Finding the right exercise bike can be tough, especially once you see the huge number of options available to you online. Do you need a display? How heavy is it? Will it fit in your garage? How much resistance can it put out? Shopping online can make things a lot more difficult, since you can’t test it out in person and returning a heavy piece of equipment is a pain. But not to worry… We’ve tested all the top brands and models and reviewed our top 5 favorites below. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each spin bike, factors to consider before purchasing, and tips on how to select the best spin bike for your particular needs.
Why Buy a Spin Bike?
If you’re old enough to remember those shoddy old exercise bikes from the 70’s and 80’s then you’ll be astounded when you see how far newer models have come. But is it worth it to buy one for your home? Or should you just go wait in line to use the one at the gym? Below we cover some of the key benefits of buying your very own spin bike.
Comfort: The old school spin bikes with rock hard seats and awkward handlebar placement are long gone. While you do get what you pay for, most modern spin bikes are built with comfort in mind and are fully adjustable to fit your individual size. Plus, you don’t have to worry about sitting in anyone else’s sweat or dealing with excessive wear and tear.
Cost: Exercise bikes aren’t nearly as expensive as they once were. There are high-end commercial models that can reach into the thousands, but fortunately for us common folk, there are plenty of quality options for under $500.
Save Time: We aren’t telling you to kick your gym regimen to the curb, but owning a spin bike means you can stop spending crazy hours doing cardio in the gym. Plus, when you’re able to exercise comfortably in your own home, you’re inclined to exercise more often.
Low Impact: Running and lifting weights are great but they can be tough on your joints, especially as you get older. Spin bikes allow for an extremely low impact workout that is easy on the knees while still burning fat and improving your cardio endurance.
There are many more benefits than this, but let’s cut to the chase and cover the basics you need to know before making the purchase…
Things to Consider Before Buying
There are a couple key things you need to think about before you hit the purchase button. Your personal taste will obviously play a key role, but objectively you should be thinking about 3 things; your fitness goals, your space requirements, and your budget.
What Type of Bike Do You Want?
There are two main types of bikes – recumbent and upright. What’s the difference? Simple; a recumbent bike has a reclined position whereas the latter is used sitting upright or leaning forward. The recumbent style of bike is better for more leisurely workouts. Seniors and those with joint or posture problems may seek out a recumbent bike due to its ability to provide an easy low-impact workout. For most everybody else, we’d recommend a traditional spin bike.
How Much Space Do You Have?
If you’re limited on space, like most people, you really need to consider your home storage requirements and where your bike will be located in your home. You’ll also want to consider the weight of the bike, especially if you live in an apartment or plan to place the bike on the 2nd or 3rd story of a home. Most spin bikes today are electric but there are also manual machines that tend to be much smaller and lighter (and cheaper).
What Does Your Budget Look Like?
Generally, the more bells and whistles your exercise bike has the more it’s going to cost. Brand name also has a strong say in how much you’ll pay. For those who don’t care much about aesthetics, you’ll find you have plenty of options to fit even the tightest budget, but as with anything, you get what you pay for. There is no shortage of options when it comes to spin bikes, but there certainly are a few that stand out when it comes to cost vs quality. Below we’ve reviewed the top 5 spin bikes on the market today based on value for the money.
The Top 5 Best Spin Bikes for the Money
First on our list is the Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycle. Featuring a generous Flywheel weight of 49-lbs., you’ll want to continue reading if you’re new to the world of exercise bikes. Available at an affordable price, features of the aforementioned include the following:
- Fully adjustable handlebars and seat
- Steel frame that’s heavy-duty
- 49-lb. flywheel
- Promises quiet and smooth workouts (belt drive mechanism)
- Resistance that’s adjustable, press down brakes
There’s nothing worse than an exercise bike that doesn’t allow you to adjust anything, and that’s not something you have to worry about with the Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycle bike. With a seat and set of handlebars that are fully adjustable, you’ll also be able to adjust the resistance for total control. Featuring brakes that are press-down, you may also enjoy the belt drive mechanism that promises a workout that’s not only smooth but quiet. We’ve all had that neighbor upstairs that pushes as hard as they can on the loudest machine, and you won’t need to worry about bothering your neighbors.
