Whether you are an outdoor cyclist looking for indoor stationary cycling options, someone who got into exercise bikes thanks to the popularity of spinning classes, or just a fitness enthusiast interested in something you can do at home, exercise bikes are a great addition to the home gym. They don’t take up much space, typically have lower prices than other some equipment, and give you a nice low-impact workout. We’ve compared all the top exercise bikes on the market for 2015 – 2016 and picked our favorites. The top rated bikes you see below are all high quality fitness machines that are perfect for your exercise goals.
- Top 10 Best Home Exercise Bikes 2015 - 2016
- Exercise Bikes Buying Guide
- Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Upright Bike Review
- Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike Review
- Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike Review
- Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike Review
- Exerpeutic 1000 High Capacity Magnetic Recumbent Bike Review
- Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycle Trainer Review
- Schwinn 130 Upright Exercise Bike Review
Top 10 Best Home Exercise Bikes 2015 - 2016
Exercise Bikes Buying Guide
If this your first time shopping for this type of home gym equipment, then you will notice that there are a lot of options on the market. Prices typically range from just under $200 to well over $2,000, which leaves a lot of models in between. Fortunately, it also means that you end up with several affordable models to choose from no matter what your shopping budget might be for this gear. As with anything else, the higher priced models do tend to have more features and better quality, but don’t let that deter you from the cheaper options. Plenty of the cheap exercise bikes are durable and made to last for several years – you just might not get all the bells and whistles of the more expensive models.
For the most part, there are really only two main types of exercise bikes and that is the upright type that looks most similar to a real bicycle and the recumbent type, which has a seat with back support. You end up getting a pretty similar workout from either one, but if you want to target those glutes then go with an upright model. Why? Because you can fully extend your hips and work on toning your glutes when using an upright machine.
If you have any back problems or back pain, then a recumbent is likely the better choice for your workout. Both types support your body weight, which makes exercise bikes the perfect option for people with lower-limb injuries or balance problems.
What To Shop For
With so many different models available, it is easy to get overwhelmed when shopping for new exercise bikes. That why we think it is best to compare the models by features so that you end up narrowing down your choices just to those that have the features that you need from this type of equipment. Let’s look at some of the most common features that you will compare for each model.
If you’re only spending $200 on this, then a warranty probably won’t be a big deal for you. But for people spending a large sum, a good warranty period is an important thing to pay attention to when comparing equipment. Anything that comes with a warranty on the parts for two to three years is probably a good buy. This covers you in case anything breaks or wears out after extended use.
Most bikes, even the cheapest models, come standard with some type of display panel. Typically, the more you spend on the equipment, the better the display. On the low end, you’ll probably get something that only gives you time and maybe calories burned or distance. Higher end models give you additional things like heart rate, resistance level, speed, RPM, current program, and more. Some even give you a visual representation of distance and resistance.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to use pre-programmed workouts on your machines, then you’ll need to move beyond the really cheap models. Starting with the moderately priced models is when you find something that is programmable. So, whether you just want to select something like a fat-burning program or if you want to setup your own 30-minute workout, you’ll need to look for something in the mid-range price. And usually the more that you spend, the more advanced the programming selections you can set and choose from.
Not all the models offer this feature, but it can be put to good use if you’re doing some HIIT training and attempting to get the best workout possible. The models that use chest straps are the best because they are constantly measuring and it does not get in the way of your workout. However, most models have those contact tabs on the handlebars. Those work well, but only for as long as you are touching them, which can sometimes lead to sitting awkwardly.
For the best possible workout from your gear, you need to choose a model that offers several different resistance levels for you to choose from each time you use the machine. Make sure it adjust electronically for the easiest controls.
If you have limited space at home for your workout gear, then looking for a small exercise bike is probably at the top of your features list. One thing that you might want to consider is a folding bike. Typically the ones that fold are cheaper and lack some of the bells and whistles you might prefer, but you can still get a good workout and you won’t have to worry about a big machine taking up a lot of space when it is not in use.
Another thing that you might want to look for are features that bring you a little extra comfort while you’re working out. This can be something as simple as a dedicated water bottle holder. Or maybe you prefer something with a USB port and some little speakers. You can also shop for a model with a shelf for a book or magazine. Obviously none of these are necessary items, but they can make your exercising time more enjoyable. And if you’re petite, then you might want to look for a good recumbent bike for short people.
Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Upright Bike Review
Right now, this Sunny Health & Fitness model is the best folding exercise bike for the money. With our in-house reviewers, it has earned the position of the top rated folding model on the market due to its cost and quality.
As you can see in the image, this one has a very minimalist design, but it still has some great features. It used magnetic resistance and there are 8 different magnetic tension levels, so you get quite the variety when it comes to resistance levels.
You don’t have to worry about loosing your grip when you get sweaty cause the handles have a non-slip surface so that you can keep your grip. Same goes for the textured pedals – no need to worry about your fee slipping off there.
The frame is made of solid steel and feels very sturdy. It has a weight limit of 250 pounds though. The seat is fully padded and adjustable for comfort. You can fold this up for easy storage, and it does come with wheels so that you can easily move it around your room or home.
It does have a display panel for all of your workout stats. It gives you details on your time, calories burned, distance cycled, and your speed. Overall, this thing is a great value for the money as it is very cheap. I do wish that it had a heart rate monitor, but that is really the only thing that is missing here. Definitely a good choice for anyone with a small budget or needing a folding model.
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Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike Review
If you need something that most closely resembles riding a bicycle, then this model from Sunny Health & Fitness is a really good indoor cycling trainer for the money. I was recently shopping for the cheapest indoor cycling bike trainers on the market because I am on a bit of a budget and I just immediately fell in love with this one. It looks great, doesn’t it?
You can get in a really intense workout without disturbing the kids or the rest of the family thanks to the quiet 40-pound flywheel on this one. In fact, this is the best quiet exercise bike that I’ve seen so far! And if you live in an apartment, then your neighbors will really appreciate how quiet it is!
This SF-B901 Pro indoor cycling bike from Sunny Health & Fitness packs a lot of features for the money. It is made from really high quality components, has a smooth chain drive mechanism, and a heavy-duty crank. The solid steel frame is heavy duty and ultra durable.
It has an adjustable resistance system so that you can make that workout as hard or as easy as you need for the day. The seat is fully adjustable for people of all heights and it is padded for your comfort so that you can put in those long workout sessions when time permits it. Even the handlebar is adjustable to fit your body type without causing any undue stress or awkward positions while cycling.
The weight limit on this one is 275 pounds.
While this is a great choice for indoor bike trainers, it is also a basic model, which means no LCD display to count the calories, time, distance, speed or anything else. That, along with a heart rate monitor, are really the only things that it is missing. You can get those features in more expensive models, but I find that this model is okay for most people and it has a good price that should be able to work for most people’s budget.
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Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike Review
If you want a good folding bike that is packed with features but cheap, then look no further than this model from Exerpeutic. It comes with pretty much all the features you could want and has a super good price.
As you can see in the photo, this one has a very minimalist design. In fact, it looks very basic, so you might be surprised to learn that it is literally jam packed with features.
The handlebars have hand grip heart rate monitors, which is something rare to find on equipment this cheap. The output displays on the LCD monitor, which also shows you the current distance you have cycled, your current calories burned, time you have been working out, and your speed. You might notice in the photo that the screen is kinda small and you might be wondering how it shows you all that – well, there is a scan function so that you can check out each one easily.
One of the best things about this one is that the weight limit is 300 pounds, which makes it a good (and cheap) choice for people who are heavier than the weight limit on most of the cheap bikes.
You do get the magnetic tension with this one as well, with a total of 8 different levels to choose from. The seat cushion is larger than most and padded for your comfort. And you can adjust the height of the seat to fit your body.
Other features include: wheels for transports, space-saving design, a high torque cranking system for smooth pedaling, large pedals to prevent slips, and a precision-balanced flywheel that should keep things quiet so that you can watch TV or just avoid bothering anyone else while you work out.
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Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike Review
If you need a good recumbent bike for the money, then you should definitely consider the Schwinn 230 model. Schwinn is one of the top brands in this market and it definitely shows why in the quality and features you get with the 230 model.
When you consider the brand name and all the features and quality components, I think you know that you’re getting an awesome value for the price.
