Best Exercise Bikes 2023 – Forbes Vetted

As the seasons change and outdoor workouts sound a little less appealing, the best exercise bikes present a smart and convenient way to maintain your fitness goals. These compact, versatile machines aren’t just designed to keep you moving through winter; they’re a reliable way to train and maintain your endurance when you might otherwise subject yourself to the elements or worse, sit around on the couch. With the ability to (almost) simulate the thrill of outdoor cycling from the comfort of your home, spin bikes offer a convenient solution to keep your body on course. Whether you’re seeking a vigorous cardio session, a low-impact workout or just a fun way to break a sweat, an exercise bike is your all-in-one companion for staying active.

With a plethora of exercise bike options on the market, finding the perfect one for your specific needs can be a tad confusing. Fear not, though; we’re here to guide you through the process of identifying the right exercise bike that suits you best. Whether you’re a serious cyclist looking for a performance-oriented model like the Schwinn IC4 or someone who simply wants an enjoyable way to stay active indoors (in which case, we’d recommend the budget-friendly Yosuda YB001), there’s a bike in this world designed for you.

Read on for our recommendations, and head to the bottom of this article for additional information on what to look for when the time comes to invest in a bike of your very own.

Resistance: Magnetic, 100 levels | Dimensions: ‎48.7 x 21.2 x 51.8 inches | Weight limit: 330 pounds | Display: No | Wheels: Yes

Schwinn’s IC4 has received high praise across the health and wellness space for several reasons. First and foremost, its robust build and refined engineering provide a smooth and silent cycling experience, ensuring that you can work up a sweat without disturbing your family, roommates or neighbors. Its heavy-duty flywheel and magnetic resistance system offer 100 levels of resistance, accommodating everyone from beginners to seasoned cyclists. And such versatility means you can fine-tune your workout to precisely match your goals.

One of the standout features of the IC4 is its seamless integration with popular fitness apps like Peloton, Zwift and Explore the World. This connectivity opens up a world of interactive and engaging workouts, making every ride a lot more enjoyable and engaging. You can join virtual cycling classes, race against friends or explore scenic routes from around the globe, all from the comfort of your home.

The bike’s comfortable and adjustable design ensures that it accommodates users of all shapes and sizes, making it an investment that will serve not only you, but others in your household, too. The ergonomic padded saddle and multi-grip handlebars offer a comfortable riding experience, even during longer sessions. Plus, it’s equipped with a media rack, USB charging port and Bluetooth connectivity, making it easy to stay connected and entertained while you pedal.

Resistance: Magnetic, 26 levels | Dimensions: ‎‎68.2 x 23.7 x 53.4 inches | Weight limit: 350 pounds | Display: Yes | Wheels: Yes

The NordicTrack R35 recumbent exercise bike boasts an impressive array of features. It sports a high-definition touchscreen display, a built-in fan, a convenient water bottle holder and a wide range of 26 resistance levels to cater to various fitness needs. What sets it apart is the ease with which you can adjust the distance from the seat to the pedals, ensuring a perfect fit for users of different heights. What’s more, the seat’s ergonomic design, featuring a curved mesh backrest, facilitates improved airflow around your upper body during your workout sessions. In the eyes of the experts we consulted, this bike stands out as the ideal choice for individuals committed to maintaining a high level of fitness.

The bike seamlessly integrates with the iFit Fitness app, a subscription-based service offering a diverse selection of on-demand workouts for streaming. Users can explore workouts set in virtual locations using the innovative Google Maps feature or take on personalized challenges. The annual iFit membership is priced at $180 per year per person, and NordicTrack sweetens the deal with a complimentary 1-month trial when you sign up. It’s worth noting that the bike can be used without a membership, and you have the flexibility to connect your preferred audio devices via Bluetooth.

While the NordicTrack R35 offers a wealth of features, it’s important to mention that it’s a substantial piece of equipment, weighing in at nearly 200 pounds. As a result, moving it may pose a challenge, but the inclusion of small wheels at the front of the machine does help facilitate positioning when needed.

