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The 9 Best Exercise Bikes of 2024

To find the finest home exercise bikes, we test models from Peloton, NordicTrack, Bowflex, Schwinn, Echelon, Yosuda, and others.
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Best Exercise Bike Review
Credit: Jeremy Benson
By Joshua Hutchens, Jeremy Benson  ⋅  Jul 5, 2024

The Best Exercise Bikes for 2024


Looking for the best exercise bike? Over the past eight years, we have bought and tested over 60 models. In this review, we focus on the top 17 bikes available today and show you how they compare in side-by-side tests. A quality exercise bike can be a great way to reach new fitness goals or get some cardio from the comfort of your own home. With an abundance of models on the market, distinguishing between them can be challenging. We've spent months riding and testing these bikes while analyzing important factors like exercise quality, comfort, user interface, features, ease of setup, and portability. We bought companion app memberships, pedaled the classes and programs, and took a critical look at the quality of instruction.

If you're looking for more than a spin, we've also tested thetop-rated treadmills. Serious outdoor cyclists interested in indoor or off-season training might also consider checking out a smart trainer from our best bike trainer review. If you're looking for an outdoor bike, see the best bikes across multiple categories. If you're ready to get outside for a stroll, check out our review of the best walking shoes for our favorite picks.

Editor's Note: On July 5th, 2024, we combined reviews and testing data to show the full range of exercise bikes we tested in one place.

Top 17 Exercise Bikes - Test Results

Displaying 1 - 5 of 17
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Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award  
Price $799 List$2,200 List
$2,199 at Amazon
$1,999 List
$1,999 at Amazon
$999 List
$899.98 at Amazon
$1,600 List
$1,300 at Amazon
Overall Score
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79
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Pros Good exercise quality, smooth performance, low-impactUnique lean feature, loaded with features, capable of streaming entertainment and working with 3rd party apps, JRNY app costs less than the competitioniFit app, adjustable incline, AutoAdjust resistance and incline, narrow Q-factor, feature-packed, swiveling touchscreenSmart/connected features, excellent warranty, 100 levels of magnetic resistance, comes with hand weightsEchelon app is quite comprehensive, lots of comfort adjustments, feature-packed, large tilting touchscreen
Cons Not much adjustability, basic user interfaceSlightly larger footprint and heavier weight, JRNY app isn't quite as developed as some others, smaller screen (larger screen available at a higher price), screen has limited range of adjustabilityConnectivity issues (eventually resolved), incline adjustability results in slightly reduced stability, ICON Fitness has a history of poor customer service, fan is somewhat noisyMore expensive, inaccurate speed and distance readings, doesn't work perfectly with Peloton or ZwiftEchelon app isn't quite on par with Peloton, monthly/yearly app subscription cost, touchscreen does not swivel
Bottom Line A smooth, high-quality Airdyne exercise bike with a reasonable price tag that will give you a full-body cardio workoutThe unique lean feature and compatibility with streaming entertainment and 3rd party apps set this model apart from the competitionThis bike's auto-adjusting speed and incline work with the excellent iFit app to simulate real-world ridingA reasonably priced, high-quality spin bike with connected featuresA quality bike and app make this model a close second to Peloton for at-home studio cycling workouts
Rating Categories Schwinn Airdyne AD6 Bowflex VeloCore 16 NordicTrack Commerc... Schwinn IC4 Echelon Connect EX-5s
Exercise Quality (30%) Sort Icon
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Comfort (20%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
User Interface (20%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Features (20%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Setup and Portability (10%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
7.0
Specs Schwinn Airdyne AD6 Bowflex VeloCore 16 NordicTrack Commerc... Schwinn IC4 Echelon Connect EX-5s
Max. Weight Capacity 300 lbs 325 lbs 350 lbs 330 lbs 300 lbs
Display LCD display: 2.5" W x 6" H 16" HD tilting touchscreen 22" HD rotating touchscreen LCD (measure) 22" HD tilting touchscreen
Resistance Settings Unlimited 100 levels 24 levels 100 levels 32 levels
Recommended Height Range not specified, 10" of seat height adjustment 5'1" to 6'5" not specified, 13" of seat height adjustment not specified, 8" of seat height adjustment 4'11" to 6'4"
Style Airdyne Spin Spin Upright Spin
Resistance type Fan Magnetic Magnetic Weighted flywheel with adjustable magnetic resistance Magnetic
Companion App time, speed, distance, calories, watts, pulse JRNY (also works with Peloton and Zwift) (subscriptions required) iFit (subscription required) distance, time, speed, calories, RPM, heart rate EchelonFit (subscription required)
Measured Dimensions 46" L x 25"W x 51.75" H 59.8" L x 25.5" W x 52.5" H 58" L x 22" W x 60" H 48.75" L x 21.25" W x 52" H 58" L x 21.5" W x 61" H
Measured Weight 112 lbs 158.3 lbs 203 lbs 106 lbs 124 lbs
Resistance Adjustment type n/a Knob Handlebar buttons or AutoAdjust Knob Knob
Connectivity None Bluetooth, WiFi Bluetooth, WiFi None Bluetooth, WiFi, ethernet
Heart Rate Sensor Compatible but not included Bluetooth armband included Compatible but not included Bluetooth armband included Compatible but not included
Other Features Pedals with safety straps, transport wheels, water bottle holder, device holder Transport wheels, Bluetooth heart rate armband, 3 lb dumbells, leaning mode, dual-sided pedals, speakers, device shelf, USB port Transport wheels, 2 water bottle holders, 3 lb dumbells, adjustable fan, adjustable incline (works with AutoAdjust), Google Maps integration, two 2" speakers Bluetooth, works with Zwift and Peloton apps, USB charging port, device shelf, 2 water bottle holders, 3 lb weights, weight cradles, Bluetooth Heart rate armband, dual sided pedals with cleats Transport wheels, 2 bottle holders, dual-sided pedals, front and rear power ports, handweight cradles, USB port
Warranty Frame: 10 years, Parts: 2 years, Electronics: 1 year Frame and Parts: 2 years, Electronics: 1 year, Labor: 1 year Frame: 10 years, Parts: 2 years, Labor: 1 year Frame: 10 years, Parts: 3 years, Labor: 1 year 1-year limited warranty


