The 12 Best Exercise Bikes of 2021, According to a Certified Personal Trainer

Keep calm and pedal on

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Best Exercise Bikes

Verywell / Sabrina Jiang

Our Top Picks
This pick checks all of our boxes, from its stabilizing flywheel to an adjustable magnetic resistance to caged toe pedals
It features a LCD monitor that tracks your speed and distance, while the iPad bracket makes it easy to follow a guided workout
A splurge-worthy pick, it's built with durable materials that will make your living room feel like a private spin studio
Best With Optional App:
Stryde Bike at Strydebike.com
Access streaming services, the internet and more from the bike while experiencing training from instructors across the country
The wide touch screen displays beautiful routes for an immersive ride, and it makes it easy to track your estimated calorie burn
A recumbent style option, the magnetic wheel is supported by a tension adjustment knob so you can change the intensity
Ideal for those with limited home gym space, it folds to half its full size for easy storage post-workout
It promises a total body workout in minutes while the wind resistance technology works for both elite athletes and beginners
Best for Your Core:
Bowflex VeloCore Bike at Best Buy
The leaning capability of the handlebars really lights up your core muscles as you ride along with your instructor
You literally get this bike for free when you commit to the monthly iFit membership for three years

Biking is one of the best forms of aerobic exercise. Endurance-style rides keep your heart healthy and strong while hilly rides build and maintain muscle strength and tone. But if you live in a busy area or you frequently face bad weather, getting outside on a bike isn't always an option. Thankfully, using a stationary bike inside can provide you with the same benefits you would experience in the great outdoors.

"Using an exercise bike is great because it's a low-impact option for both cardio and strength training," says Max Karp, NYC certified personal trainer, and trainer at Liteboxer in New York City. He explains that exercise bikes promote longevity because they're safer on the joints while improving cardiovascular health.

Any riding will provide physical benefits, including joint mobility, posture, and coordination, but using an exercise bike can also be good for your mental health. "I find that indoor cycling helps build mental fortitude," says Karp. "Finding the motivation to work out can be a challenge—especially if it's indoors—so getting on a bike can realign your perception of exercise and help you focus on the positives of your workout."

As home gyms have increased in popularity, so have exercise bikes and other indoor exercise equipment.

Here are the best exercise bikes on the market, according to a certified personal trainer.

What to Look for in an Exercise Bike

Style

There are three primary types of exercise bikes—upright, recumbent, and indoor. While all are excellent options, each of them feels different to use and has a unique target user base. 

“The goal of an indoor cycling bike is to challenge yourself physically while getting a neuromuscular and cardiovascular workout,” says Tammeca Rochester, owner and founder of Harlem Cycle in New York City. On the other hand, a recumbent bike allows you to ride in a reclined position—offering you the ability to multitask while working out, which may allow you to ride for a longer period of time. Often loaded with extra features, upright bikes are designed with comfort in mind and take up a smaller footprint.

Consider the style that best meets your needs before shopping around. If you’re aiming for a Peloton experience—equipped with high-tech features—you don’t want to end up with a basic air bike that won’t fit into your workout routine.

Resistance

Bikes use multiple mechanisms to create resistance on the pedals, which is the primary way for you to increase or decrease the intensity of your workout at any given time. If you want to adjust resistance with a manual knob, an indoor bike may be a good choice.

If you’d rather use keypad buttons to adjust your resistance, an upright bike or a recumbent bike would be a better option. All styles lead to a quality workout, but your user experience will determine how often you use your bike.

Durability

When you’re purchasing any exercise equipment for home use, you want it to feel as sturdy as the pieces you’d use in a gym setting. Look into the bike’s primary materials, construction style, weight capacity, and user reviews before spending too much money on your new workout tool.

Adjustability

If the bike you choose doesn’t fit your body ergonomically, you could end up with extra stiff muscles or an unwanted injury from overtraining in the wrong position. So be sure that the bike’s seat, handlebars, and pedals can be adjusted to fit your specific body measurements, as well as anyone else in your home who plans on using the bike. Customization is key.

“Adjustable seats are key when choosing a bike,” says Rochester. She notes that 90 percent of all injuries can be prevented if the seat is correctly adjusted to the rider.

Here are the best exercise bikes on the market.

