Ten Best Exercise Bikes For All Budgets In 2021

The best exercise bikes are a staple in every professional workout facility, and they are consistently one of the most popular pieces of in-home workout equipment. Cycling is a fantastic cardio workout and a low-impact form of exercise, making it suitable for all ages and fitness levels. There is little skill involved in learning how to use an exercise bike, and the workout intensity is varied.

Many exercise bikes have a fairly small footprint, making them a space-saving choice for home workouts. They are also relatively quiet pieces of equipment. They can be used in apartments, watching tv, or any time of the day/night if you have a crazy schedule. Best of all, even the least expensive bikes are sufficient for a basic workout. Exercise bikes come in a wide range of price points depending on the quality and features you desire.

Types of Exercise Bikes

There are three main categories of exercise bikes. Upright Bikes, Recumbent Bikes, and Indoor Cycles. Each type has its pros and cons, depending on the kind of activity you’re looking for and your fitness goals. Knowing the difference is the first task in choosing the best exercise bikes for you. The second thing to know, is your budget and what will be the best exercise bikes available to you based on that.

Upright Bikes

Upright bikes are the most popular type of exercise bike for the average home user because they most closely resemble a regular bicycle. Upright bikes combine low-impact cardio with building strength and endurance in your leg muscles making them an excellent overall workout for getting in shape, building muscle, or losing weight. The biggest complaint with this type of exercise bike is lack of comfort. They are notorious for having hard, uncomfortable seats.


Great workout – particularly for cardio and lower body
Flexible – can vary in intensity and difficulty
Easy to use – perfect for beginners or professionals
Convenient – reasonable size and portability for home users
Affordable – especially basic models with few bells and whistles


Uncomfortable – seats are usually small and hard
Boring – lacks the scenery of an actual outdoor ride


Recumbent Bikes

The main difference between an upright bike and a recumbent bike is the large chair like seat and the position of the pedals. Upright bikes resemble a traditional bicycle, with pedals located directly below the seat and handles that are in the front requiring the user to lean forward. Recumbent bikes have a larger seat with an actual back on it, and pedals are located in front so that the user reclines. This type of exercise bike provides the lowest intensity workout of the three types but is by far the most comfortable. It is accommodating for people who are overweight and elderly, and those with back or knee problems.


Low impact – great for those with injuries
Easy to use – excellent for beginners or anyone with balance issues
Comfortable – seats are chair-like, with backs
Convenient – reasonable size and portability for home users


Light intensity – works the least amount of muscle groups
Expense – generally more expensive than an equally equipped upright


Indoor Cycles

Indoor cycles (also known as spin bikes) closely resemble upright bikes with a few key differences. The handlebars are located further in front of the rider, which engages more muscle groups and allows users to stand while riding. Varying sitting and standing during your workout will enable you to greatly increase the intensity of your workout, making indoor cycles the bike of choice for spin classes.

The hunched over posture makes indoor cycles the least comfortable exercise bike option, but provides the highest intensity workout. This type of bike is often called a spin bike and you regularly see them used in spin classes around local gyms. These cycles are popular for avid and experienced exercisers.


High intensity – great for advanced users and cycling enthusiasts
Convenient – reasonable size and portability for home users
Smoother ride – weighted flywheel mimics feel of a real bike


Uncomfortable – small seat and hunched posture
Simple – generally fewer bells and whistles than uprights
Expense – because these are high quality and geared toward professionals, they consistently cost more

Whether you decide an upright bike, a recumbent bike, or an indoor cycle is the best option for you, there are some additional features you may want to consider.

Must-Have Features:

  • Multiple resistance levels
  • Pedals wide enough for your feet
  • Comfortable seat (or be willing to purchase a padded seat cover)
  • On-board computer that displays speed and time (heart rate monitoring is nice but can be purchased separately)
  • Adjustable seat
  • Weight Capacity

Advanced Features:

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Bookstand
  • Water bottle holder
  • Bluetooth
  • Speakers
  • Video screen
  • Virtual reality
  • Programmable real-life simulated rides
  • Workout statistics


Best Exercise Bikes Reviews

Starting with upright bikes and moving to recumbent bikes, the following buying guide will provide an overview of 10 exercise bikes that you should consider.

