Best Exercise Bikes Reviews And Comparisons
The world of indoor cycling is a deep and complex one. There are many different kinds of fitness bikes that you can purchase for yourself, each with their own unique qualities that sets them apart from others. These can be such bikes as air exercise bikes, spinning exercise bikes, upright stationary bikes, and so on. Then there are often sub-tiers in those larger categories that will make little tweaks and changes in quality.
What we wanted to do today is look at the best of these exercise bikes. What is the cream of the crop of all of these bikes, regardless of their overall category? That’s what we’re here to do. We’re looking at the various aspects of these exercise bikes, such as their builds, resistance settings, monitors, pricing and other aspects.
In addition, to exercise bike reviews, we’ll list the pros and cons to each (because no exercise bike is perfect) before presenting a general buyer’s guide in order to help you make your own decisions. Finally, we’ll end with our opinion of which is the best and which you should seriously consider looking at. So, with all of that out of the way, let’s hop right into our list of the best exercise bikes!
Top Exercise Bikes Compared + Verdict
|Nautilus R618||Lowest impact exercise bike||Only Lower Body Exercise||Quiet||Large Footprint||Magnetic||29||Included Tablet Rack|
|Nautilus U618||Low impact exercise bike||Only Lower Body Exercise||Quiet||Small Footprint||Magnetic||29||Included Tablet Rack|
|Keiser M3i||Medium Impact exercise bike||Only Lower Body Exercise||Quiet||Medium Footprint||Magnetic||None||Included Tablet Rack|
|Schwinn AD7||Highest Impact exercise bike||Both Lower and Upper Body||Loud||Medium Footprint||Air||7||No Tablet Rack|
|Sunny SF-RB4631||Lowest impact exercise bike||Both Lower and Upper Body||Quiet||Medium Footprint||Magnetic & Friction||None||No Tablet Rack|
|FitDisk 3.0||Low impact exercise bike||Only Lower Body Exercise||Quiet||Small Footprint||Magnetic||None||Included Desk|
|Flexispot Pro||Low impact exercise bike||Only Lower Body Exercise||Quiet||Small Footprint||Magnetic||None||Included Desk|
Quick Overview of Best Stationary Bikes
Nautilus R618 Recumbent Exercise Bike
First on our list of Best exercise bike reviews is the Nautilus R618. This is one of the best recumbent bikes that you’ll find. It is a slick black and blue exercise cardio bike that will allow you to sit back while you pedal.
The resistance of the R618 is an extremely smooth magnetic system. There are 25 different levels of resistance that you can pick from (and adjust via controls on the easy-to-reach handlebars). The drive is made from a belt in order to make the entire process quieter and require less maintenance. That way you can even workout late at night without waking people.
As for how much space the R618 takes up and how much it weighs, it is a fairly lengthy machine thanks to the fact that it is a recumbent bike. It measures out to be 67.3 inches (170.9 cm) long, 26.4 inches (67.1 cm) wide and 48.8 inches (124 cm) tall. It weighs a decent 107.1 lbs (48.6 kg), while also allowing for a maximum weight of 325 lbs (147 kg).
The electrical capabilities of the Nautilus R618 stationary exercise bike are one of the points where it shines. There are 29 different Nautilus training programs that allow for heart rate training, rolling hills and more. There’s Bluetooth connectivity that you can connect to the “Explore the World” app that Nautilus offers. This app allows for views of real world scenes and keeping track of long-term workout statistics like time, distance, calories burned and so on.
This is an excellent cardio exercise bike, regardless of whether or not you are looking for a recumbent bike. It does have a retail price of $800, so it is fairly pricey, but certainly not a ridiculous price. It has pretty good warranties of 15 years on the frame, 3 years on the parts and 1 year on the labour. The biggest issue with this indoor exercise cycle is the assembly process isn’t the most clear and there are common complaints about parts arriving damaged, which is not cool.
- Great Monitor, Smooth Resistance, Solid Warranty, Good Build, Comfortable Seating
- Complicated Assembly Process, Damaged Parts on Arrival
Nautilus U618 Upright Exercise Bike
2 used from $473.92
One of the best upright bikes is another candidate from Nautilus, this time it is an upright bike rather than a recumbent one. This indoor exercise bike shares many of the top features from the R618, which is most certainly a positive.
The resistance of the Nautilus U618 professional exercise bike is magnetic. There are 25 different levels of resistance available, which combine with the belt drive in order to make everything smooth and quiet. There is only a 10 lb flywheel here, so if you are one of the people that prefer heavier ones, this might disappoint you.
