Best Indoor Cycling Bikes Reviews 2017 and Comparison Chart
If you want to exercise within the comfort of your home, there are many choices that you can make when it comes to fitness machines. Elliptical trainers, treadmills, exercise bikes, or rowing machines, for example, can all give you the possibility to burn some calories or put your heart and muscles to work on a daily basis. But some of the most convenient fitness machines that you can choose from are the indoor cycling bikes.
When it comes to exercise bikes, there are several types: upright, indoor cycling (or spin bikes), and recumbent. Of them all, the indoor cycling types supply the most demanding workout. They’re usually built for intense cardio training and stamina building, they regularly feature a heavy flywheel, sturdier frames and cranks, being able to support the user even in a standing position.
Now, since there’s quite a plethora of models out there, choosing the right one may not be an easy task. That’s why we dedicate this post to putting into view the some of the best indoor cycling exercise bikes on the market. So, to begin with, here’s a table comparison of the top 10 indoor cycles for 2017.
Top 10 Indoor Cycling Bikes
|Bladez Fusion GS II||L:47.5"|
|275 lbs||40 lbs||Friction||Chain||Time,|
Parts: 1 year
Electronics: 1 year
Wear: 1 year
Labor: 90 days
|265 lbs||44 lbs||Friction||Chain||No||Frame: 1 year
Parts: 90 days
|Ironman Triathlon X-Class 510||L:44"|
|300 lbs||44 lbs||Friction||Belt||RPM,|
Parts: 5 years
Labor: 5 years
Electronics: 2 years
Wear: 2 years
|BodyCraft SPX Club||L:43"|
|300 lbs||46 lbs||Friction||Belt||No||Frame: lifetime
Parts: 5 years
|Schwinn AC Performance Plus||L:50"|
|350 lbs||42 lbs||Magnetic||Belt||No||Frame: 10 years
Mechanical: 2 years
Labor: 1 year
Wear: 6 months
|IRONMAN H-Class 520||L:49"|
|300 lbs||44 lbs||Magnetic||Belt||RPM,|
Parts: 3 years
Labor: 3 years
Wear: 1 year
|Sunny Pro SF-B901||L:48.5"|
|275 lbs||40 lbs||Friction||Chain||No||Frame: 1 year
Mechanical: 90 days
|400 lbs||40 lbs||Friction||Belt||Calories, |
|1 year limited|
|300 lbs||48 lbs||Friction,|
Parts: 3 years
Electronics: 3 years
Labor: 1 year
|Exerpeutic LX905||L: 47"|
|275 lbs||40 lbs||Friction||Chain||Speed,|
|1 year limited|
All models listed within the previous table share several common features. They all have a considerably solid frame, most of them feature superior micro adjustability, a heavy flywheel, they can pretty much accommodate a wide range of users, height and weight wise, and they all come with great price/quality ratio. However, design might differ from a model to another, and each particular machine may include several features that other models do not offer. The main aspects such as resistance type, drive type, maximum supported user weight and others are reflected by the table, but more details regarding each model can be find in its specific review.
Now, normally the next step in this post would be to make a few recommendations by price since price weighs heavily in anyone’s decision to purchase anything, not just an exercise bike. But before we get to that, just to make sure you will get the right one, there are several other aspects regarding spin bikes or indoor cycling bikes, that you should be aware of. Therefore, we will proceed with explaining those aspects first.
Why Should You Buy an Indoor Cycling Bike?
Pretty much like outdoor cycling, using an exercise bike indoors offers the same health benefits. For example, pedaling supplies a great cardio training, an excellent method to build stamina, and evidently helps a lot with burning calories and losing weight. Depending on your weight, you can burn between 400-700 cal. per hour on an fitness machine of this type. On top of that, since many exercise bike models come with a console, you get the possibility to accurately track your progress. Some of the most advanced ones have consoles with online connectivity, giving you the possibility to compete or compare your progress with others, or download various training programs.
Even though cycling doesn’t supply a full body workout, leg muscles and lower core muscles are focused during a cycling session. Also, cycling is much easier on the joints than running, even than running on a cushioned treadmill. In case you need to alternate cardio with other types of training, an exercise cycle next to a treadmill is always a great choice.
