Best Indoor Cycling Bikes
Cardio workouts are key when you want to stay in shape. One of the great ways to get an intense workout is by doing some biking. What better way to get it done on a cycling bike?
There are plenty of indoor cycling bikes on the market. But only five of them stand out to us. We’ll be taking a look at them shortly.
It’s always a good idea to do some cycling as often as possible throughout the week. Especially when you are looking for a cardio workout that will get the job done and help you burn calories. But which indoor cycling bike is right for you?
Let’s begin with number one on our list:
Best Five: Indoor Cycling Bikes
Product Image & Rating (Out Of 10)
First on the list, we’ll be taking a look at the Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike. This is the perfect indoor bike for someone who wants a more intense cardio workout. Even with a 44-pound flywheel, the resistance is pretty good for those who want more of a challenge.
Plus, this bike requires little to no maintenance. So it will be great for anyone who wants a bike that can last a long time. You won’t need to replace belts or parts ever so often compared to older bikes.
The bike itself is made from a durable steel frame. It’s strong, solid, and can handle anyone up to 300 pounds. Plus, it’s stable and will stay that way when you are peddling.
One of the cool things about this bike is that it has a holder for your phone or tablet. This might be a good thing to have if you are watching a video or reading a kindle book while biking. It might also be great if you are doing some kind of “ride-along video” as part of your workout.
Plus, you’ll have a bottle holder handy whenever you need to take a sip of water. No bike, indoor or outdoor, would be useful without it. When workouts get intense, you know you got to stay hydrated.
Next, we’ll be taking a look at the Nordictrack Commercial Studio Cycle. This bike might be the answer to Peleton’s indoor cycling bike since it has the features to match. But what makes it stand out more?
For one, you have an interactive trainer that will lead you through every step of the workout. Which is a bonus considering you don’t have to go to the gym or a spinning class. You can do the lessons right in your own home.
This has magnetic resistance, thus making it easy to use. And you can be able to adjust the levels matching your fitness level. You can start at zero and work your way up farther when you are ready. And it can handle anyone up to 350 pounds, so it’s a very solid unit.
You get 360-degree motions that will make it look like you are riding a bike. And it will be fun to use if you want to get a quick workout in or if it’s just another day of conquering your fitness goals. Even better when you are following along with the interactive workouts.
Now, we have the Pooboo Commercial Stationary Bike. This is really solid in terms of structure. So if you want something durable and super tough, this might be the bike for you.
This has a belt drive and magnetic resistance, so it makes the workouts more intense depending on the level you set it to. Plus, it requires less maintenance so it will last you a really long time. Plus, it’s a great cycling bike if you want something nice and smooth.
This has adjustable handlebars, so it can be excellent for those looking for a bike that isn’t a “one size fits all” kind. Some bikes ride low, some right high, and some will only have fixed handlebars that you can’t adjust.
This bike is stable, can handle 350 pounds, and will be perfect for those looking to lose weight or want a vigorous cardio workout. You can workout using three different modes. You can do a “straight ride”, standing ride, or even incline.
The Keiser M3i has quite an interesting design. It’s almost like a V-shape. It’s lightweight, minimal, but very sturdy.
On top of that, it’s adjustable to fit any kind of height. You could be on the short side or really tall. There’s always a seat adjustment that will fit you perfectly.
If you are looking for a bike that will be easy to adjust, this could be exactly what you are looking for. You can even adjust the handlebars if they seem a bit close to you. Simply put, this bike can fit just about anyone.
This is a Bluetooth enabled bike, so you can be able to ride the bike while being able to use compatible fitness apps as a way to keep track of your fitness goals. You can keep track of your heart rate, calories burned, speed, distance, and more depending on the app you are using.
This bike is made in the United States, so it’s high quality and well-built. If you are looking for something that isn’t cheap and passed off as “good quality”, this bike might be a good option. And it’s a space-saving bike that you’ll love if you want something that’s easy to store.
Finally, we’ll be taking a look at the Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike. If you are looking for a budget option, then you might find this one to be an excellent choice. But don’t write this off as cheap and flimsy.
In fact, it’s solidly constructed and will stay in place even when you are going hard and peddling fast. You can even follow along with your favorite biking exercises using a tablet or iPad. The tablet holder that comes included with this bike will take care of that.
This also has a 35-pound flywheel, which is great when you want a good amount of resistance, but not too much. If you want to start out slow or crank it up a bit, you can easily do so. You will certainly get the cardio workout you want.
This includes non-slip handlebars and a non-slip base. So it won’t move around even when you are peddling hard. And you won’t easily lose your grip either.
The Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike will be the closest you can get to a real bike. It has brakes, a bottle holder, and caged pedals. The only difference is that you get to ride it indoors.
Finding an indoor cycling bike can be tough. But don’t worry, we have a handy buyer’s guide to help you find the right one. The key is finding the right bike that will meet your needs.
One of the things that are most important is adjustability. That’s because there are users that come in different heights. So you want it to be adjustable to your exact level of comfort and fit.
Some cycling bikes might seem rather small for taller individuals (i.e.--6 foot and up in height). So it’s important to find a bike that will give you adjustability with the seat, handlebars, and pedals.
One other thing to consider is the amount of room it takes up. Most of the bikes are built solid and should not take up too much space. In fact, some might be able to fold easily and be stored in a closet when you are not using it.
If you are on a budget, keep in mind that these indoor cycling bikes are not cheap. If you are on a budget, find the one that will give you the best quality. Most of them don’t even require any maintenance and can last years, if not decades.
Lastly, consider the weight of the flywheel. The heavier it is, the more resistance levels you can get. So if you want something that is more of a challenge, you might want to consider a higher flywheel weight.
Best Indoor Cycling Bike
Of all the bikes that we’ve listed, our best choice would be the Sunny Health and Fitness Magnetic Belt Drive Indoor Cycle. This offers the best resistance and it’s low-maintenance.
Plus, you can be able to add on a tablet and follow along with your favorite biking workouts. And by the way, it’s actually favorable for most budgets. Why settle for something because it has bells, whistles, and loaded with “techy” features.
Beginner's GuideMost people agree cycling outside is pretty fun, but sometimes you just can't get out there. Or maybe you just don't like the outdoors.
Either way, there are plenty of reasons to choose indoor cycling for your health instead.
It's time-efficient, convenient, doesn't depend on good weather, and won't dirty your bike. You can also tune your workouts to target cardiovascular fitness, speed, or stamina.
If you've never used an indoor bike before, you're bound to face lots of confusing options. Fortunately, it's not hard to get a good setup without spending too much money.
As a rule of thumb, the quieter you want your indoor cycle, the more it'll cost. However, more advanced bikes come with other features like adjustable resistance, power meters, cadence sensors, and even sensors that can detect how smoothly you're pedaling.
This beginner's guide will help you get started.
What is Indoor Cycling?
Indoor cycling is a cardiovascular workout, often done in a class setting, meant to mimic outdoor cycling. You might have heard the class referred to as "spinning" and the bike as a "spin bike" before.
Many gyms provide bikes for their members to ride on their own, but you can also get one for your home. It's a good idea to try them out in public before committing your wallet. Plus, cycling instructors can teach you specifics.
That said, there's nothing you can't do on your own in the gym that you can't do at home!
Difference from outdoor cycling
There's no doubt that biking is a great workout wherever you decide to do it. Still, there are pros and cons to choosing an indoor setting.
Heart rateIt might be easier to get your heart rate up indoors. You can obviously do this outside, but indoor cycling can reliably push your heart rate higher -- especially if you take a guided class with an experienced instructor. Plus, you won't come across the pedestrians, traffic lights, and other obstacles that would slow you down.
CaloriesBoth indoor and outdoor cycling can burn up to 700 calories an hour. But indoors, you can often last longer than biking outside where the temperature can quickly climb. Being able to exercise longer means you'll burn more calories per workout.
