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Cardio for Everyone: Best Exercise Bikes

When it comes to cardio equipment, you won’t find anything more versatile than an exercise bike. These machines are great for use by able-bodied people, individuals with disabilities, or those recovering from an injury. These bikes are created to mimic the genuine feel of cycling while providing technological enhancements for more efficient training and workouts. They’re available in a range of models and resistance types so finding one is fairly reasonable if you know what you’re looking for. To learn more about how to choose the perfect bike for your needs, check out our list of the best exercise bikes in 2021 and the buyer’s guide listed below.

Best Exercise Bikes of 2021 Reviewed in Detail

Schwinn Recumbent Exercise Bike - Best Exercise Bike Overall

Most people would associate the Schwinn name with a big ticket price and high quality; thankfully with this bike, you still get the high quality without the high price. The bike is built solid and can easily support 300 pounds without breaking a sweat. The bike is designed to be very comfortable with a perforated back helps to keep you cool during your workout. It offers 25 levels of Eddy Current magnetic resistance which is not only smooth, but it’s super quiet during your workout.

As with most cardio machines the console is really the brains of the operation here and the brains are indeed big. The screens are large and backlit nicely to easily read your key metrics and you will also find it easy to navigate and change between the 29 preset workouts. This bike is packed with extra features as well, like a USB connector/charger for MP3 players, a three speed fan, a pair of decent speakers, a full adjustable seat, and ergonomically designed handles complete with grip heart rate monitors.

Marcy NS-4052R Recumbant Exercise Bike - Runner Up

Marcy is a go to company when you are looking for quality products at a decent price and this recumbent bike is no exception. The body is extremely solid and can withstand weights up to 300 pounds with no movement. It offers a fair amount of comfort with an adjustable foam padded chair and ergonomically designed handles. Resistance is offered through eight levels of smooth and quiet magnetic resistance which are especially important in this bike because it does not come with any preset workouts. The screen is large, easy to read, and especially easy to navigate considering it is only there to display your key metrics. This bike is pretty bare-boned when it comes to extra features which isn’t all bad since it keeps the cost down.

Schwinn 170 Upright Exercise Bike - Honorable Mention

Schwinn has come a long way since their days of just being a bike manufacture, as they now manufacture quality exercise machines offered at prices which makes their competitors look twice. The 170 is the top of the Schwinn budget line which makes it the perfect marriage of technology and price. Like most bikes in its class, it has a small footprint but retains has a solid, sturdy base. 25 levels of Eddy Current Resistance offer the perfect level of smooth, quiet magnetic resistance for any user.

The bike is programmed with 29 preset workouts and while the console itself looks a little intimidating at first (considering how many buttons it has) it’s pretty easy to navigate once you know what all of the buttons mean. Of course this machine shows all of your key metrics and offers a backlit screen, but it has a ton of extra features which will make you feel like you are actually at the gym.

There’s a USB charging port, a set of decent speakers, a three speed fan, a set of hand grip heart rate monitors, and a water bottle holder. On top of that it has over-sized pedals for easy pedaling and a surprisingly comfortable seat. This bike has one of our lists best warranties for a budget bike, with a 10 year warranty on the frame and two years on parts. As a nice bonus, Schwinn even offers a 90 day labor warranty.

Marcy Magnetic Upright Exercise Cycle - Consider

The ME-708 from Marcy is a great budget upright bike offering a super small footprint capable of supporting users up to 300 pounds. It offers eight levels of smooth, quiet magnetic resistance which is easy to change using a conveniently located dial on the machine. The console is large which makes it easy to read your key metrics during a workout but unfortunately there aren’t pre-programmed workouts offered.

Marcy does make sure that the pedals are large enough for a comfortable fit and the seat is surprisingly comfortable for a bike of this price. While bike doesn’t have a lot of extra features beyond height adjustment, that’s what helps make this option budget friendly.  It also comes with a strong limited lifetime warranty which guarantees this bike will last you a very long time.

Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Exercise Bike - Best Stationary Bike

The Airdyne is one of my favorite exercise bikes and has been for a while now because of its excellent construction and comfort. It uses air resistance which has the downside of being noisy but also offers the benefits of keeping you cool and having infinite resistance. While it is impossible to make an air resistance bike completely quiet, Schwinn does a great job of keeping the AD6 as muted as possible. The frame is made from high quality plastic, steel, and aluminum parts that offer great support without making the bike too bulky.

The AD6 6 has always been a great exercise bike but this newest model is what fitness fanatics dream of. It offers some sweet new accessories like a wind screen, magazine rack, and rev meter for interval training. They even improved their console layout to make it more user friendly with constantly displayed user metrics and an easy three button navigation. The AD6 is awesome but it is not perfect; the frame is only warrantied for 15 years and the parts for three. On top of that, it doesn't offer any workout programs either but aside from these few small flaws the Schwinn AD6 is pretty close to perfect.

best Diamond Back Fitness Assault Bike

Diamond Back Fitness Assault Bike - Best Stationary Bike

The Diamondback Fitness Assault Bike uses a giant fan for resistance which is an old school throw back with some new aged technology. Fan resistance comes with its own sets of pros and cons which makes it pretty polarizing among exercise bike users. The large fan offers unlimited resistance and a natural cooling element, but on the other hand it can be uncomfortably noisy. The Assault Bike carries the same features as other air resistance bikes, but what makes it special is what sets it apart from other air resistance bikes. It offers thick-gauge, chro-moly steel, sealed cartridge bearings and oversized pivots which basically ensure this bike is nearly indestructible.

The Assault Bike also offers a simple to read, yet entirely advanced console which you can navigate with only a few buttons. It offers seven different workout programs including six preset workouts and one custom interval workout. Other features that make this bike special include an adjustable seat, both vertical and horizontal, and moving handle bars which get your arms in on the action. The warranty on the Assault Bike is a little questionable with a maximum of five years on the entire bike, but once you touch the bike you can tell it's so well made it doesn’t really need one.

best SportsArt C572r Commercial Series Recumbent Cycle

SportsArt C572r Commercial Series Recumbent Cycle - Best Recumbent Bike

The C572r is a beautiful recumbent bike that puts most other bikes to shame. It is meant to be a commercial recumbent bike, but is not priced so high that you would have to own a gym to own one. Since it is built for gyms it will have no problem standing up to heavy daily use by the whole family and supports a maximum user weight of 500 pounds. The frame is solid with extra support to ensure there is no movement. The seat is easily adjustable and has water bottle holders on either side. The bottom of the seat is padded and contoured for a longer, more comfortable ride. The back of the seat is made to be extra breathable and keep you dry, while remaining comfortable. The console looks like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it is actually fairly easy to use. It does not have that many programs, which is somewhat beneficial because every program is available at the touch of a button. The console displays everything you need to know about your workout and more without having to scroll through a bunch of screens. This bike does not come with an integrated MP3 player, but there is an option to add an entertainment bracket. The console does have a 3 speed fan and the entire thing is self-generated which save energy and keeps you from tripping over cords in your weight room.

Buyer's Guide

Best Exercise Bikes Buying Guide

So you are planning to get an exercise bike and you are probably stuck on the plethora of available options? You are not alone and your situation is echoed by many, that is why this exercise bike buying guide is made for you. The exercise bike market is quite diverse, so many brands offering numerous bikes for different functions at different qualities too. Nobody wants to end up splurging scarce funds on a piece of expensive equipment they’ll end up not using. If you read this best exercise bikes buying guide to the end, you’ll know how to separate the grain from the chaff and probably save up some money while at it.

What is worth knowing before purchasing an exercise bike?

Exercise bikes are a pretty popular type of home fitness equipment. This is courtesy of relentless advertisements centered around them on TV and on the internet. And largely also, due to their effectiveness in helping you burn out excess calories. They help trim unneeded weight off your body and keep your body firm and cellulite-free.

They are plenty useful particularly for knee and leg exercises, burn away your pesky-looking lower belly fat, and do a tremendous job keeping your heart healthy. They offer you a form of aerobic exercising opportunity that protects you from heart-related diseases like stroke.

What are the best styles of exercise bikes to buy?

Due to not-so-recent happenings that furthermore necessitate sedentary working and restrict outdoor movement, hitting your gym can be difficult if not absolutely impossible. If you do not want to cut your workout regimen, it is only prudent to get your own personal fitness equipment and your exercise bike packs it all in one so you can continue to enjoy your freedom to exercise.

The immensely diversified (and oftentimes confusing) range of exercise bikes can be boiled down into 3 main categories. They are Upright, Spin, and Recumbent exercise bikes. Each of these options is designed to deliver optimal results to their users.

Upright bikes

They are typically traditional road bikes but are stationary. They are designed with a high upright seat, an unsupported backrest, front handlebars, and body pedals. They are space-effective and offer a comprehensive cardiovascular experience for a wide range of users. You also have the option of adding more advanced features like an LCD screen and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Spin bikes

These are designed similarly to road bikes. They are equipped with a fixed pedaling system and adjustable resistance. You get high-intensity workouts and are ideal for habitual trainers. They typically come with lesser features than other categories but make up for this in sturdiness and durability.

Recumbent bikes

These are usually designed for seniors. They offer ample back support, a more relaxed workout position, and pretty much more comfort. They are perfect for people with back issues as they have the option to recline their back support and offer as much cardiovascular exercising as the user would prefer. They also come fitted with an LCD that displays time, speed, heart rate, and calories burnt.

How do I choose the right exercise bike?

You would also need to look out for a few parameters in your exercise bike to be sure you are getting what you’ll be pleased to show off in your sitting room and also effectively fulfills your workout needs. Some of the fundamentals you should be looking out for are as follows:

Design

When you think of getting an exercise bike for your home, you have to think about aesthetics. You should get a bike that will add glamour to the décor of your home without sacrificing effectiveness.

Programming

You have to consider bikes that come with programs that allow you to customize your working routine based on your fitness levels, age, weight, and gender.

Console

This is the panel where you get to control your sessions, see your statistics and vitals as you use your bike. You get to alter and track your time, distance, calories, heart rate, and other types of data.

Resistance

You will need a bike with graduated levels of resistance to vary your workout intensity. Your bike should ideally come with electronic controls.

Safety

Make sure your bike is safety emphasized. With a lot of moving parts, you can be exposed to danger. Lock them out of your children’s reach. Also, if you’re a bit on the heavy side, make sure your bike can fully support your weight. If you weigh along 250 lbs., make sure you get a bike with a 300 lbs. capacity at least to avoid accidents.

How much do exercise bikes cost?

To acquire a solid exercise bike, you might have to be prepared to pay within the range of $200 to $8000. Of course, the better they are, the pricier they get. However, if you look in the right places, you can get a decently priced exercise bike with incredible features that will satisfy your workout needs excellently.

Exercise Bikes FAQs

Q: How much space would you need for an exercise bike?

A: The space required to set up your bikes largely depends on the type of bike you’re getting and the size. An upright exercise bike, for example, may not require a lot of space because you’re mostly upright as you work out. Having 40’’ corner space is enough so as to protect yourself from bumping into surrounding objects at top speed while exercising.

Q: Where to buy an exercise bike?

A: You have to make sure you’re buying from a reputable exercise bike brand. This would entitle you to warranty benefits, return policy, and quality customer service.

Q: What extra features can you add to an exercise bike?

A: You might consider additional features to your bike especially if you are ordering a basic Upright bike. Some of the more advanced features you might want to order include a heart rate monitor, LCD display, Wi-Fi connectivity, and an audio jack.

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