Best exercise bike: 7 affordable exercise bikes for home gyms

Spend your money on the best exercise bike if you're building a home gym or want an easy way to stay active during lockdown

best exercise bike: woman on bike
(Image credit: Argos)

It's worth investing in the best exercise bike if you're looking for an easy way to stay in shape without having to leave the house. Which, given that gyms and leisure centres remain 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, like the idea of getting in a ride while watching television in the evening, or want to give Peloton a go – it's been crazy popular during lockdown, so we wouldn't blame you – these are the best recumbent and upright exercise 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

The best exercise bikes for 2020

Best exercise bike for weight loss: York Fitness Active Exercise Cycle

(Image credit: York Fitness)

1. York Fitness Active Exercise Cycle

Best exercise bike for weight loss: a simple bike for an effective home workout

Specifications
Resistance Type: Magnetic
Levels: 8
Max User Weight: 120kg
Reasons to buy
+Easy to use+Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Not suitable for 6ft + 

If you’re simply looking for a great value exercise bike that you can use daily, this is the option for you. Small, but perfectly formed, it offers everything you might need from a piece of home gym equipment

Fitness test function

The machine features a monitor with a fitness test function so you can assess your progress and it includes hand pulse sensors built-into its handlebars to measure RPM

18 workouts to choose from

It also has 18 workouts built-in to keep you challenged, motivated and to help reach your goals. With a comfortable seat that features both height and reach adjustments, this machine is ideal for almost anyone, no matter your fitness level. The machine also features a built-in water bottle holder.

Streamlined design

Even better? It’s not bulky like some bikes, so it will fit perfectly in your lounge or bedroom.

  • Shop the York Fitness Active Exercise Cycle

Best exercise bike: Opti Manual Exercise Bike

(Image credit: Opti)

2. Opti Manual Exercise Bike

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

Specifications
Resistance Type: Manual
Levels: N/A
Max User Weight: 100kg
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-levelling 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.

  • Shop the Opti Manual Exercise Bike

Best exercise bike: NordicTrack GX2.7U Cycle

(Image credit: NordicTrack)

3. NordicTrack GX2.7U Cycle

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

Specifications
Resistance Type: Magnetic
Levels: 20
Max User Weight: 125kg
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 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-colour 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 favourite feature? You can ride around the world from your living room thanks to Google Maps.

  • Shop the NordicTrack GX2.7U Cycle

Best exercise bike: Ultrasport F-Bike Trainer

4. Ultrasport F-Bike Trainer

Best exercise bike for home: save space in your home with this pop-up bike

Specifications
Resistance Type: Friction
Levels: 8
Max User Weight: 100kg
Reasons to buy
+Foldable+Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Not as high-tech as some  

If you’ve only got a small space to work with, let this slimline model be your saving grace.

Foldable design

This is one of the best foldable exercise bikes on the market and allows you to work out anywhere in the comfort of your own home. 

Choose from a variety of programmes

It features an LCD display and has 8 different programmes for you to try. It boasts no other frills but it does the job nicely and it saves money on costly gym memberships.

  • Shop the Ultrasport F-Bike Trainer

Best exercise bike: V-Fit G-RC Recumbent Magnetic Cycle

5. V-Fit G-RC Recumbent Magnetic Cycle

Best exercise bike for seniors: work towards your fitness goals with comfort and ease

Specifications
Resistance Type: Magnetic
Levels: 8
Max User Weight: 115kg
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. 

  • Shop the V-Fit G-RC Recumbent Magnetic Cycle

Best recumbent exercise bike: TechFit R400

(Image credit: TechFit)

6. TechFit R400

Best recumbent exercise bike: a great option if you're recovering from an injury or want to kick the habit of standing on your pedals

Specifications
Resistant Type: Magnetic
Levels: 8
Maximum weight: 130kg
Reasons to buy
+Adjustable seat+Pulse sensors built into handles+High quality+Wheels for easy transport+Bottle holder
Reasons to avoid
-Only suitable if the distance between your foot and hip measures minimum 100 cm and maximum 120 cm

This would usually be our top rated recumbent exercise bike, but it's currently sold out. Check back soon to see if it's back in stock.

Ideal for people of all ages, this recumbent exercise bike is a great option if you're after something to help build leg muscle, a comfortable exercise bike option or a helping hand improving fitness after an injury. Here's everything you need to know:

Adjustable seat

This exercise bike is especially excellent since it features a large, adjustable and reclined seat to reduce stress on your lower back, helping make life easier for those who are less able to board the bike and to prevent injury from standing on pedals – its pedals feature straps to secure each foot in place, too. 

Variety of settings available

The bike features eight levels of resistance, a seven-kilogram flywheel and an LCD screen that displays information such as time, speed, distance, calories, pulse and more. 

Built in pulse sensors

And with help from the integrated pulse sensors built into its handles, you can personalise your workout according to your body's demands.

  • Shop the TechFit R400

Best exercise bike: ProForm CSX Exercise Bike

7. ProForm CSX Exercise Bike

Best exercise bike you can buy: a smart bike for those who want a smart workout

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

This would usually be our top rated exercise bike, but it's currently sold out. Check back soon to see if it's back in stock.

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.

  • Shop the ProForm CSX Exercise Bike

How to buy the best 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 programmes, 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. 

Programmes
Most bikes come with pre-set programmes 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. 

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 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 which will target your abs and arms as well as the glutes and legs. 

More expert advice from our home gym buying guides: