The 5 Best Spin Bikes Under $200 in 2023 – Affordable
The increasing competition in the fitness equipment industry has made it possible for us to buy a decent spin bike for under $200. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case in the past because there weren’t such options to choose from.
I remember in 2020, your only options for spin bikes under $200 were a few noisy and cheaply made exercise bikes. But today if you have a budget of $200, you will still be able to buy a good indoor bike for a safe and effective solid cardio workout at home.
Although there are some really great indoor cycling bikes under $200, finding one is not as easy as it sounds because there are hundreds of exercise bikes under $200 on the market.
Unfortunately, more than 90% of indoor cycling exercise bikes that cost less than $200 have poor quality and design. So, to be able to actually find the best exercise bike under 200 takes time and experience.
But since you are reading this article, you don’t need to worry about wasting your time to find the best spin bike under $200 because I have already done months of research and found the top spin bikes under $200.
I reviewed each spin bike separately and then at the end compared them with each other to find out what makes one indoor spin bike better than another.
When I found out all the similarities, pros, cons, and differences, I created this article on the best spin bikes under $200. Down below you will also see that I added a comparison table for you to see the differences in a glace.
I this following exercise bike review under 200 USD article, I also delved into fundamental aspects of an indoor cycling bike as well as my recommendation for one bike that I think is the best indoor bike under 200 dollars currently on the market. Hint, it’s ranked number 1 on the list.
At the end of the article, I have also added a detailed buying guide to help you learn about spin bikes and what to look for when buying one under $200. Without further ado, here are the 5 bikes that I think are the best exercise bikes under $200.
Best Spin Bikes Under $200 Comparison
|Cvalier Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike||Great Value||270 Pounds |
5.3 to 6 Feet
|Speed, time, and distance||Magnetic resistance||40 Pounds||2-Way adjustable w/ tablet holder|
|Hapichil Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike||Great Value||330 Pounds|
5 to 6.1 Feet
|Speed, time, and distance||Friction resistance||35 Pounds||2-Way adjustable w/ tablet holder|
|Goflyshin 290 Indoor Cycling Bike||Great Value||265 Pounds|
5.1 to 6 Feet
|Speed, time, pulse, and distance||Friction resistance||35 Pounds||2-Way adjustable w/ tablet holder|
|Urevo Indoor Cycling Bike||Great Value||260 Pounds|
5 to 6 Feet
|Speed, time, and distance||Friction resistance||22 Pounds||2-Way adjustable w/ tablet holder|
|VIGBODY Belt Drive Home Spin Bike||Overpriced||260 Pounds|
5 to 6 Feet
|Speed, time, and distance||Friction resistance||18 Pounds||2-Way adjustable without tablet holder|
Quick Overview of 5 Exercise Bikes Under $200:
- Cavalier Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike
- Hapichil Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike
- Goflyshine Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike
- Urevo Belt Drive Home Spin Bike
- Vigbody Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike
#1 Cavalier Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike
The key to a good budget for indoor cycling under $200 is the quiet workout. That’s why the Cavalier indoor bike made it to the top of our list. It doesn’t have any bells and whistles but it’s understandable because you don’t get those in this low price range.
Just like any other indoor bike under $200, Cavalier doesn’t have some of the features you’ll find on higher-priced exercise bikes, but it’s a compact, relatively quiet, and strong cardio machine with an impressive 40 lbs flywheel. These are all you should be looking at if you want to invest less than $200 for an exercise bike.
It will let you get your cardio and calorie-burning exercise with enjoyable smooth pedal strokes and plenty of inertia. Thanks to its magnetic resistance system, this spin bike can provide a quiet and low-maintenance spinning workout.
There is a good amount of resistance regulated by a braking system operated by a knob on the frame. The Cavalier bike also features a quiet belt transmission system which makes the ride even smoother.
There is no specific resistance level on the knob or on the screen so you wouldn’t know what is your current gear. It’s unfortunately a common issue with all options including top-rated spinning bikes under $200 that I tried.
I have only seen some of the spin bikes under $500 with specific resistance levels/gears displayed on the screen. But under $200 USD, I don’t know any spin bike that displays your current resistance level on its console or has electronic resistance. So, I suggest not wasting your time looking for this feature.
This unit has a horizontally and vertically adjustable seat but the handlebars only move up and down and not horizontally. I am not disappointed that it doesn’t adjust horizontally because of the low price and because this bike’s seat and handlebars vertically adjust at the same angle.
If the bike’s seat and handlebars went to a different angle when adjusting vertically like Keiser M3i, I wouldn’t have fit the bike comfortably without horizontal adjustment.
But thankfully that’s not the case with the Cavalier indoor cycling exercise bike. If you are between 5.3 to 6 feet tall, you can fit the bike without a problem. I am 5.7 and there was just a little room for putting the seat lower so I don’t suggest it if you are below 5.3 feet.
But ultimately a spin bike fit depends on your inseam height rather than your actual height. So, I suggest you read my guide on how to measure your inseam. If you fall between 34.2″Min – 40″Max, this spin bike under $200 will fit you.
You’d probably expect that at this lower price point, the bike would not have built-in bottle holders on the handlebars, but this one comes with one nicely designed holder.
I put my phone and tablet on the handlebar holder together and my water bottle on the fork arm holder. To be honest I don’t see any exercise bike under $200 with a tablet, phone, and bottle holder altogether.
The part that impressed me wasn’t the tablet or bottle holders, it was the actually dipped handlebars. All the spin bikes under $200 that I tried had a foam cover which gets wet and slippery but this bike has coated dipped handlebars.
The grip is much better and not slippery at all. There are no racing bars or elbow pads on the handlebars but there is no way I could find those details in stationary bikes under $200.
Another really impressive feature of this indoor bike was its saddle. It has a thick layer of foam padding and there is a center cut to allow airflow during long indoor cycling rides.
Although the seat is comfy, I did use my regular padded indoor cycling shorts to avoid saddle soreness and I suggest you do the same. It will greatly improve your indoor cycling performance and comfort so you would want to stay longer on the bike.
The crank arms on this indoor bike are 3-piece which is much better than the 1-piece crank arms because it’s more durable and easier to maintain. It is 1 inch wide and solid so you can safely stand on the pedals and ride out of the saddle.
The pedals that come with the bike are standard 9/16 with toe cage and adjustable straps but they don’t have cleats to clip in indoor cycling shoes. Not a big deal if you are going to use regular gym sneakers for cycling but if you prefer to use specific indoor cycling shoes, you will need to change the pedals.
Additional features include a 40-lb flywheel which actually felt like a 40-pound flywheel like some others I have seen advertised with 40-lb flywheels but felt like 20-lb flywheels.
I think this company is being honest about the weight of the flywheel but I didn’t take out the flywheel to weigh so I can say for certain that it is exactly 40 lb. But its resistance and inertia feel like 40 lbs.
It has a max weight capacity of 270 lbs but I am only 165 lbs and the bike was pretty solid during indoor cycling sessions including some intervals that I did.
There was a little bit of vibration but after I put an exercise bike floor mat under the bike, the shaking and vibration disappeared. It is a good $25 investment that can save your floor from sweat, and scratch, and prevent noise and vibration during spinning workouts.
The console on this bike is as basic as it gets. It doesn’t have a backlit, it is really small, and there are no cadence, watt, or resistance meters. But it does provide your speed, distance, time, and estimated calories.
Also, it doesn’t have Bluetooth to connect to indoor cycling applications like Zwift. But if that’s what you like, you can buy an RPM Bluetooth sensor for $30 and attach it to the bike’s pedals. It will give your cadence which is the most important metric when watching online spin bike workouts on Peloton.
