The 7 Best Online Cycling Classes of 2020

Go for a ride without leaving home

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Peloton's All For One Ride

"When it comes to indoor cycling, Peloton is the industry leader for high-quality classes and top-of-the-line bikes."

Best Budget: CardioCast's Noël Nocciolo - 30-Minute Ride

"They don’t offer a sneak peek of their rides, but you can get a free seven-day trial before committing to a subscription."

Best for Beginners: Aaptiv's Seated Intervals

"The pace picks up after a quick warmup, but the resistance remains low to moderate for the majority of the class."

Best for Intermediate to Advanced: Studio SWEAT onDemand's Mimi High-Intensity Ride

"In 30 minutes, you’ll climb, sprint, and perform jumps out of the saddle."

Best for Endurance Training: Les Mills On Demand's RPM REMIX #04 Endurance Ride

"This 58-minute class is part of the RPM group indoor cycling workout program that combines steady-state training with high-intensity intervals."

Best for Burning Maximum Calories: Global Cycling Network's HIIT Indoor Cycling Workout

"Because of the different recovery times and the high-intensity intervals, you can burn the maximum number of calories in a short amount of time."

Best for Training: CTXC's Two-Hour Indoor Trainer Workout

"The workout consists of a 10-minute warm-up, followed by three sets of 14 aerobic interval efforts, three sets of hills, and a ton of intervals."

Indoor cycling hit the fitness scene in the late 1980s, and cycling enthusiasts and workout fanatics have been pedaling ever since. This cardio workout is a top pick for many because you don’t need an expensive membership to a cycling studio or a high-priced bike to get a heart-pounding, sweat-dripping workout. All you need is access to a stationary bike or a standard bike with a trainer and a streaming device such as a cell phone, tablet, computer, or TV.

Designed mostly for upright bikes, cycling classes are taught using home-based stationary bikes or a commercial bike you see in a cardio room at the gym. That said, you can also use a bike trainer to secure your road bike or mountain bike. These stands work by pressing a resistance roller against the rear tire of your bike, keeping it stationary while you pedal.

We included app-based classes from cycling companies, free online workouts, and a few websites that offer online indoor cycling classes online. With that in mind, here are our top picks for the best online cycling classes.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Peloton's All For One Ride from 7/4/2019

Peloton

Peloton

When it comes to indoor cycling, Peloton is the industry leader for high-quality classes and top-of-the-line bikes. Until recently, you could only access Peloton cycling classes by purchasing one of their bikes and monthly subscriptions. 

But now, anyone can take a cycling class through the company's Peloton Digital App, since it allows users to stream courses live and on-demand on their devices. Peloton also offers lessons for strength, yoga, outdoor and indoor running, stretching, boot camp, and meditation.

If you want a simple way to sample several Peloton cycling instructors at once, hop on the bike and try the All For One Ride from July 4, 2019. This all-star class is part of Peloton's All for One series, which gives participants a chance to work out with the instructors while getting a heart-pounding, sweat-dripping workout in 45 minutes.

What makes this course our choice for best overall is the energy, enthusiasm, and connection you see between the instructors as they transition on and off the bike. Peloton Digital also got our top pick for best overall because of the cost. After a 30-day free trial, the Peloton Digital Membership is around $13 per month.

Best Budget: CardioCast's Noël Nocciolo - 30-Minute Ride

CardioCast

CardioCast

CardioCast (aka CycleCast) is a fitness app that lets you stream audio cycling workouts any time and on any bike. Noël Nocciolo’s 30-Minute Ride features tough interval sets to get your heart pumping.

Get in and get out while listening to Guns N' Roses, Lizzo, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and more. This class is a good choice for all levels, and Nocciolo provides clear cues and transitions throughout the workout. They don’t offer a sneak peek of their rides, but a free seven-day trial is available.

CardioCast offers two types of cycling classes: the Beats Ride, for people who like to pedal to the rhythm of the music, and the Classic Ride, which follows time-based intervals. The workouts are typically 20, 30, 45, or 60 minutes in length. CardioCast currently has over 1,000 rides on its app and adds to the list weekly. In addition to cycling courses, there are running workouts that follow a similar format.

After the aforementioned free trial, CardioCast will cost roughly $10 per month, or you can opt for a yearly subscription for about $90.

Best for Beginners: Aaptiv's Seated Intervals

Aaptiv

Aaptiv

In this beginner-level cycling ride from Aaptiv—a fitness app with guided audio workout classes—you’ll groove to the rhythm and create power, all while staying in the saddle.

The course layout consists of resistance climbs and intervals, with the instructor calling out suggested RPMs to help you find your rhythm and cadence. After a quick warmup, the pace picks up, but the resistance remains low to moderate for the majority of the class—making it an excellent choice for beginners. You'll finish everything up with a few stretches.

Since the 20-minute ride is entirely seated, you can use an upright (spin bike) or a recumbent bike. If you want to amp up the challenge, opt for an upright or spin machine to get out of the saddle. The Aaptiv classes are audio-only, which means you can do this workout without looking at a screen. Just turn up the volume or plug in your headphones and ride.

