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Exercise Bike Reviews

Exercise bikes provide users with a low-impact cardiorespiratory workout that helps burn calories and strengthen muscles. They’re an excellent option for individuals interested in changing up the intensity of their workout. Exercise bikes work out your quads, glutes, and calves and are a great, low-impact alternative to running.

House Method aims to provide the best exercise bike reviews to help you choose the right one for your home gym. We’ve considered everything—from cost to features, shipping, installation, returns, warranty, and more.

Check out our FAQs below to learn more about exercise bikes and how to read a House Method exercise bike review.

Data and ratings accurate as of January 2018

Our elliptical bike reviews at a glance

What does an exercise bike do for you?

Exercise bikes can help increase muscle strength in the lower extremities, particularly the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes. The motion of cycling requires constant use of the core musculature, so users will often see an increase in muscular endurance as a result of cycling.

Adults need at least 150 minutes of accumulated moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and two muscle strengthening sessions per week. An exercise bike can help you reach this target—even with 10- or 15-minute sessions. Pairing cycling with an in-home upper body workout twice per week can maximize health outcomes even more. Training on an exercise bike can also help:

  • Increase your level of physical fitness
  • Positively change your body composition
  • Contribute to weight loss and weight management
  • Improve cognitive function

In addition to these benefits, cardiorespiratory exercise through indoor and stationary cycling has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Anaerobic exercise—interval training with short bouts of increased intensity—on a stationary cycle can yield maximum gains in increasing heart rate and fitness, especially for those that have been diagnosed with heart disease.

Coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis, peripheral arterial disease, and other cardiorespiratory diseases can be managed with proper exercise bike training. Cardiorespiratory diseases are best treated in conjunction with a medical professional—anyone suffering from these conditions should consider discussing a treatment plan and exercise prescription with their doctor.

Is an exercise bike good for weight loss?

When paired with the proper nutritional plan, a cardiorespiratory fitness program including an exercise bike can be effective in weight loss or weight management. Cycling has been found to result in lower body mass index (BMI) measurements compared to those who walk or don’t exercise.

When the primary goal of a training program is weight loss, the focus of exercise should be on consistency and duration. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Adults can increase their cardiorespiratory exercise load to as much as 300 minutes per week, but this is not recommended for those new to cycling.

For maximum weight loss, plan for 30–40 minutes of moderate-intensity activity 3–5 times per week and 15–20 minutes of cardiorespiratory interval training 2–4 times per week. Interval training has been found to significantly improve metabolic health, particularly for older populations. All of this cardiorespiratory exercise can be completed on any exercise bicycle.

While any exercise will help improve the chances of weight loss, maximum weight loss will only occur when there is a caloric deficit—those seeking to lose weight must expend more calories through exercise and regular daily activity than they consume through eating and drinking. That is why nutrition plays a critical role in weight loss.

How do I choose an exercise bike?

Although price is an important factor when choosing an exercise bike, it shouldn’t be your only consideration. Three important non-monetary factors to consider include:

  1. Size, ergonomic fit, and adjustability—Unfortunately, for many exercise bikes, one size doesn’t fit all. Exercise bikes are heavy and require a fair amount of floor space to operate safely. Additionally, some bikes will be specific to tall riders and won’t be suitable for riders that are short. Be sure to try out any exercise bike that you’re considering and learn how to adjust the handlebars, pedals, seat, and frame in order to fit your body comfortably for exercise. The best exercise bikes use adequate padding without inhibiting movement and can be easily adjusted.
  2. Resistance settings—Most exercise bikes have variable resistance settings, meaning that users can modify resistance and intensity levels. Some models have digital and manual resistance controls that are easier to modify than others. Make sure you find an exercise bike that has a quiet, well-calibrated resistance measure and the resistance settings adhere to your training goals.
  3. Features and programs—Exercise bikes feature everything from heart rate monitors to screens in front of the handlebars that stream spinning classes. Pre-set programs like hill climbs, intervals, heart rate targeting, and custom programming can provide additional benefit to those seeking to follow a training plan. Determine what’s important to you and find a machine that provides an excellent workout that meets your needs.

When selecting an exercise bike, you’ll likely need to determine how to move the machine and put it together. There are three critical factors to keep in mind for successfully installing your new home exercise bike:

  1. Home delivery and pricing—Research how the machine is shipped and how it needs to be set up in your home. Exercise bikes are quite heavy when fully assembled, so think about building the machine where you plan to keep it. When you find the machine that fits you best, ask about pricing, home delivery, and white glove services.
  2. Return policy—It’s critical that you have the chance to complete a full workout on the machine. If for some reason you can’t do this, make sure you’re familiar with the return policy, including how return shipping is handled, fees that you would be responsible for, and how long you’d have to return the equipment to the provider.
  3. Warranty and guarantee information—Are there any warranties that come with the purchase of your machine? Look for a warranty that provides at least one year of labor and two or three years for parts.

A final consideration for your machine—safety. If you have children at home, exercise equipment can cause injury risk, even if the machine is not turned on or operational. Plan your home gym so that it’s easy for you to use but difficult for your children to access. Ensure that the only people that use your machine are those that have been shown how to operate and use it.