- Dipped solid handlebars
- Bottle, tablet + phone holders
- Magnetic resistance
- 40 Lb heavy flywheel
- Comfortable seat
- Chromed seat and handlebar posts
- Limited user height support
- No horizontal handlebar adjustment
- No RPM, watt, or gear metrics
- Small and hard to see console
- No SPD pedals
- Unestablished brand and hard to get spare parts
#2 Hapichil Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike
Very affordable and functional, the Hapichil is a great choice as an entry spin bike. If its handlebars were dipped with better quality and its flywheel was as heavy as the Cavalier indoor bike with magnetic resistance instead of friction, I would have chosen this bike as my number 1 in the list of best spin bikes under $200.
But since its handlebars and flywheel is inferior to the Cavalier bike, I decided to rank this model in the second position. That said, if you are shorter than 5.3 feet (or 34.2-inch inseam), the Hapichil is better for you because Cavalier doesn’t adjust for shorter users.
This small unit is best suited to riders under 5 to 6 feet and it is quite durable that supports up to 330 lbs thanks to its thick steel frame. To make sure it stays in place without rocking, it’s best to use a bike mat or a large floor exercise mat to have space for your own workouts.
The current version of this indoor bike under $200 has a felt pad friction resistance which is louder and requires more maintenance than a magnetic resistance system. It is controlled with an adjustable knob on the frame.
If you push the knob down, it functions as an “emergency brake” that stops the flywheel immediately when necessary. Nor is its resistance marked on the knob or displayed on its console so I never knew my resistance level.
To be honest it’s a big deal for me to know what is my current gear but I had the bike for review purposes for a few days and I returned it after a couple of indoor cycling sessions. Plus, for under $200, there is no way you find a spin bike to display its gear level.
As expected for the price, this indoor bike has a fixed flywheel so it also allows you to pedal both backward and forward. But you can’t do coasting so if you need to take a short break to recover, you need to wait until the flywheel is at full stop.
There aren’t as many comfort adjustments or hand grips as on more expensive competitors like Dmasun bike. The handlebars only adjust vertically and the seat is okay but not very comfortable, so you may want to replace it or add a seat cover.
The pedals only feature toe straps so there are no SPD elements for specific cycling shoes but that’s not a dealbreaker because, for spin bikes under two hundred US dollars, it is not possible to also get SPD pedals. Normally that’s something you get with indoor bikes under $1000 because those pedals alone cost $50.
Although it is more adjustable than the Cavalier indoor bike, it is still adjustable over a relatively short range for users from 5 to 6.1 feet tall. But to make it up, it has a high weight capacity of 330 lbs.
Hapichil does come with a console but it really is extremely basic without a backlight and a very small screen. It provides feedback on distance, time, and speed.
It also has pulse sensors on the handlebars but it doesn’t monitor heart rate accurately. If I was to keep this spin bike, I would have used an armband heart rate monitor to track my heart rate on my phone.
Just so you know this indoor bike also doesn’t give you the cadence, watt, or resistance level. And, there is also no Bluetooth so you can’t connect to indoor cycling applications unless using a cadence and speed sensor or a pair of indoor bike power meter pedals.
- 35 lb flywheel weight
- Tablet holder
- Stabilizers and transport wheels
- Cheaply made handlebars
- Small screen without rpm
- Pedals without SPD elements
- Not as quiet as Cavalier bike
- Friction resistance
#3 Goflyshine 290 Stationary Indoor Cycling Bike
There are 6 models of Goflyshine indoor bikes and although they all cost less than $200, the one that I liked the most is the Goflyshine 290 (Labodi) because it has a resistance protection cover while other models don’t. Other than that, they are all pretty much the same indoor bikes with the same flywheel and resistance.
This Goflyshine indoor cycling bike fits perfectly to your body proportions if you are between 5.1 to 6 feet tall. It lets you make tweaks until the bike feels just right for you unless you are taller than 6 feet or shorter than 5.1 feet.
The handlebars move up and down when you want to correct height while the foam padded seat moves fore/aft up/down with a simple turn of a knob, allowing you to adjust in the middle of a workout.
