Equipped with one of the best exercise bikes, you'll be looking forward to your workouts at home, rather than dreading leaving the house to make it to the gym. You can really work on your fitness with an exercise bike or spin bike, whether you only have time for a quick 30-minute blitz or if you want to imitate a cross-country cycle with virtual programs. There's a range of resistance options available, and so many levels to work through that even when you're a pro, you'll feel challenged. There are so many great bike options out there that you don't have to spend a tonne on one either, meaning you can squeeze workouts in for less.
What's the difference between exercise bikes and spin bikes? Simply enough, you want to opt for an exercise bike if you want to sit and cycle, freeride or if it's a compact bike (foldable ones are available, too) that you are after. Choose a spin bike if you want something to replicate the bike that you use at the gym, for standing cycling and fast-paced sitting and pedaling. Spin bikes are usually a lot sturdier with a heavier flywheel, although they are more often than not quite sizeable and more expensive than an exercise bike.
Here, there are recumbent bikes, stationary bikes, and immersive spin bikes to choose from, so why not get stuck in and find out which suits you best. And if you decide an exercise bike isn't for you, there are plenty more options in our best home gym equipment guide.
7 best exercise bikes and spin bikes to try at home
The Echelon Connect Sport bike is the best spin bike around – not only is it sturdy but it has all of the features you want (and need) in a spin bike. We think it's very similar to that of a spin bike you would find in your local gym, making it a great addition to your own home gym if you want to spin from home.
What we loved when testing
We've been testing this Echelon bike in our home, and so far we love it. It's completely adjustable – and this is coming from someone who is only 5 foot 2-inches – and also comfortable and sturdy to use, both sitting and standing. The adjustable resistance knob sits just below the handlebars for faff-free control, and the adjustable foot straps and spiked pedals keep your feet in place, no matter how fast you are pedaling. It is also shockingly quiet when in use, so it won't bother your pets, sleeping kids, or neighbors. This bike is Bluetooth enabled to connect to a phone or tablet – this will act as your console so that you can see your resistance, cadence, output, calories burned, and more. Take advantage of the huge range of pre-recorded and live classes on the Echelon app to make your workout fun, all of which have a leaderboard to make you feel like you are in class, competing with other spinners. Also, these classes offer more than a spin work out – think pilates, boxing, meditation, and more.
The Echelon spin bike is convenient, feature-packed and comfortable – an easy way to bring your spin class home, minus the faff of getting there and the awkward small talk afterward. It's also great for all fitness levels – from beginners to spin pros.
This bike is completely adjustable – the seat moves up or down, forward or backward and the handlebars, too. And it has floor-leveling feet so that the bike won't jolt around while you are pedaling. It has 32 levels of resistance and a 7kg magnetic flywheel. While it doesn't have a console, the idea is that you use your phone or tablet for this. Which, unfortunately, means you have to buy an Echelon subscription.
Good to know
This bike lacks just a few things, which we consider to be minimal – and in some cases, you won't even miss them. You cannot use this bike to record your pulse, though if you wear a fitness tracker, it can do this job for you. Alternatively, you can buy one of the Echelon arm or chest band-style heart rate monitors. We also found that the water bottle holder is not the best – you are best to use it with a smaller bottle to prevent it from falling out during your workout. It also needs to be plugged in while you use it, so you'll need to find space for it near a plug socket. We also think it would be an ideal permanent fixture in a home gym or dedicated workout space – it is on wheels, but it's very heavy (and tricky) to move around every day.
Immersive bike experiences are currently all the rage, and this pick from Bowflex is amazing for just that. With a console to give you an immersive, virtual workout experience and a Lean In mode that lets you move as if you were on the road, you won't find a better bike ride without going outside.
You get a full-body workout thanks to the core-engagement leaning feature, plus you have personalized programming that will suggest daily workouts to you. You can link your rides up to your favorite cycling tracking app too, and transfer all your valuable stats. This bike has a pretty unbeatable range of resistance levels (100!) which are integrated into those personalized workouts we referenced. You can also use the 22 inch console to stream movies and TV as you workout if you like, which is perfect for those who like a little bit of distraction to take their mind off of their workout.