FreewheelingInside, you can't really freewheel to give your legs a brief break from the resistance. Even when you're simulating the downhill part of a course, the pedals continuously resist. Of course, this means your hamstrings get more attention when you stay inside.
Core workoutOutside, you get a harder core workout from the motions involved in propelling the bike. You can get an indoor cycle that leans from side to side, but they're more expensive than most beginner setups.
SafetyWithout traffic, it's safer to cycle indoors. You might be able to invite friends on the road, but that can also distract you from paying attention to your surroundings.
Setting Up an Indoor Cycle
If you're ready to jump into indoor cycling, these tips will help get you started.
1. Look for your training space
Some people like to go all out and transform an entire room or garage into a gym to sweat the pounds off. If you're new to working out, you don't have to worry about all that.
For best results, you'll need a sheltered area where you can set up a small table or shelf in front of your bike. Any area should work, but consider keeping it out of the way of daily activities. No matter which bike you pick, they're all heavy, and you won't want to move it every day.
Keep in mind, you'll probably sweat on the equipment quite a bit, so it's best to choose a floor you can easily wipe clean. If your entire living area has carpeting, keep a clear office mat underneath the bike.
If you buy rollers instead of a turbo trainer, you should also consider setting up near a door frame or something sturdy you can grab for balance.
Finally, consider how loud your bike may be, especially in a shared living space. Lower-end indoor trainers are noisy machines best kept in relatively soundproof rooms.
2. Decide on a trainer
There are a few kinds of trainers you can pick.
Turbo trainersTurbo trainers are most common for bikes, and they vary in terms of features and price. You can find budget trainers with simple choices and higher-end models with advanced tools and complexity.
Lower-end trainers use a skewer through the bike's rear axle. The rear wheel runs against a spinning cylinder that moves when you pedal.
It can wear down grippy tires, so consider picking up trainer-specific tires for your back wheel instead.
Mid-range trainers come with direct-drive technology. This means they use a cassette with private housing that hooks to the rear wheel's chain. However, you need to remove the wheel to fasten the trainer to it.
The benefit is that you don't need to buy special tires for your bike. You can simply throw the wheel back on whenever you need it.
Smart trainers can usually adjust resistance automatically to simulate riding up a hill. With this technology, you can enjoy virtual cycling apps developed to recreate real-world paths.
RollersRollers are two free-spinning cylinders that you stand the cycle on. As you pedal, the parabolic cylinders rotate to mimic the outdoor ground.
Since your bike can't stay upright unless you keep pedaling, rollers offer the most natural-feeling workout indoors. This has its drawbacks.
While it does work your core harder than turbo training, rollers are tricky to start with as a beginner. This is why it's recommended you begin near something you can grab for balance.
Indoor bicyclesIf money is no objective, you can shop for a high-end smart bike meant for indoor use only.
These aren't the standard bikes you'll find at the gym. They can also monitor your heart rate, cadence, pedal stroke, and power output in real-time and over time.
3. Shop for accessories
Indoor cycling is thirsty work, and you're bound to sweat buckets as you get into your training. Make sure you keep a water bottle on the shelf nearby so you can drink regularly and often.
Next is to think about buying a fan to help cool you off. It can also help simulate the feeling of wind if you can't get set up near a window. Plus, you'll still need it even when the weather gets cold outside.
Putting a mat underneath your trainer keeps the floor clean and keeps your setup stable when you're not using it. It can also reduce vibrations that can make noise, especially if you're working out on wooden floors.
If you don't have a mat to use, an old towel will do the trick. Make sure you have another sheet within reach to quickly wipe the sweat off your brow and the handlebars.
Finally, if you like to have music while you work out, consider waterproof headphones or a set of speakers if local noise isn't an issue.
Working Out on an Indoor Bike
Of course, while many of us love to spin away while watching a TV show, listening to music, or enjoying a favorite film, indoor cycling works best if you follow along with a workout program.
