Best Online Cycling Classes

Go for a ride without leaving home

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Indoor cycling hit the fitness scene during the late 1980s, and cycling enthusiasts and workout fanatics have been pedaling ever since, especially since the movement went online. After all, with online cycling classes, you don’t need an expensive gym membership, a cycling studio, or even a high-priced bike to get a heart-pounding, sweat-dripping workout. In many cases, all that's required is a stationary or a standard bike with a bike trainer to hold it in place, and a streaming device such as a cell phone, tablet, computer, or TV—though many of the best classes are designed for people using upright, stationary bikes.

Music has also helped several online cycling classes take off, especially compared to other fitness programs. “Music is innate to us all," explains Ridge Davis, a personal trainer, and former cycling class instructor. "Once we can connect to it, it stimulates a surge of serotonin and endorphins that fuel your workout." That's why, he says, when you can sync music to your ride, it helps you push through even challenging rides. "You have this mind-body connection where you focus on the beat and rhythm, which is incredibly cathartic," he adds.

With the explosion of online cycling classes, programs, apps, and free online workouts, it can be difficult to figure out what the best options are. So to make it a little easier for you, here are our picks for the best online indoor cycling classes that you can try.

The 7 Best Online Cycling Classes of 2022

Best Overall : Peloton


Peloton

Peloton

Key Specs
  • Pricing: About $13 per month 
  • Platforms: iOS and Android 
  • Duration: Varies; all classes range from 10 to 90 minutes
Why We Chose It

Peloton’s All For One Ride is a fast-paced, high-energy experience that features several instructors and a wide range of music.

Pros
  • Multiple instructors and music styles

  • App offers cycling, yoga, running, stretching, strength, core, and more 

  • Affordable monthly price (sans the Peloton bike)

Cons
  • Can’t pick your own playlist

  • Slow to add non-cycling workouts to the app

  • Pressure to buy expensive Peloton fitness equipment

 

Peloton is the industry leader in high-quality cycling classes and top-of-the-line stationary bikes. Until recently, you could only access Peloton cycling classes by purchasing one of its bikes and monthly subscriptions but now, anyone can take a cycling class through the company's Peloton Digital App. This app allows users to stream courses live and on-demand on their devices. 

Peloton also offers classes in strength training, yoga, outdoor and indoor running, stretching, boot camp, and meditation. The program stands out for its energetic, enthusiastic instructors, as well as the cost. After a 30-day free trial, the Peloton Digital Membership is around $13 per month.

While we recommend Peloton’s cycling program, it is important to know that Peloton recalled its treadmill and bike pedals due to severe safety concerns. So do your research before purchasing new or used Peloton equipment—and maybe consider using your own equipment.

Best Audio Platform : CardioCast's Noël Nocciolo - 30-Minute Ride


CardioCast

CardioCast

Key Specs
  • Pricing: About $10 per month 
  • Platforms: iOS and Android 
  • Duration: 20 to 60 minutes
Why We Chose It

CardioCast’s combination of popular music and multiple workout formats offers users many of the benefits of a visual class with an audio-only format so you can focus on your form and not a screen.

Pros
  • Music-driven audio workouts and time-based interval rides

  • Pace of the class follows the beat of the music 

  • New classes added every week

Cons
  • No video workouts

  • Recommended for indoor bikes only

CardioCast (aka CycleCast) is a fitness app that lets you stream audio cycling workouts at any time and on any bike. It enables those who don’t want visual distractions or are visually impaired to access cycling classes. The workouts are effective: Noël Nocciolo’s 30-Minute Ride features tough interval sets to get your heart pumping.

This class is a good choice for all levels, and Nocciolo provides clear cues and transitions throughout the workout while you listen to Guns N' Roses, Lizzo, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and more. 

CardioCast has 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.

 CardioCast costs roughly $10 per month, or you can opt for a yearly subscription for about $90. A free seven-day trial is also available so you can give the classes a try.

Best for Beginners : Kaleigh Cohen Cycling’s Stationary Bike Workout for Beginners


 Kaleigh Cohen Cycling’s Stationary Bike Workout for Beginner

 Kaleigh Cohen Cycling’s Stationary Bike Workout for Beginner

Key Specs
  • Pricing: Free up to about $10 per month 
  • Platforms: Any device compatible with YouTubeiOS and Android 
  • Duration: 60 to 120  minutes 
Why We Chose It

Among Kaleigh Cohen Cycling’s over 200 videos, you will find a range of free workouts and educational content that will prepare you to enter any cycling class with grace.

