Your Ultimate Hub for All Things Exercise Bikes

Sayed Hamed Hosseiny monitors calorie burn and energy expenditure during a workout.
Sayed Hamed Hosseiny tracks calorie burn and energy expenditure during his workout session.

Our main goal is to help our readers find the best indoor exercise bikes for their home, office, and clubs. We review indoor cycling bikes in a different range of prices, sizes, and qualities so that you (our readers) can purchase the best exercise bikes based on your budget, athletic level and space available at your home.

The idea of exercising doesn’t involve going to the gym for many people because of budget and/or lack of time. This being said, there are other reasons why people don’t like to bike outdoor, such as rough weather or unsafe busy traffic on the road.

Choosing the best indoor exercise bike can solve all the mentioned problems, plus you need to keep in mind that with the current technology everything is being built in the compact version as well to make up for the lack of space in modern houses.

You no longer have to have a 5 feet space to fit an elliptical because there are elliptical machines that take less than 2 square feet and the same goes for other machines and bikes.

In the last two decades, indoor cycling bikes have become very popular and the manufacturers are engineering the best indoor exercise bikes for all range of weights, heights, ages, and prices. Now we don’t have to wait to get home to exercise on an elliptical or stationary bike because we can simply have ellipticals under our desk at work and pedal during the day.

Companies such as LifeFitness, Precor, Sole, Diamondback, Keiser, Schwinn and Sunny Health & Fitness have been taking over the market of indoor cycling bikes with their smart, inexpensive and quality products.

We rate and review the best exercise bikes from all categories to help you discover the best products that suit your budget, athletic levels and available space in the house or office under the desk. We always come across exercise bikes in the same price range but with totally different features and it’s our job to rate those indoor cycling bikes to make it easy for you to choose the right one.

If you look for indoor upright bikes, you will get tons of results and it’s going to be time-consuming for you to discover which is best. That’s when we come handy and guess what? We don’t charge you a penny for it. However being an Amazon Affiliate Associate, we get a small commission for directing you to their website (without any extra charge on you).

Your Exercise Bike team helps you learn what to look for when buying an indoor bike and what features make them the best indoor exercise bikes, what are the benefits of each type of indoor bike and why you should use pedal exerciser under the desk at work or while watching TV at home. Note: Keep in mind that not all indoor cycles are for you and to find out which one suits your age, size and weight, please read the technical information on each bike.

How to choose the best spin bikes – 6 Tips

Sayed Hamed using a spin bike to write a review about it
Trying out different spin bikes to find the perfect fit! #FitnessJourney

Knowns as the most intense type of exercise bike, there are few important features about indoor cycles also known as indoor bikes, spin bike, spinning bike, and indoor stationary exercise. There are two types of features/part, those that can be replaced (pedals, LCD display, seat, etc) and those that can’t be replaced (flywheel, resistance, handlebars, etc). We explained it all in detail in this spin bike buying guide.

However, if you don’t have time to read the spin bike buying guide, you can click here to see the best spin bikes that we picked for you.

① Resistance
It is what makes you sweat and the more resistance you add (by turning the knob) the more challenging the exercising gets for you. There are two types of resistances/tensions for spin bikes. The friction resistance and magnetic resistance. Note: You can’t change a friction to magnetic.

Friction resistance is a brake pad that touches the flywheel to bring tension. There are two issues with friction resistance.
1. It makes noise. Because it touches the flywheel in order to bring tension.
2. It wears out and requires maintenance. Because the flywheel and brake come in contact (like your car’s brake) you need to change it from time to time.

Magnetic resistance also brings tension and makes it hard for you to pedal BUT without touching the flywheel. There are two good reasons why spin bikes with magnetic resistance are better.
1. It doesn’t make noise. Because in order to bring tension the magnets only get close to the flywheel, they don’t come in contact with each other.
2. It doesn’t wear out or requires maintenance. Because nothing touches each other and that’s why it’s always better to find a spin bike with magnetic resistance rather than Friction.