You won’t believe all the features that you get with the Schwinn 230. You’re basically getting a lot of high end bells and whistles that you normally don’t see on equipment this cheap. This bike is also our top pick for the best exercise bike for seniors.
The display monitor is actually a Dual track two LCD window system that lets you view pretty much all the data you could dream of. I am talking about being able to monitor 13 different stats at the same time. You can set workout goals and track your progress on the screen or use the USB port to export that data for viewing on your computer, phone or tablet. That USB port will also work to charge your device while you work out!
A cool feature of the Schwinn 230 is that the LCD display panel is able to track stats for two different users. So, if you share this machine with a family member you won’t have to worry about your stats getting erased. And you will really like that this one has 22 different programs on it for you to choose from for your workouts. There are also 20 different resistance levels, so you will get a more difficult workout from the Schwinn 230 than the others reviewed above.
The vented seat is very comfortable and has great lumbar support, which is perfect for people with back pain issues. And the maximum weight on this one is a 300 pounds limit, which makes it another good choice for heavier people.
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Exerpeutic 1000 High Capacity Magnetic Recumbent Bike Review
If you have been shopping for one of the cheapest recumbent bikes for the money for the money to take home, then I think you should add this one to your list of possibilities. It has a very affordable price, which is no surprise since Exerpeutic is probably the most affordable exercise equipment brand on the market right now.
Buying a cheap exercise bike like this one means that you do miss out on some of the better features like you see on the Schwinn model above, but this Exerpeutic 1000 stills gives you a lot of value for the price.
The magnetic tension control system has 8 different levels, which gives you a pretty decent workout at home. It does have a hand grip heart rate monitor, which gives the read-out on the LCD displays. Other stats on the display include calories burned, distance, elapsed time, and speed. And there is a scan feature so that you can toggle between the stats.
It features large pedals so that your feet do not slip while working out. And the padded seat on this one is extra wide to accommodate larger people. The weight limit for the Exerpeutic 1000 is 300 pounds, which makes it another good option for heavier people.
Overall, this one is a pretty decent buy, especially when you consider how cheap it is. Sure, the Schwinn model above it a much better option for the money, but if you are on a tight budget then this cheaper Exerpeutic 1000 is definitely a good choice for you.
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Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycle Trainer Review
This is another great option with a good low price. In my opinion, that makes this one a steal because it is very high quality and designed to last for many years to come. It is definitely a good choice for cyclists who are looking to stay fit in the winter months.
The 22-pound flywheel and chain drive mechanism keeps this one whisper quiet while you are working out. This is good news if you don’t want to wake the kids or other family members when you get in your workout. It also makes it easy to watch television while cycling.
The steel frame and crack are very heavy duty components that you can get a lot of use out of in your home gym.
You don’t get a lot of the bells and whistles that you see in the more expensive models with this one – there is no heart rate monitor or tons of workout programs. What you do get is an adjustable seat, and a few different resistance levels. Probably the biggest disadvantage to buying this model is that weight capacity is very low at just a 240 pounds weight limit. But still, it is a good choice if you are on a tight budget and are okay with the minimalist features.
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Schwinn 130 Upright Exercise Bike Review
This is another good affordable option from Schwinn that fits budgets under $500.
With this cheap upright exercise bike by Schwinn, you get a high quality piece of home gym equipment that will last you for many years. It has a maximum weight limit of 300 pounds, which leaves it as a good option for heavier people.
The padded seat is comfortable and can be height adjusted to fit your body. Like the Schwinn model listed above, this Schwinn 130 has the two LCD window system where you can view up to 13 different data sets on your current workout. And, it can store the stats for two different users. You can even use the USB port to transfer that data out to your phone or other device. Plus, that port will also charge your device while you do your workout.
The Schwinn 130 has 22 different workout programs for you to use and there are 20 different resistance levels for the ultimate workout each time you use it. And don’t worry about noise because the high speed high inertia perimeter weighted flywheel makes this thing super quiet.
The frame has wheels so that you can easily move it around your home. And off to the side of the handlebars you will find some speakers for playing your music while you workout. Additionally, there is a 3-speed fan to ensure that your face keeps cool while sweating it out.
You definitely get a lot for your money with the Schwinn 130 – it is worth spending a little more for this one over the cheaper options on the market.
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