Whether you’re too cheap to buy that full-year gym membership, too busy to attend the 5:30 am Zoomba classes, or too cool to ride with your friends on the weekend, bikes at home are a great way to get exercise at your own pace. Here is your complete guide to buying a bike to get fit—and have time for Game of Thrones on Sundays, too.

The Rankings

To make your job of finding a bike easier, I’ve reviewed many different bikes and listed below only my top choices that meld aspects of the 5 features listed above. The categories that I have selected allow anyone—from a toned, twenty-something triathlete to an ageless octogenarian staying fit after hip surgery—to own an exercise bike, get fit, and stay healthy without buying a gym membership, fighting to grab a spot in a crowded spin class, or braving heavy car traffic on the highway.

I’ve ranked the 5 best bikes that I found in each of the following categories: Top Indoor Spinning Bike, Top Recumbent Bike, Top Upright Bike, Top Full-Body Exercise Bike, and the Top At-Work Bike.

Product Reviews:

5.Top Indoor Spinning Bike: Sunny Health & Fitness Pro SF-B901 ($250)

Pros: 

Price.

I’m a spinner, and my favorite part about this bike was the low cost. Spin bikes can range from $200 up to several thousand dollars, and the less expensive bikes tend to fall apart after only a few months of heavy use. $250 is incredible for a heavy-duty, stable, and durable bike that will withstand your grueling uphill climbs and speed runs. Given the outstanding reviews, other users agree that that equipment provides you with incredible workout value.

Handlebars.

Wait—don’t all bikes come with fully-adjustable handlebars and a mobile seat? No, but this bike can match your riding style, comfort level, height, and weight—unlike many other value-oriented spinning bikes. Nothing is more irritating than leaning in for a quad-burning climb and finding the handlebars won’t adjust far enough downward, or hurting your hips because of seats that won’t move far enough upward.

Cons:

Stability.

While the bike’s frame are wheels are very durable, this bike loses points for its limited warranty coverage compared to more expensive spin bikes. A new bike offers only a short 90-day warranty on the machined parts and a 1-year warranty on the frame. If you use your bike very frequently (more than 3 times per week) or move it to join other spinners, you might consider another higher-period model with more comfortable warranty terms.

Setting and Feedback.

Ah, the downside of not paying thousands of dollars for your bike—no preset rides, workout routines, or extra features. While many spin bikes will track your distance, speed, and number of calories burned during a workout, the Fitness Pro unfortunately offers none of these goodies. You might have to rely on your iPhone or FitBit (which I use) for tracking your progress.

Description and Details:

  • Price: $250
  • Total fully-assembled bike weight: 108 pounds
  • Indoor cycling bike with weighted 40-lb flywheel
  • Smooth chain drive mechanism and heavy-duty crank for support
  • Fully adjustable transport wheels and resistance systems
  • Measures 20” (W) x 46.5” (H) x 48.5” (D)
  • Rated up to 275 pounds

4.Top Recumbent Bike: ProForm 315 CSX Recumbent Bike ($450)

Pros: 

Settings and Feedback.

If the Sunny spinning bike is for no-frills, hardcore bikers, the ProForm is for those who want exercise to be absolutely luxurious. The iFit feature is my favorite, working with Google Maps to provide motivation as you scale the next peak and take you away from your in-home workout room. (The iFit is definitely worth the extra monthly cost.) You’ll love the more than 20 pre-programmed routines and apps to vary your workout each day, and you can track pretty much anything during your workout—pulse, calories, distance, speed, target speed, and total time. The iPhone connections, accurate dual-grip heart monitors, double-digit resistance levels, water bottle holder, and large display make the bike perfect for those who want to feel comfortable as they conquer their next biking challenge. Oh, and the silent magnetic resistance system can let you bike away early in the morning or late at night while your family or roommates sleep. You also have the peace of mind of knowing that your ProForm comes with a 90-day warranty on labor and parts and a five-year warranty on the bike itself.

Ergonomics.

