6 Best Exercise Bikes of 2018 – Do NOT Buy Before Reading This!
If fitness is your goal, looking for the best exercise bike is key to reaching those goals. Unique upright exercise bikes help improve your workouts and are an important part of any home gym.
This amazing piece of exercise equipment allows you to hop on and crank out a great cardio workout session. Using reliable exercise bike, you get your heart pumping with less stress on your muscles and joints.
Comfort is most important when it comes to choosing an exercise bike. Most saddles or seats are designed to be more comfortable than other cardio equipment. With this added comfort, that long workout session gets a little easier to get through.
Other than comfort, one should consider features, media capability, safety, your workout space, and more when looking to buy a reliable exercise bike.
In our in-depth top upright bike reviews, we discuss the best stationary bikes available for home use. We reviewed over 50 different exercise bikes, and found the 6 best exercise bikes on the market.
Top 6 Exercise Bikes for Home Use
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B2706 Exercise Fan Bike
Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Upright Exercise Bike
Nautilus U618 Upright Exercise Bike
Schwinn 170 Upright Exercise Bike
Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1203 Exercise Spin Bike
When it comes to choosing the best upright bike, you have many styles and options to consider. Here are some basic questions you should ask yourself when you start looking for any piece of exercise equipment.
- What fitness level are you?
- Do you have physical limitations?
- What are your fitness goals?
- Is this for a weight loss program?
- Are you building stamina for racing?
- Is this just part of a healthier lifestyle?
The 6 Best Exercise Bikes in 2018 Reviewed
1. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B2706 Exercise Fan Bike
One of the newer Sunny Health & Fitness exercise bikes, the SF-B2706 is an upright but uses air resistance. Unlike its magnetic counterpart, the SF-B2706 fan bike delivers a more intense cardio workout.
The steel frame gives the SF-B2706 a sturdy ride with the only PVC parts being the chain and crank guards. All steel parts have a coating of corrosion resistant paint while the upright post and seat slider have a chrome coating.
With a frame made of all steel, the Sunny exercise bike weighs on the heavy side at 94-pounds fully assembled. Even though the bike is heavy, it works great in smaller spaces with a workout area of 80-inches by 48-inches.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B2706 has a long-lasting, durable chain drive that can last the life of the bike. If the chain ever needs replacement, you can easily find one.
The only downside to the chain is the occasional lubrication needed to maintain its long life.
Increasing and decreasing resistance comes by the handlebar and pedal movement speed. With the fan operated resistance system, the faster you pedal, the more resistance the fan produces. There’s no resistance adjustment, so the level depends on your pedaling speed.
Finally, a multi-panel LCD shows total time, distance, speed, RPMs, calories, pulse, and watts. The programmable console has three main interval programs and a custom interval all with easy operation.
- Stable and sturdy frame supports up to 330 pounds.
- The rear base adjustable levelers and front base transport wheels.
- Arm workout option with mobile handlebars.
- 4-way adjusting contoured, ergonomic seat.
- Internal workout air resistance system.
- Telemetric console and three built-in fitness workout programs.
- Fitness tracking and goal setting for speed, distance, time, calories, watts, and pulse.
- Easy assembly and low maintenance.
- Does not include a transmitter for the HR chest strap.
- Not as quiet as other machines on the market.
2. Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Upright Exercise Bike
Like the SF-B2706, the Schwinn AD6 Airdyne gets its resistance levels from the air resistance system. The faster you pedal the Airdyne, the more resistance you get in your workout. The best part of having a fan bike is the resistance is only limited by your pedaling strength.
With the pivoting handlebars, you also get a great upper body workout while pedaling. When you synchronize the handlebars, and pedals your arms and legs get a simultaneous workout.
This optimized exercise pushes the lungs and heart for growing stronger. Users on a weight loss program can achieve optimal calorie burn when using an exercise bike with this feature.
The anatomically designed, extra padded seat keeps you comfortable while foot straps ensure pedaling support and balance. Even though the seat is comfortable, during long workouts, you might feel numbness. Since the seat is interchangeable, you can switch it out, or add a cushion for extra comfort.