It doesn’t have handlebars horizontal adjustability so you can’t set up this spin bike for an upright position. Unfortunately, that’s a very common problem with all the spin bikes for under $200 that I tried to review and compare for this article.
Even after months of search, I found it to be almost impossible to find an indoor bike under $200 with horizontal handlebar adjustment so I would suggest you not waste your time looking for this feature.
One thing that I noticed about Goflyshine and Hapichil was that both of these indoor bikes have foam covers on the handlebars. They are not as good as the dipped handlebars on the Cavalier indoor bike because they get slippery when you sweat.
The quality of the seat that comes with the bike didn’t disappoint me because after trying so many different top-notch spin bikes under $200, I already knew what to expect. It was comfortable for 30-minute indoor cycling sessions as long as I was wearing padded indoor cycling shorts.
As for the weight of the flywheel, in the manual, it was written 35 pounds but it didn’t feel like 35 pounds. There was less resistance and inertia so I would say it’s around 20-25 pounds max.
Unfortunately, most exercise bikes under $200 are wrongly advertised with heavy flywheels but when you actually try them, you see that they are 10-15 pounds lighter than what they stated in the product description.
Although to be honest I didn’t have any problem with the flywheel, I did not like the friction resistance. I know the pad is made of wool but I always had bad experiences with friction resistance.
They need more maintenance, make more noise, and aren’t as smooth as magnetic resistance spin bikes. So, if I was to actually keep this spin bike for daily use, I would probably avoid it.
I would instead keep the Cavalier indoor bike because it has a magnetic resistance system that makes zero noise and it is very smooth compared friction resistance system which you can read more about it in my spin bike resistance guide.
That said, it’s nice to see Goflyshine has added a plastic resistance cover that protects the wool pad from getting wet when you sweat on the bike. That reduces maintenance and minimizes noise.
One thing that is a major selling factor of friction resistance is its limitless adjustment. Unlike a magnetic system that has a fixed maximum and minimum intensity, friction resistance doesn’t have limitations.
You can add as much resistance as you wish and you won’t have the problem saying “resistance knob is all the way to the end but the intensity is still not challenging”. That’s a challenge some magnetic indoor bike owners have to deal with, not you as a friction spin bike owner.
So, if you want unlimited resistance, you will love this bike and you will invariably recommend it to your friends and family who want to buy a budget spin bike under 200 USD!
Its maximum weight capacity is 260 pounds which is a little less than the Hapichil spin bike which has a 330 pounds weight support. 260 lbs is not bad considering its compact size and affordable price.
Its monitor is not backlit but that’s not a dealbreaker because generally speaking the backlit is not a common feature for indoor cycling bikes that cost less than 200. And to be honest, I don’t know of any spin bike even under $300 that comes with blue backlit screens.
Its fitness meter tracks your speed, time, distance, and calories. It also measures your heart rate through pulse sensors which are nice to have on the bike but that’s not super accurate. Sadly, this indoor cycling bike doesn’t have Bluetooth or ANT connection so you can’t connect the bike to online indoor cycling apps.
Last but not least, this low-price indoor cycle uses a belt drive (which is better than a chain). It doesn’t have a “press-down pully” for belt adjustment. It only has a “belt tension adjuster” which is not as good as the combination of “press down pully” and “belt tension adjuster”.
So far I have only seen the combination of “press down pully” and “belt tension adjuster” on one spin bike under $200 and that is the Cavalier which I ranked number 1 in the list. It has less belt maintenance.
- Pulse sensors on the handlebars
- Resistance protection cover
- Adjustable stabilizers and transport wheels
- Marked seat and handlebar posts for easy adjustment
- Friction resistance
- Foam covered handlebars
- Small screen without backlight
- No cadence, resistance, or watt metrics
- No horizontal handlebar adjustment
#4 UREVO Belt-Drive Indoor Cycling Bike
I am not sure you heard of Urevo since they are pretty new on the market with only a few basic indoor fitness machines. But quickly it is becoming a popular budget fitness equipment brand in the US market.
