Best exercise bikes: 10 best buys for at-home workouts

According to our team, these are the 10 best exercise bikes to invest in this year.

best exercise bikes
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's worth investing in the best exercise bike – or spin bike – if you're looking for an easy way to stay in shape without having to leave the house. Which, given the fact that gyms and leisure centers are closed, for the time being, is probably most of us.

Whether you're looking to fit in a quick 30 minutes before the kids get up, you like the idea of getting in a ride while watching television in the evening, or want to give Peloton ago – it's been crazy popular during the lockdown, so we wouldn't blame you – these are the best recumbent and upright exercise bikes, as well as spin bikes, currently available.

And if you decide an exercise bike isn't for you, there are plenty more options in our guide to the best home gym equipment

These are the top 10 exercise bikes

best exercise bikes

1. ProForm CSX Exercise Bike

Best exercise bikes: a smart bike for those who want a smart workout

Specifications
Resistance: Magnetic
Levels: 20
Max User Weight: 130kg
Flywheel: 8kg
Monitor: LED
Reasons to buy
+Connects to smartphones+Integrated fan
Reasons to avoid
-Not for technophobes 

If you’re looking for a bike with all the features then this is the one for you. Here's everything you need to know:

Sync with your smartphone
It uses Bluetooth and iFit so you can sync up your bike with your smartphone (Android & iOS) app for unlimited online training options. You can also attach your tablet to the integrated stand to use for either tracking your workout or as an entertainment system. 

Choose from 20 resistance levels
There are 20 resistance levels and a workout fan to keep you cool for the most comfortable workouts even when working hard. In our opinion, this is the best exercise bike you can buy.

best exercise bikes

2. Kettler Racer 9 Indoor Cycle

Best exercise bikes: the highest calibre home spin bike

Specifications
Resistance: Electromagnetic
Levels: N/A
Max User Weight: 130kg
Monitor: LCD
Flywheel: 18kg
Reasons to buy
+ Electronic handlebar gear shifters+ Unbeaten durability 
Reasons to avoid
- Very expensive 

The Kettler Racer 9 ergometer bike is the best spin bike for a truly realistic cycle in the comfort of your own home, therefore it's our best pick for 2020 – the majority of us are working out at home right now,

Virtual experience
If you're an athlete who is looking to train at home, you'll be able to make the most of this bike with its virtual training software that allows you to use your GPS to cycle any route in the world - perfect for getting ready for that big trip you've got planned.

Adjustable
The bike is completely adjustable with triathlon handlebars that make for a comfortable cycle whether long or short, and users love how the gear shifters simulate real-world cycling. If you're looking to invest in a high-end piece of kit for your home gym, the Kettler Racer 9 will not let you down. 

best exercise bikes

(Image credit: Opti)

3. Opti Manual Exercise Bike

Best exercise bikes: a basic exercise bike that won't break the bank

Specifications
Resistance: Manual
Levels: N/A
Max User Weight: 100kg
Monitor: Yes
Flywheel: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Easy to use+Adjustable seat and handlebar
Reasons to avoid
-May be too basic for some

If you're on the hunt for a basic bike at an affordable price, your search ends here. This option from Opti is ideal for those who want to work out without being bothered by a complicated screen or set up, and it's best used at a low resistance level, giving low impact to hips, knees, and ankles.

Measure speed, distance, and more
The console feedback tells you scan, time, speed, distance, and calories on a small screen, and in terms of comfort, it has an adjustable handlebar and seat as well as self-leveling pedals with straps.

Transport with ease
It's also on wheels so can be transported from room-to-room with ease. It's pretty basic compared to the other models on our list, but that's to be expected for a price tag as decent as this. Our pick of the best exercise bike for those on a budget.

best exercise bikes

4. We R Sports RevXtreme Indoor Cycle S1000

Best exercise bikes: a cheap and cheerful bike with some great features

Specifications
Resistance: Manual screw
Levels: Adjustable
Max User Weight: 120kg
Monitor: Yes
Flywheel: 13kg
Reasons to buy
+ Inexpensive + Stylish 
Reasons to avoid
-Noisy

If you’re still uncertain whether an at-home spin bike or exercise will work for you, why not have a look at the inexpensive We R Sports RevXtreme Indoor Cycle S1000?

Frame
While not anti-corrosive, the frame is still robust and adjustable, so you should be able to feel confident in the bike and comfortable at the same time. 

Flywheel
As we mentioned above, the heavier the flywheel, the better. This one only has a 13kg flywheel, which reviewers say does a good job of simulating a pushbike but don’t expect the same level of resistance as more expensive models.

Noise
Another comment is the noisiness - fine for use if you’re working out upstairs or in the gym room, but probably too distracting to be positioned in the lounge. The best spin bike if you're on a budget, we think.

best exercise bikes

(Image credit: NordicTrack)

5. NordicTrack GX2.7U Cycle

Best exercise bikes: this NordicTrack bike features a 5 inch high contrast multi-colour display

Specifications
Resistance: Magnetic
Levels: 20
Max User Weight: 125kg
Monitor: High contrast multi-colour display
Flywheel: 7kg
Reasons to buy
+5-inch screen+Affordable+20 pre-set workout apps+Pulse readings+Integrated bottle holder+Quiet+Fans built-in
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't fold away

Looking for an exercise bike with an easy to read and use the screen? Bingo. This a great option that's bursting with features, and it's an affordable price tag! For starters, it has a 7kg inertia enhanced flywheel and freewheel clutch, as well as 20 digital levels of resistance to ensure that every workout is a challenge.