Schwinn built advanced technology into the AD6 Airdyne for enabling accurate performance monitoring during the workout. Track your heart rate by adding a chest strap or choose any of the other add-on accessories Schwinn offers.
The Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Upright Exercise Bike comes in on the heavier side. With a weight of 115 pounds and four levelers, the AD6 offers a safe and stable workout. The machine has a natural look that blends in, but if you need to move it, Schwinn includes transport wheels.
- Has features found on higher end models.
- Supports up to 300 pounds.
- Large padded seat.
- The seat is interchangeable for more advanced athletes.
- Weighs 115 pounds, adding stability to the exercise bike.
- Includes transport wheels for easier portability.
- Synchronized pedals and handlebars for feeling balanced.
- Synchronization minimizes strain and torn ligaments.
- Has a 3-year warranty on the entire exercise bike.
- Bike frame has a 15-year warranty.
- Does not include a reading rack.
- Must purchase heart monitor separately.
- The padded seat can cause soreness on strenuous workouts.
A top-rated exercise bike, the Nautilus 618 Upright Exercise Bike offers high tech features like Bluetooth smart connectivity.
Smart Connect lets you sync your workout data with the Nautilus ConnectTM app, Nautilus Trainer app, and MyFitnessPal. You also get the DualTrackTM display with blue backlit LCD and high-resolution which is easily viewable in low light.
Pre-programmed with 29 workout programs which include 12 profiles like rides for mountains, fun sports rides, and challenges. Heart rate profiles let you target your heart rate zone through the grips or by attaching an optional chest strap.
The Nautilus 618 has an adjustable fan, an MP3 input and console speakers with USB charging capabilities for media devices.
A high-inertia, high-speed drive system, and weighted flywheel give you easy startup for a consistent workout. The electromagnetic Eddy Current Braking or ECB system applies resistance for smooth and quiet cycling compared to fan style machines.
The biggest complaint reviewers find with the U618 is the comfort level of the seat. Luckily, the bike seat is interchangeable with a post made for easy removal and replacement.
Another comfort issue for some users is the console and handlebar placement. For the handlebar leaning cyclers, this placement puts your face awkwardly close to the console.
- The Strong framework handles stand up workout sessions.
- Oversize 4-way adjustable seat with gel inserts.
- Two-way adjustable handlebars with hand grip EKG sensors and resistance control.
- Smooth, quiet ride comes from electromagnetic Eddy Current Braking or ECB system.
- 29 pre-programmed workouts and 25 resistance levels with goal tracking capability.
- Bluetooth Smart Connect Nautilus ConnectTM app, Trainer app, and MyFitnessPal.
- USB media charging port in console with included media tray.
- 3-speed fan, water bottle holder, and sound system.
- Easy assembly and low maintenance.
- Good warranty, 10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year electronics, 90-days labor.
- Media tray position not ideal.
- Users complain seat is uncomfortable.
With the 25-level eddy brake system of the Schwinn 170 Upright you get a quietly smooth and challenging workout.
The best feature of the Schwinn 170 Upright is the price. No other upright exercise bikes have these features at this price point. Comparing components, the 170 has features and a warranty identical to the higher priced Nautilus U616 which costs considerably more.
The upright Schwinn 170 allows the rider to use primary muscles for balancing their weight for a familiar riding position. The high-speed inertia flywheel delivers resistance training that’s smooth yet challenging.
An adjustable seat and handlebars, with a built in arm rest, avoid upper body and back stress caused by unnecessary bending. The seat is large and padded for a comfortable ride, but is interchangeable if you want a different style seat.
Loaded with 29 preset workouts and the ability for online connectivity, the Schwinn 170 supports most customized fitness routines. The included workout programs imitate real-life biking conditions.
The user can set their routines for riding trails, the mountains, and other outdoor biking features. Riders can even program customized courses and store them in the console memory.
- Oversize, fore and aft adjustable contoured padded saddle seat.
