Best Home Exercise Bikes in 2023: All You Need to Know
If you’re looking to take your cycle training indoors, there’s no better way than choosing one of the best home exercise bikes for indoor workouts.
These are adjustable stationary bikes that usually use a flywheel for resistance so you get the best workout. They also have different bar setups so you can use them for standing and pedaling, as well as seated efforts.
However, there are also indoor cycling bikes that are slightly different. They can come in either reclined or upright positions, and use a lighter flywheel, offering slightly less resistance.
Both are great tools to use to get fit, so let’s take a look at all you need to know about the best indoor cycling bikes out there.
Best Home Exercise Bikes of 2023
NordicTrack – Commercial Studio Cycle
One year free training program, and 50% less than the Peloton or Echelon monthly subscriptions
The Nordictrack Commercial Studio Cycle exercise bike is an Amazon favorite, and for good reason.
This indoor cycling bike comes with a 22″ interactive screen which can display iFIT workouts and streams for you to follow while you ride. It also uses a Silent Magnetic Resistance (SMR) belt to provide smooth and quiet riding. If you use the iFIT workout, your bike will automatically adjust the resistance to the required level. Thus eliminating the need to manually adjust your resistance so you can focus on getting the best workout in.
At $3,699 it’s not cheap, but it’s a great tool for getting fit or using as an alternative to an outdoor bike when the weather is unpleasant.
- Number of resistance levels: 24
- Weight: 203lbs (92kg)
- 22″ HD touch-screen
- 10-year frame warranty, 2 years on the parts 🏆
- Drivetrain: Belt
- Max weight capacity: 350 lbs
The popular cycling power meter manufacturers Stages have their own home exercise bike; the Stages SC3.
This Stages bike is used in gyms across the world, and they are widely regarded as one of the leaders in indoor cycling technology. It’s compatible with most indoor training apps including Zwift, Trainer Road, and Rouvy, so you can ride with your friends indoors or complete workouts and races. It’s one of the few bicycle trainers that use an attached power meter, so it’s well worth the price of $2,690. Using a Gates Carbon Belt Drive means the bike is quiet and fuss-free when it comes to maintenance.
The high-inertia flywheel makes for a smooth power transition, and the bike is highly adjustable, suiting riders from 4’10” to 6’10”.
- Weight: 96 lbs
- Max rider weight: 350 lbs
- Compatibility: Zwift, Rouvy, Trainer Road, Road Gran Tour, Fulgaz
- Drivetrain: Gates Carbon Belt Drive
Maximum rider height: 6’9″ / 208cm
Minimum rider height: 4’10” / 147cm
Another Amazon favorite is the Bowflex home exercise bike, the C7.
This stationary bike uses smooth magnetic resistance that can be altered with a knob, with over 100 resistances to choose from. The Bowflex C7 uses the JRNY Experience technology to integrate workouts and app connectivity into your bike’s console. This means you can watch your favorite Netflix program while riding or follow along with trainer-led workouts.
An easy to use cheaper alternative to the bigger brand names, the C7 is a nifty indoor cycling bike that will help you reach your fitness goals from the comfort of your own home.
- [email protected] HD touchscreen
- 100 Resistance Levels
- Bluetooth connectivity, most-used apps available (Peloton, Zwift)
- 3.3 lbs dumbbells included (1.5kg)
- Dual side pedals
- Dual water bottle holders
- Bluetooth: HR armband, speakers
- Weight: 111.1 lbs (50,4 kg)
- Drivetrain: Belt
Max rider weight: 330lbs (150kg)
Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor – SF-B1002/C
This Sunny indoor bike is a great training option for those on a budget.
Costing less than $1,000 at the time of writing, the Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor SF-B1002/C is an adjustable static bike that uses a chain drive for multi-resistance cycle training. It uses a heavy 40lb flywheel for smooth riding and there is a knob adjuster for you to change the resistance according to your workout requirements. It comes with a bottle holder and caged/spd compatible pedals.
The SF-B1002/C is a great starter exercise bike for those looking for a bargain.
- Weight: 114 lbs
- Max rider weight: 265 lbs
- Flywheel: 49 lbs (22kg)
- Drivetrain: Chain
Maximum height: 6′ (183cm)
Minimum height: 5′ (152cm)
Schwinn and cycling go together like bread and butter.
One of the oldest and largest bike brands in the market produces a wide variety of exercise bikes, and the IC3 is believed to be the most popular choice. This Schwinn home exercise bike comes with a heavy 40lbs flywheel for super smooth pedaling and an adjustable frame so you can find the best fit. It also comes with an LCD screen to keep track of your riding metrics such as time, calories burnt, distance, and RPM.
At just over $1,000 it’s a bargain for anyone looking to get started with an indoor exercise bike from a brand you can trust.
- Max weight: 300 lb
- 40 lbs flywheel
- Weight: 100 lbs
- Ventilated seat
- Water bottle holder and media rack
- Drivetrain: Belt
The Joroto X2 is an affordable belt-driven indoor bike.
Using magnetic resistance (with seven magnets) for whisper-quiet riding, the X2 makes sure you can ride without disturbing neighbors or others in your house. The bike is fully adjustable to make sure it fits almost anyone, making working out more accessible. It comes with caged pedals so you don’t need specific cycling shoes to get the most out of the bike.
The Joroto X2 is an affordable home exercise bike, ideal for those looking for their first indoor riding experience. And if you buy from Amazon, the company offers one year of free replacement parts.
