The 8 Best Exercise Bikes for Cycling at Home

With gyms and indoor cycling studios closed due to the new coronavirus and most of us practicing proper social distancing, investing in one of the best exercise bikes can help indoor cycling fans bring their favorite workout into their living rooms.

If you’ve been an avid indoor cycler, you’re not alone: Cycling is one of the most popular forms of exercise in the U.S. According to a Nielsen report, 14 percent of Americans say they cycle regularly, a figure that grows to about 1 in 3 when looking specifically at the 25-34 and 35-49 age groups.

One reason indoor cycling has gained so much love is that it’s a great form of exercise for beginners to get started with.

“Indoor cycling really is suitable for every level of fitness because you completely control your own resistance and speed,” says Natalie Qayed, NASM-certified personal trainer and Master Instructor at Cycle Haus Nashville. And, as with just about any kind of exercise, “there really is no level of fitness you need to achieve before getting started.”

The best exercise bikes at home probably won’t come cheap, though. Many of the solid options will set you back anywhere from several hundred dollars to a few thousand, depending on features.

“You get what you pay for. Like most fitness machines, if the price seems too good to be true it probably is,” says Quayed. “Quality is so important if you plan to have it for the long run.”

Before you make the plunge, gather some intel first: Think about the bikes you liked at different studios and gyms and jot down some pros and cons of each, she says. Then, consider which features are important to you. You’ll probably want one with a console (a bike’s monitor display), so you can track your progress and know how far you’ve gone in a set amount of time, says Quayed. That’s key to monitoring your progress and setting goals, she says.

And ask yourself how much support you’ll need too, says Emily Collins, a Los Angeles-based indoor cycling instructor at VERVE Studios.

“Can you self-motivate enough to have just a standalone bike, or do you need a full-service bike such as the Peloton?” she says. (Full-service bikes like Peloton offer interactive classes, though you can also use apps like CycleCast to supplement your ride).

Need some inspiration? Here are 8 amazing at-home exercise bikes, as chosen by indoor cycling instructors and experts.

1. Life Fitness ICG IC7 Bike

This bike comes with an LED console to track your ride’s intensity. It also offers 100 increments of resistance for super precise control of the challenge.
“[Our studio] Cycle Haus Nashville is not a traditional rhythm ride studio—we ride in a power training mode, which means we are mileage-, watt-, and training-focused. We could not do it without these bikes. These consoles give you dozens of stats, and you can download the ICG training app and connect with your console to keep track of all them. They balance perfectly for both in and out of the saddle riding.” —Qayed
“Now, I’ve ridden a lot of indoor cycling bikes, but this one has become my favorite. It’s like the Benz of bikes! I love how easy it is to adjust all of the bike settings—it’s on a sliding scale as opposed to locked-in holes, which are key when you just need a touch of an adjustment. The technology is super cool, but also approachable and easy to understand, and the ride is very smooth.” —Jenna Stern, a Philadelphia-based instructor at Fitler Club and City Fitness.

$2,999 AT AMAZON

2. Schwinn A.C. Performance Plus

This steel and aluminum bike is equipped with pedals that allow you to wear special clip-in cycling shoes or regular old sneakers. It also has an adjustable seat and handlebars with an enhanced grip that promise a smooth and comfortable ride.
“These are the bikes used in our indoor cycling studio (and a lot of studios around the country). The ride is smooth, and it feels a lot like a normal bike you would ride outside. The entire bike is customizable to your size and how you like to ride, like seat and handlebar height. It also has the option to either clip in with cycling shoes or use shoe cages for tennis shoes that you already own.” —Molly Rockwell, Pensacola, Florida-based Spin instructor at Ride Society Pensacola.
“This indoor stationary bike is the most stable. Other bikes have handlebars that feel like they don’t support the high-intensity, upper-body movements as much. Also, the adjustable knobs adjust really well. —Angelica Lee, a Portland, Oregon-based instructor at MobCycle.