Evidently, by cycling indoors, comfort and safety are considerably increased. You can watch your favorite shows, your favorite online streams, or read your favorite book while on a spin bike. However, when cycling outdoors you have to pay attention constantly to everything that happens around you. And no matter how safely you ride an outdoor bicycle, there’s always the danger of a reckless driver, or a nasty insect for example, which may lead to a more or less serious injury. Dangers of such manner are nonexistent when cycling in-doors.
What to Choose: Commercial Grade or Home-Use Bikes?
In case you haven’t noticed, this category of fitness machines actually has two subcategories: those intended for 24/7 use, within the premises of a gym, and those which are meant for home use. There are differences between the two, and needless to say, the gym-grade trainers are more expensive. Evidently, you can invest in a gym-quality indoor cycle to use within your own home. But the question is, is it worth the financial effort? We’re pretty sure you’ll be able to form your own opinion regarding this issue, after finding out the differences between these two major categories of indoor cycle trainers.
Commercial grade spin bikes typically feature an extremely sturdy and heavy frame, made of thicker steel tubing. Frames and overall aspect in these models have a more appealing, professional look. Most of them have a maximum supported user weight of 350 lbs (159 kg), but there are also cycles which can support users up to 500 lbs.
Another aspect regarding the types intended for gym use is micro adjustability. This is quite important, as in a gym, there will be users of all sizes, and the bikes need to fulfill their needs. So, vertically and horizontally adjustable seats and handlebars are typically present in these models, and some models also offer angle adjustability for the handlebars, to maximize the workout posture spectrum.
When it comes to consoles, even though you would expect such an accessory to come with a gym-grade model, they’re not always included. And most available gadgets of this sort are pretty basic for most indoor cycle trainers. In general, all of them track speed, distance, time, calories, and some of them can also track pulse. Only the ones with eddy current resistance feature automatic resistance settings and preloaded workout apps.
Finally, the price for spin bike models starts somewhere at $900 and can go beyond $2,000. However, warranty for fitness machines of this nature is also typically consistent.
Home-use models on the other hand, although pretty similar to the previous type, feature a lower supported weight, typically between 250-300 lbs (113 – 136 kg). They don’t focus on offering an extra appealing design, and in most cases, they don’t come with a performance monitor.
Their prices range between $200 and $500, and many models do not offer a very consistent warranty plan, usually up to 2-3 years for the frame, and several months for the wear parts. Most bikes in this category have a friction brake system and a typically simple drive mechanism. But nonetheless, many models that fall into this category are still pretty decent exercise bikes. And since in a home gym they won’t be used 24/7, they can still last for many years, without even requiring any replacement on their parts.
Magnetic vs. Friction Resistance
You probably already have an idea about these two common types of resistance found in indoor cycling bikes. One uses magnets to apply force on the flywheel, the other uses one or multiple brake pads that directly touch the flywheel, generating friction, and creating resistance. But each type has its pluses and minuses. And those pluses and minuses are the aspects you ought to know when choosing a particular cycle.
To begin with, models with a magnetic or eddy current brake are in general, more expensive. But on the other hand, you don’t have to worry about the wear and tear of the flywheel or magnetic brake pads. They don’t come in contact; they don’t wear out. Depending on the type of magnetic brake, these cycles may be automatic or manual. The automatic ones also come with a console, and the resistance is controlled via the console. These models also feature onboard training programs. On the manual models, the brake is adjusted via a knob, just as for the case of friction brakes.
Bikes with friction brakes are typically cheaper, but the brake pads require replacement after a while, as they wear out. That’s why when purchasing a cycle with a friction brake, it’s best to order 1-2 extra brake pads. Also, brake pads may require lubrication from time to time, while magnetic brakes don’t require any maintenance whatsoever. The best part about friction brakes is that you can actually tighten the resistance up to the point you can barely pedal. This way, you can benefit from quite a tough workout. On the other hand, magnetic resistance may be more or less effective, depending on the exercise bike model.
Other Important Aspects to Consider Before Buying
Whether or not you opt for a gym-grade cycle or a more affordable model for home use, there still are some other aspects that you need to consider. But for this part, we’ll be brief:
All indoor cycling bikes or spinning bikes are not made to supply extraordinary comfort. They offer the training setting and workout postures similar to the ones supplied by a racing cycle. In other words, they are no more comfortable than any race bike.
