Best Exercise Bike Review 2018 [Upright & Recumbent]- The Complete Guide

Nowadays, there’s been a growing interest in the use of stationary exercise bikes to keep fit.

With the numerous benefits these pieces of equipment bring, there’s no surprise that many physiotherapists and doctors recommend it as a low-impact but effective way to keep fit, lose weight and stay healthy.

Whether you’re just recovering from surgery or you just had a baby (and want to get back your pre-pregnancy shape) or you’re an elderly person trying to stay fit, a stationary exercise bike will definitely help.

Now, if you’re looking to buy a good one for yourself, one problem you may have come across is choosing what the best exercise bike for you is. With the many brands and types available, it can be quite difficult selecting the one that fits your need.

This is the exact reason why we have written this guide. In this post, we would be mentioning our best 5 at the moment, and tell you why we chose each one, reviewing their pros and cons. You will also learn what qualities to look for when choosing the best that suits you.


Best Exercise Bikes To Buy In 2018

1. Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike- Best Upright

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2. Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse- Best Folding

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3. Exerpeutic WorkFit 1000- Most Versatile

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4. Marcy Magnetic Recumbent Bike- Best Recumbent Exercise Bike

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5. Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike (MY17)- Best Exercise Bike For Home

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Wondering how we came up with this list?

Well, let’s explain why each one is included. We’ll dive deeper into their features, what customers have to say about them, and their pros and cons.

1. Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike- Best Upright

This is by far the best upright bike when it comes to value for your money. Other bikes that are far less sturdy and comfortable come with a higher price tag.

This bike is made up of very durable materials and will last a long time even if you are a heavy user that spends several hours a day on it. It can support people who weigh up to 275 pounds.

It is also quite comfortable to use. The seat is well crafted and adjustable, you can move it forward and backwards, upwards and downwards. This gives you the ability to adjust things till you can find your sweet comfort spot, so you can focus on your actual work out. The handlebars are also soft and well designed, you can grip it in different positions, adjust its height and is slip free, so you can enjoy a comfortable and safe ride.

It has wheels that help you move it around from where you choose to store it. So, whenever you feel like working out, you could just wheel it out, carry out your exercise for as long as you want, then take it back to its position without asking for help.

Working out on this bike is not noisy at all. Pedalling on it is also smooth, thanks to a very large 40 pound flywheel. The thing is this: the larger the flywheel of a stationary bike, the smoother the ride is likely to be. So, if you’re at a high resistance level, you don’t need to worry about wobbly, jerky movements or loss of balance when using it at high speeds, the flywheel works very well.

This bike has some downsides though, here are some.

It does not have a noticeable electronic system, no screen, no heart rate monitor or any special features. You’ll probably have to buy these accessories separately. Also, it would have been a much better bike if it had a cup holder in its frame, so that you won’t need to get off the bike to get something to drink or use it near a table containing your water bottle.

Customer Feedback:

There were so many positive comments about this bike. From its sturdy design, to its durability, its ease of assembly and very importantly, its affordable price.

On the other hand, there were reports of a burnt smell coming off the brake pads days or weeks after using it, so, it is recommended that you lubricate these pads before using the bike and at least twice a year. A good one that seems to be advised is the silicone lubricant.

Also, some customers felt the seat was quite uncomfortable.

Here’s a summary of its pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Affordable bike

  • Easy to assemble

  • Sturdy and very durable

  • Good pedaling system

  • Adjustable seat and handlebar

  • Transport wheel to move around

Cons:

  • No screen to monitor progress

  • No cup holder

  • Not the most comfortable seat

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2. Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse- Best Folding

If you live in an apartment that doesn’t have so much space for you to move around or keep a conventional stationary bike, you should go for this one. It easily folds up to about half its size and has transport wheels for you to store it with as little space as possible.

A major drawback of many regular exercise bikes is the amount of space they take. In reality, many people’s homes aren’t large enough to have a ‘home gym’ or ‘exercise area’, and disassembling these bikes is not an option, so this is why it might be necessary to go for a folding bike.

Amongst folding bikes, this one particularly stands out. It has a very low price, takes up less space and can accommodate up to 300 pounds of weight.

When working out, you can adjust the resistance you’re biking against by using the magnetic tension control knob- the bike has 8 different resistance levels. So if you are a workout newbie or a gym guru, you can still enjoy using this bike to achieve your personal workout goals.

It is also a comfortable piece of equipment, it has a relatively large cushioned seat that keeps you at ease when you have to exercise for extended periods. The drawback of many upright ones is that their seats can be quite narrow and hard. So, this bike’s manufacturers have attempted to solve this problem. The process of cycling is also smooth with almost no noise made.

It has a pulse rate sensor located on the handlebars that send this information to the screen, so you can track how effective your cardio session is. The LCD screen also shows the distance you have covered, your speed and calories burnt. The screen is powered by 2 AA batteries.

Now, about the things we don’t like about this bike. Even though the seat is very adjustable, it caters basically to people whose heights are between 5’3” and 6’1”. It may not be very comfortable for you if you’re above or below this height range.