As for the dimensions of the U618 home stationary bike, it takes up much less space than the R618. It measures out to be 38.5 inches (97.8 cm) long, 24 inches (61 cm) wide and 58.3 inches (148 cm) tall. It weighs 83.1 lbs (37.6 kg) and has a max user weight of 325 lbs (147 kg). The handlebars are multi-position with elbow grips, while the seat is 4-way adjustable. One of the complaints about said seat is that it is not particularly comfortable.
The monitor that comes with the U618 compact stationary bike is the exact same as the one that came with the recumbent bike. It has 29 different workout programs with the same ability to connect to the Explore the World app through Bluetooth. The screen is backlit and allows you to see workout metrics like the time, distance, calories burned and such, even if you are watching the Explore the World app.
The Nautilus U618 upright indoor bike does cost less than the recumbent bike by about $100; it’s $700 (at the time of writing this top fitness bike reviews and comparison article). It comes with the same solid warranty of 15 years on the frame, 3 years on the parts and 1 year on the labour. There are the occasional complaints with the Bluetooth connection and assembly process, but you’ll find the positives far outweigh the negatives making it one of the top stationary bikes to buy.
- Excellent Resistance, Good Warranties, Fantastic Monitor, Low Maintenance
- Annoying Assembly, Uncomfortable Seating for Some, Bluetooth Connection Issues
Keiser M3i Spinning Exercise Bike
Moving away from the Nautilus realm for number three on our list of the best indoor exercise bikes, we have the Keiser M3i. This is a well-known spin bike for those in the exercise bike realm, as it is one of the most durable (made in the USA) to have come out in recent years.
The magnetic resistance used here that combines with the extremely small flywheel actually makes for one of the best experiences you can have on one of these bikes. The Keiser M3i uses a V shape to fit a variety of users on comfortably, while the Poly-V belt means the entire process is extremely quiet and less prone to maintenance issues.
The footprint of the M3i is quite small. It measures out to be 49 inches (124.5 cm) long, 26 inches (66 cm) wide and 45 inches (114 cm) tall. It weighs a fairly light 85 lbs (35.5 kg) and can hold a max weight of 300 lbs (136 kg). The seat is adjustable 4 ways, while the multi grip handlebars are vertically adjustable.
The monitor is not the fanciest, but it still does plenty. It has Bluetooth capabilities, is backlit when in a dark room and will display statistics like RPM, time, distance, resistance level and heart rate (if you have a chest sensor). You can also connect to Keiser’s fitness app in order to track more statistics over a longer period of time, as well as get different guided sessions and tests. However, there are not a ton of these classes or tests available.
One of the biggest hesitations with the Keiser M3i portable stationary bike is the price. It costs right around $2,000 for one of these stationary indoor bikes, which is quite the price to pay. The wearable parts of the workout home-gym bike are guaranteed via warranty for months, while the rest of it comes with a warranty of 3 years. This isn’t bad, but it also isn’t fantastic. It offers a professional level of exercise experience, but you had better be sure that you want to drop such an amount of money on it. Overall it is one of the least boring (especially if used folding a spin class online) and best exercise bikes to lose weight.
- Brilliant Resistance, Solid Monitor, Good Comfort and Adjustability
- Extremely Expensive, Not The Best Warranties
Schwinn AD7 Air Exercise Bike
Seen in many stationary air bike reviews and coming to the second half of our list of the best stationary bikes, we have the Schwinn AD7 Airdyne. This is the first air resistance bike that we’ve come across here. Fair to say, there’s a lot to like about this stationary air bike.
The resistance, as you might expect from one of these air bikes, primarily comes from the fan that replaces the flywheel of magnetic bikes. You’ve got unlimited resistance available thanks to the fan resistance. The harder you pedal, the more resistance you get. This can make it great for high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. You can also get upper body workouts alongside those lower body ones thanks to the moving multi grip handlebars.
As for how much space the AD7 portable exercise bike takes up, it takes up a nice medium area. It is 53 inches (134.6 cm) long, 26.5 inches (67.3 cm) wide and 53 inches (134.6 cm) tall. It weighs a hefty 113 lbs (51.3 kg) and has a maximum weight of 350 lbs (160 kg). The seat adjusts both vertically and horizontally, although it is rather small. This can lead to some discomfort on those longer sessions. The handlebars are not adjustable, but they do have multiple positions to hold onto.
This model and the AD Pro are the only Schwinn Airdyne bikes that come with workout programs in their monitor. There are 9 different options that include such things like interval workouts, targets for time, distance and calories and heart rate zone monitoring. As such, it can also track all of those various statistics that you’d expect it to. The monitor is not backlit, which is a downside. You won’t be able to see it in darker rooms, and the tech seems just a little outdated for the modern-day.