Looking for an exercise bike with an easy-to-read and use screen? Bingo. This is a great option that's bursting with features, and it's an affordable price tag! For starters, it has a 7mph inertia enhanced flywheel and freewheel clutch, as well as 20 digital levels of resistance to ensure that every workout is a challenge.
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.
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.
Good to know
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.
It's an understatement to say that life can get busy, but with this genius bike desk creation from FlexiSpot, you can manage your emails and your workout at the same time. This bike is really a revelation for those who think that they might struggle to use their bike as much as they want to.
The main draw of this bike is the hybrid desk set up, with a desktop that can adjust in a number of ways to make getting work done or entertaining yourself much easier. As you might expect, it doesn't have as many options when it comes to working out like a NordicTrack or a Bowflex might, that's not really what this machine is for. Instead, it has a good range of features for staying productive while also squeezing a workout in, and for anyone just getting back into their fitness journey or starting out, it will definitely have features to get involved with. It has wheels for transportation too, so you can get your home office back if you have an important call and you want a perfect video background.
Good to know
We tested this bike and found it easy to set up from the box in less than half an hour. It's quiet to use, with a big enough desktop space for a laptop. We found it most helpful to use when doing not too intensive tasks, like answering emails, as the perfect way to get active when working from home. It's a great investment, and something that you'll actually use as an exercise bike thanks to the desk element.
Recumbent exercise bike or upright exercise bike?
Recumbent exercise bikes allow 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 your glutes and legs.
If you’re looking for a recumbent exercise bike with all the features then this is the one for you.
The ProForm 325 CSX Exercise Bike 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. There are 20 resistance levels and a workout fan to keep you cool for the most comfortable workouts even when working hard.
For those looking to mimic the real outdoor experience, we highly suggest investing in the Sunny Health & Fitness Exercise Cycling Bike with Heavy 49 LB Chrome Flywheel.
The sturdy steel frame, heavy 22 kg weighted flywheel, and 125 kg maximum user weight gives this bike a rock solid build that will keep it moving ride after ride. This bike's resistance system gives users the experience of a realistic, real-road feeling. Push down on the emergency brake will bring the bike to an immediate stop. Use the caged pedals with straps to keep your feet in place. Factor in the bottle holder to keep you hydrated throughout the workout, and consider us all sold. Experience a smooth and quiet ride with the maintenance-free belt drive system that allows you to workout without interrupting your workout or anyone around you. More favorably, the 4-way adjustable seat and 2-way adjustable handlebars adapt to any user type.
Good to know
Just be warned: there are no set levels of resistance, as such. Just turn the wheel to up the resistance as you ride. There's also no console meaning you can't monitor your stats. You'd be best off to use this exercise bike along with a fitness tracker, in this case. This also means there are no programs to choose from, unfortunately.
Searching for a foldable model? The Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike with Pulse. This top-rated bike is available at Amazon and has over 17,000 customers singing its praises — including us as we have it in our home, too.
What we loved when testing
For those looking to monitor their results, this bike gives ample opportunity to beat your personal best every time. Equipped with MyFitnessCloud, when paired with any smartphone device, the app will record your results in real-time while also providing the chance to engage in classes, trainer-led rides, and offers dozens of workouts on hand.
Designed with a larger seat cushion (14.6” x 9.7”) with easy off and on for people of any size, a 300lb weight capacity that can easily adhere to users up to 6'1', this bike is all-around perfection.
Good to know
Best of all, you get all of this (and so much more!), for just under $200!
Inexpensive doesn't need to mean you're lacking in quality, and that's especially true of this YOSDUA bike, which has plenty of nice features for an affordable price.
With an LCD monitor to give you all your essential stats and a bracket to prop your phone/iPad, it has nice touches you might expect from more expensive alternatives. Though it's simple, this design delivers with an adjustable seat, easy to reach resistance bar and a brake cover, to prevent anyone around from hurting themselves.
Good to know
The LCD display is small, but still capable of tracking your time, speed and calories burned. Though it doesn't have all the snazzy screen features of a pricier bike, we think that's plenty to be getting on with, especially as a beginner.
Where to buy an exercise bike?
An exercise bike can be a sizable investment, so it's understandable if you still want to shop around. Here are our favorite retailers when it comes to crucial fitness buys:
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.
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 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.
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.
Whether the bike has a belt or chain drive system will make a difference to its overall performance, too.
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.
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.