Let’s be honest: it can sometimes be hard to get to the gym. Between work, kids, errands, you name it…we’re busy! But we all know that exercise is a key part of both our mental and physical health. If you’re looking to get in shape in the comfort of your own home, an exercise bike can be a great start. There is no shortage of products to choose from as more Americans are embracing home gyms, but which are the best exercise bikes according to the pros?
Of course, millions of Americans ditched their fitness club memberships during the pandemic and turned to at-home routines. According to one 2021 study, two-thirds of Americans would rather get their workout done at home rather than at the gym. In fact, another survey finds half of adults suffer from “gymtimidation” or the fear of working out in front of other people.
Either way, working out has major benefits for your mental health. One recent study reports that the key to sleeping well is exercising regularly. And there are simply no excuses as to why we can’t fit fitness into our busy schedules. Research shows that even two minutes of exercise each day can add years to your life. A study by the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases also linked consistent exercise to “positive impacts on cognitive function in addition to physical conditioning.”
When it comes to exercise bikes, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a popular program. There is much research pointing to the great benefits from trying this routine, which involves intervals of high-intensity followed by shorter intervals at much lower intensity, cyclically. A study by scientists at McMaster University shows that HIIT workouts work wonders on the brain. Other research finds that HIIT increases the amount of proteins in skeletal muscle. These proteins are absolutely essential when it comes to both muscle contraction and energy metabolism.
And if you’re still unsure as to whether to splurge on a bike, consider this: getting an exercise bike at home helps most people battle the biggest issue with working out, which is having the time to exercise. With all of our responsibilities, Americans are finding less time for themselves. A recent survey suggests that the average person has less than five hours of free time a week!
So, if you’re ready to go shopping, we’ve put together a guide listing the five best exercise bikes, according to professional reviews. StudyFinds visited 10 of the leading expert websites to see which products were recommended most frequently across these sites.
The List: Best Exercise Bikes, According to Expert Reviews
This sturdy exercise bike is known for being a well-priced investment for avid cyclists who want to take their sessions indoors. It even comes equipped with dual sided pedals so users can choose to use specialized cycling shoes or opt for regular sneakers.
The Strategist named it best overall bike, writing “This bike uses magnetic resistance, ‘which results in an incredibly smooth and quiet ride.’”
“I really love this bike!! I find the bike to be sturdy and reliable. The bike does not wobble, even when I pedal extremely fast. I was able to complete a wide variety of workouts at all levels,” reads the testing notes from VeryWellFit who chose the bike as runner-up for best overall.
Wirecutter calls the bike “versatile and reliable” saying, “We like its adaptability, functionality, and smooth ride.” Wirecutter also noted the LCD console which displayed metrics as you ride and it’s bluetooth capability, “which allows the bike to connect to eight different cycling apps and a heart-rate monitor.”
2. Peloton Bike
Peloton is one of the most popular household names for exercise bikes. The popularity skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but there’s a reason why this bike is so popular.
Livescience.com named it “Best exercise bike for most people” saying: “Stylish and feature-rich, the Peloton Bike is a bestseller for good reason. It’s not cheap, but what you get for your dollar is an extremely well-made machine with endless features to keep you motivated and on track with your health and fitness goals.”
The bike has a touchscreen monitor and the ability to access a multitude of classes. The Strategist chose it for “Best exercise bike with screen.” “These days, Peloton is all but synonymous with at-home cycling, and for those who want to get in-depth about their stats, as well as have access to guided workouts, it’s hard to do much better.”
CNET gets into detail about the classes saying, “The classes for Peloton span a wide range of options, but what makes the classes unique is the semi-live feel. Even if you’re not in one of the live classes, which run frequently through the Peloton app, your performance is shown in real time alongside others who’ve taken the class.”
The Bowflex VeloCore is known for its ability to be modified to add more core intensity to your cycling routine. It also has a screen display for those looking to keep up with their stats during the workout or take a class (it comes with a Bluetooth heart rate monitor armband, a set of dumbbells, and a two-month JRNY trial).
CNET calls it a “practical bike for everyone.” “You get a lot with the Bowflex Velocore bike. It’s surprisingly modular, you can bring whatever shoes and seat and even weights and tablets along for the ride and the design supports it…In fact, on more than one occasion I’ve even taken Zoom meetings from the saddle of this Bowflex indoor cycling exercise bike, and the handlebars supported the design just fine.”
It’s great for turning up the intensity, “it has two water bottle holders and a knob that allows you to access 100 resistance levels,” writes NBC News. Also, VeryWellFit adds, “this bike from Bowflex kicks that intensity up a notch. It features a leaning mode, which allows you to rock from side to side as you follow JRNY’s outdoor cycling videos, making you feel as though you are actually working your way down a winding road.”
Known for its affordability, the YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike is another popular choice. If you’re looking to invest in a quality bike without breaking the bank, this one is the one for you.
Vetted named it “Best Budget Exercise Bike.” “Not unlike what you’d find in a gym or studio, the bike has a slim profile, a heavy-duty steel frame and a 35-pound flywheel for resistance.”
Livescience also chose it for best budget bike noting the pros, “Smooth belt driven flywheel, good value, and sturdy and smooth ride.”
“For half the price of our overall pick, you can enjoy many of the same cycling perks with this YOSUDA bike,” said VeryWellFit who also chose it for best budget bike.
It can also save you money in the long run with its warranty. “The Yosuda comes with a three-month warranty for the overall bike and offers free replacement parts within a year of buying it,” says NBC News.
NordicTrack has been known for making quality exercise equipment since the ’70s. Their exercise bikes are no exception to their line of quality work so it’s no surprise that the NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle has made the list.
Healthline named it “Best high-end home exercise bike.” “While the bike is pricey, its high-quality steel build, smooth ride, and extensive workout selection make it a worthy investment.”
Men’s Health called it most innovative and compared it to a Peloton noting it’s lower price tag. “In fact, it’s actually $1,000 less than Peloton’s flagship Bike+ exercise bike, while loaded with many of the same features, including a 22-inch HD touchscreen display and a rich library of on-demand studio classes.”
It’s also beginner-friendly and was chosen as Good Housekeeping notes it “doesn’t require cycling shoes and offers a ton of content for cycling newbies through competitive cyclists…Riders loved the destination workouts available through iFit, where you ride in some of the most beautiful places in the world.”
If you’re looking to get moving and get your heart rate up, there’s no better way to do that than with an exercise bike.
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.