Pros
  • Reinforces good form and habits in riders 

  • Professional grade video and audio which is not always the case on YouTube

  • Educational videos for beginners

Cons
  • Videos aren’t always labeled by difficulty level

  • Few major music hits on the playlists

  • Cohen has a consistent style, so videos can feel repetitive

In this beginner-level cycling ride from Kaleigh Cohen Cycling—a YouTube channel dedicated to cycling—you’ll strengthen your legs while learning basic cycling forms and terminology. 

The course layout is a mix of resistance levels and speeds, with the instructor calling out suggested RPMs (rotations per minute) 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. 

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. Beginners will love Cohen’s focus on form so they can learn strategies to protect their knees and get the most from their workout. 

Kaleigh Cohen also has a strength training channel for users who want to enhance their cardio workout plan with muscle-building exercises. If you’re looking to prepare for an in-person cycling class, Cohen’s content is a solid starting point. 

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


Studio SWEAT

Studio SWEAT

Key Specs
  • Pricing: YouTube classes are free; subscription to Studio SWEAT costs about $20 per month 
  • Platforms: YouTube; app for iOS and Android 
  • Duration: 30 minutes; app has classes that range from 10 to 120 minutes
Why We Chose It

Studio SWEAT OnDemand offers a huge library of online cycling classes for beginner through advanced riders, including this free YouTube HIIT ride from Mimi.

Pros
  • Verbal cues are timed right and not too often 

  • Paid subscription app has hundreds of classes for cycling, TRX, abs, mind and body, sculpting, and more 

  • Single-class downloads for a fee and free YouTube classes

Cons
  • Does not display intervals, effort level, or a countdown timer 

  • In and out of the saddle a lot, so it may not be a good choice for anyone with knee, hip, or ankle issues 

  • Paid subscription is pricier than other apps

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, and stretch and restore. It also has TRX (Total Body Resistance Training)—an exercise program that uses hanging bands to provide resistance for what otherwise would be a bodyweight workout. The service is ideal for more advanced cyclists since they offer many high-intensity workouts including those that alternate from cycling to Pilates. 

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 face-paced, interval training that will raise your heart rate and make your legs burn. Warning: There’s not much rest between work intervals, so if you’re a beginner, you might need to work up to this class.

After a free seven-day trial, Studio SWEAT OnDemand costs 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. If you choose to buy their bike for either $1,999 or $899, you'll receive a free year of their OnDemand programming. 

Not sure if you want to commit to a monthly membership? No problem. Single-class downloads are approximately $8 each. Once you purchase 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

Key Specs
  • Pricing: About $15 per month 
  • Platforms: iOS and Android 
  • Duration: 58 minutes; app has classes of varying lengths
Why We Chose It

Les Mills On Demand’s RPM REMIX Endurance Ride is a great choice if you’re looking to burn calories, challenge your mind, and boost your cardiovascular and muscular endurance.

Pros
  • Preview class layout, intervals, terrain, and music ahead of time 

  • App offers HIIT-based cycling, ballet-inspired Barre, step aerobics, core conditioning, yoga, strength training, martial arts, and more

  • One-on-one coaching program available

Cons
  • Some classes do not feature key metrics on the screen

  • May feel overwhelming to beginners 

  • Might be too extensive for someone just looking for cycling classes

Mixed terrain, intervals, speed work, and mountain climbing—the list of available classes goes on and on at Les Mills OnDemand. If you’re looking for a cycling class that offers every possible challenge and a great playlist though, the RPM REMIX Endurance Ride 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. And, you don’t have to be an experienced cyclist to benefit since the instructors do a lot of coaching and cueing during this class. 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 OnDemand 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 costs around $15 per month, with lower rates if you buy a three-month or annual package upfront. Its worldwide fitness app also offers strength training, martial arts, yoga, dance fitness, barre, and sports conditioning classes.

Best for Music Lovers : CYCLED!


CYCLED! Logo
CYCLED! Logo.
Key Specs
  • Pricing: $19.99 per month
  • Platforms: CYCLED! App
  • Duration: 15 minutes to 2 hours
Why We Chose It

CYCLED! offers a range of cycling classes with a basic tracking feature all paired with playlists intentionally curated to make workouts joyful.