- Angle adjusting ergonomic handlebars with resistance setting keys and EKG sensors.
- 29 preset workout programs with 25 resistance levels and 9 heart rate programs.
- Schwinn DualTrack LCD window.
- Eddy Current Braking (ECB) and high inertia perimeter weighted flywheel.
- USB data transfer to MyFitnessPal or Schwinn Connect.
- Sound system with sealed acoustic chamber speakers and USB charging port.
- 3-speed fan and water bottle holder.
- Transport wheels and integrated levelers.
- Good warranty, 10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year electronics, 90-days labor.
- User complaints of defective or missing parts.
- Not good for heavy use, can’t do workouts challenging enough for advanced users.
- Can’t cycle while standing on pedals and cannot pedal backward.
- Does not store typical workout times and you need to enter manually.
- Some users report the console is too large and calorie counter not always accurate.
- Difficult assembly with hard to understand and non-detailed instructions.
- Cannot be used by larger riders, only supports 300-pounds.
With a 300-pound weight limit, the Exerpeutic Folding offers considerably more than other entry-level exercise bikes available on the market. The x-frame design makes the this bike a powerful home machine for beginners to the world of exercise bike workouts.
Lightweight for a fitness bike, the Exerpeutic Folding weighs 39 pounds but has the sturdiness found in more expensive models. A resilient tubular steel frame and strong, unbending base mean you have a good performing bike for years.
An adjustable upwards and downwards seat provides positioning for different upper body lengths. A 30-second adjustment moves the machine from a 5-foot 3-inch user to a 6-foot 1-inch user. Adjustment is easy by releasing a knob on the post and moving the seat to the preferred height.
A v-belt drive connecting the pedals to the flywheel gives a quiet and smooth ride while preventing slipping. Since there’s no chain drive, you get trouble free workouts without needing ongoing maintenance.
The computerized LCD delivers key performance stats like speed, distance, workout duration, and calories burned.
Handlebar sensors let you monitor heart rate for maintaining your workout heart rate zone. Eight different resistance levels help you intensify your workout so you can achieve your desired fitness goals.
- Low impact for all ages and varying fitness levels and injury recovery.
- Good for most user sizes ranging from 5’3” to 6’1” and up to 300 pounds.
- Adjustable workouts with eight magnetic and marked resistance levels.
- V-belt drive and heavy precision-balanced flywheel give quiet operation.
- A 3-piece high torque cranking delivers consistently smooth pedaling.
- Large pedals with safety straps keep feet in place while working out.
- Extended leg stabilizers prevent movement and tipping while using.
- Padded seat for workout comfort.
- Computerized LCD shows time, distances, speed, pulse, and calories burned.
- Built-in heart pulse sensors in handlebars.
- Small fold-up size and ttransport rollers for help moving.
- Easy to read instructions and tools for quick assembly.
- Low introductory price for beginning users.
- Shorter users might find it difficult to reach pedals and use the cycle.
- Fewer resistance levels compared to higher-end machines.
The Sunny Health & Fitness Exercise Spin Bike brings up the end of our best exercise bike review. This bike has everything you expect in an entry-level exercise spin bike for a bargain price.
For a bike at this price, you shouldn’t expect a super-high-performance home exercise bike. But the low price shouldn’t mean you can’t get a decent performing piece of equipment.
The item that gives this bike the reason for making our best exercise bike list is its computer. In this price range, you seldom find a computerized system.
While the computer is just a basic monitor, it still has everything you need for tracking your workout performance. You can see your workout stats for distance, time, speed, and calories burned during your exercise program.
The heavy weight steel frame and medium sized 22-pound flywheel keep the bike stable and grounded during hard pedaling sessions. The overall weight of the exerciser comes in at 61 pounds, adding to a safer more stable ride.
You don’t completely lose comfort with this budget priced exercise spin bike. You get a vertical and horizontal adjusting seat from a 27-inch to 33-inch seat to pedal distance.
- Easy to assemble and low maintenance.
- Super quiet cycling with smooth and stable motion.