② Belt and Chain
There are two types of the drive mechanism that make the flywheel turn while you pedal. The chain drive and the belt drive. Note: You can’t change a belt drive to chain drive.

Chain drive is similar to outdoor bicycle system and while it’s perfect for outdoor cycling, it has two issues for indoor cycling.
1. It requires maintenance (lubrication, and adjustments).
2. It makes a clinking sound because it’s a metal chain with many moving parts running over a metal crank.

Belt drive is similar to how some of the cars’ engine works and it’s proven to be perfect for indoor exercise bikes. There are three good reasons why belt drive spin bikes are better than a chain drive.
1. The belt doesn’t require lubrication and a yearly inspection should be sufficient.
2. The belt doesn’t make the clicking sound because it’s a rubber that goes over the pullies.
3. It’s more smooth compared to the chain and also permits cooler running and higher drive efficiency.

③ Handlebars
Every spin bike has fully (up, down Fore and Aft) adjustable seat. However, not all the spin bikes have fully adjustable handlebars. Many spin bikes handlebars are only vertically adjustable while some are fully adjustable (up&down Fore/Aft). An adjustable indoor cycle allows you to find the natural cycling position on your cycle to prevent injuries on the back and joints. Note: You can’t change a fixed handlebar to adjustable handle.

Vertically/2-way adjustable handlebars can have two problems.
1. Family members with different body sizes may not be able to find a natural cycling position because the handlebars can’t be adjusted forward and reverse/horizontally.
2. It can hurt the joints, back in long run and also it may not be comfortable for long period of exercise.

Vertically and Horizontally/4-way adjustable handlebars are good for two reasons.
1. Family members of different heights and arm lengths can find a natural cycling position.
2. It eliminates the possibility of incorrect cycling position and also it’s more comfortable.

④ Flywheel
The flywheel is something you can change later. So, it’s important to know what you are getting and if it’s good or bad. Here is the short answer: If you are buying an indoor cycle with magnetic resistance, the weight of the flywheel is not a huge factor. However, if you are buying a budget spin bike that has friction/brake-pad resistance, it’s important to have a heavy flywheel.

1. The heavy flywheel: (more than 30-lb) is what you should look for if you are purchasing a non-magnetic resistance indoor exercise bikes such as some Sunny indoor cycling bikes. Because Heavier flywheels have proven to provide better pedal stroke and more natural motion similar to outdoor cycling.

2. The light-weight flywheel: While heavy flywheel is a huge factor in non-magnetic resistance spin bike, it’s not too important feature in the magnetic bikes such as Keiser M3i indoor cycle.

⑤ Pedals:
There are two types of foot pedals for spin bikes. The normal toe cage and the dual-action toe cage with spd. Note: Toe cage can be replaced with dual action spd and vs.

1. Toe cage pedals allow you to exercise with normal athletic shoes because they don’t have spd cleats for cycling shoes.

2. Dual Action SPD pedals have two sides, one side for normal athletic shoes and one side for cycling shoes that have spd cleats.

⑥ Computer:
There are many different spin bike computers that allow you track your workout. However, not all of them provide the same workout feedbacks. Here is what to look for in a good spin bike console.

1. Wireless connection capability: Bluetooth and ANT/+ connectivity allows you to workout online with other riders in the virtual environment. They also allow you save your workout progress on the apps for monthly comparison.

2. Backlit display: If the console is backlist, you can track your workout in the dark light condition but if it’s non-backlit, you need to keep the light of the room on to see the progress.

3. Workout feedback: The best indoor cycle computers allow you to see these exercise feedbacks: RPM/Cadence, Watts/Power, Distance, Speed, Calories burned and Heart rate (wireless chest strap compatibility is important as well).

4. App compatibility: While some spin bikes have Bluetooth, they are compatible with one or two cycling Applications only. Make sure your console is compatible with popular indoor cycling Apps.