Resistance: Friction | Dimensions: ‎‎21.7 x 40.2 x 46 inches | Weight limit: 270 pounds | Display: No | Wheels: Yes

Most home riders will be well served by this spin-style bike courtesy of Yosuda. 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. The seat is cushioned and adjustable in four directions (top, bottom, front, back), which makes it an ideal option when you’re looking for a bike that promotes proper form—it takes unwanted stress off weight-bearing joints like the knees. The handlebars are adjustable, too, with a 10-inch threshold up and down.

There’s an LCD monitor that displays time, speed, distance, mileage and calories burned, plus a bracket where you can mount a smartphone or tablet and stream a workout, watch TV or listen to music. Cage pedals mean you can ride in your sneakers, so there’s no need to invest in pricey spin shoes.

It runs on a belt driven system (as opposed to a chain drive), so it’s quiet enough to use in a shared home. Because it’s so adjustable, multiple members of the household should be able to use the bike, and with a footprint of just 22 inches wide by 40 inches long, it’s an easy fit for most homes or apartments.

Resistance: Magnetic, 8 levels | Dimensions: ‎‎33 x 19 x 46 inches | Weight limit: 300 pounds | Display: Yes | Wheels: Yes

The Exerpeutic 400XL earns its place as an excellent choice for older adults due to its thoughtful design and user-friendly features that emphasize comfort, safety and ease of use. Seniors often prioritize these details, and this bike delivers.

The step-through design eliminates the need for high leg lifts when getting on and off the bike, reducing the risk of accidents or strain. Comfort, meanwhile, comes courtesy of a large cushioned seat and backrest that provides much-needed support during longer workouts, ensuring a comfortable and pain-free experience. And the bike’s adjustable seat height accommodates a wide range of users, allowing each individual to discover their perfect riding position.

Safety is another key consideration for seniors, and the 400XL incorporates a precision-balanced flywheel and a V-belt drive that results in smooth, quiet and low-impact pedaling experience. The eight levels of magnetic resistance are gentle on joints while providing a customizable workout intensity. And the bike’s compact design makes it an excellent space-saving option, ideal for smaller homes or apartments. Its easy-fold mechanism allows for convenient storage when not in use—a feature particularly appreciated by seniors with limited living space.

What truly makes the Exerpeutic 400XL stand out is its affordability without compromising quality. At less than $200, it’s a bargain as far as fitness equipment goes, and it represents a cost-effective means of staying active and maintaining health. With a user weight capacity of up to 300 pounds, it caters to a broad range of riders.

Bowflex VeloCore 16

Resistance: Magnetic, 100 levels | Dimensions: ‎‎24 x 60 x 55.5 inches | Weight limit: 325 pounds | Display: Yes | Wheels: Yes

A great Peloton alternative, this impressive home bike from Bowflex is our pick for the best exercise bike with a screen for two reasons: The bike comes packed with many features, and some of these work well with the large display.

Let’s start with the bike, which sets itself apart from competitors thanks to features like “Leaning Mode,” an option that lets you lean into your movement as you ride, much like you would when taking a sharp turn riding a bike outdoors or swaying with the beat in a group class. This added movement allows you to engage your arms and core in a way other bikes can’t, providing more of a full body workout. Other highlights include an adjustable seat and handlebars, 100 levels of magnetic resistance and versatile pedals that work with sneakers and toe cages or clip-in spin shoes.

Models are available with HD touchscreen consoles sized 16 or 22 inches and both come with the company’s JRNY experience, a library of on-demand workouts that include trainer-led videos, virtual coaching and destination rides. Like its competitors in the connected-fitness space, Bowflex requires a monthly membership to JRNY with the purchase of its bike, which will run you $20 per month.

The platform also has a built-in app library for seamless streaming of Netflix, Hulu and other top entertainment hubs. Additionally, there’s a mount for smartphones and tablets so you can stream workouts from Peloton, Zwift or any other preferred app. The other big benefit of a tech-y bike like this is its capability to track accurate metrics, allowing you to track your progress over time.


