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- Which Exercise Bikes Are Best. An exercise bike is a great way to keep your heart healthy and muscles toned, and it could help you lose weight or maintain it where you want it.
- When you have a stationary bike in the home, you are able to work out at any time, without having to travel to the gym.
- The Exerputic 4000 Magnetic Recumbent Bike is our top pick because it’s well made and fairly affordable.
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Exercise bicycles, also known as stationary bikes or spinning bikes (although the latter is a different beast entirely), have a surprisingly long history, dating back to the 16th century.
Francis Lowndes invented a device approximating the function of an exercise bike in the late 1790s. His creation, the Gymnasticon, predated even the earliest riding bicycles by several decades.
By the end of the 19th century, as bicycles took their modern form, stationary bikes used for exercise became a more common sight in homes and gymnasiums.
For much of the 20th century, the exercise bike and the treadmill were essentially the only stationary devices suitable for cardiovascular exercise.
Then, in the late 1900s, equipment such as the NordicTrack, the elliptical trainer, and stair machines gained in popularity.
For a while, exercise bikes seemed almost passé, used more for hanging laundry than for fitness in the home and relegated to the back corner or many gyms.
Then the spinning craze hit a few years back and exercise bikes surged into style once again.
And why shouldn’t the exercise bike be popular? On those days when it’s too cold for a run or too rainy for a walk, or when there’s no time for a trip to the gym, a home exercise bike is a great way to get your heart rate up and your leg muscles pumping.
When you use the various seated and standing positions and the interval training approach of a spin class, you can even get what amounts to a total body workout right there on a stationary bike.
In comparison, an elliptical trainer, many elliptical trainer bikes are moderately affordable and compact. Some even fold away to stash in a closet or under the bed.
Our guide includes exercise bikes to fit every budget and every home. Some are small enough to tuck under a desk, while others will require a few square feet of real estate. But all of the stationary cycles included will help you hit those cardio fitness and weight management goals. This leads us to the question:
Which Exercise Bikes Are Best:
- Best exercise bike overall: Exerputic 4000 Magnetic Recumbent Bike
- Best budget exercise bike: Marcy Recumbent Mag Cycle
- Best folding exercise bike: XTERRA FB150 Folding Exercise Bike
- Best pedal exercise bike: Vive Pedal Exerciser
- Best smart exercise bike: Schwinn Classic Cruiser
The best exercise bike overall
1. Exerputic 4000 Magnetic Recumbent Bike
Who said a fat-blasting cardio workout session had to be unpleasant? No one who has ever eased himself or herself into the plush seat of the Exerpeutic 4000 Recumbent Bike, certainly.
This superlative home exercise stationary bike has a generously padded seat the cradles your core while promoting airflow, a mesh backrest that offers plenty of support while keeping you cool, and padded armrests that keep your elbows and forearms comfortable even as your legs churn away at the bike’s magnetic tension system.
The Exerpeutic 4000 offers 24 different levels of tension, so whether you’re just starting to exercise for the first time in years or you’re looking for a way to stay fit, this bike will give the right level of challenge for you. It also comes with 12 workout programs, so you can tailor your exercise sessions to suit your fitness goals and your personal preferences. While you’re using the bike, an onboard computer will track metrics including distance, RPMs, your heart rate, and even the watts of power generated.
And while this is a larger bike that will take up some room in the home, it’s lightweight enough to be rolled into the corner (or the garage) after each use.
One satisfied owner calls it “sturdy and super quiet at all speeds,” adding that the “seat is extremely comfortable.” Another buyer says the Exerpeutic 4000 Magnetic Recumbent Bike offers “everything I want” in a stationary bike.
A TopFitnessMag.com review calls the Exerpeutic 4000 a great choice for people who are of medium to “bigger proportions” who want to shed the “extra pounds.” A write up from IndoorsFitness.com praises the ” console” the bicycle features, connecting its different programs and its connection to a fitness tracker app.
Pros: very comfortable seat, many fitness programs, very huge weight capacity
Cons: Poor manual makes initial setup frustrating
The best budget exercise bike
2. The Marcy Recumbent Mag Cycle exercise bike
The Marcy Recumbent Mag Cycle exercise bike costs less than half the price of many similar bikes without notable loss of quality.
Let’s be clear here: the Marcy Recumbent Mag Cycle is a pretty basic stationary bike.
The onboard “computer” tracks time, speed, distance, and approximates likely calories burned, but it’s not going to offer you customizable workout programs as you get with the other advanced bikes, high price exercise bikes.
But what this low-cost bike will do is help you burn calories, lose weight, and tone your muscles, which is all those other bikes do anyway, just with fancier features.
The Marcy Recumbent Mag Cycles offers eight different intensities of magnetic resistance, so it suits people of varying fitness levels.
Using these eight settings, you can create your own workout program by switching up the difficulty during the session.
While in operation, the Marcy Recumbent bike is quiet and stable, suitable for use while you watch TV or with kids sleeping in the room next door.
While this is a more basic option than many exercise bikes, its low cost makes it a great choice for those on a budget or who aren’t sure they’ll use it much and thus hesitant to make a large investment.
One contented user calls her Marcy Recumbent Mag Cycle “very calm” and a “best value for his money.” Another was happy to find that the “assembly was easier than he thought it would be.”
A writer from BikesReviewed.com called the Marcy Recumbent “easy to mount and dismount,” a safety quality that makes it ideal for seniors. A BestWomensWorkoutReview.com piece called it a “budget-friendly exercise bike.”