➠ How to choose the best elliptical – 6 Tips

Sayed Hamed Hosseiny showcasing elliptical machine
Exploring the world of elliptical machines! 🏃‍♂️ #FitnessGoals

Before you buy an elliptical trainer there are important specs and features that you need to be aware of. Because elliptical cross trainers are expensive and they cost way above many other types of indoor exercise equipment.

Elliptical machines are some of the most popular cardiovascular equipment in the fitness centers across the world. They provide a low-impact cardio workout that simulates running, walking, and stair climbing. So, having your own top of the line elliptical at home not only helps to lose weight but also protect your joints from damages that some other exercise machines have.

Ellipticals offer strength workout in addition to cardio exercise, so it’s no surprise that it’s a popular choice for home workout equipment as well as gym workout exercise. However, not all the elliptical machines offer all these great workouts. And that’s why we are going to help you learn what features should the best ellipticals have in order to give you the best elliptical workouts.

① Money
It’s important to decide the maximum you can afford to spend. Because when it comes to finding the best ellipticals, we recommend our readers to try to stretch their budget to $1000 +, if it’s possible. Elliptical trainers for home range from $500 to $4000. And the best ellipticals are definitely above $1000 price range.

② Workout Space
There are three types of ellipticals; Rear-drive, Front-drive, and Center-drive. The rear and front-drive elliptical trainers take more space because they are longer. However, the center drive cross trainers take less space. So, if you don’t have a garage or big space, consider a center drive elliptical machine.

③ Workout needs
If you want to do a basic elliptical training workout, you can ignore the following tips. However, if you want to be able to walk, run and do stair claiming (for lower body toning), make sure the following features exist on your elliptical.
1. 19-24 Inches adjustable stride, preferably electronically adjustable so, you don’t have to get off the elliptical everytime you want to change the exercise. Life Fitness E5 offers a wide range of electronically adjustable stride length.
2. 10-30 Degrees adjustable incline, preferably electronically adjustable so that you don’t need to stop the training everytime you want to add intensity. Precor EFX 835 offers electronically adjustable steep incline ramp.

④ Noise and smoothness
Always pick the bio-mechanically tested elliptical with magnetic resistance and whisper-quiet stride technology. They offer smoother rides and little to no sound. Elliptical with fan wheel resistance technology tends to be loud.

⑤ Interactive display
Digital entertainment helps to keep your elliptical workout more interesting so, you don’t get bored and stay longer on the trainer. I would say look for 10+ inches touch-screen with wireless connection capability. This way you can join other users on the web and choose a destination around the world through Google Maps to exercise.

⑥ Bonus features
Bluetooth connection capability, iPhone/tablet audio jake, speakers, cooling fan, and resistance and incline controls on the handlebars. These features can be found in some ellipticals. While they are not essential, it’s useful and entertaining to have them on your elliptical exercise machine.

 How to choose the best recumbent bikes – 6 Tips

Sayed Hamed Hosseiny presenting recumbent exercise bike
Comfort meets performance with recumbent bikes! 🚴‍♂️ #HomeWorkout

Recumbent exercise bikes offer the lowest-impact workout compared to any other exercise bike and they are very popular worldwide, especially among seniors and those on recovery. The main factor behind recumbent bike popularity is the comfortable exercise they offer. But if you don’t know what you are paying for, you will end up with a loud squeaking indoor stationary bike with an uncomfortable seat/backrest and little to no resistance which defeats the purpose of choosing a recumbent stationary bike over other exercise bikes.

Now the question is, how can you understand these flaws without physically trying a recumbent exercise bike? Well, there are certain features to look at before buying your recumbent bike. Follow our simple recumbent buying tips and advice to prevent unexpected surprises! Here is the list of the 6 most important criteria to look for when choosing a recumbent exercise bike.