Pros
  • Energizing music from a range of genres 

  • App can be paired with a smartwatch to track speed, calories, HR, and distance.

  • With 21 instructors, it is easy to find one that fits your style

Cons
  • Classes not labeled by difficulty

  • Classes filmed in a group setting may be difficult to follow

  • Not available on desktop

CYCLED! is an app created by CYCLED Studios—a Black-owned business in Takoma Park, Maryland. The app’s cycling videos come with fun playlists and emphasize staying on beat with the music. Videos feature a variety of genres including a gospel video and a Beyonce Renaissance class. The instructors are consistently pedaling and even bobbing their heads to the beat. 

A subscription includes access to their tracking feature, live and prerecorded classes, and fitness challenges. The progress tracking feature allows users to monitor their data to improve their fitness. It can be paired with any Bluetooth fitness device and will measure the user’s progress over time. 

Although the app does not have a free trial, it does offer a limited selection of free classes that you can check out. At the relatively low cost of $19.99 per month with easy cancellation through the app store, it is worth the cost if the free classes appeal to you.

Final Verdict 

Online cycling classes have made training on a bike safer and more accessible to all fitness levels and abilities. That said, finding the right class does set you up for success, especially if you’re a beginner. We chose Peloton as our top choice because of its subscriptions’ affordability and talented instructors. Peloton provides users with workouts brimming with enthusiasm. 

If you’re unsure if cycling is right for you, a great class to start with is Kaleigh Cohen Cycling’s Stationary Bike Workout for Beginners. It’s only 20 minutes, and you stay in the saddle the entire time. But if you want something more advanced, consider Studio SWEAT’s HIIT ride, which is guaranteed to challenge even the most experienced riders. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Online Cycling Classes?

Online cycling classes or spin classes are either live-streamed or OnDemand workouts that you can do on your stationary bike at home. Participants view the instructor on their phone, tablet, TV, or on a screen mounted to their bike and follow along, just as they would in an in-person spin class. Some classes are audio-only, so you can just listen to instructions without having to look at a screen. 

Are Online Cycling Classes Good for Beginners?

If you’re new to indoor cycling, online classes are an excellent way to get started. Finding free classes geared towards beginners is easy and allows you to learn the basics, such as how to set up your bike, without fronting any money. Newbies will appreciate trying out classes at home to learn the moves and lingo before going to a spin studio for an in-person class.

What Equipment Do I Need for Online Cycling Classes?

Online cycling classes are taught using spin bikes like the ones that you would see at a spin studio or gym that offers spin classes. Some participants purchase a spin bike to use at home, while others use a traditional upright stationary bike.  You also need a streaming device such as a phone, tablet, computer, or TV to view the classes.

You can even use your regular road bike for an online cycling class if you mount it on a bike trainer. Spin bikes require you to clip into their pedals, so if you’re planning to buy one for home use, you’ll also have to get spin shoes with cleats.

When looking for a stationary bike, trainer Ridge Davis emphasizes the importance of finding one that’s adjustable so that multiple people can use it: “The bike should have several adjustments on the seat, handle depth, and height to make it suitable for all riders who might be sharing the program at home.”

How Much Do Online Cycling Classes Cost?

Some online cycling classes are free, but others require a paid subscription for access. Most memberships range from approximately $10 to $20 per month, with discounts available for longer terms. Some subscriptions give you access to other types of classes as well, including yoga, strength training, and running workouts. Most services offer a free trial or allow you to purchase a single class for a small fee before committing to a paid membership.

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.

Methodology

 

After reviewing over a dozen online cycling programs, we chose a mix of free and subscription-based workouts. All of the paid programs we reviewed offer a free trial period ranging from seven to 30 days. 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, as well as visual courses, and more specialized programs.

By Sara Lindberg
Sara Lindberg, M.Ed., is a freelance writer focusing on health, fitness, nutrition, parenting, and mental health.

Edited by
April McCormick
April McCormick

April is the health editor for performance marketing at Verywell, where she oversees family health, wellness, and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Time, Parents Magazine, The Huffington Post, TripSavvy, Parenting.com, First Time Mom and Dad, Mama Mia, All4Women, the New York Times Bestseller, A Letter To My Mom, and more.

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and
Ally Hirschlag
Allison "Ally" Hirschlag

Ally is a senior editor for Verywell, who covers topics in the health, wellness, and lifestyle spaces. She has written for The Washington Post, Scientific American, The Guardian, BBC Future, and more.

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