Pros: Great low price, easy to mount and dismount, quiet operation
Cons: Computer is basic and limited
The best folding exercise bike
The XTERRA FB150 Folding Exercise Bike provides a fine cardio workout when it’s set up for use, then folds away into a compact package.
Ironically, the best thing about the XTERRA FB150 Folding Exercise Bike is how little you’ll see of it most of the time. When folded up, this bike occupies just 17-inches by 18-inches of floor space, so it can be stuffed in a closet, tucked behind a door, or even laid flat and slid beneath a bed that sits well above the ground.
Not only can you stash this folding stationary bike just about anywhere, but you can use it almost anywhere, too. Even when deployed for use, the bike measures only 18-inches wide and 32-inches in length, so it will fit even in a smaller room.
The XTERRA FB150 Folding Exercise Bike has an adjustable padded seat so it can accommodate riders of varied height, and its curved, multi-grip handlebars allow you to grasp on wherever is most comfortable. When you take hold of the pulse grips set at the sides of the handlebars, you can keep track of your heart rate, helping you achieve ideal cardio intensity.
The bike’s small onboard computer also tracks time, speed, distance, and calories burned. A simple dial adjusts the resistance difficulty, which is spread across eight settings.
An EXTERRA FB150 owner named Mary calls it “fantastic” and loved the bike’s ease of assembly and how “comfortable and easy to use” it proved to be. A buyer called Ashley said it was “quiet” and perfect for a “workout while watching TV.”
A HealthFitnessCritique.com review called this compact bike easy to fold down and tuck away “when you’re not using it” and said was easy to “put together in less than half an hour with the clear instructions and simple tools in the box.”
Pros: Compact bike you can folds away to store, low price tag, easy .mount
Cons: Too small for many users
The best pedal exerciser
The VIVE Pedal Exerciser is small enough to tuck away under a desk or table, letting you pedal away and burn calories and tone your legs and core at any time.
No, the VIVE Pedal Exerciser is not a stationary bike, exactly. But the type of exercise it fosters and the benefits therein gained are quite similar to those achieved with a standard exercise bike, and this from a unit that costs a fraction of the price and stows away in any home, office, dorm room, or that can be loaded into the trunk of a car and brought along on the road.
At just 12.5-inches in height, the VIVE Pedal Cruiser slips under a desk or table with ease, allowing you to exercise while you work, watch TV, read, surf the web, or any of the other countless activities we do while seated in the course of our modern lives. An LCD screen set into the compact unit tracks metrics including RPMs, speed, distance, and approximate calories burned.
But perhaps the best thing about this unique pedal machine is that it doesn’t have to be used only as an under-desk leg exerciser; the VIVE Pedal Exerciser can also be set up on your desk or table for an arm workout. Just grab the pedals with your hands, set the right resistance level, and spin away to build arm muscles and burn calories as part of a complete body workout.
With hundreds of reviews posted on Amazon, the VIVE Pedal Exerciser enjoys a strong 4-star rating. An owner named Patty calls it “high quality with advanced features,” while a fitness fan named Nina found it “very sturdy but not too heavy to move around.”
A Top5Reviewed.com write up called the VIVE Pedal Exerciser a “multi-purpose” device perfect for “low-impact workout” sessions for the arms and legs. A HealthierLand.com review called it “portable and petite” and ready to use “anywhere you please.”
Pros: Compact and portable, works on your legs or arms, it is very cheap, low impact workout
Cons: Not an effective an exercise as a standard stationary bike
The best smart exercise bike
In spite of the fact that the Schwinn Classic Cruiser fitness bike is Bluetooth built-in and works with most cycling apps, this retro-styled bike simply looks great.
I have a Schwinn Classic Cruiser stationary bike, and I love it. Everyone who comes across this bright red vintage-style bike stationed there in a corner of my apartment remarks on its beautiful looks, and having used the bike many times.
I can tell you that this thing not only looks great, but it works great, too. Once you get past the unique looks, in fact, you get to the actual stuff that matters here.
The Schwinn Classic Cruiser stationary bicycle offers seven degrees of opposition that are constrained by a switch set on the correct handlebar. On the left handlebar sits a manual clock, the caring you contort to set and that snaps along then dings when the time is up.
In any case, when the bicycle is connected and associated with your tablet through Bluetooth, you’ll rapidly understand that it’s vintage just in styling.
The bicycle works with different prominent wellness and cycling applications, including a restrictive Schwinn Classic Cruiser App and the observed Ride Social application.
With an iPad or other tablet set into the bicycle’s appended media rack, you can associate with riders around the world or potentially take a virtual ride through terrains including the Australian Outback, the levels of Tibet, or various significant metro regions.
Utilizing an application, you can likewise appreciate horde pre-modified exercises that will amplify the happiness regarding and advantages got from utilizing this attractive exercise bicycle.
A Schwinn Classic Cruiser proprietor named Elisabeth adored the “solidness and effortlessness” of the plan and valued the “extra delicate” situate that made it reasonable for expanded use. Also, for me, I adore that the activity of the attractive obstruction wheel stays smooth even at all the more testing settings.
A DudeIWantThat.com review called the Classic Cruiser “vintage just in looks” and adulated its “scope of current highlights,” while a CoolThings.com article noticed how its “coordinated vehicle wheels let you effectively move it around” a room.
Pros: Charming retro style, works with different applications, tough and solid
Cons: Rather costly choice.