After a free seven-day trial, Aaptiv will cost around $15 per month. A yearly subscription is roughly $100, which is a significant discount compared to a monthly plan.

Best for Intermediate to Advanced: Studio SWEAT onDemand's Mimi High-Intensity Ride

Studio SWEAT

Studio SWEAT

The Studio SWEAT onDemand app is known for its indoor cycling classes, but the company also offers classes for abs/core, Pilates, barre, boot camp, body sculpt, yoga, stretch and restore, and TRX.

If you want to try before you buy, Studio SWEAT onDemand has several free cycling classes on YouTube, such as Mimi’s High-Intensity Ride, which is geared toward high fitness levels.

In 30 minutes, you’ll climb, sprint, and perform jumps out of the saddle. The format is interval-based with a fast pace that will raise your heart rate and make your legs burn. There’s not much rest between work intervals—that’s why it’s our top pick for intermediate to advanced levels.

After a free seven-day trial, Studio SWEAT onDemand will cost about $20 per month, with lower rates if you prepay for six or 12 months. Tack on roughly $5 per month for a Backstage Pass to receive weekly workout plans, nutrition tips, and motivational messages tailored to your goals.

Not sure if you want to commit to a monthly membership? No problem. Single-class downloads are approximately $8. Once you “buy” a class, you can view it as many times as you’d like on your device.

Best for Endurance Training: Les Mills On Demand's RPM REMIX #04 Endurance Ride

LesMills

LesMills

Hills, mixed terrain, intervals, speed work, and mountain climb—the list goes on and on. If you’re looking for a cycling class that offers every possible challenge and a great playlist, the RPM REMIX Endurance Ride from Les Mills On Demand is for you.

This 58-minute class is part of the RPM group indoor cycling workout program that combines steady-state training with high-intensity intervals. Because the instructors do a lot of coaching and cueing during this class, you don’t have to be an experienced cyclist to benefit. You can take this class as a standalone or as part of the RPM series.

Users like the structure of the program and the variety of classes. Consider adding two to three RPM courses each week to your overall fitness routine. In addition to the RPM program, Les Mills On Demand offers an indoor cycling sprint program with 30-minute HIIT classes for intermediate to advanced levels and a series called The Trip that takes you on virtual bike rides all over the world.

After a free 14-day trial, Les Mills On Demand will cost around $15 per month, with lower rates if you buy a three-month or annual package up front. The worldwide fitness app also offers strength training, martial arts, yoga, dance fitness, barre, and sports conditioning.

Best for Burning Maximum Calories: Global Cycling Network's HIIT Indoor Cycling Workout

Global Cycling Network

Global Cycling Network

Global Cycling Network is a free YouTube channel that offers thousands of online cycling classes for all levels. They also have video tips that show you how to be a better cyclist.

Their 30-minute, HIIT Indoor Cycling Workout is one of the more popular interval-based rides on the channel. The class opens with a five-minute warmup, followed by eight HIIT intervals that last 30 seconds each. Early in the workout, your recovery periods between each HIIT interval will last three minutes.

The recovery periods decrease in time as you progress, bottoming out at 90 seconds. The instructor will cue you, but the screen also counts down the time left and gives you a suggested RPM and effort level throughout the workouts, which is a nice feature if you’re more of a visual learner.

This sweat-dripping, max-effort class will end with a six-minute cool-down. Because of the different recovery times and the high-intensity intervals, you can burn the maximum number of calories in a short amount of time.

To stay up to date on their rides, just subscribe to the Global Cycling Network YouTube channel.

Best for Training: CTXC's Two-Hour Indoor Trainer Workout

CTXC

CTXC

CTXC is another YouTube channel that offers free cycling classes—with a twist. All of the rides are filmed outdoors, with the cyclists taking on some pretty extreme terrain. If you have motion sickness, this is not the indoor ride for you.

However, if you’re training for a distance ride and want an indoor workout to add to the mix, hop in the saddle and try the Two-Hour Indoor Trainer Workout. Set along Melbourne's famous Beach Road, this extended ride will challenge your cardiovascular system, legs, and mental stamina.

The 120-minute workout consists of a 10-minute warmup, followed by three sets of 14 aerobic interval efforts and three sets of hills. The screen displays the effort level you should be aiming for, as well as a countdown clock and continuous visual cues surrounding your work. Like the other rides, you can do this course on an upright bike or your own bike set in a trainer.

To keep pace with their lessons, subscribe to the CTXC YouTube channel.

How We Chose the Best Online Cycling Classes

Our picks for the best online cycling classes are a mix of free and subscription-based workouts. All of the paid programs we reviewed offer a free trial period where you can “try before you buy.” The best free, 30-day trial comes from Peloton Digital.

We also considered the equipment needed to take an indoor cycling class. All of these courses are compatible with any type of bike (road bike on a trainer, stationary bike at a gym or at home, or a specialty bike such as a Peloton).

Another goal was to provide both audio-based classes, such as CardioCast and Aaptiv, as well as visual courses like Peloton and Studio SWEAT. Rounding out the criteria, we considered streaming devices. You can view all of these workouts on a phone, tablet, computer, or TV.

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