Best Overall Exercise Bike


Bowflex VeloCore 16


84
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Exercise Quality 9.0
  • Comfort 8.0
  • User Interface 8.0
  • Features 9.0
  • Setup and Portability 7.0
REASONS TO BUY
Unique lean feature
Console can stream entertainment and JRNY App (subscriptions required)
JRNY app is less expensive than the competition
Feature loaded
Works with 3rd party apps like Zwift and Peloton
REASONS TO AVOID
JRNY app has limited studio classes compared to some others
Slightly larger footprint than other models
The touchscreen has limited mobility
SPECIFICATIONS
Display 16" HD tilting touchscreen
Max. Weight Capacity 325 lbs
Resistance Settings 100 levels
Recommended Height Range 5'1" to 6'5"
Style Spin
The Bowflex VeloCore 16 offers a unique at-home cycling experience. This commercial-quality spin bike has 100 levels of magnetic resistance suitable for all fitness levels, but it sets itself apart with its unique lean feature. A locking mechanism keeps it stationary, but when unlocked, the rider can lean the bike from side to side to simulate a more natural riding motion and follow along with the JRNY app's lean classes. While it may sound a little gimmicky, this feature effectively works the core and other muscle groups while you ride. The 16-inch touchscreen uses Bluetooth with accessories and wifi to connect to the JRNY app. JRNY offers a huge range of studio classes, Explore the World scenic rides, and virtual coach programs to choose from. Plus, it offers the unique ability to stream entertainment from popular services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max (subscriptions required) to watch while you ride. It doesn't match the sheer number of classes on apps like Peloton or iFit, but JRNY provides a fair amount of variety, loads of off-the-bike workouts, and costs less than the competition. The VeloCore also works with Peloton and Zwift through your device, adding even more workout options.

Though we still found it adequate, the VeloCore's 16-inch touchscreen is smaller than the screens on some of the other models we tested. (You can purchase the Velocore with a 22-inch screen for an additional fee.) The screen also has limited mobility, with a small range of tilt but no ability to rotate for viewing off the bike. While the JRNY app offers plenty to satisfy most users, our testers all agreed that those in search of studio classes would be better off looking elsewhere. Due to the nature of the bike's design and unique lean feature, it has a slightly larger footprint than other bikes we tested, though this probably won't matter unless you're super tight on space. Otherwise, the VeloCore is an excellent bike that offers something unique with its lean feature, plus the variety of the JRNY app and the ability to stream entertainment and work with third-party apps, which provide many options and broaden its appeal. If you don't want the lean and want a machine that is easier to set up and move, check out the Peloton.

Long-Term thoughts: We've gotten great usage from the VeloCore and have an even deeper appreciation for the JRNY app; it's an engaging and entertaining way to exercise. According to lead tester Joshua Hutchens, “The bike itself is phenomenal, and being able to lean into your turns or jump into a sprint mixes up the routine; I replaced the saddle with something more road-oriented but have only praise for the bike and JRNY app..

Read more: BowFlex VeloCore 16 review

Taking the VeloCore from unpacking to deep testing. Assembly was involved, but when it was all put together, the VeloCore impressed us. The lean at first seemed like a gimmick, but over time, we came to appreciate the variation.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Best Spin Bike for the Money


Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike


68
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Exercise Quality 7.0
  • Comfort 8.0
  • User Interface 5.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Setup and Portability 7.0
REASONS TO BUY
Great value
Expansive resistance settings
Doesn't wobble side to side
Quiet
REASONS TO AVOID
Not much info on display
No classes or programs
SPECIFICATIONS
Display LCD display
Max. Weight Capacity 270 lbs
Resistance Settings Unlimited
Recommended Height Range not specified, 10" of seat height adjustment
Style Upright
The Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike is an affordable upright spin-style model. It features a belt-driven 35-pound weighted flywheel with an infinite resistance adjustment range. It looks and rides like a spin bike you might ride at the gym, and it is offered at a reasonable price. The considerable resistance range suits riders of all fitness levels or workout intensities. It boasts a fairly high comfort level with a quality seat and a good seat and handlebar height adjustment range. The assembly process is straightforward, and the unit can easily move around on its transport wheels. The steel frame is sturdy, and this bike is stable, no matter how hard you mash the pedals. It also includes useful features like cage pedals, a device shelf, and a water bottle cage.

Although we found the Yosuda to be a decent spin bike, it falls a bit short compared to its competitors due to its relatively simple design. The display only shows one data field at a time, and no pre-programmed workouts or connectivity features are available. As a result, you have complete control over your training. Nonetheless, this is still a high-quality and affordable option for anyone seeking a spin bike that can get the job done. Only a bit more expensive and quite capable is the Pro-form Carbon CX, which gives you a great platform for enjoying iFit workouts.

Read review: Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike

We set up the Yosuda at home to test how easy it was to assemble, how little space it took up, and how the overall workout experience rated.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Best for Home Studio Cycling


Peloton Bike+


83
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Exercise Quality 8.0
  • Comfort 8.0
  • User Interface 9.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Setup and Portability 9.0
REASONS TO BUY
Peloton app
Swiveling touchscreen
Sleek and sturdy bike
Excellent screen resolution
Assembly included
REASONS TO AVOID
Expensive
Ongoing monthly app membership cost
SPECIFICATIONS
Display 23.8" HD rotating touchscreen
Max. Weight Capacity 297 lbs
Resistance Settings 100 levels
Recommended Height Range 4'11" to 6'4"
Style Spin
Peloton has quickly grown into one of the most recognizable names in home fitness, and after testing the Peloton Bike+, we can tell you that it's more than just hype. While it is structurally nearly identical to the original Bike, the Bike+ has had some minor cosmetic changes, and it now comes with an upgraded 23.8-inch swiveling HD touchscreen, better speakers, improved connectivity, Auto-Follow automatic resistance changes, and more. These changes have also resulted in a significant price increase, but thankfully, that includes free delivery and professional assembly. The bike is sleek and streamlined, with 100 levels of nearly silent magnetic resistance and ample range for riders of all fitness levels. The screen is bright, has excellent resolution, and integrates seamlessly with the Peloton app, which is the highlight of the Bike+. Peloton has done an amazing job of developing their app, with live classes daily, thousands of on-demand studio classes of all types, lengths, music genres, etc., and the best instructors in the business. After using the app during testing, we learned firsthand why Peloton and its instructors have such a devoted following and a large user community. The new Auto-Follow resistance option will also change your resistance based on the instructor's prompts, or you can adjust it manually using the resistance knob. They also offer a broad range of off-the-bike workouts, and the swiveling screen makes it easy to follow along from anywhere in the room.

