Whether it’s the winter cold or the spike in omicron cases that’s keeping you indoors—we understand. Maybe it’s time to invest in one of the best exercise bikes for your home gym so you can stay active (safely!) all season long.
Indoor cycling has tons of great benefits—especially if you’re new to working out. It’s a great low-impact form of exercise that’s easy on the joints, and unlike outdoor biking, pedaling indoors allows you to sneak in a solid cardio workout without having to layer up during the chilly months ahead. Stationary bikes also allow a certain level of engagement that a road bike can’t give you, such as syncing up to fitness apps though Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity. Bonus: It’s easy to zone out and just enjoy your favorite music or catch up on a favorite show—without having to worry about where you’re going. Before we recommend some of the best exercise bikes according to fitness experts and SELF editors, here are a few specifics worth considering.
Which bike is best for home exercise?
Natalie Qayed, a NASM-certified personal trainer and master instructor at Cycle Haus Nashville, advises that you should think about the bikes you liked at different studios and gyms, and jot down some pros and cons of each. Then, consider which features are important to you and your fitness goals. For instance, you’ll probably want a bike with a console (a monitor display), so you can track your metrics and know how far you’ve gone in a set amount of time, she says. Metrics like that are key to monitoring your progress and setting new goals.
She emphasizes, “Indoor cycling really is suitable for every level of fitness because you completely control your own resistance and speed.” And as with just about any kind of exercise, “there really is no fitness level you need to achieve before getting started.”
There are many things to consider. Maybe you want one with a padded seat for added comfort, ergonomic handles for an easier grip, an LCD screen for following guided workouts, or WiFi connectivity to sync up to your playlist of choice. Some bikes even offer racks for storing light dumbbells or other exercise equipment. “Quality is so important if you plan to have it for the long run” and ultimately, “You get what you pay for. As with most fitness machines, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is,” says Quayed.
Emily Collins, a Los Angeles–based indoor cycling instructor at Verve Studios, also notes that you should ask yourself how much support you’ll need. “Can you self-motivate enough to have just a standalone bike, or do you need a full-service bike, such as the Peloton?” Full-service bikes, like Peloton, offer interactive live classes, though you can also use apps like CycleCast to supplement your ride on any stationary bike.
Most importantly, consider your budget. The best exercise bikes and spin bikes for using at home can come with a steep price tag. Many of the most advanced options that offer LCD screens, or are full-service bikes like the Peloton, will set you back anywhere from several hundred dollars to a few thousand—depending on the features.
Need recommendations? Here, we asked indoor cycling instructors for the best exercise bikes to use for home workouts, and added some of our favorite SELF-approved models, as well.