The Sunny Health indoor exercise bike comes with a lot of advantages, especially for the price. You won’t be paying an arm and a leg to get your health back on track, and one of the advantages of this product is the 49-lb. flywheel. It’s important that you have a bike that won’t move around and shake as you work out, which can not only harm you in terms of physical health but can make for a pretty unsteady ride. Thankfully, the weight of the flywheel allows for a steady and smooth workout, while providing leverage for easy transportation.
We can’t see too many disadvantages of this product; however, the one issue that someone may have with this machine is that it’s not a recumbent machine. If you’re someone who needs low-impact or no impact at all, you’ll have to seek an exercise bike elsewhere. For those that do purchase this exercise bike, you won’t be seeing any disadvantages outright unless it has to do with personal preferences.
Next on our list is an exercise bike manufactured by Exerpeutic. The GOLD 500 XLS Foldable Upright Bike boasts an incredible number of features and comes with a few accessories, too. Features of the aforementioned include the following:
- Can hold up to 400lbs. Has 20% more steel
- 8-level magnetic tensions control system
- Foldable to half of the size
- Large and comfortable seat cushion
There’s nothing worse than trying to lose weight and better your health only to find that an exercise isn’t actually made for bigger people. Being there myself, I can understand how frustrating that is. Thankfully, this exercise bike can withstand up to 400lbs. thanks to it’s newly designed structure, with a composition of 20% more steel than other folding bikes that are offered from Exerpeutic. Along with this bike, you can easily store it because of its folding capabilities, and you’ll be able to comfortably sit in the large seat cushion without worrying about comfort being an issue. There’s also an 8-level magnetic tension system for better control over speed, comfort, and most importantly – your workout.
One of the primary advantages of this product is how it caters to larger people. Not only can this bike withstand weights up to 400lbs. thanks to the newly improved steel structure, there’s also a large seat cushion for those that need a bit of extra support when they workout. Another advantage is that those who are limited on space will not only receive a space conscious bike but a design that allows you to fold it to half of its size when you’re not using it. Another advantage to this product is that there is an LCD screen that allows you to see how far you’ve traveled (virtually, of course), the number of calories burned, your speed, time, and other measurements from your workout.
There aren’t too many disadvantages of this product, but for those that want something that’s recumbent for low-impact to non-impact workouts, you, unfortunately, have to seek the perfect product elsewhere.
Another exercise bike manufactured by Sunny Health & Fitness, those that are looking for a lighter flywheel will find it here. Features of this cycling bike from Sunny Health & Fitness include the following:
- 40-lb. flywheel
- Crank, smooth chain mechanism
- Adjustable resistance system
- Seat and handlebars are fully adjustable
Between adjustments that can be made for the seat, handlebars, and resistance, you’re able to cater the exercise directly to your desires. The lighter flywheel is better for those that aren’t over 275 lbs. (the weight limit of the machine), and you’re able to receive a smooth ride thanks to the chain mechanism installed on this machine.
One of the primary advantages of this exercise bike from Sunny Health & Fitness is the fully adjustable system that includes handlebars, the seat, and the resistance system. There’s nothing worse than a machine that’s so basic, you’re unable to adjust anything to your body type. There are a few disadvantages though, but for how inexpensive this bike is, it may be worth it for those on a budget.
If you’re looking for a heavier flywheel than 40lbs., you’ll want to take a look at the previously mentioned exercise bike from the same manufacturer. Depending on personal preferences and the need to transport the exercise bike, those factors will ultimately determine the weight needed. Another disadvantage is that there is no LCD screen, and it’s just a basic bike. If you’re someone who has a fitness watch or an app that you work with, you may not need an LCD screen, but for those who want to see their distance, you won’t get anywhere with a stationary bike. Finally, another disadvantage is that the weight only goes up to 275 pounds. While a majority of people who want to lose weight are much more than this, the aforementioned bike is geared towards those are obese, but not extremely big. All of the disadvantages are ones with solutions or geared towards a very specific group of people, and don’t represent the actual performance of the product.