The price is the biggest downside here. The Peloton Bike+ is expensive, and the ongoing Peloton All-Access app membership adds extra cost. The bike is still perfectly functional without the membership, but your capabilities will be much more limited. While there are some scenic rides, the overwhelming majority of Peloton workouts are of the studio style. It is what Peloton is known for, but some folks may seek more variety. The Bowflex VeloCore and NordicTrac S22i offered similar performance for about half the cost. That said, if the at-home studio cycling experience is what you're after, it doesn't get any better than the Peloton Bike+.

Long-Term thoughts: After testing the Bike+, we knew we wanted to keep it for long-term testing and compare it to future exercise bikes. Tester Victoria McNamara tells us, “The Peloton workout is incredibly engaging and makes me want to spend more time spinning away the miles on this bike.” She uses the Bike+ as more than a bike; its rotating screen allows her to do fitness classes in front of the bike. Our test bike has held up well. It once sat idle for a couple of weeks, which led to it being squeaky when it powered on, but that has subsided.

Read more: Peloton Bike+ review

The Peloton is still hard to beat for live classes.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Best Airdyne Bike


Schwinn Airdyne AD6


75
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Exercise Quality 9.0
  • Comfort 9.0
  • User Interface 6.0
  • Features 6.0
  • Setup and Portability 6.0
REASONS TO BUY
Fluid exercise motion
Cooling built-in
Seated cardio
Easy to use
Requires no electricity or wifi
REASONS TO AVOID
Basic user interface
Loud at high speeds
No classes available
SPECIFICATIONS
Display LCD display: 2.5" W x 6" H
Max. Weight Capacity 300 lbs
Resistance Settings Unlimited
Recommended Height Range not specified, 10" of seat height adjustment
Style Airdyne
The Schwinn AD6 is known as an Airdyne-style bike, renowned for giving a full-body workout from a seated position. Centered over a cooling fan that provides resistance, you can ride the air bike with arms, legs, or a combination. It feels like a full-body exercise machine more than an exercise bike; the full-body workout sets it apart. This model's 20" fan may limit its resistance, but we found it adequate for our workouts of up to 700 watts. Our fittest testers got a great workout with the fan's resistance. With no connection to the internet or the electrical outlet, this bike has no extra costs associated with apps and power.

The AD6 isn't the best option for connected fitness classes. If you're looking for an exercise machine while reading or browsing on a tablet, the Airdyne wouldn't be our best choice. While there is a device stand, the moving arm levers make access tricky. Similarly, the water bottle holder rests in front of the display screen, making it hard to grab through the moving arm levers. Tester Graham Faulknor had this to say, “I'm so impressed with the AD6 and the amazing cardio workout I get from this machine; it feels exhausting but also has a low impact.” This is the perfect exercise machine for older users; it's incredibly easy to mount and comfortable to ride. If you want a slightly better user interface and a few more features, check out the Assaultfitness Assaultbike Classic. However, we found the Assaultbike to have a lower exercise quality and less comfort.

Long-Term thoughts: We held on to the AD6 after testing because we could get such an intense workout on this machine in such a short amount of time. Living with this bike has been great; it's comfortable, easy to use, and helps us quickly burn calories. What we find really unique about this bike is how smoothly it operates; it makes exercise much more comfortable. While you can use this bike for an intense workout, it has become a favorite with our senior crowd. “Mixed with pickle-ball, this is all the exercise I need,” remarked a tester's father.

Read more: Schwinn AD6 review

Switching from a full-body workout to an upper-body workout is as simple as putting your feet on the pegs.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Best Connected Spin Bike Without a Screen


Schwinn IC4


80
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Exercise Quality 9.0
  • Comfort 8.0
  • User Interface 7.0
  • Features 9.0
  • Setup and Portability 5.0
REASONS TO BUY
Less expensive than screen-equipped connected bikes
Lots of included features
Bluetooth to pair with your device for use with JRNY or third-party apps
Comes with 1-year JRNY membership
REASONS TO AVOID
Doesn't include a screen
Resistance levels and power readings don't integrate perfectly with Peloton or Zwift
SPECIFICATIONS
Display LCD (measure)
Max. Weight Capacity 330 lbs
Resistance Settings 100 levels
Recommended Height Range not specified, 8" of seat height adjustment
Style Upright
The Schwinn IC4 offers a quality connected spin bike experience at a more reasonable price than the competition. A top-ranked model in our best exercise bike review, the IC4 is more of a value proposition when compared to the screen-equipped competition. This bike does not have a fancy touchscreen, so you will need your tablet or phone to use JRNY or third-party apps like Peloton and Zwift (subscriptions required). Otherwise, this bike performs roughly on par with the more expensive models. The IC4 has a sturdy feel with 100 levels of quiet magnetic resistance. It uses Bluetooth to connect to your device to use the JRNY app and has a device holder to keep your screen in view while you ride. The JRNY app offers a variety of workouts, with studio classes, virtual coach, and Explore the World scenic rides, as well as the ability to stream entertainment from your favorite subscription services (like Netflix, Hulu, etc.). In addition to cycling workouts, JRNY has a full range of off-the-bike classes to help you achieve total body fitness. The ability to use third-party apps like Peloton and Zwift expands this bike's versatility even further, and the Peloton app is much less expensive when used on a non-Peloton product. The IC4 console provides a variety of metrics for your current workout. The included 3-pound hand weights, dual-function pedals, a Bluetooth heart rate armband, and bottle holders enhance the user experience.

While the IC4 works with apps like Zwift, it isn't perfect, and the power output reading is a bit high. While this isn't necessarily a problem for casual riders, it could cause some issues if you compete with other riders on the app (the bike can be recalibrated for better accuracy, but it still won't be perfect). The console's speed and distance readings were higher than they should have been, but this is only a problem if you base your workouts on those metrics. Beyond these inaccuracies, the IC4 is a reasonably priced connected bike that can get you into the studio and virtual cycling scene without breaking the bank. While this is a tremendous value, if you are on a super tight budget and want good exercise quality with no frills, check out the Yosuda.

