Biking has been a prevalent form of exercise for years, and it’s no wonder why. It’s a low-impact exercise that can double as a highly intensive cardio workout, as well as a powerful strength training exercise. Even better, it’s easy enough for beginners to start out with, yet can be an immensely challenging workout for a seasoned athlete.
Indoor exercise bikes allow you to harness the power of a biking workout no matter the weather or your location. If it’s cold out, pouring rain, or you live in a congested urban area that makes biking at a consistent speed for the length of your workout impossible, you can still get the benefits of a biking exercise routine.
Before you plant your feet on the pedals and start biking towards a healthier, stronger you, there are a few things to be aware of:
1. Luckily, there are a wide variety of exercise bikes that can suit your personal needs, including various health issues. Whether you need a larger seat, having difficulty sitting up, or have limited space to work out, there’s likely an exercise bike that will work for you (and we cover a useful range in this article).
2. While biking can be a gentle workout (or an incredibly intense one, depending on what you put into it), it’s still a good idea to get a checkup with your doctor before you begin any exercise routine.
3. If you find the seat of most exercise bikes uncomfortable, or if you do unusually long workouts, you may enjoy your workout more if you wear a pair of padded biking shorts
4. Since a biking workout hits you both with both cardio and strength-training, it’s straightforward to work up a massive sweat. Be sure to hydrate very well before, during, and after your workout.
We’ve compiled a list of the ten of the best exercise bike options here so that you can find the one that’s right for you and your fitness goals. Ride on!
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FitDesk Desk Exercise Bike with Massage Bar
Just because you’re a total workaholic doesn’t mean you don’t want to get your miles in. If you have a hard time finding the time to step away from your desk and get to the gym (I’m glued to mine), see a bike that becomes your desk.
The FitDesk Desk Exercise Bike with Massage Bar lets your mind and your body workout at the same time. With its built-in desk, you can quickly type, email, or research while you reach your cardio goals and give your lower body an intense workout. (Or pedal gently to keep yourself more active than you would when just sitting at your desk.)
Want to work out your upper body, too? The FitDesk Desk Exercise Bike with Massage Bar comes with resistance bands that you can when you’re hands are free of your keyboard! Definitely one of the best home exercise bike options for those who love their work. It also can make a great addition to your office itself.
Pros and Cons
- Includes desk
- Digital resistance meter
- Forearm massage rollers
- Some find the seat uncomfortable
- Assembly can be tricky
Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709
When you’re looking for the best exercise bike for seniors, you’ll likely want to look for the best recumbent exercise bike. The extra back and body support of the more comfortable seating can be a lot easier on a senior’s body. (And really, on anyone else’s as well, especially if you have back, hip, or joint issues.)
The Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709 goes beyond even that, though. Not only is the seat supportive, but it’s also padded. In fact, even the handles are foam-covered, which gives you a better grip as well as increased comfort.
Also, the Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709’s LCD screen displays extra-large numbers, so that seniors (or anyone else) who have eye issues will likely have no problem checking up on their stats and monitoring their workout progress as they pedal.
Pros and Cons
- Padded seat
- Extra-large numbers on LCD screen
- Counterbalanced pedals
- Not challenging for some
- May be difficult to adjust for different users
Keiser M3 Indoor Cycle Stationary Trainer
When you’re looking for the best exercise bike to lose weight, you’ll want a bike that can give you the kind of data and number tracking that will help you see results. The Keiser M3 Indoor Cycle Stationary Trainer is created to do just that.
Thanks to its computer with power output tracking that come included, the Keiser M3 Indoor Cycle Stationary Trainer helps you see exactly how many calories you’ve burned, and even makes it even to adjust your workout mid-routine to your goals.
It also offers an exceptionally quiet, stable, and smooth ride due to its magnetic resistance and thoughtful design, so your weight-loss journey can be a luxuriously enjoyable one.
Pros and Cons
- Made in the USA
- Extremely quiet
- Free computer with power output tracking
- No water bottle cage
- Very expensive
Schwinn AD6 Airdyne
If you’re seeking out a company the puts out the best exercise bike of 2018 as well as the best exercise bike 2017 (or even further back), because you want a proven track record of reliability, you’ll want to consider the Schwinn AD6 Airdyne.
Anyone who knows biking knows the name Schwinn, so you can feel secure that you’re getting a product made by a company who knows what they’re doing. (And why would you trust your health to anyone else?)
Most indoor exercise bikes are great for total body workouts, and the Schwinn AD6 Airdyne is no exception. The Schwinn AD6 Airdyne goes beyond that, though, by stationary pegs for the footrests that allow you to focus exclusively on an intense upper body workout (because not every day has to be leg day).
Pros and Cons
- Frictionless fan
- RRevMeter™ RPM gag
- Can focus on upper-body workouts
- Hard seat
- Wheels may squeak
Exerpeutic WorkFit 1000 Fully Adjustable Desk Folding Exercise Bike with Pulse
What’s better than a low-impact workout that gives you the benefits of cardio and strength training? One that you can use while watching a movie or binging Netflix, of course.
The Exerpeutic WorkFit 1000 Fully Adjustable Desk Folding Exercise Bike with Pulse comes with a desk that is perfectly-sized for most laptops so that you can Stream your favorite show (or even play a game) while you workout. The seat is semi-recumbent as well, so it may feel more like you’re relaxing in your desk chair instead of sitting on a piece of gym equipment.