Choosing a program
You can easily find a sea of options with a quick Google search, no matter what kind of media you prefer.
There are guided programs and online videos alike that vary in workout intensity and target goals. For example, you can find a video to improve:
- burn fat
- engage in high-intensity interval training (HIIT)
If you think you need a structured program to keep yourself motivated but worry that it'll be a chore, there are still options for you.
Many developers have virtual cycling apps designed like a cross between a workout program and an online video game. You can choose interval workouts from a library of preset structured programs and plans, or you can enter virtual worlds and ride around in it at your own pace.
Even professional athletes like to use these apps for their workouts. You never know who you might see zooming past you in one of these worlds!
If the gaming aspect of virtual cycling apps doesn't interest you, others only offer structured programs.
Setting up your bike
If you don't take the time to set up your bike, it won't be comfortable or efficient to work out with it.
Here's how you set up your unit for indoor cycling:
Foot positionIf your bike uses straps and toe cages, make sure the center of the pedal aligns with your foot's ball. This is the widest part of your foot below the toes, and it'll feel most comfortable to balance your weight on it.
If you're using bike shoes to clip in, the same concept applies. Keep the cleats on the pedal, so the fullest part of your foot is on the center.
Saddle heightYou could eyeball the saddle until it reaches your hips, but there's a better way.
Sit on the bike and keep rotating the pedals until one of your legs hits the nadir of your stroke. If the saddle is set to the right height, your knee will bend at a 25- to 35-degree angle.
Saddle aft positionBefore getting off the bike, put your hands on the handlebars. Make sure the pedals remain level and then look down.
You should see your kneecaps directly above the pedal's center. If you're too far forward or back, adjust the saddle until you're properly aligned.
Handlebar heightFinally, make sure the handlebars are close by. You shouldn't slouch forward or strain your neck when pedaling.
Baseline fitness test
Brace yourself: This one will ache.
Taking a baseline fitness test with your new bike helps you establish your heart rate and power zones. In other words, you'll have a better idea where you should aim your heart rate when you start your training program for health.
Taking a baseline fitness test also gives you something to compare yourself against down the line. It might also shed some light on where you really need to focus your training before others.
You can use whatever program you found to test yourself against. If you're using an app, it may have its own baseline fitness tests for you to choose from.
Establishing a workout schedule
Your lifestyle and preferences will obviously influence the time of day you work out. Still, you can ultimately choose when and how often you want to cycle.
Some people have more energy to work out before bed in the evening, and others prefer to get it out of the way first thing in the morning. If you have family, work, class, or other commitments, you might need to squeeze in a workout whenever it's possible.
Whatever you choose, understand that any training is better than not training at all. Cycling for half an hour just three times a week does more for you than waiting two weeks for a two-hour session.
With that in mind, three-to-four 30- to 40-minute cycling sessions per week is a great baseline to achieve. When you have the time, feel free to kick it up to a one- or two-hour session.
Regardless, don't forget to pace yourself when you're new to the sport. It's easy to burn out as a beginner.
Like with any new hobbies, it's best to start yourself off at a calmer, sustainable level. Then, as you get used to the new activity and get better at it, you can increase the frequency, the duration, or the difficulty of your training program.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is an indoor cycling bike?An indoor cycling bike, also known as a spin bike, is an indoor bike used for exercise. It’s different from an upright stationary bike in that it has more in common with a real, on-the-road bike than upright bikes do. Cycling bikes usually have a racing saddle as well as multi-grip handlebars. You can use these bikes either seated or standing up, and they generally provide a more intense, cardio-centered workout than upright stationary bikes. Indoor cycling bikes also don't generally come with an attached computer console like upright stationary bikes.
2. Are indoor cycling bikes and spin bikes the same thing?Yes, "indoor cycling bike" is just another name for a spin bike.