Long-Term thoughts: This bike is for you if you want the most for the dollar. According to lead tester Joshua Hutchens, "The IC4 is the same bike as the Bowflex C6, so buy whichever one you can find for less; it's an impressively simple bike. You'll have to bring your own entertainment, but that's probably one of the benefits of this bike."

Read more: Schwinn IC4 review

The surprisingly capable, sturdy, and affordable IC4. We have tested this bike for over five years and are still impressed with its performance, durability, and value.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Best Bang for Your Buck Recumbent Bike


Marcy Recumbent ME-709


55
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Exercise Quality 6.0
  • Comfort 8.0
  • User Interface 4.0
  • Features 4.0
  • Setup and Portability 5.0
REASONS TO BUY
Reasonable price
Comfortable seated position
Lightweight for a recumbent
REASONS TO AVOID
Limited features
Large footprint
Limited resistance range/workout intensity
SPECIFICATIONS
Display LCD display: 3" W x 1.5" H
Max. Weight Capacity 300 lbs
Resistance Settings 8 levels
Recommended Height Range not specified, 12" of seat height adjustment
Style Recumbent
For a simple and effective recumbent budget exercise bike offered at a very reasonable price, look no further than the Marcy ME-709. This affordable model boasts a high comfort level with an easy step-through design, a large padded seat and backrest, and a padded handlebar. It has eight magnetic resistance levels and is best suited for exercise in the light to moderate-intensity range. The display is nothing fancy, but it shows pertinent workout information with relatively intuitive controls. The ME-709 is adjustable for length to accommodate a broad user height range, plus it has transport wheels, a smaller footprint, and a lower weight than other recumbents we have tested.

The Marcy ME-709 has a limited resistance range; those with a high fitness level or seeking a more intense workout may want to look elsewhere. It is also a relatively basic, no-frills model that lacks the more expensive competition's bells and whistles. While it may not be feature-packed, it is easy to use and provides a consistent, quality workout. We feel this inexpensive model is perfect for anyone on a budget who doesn't require fancy features or super high resistance levels and prefers the recumbent style.

Read more: Marcy Recumbent ME-709 review

exercise bike - the marcy recumbent is one of the most comfortable exercise bikes we...
The Marcy Recumbent is one of the most comfortable exercise bikes we tested.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Best For Limited Space


Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse


55
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Exercise Quality 6.0
  • Comfort 5.0
  • User Interface 5.0
  • Features 5.0
  • Setup and Portability 7.0
REASONS TO BUY
Folds compactly for storage
Simple no-frills design
Heart rate sensor
REASONS TO AVOID
Limited resistance range
Basic display
SPECIFICATIONS
Display LCD display: 3.3" W x 1.5" H
Max. Weight Capacity 300 lbs
Resistance Settings 8 levels
Recommended Height Range 5'3" to 6'1"
Style Upright/semi-recumbent
The Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright is an inexpensive semi-recumbent budget exercise bike with a convenient folding design. This bike provides a quality workout experience at nearly half the cost of the competition, with a simple and no-frills design that gets the job done. It has eight smooth and quiet magnetic resistance levels for workouts ranging from easy to moderate in difficulty. The simple console has a liquid crystal display and a single button to control your workout information. The large padded seat is reasonably comfortable and has padded handles around the console with integrated heart rate sensors. The simple folding design significantly reduces its footprint when not in use, and it can easily fit in a closet or a corner. It is also relatively lightweight and has integrated transport wheels, making it easy to move around.

The Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic bike is advertised as an upright-style bike, but it feels more like a semi-recumbent bike due to its relaxed seated position. It's unsuitable for high-intensity workouts because its resistance range is limited, and you can't stand up while pedaling like on a true upright or spin bike. However, it's a convenient and reasonably priced option if you have limited storage space.

Read more: Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright review

exercise bike - the folding magnetic upright is a great affordable folding model...
The Folding Magnetic Upright is a great affordable folding model that is best for users with limited space.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Best Overall Bike Trainer


Tacx Neo 2T Smart


REASONS TO BUY
Calibration not required
Realistic road-feel
Widely compatible and includes support for third-party apps
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy
Expensive
SPECIFICATIONS
Measured Weight 47 lbs
Drive Type Direct drive
Roll Out Time @ 200 watts 26 seconds
Power Comparison 1-3 watts, 1%
Communication Protocol ANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth FTMS
If you're an avid cyclist looking for a bike trainer to attach your bike to through the winter months, our top recommendation is the Tacx Neo 2T Smart. In our bike trainer review, it earns top honors for being a versatile and smooth ride. It will also simulate bumps if you're using it with Zwift. This trainer syncs up with various apps via ANT+ FE-C and Bluetooth Smart FTMS, allowing you to do virtual training sessions. It requires no calibration and has one of the most accurate power readers available. It can run on your riding power, which is great if there's no outlet nearby. It fits most frames, axles, and the major cassette brands (including Shimano, SRAM Xd, and Campagnolo).

As one of the heaviest trainers we tested, you'll probably want to pick a spot for this one and keep it there. It's also incredibly pricey, which means this model is best suited for serious cyclists who have a dedicated training regimen for the off-seasons. If that sounds like you, we can't recommend the Tacx Neo 2T enough. Scoring just behind the Tacx is the Wahoo Fitness KICKR, which we also highly recommend. Our testers all remarked how “lifelike” the Tacx felt.

Read more: Tacx Neo 2T Smart review

Showing the assembly of the Tacx Neo, the nighttime lights, and the trainer in action.
Credit: Ryan Baham

Best Budget Bike Trainer


BalanceFrom Bike Trainer


REASONS TO BUY
Inexpensive
Does the trick
Portable
REASONS TO AVOID
Very Basic
Loud
SPECIFICATIONS
Measured Weight 19 lbs
Drive Type Tire drive
Roll Out Time @ 200 watts 5 seconds
Power Comparison N/A
Communication Protocol None
If you've read through our exercise bike review and been overwhelmed by the cost, here is a budget option that will get you started spinning. This basic trainer has enough utility to help burn some calories and can be easily stowed. The BalanceFrom Bike Trainer in our bike trainer review won an award for value. It's not fancy, but it does the trick if you're looking for a low-cost, low-commitment way to spin some winter miles. This machine doesn't need to be calibrated, connected to the internet, or associated with an app. At 20 lbs and foldable, it's highly portable and easy to store.