Upright Bikes

Marcy ME-708

The Marcy ME-708 is a great all-around basic exercise bike. With virtually no advanced features, the Marcy is an excellent choice for those purchasing an exercise bike for the first time or those wanting a simple workout to burn some calories and get their muscles working.

Key Features:

  • Magnetic resistance system with eight levels of resistance
  • Nine different seat height adjustments, suitable for almost all users
  • Simple screen with extra large print detailing speed, time, calories burned, and an odometer
  • Quiet
  • Tall profile allowing the rider to remain completely upright during use
  • Equipped with wheels for easy transportation
  • 300 lb capacity

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Goplus Upright

The Goplus upright bike is another good choice if simple is your goal. This bike is foldable, lightweight, and very easy to move around. Because the Goplus bike is so lightweight and portable, it may not be as sturdy for larger or elderly users and has a maximum user weight of 264lbs.

Key Features:

  • Magnetic resistance flywheel with eight levels of resistance
  • Seven different seat height adjustments
  • LCD screen displaying speed, time, calories burned, distance, and pulse
  • Cell phone holder
  • Foldable
  • Very lightweight with wheels for easy transportation
  • 264 lb capacity

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Schwinn A10

The Schwinn A10 takes your basic upright bike and adds preset programs, a heart rate monitor, and some fancier technology. Preset programs are helpful to vary your workout intensity and prevent yourself from getting bored. They’re also beneficial if you like to watch tv or read while riding your exercise bike and tend to zone out and forget to pedal.

Key Features:

  • Magnetic resistance system with eight levels of resistance
  • Seven preset workouts and one quick-start
  • Ergonomic hand grips with heart rate monitor
  • Large LCD screen showing speed, time, RPM, distance, calories, results, and heart rate
  • USB charging port
  • Media tray
  • Speakers
  • Wheels for transporting
  • 275 lb capacity

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Nautilus U616

The Nautilus U616 is jam-packed with extra features. This bike has twenty-nine preset programs and twenty-five levels of resistance. Bluetooth connectivity allows for connecting to the Nautilus training app, the RideSocial app, and other fitness apps. It has a larger padded seat for greater comfort, and the ability to move the seat back and forth both horizontally and vertically.

The DualTrack LCD display screen is large and allows you to have a tablet on the media tray while still viewing time, distance, and calories. It also comes with the ability to track your heart rate via the contact points on the handles or via telemetry using a chest strap. Telemetry tracking is generally much more accurate if you’re a serious user. Keep in mind that the advanced technology and motorized magnetic system on this bike requires it to connect to a power source.

Key Features:

  • Twenty-nine preset programs with twenty-five resistance levels
  • Contact or telemetry heart rate monitoring
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • DualTrack LCD display
  • Media Shelf
  • Speakers with an MP3 input port
  • USB port
  • Cooling fan
  • Water bottle holder
  • Ability to adjust seat both horizontally and vertically
  • 300 lb capacity

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L Now Magnetic Exercise Bike

The L Now is an impressively sturdy bike for its small footprint. It has fewer technology features but adds things like adjustable stabilizers and a more comfortable seat. The seat has four-way adjustable settings, and the handlebars on the L Now are adjustable as well. This bike has a manual magnetic resistance system, which means it doesn’t require a power source and is extremely quiet. The large LCD screen on this bike displays the typical time, distance, total distance, speed, RPM, pulse, and calories burned. It does not support telemetry heart rate monitoring but does offer workout goals and tracking.