$1,395 AT AMAZON

3. Peloton Bike

This bike comes with an adjustable seat, handlebars and screen, and also offers 24-hour streaming access to live and on-demand classes. (The company will produce live content on a closed set while studios in New York City are closed due to the new coronavirus.)
“This is a great option when an indoor cycling studio isn’t accessible. I like that it still gives you the feel of being in a class without leaving home. The energy doesn’t feel stale.” —Rockwell
“This is the best full-service, at-home bike in my opinion. The instructors are captivating, bikes are well made, and they don’t take up too much space. They also have access to licensed music, so the playlists are upbeat and familiar.” —Collins
“For my at-home riders, this is hands down my top pick! Not only are the instructors amazing, but I love that they have clear bike setup directions, rides for all levels, and always stress the importance of warming up and cooling down. As an instructor, those are things I stress in my own classes, so knowing a company takes that into consideration and stresses safety is very important for those that are riding on their own.” —Stern


4. Schwinn Carbon Blue Indoor Cycling Bike

This lightweight aluminum frame has a 6-Magnet brake system for smooth braking and friction-free wear. It uses “Carbon Blue” technology for its belt drive, which transfers power from the pedals to the flywheel—mimicking a smoother experience that’s more like riding outdoors, says Leigh Beach, a Costa Mesa, California-based Master Instructor at GritCycle.
“I love the size of the handlebars. For ‘push-ups’ and ‘hand hops,’ the handlebars are large enough to keep the rider feeling supported, but not too large to be cumbersome and in the way. Finally, the Schwinn frame is adjustable and was designed to accommodate clients of just about any height or weight.” —Beach

$1,904 AT AMAZON

5. Stages Precor SC2

This bike is equipped with a carbon fiber belt that mimics the inertia of outdoor cycling and has a system for personalized height and seat adjustments.
“Stages offers a smoother ride—they have a wider seat and base, so there’s never a wobbly feel or the feel like you’ll tip over. The tiniest turn on the knob adds a good amount of resistance, so you’re always getting an efficient workout. For people looking to get a full-body workout, this is the bike for you! The handlebar positioning is at seat height, or slightly higher, which forces you to engage your core throughout the workout and use your glute and hamstring muscles.” —Priscilla Perez, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based spin instructor.
“Since proper settings and form are key for safety and maximizing the effectiveness of your ride, I recommend the SC2 for its multiple adjustment features, as well as its quick and easy setup. I love this bike for its super smooth ride. It almost feels as though you’re floating, yet supported by the substantial weight of the bike. You can lock your desired handlebars and seat height with one click, rather than tightening a lever by hand. This model comes with a SprintShift feature, which gives you the option of a quick change in resistance by turning a lever once or twice vs. turning the resistance dial multiple times.” —Latosha Lovell, a Los Angeles-based heated indoor cycling instructor at Sweat Cycle.
“I love how much you can adjust the seat, handlebar height, and distance for the rider. The resistance knob and sprint shift knobs are my favorite features, giving you the option to increase the intensity of your ride based on the beats per minute of the song you’re listening to.” —Janelle Tibayan, a Washington, D.C.-based certified Cycling Instructor at Equinox (Cycle Beats)


6. LeMond RevMaster

This bike, which is built for commercial and home settings, is designed in partnership with three-time Tour de France champion Greg LeMond. It features a narrow crank that replicates a road bike and lets you adjust your position from upright to stretched out and low.
“I love the circular handlebars on the LeMond. It’s great for my style of classes that goes to the beat of the music mixed with choreography, so the dance moves on the bike are endless. People who do not enjoy riding low, have severe back problems, and pregnant women would benefit highly from this style bike, since the handle bars are positioned higher and you’re riding upright, as opposed to an L-shape where your core is forced to be engaged.” —Perez


7. Keiser M3 Indoor Bike

This lightweight, stainless steel bike offers a super smooth ride thanks to its magnetic-resistance belt.
“This bike is super comfortable and allows for a comfortable ride. The monitor helps keep me accountable for when I set goals for myself. Especially quantifying gear, because I like to know if I’m getting stronger and able to put on more gear the more I work out. All around, it’s a dependable bike that is perfect for the type of ride I’m looking for.” —Crystal Nguyen, a Houston-based spin instructor at Rush Cycle Med Center.

$1,795 AT KEISER

8. Assault AirBike

OK, this is not a traditional indoor cycling bike, but it’s a great option if you’re looking for a total-body HIIT workout. This exercise bike is equipped with padded handlebars, fan, and crank to adjust your resistance. The console offers different workout programs, and tracks your heart rate, calories burned and distance.
“This is another great pick for a stationary ride, but it also incorporates arm movement. You definitely get a full body workout using this type of bike. I was first introduced to it in a bootcamp/circuit-type class, and I didn’t realize how effective it was until I got off it and felt how tired it made me. Great for upper and lower body riding.” —Nguyen


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