The Schwinn AD7 costs $900, so it certainly isn’t the cheapest out there. It does come with a 10 year warranty on the frame, 2 years on the parts and electronics and 6 months of the labor (with extended warranties available for extra cost). Overall, this is certainly one of the best air bikes available. The tech isn’t the highest quality, but the unlimited resistance is what makes this compact exercise bike a true treasure.
- Unlimited Resistance, Good Warranties, Handlebars Offer Upper Body Workouts, Fairly Compact Size
- Not A Great Monitor, Small & Uncomfortable Seat, Short Labour Warranty, and Loud Resistance System
Sunny Leg and Arm Exercise Bike
Coming in fifth place on our list of the best exercise bikes, we have the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4631 leg and arm recumbent exercise bike. Is this one of the best recumbent bikes on the market? Yes. Does that save it from having one of the most painful names on that same market? Absolutely not. Fortunately, the bike itself is significantly better than its name.
Interestingly, there are 2 different resistance systems on this indoor stationary bike. The pedals use a manual magnetic resistance system, which you control through a lever. You have 8 different settings, although the highest isn’t exactly the most challenging that you can find. Then, there’s the resistance of the arm exerciser that the bike comes with. This resistance uses a friction resistance system where a leather pad presses on a wheel to challenge more resistance. Because it is a friction system, the arm exerciser is actually louder than the pedals.
This isn’t actually that large of a stationary bicycle, even though it is a recumbent bike. It measures to be 53 inches (135 cm) long, 24 inches (61 cm) wide and 54 inches (137 cm) tall.It weighs a decent 89.5 lbs (40.5 kg) when fully assembled and can hold a maximum weight of 350 lbs (159 kg). The seat is adjustable horizontally, although it is slightly tilted, so you could also sort of consider it vertical adjustment. Neither the handlebars, nor the backrest of this back can be independently adjusted.
The monitor that comes with the SF-RB4631 is pretty basic. Actually, it’s extremely basic. It is not connected to the arm exerciser, so it won’t track the calories or any other metrics while you use that. When you are using the pedals, it will track time, distance, total distance, speed, calories and your heart rate. There is a scan mode available, so you can rotate through all of these different metrics. Otherwise, you don’t have anything too fancy that comes with this monitor. The numbers are large and easy to see, which is nice. However, this is only in the light, as there is no backlighting function on here.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4631 has a general price range between $370 and $380. It certainly is not the most expensive bike you’ll find, even in the Sunny Health & Fitness area. While Sunny Health & Fitness don’t always provide the best warranties, they do give consistent ones: you get 3 years on the frames and 90 days on the parts for almost every piece of exercise equipment they offer, including this one.
- Good Pedal Resistance, Fairly Comfortable, Very Quiet, Relatively Cheap
- Arm Exerciser Has No Stats, Arm Exerciser Hard to Pus, Not Friendly To Tall People
FitDisk 3.0 Folding Exercise Bike
We now reach the first of the desk bikes on our list of the best stationary exercise bikes. The FitDesk folding exercise bike is a bike that stands rather upright and allows the user to get work done while they exercise. There are no fancy coloring schemes here, as it is just a white and black exercise cycle, but it should serve for most.
The FitDisk 3.0 fold up exercise bike works on a magnetic tension technology, with 8 different levels of resistance that are controlled by a knob. While the highest level of resistance will allow you to work up a small sweat, it certainly won’t provide the sort of challenge that serious cyclists are looking for. But then again, serious cyclists are probably not going to be looking at the desk cycle. There are also resistance bands underneath the seat, allowing you for some lighter upper body workouts while you pedal.
The footprint of this home workout bike is rather tiny, although it can certainly hold its own weight against many others. It measures out to 28 inches (71.1 cm) long, 16 inches (40.6 cm) wide and 45 inches (114 cm) tall. The entire bike only weighs about 45 lbs (20.4 kg), yet can supposedly hold a maximum weight of 300 lbs (136 kg). The seat of this small exercise bike can be adjusted vertically and the entire bike can be folded in order to save some even more storage space.
Obviously the main appeal here is the desk and foldability rather than any sort of technological aspect of the monitor. However, there is still a performance meter on top of the desk. It keeps track of stats like the speed, distance and estimated calories burned. There is a tablet holder in addition to the desk aspect of the upright exercise bike, as well as storage spots (underneath the desk itself) for your phone or earbuds.
The FitDesk 3.0 does cost around $330. There is a pretty fair 3 year moving parts replacement guarantee for the FitDesk 3.0. However, that’s about it, which is certainly not all that great. This indoor static bike is fine for those who want to work out simply while they get some work done or don’t want to spend a lot of money. For any more important or intense workouts, you’ll generally want to look elsewhere.