The next product on our list is a big one in terms of what it offers and those that have a larger budget. More expensive than any we’ve mentioned on this list, features of the Spinner Sprint spin bike include the following:
- Commercial grade construction
- 43-lb. weighted flywheel
- Fixed handlebar with precision degree for ergonomics
- Top-down brake pad that’s leather, better lifespan
The commercial grade construction allows for better durability. In having this, you won’t have to worry about replacing anytime soon, or in the coming years, as it’s meant to withstand the test of time – and your workout. The top-down brake pad system is leather, and the style of brake pad system ensures a better life span than those without. The 43-lb. weighted flywheel is more than perfect for the 250-lb. weight limit and the commercial grade construction ensures durability to last a lifetime.
There are quite a few advantages, including the fixed handlebar for better ergonomics. Because of the five-degree angling of the handlebars, you’ll see better posture and less sloppy posture. Those that are new and are used to sloppily adjusting their own handlebars may see better workouts with a fixed set.
There are two primary disadvantages to this spin bike, and those include the weight limit and the handlebar aspect. While the handlebars are angled precisely for better ergonomics, they aren’t adjustable and everyone’s workout is not black and white. For the price, you think you’d have more control, but sometimes it’s better for those who need it. The purchase and the aforementioned disadvantage all boil down to personal preference. Another disadvantage is the 250-lb. weight limit. It seems as if the further we go into this list; the less amount of weight that can be applied to this bike. While it doesn’t affect the performance, you run the risk of breaking an expensive piece of equipment or harming yourself if you don’t abide by the manufacturer’s suggestions.
Last on our list is a spin bike manufactured by Sole Fitness. With a plethora of features, advantages, and disadvantages, if you’re looking for commercial gym grade fitness, you’ll find it here. Features of this bike include the following:
- Smooth resistance with a 48-lb. flywheel
- Padded saddle seat
- Multi-seat and handlebar adjustments
- Backlit LCD screen
There’s nothing worse than wanting a long training session on one machine, only for the machine to be uncomfortable to use after a while – and in terms of equipment comfortability, not general style. With seat adjustment capabilities for the handlebar and seat, you’ll be able to adjust everything for what your body desires. Alongside this, you’re receiving a machine with a backlit LCD screen that allows you to see rotations per minute, time, calories burned, speed, and distance.
There are quite a few attractive features of this product including the ability to see your rotations per minute, calories burned, distance traveled, speed, and time with the backlit LCD screen. Another advantage of this product is the smooth resistance offered by the 48-lb. flywheel. The console of this exercise machine is not only vibrant but easy to view. There are also many ergonomic aspects of this exercise bike that make it a frontrunner in the genre that it excels so well in. If you like training long distances (in terms of virtual distances and time spent on the machine), then you may enjoy the comfortability of this exercise bike.
If you have a bad back or if you’re looking for something that betters your posture, you may want to look into a recumbent machine, as this one leans you forward quite a bit. The aforementioned only affects the performance of the product if your body cannot handle it, but it is something to consider since back pain is a common problem.
How to Select the Best Spin Bike for Your Needs
When you purchase a bike, you’ll want to take a look at the measurements and know your general measurements. When a bike doesn’t fit the contours of your body, you’re not going to be comfortable, thus leading to yourself being unmotivated. Whether you seek assistant from an online representative or go somewhere in person, you may need the opinion if you think you’ll need the non-standard in terms of size. Your height versus the handlebar height is extremely crucial for comfortability – especially for those that are too short or too tall. Researching more on this will allow you to seek out the best spin bike possible.
Always keep your upper body relaxed! If you can’t be comfortable in your upper body as you work out, the impact will be harsher on your upper body – and not in the good way. There’s a general tip of your shoulders needing to be away from your ears, rather than scrunched up, as you’re hurting your posture and your spine. For those that are repeatedly partaking in this type of posture, you’ll feel more sore in the bones and actually cause damage to your posture over time. Let’s take a look at some of the best products on the market currently.
The Final Verdict
At the end of the day, the posture and comfortability of your body matters just as much as your weight loss goal. In figuring out the perfect posture for you, as well as the type of bike that’s within your budget range, you’re going to excel much further than you expect. Putting stress on your body with a bad bike can disable you from losing anymore weight – regardless of the numbers (calories, etc.) We suggest that you invest in a bike like the Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycle Trainer. It’s a great bike for beginners, and does the job for an inexpensive price. You can also purchase it with or without expert assembly, making it easier to begin working out as you receive it.