Holiday Savings

Best Overall: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1714 Evolution Pro Cycling Bike

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1714 Evolution Pro Cycling Bike
Pros
  • Heavy duty flywheel

  • Easy to customize fit

  • Easy to assemble

Cons
  • No digital display

  • No "smart" features

This indoor cycling-style bike checks all the boxes on our list in impressive ways. The heavy-duty, 44-pound flywheel keeps the bike stable in place during vigorous exercise so you don’t feel any jolting mid-ride, and the high-durability steel frame construction supports a maximum weight capacity of 330 pounds.

The bike uses a magnetic resistance mechanism that is easily adjusted by the user and requires virtually no maintenance over the lifetime of the bike. It also features a fully-adjustable seat, moving forward, backward, up, and down to give you the best fit. The bike comes equipped with four-way adjustable handlebars and caged toe pedals for a secure ride.

Bike Style: Indoor cycling | Resistance Style: Manual resistance knob | Product Weight: 136.5 pounds | Maximum Weight Capacity: 330 pounds | Dimensions: 48.5 x 24 x 53.5 inches

Holiday Savings

Best Budget: YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike

YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike
Pros
  • Smooth, quiet ride

  • Provides basic ride stats

  • Additional tablet mount

Cons
  • Lower weight capacity than other options

  • Very firm seat

For half the price of our overall pick, you can enjoy many of the same cycling perks with this YOSUDA bike. The 35-pound flywheel and heavy-duty steel frame give you the stability you need, and the belt-driven system makes for a smoother and quieter ride. At 270 pounds, the maximum weight capacity is a little lower, but the two-way adjustable handlebar and four-way padded seat ensure that you’ll find a comfortable position for your daily workout

Meanwhile, the manual resistance knob gives you total control and the caged foot pedals keep your feet in place at all times. What’s more, this model features a LCD monitor that tracks your time, speed, distance, and calories burned, and the additional iPad bracket makes it easy to listen to your favorite music or watch your favorite guided workout.

Bike Style: Indoor cycling | Resistance Style: Manual resistance knob | Product Weight: 68 pounds | Maximum Weight Capacity: 270 pounds | Dimensions: 40 x 22 x 45 inches

Best Splurge: Peloton Bike+

Peloton Bike+
Pros
  • Sleek, stylish, and compact design

  • Smooth, quiet ride

  • Top-notch workout program integration

Cons
  • Delivery timeframe

  • Only supports Look Delta cleats

If you’re looking for a peak indoor cycling experience, you can’t beat the Peloton Bike+. The indoor cycling-style bike is top of the line, built with durable materials that give you a smooth and quiet ride every time. This new model features a digital auto-follow resistance in addition to the manual resistance knob, making it even easier to stay in sync with the live workout projected on the 24-inch swivel touch screen.

The bike is both compact and adjustable, making it easy to fit in tight spaces in your home and still find your comfortable seat. It also supports a maximum weight capacity of 297 pounds. Simply put, the Peloton Bike+ makes your living room feel like your private spin studio with every workout you could ever need.

Bike Style: Indoor cycling | Resistance Style: Manual resistance knob and digital auto-follow resistance | Product Weight: 135 pounds | Maximum Weight Capacity: 297 pounds | Dimensions: 59 x 22 x 59 inches

What Our Testers Say

“With access to more than 5,000 on-demand workouts, as well as up to 14 live-streamed cycling classes a day, this bike certainly has a lot to offer. What makes the Peloton bike so superior is—without a doubt—the membership and Peloton app, which grants you access to live and on-demand content, real-time performance tracking, and unlimited accounts for family members and friends who also want to use the bike.” Mary Kate Hoban, Commerce Editor and Verywell product tester

Holiday Savings

Best With Optional App: Stryde Bike

Stryde Bike
4
Pros
  • Compatible with multiple apps

  • Large screen

  • No subscription required

Cons
  • Videos not as polished

  • Requires assembly

While the initial purchase of a bike may cost less than a year of spin classes, many exercise bike companies require an app-based subscription to get started. The Stryde bike, equipped with a 22-inch tablet, offers users the ability to access over 500 classes via the Stryde app or opt out of the membership for a budget-friendly workout.