The stand-out feature of this trainer is its price. You'll want something with a more realistic road feel and resistance for anything more than casual spins to maintain fitness. This trainer is incredibly simple; that's the ups and downsides. If keeping it simple and inexpensive are your priorities, check out the BalanceFrom Bike Trainer. Tester Rachael Lamore says, “This thing is rad; I love that I can so easily attach my own bike and not have a giant exercise bike.

Read more: BalanceFrom Bike Trainer review

The BalanceFrom bike trainer is simple and effective.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
84
Bowflex VeloCore 16
Best Overall Exercise Bike
$2,200
Editors' Choice Award
83
Peloton Bike+
Best for Home Studio Cycling
$2,495
Editors' Choice Award
83
MYX II Plus
$1,599
83
NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle
$1,999
80
Schwinn IC4
Best Connected Spin Bike Without a Screen
$999
Top Pick Award
79
Echelon Connect EX-5s
$1,600
76
Renpho AI Smart Exercise Bike
$600
75
Schwinn Airdyne AD6
Best Airdyne Bike
$799
Top Pick Award
75
BowFlex IC Bike SE
$1,099
74
Schwinn 130 Upright Bike
$499
70
Echelon Connect EX-8s
$2,500
69
Pro-form Carbon CX
$599
68
Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike
Best Spin Bike for the Money
$340
Best Buy Award
68
Assaultfitness Assaultbike Classic
$749
55
Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse
Best For Limited Space
$203
Best Buy Award
55
Marcy Recumbent ME-709
Best Bang for Your Buck Recumbent Bike
$210
Best Buy Award
49
DeskCycle Under Desk Exerciser
$199

exercise bike - we tested all of the bikes in this review for an extended period to...
We tested all of the bikes in this review for an extended period to learn their ins and outs and identify their strengths and weaknesses.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

How We Test Exercise Bikes


After researching the best exercise bikes on the market, we purchased nine models to test and compare them. Our varied selection includes models ranging from budget-friendly spin bikes to the most advanced connected, screen-equipped bikes that money can buy. To start, we assembled each model ourselves (when applicable) before diving into our rigorous testing process. Over several months, we spent countless hours riding each model, often back to back for direct comparison. We explored the full range of exercise intensity, from easy spins to hard interval workouts, to get a feel for each bike's exercise quality. We bought companion app memberships, navigated screens, followed along with classes and workout programs, and analyzed the comfort and features of each model in the process. Learn more about how we tested exercise bikes here.

We use five performance metrics to score:
  • Exercise Quality: including companion apps (weighted 35% of the overall score)
  • Comfort: seat, grips and overall ergonomics (weighted 20%)
  • User Interface: screens, buttons, and apps (weighted 20%)
  • Features: additional accessories and unique abilities (weighted 15%)
  • Portability and Setup: both speed assembly and ease of moving around (weighted 10%)

Why Trust GearLab


We use these predetermined metrics to focus on product performance differences while testing and evaluating them. Spending many hours riding each bike allows us to get a feel for the range of exercise intensity and the overall quality of the experience. This includes the range of resistance and a deep dive into the bikes' respective programs and companion apps to examine the variety, quality, and options offered and how the apps differ. These days, the apps often dictate the experience many exercise bikes offer and can be as important a consideration as the bike itself. We weigh exercise quality at 35% of the total score because exercise is the point of an exercise bike. The other metrics are still important but less critical to overall performance and are therefore weighted less. The combined scores across our rating metrics help us determine our award winners.

Our budget exercise bike test was led by Joshua Hutchens. Hutchens is the Senior Bike Review Editor at GearLab and has worked with bicycles his entire life. Hutchens has found that taking a break from cardio isn't good for the head or legs, so he keeps fit on exercise bikes, indoor trainers, and treadmills when snow covers the trails. Joshua has worked extensively with bicycle fit and fitness and enjoys connected, on-location workouts like iFit. In addition to constantly testing new models, he routinely uses several different models of budget exercise bikes in his fitness quest. In the “On” season, he can be found on the hundreds of miles of single-track surrounding Lake Tahoe or teaching mountain bike classes through the local community college.

Also testing for this review is Jeremy Benson. Benson has decades of cycling experience and has spent many years contributing to GearLab cycling reviews. In addition to testing and reviewing mountain bikes, this Lake Tahoe resident races in the Pro class in endurance gravel and mountain bike races. During winter, Benson maintains his fitness while backcountry skiing and spending long hours spinning away the miles on indoor trainers and stationary bikes. He has ridden indoors for over two decades and has tried every type of trainer and exercise bike imaginable, from commercial spin and training bikes to at-home exercise models. In that time, he developed a keen sense of performance, qualities, and features that differentiate the styles and models on the market.

When possible, we assembled each bike ourselves just as you would if...
When possible, we assembled each bike ourselves just as you would if you had one shipped to your home.
The bulk of our testing involved riding each bike as much as...
The bulk of our testing involved riding each bike as much as possible while analyzing comfort, exercise quality, features, the user interface, and companion apps.
We spent many hours riding these bikes, and even more time poring...
We spent many hours riding these bikes, and even more time poring over the various companion apps.

How to Pick the Best Exercise Bike for You


Below are the key questions to ask before buying an exercise bike.

What Style: Spin, Upright, Recumbent, or Under Desk?


Spin Bikes: These are the most common type of exercise bike used for building fitness and getting intense workouts. They have a large flywheel with magnetic or friction resistance. Spin bikes are also the types that generally come with apps and classes. Generally, the highest-rated exercise bikes are spin bikes. Note that with spin bikes, your legs are always moving; there is no coasting. This makes the workout more intense than riding a road bike, where you often coast on flats and downhills.

Upright Bikes: These put you in a more upright position compared to a spin bike and are generally for more moderate workouts. Most upright bikes do not have built-in large screens for classes but instead have smaller LCD screens for basic built-in workouts. Some upright bikes offer a folding option for storage in a closet or corner of your room. Folding bikes are generally lighter but less stable, so you need to be more careful when getting on and off them, and standing up during a workout is not recommended.

Recumbent Bikes: These bikes put you in a leaned-back sitting position that is generally more comfortable and easier on your back. Recumbent bikes are used for lower-intensity workouts and rehabilitation.