Schwinn AD6 Airdyne

Resistance: Air | Dimensions: ‎‎49.7 x 25.7 x 50.9 inches | Weight limit: 300 pounds | Display: No | Wheels: Yes

If you’ve ever been subject to an AirBike, just looking at one should raise your heart rate. These high-intensity beasts are a favorite of CrossFit gyms, HIIT studios and trainers. The bike is powered by strap-in pedals (no special spin shoes needed) and handlebars, kind of like an elliptical, for a full-body workout against the unlimited resistance of air.

There’s a single-stage belt drive that keeps the whole thing running quietly while the front “wheel” fan generates a steady stream of air to help keep you cool as you work up a sweat. You’ll cycle through a progressive wind resistance system that provides varying levels of intensity while you bike. A console tracks your speed, RPM, distance, time and calories. And, because this is an air bike, you don’t need to plug it in.

Xterra Fitness FB150

Resistance: Magnetic, 8 levels | Dimensions: ‎‎18.1 x 31.9 x 43.3 inches (18.1 x 18.1 inches when folded) | Weight limit: 225 pounds pounds | Display: Yes | Wheels: Yes

If you aren’t interested in having an exercise bike as a permanent piece of furniture, a folding bike may be right for you. The major compromises you make with a folding exercise bike are stability and resistance, though, so this style is best suited for someone looking for a low-impact, steady-state cardio workout. It’s also great for those with joint pain or for anyone new to (or getting back into) exercise who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money. However, a compact folding bike is not going to be the best choice for interval workouts or building muscle.

The FB150 from Xterra has a big, cushy seat that can be adjusted up and down to fit rider heights from 58 to 70 inches. It has equally cushy, padded handlebars for comfort and a basic LCD display to track metrics like time, speed and distance. The handlebars also have heart rate pulse grips, but these are notoriously unreliable (not just in this model, but in cardio machines across the board—bottom line, don’t bother with pulse or calorie measurements from anything that isn’t actually strapped to your body).

You’ll get eight levels of resistance from the machine’s petite 3.3-pound flywheel, enough to get your heart pumping and maybe a little burn in the legs depending on your ability level.

How We Chose The Best Exercise Bikes

The two authors of this piece have published dozens of fitness stories. We own some of these exercise bikes ourselves or were able to test others at local fitness centers. When we couldn’t test a bike in-person, we performed extensive research by reviewing what’s available on the market now, and by taking a look at product specifications, designs, added features and anything else that set one bike apart from another to ensure this list encompasses the best of the best. Finally, we also polled a variety of fitness professionals, including personal trainers, coaches and physical therapists, about what to look for in an exercise bike.

What To Consider When Shopping For An Exercise Bike

Because exercise bikes aren’t usually cheap, often take up quite a bit of space and take time to set up, buying the right one for you out the gate is important. Here are a few things to consider when choosing which model is right for you.


Exercise bikes are a wonderful way for anyone to improve their fitness, but if it’s not comfortable, it’s more likely to become a drying rack for your clothes than an exercise machine.

A lot of that boils down to the seat. Seats that are too hard or too small aren’t only uncomfortable—they can lead to tailbone pain, strain on your lower back and cause chafing and sores. Look for words like “ergonomic,” “padded” and “gel”—anything that suggests there is some cushioning. If the seat isn’t as comfortable as you were hoping it would be, you can always purchase a seat cushion or, in some cases, swap out the seat for one you like more.


Being able to control the resistance helps make a cycling session easier or harder. Without enough resistance, you might not feel like you’re really getting a workout in. With too much resistance, you may not be able to maintain proper positioning, which makes the risk of injury more likely (and, if you’re taking a class, it may make it more challenging to keep up). On some bikes, it’s a knob you can turn up or down. On other bikes, it’s a pair of buttons that can add or reduce resistance.


Exercise bikes take up a fair amount of room, so it’s important to consider if you have enough space for a recumbent bike or an upright bike. In the area you plan to keep your bike, is there sufficient space to easily get on and off? Fitness professional Jeanette DePatie notes that “if you need to move things around or drag the bike out of the corner to use it, you may be less like to use it.”