Crafted with powder-coated steel, the bike features a durable frame with a five-year warranty. The dual-sided pedals have SPD clips for those with cycling shoes, but they also include toe cages for anyone wishing to ride with their go-to athletic shoes. Additionally, Stryde ensures its bike has a 350-pound weight capacity—adding to its overall stability.

For those wanting in-depth instruction, the bike can connect to the Stryde app, which houses cycling classes taught by a variety of trainers from across the country. But if you're wanting a break from the metric-tracking capabilities of the bike, you can watch streaming services like Netflix, check your email, or access the internet during your workout instead.

Bike Style: Indoor cycling | Resistance Style: Magnetic resistance system | Product Weight: 135 pounds | Maximum Weight Capacity: 350 pounds | Dimensions: 50 x 24 x 46 inches

What Our Testers Say

"This bike was one of the best Peloton alternatives for classes. During each class, Stryde keeps track of stats, including miles, cadence, and output as well as how well you measure up to others that have taken the class before you. All of this information is available right on the screen, and post-class, you're provided with a workout summary. The Stryde app tracks your recent achievements and milestones, and offers a running tab of the data for all of your rides."—Rozalynn S. Frazier, certified personal trainer and Verywell product tester

Best Natural Ride: NordicTrack Commercial S15i Studio Cycle

NordicTrack Commercial S15i Studio Cycle
Pros
  • Truly immersive experience

  • Ergonomic design

  • Easy to track key stats

Cons
  • No pre-programmed workouts

  • Relies on iFit membership

Want your indoor ride to simulate an outdoor experience? Consider this bike from NordicTrack. The 15-inch touch screen displays some of the most beautiful routes for a truly immersive ride, and it makes it easy to track your distance, speed, and estimated calorie burn. The 350-pound capacity bike is plenty sturdy and features an ergonomic saddle and handlebars that are adjustable for your comfort.

The inertia-enhanced flywheel uses silent magnetic resistance for a smooth, quiet ride, and you can choose from 22 digital resistance levels on the touch screen as you exercise. The pedals are also compatible with standard road bike pedals for a more immersive cycling experience.

Bike Style: Indoor cycling | Resistance Style: Manual resistance knob and 22 digital resistance levels | Product Weight: 202 pounds | Maximum Weight Capacity: 350 pounds | Dimensions: 55.75 x 22 x 61 inches

Holiday Savings

Best Recumbent: Marcy Magnetic Recumbent Bike NS-716R

Marcy Magnetic Recumbent Bike NS-716R
Pros
  • Fits a wide range of users

  • Safe for seniors and beginners

  • LCD screen tracks basic stats

Cons
  • No "smart" features

  • Resistance lacks intensity

If you’re more interested in the recumbent style of an exercise bike, we recommend this model from Marcy. It features a fully-adjustable seat for a wide range of users, ensuring that your legs are positioned comfortably as you pedal. The soft, foam-covered handlebars also give you the additional support you need for every exercise session.

The magnetic wheel is supported by a tension adjustment knob with eight presets, so you can easily change the intensity of your workout at any time. The bike also includes an LCD screen that tracks your speed, distance, time, and calories burned. Sleek yet sturdy, this bike can support a maximum capacity of 300 pounds.

Bike Style: Recumbent | Resistance Style: Manual resistant knob with 8 settings | Product Weight: 59 pounds | Maximum Weight Capacity: 300 pounds | Dimensions: 52 x 25 x 38 inches

Best Folding: Exerpeutic Heavy Duty Foldable Exercise Bike

Exerpeutic Heavy Duty Foldable Exercise Bike
Pros
  • Easy to store post-workout

  • Surprisingly sturdy

  • LCD screen tracks basic stats

Cons
  • Low-tech

  • Limited resistance options

For folks with limited home gym space, a foldable exercise bike can be the best solution. This heavy-duty steel frame from Exerpeutic supports an impressive weight capacity of 400 pounds, all while folding to half its full size for easy storage post-workout. It also features easy transportation wheels that help you move the bike from room to room as you need.

The upright-style bike utilizes a magnetic tension control system with eight smooth resistance settings, making it easy to work at your ideal intensity. The seat is also large and padded, fitting virtually any exerciser comfortably. The bike includes an LCD display that shares your calories burned, distance, time, speed, and pulse.