3. What are the health benefits to using a spin bike?There are numerous health benefits to indoor cycling, otherwise known as "spinning." Cycling indoors can help you burn calories and lose weight. It can also help you build up the muscles in your legs, improve your heart health and give you enhanced endurance. The workout, which is usually intensive, will also pump up your adrenaline and cause your body to release endorphins into your bloodstream, which can lead to an overall feeling of happiness, well-being and joy.
4. Why don't most indoor cycling bikes come with computer consoles?Unlike upright stationary bikes, most indoor cycling bikes are used as part of a timed workout. People tend to use them while watching a particular workout show on television, in a spinning group or set timed to music. It's part of an everyday workout routine, just as lifting weights is, and most people don't have the need to track their time, calories burned or heart rate like they do on stationary upright bikes.
5. Do indoor cycling bikes come preassembled?Most indoor cycling bikes do not come preassembled. If you buy a new spin bike, it almost always comes in a box and will require home assembly. Certain stores will deliver and assemble bikes as part of the service package or for an additional delivery and/or assembly fee, but it's rare to find an indoor cycling bike that comes pre-assembled.
6. How much does a spin bike cost?There are several different brands and styles of indoor cycling bikes. The price for each one depends largely on the brand, the features and several other factors. There are some spin bikes out there for as little as $100 to $200. However, most spin bikes fall into the $350 to $500 range. There are some that are much more expensive though. For example, if you want a NordicTrack Grand Tour Pro Indoor Cycling Bike, you should be ready to spend at least $1000, maybe even more.
7. Can riding an indoor cycling bike help you lose weight?A single indoor cycling session can burn as many as 900 calories at a time, so yes. If you're dedicated and willing to put in the time, indoor cycling or spinning can certainly help you shed your unwanted pounds. Furthermore, because it’s so intensive, it keeps your heart rate up even after you get off the bike. The higher your heart rate, the more calories you're ultimately burning, so this allows you to burn calories even after you've finished your workout for the day.
8. Can seniors use indoor cycling bikes?Although upright or recumbent bikes might be more comfortable for some seniors because they’re easier to get onto and off of, seniors can also use indoor cycling bikes. With indoor cycling, seniors can benefit from the high-intensity workout with almost no impact on their ligaments, tendons and joints, which helps keep them from becoming sore and prevents injury. It also helps keep them active and is a great alternative to biking outdoors in the elements and with the danger of motorists.
9. Can cycling on an indoor cycling bike help you lose belly fat?Exercising on an indoor cycling bike gives you a workout that alternates between a cardiovascular workout and an HIIT workout. This helps you burn calories faster and specifically targets belly fat. Exercising on indoor cycling bikes is, in fact, one of the most effective at-home workouts you can do to reduce belly fat.
10. How many times a week should I work out on my indoor cycling bike?The great thing about having a spin bike in your home is that you can use it as often as you like. As far as safety is concerned, you can safely ride your indoor cycling bike every day without causing any health problems or damage to your body. However, if you choose to only workout on your bike three days a week, that's also fine.
11. How long should I use my indoor cycling bike each session?The length of time you use your spin bike each day depends entirely on you. You'll have to ensure your workout fits into your daily schedule. You'll also determine how many calories you're hoping to burn and how much of your entire exercise routine you want to do on the bike versus other forms of exercise. Typically, when most people spin, they do so between 30 minutes and one hour. This is a great workout because it gets your heart rate up and starts you burning calories quickly. Of course, the longer you spend on your indoor cycling bike, the more calories you'll ultimately burn.
12. What is the maximum user weight for a spin bike?While there are special spin bikes that can be purchased for heavier users, a typical indoor cycling bike can hold users up to 250-350 pounds. The great thing about most spin bikes is that they’re factory-tested at four times the maximum listed weight capacity just to be sure they’re sturdy and won't break down.
13. Will my spin bike need to be adjusted to fit my specific body type and measurements?The only measurements that really matter for an indoor cycling bike are your height and the length of your torso, legs and arms. If you're looking for a quick, one-size-fits-all guide on how to set your bike up, there isn't one. However, a general rule of thumb is that the bike's seat should be at hip height when you're standing. As for the handlebars, you can bend your elbow right beside the tip of the seat and set the handles so that your fingers just brush the tips of them. While sitting, your knees should always remain slightly bent, even at your pedaling's lowest point.