What's the difference between recumbent bikes and upright bikes?

There are two types of exercise bicycles—recumbent bikes and upright bikes. Recumbent bikes shift the pedal mechanism and seat, providing additional back support. The primary benefit of a recumbent bike is that it can reduce pressure on the lower back, making it a good option for those that have experienced low back pain. Traditional upright exercise bikes closely resemble a regular bicycle and is pedaled the same way. Both options provide a low-impact workout that primarily trains the muscles of the lower extremities.

The fit and feel of the exercise bicycle during an intense cardiorespiratory workout is much more important than the type of exercise bike. You’ve got to want to use it—and be able to use the product for prolonged workouts of up to 60 minutes. Select an exercise bicycle that fits your home, body, fitness needs, and budget, regardless of whether it’s classified as recumbent or upright.

How do I read House Method exercise bike reviews?

The House Method editorial team provides objective ratings on the products and services our readers care about. We want to offer quick digestible facts about exercise bike providers to help you make an informed decision when purchasing an exercise bike.

Our exercise bike reviews include a summary of the individual manufacturer, an exercise bike provider comparison chart, and details about pricing, white glove services, shipping and installation, returns, and warranty information.

1. Summary

Each exercise bike review summary provides a brief history of the exercise bike provider, information on the types of bikes offered by the company, and details of each product.

2. Exercise bike provider comparison chart

The exercise bike comparison chart comprises a House Method exercise bike review rating, a House Method price rating, the cost of a provider’s white glove services, and a link to the exercise bike company’s complete review.

3. House Method exercise bike rating

House Method exercise bike review ratings are awarded based on a weighted 10-point scale that scores individual providers on free delivery, availability of white glove services, the opportunity to include add-ons with your exercise bike, the promise of a money-back guarantee, free information or consultation about the product, easily discoverable warranty terms (on the website), and whether or not extended protection plans are offered.

We score exercise bike companies on these items because we believe these are most valuable to the consumer and give a clear review of the overall quality of a brand.

4. House Method price rating

A House Method price rating is a relative score that compares the price of a brand’s products or services to its peers that we’ve reviewed. The prices of products and services are based on our independent research. Each dollar sign represents an objective tiered amount of money, depending on the category of the product or service being reviewed.

In addition to a House Method price rating, we also include pricing of individual exercise bikes in each provider review.

5. White glove services

All of the exercise bike providers listed offer white glove services and will set up your exercise bike in your home at an additional cost. In our comparison chart, we outline the pricing of these services for each individual provider.

6. Shipping and installation

Shipping and installation information is provided to inform the consumer about additional costs when buying an exercise bike. We also include expected shipping, delivery, and installation times to give a clear picture of what to expect during the ordering process.

7. Returns

This information is provided to inform the consumer of the return process and additional costs associated with a return. Return information also helps answer questions consumers may have about getting their money back from the exercise bike provider and how long they can expect the return to take.

8. Warranty information

Our House Method exercise bike reviews provide information about an exercise bike provider’s warranty term and length to let the consumer decide if a particular brand stands behind the quality of their workmanship. We also include information about extended protection plans, if offered by the provider.

House Method rating methodology

Our ratings are based on information found through our independent research, including information found on the website of the company being reviewed as of the date of most recent review or through contacting the subject company as an anonymous prospective customer. We aim to update our ratings on a systematic and periodic basis and to disclose the date of most recent review on pages where the rating appears. Please read our rating methodology for additional information.

Providers

Life Fitness


$ $ $ $ $
Highlights

Life Fitness exercise bikes provide you the option of choosing from three different consoles—one that has bluetooth capability, one that comes with interactive workouts, and one that allows you to watch TV.

Features
Add-Ons Available
In-Home Setup
Warranty Included
Visit Site

LifeSpan Fitness


$ $ $ $ $
Highlights

LifeSpan Fitness exercise bikes come equipped with USB drives and/or Bluetooth capability, allowing users to easily track and store exercise results.

Features
Add-Ons Available
Free Shipping
In-Home Setup
Warranty Included
Visit Site

NordicTrack


$ $ $ $ $
Highlights

All NordicTrack exercise bikes provide personal coaching and immersive workouts, adjustable seat levels for maximum comfort, and ergonomic pedal design for added stability.

Features
Free Shipping
In-Home Setup
Warranty Included
Visit Site

ProForm


$ $ $ $ $
Highlights

ProForm exercise bikes offer a variety of resistance levels to adjust your training intensity, iFit Coach adaptability for a more personal workout, and seat adjustability for maximum comfort.

Features
Free Shipping
In-Home Setup
Warranty Included
Visit Site

Sole Fitness


$ $ $ $ $
Highlights

Sole Fitness exercise bikes provide a comfortable and affordable experience for all users—they include bluetooth capability to track workout results, challenging workout programs, and a space-saving design for all types of rooms.

Features
Free Shipping
In-Home Setup
Warranty Included
Visit Site

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