So, I decided to give one of their more popular indoor bike under $200 a shot and see up close to know if it stands the hype and thousands of review. Well, I wasn’t disappointed, not for the price that I paid for the exercise bike.
Of course, we normally use the exercise bikes under $200 for a short period of time to write review and comparsion but we can’t keep them as we need to make room the future indoor bikes that we buy or recieve to review.
So, we only use this exercise bike under $200 for around a week and as you can see Urveo is not my primary choice in the list of best spin bikes under $200 because I think there are better stationary exercise bikes such as Cavalier, Hapichil, and Goflyshine.
But let’s say those indoor bikes are not available which often happens, then I recommend that you consider Urevo when buying a indoor cycling exercise bike under $200.
The main reason I am not really interested in this indoor cycle is its friction resistance system. But it does come with belt driven system which is quieter and requires less maintenance that the chain bikes. Like other belt-driven spin bikes, it needs no oiling and has fewer breakdowns compared to chain drive.
It would have been great if belt transmission was combined with a magnetic resistance system instead of its friction wool pad resistance. Unlike some magnetic spin bikes like Cavalier, Urevo is a little louder especially when you add more resistance because the wool pad presses on the flywheel to create the intesity.
But if that’s not an important factor and doesn’t both you or your partner, and you don’t mind extra maintenance from time to time, you will get a good spin workout from this affordable indoor bike that cost less than 200 US Dollars.
I do like that Urevo is honest about the weight of the flywheel. It was discriped as a 22-lb flywheel and it feels like that. Unfortunatly most exercising bikes under $200 including Hapichi are miss advertised so when you start pedaling you don’t feel like moving a 20-lb wheel rather than a 35-lb.
I do belive the weight of the flywheel has to be more because this spin bike has friction resistance and to create a decent inertia and a smooth pedal stroke, it’s really important to have a heavy flywheel.
At least a 35+ pounds flywheel like Sunny Health and Fitness SF-B1805 that has a 44-lb flywheel or the Sunny SF-B1002 that has a 49-lb flywheel. These exercise bikes are a good example of correct flywheel weight for old school conventional spin bikes with friction resistance.
But of course they are also more expensive than $200 so I guess it’s more like you get what you pay for. That said, if you are spending below $200 for an exercise bike, don’t look for a real 40+ lb flywheel beacuase they don’t exist.
I tried to find heavy flywheel spin bikes under $200 and I didn’t find any. The closest I got was the Cavalier bike with a 40 pound flywheel and I am not sure it’s available by the time you are reading this article of top indoor bikes under $200.
Moving on to the noteworthy features of this spinning bike and one is the media shelves. Urevo indoor bike has two shelves so you can keep your phone and tablet or two tablets at the same time while doing cardio workout on the bike.
It’s impressive because Vigbody doesn’t even have one tablet holer and the other three indoor cycling bikes under $200 I reviewed only had one tablet holder. So, thumbs up to Urevo for adding additional tablet holder in case you want to watch Netflix while cycling on one device and use another device to follow an online spin bike class.
In terms of technology, I found the Urevo console prett basic which I get it, it’s a budget indoor bike so they can’t add an advance console. But to be honest it is easir to read stats on the Urevo’s consoles than Vigbody, Goflyshine, Hapichil, and Cavalier.
During the day I could see the stats but when I used the bike when it was a little dark, I needed to keep the lights on to see numbers. It also doesn’t show RPM or have Bluetooth connectivity for online cycling applications.
Don’t be disappointed because I don’t think you would get any better console for the price. It tracks your speed, distance, time, and calories. Also, read your heart rate if you hold the pulse sensors which is not practical because every few minutes you would need to hold diffirent parts of the handlebars to avoid hand numbness and fatigue.
One thing that bothered me a lot was the lack of floor stablizer though. It doesn’t have stablizers to adjust and make sure the bike doesn’t shake if your floor is uneven.
It’s a poor decision not to include stablizers, especially because every other spinning bike under $200 that I tried had either 2 or 4 adjustable stablizers for uneven floors.
