It’s hard to think of physical fitness without thinking of exercise bikes. Any self-respecting gym usually has multiple styles of bikes for riders of all kinds. But exercise bikes aren’t just for the big globo-gyms of the world – they’re also staples of home gyms.
If you’re thinking of investing in only one piece of exercise equipment, an exercise bike is a great choice. In-home bikes burn massive calories in a short period of time and some even come with additional features for working your upper-body as well as your legs.
So many styles of exercise bikes are available these days that a little research is sure to produce multiple options that fit your specifications and lifestyle. However, not all bikes are made equal. This list of the top 10 best exercise bikes for 2018 takes the guesswork out of shopping for a new bike for your home gym.
Let’s get riding!
Table of Contents
- 1 10 Best Exercise Bike Reviews 2018
- 1.1 1. Best for CrossFit Enthusiasts – Assault Fitness Assault AirBike
- 1.2 2. Best for Students – FitDesk 2.0 Exercise Bike
- 1.3 3. Best for Limited Space – Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike
- 1.4 4. Best for Seniors – Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike
- 1.5 5. Best for Workaholics – DeskCycle Under Desk Exercise Bike
- 1.6 6. Best for Style-Lovers – Schwinn Classic Cruiser
- 1.7 7. Best for Those With Injuries – Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
- 1.8 8. Best for Outdoor Cyclists – ANCHEER Indoor Cycling Bike
- 1.9 9. Best for Variety – Nautilus U616 Upright Bike
- 1.10 10. Best for Spin Cyclists – The Peloton Bike
- 2 Types of Exercise Bikes
- 3 Choosing the Best Exercise Bike for You
- 4 Exercise Bike Workout Tips
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6 Conclusion
10 Best Exercise Bike Reviews 2018
|Model||Weight Capacity||Our Rating|
|Assault Fitness Assault AirBike||350 lbs||4.9|
|FitDesk Desk Exercise Bike||250 lbs||4.7|
|Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike||300 lbs||4.7|
|Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike||300 lbs||4.7|
|DeskCycle Under Desk Exercise Bike||No Limit||4.8|
|Schwinn Classic Cruiser||300 lbs||4.8|
|Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike||300 lbs||4.9|
|ANCHEER Indoor Cycling Bike||270 lbs||4.9|
|Nautilus U616 Upright Bike||300 lbs||4.8|
|The Peloton Bike||305 lbs||4.9|
1. Best for CrossFit Enthusiasts – Assault Fitness Assault AirBike
This is the bike that has left so many CrossFit athletes in boxes throughout the world lying on the floor in a pool of their own sweat, unable to stand and desperate to catch their breath. Sounds fun, right?
The Assault AirBike by Assault Fitness can provide the most difficult workout, or a nice easy ride – it’s up to you. As it is an air bike, the resistance increases based on how hard you pedal. Pedal harder, harder workout. Pedal easier, easier workout. Choose your own adventure.
The bike is also dual-action, meaning it comes with moving handles that give you a killer upper-body workout if you choose to use them. You can blend using all legs, all arms and a mix of both with this bike for a workout that targets the whole body.
- Built for a beating. Expect sturdy construction and don’t be afraid to go hard – this bike can take it
- Unlimited resistance so you choose how hard you want the workout to be
- 350 pound weight limit
- Basic – no bells and whistles on the display and no Bluetooth connectivity
- Seat is uncomfortable for long rides
2. Best for Students – FitDesk 2.0 Exercise Bike
Never again does there need to be a choice between studying and working out. Get your sweat and your study on with the FitDesk Exercise Bike. This bike is quiet due to its twin-belt flywheel, so no noise will disrupt your concentration.
Equipped with a 16”x19” desk space big enough to hold your laptop, books or notepads, the FitDesk is built for work. It even has a massage-bar arm rest to save your wrists and forearms from fatigue while you work.
As if that wasn’t enough, the bike folds up to half its size when not in use. It also comes with resistance bands that hook on to the back of the bike so that you can work out your arms, if you wish.
You can set this bike to be upright or semi-recumbent. With a cruiser-style seat and multiple resistance options, the FitDesk offers a comfortable workout for the body and the brain.