To keep it easy for you, our experts picked the 10 best recumbent exercise bikes. Check them out and let us know if you find the one that fits your budget and needs.

① Seat and Backrest
Recumbent exercise bikes are comfortable when they feature the cushioned adjustable seat and the adjustable backrest with lumbar support. The seat should be cushioned and horizontally adjustable, preferably with an easy to reach lever/shaft, so you wouldn’t have to get off to fit the bike for your height.
The backrest needs to be tilt and vertically adjustable with lumbar support.
Note: It’s okay if the backrest is not made of mesh materials, you can add breathable mesh support for less than $10.

② Drive
While most modern recumbent exercise bikes feature a silent and maintenance-free single belt drive, there are some bikes that come with the chain. The issue with the chain is that it requires maintenance and also makes noise. Therefore, we recommend you look for Belt drive Recumbent stationary exercise bikes.

③ Resistance
There are generally two types of resistance, Magnetic and Friction/brake-pad. Magnetic resistance is better because it doesn’t touch the flywheel so, it doesn’t wear out and also doesn’t make noise. The brake pads touch the flywheel so they wear out, require maintenance, and also make noise. So, we suggest you look for indoor exercise bikes with magnetic resistance.

④ Frame design
If you are buying the exercise bike for a senior user, make sure the recumbent bike features step-through design. There are some recumbent exercise bikes that require you to lift one leg up and move it across the bike to get in a seated position and that’s not recommended for someone who has been through surgery or someone who doesn’t have the balance to stand on one foot.

⑤ LCD display
Digital entertainment plays an important role in keeping you motivated and longer on your exercise bike. Therefore, we advise you to look for a touch-screen backlit LCD display, and wireless connection capability. These features help you save your progress and share it on social platforms and also workout with other users in the virtual environment around the world.

⑥ User height and weight capacity
Weight capacity is probably one of the first things we look at when looking for the best recumbent exercise bikes. But one feature that buyers overlook is if the exercise equipment can adjust to their heights. Unfortunately, most brands don’t mention the minimum and maximum user height capacity. Therefore, the best way to make sure the bike fits you is to either contact the manufacturer or see the comments on Amazon because consumers usually mention their size in the reviews.

How to choose the best upright exercise bikes – 6 Tips

Sayed Hamed Hosseiny exhibiting upright exercise bike
Embracing the versatility of upright exercise bikes! 🏋️‍♂️ #FitnessLifestyle

With the second most comfortable exercise bikes after recumbent bikes, doing an efficient cardio workout at home is not as difficult as it seems when it comes to upright exercise bikes. There are lots of options that help you to do a planned routine, track your progress and make adjustments along the way. Aside from running, using an exercise bike has always been the go-to cardio exercise. Cycling exercise has low-impact and it is much easier on your joints and can be done by all fitness levels so you don’t need to be an athlete or in great shape to use an upright exercise bike.

When it comes to stationary bikes, there are generally three options on the table. You have recumbent bikes that tend to be fairly large but extremely comfortable, then there are upright bikes that are pretty compact and easy to move but are more difficult to use than recumbent bikes. And lastly, we have indoor cycling bikes which I talked about in the very beginning.

While pretty good and compact in general, indoor cycling bikes (spin bikes) tend to be too aggressive for most users because of their design which requires leaning forward. Upright exercise bikes on the other hand, are the most popular among all and come out as the best compromise between price, size, and performance. An upright bike allows you to enjoy indoor cardio exercise in a relatively comfortable way compared to spin bikes.

There are essentially a few important parts that you really need to pay attention to when looking at upright exercise bikes. A good upright bike needs to have a fully adjustable and comfortable seat, smooth resistance, and durable frame. Everything else, such as preset programs, wireless connectivity, and other stuff comes second.