Under-Desk: These are the smallest exercise bikes and can generally fit under a couch or in a tight space. Many people use them while sitting in an office chair or living room chair to get a light workout and blood flowing. They typically don't come with apps and are not ideal for intense workouts.

Fan Bikes: These bikes engage both your arms and legs while moving a fan. It's a very intense and specific workout popular with CrossFit and more intense exercise routines. They generally don't come with programs or online classes.

Do You Need Online Classes?


The type of online classes you want to take (or don't) is a major factor influencing not only the upfront cost of an exercise bike but also the monthly and total lifetime cost. The most expensive bikes often require subscriptions that can cost anywhere from $10 to $50 a month. Conversely, the least expensive bikes often don't require subscriptions or don't even offer them. Are the subscriptions worth it? That's an individual question. In general, subscription classes like Peloton can help motivate some people or entertain others; their cost however, isn't insignificant.

Are You Better Off With a Bike Trainer?


Bike trainers let you hook up your road bike after removing the rear wheel. This allows you to utilize the equipment you may already have without having to fit a new bike or purchase a large piece of equipment. Bike trainers generally occupy very little space and are more affordable but some high-end options rival the price of high-end exercise bikes. The downside to bike trainers is that you'll need to supply your own road bike and it will endure some mechanical wear. Depending on how dedicated you make your road bike to the trainer, there may be setup time involved every time you want to do a workout. Bike trainers are ideal for dedicated cyclists who generally want to stay active during winter when the weather is less ideal for road biking.

exercise bike - four spin bikes are ready for our side-by-side tests.
Four spin bikes are ready for our side-by-side tests.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Analysis and Test Results


Each model underwent the same rigorous testing process and evaluation. We identified several important metrics to each model's performance: exercise quality (including companion apps), comfort, user interface, features, and setup and portability. We took extensive notes during testing and scored each model on our predetermined metrics to identify our award winners and top recommendations.


Value


Many modern exercise bikes with fancy touchscreens, app integration, and cool features can cost a pretty penny, and that's before you even factor in the ongoing cost of companion app subscriptions. If you're willing and able to pay top dollar for the latest and greatest models, we doubt you'll be disappointed. Considering their price-to-performance ratio, a few tested models strike us as a particularly good value. The Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike is budget priced but bike provides a great workout. The Schwinn AD6 is a reasonably priced model that won't ever cost you additional subscription fees. Our testers say, “It's not as entertaining as the more expensive competition,” but everyone agrees that it provides a solid workout, saving you money over the long haul. If you want to start small, check out DeskCycle Under desk Exerciser, it's simple, cheap, and easy to store.

exercise bike - it doesn&#039;t get much more simple or compact than this.
It doesn't get much more simple or compact than this.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Exercise Quality


The entire point of an exercise bike is to get exercise, and all the models we tested can provide that workout. However, the quality of that workout varies somewhat among the models we tested, with some offering a commercial-level or professional studio-type experience. In contrast, others fall below the high bar set by the top-ranked models. With technological advancements, many high-end models now include screens, wireless connectivity, and apps that contribute to the overall exercise experience.


Among the higher-end models like the Peloton Bike+, Bowflex, Echelon Connect, NordicTrack, Schwinn IC4and MYX II Plus, the bikes themselves are structurally quite similar. All are well-built and sturdy machines that handle hard efforts and easy spins alike. These bikes offer a wide range of fit adjustments for comfort and performance. They connect to their respective companion apps for viewing classes and videos through their fancy touchscreens (except the IC4, which does not have an attached screen). While they have various resistance levels (Peloton, Schwinn, and Bowflex have 100, Echelon has 32, NordicTrack has 24, and the MYX's adjustable friction resistance doesn't have preset levels), they all offer a range of resistance from undetectable to almost impossible to start. These levels should be suitable for all fitness levels sand workout intensities. Even the lower end bikes with smaller price tags offer tremendous variability in resistance, it's their stability that sets them apart.

exercise bike - a unique adjustable incline, autoadjust resistance and incline, and...
A unique adjustable incline, AutoAdjust resistance and incline, and integration with the iFit app provide an excellent immersive ride experience on the NordicTrack S22i.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

The NordicTrack S22i has adjustable incline/decline, and the iFit app's trainer-led scenic rides and AutoAdjust resistance and incline help simulate the feel of real-world riding and provide a unique, immersive experience. Bowflex brings something unique with the lean feature on the VeloCore. The bike rides in a traditional stationary position or unlocks to enter lean mode, where the rider can tip the bike side to side while following along with the lean programs on the JRNY app. Leaning the bike provides a natural-ish riding sensation and a surprisingly effective workout for the core and other stabilization muscles.

exercise bike - not only does the myx ii plus provide a great cycling workout, but...
Not only does the MYX II Plus provide a great cycling workout, but included extras and swiveling screen set you up for following along with the OpenFit off-bike workouts too.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

The Peloton Bike+ has an Auto-Follow feature, and the bike can make automatic resistance changes based on the class you're following. The large screen can be turned and tilted in any direction during the off-bike workouts. The MYX II Plus comes with a set of 6 hand weights, a kettlebell, mats, a resistance band, and a foam roller to outfit your exercise space with just about everything you need for the on and off-the-bike workouts on the OpenFit app. Like the Peloton, the MYX's screen also rotates and tilts for easy viewing.

exercise bike - the renpho ai smart bike isn&#039;t physically as impressive as the...
The Renpho AI Smart Bike isn't physically as impressive as the high-end competition, but its FTMS Bluetooth connection and app compatibility allow you to choose the workout experience you want.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

The Renpho AI Smart Bike doesn't quite match the high-end feel of the higher-priced competition. Still, it offers a huge range of resistance, and its FTMS Bluetooth connectivity and compatibility with various apps allow you to choose the workout experience you prefer. The Yosuda forgoes the fancy screens and connectivity of the top-ranked models, but there's no limit to how hard you can work on this bike.

exercise bike - connected exercise bikes, particularly those with attached screens...
Connected exercise bikes, particularly those with attached screens, rely quite heavily on their companion apps and those apps are a huge part of the overall exercise experience.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Companion App/Connectivity