The Exerpeutic WorkFit 1000 Fully Adjustable Desk Folding Exercise Bike with Pulse is one of the best folding exercise bike options for a dorm room or small apartment since it folds up to a much more compact size for storage. Plus, if your place is too small to have a tv, or to work out in front of your tv, the laptop desk means you can still be entertained while you strengthen your body. Win-win!
Pros and Cons
- Includes built-in desk
- Fit may be awkward for shorter users
- Can wobble a bit
Pleny Foldable Magnetic Exercise Bike
Trying to get in shape without breaking your budget? The Pleny Foldable Magnetic Exercise Bike may be the best cheap exercise bike for those who want to watch their dollars as carefully as they make their fitness progress.
Not only does the Pleny Foldable Magnetic Exercise Bike come in at an attractively low price, but it also offers a host of features you may just expect from a more expensive bike, including 16 different levels of resistance (so your bike will continue to challenge you as you improve), a steel construction that helps ensure its durability, and a smooth and quiet ride so that you’re not distracted while you work out.
It also is smaller than many other exercise bikes, plus it folds up even smaller for storage, so the Pleny Foldable Magnetic Exercise Bike is a fantastic option for students, urban apartment dwellers, or anyone who’s house is already jam-packed with too many things to make room for a dedicated home gym (and isn’t’ that most of us, really?).
Pros and Cons
- 16-level resistance
- Quiet ride
- Heavy-duty steel frame
- Some find it feels flimsy
L NOW Pro Indoor Cycle Trainer LD577
If you are willing to spend a fair amount of money on a piece of exercise equipment, you want it to, you know, stand up to exercise. The L NOW Pro Indoor Cycle Trainer LD577 is likely to take whatever you can dish out, no matter how often you dish it out.
In fact, the L NOW Pro Indoor Cycle Trainer LD577 is designed for high-frequency commercial use, so you know it can withstand you putting it through the ringer. While the price is a bit high, it may be worth it to invest in what may be the best upright exercise bike for the peace of mind that comes with knowing it’s designed to last. After all, buying two mid-priced bikes within a couple of years can be more expensive than getting one top-quality bike at the beginning.
It also features an ergonomic seat design, so—just like the bike itself—you’ll be more likely to make it through repeated, long workout sessions.
Pros and Cons
- Built for high-frequency usage
- Feels like a “real” bike ride
- High maximum weight limit
- Monitor instructions may be confusing
Sunny Health & Fitness 6100 ASUNA Sprinter Cycle
One of the great joys of riding a bike outside is the calmness and serenity of it; it can even feel like you’re merely gliding or floating along effortlessly when the road is smooth enough. Unfortunately, some indoor exercise bikes can ruin that experience by being shaky, loud, and challenge to ride comfortably.
Which makes the Sunny Health & Fitness 6100 ASUNA Sprinter Cycle one of the best indoor exercise bike choices for someone who doesn’t want to feel like they’re biking indoors. It features foot levelers that help to eliminate shaking, and the right Q factor helps keep your knee, foot, and hip-aligned.
Pros and Cons
- Nearly silent
- Help keep your body properly aligned
- Features foot levelers
- High price
- Some find the meter statistics limited
Marcy Exercise Upright Fan Bike
Tend to get a little too heated in your workouts? Hate feeling sweatier and hotter than you have to be? (I’m with you; the minute I get too hot, I instantly want to stop working out.) The Marcy Exercise Upright Fan Bike features a resistance system that utilizes a fan instead of a flywheel.
Because of this, not only does the Marcy Exercise Upright Fan Bike provide you more resistance the harder and faster you pedal (meaning you can make your workout as challenging as you desire), but it sends cool, refreshing air over you as you workout.
It also offers an adjustable seat, so that you can make sure you’re comfortable while riding. And when you’re comfortable, you’re more likely to work out longer and more consistently, making you more likely to see and feel the results you want.
Pros and Cons
- High-tech LCD monitor
- Adjustable seat positioning
- Designed to be durable
- Can be difficult to assemble
- The seat may shake
Exerpeutic GOLD 525XLR Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike
If you have joint issues, you may be looking for a workout that is low-impact and easy on your joints like bike riding. However, some bikes make it incredibly difficult to get on and off the machine, meaning you have to tax your knees and other joints before and after each exercise session.
The Exerpeutic GOLD 525XLR Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike can solve that with its thoughtfully designed recumbent positioning that allows you to get on and off the bike more easily. After all, if it hurts to even get on your bike, you’re not likely to ever use it.
The Exerpeutic GOLD 525XLR Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike also folds up to nearly half of its original size, so its easy to work out even if you live in a small space. It’s 400-lb maximum weight limit also means that it’s an excellent option for those who are looking to lose weight and get in shape—and all at an impressively low price.
Pros and Cons
- 400-lb max weight limit
- Easy to get on and off
- Folds up for storage
- The seat may be uncomfortable
- Can be awkward for those with short legs
If you’re longing for a perfect workout that has stood the test of time, biking is one of the most time-tested and beloved forms of exercise. Offering a complete, total-body workout that both strengthens your muscles and improves your cardio health while being low-impact and gentle on your joints, an exercise bike can take care of nearly any fitness need.
Thanks to this helpful list of the ten of the best exercise bikes available in 2018, you’re now well-equipped to find the bike that works best for you, whether its one that allows you to feel like your quietly pedaling in the park or enable you to get in your exercise while you work or binge-watch your favorite show. Step up, get driving, and get fit!