- Folds to half its size
- Arm resistance bands to hit the upper body
- Great for users up to 6’6”
- Basic monitor display
3. Best for Limited Space – Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike
This compact, no-frills bike is perfect for those who desire simplicity. The Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike takes up minimal space when fully set up and folds to at least half its size when not in use.
It comes with 8 levels of resistance as well as a hand pulse monitor so you can keep track of your heart rate. The LCD screen is large and easy to read. It calculates distance, speed, time, heart rate and calories burned.
Holding up to 300 pounds, this upright bike is meant to be used on a hard surface to ensure a stable ride. The precision balanced flywheel and v-belt drive create a smooth and quiet fitness experience.
- Easy to store
- Hand pulse monitor
- Bolts can loosen overtime, leading to rattling when riding – simply tighten to bolts again to solve this problem
- Height limit of 6’1”
4. Best for Seniors – Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike
Recumbent bikes are generally recommended for those with delicate bones and joints, and the Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike is no exception. This quiet, comfortable bike is similar to the Exerpeutic Upright Bike detailed above, but it is designed for those who desire a workout that is a bit easier on the body.
The seat is wide and has a back, unlike most upright bikes, so it alleviates pressure on the upper body and back. Hand pulse monitors are located on the handles on either side of the seat so you don’t have to reach forward to grab them.
This foldable bike has an LCD display, a 3-piece crank system for a smooth, consistent ride and can handle up to 300 pounds. Pedals are low to the ground which makes getting on and off the bike easy and safe.
- Easy on/off
- Large seat and seat back
- Basic display
- Not great for long limbs
5. Best for Workaholics – DeskCycle Under Desk Exercise Bike
Think your job is too hectic to get a workout in? Think again. The DeskCycle is specifically designed for those with busy work lives. This cycling machine is low to the ground and can slide under desks as low as 27”.
This tiny machine packs a punch with its 8 resistance options. Nearly silent during operation, it won’t interrupt calls, coworkers or concentration. You can even pedal forward or backward to hit a variety of muscle groups.
If you’re not about breaking a sweat at the office, no problem. Setting the resistance to 3 or lower allows you to get your blood flowing and your heart rate up just enough to revitalize your system while sitting at your desk for long periods.
If you are interested in keeping track of calories burned, DeskCycle has an online calorie counter. Though it has a display on the machine itself, you can check your progress without looking away from your screen.
- Fits under most desks
- Near silent and unobtrusive
- Online calorie counter
- Not heavy-duty enough for super intense workouts
6. Best for Style-Lovers – Schwinn Classic Cruiser
This just might be the most attractive bike on the market right now. The Schwinn Classic Cruiser is designed to look like a vintage cruiser one might have seen on the Venice Beach boardwalk back in the 1950’s.
This bike doesn’t fold, but who would want to hide such a good-looking piece of equipment? It even comes with an old-fashioned odometer and handlebar brakes. Seriously, this bike could not possibly be more stylish.
It may look old-school but its features are anything but. This bike has the Bluetooth capacity and the ability to connect to riding apps such as RideSocial. Enjoy riding in the Alps, through the streets of Rome, the Tibetan countryside or many other locations without leaving your home.
With 7 levels of resistance, a tablet/phone holder and its own Scwhinn Classic Cruiser app that lets you deliver newspapers while riding through a 1950’s town, this bike has FUN written all over it.
- Beautiful design adds style to your home
- Connects to Bluetooth and RideSocial app
- Comes with its own Schwinn Classic Cruiser App
- Fewer levels of resistance than other bikes
7. Best for Those With Injuries – Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
Another homerun by Schwinn, the 270 Recumbent Bike looks and feels like it was snagged directly from a top-tier gym. The giant, comprehensive monitor comes equipped with 29 programs ranging from heart rate, custom, quick-start and fitness tests.
The wide seat slides to adjust to riders of varying sizes. The backrest is curved to protect and support the lumbar curve in the back. It comes with 25 levels of resistance, so if you are coming off an injury you have a lot of space to work your way up to more difficult rides.
The Schwinn 270 comes equipped with Bluetooth capability and can connect to the RideSocial app. This is the bike that may just render your gym membership obsolete.