While most recumbent bikes offer substantial full-body support, the ProForm is especially comfortable. I tried the bike for a few hours at different speeds and degrees of resistance—and found that my fourth hour was just as easy on my back, hips, and glutes as the first. This bike is the king of comfort among comfortable bikes.

Cons:

Price.

Many bike owners would be thrilled to be paying under $1,000 for a full recumbent bike loaded with extra features and competitive tracking technology. However, an exercise bike is simply a vehicle to stay in shape or train for competition—wouldn’t you like to save some extra money while achieving the same type of body-sculpting or muscle-strengthening results? The large screen and voice motivation may help reduce the boredom of stationary, sit-down biking, but you can replace the entertainment with a television or iPad of your own (which many already have at home). There are other recumbent bikes without so many frills that offer very similar workout experiences—so this is not quite the bike for you if you are on an exercise budget.

Description and Details:

  • Price: $450
  • Total fully-assembled bike weight: 123 pounds
  • Recumbent bike quiet magnetic resistance system
  • Intermix Acoustic 2.0 Sound System
  • Compatible with iFit Live Technology
  • Adjustable handlebars with non-slip grip, and oversized seat with extra lumbar support
  • Rated up to 300 pounds

3.Top Upright Bike: Nautilus U616 Upright Bike ($395)

Pros:

Ergonomics.

The Nautilus is the yin to the spinner’s bike yang. While an ideal spin bike is sleek, sturdy, and resistance-responsive to maximize workout efficiency, an upright bike is designed to provide a more relaxed cardiovascular experience. The Nautilus hits the ergonomics out of the park. The 3-speed fan is more than adequate for keeping you cool on your ride, the grip heart rate is well-placed to gauge your performance without tweaking your positioning, and the angle-adjustable handlebars help you ride in style and without extra stress on your wrists. The crossbar tubing is a strange feature—and one of my favorites—which provides exceptional lumbar stability. The contoured and padded seat make long rides very enjoyable, and the wheels on the bottom of the bike make moving your workout machine quite easy.

Settings and Feedback.

The Nautilus offers not only a very comfortable ride, but also the extra features that have helped its sister bike Exerpeutic 1200 earn rave reviews. The front console has a USB port, an audio port, in-console speakers, and not one but two LCD displays with fantastic backlighting. The Bluetooth connectivity allows you to sync the bike data to your other devices that you might use to workout, like your phone, computer, or tablet. The 29 (!!) workouts pre-programmed into the system provide with a wide variety of possible rides, and all of your basic session information is shown and stored for your convenience.

Cons:

Stability and Handlebars.

The Nautilus is a very well-made upright bike that offers generous warranty terms, including 10-year coverage for the frame, 90-day coverage for the labor, 2-year coverage for the mechanical parts, and 1-year coverage for the electrical parts. However, the handlebars and general stability did not match up to the Exerpeutic 1200 Folding Magnetic Upright Bike or the Marcy Foldable Bike, two of its closest functional competitors.

Price.

This top-of-the-line model offers you among the very best upright bike experiences—I was impressed with the overall feel (minus the handlebars and occasional stability issues at high speed) and $400 is a reasonable price to pay for such a rich feature set. However, the U614 model can provide you with a very similar experience at a lower cost. If you are willing to give up the display with a backlight and the deluxe, oversized pedals, the U614 is an attractive alternative for the budget-conscious.

Description and Details:

  • Price: $395
  • Total fully-assembled bike weight: 69 pounds
  • 29 pre-programmed workout routines, and 25 resistance levels
  • Bluetooth connectivity, data export, and dual-track LCD display
  • Built-in speaker system
  • Weighted flywheel with high-inertia, high-speed perimeter
  • Measures 22” (W) x 58” (H) x 42” (D)
  • Rated up to 300 pounds

2.Top Full-Body Exercise Bike: Schwinn AD6 Airdyne ($560)

Pros: 

Ergonomics.

While a spinning bike can help you efficiently improve your cardiovascular strength and a recumbent bike can help you stretch those leg muscles, a full-body exercise bike gives you the best of both worlds. The Schwinn A6 works your core, arms, and back as well as your legs—all while giving you the opportunity to keep your heart rate high as well. The pedals have excellent and sturdy foot straps and the extra-padded, oversized cushioned seat helps reduce the numbing factor on longer rides.