Maximum Weight Capacity

Another element to consider, DePatie says, is the weight limit of the bike. “Many exercise bikes have stringent weight limits,” she warns. “Make sure the bike can accommodate the weights of everyone who wants to ride.”

Shoe Clips Vs. Foot Straps

How your feet stay connected to your bike is crucial for control, comfort and safety. Most bikes have one of two options: Shoe clips (where you wear specialized shoes that lock onto the pedals) or foot straps (which are pedals that work with any athletic shoe).

Both have their pros and cons, but at the end of the day, this comes down to preference. That being said, Marisella Villano, an indoor cycling instructor in the Hamptons, recommends pedals with shoe clips, “because it provides the most efficiency in the peddle stroke” which in turn helps burn more calories.


It’s important to consider what you hope to get out of your exercise bike and to choose one that matches how you want to ride, notes physical therapist and founder of The Healthy Hiker, Alicia Filley.

Two of the biggest upgrades to come to exercise bikes in recent years have been the ability to connect to Wi-Fi and displays (specifically how they’re used). Some bikes are Wi-Fi-enabled, allowing riders to watch Netflix, stream exercise programs or play games on their screen while they exercise. Others have no screens or electronic connectivity, which helps keep them at a lower price point.

When looking at different bikes, Filley says to “Ask yourself some questions like, ‘Do you want lots of workout options or just a bike to peddle while you watch TV?’ and ‘Do you want access to an internet community or is this a solo activity?’” For some people, connectivity is key when getting on the bike before a big workout, but others would prefer to guide themselves.


Exercise bikes can run thousands of dollars, so it’s important to choose one with a solid warranty program, meaning the manufacturer will repair or replace the bike if it breaks down within a certain timeframe. Each company has different policies, so look at each and compare how long the warranty lasts (one-to-five years is typical) and what it covers.

What Exercise Bikes Are Good For Home?

Keith Hodges, a National Academy of Sports Medicine-certified personal trainer and performance coach, and founder of Mind In Muscle Coaching in Los Angeles, weighs in: “When purchasing a bike for in-home workouts, make sure the bike you purchase is the best for you,” he says. “Be sure to select a style that you like that is within your budget. Your bike should come with different resistance levels to change the intensity of your workouts along with an adjustable seat. Most bikes come with monitors and programmed workouts, should you choose to join a live workout or follow a program on-demand.” And if you want to track your progress, “It should be Bluetooth compatible to sync with your Fitbit, Apple Watch, Polar Strap, Garmin, Whoop or Oura Ring,” he adds.

Can You Lose Weight Using An Exercise Bike?

Absolutely, says Hodges. “Cycling is a form of exercise and to see a reduction in weight, you must be at a caloric deficit.” In other words: The calories burned from cycling can contribute to weight loss. “If your goal is to lose one pound per week, you should aim to burn an excess of 3,500 calories per week,” says Hodges. But for best results, he adds, “You’ll also have to consume less calories from food in addition to riding an exercise bike.”

Can You Lose Belly Fat By Riding A Stationary Bike?

Yes, riding a stationary bike can contribute to losing belly fat when combined with a calorie-controlled diet and consistent exercise, as it helps burn calories, increase overall metabolism and reduce overall body fat, which includes the abdominal area. However, targeting your belly is not possible, so fat loss will occur throughout the body rather than exclusively in the belly.

Is 30 Minutes Of Exercise Bike A Day Enough?

Yes, 30 minutes of exercise on a stationary bike per day can be a beneficial component of a balanced fitness routine, contributing to cardiovascular health, calorie expenditure and weight management. However, the effectiveness of this duration depends on a number of factors, including exercise intensity, individual fitness goals and diet. To maximize fitness and weight loss, some individuals need more than 30 minutes per day, while others may find it sufficient. Consulting with a fitness professional or healthcare provider can help determine the appropriate exercise duration for your specific needs and goals.

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