- 25 levels of resistance
- Ergonomically designed seat
- Handles up to 325 pounds
- May not be good for tall riders
- LCD display is too big and bold for some
8. Best for Outdoor Cyclists – ANCHEER Indoor Cycling Bike
If you’re a serious outdoor cyclist, then odds are you’re going to want to ride…outdoors. But if your bike is in the shop, or if you live in an area where outdoor cycling just isn’t an option due to weather or terrain, you’ll love the ANCHEER Indoor Cycling Bike.
This ultra-quiet bike comes in a sleek silver or sophisticated black design. This bike is compact but sturdy and won’t wobble even during vigorous pedaling sessions.
The 4-way adjustable seat and adjustable handlebars allow you to recreate the feel of your outdoor bike. The LCD display tracks speed, distance, time and calories. Equipped with a water bottle holder and cell phone shelf, you can stay hydrated and connected to your favorite media while enjoying your ride.
- Super quiet
- Mimics outdoor bike
- Adjustable handlebars
- Doesn’t fold
- No Bluetooth connectivity
9. Best for Variety – Nautilus U616 Upright Bike
Similar in style to the Schwinn 270, but upright rather than recumbent, the Nautilus U616 gives you enough variety to last for hundreds of rides. 29 workout programs and 25 levels of resistance provide a wide range of difficulty for your workouts.
This bike has Bluetooth connectivity and can connect to various fitness apps including its own Nautilus Trainer 2 App. The LCD screen comes complete with in-console speakers. The USB port allows you to connect your own device.
The seat as well as the handlebars are adjustable to give you a custom fit for your ride. The bike is easy to assemble so you can take your first ride on the same day it arrives.
- Easy to assemble
- Variety of difficulty/programs
- Connects to Bluetooth, apps and personal devices
- Some claim the bike gets louder over time
10. Best for Spin Cyclists – The Peloton Bike
This is the kingpin of at-home spin bikes. Peloton hasn’t just created a bike – they’ve created a movement with their at-home spin cycling system.
Rather than drag yourself to a class, with The Peloton all you have to do is make it to your living room, bedroom or home gym. Once you clip in to the high-tech bike, you’ll have access to 14 live classes per day as well as a massive archive of over 5,000 on-demand rides from the Peloton studio in New York City.
The high-definition touch screen displays the trainer leading your class of choice as well as your metrics as you ride. Nestled behind the seat of the bike are free-weights for the upper-body portion of your ride.
The bike itself is pricey, and on top of that it requires a monthly membership in order to connect to classes, but if you’re a serious spin lover and you’re ready to commit to a new level of fitness at your fingertips, this bike is a must.
- High-quality, nearly silent and sturdy design
- Live and on-demand classes
- Clip-in pedals
Types of Exercise Bikes
Upright, recumbent, airdyne…what does it all mean?! Read on for an overview of each type of exercise bike available and find the best option for you.
1. Upright Bikes
Upright Bikes are popular among those who also ride out-of-doors as the design is meant to approximate a traditional outdoor bicycle. They are often compact and foldable.
The pedals are positioned under the body, the seat is narrow like on a regular bicycle, and the rider has to reach forward to grasp the handles. The design of an upright bike places the body in a slightly hunched, curved position which may be uncomfortable for some, especially when pedaling for long distances.
2. Recumbent Bikes
These bikes allow the rider to sit in a semi-reclined position with the pedals slightly out in front of the body. The positioning on recumbent bikes takes a lot of stress off the back, as the seats almost always have a backrest and are generally wider than on upright models.
Recumbent bikes are great for seniors and those with injuries due to their low-impact. Riders can go for long stretches on recumbent bikes without experiencing the same level of muscle fatigue or discomfort that comes with riding on an upright bike.
4. Semi-Recumbent Bikes
There aren’t as many options out there for a semi-recumbent bike, but they can be found. These bikes are in between an upright bike and a recumbent bike and can often be adjustable to be more upright or less. The FitDesk is a good example of the semi-recumbent style.
5. Dual-Action or Airdyne Bikes
Air creates resistance on these bikes, which also come with handles that move. Airdyne bikes are full-body workouts, requiring the power of both arms and legs to move. The harder you pedal, the harder the ride becomes.