Stability and Handlebars.

The Schwinn AD6 offers several improvements over the prior AD2 model including an upgraded Super Torque belt. The new drive is dual-stage instead of single stage to offer a much smoother and natural biking experience. Schwinn also continues to provide some of the best warranties in the bike industry; the AD6 includes 15-year frame coverage, which is a much longer term than any bike that I have recently reviewed. You can also achieve a smooth, stable bike in assembling the equipment with only one person—very convenient if no one else is around to help.

Cons:

Settings and Feedback.

While the unlimited resistance offered by the fan provides great strength training for bikers of all skill levels, I noticed that the noise level of the fan was significantly higher than that of other bikes that I have ridden. At higher speeds, the noise may even interfere with your music or television if you are not using headphones. The lack of a USB port was a little disappointing, but many other accessories can be purchased and added to your biking experience. I did like the RevMeter RPM console that provided basic statistics for your runs (albeit a little difficult to read with less-than-optimal lighting).

Price.

The $500+ full-body exercise bike might not offer the bells and whistles of other premium bikes, but shows a careful consideration of the actual riding experience for dedicated indoor bikers. I thought the that overall experience was well worth the slightly higher price tag. If you want to save a little money, the prior AD2 model offers a similar experience at a lower price (about $340).

Description and Details:

  • Price: $559
  • Total fully-assembled bike weight: 115 pounds
  • Infinite wind resistance to increase the ride difficulty as you pedal faster
  • Four levelers to help with bike stability
  • Integrated water-bottle holder
  • Telemetric heart rate compatible
  • RevMeter RPM gauge tracks riding statistics
  • Dimensions: 15” wide x 46” long x 27” high (not including seat adjustments)
  • Rated up to 300 pounds

1.Top At-Work Bike: DeskCycle Pedal Exerciser ($159)

Pros: 

Price.

You can add to your bank account and your leg strength at the same time with this ultra-affordable, magic piece of equipment that you can stash under your desk at work. While you type away or answer phone calls, your body can burn through a quick or slow workout—this is the ultimate multi-tasking machine!

Stability.

This DeskCycle model claims to offer the lowest pedal height (10”) on the market, which allows you to store the bike in even the most cramped cubicles. The neat compactness of the machine allows a smooth and stable ride from your desk chair. The Velcro pedal straps are great features that weren’t present in previous models, as you won’t slip and slide at your desk. However, if you are constantly moving, strapping and unstrapping your feet on the pedals can become a little irritating. I was also pleasantly surprised how quickly I was able to assemble the bike, and the relative lease of moving the equipment from room to room (or, in my case, desk to desk).

Cons:

Settings and Feedback.

There are very limited opportunities for feedback, but the 5-function display gives me the basics on my ride. I would have enjoyed a way to see the ride results on my laptop or smartphone, but I understood that such features would mean a higher price tag. I awarded two stars for the multiple resistance levels and the high-end magnetic mechanism that provides silky smooth pedaling.

Description and Details:

  • Price: $159
  • Total fully-assembled bike weight: 23 pounds
  • Can work with desks as low as 27”
  • 8 calibrated resistance settings
  • Very accurate calorie-burn calculator
  • Dimensions: 10” wide x 24” long x 20” high

Here are the most common components of an exercise bike:

  • Look for bars that feel comfortable and will help you remove tension and weight-bearing from your wrists. This site is one of my favorite guides that explores the importance of handlebars.
  • Bike supports. Make sure your bike has a very sturdy, weighty base.
  • Resistance mechanism. Magnetic systems are smoother and higher-priced than direct-contact or fan-based systems.
  • Track your workouts and compete with your friends.
  • Look for sturdy materials and comfortable, secure straps.
  • Comfort, comfort, comfort! Find the right seat for your biking type. You want top lumbar and leg support for your ride, as well as flexible adjustments for riders of different heights.