If your floor is slanted, I highly suggest that you use one of these Keiser M3i exercise bike mats under this bike. It will help to help minimize rocking and shaking.
Urevo indoor bike has toe cage pedals without elements for clipping cycling shoes. If you want to wear shoes for power efficincy or safety, you will need to change the pedals but if you use regular shoes, you are good to go with the included pedals.
The pedal hole thread is 9/16 so finding replacement pedals should be really easy which always good because if the company goes out of the business, you can still find compatible pedals to use with this indoor cycling bike.
As for the bike adjustment, it does fit users from 5 to 6 feet and up to 260 pounds. It’s not huge but acceptable for indoor bikes under $200. Normally spin bikes like Keiser M3i that cost $2000 accommodate a wider range of users but budget spin bikes are more limited.
Overall, the Urevo is a better choise than Vigbody cardio bike and has a 1-year free parts replacement warranty. While this spin bike is definitely made with the budget-conscious in mind, it’s also one of the most highly rated on Amazon with over 1000+ reviews and 4.3/5 stars as of this writing.
- Overall good quality and design
- Two device holders on the handlebars
- Breathable padded saddle
- A more clear console than other bikes
- Handlebars only adjust vertically
- No RPM, resistance, or watt readings
- No Bluetooth or ANT/+ connectivity
- Friction resistance system with a light flywheel
- Handlebars not dipped (foam cover)
- No floor stablizers
#5 VIGBODY Belt Drive Home Spin Bike
The VIGBODY indoor bike is definitely worth looking into when purchasing spin bikes below 200. Especially when the other four indoor bikes I reviewed up in this article aren’t available.
The main reason I pushed it down the list to the fourth spot when comparing the best spin bikes under $200 is the lack of resistance felt pad cover. Plus, it has a friction resistance system which is inferior to a magnetic resistance system.
It is less smooth and definitely makes a bit more noise than some of the magnetic resistance indoor cycling bikes such as the WHMH Eclips bike. Also, it requires more maintenance than the Eddy Current (magnetic) system.
As for the flywheel, it is not as heavy as other spin bikes that I reviewed under 200. It weighs 18 pounds which is considered too light for indoor bikes that have friction resistance as they require heavier flywheels to deliver a smooth and consistent pedaling motion.
The frame of the bike is compact and durable enough to support up to 260 pounds of user weight. It’s a little be less than the Goflyshine indoor bike so if you weigh more than the recommended weight for this bike, it’s best that you get the Hapichil bike instead.
Its handlebars are poorly designed without a tablet or phone holder. So, you can’t keep your tablet on the bike unless you spend an additional $20 for an exercise bike tablet holder. With other exercise bikes under $200, that wasn’t the case because they do include a tablet holder.
Also, its handlebars aren’t dipped like the ones on Cavalier indoor bike. It has a foam cover that I found it to be slippery and cheap especially when you sweat. After a while, they might rip so you will probably have to use handlebar tapes.
Unforutnelty, the only indoor cycling bike that I found under $200 with dipped handlebars was the Cavalier. Every other indoor bike had a foam cover.
The saddle is not bad compared to what I received with a few Sunny Health and Fitness indoor bikes I bought in the past. It has plenty of foam padding to minimize spin bike saddle soreness.
But as we all know saddle comfort is subjective to the rider’s body shape and gender so what might be comfortable to me, might actually be painful for you. So, I recommend that you use this spin bike for a while and if you feel uncomfortable, read my guide on how to choose a comfortable spin bike saddle and get a seat that meets your need.
You can set up this spin bike to fit users between 5 to 6 feet tall. It’s not bad at all for a stationary exercise bike under $200. Additionally, this budget exercise bike includes a belt transmission which is much better than a chain because it doesn’t require oiling and it makes less noise. Plus, it has fewer breakdowns.