Almost any indoor cycle comes with a slim seat, with more or less cushioning. If you’re not used cycling, expect your buttocks and lower back to hurt in the beginning. However, these inconveniences should disappear after several sessions.
Many indoor cycle trainers feature a Q Factor that’s slightly higher than your average road or mountain bike. Therefore, in case you have any problems with your knees, it’s best to opt for an exercise bike with a Q-Factor between 150 – 180 mm.
When choosing an indoor cycle, make sure it features a perimeter-weighted, balanced flywheel. This type of flywheel supplies a consistent momentum and reduces the stair climbing sensation when pedaling. Also, the heavier the flywheel, the better.
It’s always a good idea to order a mat to place under your spin bike. Most are heavy and may damage your floor or carpet.
Don’t forget to consider the bike’s maximum user capacity and its adjustability. Not all models can offer the right pedaling stretch for a tall user. And if your weight exceeds the maximum user weight of the bike, warranty will not apply in case it brakes.
Now that you know for sure that an indoor cycle is exactly the fitness machine that would fit your needs, here are some options for you, by price.
Our Best Recommendations by Price
Before proceeding with the following recommendations, there’s another aspect to be specified though. There are three distinctive price intervals for these bikes:
- under $300 – which are pretty OK trainers for home use, but without too many bells and whistles, and with a simple design;
- between $300 and $1,000 – models close to the quality in gym-grade ones, but with a couple of features or functions less. This price category includes quite many models as well;
- over $1,000 – bikes made for 24/7 use, meant to withstand a wide array of users, and fit to be operated within a gym.
Price: Under $300
This is one of the most affordable indoor cycle trainers that also include a performance monitor. Even though it’s a basic one, you still get the possibility to track your calories burned, distance traveled, time spent and current speed. Along with that, it’s quite a sturdy cycle, with a user capacity of 275 lbs, just as the Sunny Pro.
However, its overall design is quite nice, with a thick, corrosion-resistant finish. It’s a chain-driven exercise bike, with a felt pad brake system. This bike also excels in micro adjustability, as both seat and handlebars are 4-way adjustable. In fact, compared to most of the bikes out there with these specs, this bike should probably cost $100 more… Read Full Review.
If you’re looking for an affordable indoor cycle trainer, one of the highest rated, if not the highest rated exercise bike that you can find, is the Sunny Pro SF-B901. Even though this model has been around for a while, and since its release, Sunny Health & Fitness has launched quite many other bike models, this particular one still stands tall.
So far it has been praised by a large number of users of all levels. And that’s because it offers simplicity, durability, and effectiveness, at quite an affordable price. In other words, it’s a fairly basic bike, but does offer the cycling training setting that anyone needs in the comfort of their home… Read Full Review.
Although it was released at the beginning of 2016, the Sunny SF-B1423 is one of the highest rated and most affordable indoor cycling bikes. Although it’s a model with a 250 lbs weight capacity, it still comes with a heavy, 40 lbs flywheel, offering a steady and consistent pedaling motion, being excellent for strength and interval training.
It’s a belt-drive bike, and this being said, its transmission does not require any maintenance, while its operation is almost silent. One of the best aspects regarding this exercise bike is that it comes with a fitness meter unit. Even though it’s a basic unit, it still offers the possibility to monitor your workout stats during exercising, which offers excellent motivation… Read Full Review.
Price: $300 – $1,000
Sunny Health & Fitness offers a wide array of exercise bikes, releasing new models every year. Although the Sunny SF-B1110 is the 3rd recommendation here, we’ve chosen it as it simply has a very high 5-star reviews ratio over others. Also, it costs only $10 over the mark 0f $300 (at least for the moment), definitely being one of the best indoor cycling bikes for 2017.
It features a heavy-duty construction, with a frame quite similar to the commercial spin bikes, quite heavy, offering excellent stability and sturdiness. The bike is equipped with a 44 lbs perimeter weighted flywheel, which offers a consistent momentum, and a smooth pedaling motion. The crankset is extremely sturdy, featuring solid steel arms and metallic alloy pedal. Both its seat and handlebars are 4-way adjustable… Read Full Review.
You can’t speak about exercise bikes without mentioning Exerpeutic at least once. There are several excellent indoor cycling bikes sold under this brand name, and one of them is the LX905. This cycle trainer features a solid construction and a fairly heavy frame, pretty close to the light commercial models.