- Comfortable adjusting seat for long workouts.
- Heavy weight steel frame remains stable during high-intensity workouts.
- Smaller overall size makes it perfect for those with limited exercise space.
- Transport wheels help with moving the bike to different locations.
- Large range of resistance levels with a resistance knob for adjusting the friction pad.
- Super low price makes a great affordable entry level bike.
- Heavy frame and too small transport wheels make the bike hard to relocate.
- Only has a maximum weight capacity of 240 pounds.
- Not meant for riders over 5-feet 10-inches tall.
- No adjustable handlebars.
- No preset workout programs.
- No USB ports or Bluetooth compatibility.
- Calories burned stats are usually inaccurate.
Putting some thought into the reasons for looking at upright bikes helps you choose the best equipment for your needs.
How to Buy Exercises Bikes: Things to Look For
When it comes to looking for the best exercise bike for home use, you have more to consider than cost. You need a comfortable ride with enough challenge for keeping you motivated and moving toward your fitness goals.
Water bottle holder: While a water bottle holder sounds simplistic it may make the difference between quitting and continuing a workout program. You must stay hydrated during your workout and having your water close by is a big convenience. When you find yourself stopping your workout and dismounting your bike whenever you need a drink, you quickly lose focus. Having a water bottle close at hand keeps your focus on the workout while quenching your thirst. Staying hydrated during workouts help prevent dehydration which leads to muscle cramps.
Workout Space: The size of your workout space has a direct impact on the exercise bike you look for. When you have a small workout space, a foldable upright bike is an ideal choice. When not in use, the upright bike folds up and stores in small spaces or closets. If space isn’t an issue, then stationary bikes or air fan bikes and their features might better suit your needs.
Safety: You want an exercise bike that’s stable without any danger of tipping during your ride. A great feature found on many exercise bikes is built-in levelers and stabilizers. When doing a serious high-speed workout, the last thing you want is a bike that wobbles or falls over. Other safety features include safety locks. With small children, curious fingers love moving parts. If your bike doesn’t come with safety locks, keep children and exercise bikes separate.
Media Capability: If you get motivation from working out to music, look for exercise cycles with audio inputs and speakers.
The Must Haves
Of all the features you look for in an exercise bicycle, a comfortable ride is the most important. Even with extras like media input, speakers, and water bottle holder, if it’s not a comfortable ride, you won’t continue.
While resistance levels are most important for the challenge, the seat is the most important aspect of a comfortable workout. You and the seat spend a lot of time together so looking for one that fits you best is essential.
While the reviews say the bike has a comfortable seat, each person is different. The seat may be comfortable for a 5’ 3” woman while it may cause pain for a 6’1” man. When looking for an exercise bike, your best option is finding one with an adjustable seat.
However, if the bike you want doesn’t have the best seat, add a gel insert or padded seat cover. Or, look for a bike with an interchangeable seat option. Many bikes come with the interchanging seat pole, making finding the right seat an easy task.
Our Final Review on the Best Exercise Bikes
Stationary bikes, also called exercise bikes, have enjoyed popularity for many years and they’ve changed a lot during this time. Today, fitness enthusiasts have more size, features, and price choices than ever before.
Exercise bikes have many benefits over other equipment like treadmills and rowing machines because the bike is low impact. Even runners or walkers have a high risk of lower extremity injuries and are a medium to high impact exercise.
Using an exercise bike helps you achieve your fitness goals with less stress on your joints. You’re less like to suffer tendon, ligament, muscle, knee, hip, or ankle injuries when using a stationary bike. In fact, many times doctors recommend that people with lower body injuries use a recumbent or stationary bike. Since a bike balances your body weight, it alleviates stress to lower body injuries for pain-free exercise.
Our best exercise bike reviews can help you find the right stationary exercise bike for your fitness needs. Regardless of your fitness level, our guide gives you the information for an informed decision. You now understand what everything means and how it best serves the needs of you and other users.
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced athlete, you can get a great low impact workout with an exercise bike.