Customer Feedback:

The general consensus was that this bike was a good buy. Many people were impressed with its simple assembly, price, durability and the fact that you could fold it up. Some customers on the other hand felt that the seat was a bit to large and interfered with their cycling motion.

Below is our summary of its benefits and demerits.

Pros:

  • Foldable- takes up little space

  • Low price

  • Silent and smooth cycling

  • Comfortable cushioned wide seat

  • 8 level magnetic resistance

  • LCD screen

Cons:

  • Not very useful if you’re under 5’3” or above 6’1”

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3. Exerpeutic WorkFit 1000- Most Versatile

This is an incredible bike. It is very versatile and can be used for several purposes.

It can be used as a semi-recumbent stationary workout bike:

Its semi-recumbent position is perfect for someone who is not sure whether a recumbent or upright bike will be best for them. It is not completely horizontal nor vertical, it is somewhere in between. Unlike upright ones, it has a backrest that keeps your back from hurting if you have to workout for a long time

It can be used as a workstation:

It has a desktop surface that you can use place your computer, tablet or mobile phone on. This is quite useful for someone with a really busy schedule. So, you can choose to switch from working on your computer to exercising using the pedals without getting up from the seat. If you love to multi-task, you can choose to exercise and work on your computer simultaneously, and yes, it works well if you choose to combine these activities. The bike is fairly silent, so you can choose to watch your favorite TV series without being worried about having a sedentary lifestyle.

It can be used as a standing desk:

Nowadays, standing desks are getting popular. If your work requires you to sit for several hours a day in front of a computer, you may need to get up and move around so that your back and butt don’t hurt. With this equipment, you can adjust the desktop and stand comfortably without interrupting your work.It also easily folds up when you’re done working, taking up just a little space.

So, talking about versatility, this device is pretty much unmatched.

Another thing worthy of note is that there’s a tray where you can keep things like writing materials, keys, and remote controls. You can also view your workout progress on an LCD screen that displays your distance, speed, heart rate and the number of calories you have burnt.

This bike also features one of the most comfortable seats around at the moment, it is aerated and really soft, so you won’t worry much about pain in your buttocks if you sit in it for several hours.

Now, about its downsides. The bike’s seat can’t be brought forward or backward, so you can’t really use it if your height is less than 5’2” or more than 6’3”.

Customer Feedback:

It had very good reviews, many people who have sedentary lifestyles were excited that they could now burn calories while still carrying out their usual work on their computers and iPads. The presence of two cup holders was also praised, the bike really works like an office desk. On the other hand, there was displeasure about the height restriction with this bike and sometimes poor customer service when clients have a complaint.

Pros:

  • Extremely versatile

  • You can exercise while working on your computer

  • Serves as a standing desk

  • Very comfortable seat and backrest

  • Durable bike

  • It can be folded away when not in use

  • LCD screen that shows your progress

Cons:

  • Can’t be used if your height is less than 5’2” or more than 6’3”

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4. Marcy Magnetic Recumbent Bike- Best Recumbent Exercise Bike

This is the best recumbent exercise bike by miles. It is very affordable, sturdy, comfortable and beautiful. It is something you’ll be happy to keep staring at in your living room, and the good thing is that it comes at a relatively low price.

Unlike some other bikes that have height restrictions, this bike is completely adjustable. So, if you’re less than 5 feet or more than 6 feet, you could still use this same equipment. This comes in handy if you live in a home with others and need to share it with other members of your family or friends, you’ll only need this one bike.

Also, it is quite comfortable, the seat and backrest are ergonomically designed, so you can sit down to work out for a while without being bothered by pain at your back. The handlebars are also covered with a soft material, so if you’re working out with high intensity, you’ll be well stabilized and not be afraid of falling over. There’s also a cup holder integrated into the frame of the bike just in front of your seat. You won’t need to interrupt your workout by standing up to get yourself a drink.

Working out on this bike will produce results if you use it well. It has a knob that helps you adjust the tension you’re cycling against. There are 8 difficulty levels, so you can choose one that suits your fitness level and experience. The LCD screen also shows you your exercise data: your distance, speed, time and calories burnt.

This bike has some downsides too. It lacks a pulse monitor, so the screen says nothing about your heart rate. A way around this is to buy a pulse oximeter when getting this bike (if you want to monitor your heart rate). The seat is also not the best around, it can get a little uncomfortable if you workout for a long time at a stretch, you can add a little cushion to help with this.

Customer Feedback:

Many customers were impressed by this bike. It was said to be very sturdy, beautiful and cheap. Also, the fact that it could be used by people of almost any height was very appreciated.

Customers who bought it had a very important advice for potential buyers that you should install the side handlebars before the seat.

Pros:

  • Cheap price

  • Very solid and durable

  • Silent pedaling

  • Beautiful ergonomic design

  • LCD screen

  • Very adjustable- can be used by several people regardless of height

Cons:

  • No pulse monitor

  • The seat may need an extra cushion

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5. Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike (MY17)- Best Exercise Bike For Home

This is the best stationary bike if you want all the latest smart technology present in your exercise equipment. The bike is extremely smart, comfortable, durable and well designed.

It is well built with a durable frame that can be used by a person that weighs up to 300 pounds.

The seat is very comfortable, it is well cushioned and shaped so you can ride for a long time without feeling any pinch on your butt or numbness in your legs. The backrest is is vented with holes to keep your back aerated, it is also shaped as a lumbar support, following the natural curve of your lumbar spine, hence, preventing back pain.

To help you stay comfortable while working out, it has a 3-speed cooling fan that keeps you cool. There are also two cup holders, you can place your water bottle in one, and perhaps your remote control or smartphone in the other.

Another good quality is that it is very silent and convenient to pedal on. You don’t have to worry about disturbing others when working out. There are 25 different resistance levels, so you can choose to pedal with low or high intensity. If you’re a new user of exercise bikes, you can start from lower levels and progressively increase the difficulty.

Now, about its use of advanced technology, this stationary exercise bike has a large console that contains some impressing features. It’s big screen helps you with all your data, you can check your distance, speed, heart rate and calories burnt. You can also use its Bluetooth capabilities to sync your workout information with several fitness apps.

You can charge your phone using the USB port and play music through the speakers from your mobile device by connecting it to the MP3 port. There is also a media shelf that you can keep your tablet, magazine, book or phone, you won’t need to drop these devices far away from you just because you’re working out.

There isn’t much of a downside to this bike. The only thing that some people may find unattractive about this bike is its price, but to be fair, with the advanced features and comfort this equipment has to offer, you’re definitely getting your money’s worth.

Customer Feedback:

People who actually bought this bike were excited about the convenience it brings to workouts, especially for seniors. Its comfortable seat, fan and programmable workouts were commended.

Pros:

  • Very comfortable seat and backrest

  • Silent pedaling

  • Bluetooth connectivity to fitness apps

  • Phone charging ports

  • MP3 ports with in-console speakers

  • 3-speed fan

  • Large screen

Cons:

  • Relatively high price

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Types Of Exercise Bikes

Exercise bikes come in basically two different designs, and each of these types work a little bit differently.

1. Upright Exercise Bikes:

They look like traditional bicycles, just that they are stationary. It works very well and can give you intense workouts. It may not be convenient for elderly people or people with a history of back pain.

2. Recumbent Exercise Bikes:

They are exercise bikes that let you have a more natural sitting position with the pedal well in front of the seat. They usually have a more comfortable seat and backrest, almost perfect for elderly people and adults with back pain.

Note:

There’s also they way less popular semi-recumbent variety. They are somewhere in between an upright and a recumbent bike. They give you some backrest while being in a semi-upright position.

What To Look For When Deciding The Best Exercise Bike For You

Even though we have gone through the top 5 stationary bikes, it is okay if you are still unsure which bike you should go for. In this section, we will be discussing what we think you should prioritize when selecting your bike.

Price:

Most recumbent bikes prices are obviously higher than the prices of upright bikes, however, you should not spend more than the value you’re getting. On the average, the cost of this fitness equipment ranges from about $160 to about $700. The cheaper ones have the basic features- a basic seat with backrest, a magnetic tension control system help you select your difficulty and a very simple LCD screen.

The more expensive ones have unique features (that you might not need) like USB phone chargers, fans, Bluetooth connectivity and sound systems.

Weight Capacity:

When choosing the best for you, you have to consider how much weight the device can tolerate. If you choose a fancy one and get it delivered, it would be pretty sad if you discover that you can’t use it because your current weight exceeds what its maximum capacity.

The average bike can handle up to 300 pounds but some can cope with weights that are up to 400 pounds.

Comfort:

The reason why many people prefer recumbent bikes to their upright counterparts is their comfort. Many users of recumbent bikes were counseled by their doctors or physios not to have very high impact exercise that can affect their joints. So, comfort is very important.

Because of the sitting position, you should get a bike that has a soft-cushioned seat. Many plastic seats get uncomfortable when you use them for about 30 minutes, sometimes you may not be able to feel your legs. The best ones that are ideal for older people have lumbar support to protect against back pain. A device that has a fan may not be necessary but is a plus.

Ease of Assembly

The truth is that if you buy a product that is difficult to assemble, you’ll probably spend extra money getting someone to do it for you. Many bikes come with assembly instructions but this doesn’t make them easy to set up, especially if you don’t particularly have much experience setting up home equipment.

You should get one that is easy to put together, to save yourself some time and money.


Over To You

So, we have come to the end of this guide, we have had our say, we have listed and reviewed our best exercise bikes. Now, we will be glad to hear from you. Have you used any of the ones we listed before? If yes, kindly let us know your experience in the comments.

Also, if there’s any product you’ve used that you feel deserves to be on this list, let us know, we are very open to updating this review as frequently as possible. We’ll be glad to read and reply your comments.

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