Key Features:

  • Manual magnetic resistance system with eight levels of resistance
  • Four-way adjustable seat and handlebars
  • Adjustable stabilizers
  • Goal setting functionality
  • BMI functionality
  • Media shelf
  • Water bottle holder
  • 300 lb capacity

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Recumbent Bikes

PEXMOR 3 in 1

The PEXMOR 3 in 1 foldable exercise bike has three seat settings that allow it to adjust from an upright bike to a semi-recumbent bike, to a recumbent bike. It also incorporates exercise bands that will enable you to get a full body workout. It features magnetic resistance with eight levels and a large cushioned seat with backrest for comfort, but little advanced technology.

The LCD screen is relatively small but does provide the typical time, speed, distance, calories burned, and heart rate via the handle sensors. It folds up nicely and has wheels for easy transport. While you gain in versatility with this bike, you lose in features. It is, however a nice, simple bike that gives you lots of different workout options.

Key Features:

  • Magnetic resistance system with eight levels of resistance
  • 3 in 1 design (upright, semi-recumbent, recumbent)
  • Exercise bands for upper body workout and leg stretching
  • Heart rate sensors
  • Foldable, with wheels for transport
  • 300 lb capacity

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Stamina Wonder

The Stamina Wonder bike is strictly a recumbent bike, but has the added option of using the included “wonder arms” resistance bands. Wonder arms can be used while riding or on their own for a full body workout. The simple screen displays standard metrics like time, speed, distance, and calories burned. However, it is small, and its position down near the pedals may be difficult for some users to see.

The Stamina Wonder is foldable and portable for easy storage. While the bike is light and compact, it only has a 250 lb weight capacity and is not intended for heavier users. Also included with this bike are two free online workout videos designed to help keep you motivated.

Key Features:

  • Tension dial for resistance adjustment
  • Wonder arms for upper body workout
  • Foldable and portable
  • Two free video workouts
  • 250 lb capacity

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BulbHead Slim

The BulbHead Slim 2 in 1 bike functions as an upright bike or a recumbent bike. It also features pulley system resistance bands for an optional arm workout. While the bike itself has eight magnetic resistance levels on its tension dial, note that the arms do not have adjustable resistance. The Slim 2 in 1 is lightweight and sturdy, with a 300 lb capacity, yet is foldable and portable for easy storage. The seat on this bike is semi-recumbent. It only supports the lower back, not the full back, but the seat can be adjusted vertically for different heights.

Key Features:

  • Converts from upright bike to a recumbent bike
  • Magnetic resistance system with eight resistance levels
  • Optional arm workout
  • Foldable and portable
  • Large print screen
  • 300 lb capacity

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Other Options

This last category of exercise bikes features a couple of unique options that may be perfect for you.


The MagneTrainer mini arm and leg exerciser is a small, lightweight, portable pedal exerciser. It can be placed on the floor for a leg workout or placed on a table for arm exercise. It has a wide base and is heavy enough to provide excellent stability. The MagneTrainer has a small screen that displays all the basics; speed, distance, time, and calories. This mini bike is the bike of choice for doctors, hospitals, physical therapists, and nursing homes. It is ideal for improved range of motion and movement.

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The FLEXISPOT desk bike is part exercise bike, part standing desk. If you have a hard time fitting a workout in, this combination unit may be the answer. It features all of the regular features of a small basic upright bike, with a decent size flat desk surface where the handlebars usually are. The desk is big enough to support a laptop or textbook if you want to work through your workout and allows the user to support their arms on the desk for writing, drawing, or holding a book/magazine.

The FLEXISPOT is perfect for those who are trying to increase their activity levels with a low impact workout. Its biggest drawback is that while the seat moves up and down to accommodate different heights, neither the desk portion nor the seat adjusts horizontally.

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As you can see, there are plenty of great options for every need when it comes to exercise bikes. It is helpful to determine what type of exercise bike suits your needs first, then determine your price range before delving into the many options and finding the best exercise bikes for you. Rest assured, there’s a bike for every budget.



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The Best Spin Bikes
The Best Exercise Bikes For All Budgets
The Best Elliptical Trainers Under $1000
The Best Rowing Machine

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