As the market continues to mature, these once-simple machines have grown along with technology and become much more than just bikes. These days, many bikes come with large touchscreens that connect to companion apps where you can view live and on-demand classes and videos, and often, the apps themselves and the different experiences they provide may even be a more important element of the exercise quality than the bike itself for some users. Many bikes without dedicated screens use Bluetooth to connect to your device and apps. These apps usually cost $20-$40 a month.

exercise bike - the peloton app is arguably the most important aspect of the peloton...
The Peloton app is arguably the most important aspect of the Peloton Bike+. If you like the studio-style workouts they offer, it is the best out there.
Credit: Laura Casner

Screen-equipped exercise bikes rely on wifi to connect to their companion app and Bluetooth to connect to wireless accessories and other devices. All the bikes we tested with screens have their respective companion apps; Peloton works with Peloton All-Access, NordicTrack with iFit, MYX with OpenFit, Echelon with Echelon, and Bowflex with JRNY. Peloton is undoubtedly the elephant in the room, particularly in the context of live and on-demand studio cycling classes. It's not just the sheer number of classes; the excellent instructors, variety, user community, and production quality are second to none. After testing, it's easy to see why Peloton is so incredibly popular, even with its high monthly cost on top of the price of the Bike+. The Echelon app is similar to Peloton, with loads of live and on-demand studio classes, scenic rides, and off-the-bike workouts. It costs slightly less and provides a similar experience, but it hasn't inspired the cult-like following of its direct competitor. MYX's OpenFit app is also very studio-focused, and while it feels a bit sparse compared to Echelon or Peloton for cycling, there are tons of off-bike videos for total body fitness.

exercise bike - the jrny app is great because it provides lots of options. studio...
The JRNY app is great because it provides lots of options. Studio classes, Explore the World scenic rides, virtual coach programs, the ability to stream entertainment, plus the bike is compatible with Peloton and Zwift.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

The Bowflex VeloCore uses JRNY, a less expensive app that provides the user with many options. JRNY has the typical studio classes (though significantly less than Peloton, for example), Explore the World scenic rides, and many “virtual coach” programs. One unique aspect of the JRNY app is that you can select the music genre or scenic ride to go with the virtual coach workout, and you can even stream entertainment on Netflix, Hulu, and Disney Plus (subscriptions required) through the screen. This bike also works with Peloton and Zwift through your device, providing flexibility that doesn't constrain you to one platform.

exercise bike - ifit is quite different from the competition. the trainer-led scenic...
iFit is quite different from the competition. The trainer-led scenic rides are great for those who don't love the studio-style classes, although there are quite a few of those too.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

The NordicTrack S22i integrates with the iFit app through its touchscreen. iFit is quite different from the more studio class-focused apps of the competition, though it does have quite a few of those, as it is focused more on trainer-led scenic rides. Thousands of these videos take place in beautiful places worldwide with engaging trainers who tell stories, provide prompts, and give training advice. The bike can also be controlled through its AutoAdjust feature, resulting in an immersive experience that almost feels like you're there on the ride. This is not the best choice for those seeking the Peloton experience, but that's also its appeal.

exercise bike - renpho&#039;s free ai gym app is fairly basic, but it has a number of...
Renpho's free AI gym app is fairly basic, but it has a number of videos, fitness tests, and challenge courses. This bike also works with a variety of third-party apps.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Connected bikes without screens typically use Bluetooth to connect to a tablet or smartphone app. The Schwinn IC4 can connect to your device to work with the JRNY companion app and third-party apps like Peloton and Zwift (though not perfectly with Zwift). Similarly, the Renpho AI Bike uses Bluetooth to connect to a device to use the free AI Gym app, which works with various third-party apps. The Renpho has the FTMS Bluetooth protocol, which allows the bike to make resistance changes for you when used with certain apps. There are no classes or connectivity for the air bikes.

exercise bike - the myx ii plus has the largest range of fit adjustments.
The MYX II Plus has the largest range of fit adjustments.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Comfort


Comfort is subjective, of course, so in addition to our tester's comfort level on each bike, we did our best to examine its fit range and comfort features along with touchpoints like the seat and handlebar. All the bikes we tested have fit adjustments to suit a range of rider heights. We measured the vertical and horizontal seat and handlebar adjustability range, as those numbers will determine a comfortable fit for riders of different shapes and sizes. During testing, we also considered the comfort of each bike's seat and handlebar on multiple rides of various lengths and intensities.


Adjusting the Peloton seat and resistance is fast and intuitive.
Credit: Chris McNamara

All the bikes we tested strive to provide a comfortable fit for a wide range of user heights, but none do it quite as well as the MYX II Plus. The MYX bike has a weight limit of 350 lbs and is the most adjustable bike we tested, with a massive recommended user height range of 4'11" to 6'8". There are 13 inches of vertical and 8 inches of fore/aft seat adjustability and 6 inches of vertical and 3 inches of fore/aft handlebar adjustment range. The seat and handlebar are a little lackluster, but we found them comfortable and appropriate for this spin-style bike.

exercise bike - the echelon ex5-s is a comfortable bike with loads of adjustability...
The Echelon EX5-s is a comfortable bike with loads of adjustability and a large handlebar with lots of hand placement options.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

The Echelon EX-5s and the Schwinn IC4 also offer fit adjustments for the seat and handlebar vertically and horizontally. Neither bike provides as much adjustment range as the MYX, but both should be suitable for folks between roughly 4'11" and 6'4". Again, these bikes have slimmer, performance-oriented seats and large handlebars that offer multiple hand positions for various riding styles and comfort. The Bowflex VeloCore, NordicTrack S22i, and Peloton Bike+ will also work for riders of varying heights. These bikes all have seats that adjust vertically and fore/aft and handlebars that raise and lower a few inches. However, none of these bikes have horizontal handlebar adjustments, so you must compensate for reach length by shifting the seat on its horizontal adjustment. Regardless, we could always find a comfortable body position while testing.

exercise bike - while a bit more basic, the yosuda still has a large range of fit...
While a bit more basic, the Yosuda still has a large range of fit adjustments and a fairly comfortable handlebar.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

The less expensive models, like the Yosuda, Schwinn 130, and Renpho, all offer a sizeable seat adjustment range, but they have limited handlebar adjustments, larger seats, and more basic handlebars. Despite these differences, they provide a relatively comfortable riding experience.

exercise bike - not only does it swivel and tilt, but the touchscreen on the peloton...
Not only does it swivel and tilt, but the touchscreen on the Peloton Bike+ has the best resolution and color of all the models we tested.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

User Interface


The user interface refers to how a rider interacts with their exercise bike. Some models have simple dials or buttons to control resistance and digital displays to view metrics and information pertinent to your workout. In contrast, others feature fancy touchscreens to connect to companion apps and view workouts while you ride. Between the basic bikes and the premium models are bikes that connect via Bluetooth to your tablet or phone, which becomes your display, to use various training apps.