Bike Style: Upright | Resistance Style: Manual resistance knob with 8 settings | Product Weight: 51.6 pounds | Maximum Weight Capacity: 400 pounds | Dimensions: 39 x 26.4 x 48.8 inches

Holiday Savings

Best for Total Body Workouts: Schwinn Fitness Airdyne AD6 Exercise Bike

Schwinn Airdyne AD6 Exercise Bike
Pros
  • Moving handlebars

  • Self-powered

  • Great for HIIT

Cons
  • Louder than other options

  • Very heavy

Just because a bike’s primary function is to work your legs doesn’t mean you can’t activate your arms, core, and back at the same time. This upright fan bike from Schwinn gives you a tough total body workout in just a matter of minutes because you move the handlebars in addition to the pedals. The 26-blade fan is paired with a single-stage belt drive to deliver a quiet, smooth, and challenging workout experience.

It’s heavy-duty, commercial-grade construction can support a maximum capacity of 300 pounds, and the progressive wind resistance technology makes it an excellent tool for elite athletes and beginners alike. CrossFitters swear by this style of bike for high-intensity interval training.

Bike Style: Upright | Resistance Style: Progressive wind resistance based on your work intensity | Product Weight: 113 pounds | Maximum Weight Capacity: 300 pounds | Dimensions: 55 x 26 x 53 inches

Holiday Savings

Best for Your Core: Bowflex VeloCore Bike

Bowflex VeloCore Bike
Pros
  • Core-engaging leaning mode

  • Bluetooth connectivity

  • Very comfortable ride

Cons
  • Relies on JRNY membership

  • Short warranty

Exercisers are often surprised to find out just how much indoor cycling can challenge your core muscles—and this bike from Bowflex kicks that intensity up a notch. It features a leaning mode, which allows you to rock from side to side as you follow JRNY's outdoor cycling videos, making you feel as though you are actually working your way down a winding road. You can also use its stationary mode whenever you choose.

The smart screen displays all the statistics you could ever want so you can get the most out of your daily training. Meanwhile, the bike's sturdy construction supports a maximum weight capacity of 325 pounds and the manual resistance knob gives you access to 100 resistance levels. It's also plenty customizable, with a four-way adjustable seat, moveable handlebars, and an adjustable display screen.

What's more, the bike comes with a Bluetooth heart rate monitor armband, a set of 3-pound dumbbells, and a two-month JRNY trial.

Bike Style: Indoor cycling | Resistance Style: Manual resistance knob with 100 resistance levels | Product Weight: 175 pounds | Maximum Weight Capacity: 325 pounds | Dimensions: 59.8 x 24.1 x 55.3 inches

Best Deal: ProForm Studio Bike Pro

ProForm
Pros
  • Payment options

  • Built to last

  • Easy to relocate

Cons
  • Relies on an iFit membership

  • Lower weight capacity

Not willing to pay for a brand new exercise bike outright? Consider this quality pick from ProForm that costs just $39 a month for the accompanying iFit subscription. You do have to commit to the membership for three years, which is around the same value as the bike itself, but that means you literally get both equipment and classes for the price of one.

Meanwhile, the bike is a great piece of equipment and quite similar to the NordicTrack option on this list. The inertia-enhanced flywheel gives you all the power you need while remaining surprisingly quiet, and you can up the intensity of your ride with the manual resistance knob or 22 digital resistance levels.

The frame's commercial-grade solid steel construction supports a weight capacity of 250 pounds, and the seat and handlebars can be adjusted to suit most riders comfortably. It also comes with a 180-degree swiveling display screen so you can enjoy workout videos both on and off the bike.

Bike Style: Indoor cycling | Resistance Style: Manual resistance knob and 22 digital resistance levels | Product Weight: 140 pounds | Maximum Weight Capacity: 250 pounds | Dimensions: 59.8 x 24.1 x 55.3 inches

Best Bundle: Myx Fitness The MYX II Plus

MYX II Plus
Pros
  • Full home gym setup

  • Reliable bike construction

  • Easy workout video access

Cons
  • Doesn't include MYX membership

  • No live classes

Many at-home exercise bikes don’t include the accessories that make studio rides so great, meaning you have to spend well over the initial price tag to create the experience you want. If you’re looking for an all-in-one experience, check out the MYX Plus. It features a commercial-grade Star Trac bike that is durable, compact, and adjustable to your body’s dimensions.