In terms of a console, I found this spin bike to be as low-tech and basic as every other indoor bike in this buying guide. It has a 2×1 inch monitor which is really small and hard to see workouts when doing indoor cycling workouts, especially more intense sessions.
Also, there is no backlight on the console so if it’s dark, you need to keep ambient lights on to see the stats on the console. Although it does track my speed, time, distance, and calories, it doesn’t display the RPM (Revolution Per Minute), power output, or resistance level.
If you are planning to follow indoor cycling classes on Peloton as I do, you need to know at least your RPM which unfortunately non of the exercise bikes under $200 have to provide this metric.
You are not completely out of options though because you can buy a cadence sensor separately (search the site for cadence sensors) and attach it easily to the bike’s crankarm with the glue and strap that comes with the sensor. I do suggest you read more about spin bike RPM to learn what it is and how it works.
Last but not least, this budget indoor bike comes with is a pair of toe cage pedals. There is no SPD elements but that’s simply not possible to get for exercise bikes under $200.
To optimize your pedal stroke when cycling indoors, it’s important to use indoor cycling shoes with a stiff sole and for that, you will have to replace the pedals on this bike and use a pair of dual-sided SPD pedals.
I wrote extensive articles on the benefits of clipping into pedals while cycling indoors and how to choose comfortable indoor cycling shoes. If you do decide to change the pedals later, I suggest you read those articles.
- 12 Months warranty
- Transport wheels and stabilizers
- Overall good quality for the price
- No resistance pad protection cover
- Friction resistance (more maintenance and noise)
- Tablet holder not included with the bike
- Light weight flywheel
- Small console and no RPM metric
Buying Guide For Indoor Cycling Bikes Under $200:
Types of Resistance
Generally speaking, there are two main types of resistance for indoor spin bikes. They included direct contact resistance also known as friction resistance, and magnetic resistance also known as Eddy Current resistance.
Although each one of these resistance types has its pros and cons, the magnetic resistance is our most favorite. Let’s take a look at each resistance type in a little more detail to give you the knowledge to make the right decision.
Direct Contact Resistance (least recommended):
This resistance is applied directly onto the flywheel. It uses a brake pad (wool or leather) to reduce the speed and add resistance. There are at least three major problems with friction resistance. And unfortunately, most spin bikes under $200 come with friction brake.
First, they have a wool or leather pad that comes in direct contact with the flywheel and wears out. So, you would need to replace the pad every couple of years depending on how often you do spinning indoor. You also need to be careful the pads don’t get wet which is not easy when sweating on a spin bike.
Second, due to the fact that it comes in direct contact with the flywheel, it makes a noise, often very annoying. So, there is a big chance you might end up bothering/disturbing the rest of the family if they are resting or watching TV.
Third, friction resistance is not as smooth as the other type of resistance that we will review them down below. Therefore, you will not have a very enjoyable and realistic experience like a road bike riding.
Magnetic Resistance/Eddy Current (Most Recommended):
Magnetic resistance spin bikes are now leading the indoor cycling market and we get it as to why everyone including our team loves them. Here are the three major benefits of magnetic resistance indoor bikes.
First, due to the fact that magnets don’t touch or come in direct contact with the flywheel, they never wear out. So, you don’t have to worry about replacing the magnets. Also, you don’t need to panic if liquid spills on the flywheel because it is not wool so it doesn’t cause maintenance.
Second, magnets only get close to the flywheel but NEVER touch the flywheel. Therefore, they make zero noise and you can exercise in peace without disturbing anyone in the house. This will give you the option to do spinning at-home when everyone is resting.
Third, the resistance changes and operates smoothly throughout the whole working including high-intensity spinning exercise. The pedal motion remains smooth and there is no unpleasant jerky feel. All in all, magnetic resistance is awesome and hopefully more indoor cycling bikes under $200 will come with this technology in the future.
After the resistance, the main part of a bike is the flywheel. Spin bike flywheel is the critical component to the functioning of an indoor cycling bike under 200. The rotation on this heavy desk creates the energy that is needed to keep the workout smooth and consistent. Here is what you need to know about flywheel when buying an indoor exercise bike under $200.