5-inch screen
Complete with a high contract multi-color display, this exercise bike makes keeping track of workout data easy. It gives you heart rate feedback, too. You can also use this screen to watch 20+ pre-set workouts to keep you motivated and add some fun to your workout. The best part? The screen is adjustable so you'll always be able to see it whether you're sitting or cycling standing on the pedals.

Comfortable
With an adjustable seat and pedals, this bike is fit for everyone, no matter their height. It's easy to find the best riding position and it has an oversized cushioned seat (yes!) so that you can ride for longer without being uncomfortable. Also, there's an integrated water bottle holder to make life easier as well as auto breeze workout fans. Yes, please.

iFit compatible
This exercise bike is iFit compatible. With it comes a one-year subscription which means you'll have access to a new workout every single day. It's basically like going to the gym but not leaving your home! Our favorite feature? You can ride around the world from your living room thanks to Google Maps.

best exercise bikes

6. JLL IC400 ELITE

Best spin bike on Amazon: a compact bike that's flooding with features

Specifications
Resistance: Manual
Levels: N/A
Max user weight: 150kg
Monitor: LCD
Flywheel: 20kg
Reasons to buy
+ Belt driven  + Replicates a mountain bike 
Reasons to avoid
- Not for smaller riders

If you’re after a quiet exercise bike with high resistance levels, the JLL IC400 Elite provides both, thanks to the belt-driven 20kg flywheel. 

Stats
In addition to noting down the usual statistics, this bike can hook up to a heart monitor so you can keep a closer eye on your training progress. While the handlebar and the seat are adjustable, shorter reviewers seem to have a problem with finding a comfortable riding position. 

Design
While not the sleekest to look at, it’ll fit in fine with any home gym and it’s compact enough for you to easily move it if required.  We think it's the best spin bike if you're after something compact.

best exercise bikes

7. V-Fit G-RC Recumbent Magnetic Cycle

Best exercise bikes: work towards your fitness goals with comfort and ease

Specifications
Resistance: Magnetic
Levels: 8
Max User Weight: 115kg
Monitor: LCD
Flywheel: 6kg
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Padded back support
Reasons to avoid
-Difficult to assemble 

Next up is an excellent value recumbent bike for just under £200. Its adjustable padded seat and backrest make it one of the best exercise bikes for seniors (or those who have bad backs). 

Designed to reduce joint stress
It allows you to exercise on your desired level without putting any stress on your back or other joints such as knees and ankles. We think this bike would be ideal for someone recovering from a sports injury or looking to regain strength. 

What to look for in an exercise bike? 

When looking for the best exercise bikes on the market, it is important to consider what your fitness goals are. This will help you decide on features such as work-out programs, resistance, and riding position. All exercise bikes are said to be easier on your joints than other equipment, but the style of bike you choose will also help you cater to any specific joint or muscle problems you may have. 

Programs
Most bikes come with pre-set programs and a built-in monitor to track your progress, so if you’re training for something specific, make sure you pick an exercise bike with your desired level of resistance. 

Stability
Stability is vital so make sure you check the weight limit of the bike and the weight of the bike itself in order to avoid getting a bike with an unstable frame. 

Ease of movement
If you’re new to the indoor bike scene, you’ll need some knowledge of the kind of features that you need to look out for. For example, the case for most exercise bikes is the heavier the flywheel, the smoother the motion. Whether you’re looking to get your head down in your home gym or push out a couple of miles while catching up with Corrie, ease of movement is important for keeping you in the flow. 

Control system
Seasoned spin or exercise bikers may want to check out the bike’s control system. Your basic home spin bike may use fabric or leather pads to control the resistance throughout your workout, while other upmarket bikes use electromagnets which are incredibly powerful and precise. 

Drive system
Whether the bike has a belt or chain drive system will make a difference to its overall performance, too. 

The console
For novices, amateurs, and experienced exercisers alike, there’s one feature of the exercise bike that you should carefully consider before spending any money – the console. Whether you exercise by calories or kilojoules, you’ll need to make sure that the bike displays all the information you want to see. Some bikes will even display your heart rate and record your distance covered in various measurements. 

Other than that it’s down to personal style, budget, and whether it will fit in your home gym. There are a number of different models in this buying guide that cater to all preferences so that shopping for a bike doesn’t get you in a spin.

Recumbent exercise bike or upright exercise bike?

Recumbent exercise bike allows you to sit in a laid back position to provide more support for your back and are also easier for beginners. This style of exercise bike is suitable for almost all ages and fitness levels.

Upright bikes will simulate outdoor cycling and therefore will work the same muscles as if you were on a road bike. Unlike a recumbent bike, you’ll get a full-body workout that will target your abs and arms as well as the glutes and legs. 

What is the difference between an exercise bike and a spin bike?

We've listed a mix of exercise bikes and spin bikes in our guide, here's the difference between them.

Exercise bikes are a lot more comfortable than spin bikes thanks to the fact they usually have higher handlebars. And, when using them your spine should be straight, not bent. They are also a lot easier to store, too. The majority of exercise bikes offer a range of workout programs. When you stop pedaling on an exercise bike, everything will immediately stop. 

Spin bikes offer a more realistic experience of cycling outside thanks to their fixed flywheel. This wheel is heavier than that of an exercise bike which makes pedaling a lot harder, though it can result in faster movement. That and they have a fixed gear – the flywheel is directly connected to the pedals by a chain – so even when you stop moving your legs, the wheels and pedals will keep going so as to slow down your workout gradually. It's also easier to stand and cycle on a spin bike (and to work your abdomen) due to the way they are built. Spin bikes are usually made with their flywheel shown, whereas the majority of exercise bikes have theirs hidden.