- Weight: 94 lbs
- Transportation wheels
- Bidirectional flywheel
- Magnetic resistance (7x magnets)
- Drivetrain: Belt
Inseam capacity: 27.5″ – 36.2″
Max Weight: 300 lbs
Quick Buying Guide
- A large, momentum-driven flywheel that is separate from the pedals
- Road-bike position
- Drop-bar handlebar
- Adjustability on the seat & handlebars
- Stand-up pedaling for sprints and climbs
- No digital console
- Resistance knob
- Transportation wheels
- Chain Guard
- Stabilizer bars with levers
IC Bike = Indoor Cycling Bike
Exercise bike = A common term for indoor training bike.
Stationary Bike = Any indoor training bike.
Upright bike = One of the most common indoor cycling types.
Recumbent bike = The most comfortable exercise bike. Large seat, reclined body position where the pedals are in the front. Suitable for beginners or anyone with an injury.
*The position on a recumbent bike is believed to be the ‘healthiest’ due to its low-resistance effects on the body.
Fluid Trainer = A type of indoor training equipment where the actual road bike is used on a rolling trainer.
Common Features of Best Home Exercise Bikes
- Increased fitness
- Improved cardiovascular fitness
- Muscle strength building
- Weight loss
Stationary bikes can be used both for easy and hard workouts. Most home-use stationary bikes are used for recreational exercising, but they can also be used for performance-focused workouts. The muscles used on an indoor exercise bike include hamstrings, calves, glutes, quads, shoulders, back, core, biceps, and triceps (when standing up).
Indoor Cycling Bikes vs Recumbent Bikes
Although the two are indeed stationary bikes, they fall under different proposed uses. Upright exercise bikes are more performance-focused indoor training bikes, while the recumbent is used for recreational training. Recumbent bikes are often used at gyms as a warm-up or cool-down tools, while the upright exercise bike is used for more intense workouts.
Recumbent bikes have large saddles, and a comfortable seating position while upright exercise bikes are focused on maximum power output.
Upright training bikes are comfortable and often used by beginner or recreational cyclists. The riding position on an upright fitness bike resembles riding a comfort bike, but there are also some where the position resembles riding a road bike.
Some additional features of best home exercise bikes include:
- Manual resistance
- Can be pedaled standing up
- Have wide adjustability on the saddle and handlebar
- Great for HIIT workouts
Home Exercise Bikes vs Smart Bike Trainers
Smart trainers come in various forms, but they are all focused on smart connectivity to get as much data as possible. Most smart bike trainers are designed to fit road bikes, although it is possible on some to use adaptors for thru-axle wheels such as those commonly found on mountain bikes.
Fluid Trainers vs Stationary Bikes
Fluid trainers are convenient to use with road bikes. They are a great alternative if you have limited space at your home, and would like to use your own bicycle.
*It is recommended to use a slick or turbo specific tire on a wheel-on/fluid trainer since there’s direct contact between the tire and the trainer
Belt vs Chain on Indoor Cycling Bikes
Chain and belt drives are two common styles of drivetrains on the best home exercise bikes.
Chains are the same as those found on regular bikes, whereas belt drives use a rubber belt in order to drive the flywheel of the bike. Chains are typically found on older or cheaper models of indoor bikes as they wear faster and are noisier than belts. Belt drives are strong and often reinforced with kevlar for maximum durability.
They also require far less maintenance than chain drives, as they require no regular oiling or cleaning.
Some home exercise bikes also come with hi-tech software that allows users to take part in online classes, training programs, and more.
These are often subject to monthly subscriptions, which can vary in price. Some bikes can also be rented rather than bought outright, and just paid for by a monthly subscription cost.
Make sure you decide what you want out of your exercise bike before purchasing to avoid any unexpected costs!
How to Set Up a Home Exercise Bike?
If you’re lucky enough to have bought one of the best home exercise bikes above, the first thing you’ll want to do is get it set up right before your first use. Read on for how to adjust your indoor bike and start training.
Firstly, you want to adjust your saddle height. For a good starting point, stand next to the bike and move your saddle to hip height. Then jump on the bike and see how it feels. You want your leg to be slightly bent at the bottom of the pedal rotation.
You can also adjust your saddle position which can alter your reach. Push it forward to be closer to the bars, and further back for more reach. Try and get your knee directly above your pedal as a good starting point.
The next thing you can set up is your handlebars. Adjustment levels vary depending on the bike you have, but if you can, try and get the bars to a comfortable position that allows you to put out the most power. If you’re just starting out, keep the handlebars above the saddle but if you’re more experienced, then you can try riding with the handlebars level or below the saddle height.
Last but not least, make sure your feet are secure in the pedals – whether you’re using straps or cleats, and enjoy your workout session!
What are the downsides to home exercise bikes?
Indoor bikes can be heavy and take up a lot of room. This means that you have to have enough space to own one, and if you need to move it around they are often quite difficult to maneuver.
Is Peloton bike any good?
Peloton is a fitness bike and uses Peloton workouts and their own subscription service for riders to get the most out of their bikes.
How can I maintain an indoor cycling bike at home?
Every once in a while make sure all the bolts are still done up securely, and lubricate the moving parts. Individual manufacturers will have a maintenance guide included in their manual, so it’s worth checking that for a more detailed and specific regime.
What are the best indoor bike brands?
We’ve tried to list some of the best, most affordable, and most interesting, but some we haven’t included are Peloton, Wahoo, Tackx.
Why do home exercise bikes have a higher risk of injury?
Compared to other exercise bikes, indoor bikes have the advantage of pedaling while standing up, and with this greater range of movement, the higher the chance of injury. Conversely, on a recumbent or upright bike the rider is sitting down in one steady position.
How and where to buy the best indoor cycling bikes?
The Amazon exercise bike selection is quite popular due to the large variety of feedback and ratings, but you can also find a wide variety of indoor bikes on REI and other popular outdoor brand websites.