It supports a maximum capacity of 350 pounds and comes with a swiveling 21.5-inch touch screen that makes it easy to follow along to your favorite fitness videos while you ride. The pedals are compatible with both athletic shoes and SPD cycling shoes, so you can bike the way that feels best for you, and the 41-pound flywheel keeps you secure and cruising for as long as you want to ride.

In addition to the stationary bike, the bundle also includes a six-piece weight set, a kettlebell, an oversized exercise mat, a 24-inch EVA foam roller, and more.

Bike Style: Indoor cycling | Resistance Style: Manual resistance knob | Product Weight: 150 pounds | Maximum Weight Capacity: 350 pounds | Dimensions: 55 x 21 x 47 inches

Best Studio Experience: SoulCycle At-Home Bike

SoulCycle At-Home Bike
Pros
  • Professional delivery and setup

  • Top-of-the-line bike design

  • Large touchscreen display

Cons
  • Very heavy

  • Class subscription not included

Riders obsessed with SoulCycle struggle to find at-home class programming that feels like their favorite studio experience—until now. The SoulCycle At-Home Bike brings both the equipment you trust and instructors you love right to your home gym.

The matte black bike has a 21-inch touchscreen display and some high-tech speakers, both of which are perfect for streaming live and on-demand classes led by top SoulCycle instructors. Meanwhile, the commercial-grade steel frame is club-quality, and the magnetic resistance flywheel and narrow carbon-fiber belt make for a smooth, silent, and natural-feeling ride.

The four-way adjustable seat and handlebars ensure your customized fit, and transport wheels make it easy to stow the bike away after your workout. What's more, the bike is delivered pre-assembled and comes with access to Equinox+, which lets you stream classes from Equinox, SoulCycle, Rumble, TB12, and more whenever you want.

Bike Style: Indoor cycling | Resistance Style: Manual resistance knob | Product Weight: 142 pounds | Maximum Weight Capacity: 350 pounds | Dimensions: 62.2 x 22.2 x 53.5 inches

Final Verdict

Everybody prefers a different bike style. If you’re looking for a simple, effective, and durable indoor cycling bike that won’t break the bank, you can’t go wrong with the Sunny Health & Fitness Evolution Pro Cycling Bike.

If you prefer a recumbent bike style, our top pick is easily the Marcy Magnetic Recumbent Bike. And if you think an upright bike would better suit your needs, try the Exerpeutic Heavy Duty Foldable Exercise Bike, which also stores easily when your workout is complete. 

exercise-bike
Madelyn Goodnight / Verywell

FAQs

What muscles does an exercise bike work?

"Generally speaking, all exercise bikes will work the same muscles. While some bikes come with light dumbells used for upper body exercises during your ride, the act of cycling will primarily target your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves," explains Karp.

Upright and indoor cycling bikes also require a posture that engages your back and core muscles effectively. And any time you alternate between standing up and sitting in the saddle, you engage your glutes as well.

Which is better: Exercise bike or treadmill?

Both machines are effective tools for at-home aerobic exercise. They can be used for high-intensity and highly effective workouts, as well as more casual cardiovascular fitness sessions. But generally speaking, exercise bikes are better for people with joint pain, injuries, or other problems, as the seated pedaling motion places far less impact on the hips, knees, and ankles.

"While using a treadmill is still softer than running outdoors, there is still a lot of impact absorbed every time our foot strikes the ground," Karp says. "With an exercise bike, our legs move in a fluid motion with constant contact between our feet and the pedals—resulting in a smoother transfer of power and less abrupt force generated with each pedal stroke," he adds.

The low-impact nature of cycling also makes it a safer choice for beginners and older adults with longevity in mind.

Peloton Indoor Exercise Bike
Verywell / Liz Allen

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

As a former personal trainer, seasoned health writer, and avid exerciser, Alena Hall understands how important it is to pick the right home gym equipment for you. She is always exploring the latest and greatest wellness tools, machines, and gadgets, but more importantly, Alena carefully considers the quality and various features that make these fitness products worthwhile investments. 

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