The Full Features:

The Bare Buying Basics:

Here’s what you need to keep in mind for purchasing any exercise bike:

  • Spin bikes for best for racing athletes; upright bikes for smooth but fast riders; and recumbent bikes for easy coasters. This site provides an extensive list of bike types.
  • Progress tracking software if you need to log your workouts—or show off to your friends
  • Stable equipment body, comfortable seat, and well-positioned handlebars
  • Frame warranty for at least 1 year and parts and labor warranty for at least 90 days
  • Appropriate weight limit and bike weight
  • Easy transportation (if you need to move the bike from room to room)

Ergonomics: You might not be comfortable when working up a sweat, but you need to pick a bike that will protect your posture, joints, and muscles. There are three key things that you need to look for in bike ergonomics. First, an easily adjustable and secure seat will allow you—and your roommates or family—to position the bike exactly according to your leg height. A seat that is too high or too low can cause leg and hip damage. Second, find a seat that will reduce your “saddle soreness.” Every biker—even Lance Armstrong—gets sore while riding because of the seat. A soft and wide saddle will feel better on shorter rides; firm and narrow saddles feel better on longer rides.

Handlebars: I have been on many bikes that have poorly designed or positioned handles—it’s not fun! Be sure to pick out a bike with bio-mechanically correct handles for a more efficient and comfortable workout. Because bikers tend to use their hands as weight-bearing supports (instead of just for light balance), bad handlebars can lead to stress from your wrists down to your feet. Your handlebars also need to be the appropriate width for your height and wingspan.

Settings and Feedback: Ah, yes, the coolest parts of the bike—the accessories like the odometer and timer telling you how far and for how long you’ve sweated all the way up a mountain climb. If you like a water bottle holder and a magazine rack, make sure to pick a bike that has them. Higher-end models even have built-in audio surround sound or cooling fans as well. If you like keeping track of your progress (or are just competitive with your friends), make sure that your bike has a well-lit screen showing your total time, calories burned, and distance traveled. Some models also offer pre-set programs so you can feel like you’re in a spinning studio—without the membership fee or extra traveling.

Stability: Even the fanciest bikes can be made with shoddy parts—I purchased an expensive spinning bike a few years ago that became unstable at certain speeds and resistance levels. Don’t let this happen to you. Check reviews to make sure that your bike has a sturdy frame, and, if you are willing to spend a little extra, you can buy a bike with a magnetic resistance braking system instead of one with a direct-contact system. Personally, the direct-contact systems work well provided you are willing to replace the pads at least once (if you ride more than 4 times for an hour every week). The magnetic resistance systems are quieter and more durable, but for more money upfront.

Price: Exercise bikes can range from $150 to $4,000—and more expensive bikes are not necessarily better. A good intro-level upright bike can cost less than $400, while recumbent bikes can start at $600 and rise depending on the bells and whistles that you would like to add. Recumbent bikes (which offer biking from a sitting-down position) tend to be more expensive because of the extra base materials needed to support and stabilize full body weight. These bikes offer full lumbar support and modest leg strengthening for those with back or leg pain who seek a less strenuous exercise routine or are recovering from injuries. On the other hand, spin and upright bikes will be more affordable and offer the chance to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. Younger, healthier, and more active bikers tend to prefer these bikes—and don’t mind having some spare cash as well.

Safety: It may seem silly to consider safety for indoor bikes, but many models have been known to overheat, seize up suddenly, or tip over if you are biking too quickly. Pay attention to weight limits, recommended usage, and electrical connection power settings. If you live with children, it’s very important to make sure that the components of the bike are safely enclosed from misuse to prevent serious accidents. Be sure to check the safety reviews of the bikes that you are looking at—all of the bikes that I have reviewed below do not have any equipment safety concerns. However, you need to take care of your body as well. Check out these tips for minimizing lower back pain and reducing stress while riding.

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Vineet Kr. Choudhary, a computer lover and a successful Internet Marketer. Since 2010, he tried his hands in almost every type of internet business and has never been sorry. He acquired knowledge about Internet business through our well-known ‘Google’ Baba. He love to share his knowledge and innovative ideas to people and help them to earn more money. He wish to make everyone who wants to earn through internet to be successful or even more successful than him.