14. Will I need special shoes to use my indoor cycle?Unless the brand of spin bike you use specifically notes that you need special shoes, you should be fine with any pair of sneakers or running shoes.
15. Will riding the indoor cycle hurt my butt?Like any new type of exercise, you should expect to be a little sore when you're first starting out. In fact, if you’re completely new to an exercise routine, you're probably going to be a bit sore all over your body. After the first few times you use your cycle, your body - including your butt - should adjust and stop hurting. However, if you do have a problem sitting on your bottom for a prolonged period of time, especially while exercising, you can invest in some specially made cycling shorts or a gel seat cover for your bike.
16. How many calories does a typical indoor cycling session burn?The number of calories you'll burn while using your indoor cycle depends on a number of factors, including how long your cycling session lasts, how fast and intensively you're cycling and more. However, in a typical session, you can expect to burn between 500 and 900 calories.
17. Are indoor cycling bikes hard to maintain, and how do I maintain mine?Each bike, no matter the brand or model, comes with a detailed instruction manual that tells you how to set up the bike, how it’s supposed to be used and how to maintain it. They aren't usually hard to care for or maintain, but there are a few things you'll want to make sure you do for optimum performance and durability.
For example, at the end of each workout, you'll want to wipe down the bike and keep it clean and free of sweat. This will keep it from getting nasty and/or rusty. You shouldn't have to clean the bike with an actual cleaning solution too often, but if you do clean it with a cleaning solution, never spray the solution directly onto the bike. Instead, spray it on a cloth and wipe the bike down. A nice mixture of dawn dishwashing liquid and warm water works just as well as fancy cleaners. Never use oil-based cleaners or cleaners that are abrasive.
It will also help keep your bike in peak working order if you do a weekly or bi-monthly check of it. Look for things like any loosening of the pedals, handlebars or other parts of the bike. Also check to see if you need any lubrication on any of the moving parts. If you start to notice undo resistance in the pedals or wheels, you probably need to lubricate.
18. How should I dress while working out on my indoor cycling bike?Dress for comfort and to stay cool. If you are sensitive about sitting for long periods of time, invest in some padded or cycling shorts. You'll also want to avoid loose and hanging clothing as it can get caught in wheels, pedals or any other of the bike's moving parts. Make sure you wear good sneakers or running shoes and socks as well.
19. Can exercising on an indoor cycling bike work my upper body as well as my lower body?As long as you're maintaining the proper posture on the bike, your upper body should get a great workout just like your lower body will. Just as is the case when you're running or riding an actual bike, your upper body falls into a moving rhythm that balances out your lower body. An indoor cycling bike can work not only your legs and abdominal muscles but also your shoulders, arms and lower and upper back.
20. Which indoor cycling bike is the best?You can ask people who enjoy indoor cycling all over the world this question, and most of them will give you a totally different answer. That is because this is a very subjective question. The best indoor bike for you will depend on a number of factors. Different people need different resistance levels, different features and options on the bike and different construction of the bike itself. Don't be hasty in choosing the perfect bike for you. Instead, shop around; test out several different indoor cycles; find the one that fits your needs the best.
21. Is indoor cycling hard?Indoor cycling is a very challenging and intense workout, but it’s no harder than any other type of intensive physical activity. Your current fitness level will determine how hard indoor cycling is for you, but even if it seems incredibly hard at first, as long as you're willing to stick with it and 'push through the pain,' you'll find it gets easier and easier over time. In fact, after several cycling sessions, you may even find that it has gotten too easy, and you'll have to raise your resistance level to get the same calibre workout. In short, indoor cycling may seem difficult at first, but it's an exercise activity just about anyone can do if s/he really wants to get healthier.
If you are looking to crank out an intense cardio workout day after day, there’ is nothing quite like an indoor cycling bike.