Note: With upright bikes, it doesn’t necessarily come down to how much you spend. If you do your homework, you can get awesome upright exercise bikes for less than $400. But if you don’t research before buying an exercise stationary bike, there is a chance you spend $500 or $600 and still get a low-quality indoor bike. We picked the best value stationary upright bikes that are capable of offering precise progress tracking, various advanced features and finally some great comforts. Without further ado, here is how to choose and buy the best upright bikes:

① Seat
For an indoor stationary bike, seats are probably the most important component because they are your main point of contact with the bike. Always try to find a model that offers a fully adjustable seat (horizontal and vertical). So, you can set up in a way that suits your height and body shape. In terms of seat design and padding, it wildly varies from model to model and brand to brand. Some use straight padded seats while others go for more ergonomic contoured pieces. For the most part, the upright seat designs will prevent fatigue to an acceptable level.

② Handlebars
Upright bikes generally come with these two different handlebars: Fixed handlebars which are not ideal because you can’t adjust the angle, then there is the angle adjustable handlebars that allow you to do the adjustment and get more comfortable. When looking at the handlebars, also see if there are elbow pads. They are great accessories that provide comfort and support during long indoor cycling workouts. With that said, all exercise bikes deliver a more or less similar core performance. In the end, it all boils down to which one is more comfortable and has entertaining options.

③ Frame
The frame can extend or reduce the life of a bike. Thankfully most brands have realized this and offer pretty durable frames. But there are still people who import low-quality bikes from chine with weak frames. As long as the manufacturer has a good reputation and uses good materials, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about. The general rule is to look for weight capacity, frame warranty, and stay away from thin frames.

④ Resistance
When buying stationary exercise bikes, there are mainly three types of magnetic resistance system. They include manual magnetic which requires you to manually turn a knob and it doesn’t need to be plugged in. They usually have very little resistance so you can’t do a challenging workout. Then there is electromagnetic resistance which changes through control buttons on the screen and it needs to be plugged into the electricity to work. And lastly, there is the smart electromagnetic that changes resistance via control but also automatically changes resistance based on the preset workout programs that you pick. The best type is the smart electromagnetic because it offers powerful resistance and can simulate the ups and downs of the terrains that you pick on the fitness apps. Note: Computer-controlled models (electromagnetic resistance) will always have more resistance levels than manually controlled bikes.

⑤ Advanced Features
Once you improve and get into precise workout regimens, advanced features become a necessity. We are mostly talking about the ability to save your daily workouts, wireless connectivity, and challenging preset workouts. While these aren’t exactly necessary for all users, they do give you much more control over your results. Being able to set different fitness goals, save them, and then monitor your progress is a great way to get in shape. As I have already mentioned, in 2024, these features don’t require a serious investment. A $380 Nautilus U616 Upright bike will give you all of that and even more.

⑥ Flywheel
Everyone has different ideas about the weight of the flywheel but in reality, the weight of the flywheel is not a huge factor when it comes to upright bikes. Unlike spin bikes, upright bikes are designed to provide a relatively slow, low-impact, and smooth workout. So, there is no need to look for an exercise indoor bike that has a 40-pound flywheel. A 10 to 20-pound machine-balanced flywheel will run smoothly and creates very little noise during use. The mentioned weight of the flywheel is enough to allow you to focus on your workout and enjoy fluid resistance and smooth transition between different resistance levels.

Bottom Line

With our busy and fast-paced lifestyle, often our health takes the bigger toll. We finish late at the office and we are too tired for the gym, our daily chores keep us so busy that we even give up signing up to the gym. We’ve all been there, but now we want to change that with the help of an exercise bike.

Alongside with eating well, however, exercising is one of the most important habits if you want to maintain an ideal shape, be always fit and lead a generally healthy lifestyle.

Regularly exercising plays a much bigger role in your health than just losing weight. It helps the blood circulation, lower stress levels, control cholesterol and sugar levels in your blood, it gives you positive energy, more strength, a better mood, it helps you focus and build your self-esteem.

Your Exercise Bike