These bikes are great for high-intensity athletes. As the fan speeds up to keep up with the force of the pedaling, there is more air resistance, which means more effort is required.
6. Spin Cycles
Generally not too different from upright bikes, spin models such as The Peloton come with a few additional features, such as clip-in pedals and free weights. The point is to feel like you are in a spin class from the comfort of your own home, which is what separates a spin bike from the usual upright bikes available.
Choosing the Best Exercise Bike for You
So now you have some options, but which is your perfect fit? Before you make a final decision, make sure you consider the following factors.
First figure out where you intend to set up the bike. Then, check the dimensions of your space and ensure that the bike you choose doesn’t exceed the size of that area.
Are you going to want the bike set up all the time? If you’re seeking a model for your home gym, you may prefer a stationary style that doesn’t fold up. That way you can just hop on and hop off the bike. No muss, no fuss.
However, a folding option may be best for you if you’re short on space. Be sure to measure the storage area as well, taking into account the folded dimensions of the bike.
2. Fitness Needs
What do you need the bike to do? Unless you are looking for something that packs some serious power to help you go beastmode in workouts, a more basic model may be enough for you.
The more bells and whistles the higher the price tag, so if you’re just looking for something to keep your blood pumping on a regular basis, stick with a model that comes with 7-8 resistance options.
If you’re already a fitness aficionado, get something that can grow with you. Don’t overlook the upper-body capabilities of each bike as well. The biggest bang for your buck may be something that also targets the arms and back.
Do you need Bluetooth connectivity? Answering that question alone will help narrow down the options substantially. If you’ve already got a way to listen to music or enjoy other forms of media while you ride, and you’re not interested in syncing to an app, maybe you don’t need the Bluetooth option.
Basic LCD displays will still take you a long way, so don’t discredit them because they’re not as flashy as their bright and bold competitors. It’s all about finding the bike that fits who you are and what you want, regardless of how fancy or high-tech it is.
Exceptionally tall or short riders will want to take care that the bike they choose can support them. How adjustable are the seat and handlebars? Check the reviews before you buy to see if other tall or short riders are having success with your bike of choice.
Similarly, each bike comes with a weight limit. Many riders whose weight exceeds the prescribed limits choose to give certain bikes a shot anyway. If you decide to follow suit, know that you’re riding at your own risk.
Exercise Bike Workout Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the different types of tension to be found on indoor exercise bikes?
There are three major types of tension to be found in modern exercise bikes:
- Mechanical Resistance Flywheel
Used in conjunction with brake pads, this heavy wheel builds tension and momentum that is calibrated by the resistance level chosen. This used to be the standard for bikes but has since been replaced by the magnetic flywheel.
- Magnetic Flywheel
The use of two magnets on opposing sides of the flywheel creates friction similar to that of the mechanical resistance bikes, but without the wear, tear and noise.
- Fan Based
Fan based tension increases with increased effort. The open-air wheel is adjusted by the speed and strength of the pedaling, not via a knob or computerized setting.
Q: What is the appropriate saddle height?
The appropriate saddle height allows a slight bend in the knee when the foot is on the pedal at its lowest position. Test out several heights to find what is the most comfortable for you.
Q: What is the maintenance like on an indoor exercise bike?
Exercise bikes are pretty low maintenance once assembled. As long as you are wiping the bike down after each use to protect parts from corrosion, your bike should last you years without issue.
Q: What if the seat is uncomfortable?
If you’ve ever ridden a traditional bike for any length of time, you already know that bike seats generally aren’t the most comfortable thing you could choose to sit on. Indoor bikes are no different.
You should be able to switch the seat out for something more to your liking on many models. If this is not an option however, try investing in a cushy gel pad to cover your seat.
For a blast of cardio without leaving the comfort of your own home, consider one of these top 10 best exercise bikes of 2018. Any one of them will get the blood flowing and your legs burning.
Whether you want a light, easy workout or an experience that leaves you dripping with sweat and gasping for air, there is a bike out there for you. Who knows? Step one: Indoor exercise bike. Step two: Tour de France. Hey, anything’s possible, right?