As opposed to other models, the Exerpeutic LX905 has adjustable stabilizers on both its bases, offering better support. It’s a bike with a durable chain drive system and friction resistance.
One of the elements that various other bike models in this price range don’t have, is the fitness meter. The LX905 from Exerpeutic does include one. The meter unit is actually a bit superior to the average meter unit. It features a 6-panel display and can show 6 fitness parameters at once. It can indicate speed, distance, time, calories burned, RPMs and pulse. It offers goal setting functions for time, distance and calories, and also has a Recovery Test program which can evaluate your level of fitness… Read Full Review.
In case you want to train for competitions of any kind, not just triathlon, the X-Class 510 Ironman sure is a bike that can offer you the training setting for that. Not only that it provides the solid construction of most commercial grade bikes, it also features a progress tracking monitor, with Bluetooth connectivity.
Overall, this bike has a really nice design, it features a quiet belt drive system and direct contact brake. On top of that, it offers a really comfortable seat compared with other bikes, even though it’s also a cycling seat, not one similar to the seats in upright bikes. Micro-adjustability is pretty much advanced in this bike. And it comes with several other accessories, along with the console… Read Full Review.
Price: Over $1,000
The Star Trac Spinner Blade is not exactly an affordable exercise bike, but it definitely is a commercial spin bike, featuring a superior weight capacity and a frame built to endure 24/7 usage within the premises of a gym. If has an extremely heavy and sturdy frame, a flywheel of 38 lbs, chain transmission, and friction resistance. Its listed weight capacity is 350 lbs, but its crankset and seat assembly can definitely support more.
Like any commercial indoor cycle trainer, this Star Trac model features superior micro-adjustability, with 4-way adjustable seat and handlebars. It comes equipped with SPD pedals which also have toe cages in case you use it with normal shoes… Read Full Review.
Appealing design, plenty of micro adjustabilities, performance monitor, and a heavy, 48 lbs flywheel, are some of the features that you will get with the SOLE SB700. A solid construction and quite a heavy frame promote durability and stability.
Even though it’s listed for users up to 300 lbs, this bike can probably support even heavier users. One of the aspects different about this bike than other similar models is its brake pad. Although it’s a friction resistance bike, the brake pad is kevlar-made, supplying superior durability and effectiveness… Read Full Review.
A heavy-duty indoor cycling bike, the Schwinn AC Performance Plus does include all the features of a top-shelf bike, truly a commercial grade model. It can support users up to 350 lbs, and features a zero wear and tear magnetic brake. But on the other hand, the brake is manual, not current powered, therefore you don’t have to worry that any damage to the console will deprive you of the resistance.
This Schwinn model supplies extreme adjustability, along with an innovative design for the handlebar. Although it doesn’t include a console, the bike is fit for such an upgrade… Read Full Review.
Final Pick: Best Indoor Cycling Bike For Home Use
Initially, our best pick was the Fusion GS model, but the new model, the Bladez Fitness Fusion GS II indoor cycle, brings to the table several improvements in the frame construction and offers a few extra features. To begin with, the console of the Bladez Fusion GS II is a little bit more than basic, allowing you to set up goals for several values. Second of all, the construction of the seat horizontal bar is different.
The seat is actually connected to the horizontal bar via a small, vertical bar, which offers superior sturdiness. Also, the bike’s handlebar features middle aero bars rather than a semi-circle bar, which increases the grip possibilities. Along with these, the Fusion GS II has a slightly different design in the frame construction, which not necessarily makes it better than the previous model, but surely makes it look better. So, as a small conclusion here, the GS II model has a little bit more to offer, and with the same price.
As a general idea, the Bladez Fusion GS II indoor cycling bike features a solid construction, with a heavy flywheel, and friction resistance system. The only aspects that keep it from the commercial class of exercise bikes, is its rather limited 275 lbs capacity. But as opposed to that, it offers a fitness meter, which even some of the most expensive models don’t offer… Read Full Review.
Indoor cycling bikes come in numerous shapes and sizes, but most of the models share the same features. Prices also differ from a model to another, but not just every bike does offer a great price/quality ratio. This page aims to help you make the right choice, regarding your indoor cycle. All models presented here come for an excellent price/quality ratio, and range from $250 to over $1,500. Therefore, you should be able to find a model that suits you best, here.