- Fairley Cheap, Desk With Storage Space, Small And Foldable
- Light Resistance, Few Warranties, Not The Most Comfortable
Flexispot Pro Desk Exercise Bike
We end our list of the best exercise bikes with the Flexispot home office Deskcise Pro desk exercise bike. While this desk bike certainly doesn’t have the most brilliant name, it most certainly still remains a very good bike.
The resistance on this stationary cycle is a manual magnetic resistance system that is adjustable via a dial right in front of the seat. There are 8 different levels to pick from. However, as was the case with the FitDisk 3.0, the resistance isn’t really the greatest. You won’t be getting the most challenge from these bikes, but it will at least get the blood flowing while you sit at a desk.
The Deskcise Pro is a fairly sturdy desk that will keep most people fitting comfortably on board. It measures out to be 37.6 inches (95.5 cm) long, 22.8 inches (58 cm) wide and 48.2 inches (122.4 cm) tall. This desk bike weighs about 75 lbs (34 kg), while it can hold a maximum weight of 300 lbs (136 kg). The user height range seems to range in between 5’1” and 6’2”, which is a pretty decent range. The seat is adjustable vertically, with wheels on the bottom of the machine to help with mobility.
There is an absolutely tiny LCD display on this home exercising bike that is so hard to see, it might as well not even be there. It can show stats like distance, calories burned and time, but otherwise is fairly useless. The desk is large enough to accommodate a laptop, notebooks or your phone, depending on what you want to place on it.
The Flexispot Deskcise Pro costs around $500 at a retail price, although it has been known to drop down to $350. We couldn’t find any sort of warranty information, which isn’t great. This is a fine bike, but there are some definite problems that come with the design and functions.
- Sizeable Desk, Large Weight Limit, High Discount Range
- Useless LCD Screen, OK Resistance, Seat Is Mediocre
Buyer’s Guide + Which Exercise Bike is Best For You
That concludes our list of the top rated exercise bikes! Now we’re going to go over some of the major types of exercise bikes and show you what you should be looking for on these machines. This will help you buy the best exercise bike in the future if you disagree on our picks and want to hunt for your own bike.
Recumbent Exercise Bikes
For recumbent bikes, you’ll want to find if there are built-in resistance controls on the handlebar so that you don’t need to turn to the monitor every time you want to change said resistance. The monitor will ideally be backlit, have Bluetooth connections and plenty of preset workout programs that you can choose from.
Upright Stationary Bikes
For upright exercise bikes, you’ll really want to focus on adjustable components. 4-way adjustable seats and handlebars are quite valuable here, as they allow for all sorts of people to fit comfortably on it. Speaking of comfort, you’ll want to check if the seat is comfortable, or if it can be replaced. Ideally, the backlit monitors on these bikes are also available with Bluetooth compatibility and plenty of preset programs.
Exercise Spin Bikes
You’ll want to look for 4-way adjustable handlebars, as well as a backlit monitor that has Bluetooth capabilities. This monitor should also be able to track your speed and RPM. SPD compatible pedals are always appreciated here, as are the magnetic resistance systems with a belt drive so that you can get very quiet workouts in. These are the key elements you want to look for with spin bikes.
Air Exercise Bikes
For air exercise bikes, these often focus on HIIT workouts, so you’ll want to look for preset programs installed in these bikes. Monitors that also have tracking for heart rates, distance and time programs. Having different elements like a footrest to do separate body workouts is another element to consider when looking at these bikes.
Recumbent Arm Exerciser
For recumbent bikes like the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4631, you’ll want to look for stationary bikes that can exercise your arms and legs independently. Obviously a comfortable seat is key for these, since you’ll be sitting on it a lot. Tablet holders and other elements on the console are also ideal.
Folding Exercise Bikes
For folding exercise bikes, obviously the key element that you want to see is the ability to fold into a much smaller size. A design that unfolds into an upright or recumbent design is desirable, as is a tablet holder and resistance bands for an upper body workout. Comfort tends to be less of a focus on these bikes, so it’s nice when it appears in the seat.
For desk bikes, you’ll want large desks that can hold everything you want on there. The desks should be available to be adjusted both horizontally and vertically. A cup holder would be nice, while large seats are also a must. After all, if you are doing work on these bikes, you want to be comfortable while doing it.
And that concludes our review of the best exercise bikes. Generally, it depends on what category of home exercise bike you are looking for. The two Nautilus bikes we rated at the beginning are some of the best recumbent and upright bikes that you’ll be able to find, so they are our top recommendations. However, make sure you know what sort of bike you are looking for and examine it for the elements that we’ve gone over in the buyer’s guide so that you know what sort of bike you want. Now get out there and get cycling!