Looking to improve your fitness? Or lose a bit of weight? Finding an exercise bike could be the best move you ever make. Allowing you to exercise safely and in the privacy of your own home, the exercise bike has been the preferred cardio machine for home use for decades, and it is not hard to understand why. In this article, we will be taking a look at a selection of the best indoor exercise bikes that are currently available to buy. Helping you to find your ideal bike, and one that will fit your budget.
What Makes a Good Indoor Exercise Bike?
Not everyone has the same requirements when shopping for an exercise bike. Some people will be looking for the ultimate bike regardless of price, while others will want something a little more affordable. It would be easy to just place the most expensive models on this list, as they are often the best in terms of quality, but this would be unhelpful to the majority of readers. Instead, we’re looking at a range of factors, with value for money being one of them. Here is a rundown of the criteria that we are looking at:
- Value – Value for money does not mean that a bike is low in price, it is a measurement of whether the bike is good value for its price. A $2,000 bike that lasts you 50 years is better value for money than a $100 bike that lasts you ten minutes! But a $100 bike that lasts as long as a $2,000 bike is obviously going to be better value for money!
- Durability – How long do you expect an exercise bike to last? As we mentioned earlier, value for money is based on how much use you can get out of your bike over the years. But it isn’t just longevity, it’s how stable the bike is, how well it is able to handle intense exercise, and how well the bike is made. Durability is crucial for any exercise bike.
- Entertainment – Does your bike provide adequate placement for an iPad or smartphone? Does it have Bluetooth connectivity? Or perhaps it even has its own form of entertainment such as a HD monitor. For some people, entertainment may not be important, but for others it can be the difference between using your bike every day or just once every six months!
- Mobility – How easy is it to transport the bike between uses. This is a guide to the best indoor exercise bike, meaning that you are probably using it in a space that is not too large. Many people like to use their bike in one area of the house and store it in another. How easy it is to move in-between the two areas can be a huge factor.
- Comfort – How enjoyable is it to sit on your exercise bike? An uncomfortable seat can really put you off riding. We assess the comfort of each of the bikes on this list.
In the rankings table (below) we assign a score out of five for each factor, with a total score out of twenty-five. If you aren’t interested in entertainment, or mobility, then just remove those scores and see which bike scores highest.
|Best Indoor Exercise Bike||Value||Durability||Entertainment||Mobility||Comfort||Total|
|Bowflex VeloCore 22 IC||4||5||5||4||4||22/25|
|SCHWINN IC4 Bike||4||4||3||3||4||18/25|
|NordicTrack S22i Cycle||4||5||5||3||5||22/25|
|Cycool Exercise Bike||4||4||3||4||4||19/25|
|OVICX Stationary Bike||5||4||4||4||4||21/25|
As you can see, the Bowflex and NordicTrack exercise bikes score joint highest. However, they are both significantly more expensive than the other three bikes on this list, which should be taken into consideration. The other three bikes are in a more mid-priced range. If your budget is a little more modest, then you may find one of these three bikes is a better fit. We will now go into detail for each of the five bikes, to help you find the perfect bike for your needs.
Best Indoor Exercise Bike #1: Bowflex VeloCore 22IC
This is a very good exercise bike, but also a highly priced model. The Bowflex VeloCore 22IC has clearly been designed to compete with the Peloton bike, and it does an amazing job. The bike is incredibly well made with a fairly unique design. It has been made to more recreate the position you would be in on a road bike, rather than the more upright design most exercise bikes recreate.
The bike is also designed to move laterally, helping you recreate the feeling of turning a corner fast in a real road bike. This is not only entertaining, but it is great for training hard. The bikes have a 22-inch touchscreen, which can be used in conjunction with Netflix (or similar streaming service), or it can show personalised workout programs, similar in nature to Peloton.
There are 100 micro-adjustable levels to choose from, there are six padded handlebars which are designed to suit a number of different hand grips, it is also relatively easy to move around, thanks to well-placed wheels and a good handle. The bike even has a stand for a small set of dumbbells (included).
The touchscreen is a thing of beauty, and it can actually be rotated to face away from the bike (so that you can still watch it while performing exercises next to the bike (as part of a circuit for example). Overall, this is an incredible machine, and while it is pricey, it fully justifies that price.
Best Indoor Exercise Bike #2: SCHWINN IC4 Bike
After the incredible (and incredibly priced) Bowflex, this bike by SCHWINN is something else entirely. Much more reasonably priced, but obviously not boasting the same entertainment or quality. This is a spin bike, and a very good one at that. It’s excellent value for money, and highly durable.
If treated well, this bike should last you years of use, making it a great choice. We’ve scored it a 3/5 for entertainment, as all it offers is a shelf to place your iPad. Not that the shelf is badly made. It’s just not quite the same as the 22-inch touchscreen available with the Bowflex!
If you enjoy spin classes, but don’t want to spend money going to the gym, then the SCHWINN IC4 bike is a great choice. It performs well, it’s stable, durable, and it is relatively comfortable (for a spin bike at any rate). We’ve scored it down for mobility, as it is quite awkward to move around the home, but certainly not impossible!
Best Indoor Exercise Bike #3: NordicTrack S22i Cycle
The S22i cycle from NordicTrack is our joint-highest scoring bike. It’s not hard to see why, this bike is incredible. It is the only exercise bike we’ve seen that offers a decline feature! It has a 10-year frame warranty, a 2-year parts warranty, and has a 350 lbs max weight user capacity.
As with the Bowflex, the NordicTrack model offers a 22-inch touchscreen tv, and a mini-dumbbell rack. It may not be quite as flashy as the Bowflex bike, but it’s more comfortable, and overall, we would call this a more solid choice.
To be honest, both bikes are so amazing that it really doesn’t matter which one you choose, they will both satisfy your biking needs.
Best Indoor Exercise Bike #4: Cycool Exercise Bike
Like the SCHWINN, the Cycool exercise bike is a lot more budget-friendly than the NordicTrack and Bowflex models. Obviously, it is not quite as good as the two higher-priced bikes, yet we believe it still offers a superb experience, and is excellent value for money.
We’ve scored it low for entertainment, as all it has is an iPad shelf, but other than that it has scored solid 4/5s for each category. It’s well constructed and highly durable. It’s also quite easy to transport around the house, with a decent set of wheels, and the ability to use the handles to move it.
The bike boasts a 44 lbs flywheel, is whisper quiet, and the seat is very comfortable. While the manufacturer is listed as “Cycool”, this is clearly a PooBoo bike. A company that has an excellent reputation and sell a huge range of quality bikes. This is a solid choice, and one that will pay dividends over the years.
Best Indoor Exercise Bike #5: OVICX Stationary Bike
The final bike on our list is the OVICX stationary bike, perhaps the coolest looking exercise bike on our list! The design is amazing, with the frame shaped like a letter “K” rather than the normal bike frame shape.
This bike is very comfortable, amazing value for money, and thanks to a well-constructed iPad shelf, it’s even pretty decent for entertainment (there’s some very cool software and an app to add to your enjoyment). This reminds us of the Peloton bike, with the 3-month trial of OVICX online membership providing you with a similar experience (training with coaches during live classes).
The handlebars are well made and cleverly situated in ergonomic positions, and the seat cushion provides excellent comfort. While it can’t quite compete with the NordicTrack and Bowflex bikes, it is lower-priced, and when judged on its own merits, it is an amazing bike.