikes have heart monitors that you hook up to or through the handlebars.
- Tablet holder: A bike that has a tablet holder makes it great for you to sign up to an online workout program that will give you the same high energy experience as if attending an in-studio class
High maximum user weight is a good indication of the quality of the machine.
Bikes should be made of high-grade steel and have a large footprint for stability
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re not familiar with using an exercise bike, you may have some questions about them.
Here are some questions many people ask when they’re considering purchasing an at-home exercise bike.
What Are Some of the Health Benefits of Using an Exercise Bike?
Biking gives you a lot of health advantages. This exercise benefits you by:
- Building muscle strength
- Improving joint mobility and increasing range of motion
- Increasing endurance
- Providing low-risk exercise because cycling has little impact on the joints
- Strengthening your heart and respiratory system without excessive activity
Cycling can also be at any level — beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
How Long Should I Ride a Bike?
For cardiovascular benefits, you should ride a bike for at least 20 minutes per day at an intensity level that has you working at 50-75% of your maximum heart rate if you’re a beginner.
To determine your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, the maximum heart rate would be 180. To get the maximum number of times, your heart should beat per minute (BPM), calculate 75% of the maximum heart rate.
How Many Calories Does an Exercise Bike Burn?
Calories burned is dependent on how much weight/resistance you have, speed and length of time.
On average, cycling at minimal resistance at 10mph will burn approximately 90 calories in 20 minutes. Increasing your speed and resistance will impact the number of calories you burn in 20 minutes.
For example, if you increase to 12-14mph with moderate resistance, you will burn up to 200 calories in 20 minutes.
What Muscles Does an Exercise Bike Work?
Exercise bikes mainly use your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Quadriceps (quads) are the primary muscles used while cycling.
Hamstrings are your secondary muscle providing support to your quads. Each time you push down on the pedal (quads), your hamstrings help push it back up.
Glutes are activated anytime you use your legs with hip extension. Your glutes can get work, especially when you are cycling in an upright position (up from the seat) and are more engaged when on inclines or increased resistance.
Expert Tips for Choosing an Exercise Bike
Finally, if you’re looking to purchase one of the best exercises bikes, there are a few more things to consider to make the best purchase. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Comfortable seating: For the upright, folding or cycling bikes, the seats take a bit to get used to when you are just starting. We recommend that you look for a brand that provides cushioned seating.
- Ease of assembly: If you live by yourself and don’t have someone to help you assemble your bike, you’ll want a company who will do it for you or to purchase an option with easier assembly.
- Frame warranty: Look for a minimum of a two-year warranty the on frame.
- Water bottle holder: This is basic, but a water bottle holder is essential. No one wants to get off and on a bike during a workout to take a drink of water.
Overall, cycling is a great way to exercise, and the best exercise bikes on the market can help you meet your fitness goals.
Use these reviews and our buying guide to help you make the right decision for your wants and needs.Read More