First, generally for spin bikes under $1000, a heavy flywheel is an important factor. So, if you are buying a budget spin bike, I highly recommend you consider the weight of the flywheel (preferably more than 30 lbs).
Second, not always a heavy flywheel is required to deliver a smooth workout, especially when you pay $2000 for an indoor cycling bike. In fact, the world’s best indoor bikes such as Keiser M3i and Life Fitness IC7 come with 8-pound flywheels.
And if you are wondering why, it is because these bikes combine magnetic resistance, double rear pulleys, and high-gear ratio. The combination of these three aspects is very difficult to find on spin bikes under 500 or 1000.
As a rule of thumb, when buying an indoor cycling exercise bike with friction resistance, always look for a heavy flywheel. The same rule applies to magnetic spin bikes unless they have double rear pulleys and high-gear ratio which unfortunately most companies don’t disclose these details.
Handlebar Adjustment & Design:
There are four components to look for when you are searching for a good stationary spin bike. First, To make sure the spine is in a neutral position while riding, you need to be able to adjust the handlebars up/down fore/aft and set up the spin bike for your height. So, it should adjust in four directions (vertically and horizontally).
Second, look for a spinning bicycle that includes bottle holder (preferably two) built into the handlebars. This feature makes it easy to reach a bottle and stay hydrated during a sweaty spin workout.
Thrid, a well-designed indoor exercise bike usually has a media shelf built into the handlebars. This way you can keep your tablet or phone on the bike to watch a spin class or stream online during the ride.
Fourth, aluminum seat and handlebar posts. This material is much lighter compared to steel. Therefore, there is less pressure on the adjustment knobs and overall bike weight is lighter. Plus, lighter handlebar and seats require less effort to adjust.
How to Set Up Your Spin Bike?
Now that you found and bought the best home spin bike, it is time to start using it but before that, you need to adjust it to the correct height for your body and build. Follow our step by step spin bike setup instructions below!
Adjust the Saddle Height:
The saddle of your spin bike needs to be parallel to your hip bone and here is how you adjust it. Stand next to your bike (with spinning shoes on) and bring your thigh up to a 90-degree angle to the floor. From here adjust by either raising or lowering the saddle height until it is level with the top of your leg.
Move the Saddle Forward and Backward:
Now you need to find the right distance between your seat and the handlebars, this is important to get right as the knees come into play here. Knees need to be over the feet but shouldn’t go beyond your toes.
Adjust the Handlebar Height:
As a rule of thumb for height adjustment, it is recommended to make sure the handlebar is the same height as your seat. Although, if you have less flexibility or recovering from back pain, you may want to raise up the handlebars so you don’t need to lean too much forward.
Move the Handlebars Forward and Backward:
Depending on your height and arm-length, you decide the fore/aft adjustment of the handlebars. There is no rule of thumb here but you find a neutral position and feel comfortable. This can take a little bit of playing around, sliding the handlebars forward and back and testing out a few positions.
After a few spinning sessions, you will be able to adjust a bit further and find a neutral spot. If there is more than one person using the bike, it is good to mark all the posts with a permanent marker so its easier to set up the spin bike for the next ride.
Spin bikes are a great way to get high-speed cardio workouts as well as very intense workout and nowadays there is the ability to do so from the comfort of your home with budget spinning exercise bikes.
There are many options on the market and they are increasing in popularity all around the world thanks to their simple low-maintenance design and effective results.
When choosing the right spin bike for yourself, especially budget, consider the flywheel weight (the heavier the better) as well as adjustability and monitor features.
Disclaimer: Although all of the spin bikes listed in this review are great value for the price (under $200), they are not the most durable or the best options on the market. If that’s what you are looking for, check out our picks of best spin bikes in the US market.
If you still have any questions or doubts about the reviewed home exercise bikes, please leave a comment down below. We are happy to help, but the choice is, of course, a personal one that will change depending on your needs!