The Peloton Bike+ impressed us the most among the screen-equipped models we tested. The 23.8-inch HD touchscreen has excellent resolution, color, and touch sensitivity. Plus, it swivels and tilts, so you can optimize its position for viewing from any angle. The Bike+ has a knob to control the resistance manually, plus it has an optional Auto-Follow feature that changes resistance for you so you can focus even more on the workout.

exercise bike - the myx ii plus has a great touchscreen that swivels and tilts.
The MYX II Plus has a great touchscreen that swivels and tilts.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Not far behind the Peloton, the MYX II Plus has a 21.5-inch HD touchscreen with vibrant color and great resolution, and it also swivels and tilts for optimal viewing both on and off the bike. The NordicTrack S22i has a 22-inch HD touchscreen with vivid resolution that integrates well with the iFit app. This screen also swivels, but its tilt range limits its position for off-bike floor workouts. Unlike the other high-end models, the S22i doesn't use a knob to control resistance; instead, there are buttons on the handlebar to adjust incline and resistance, or the bike will do it for you through its AutoAdjust feature.

exercise bike - while it doesn&#039;t swivel, the screen on the echelon ex-5s can flip...
While it doesn't swivel, the screen on the Echelon EX-5s can flip all the way over for viewing from the front of the bike.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Two screen-equipped models have quality touchscreens, though they can't rotate to optimize the viewing angle for workouts off the bike. The Echelon EX-5s has a knob to control resistance and a 22-inch screen that tilts and flips over. This allows you to view workouts from in front of the bike but not from the sides. Similarly, the Bowflex VeloCore has a slightly smaller 16-inch screen, although it has a more limited range of tilt adjustment that works only to find the perfect angle for viewing while you ride.

exercise bike - the schwinn ic4 has a digital display, and when connected to a...
The Schwinn IC4 has a digital display, and when connected to a device there is a shelf to hold it in view.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Of the models without screens, the Schwinn IC4 has a resistance adjustment knob, a small digital display that shows many metrics while you ride, and a device holder if you choose to connect the bike to an app via Bluetooth. The Schwinn 130 Upright and the Renpho AI Smart Bike have buttons and a dial to control resistance, respectively, along with Bluetooth capabilities to pair with your device to be used as a display when using a compatible app.

exercise bike - the bowflex velocore has lots of features like bottle holders, hand...
The Bowflex VeloCore has lots of features like bottle holders, hand weights, and dual-function pedals, plus its lean feature is very unique.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Features


Most bikes include at least a few features intended to enhance the user experience, while others come loaded with all the bells and whistles you can think of. While a great workout is possible on a no-frills machine, many models now come with all the extras you could dream up. The best features are those that are useful and impactful for the rider or offer something unique to the overall experience.


It comes as no surprise that the screen-equipped high-end models score well in the features metric. Two models, however, stood out from the crowd with features that provide a unique workout experience. The Bowflex VeloCore is a commercial quality spin bike that sets itself apart with its lean feature. Riders can unlock the bike and lean it side to side while following along with the JRNY app's lean workouts, providing a more realistic ride feel and adding some core and stabilization muscle work to the workout. This bike also has the unique ability to stream entertainment through the JRNY app, works with third-party apps like Peloton and Zwift, and comes loaded with other features like hand weights, dual-function pedals, a heart rate armband, and more.

exercise bike - the nordictrack s22i is the only bike we tested with adjustable...
The NordicTrack S22i is the only bike we tested with adjustable incline. This feature simulates the feel of riding outdoors, especially when combined with AutoAdjust and the iFit app.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Like the VeloCore, the NordicTrack S22i offers something different with adjustable incline and decline. The large swiveling touchscreen integrates with the iFit app, and the AutoAdjust feature makes automatic resistance and incline changes based on the trainer-led scenic ride you're following for an immersive ride experience that is a real departure from the studio classes of the competition. This bike also has hand weights, an adjustable fan, bottle holders, and other useful features.

exercise bike - comparing the levels of resistance each model offers, the bars that...
Comparing the levels of resistance each model offers, the bars that extend to the top of the chart offer “infinite adjustability.”
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

The MYX II Plus offers some extras with its included set of six dumbbells, a kettlebell, mats, a resistance band, and a foam roller. The bike is quite nice with a large swiveling touchscreen, and the weights and mats include everything you need to follow along with the OpenFit app's on- and off-the-bike workouts for total-body fitness.

exercise bike - the swiveling screen is a great feature of the peloton bike+ that...
The swiveling screen is a great feature of the Peloton Bike+ that makes it easy to follow along with the app's off-bike workouts from any angle.
Credit: Laura Casner

The Peloton Bike+ also scores well here for its best-in-test swiveling screen that can be positioned in any direction for viewing on and off-bike workouts, excellent speakers, and the new Auto-Follow feature that makes automatic resistance changes based on the class you're following. For the models without a screen, the Schwinn IC4 has a lot to offer with dual function pedals, hand weights, water bottle holders, and Bluetooth connectivity to pair with your device and connect with the JRNY app and various third-party apps.

exercise bike - most bikes look like this when removed from their packaging. the...
Most bikes look like this when removed from their packaging. The NordicTrack S22i was one of the most time-consuming to assemble.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Setup and Portability


Most exercise bikes, except those that include professional assembly, are delivered in a large box and require some assembly to get them ready for use. We assembled each bike using the included instructions and tools to evaluate the ease of setup. We took note of the relative difficulty and time it took to complete the process. In terms of portability, we considered the weight of each model, how easy it is to move around, and measured the footprint and overall dimensions to see how much space they occupy. These bikes take up a fair amount of space, although the higher-end models with large touchscreens tend to be slightly larger overall.


Moving the Peloton around is awkward but not too heavy or difficult.
Credit: Chris McNamara

The clear winners regarding setup are the Peloton Bike+ and the MYX II Plus because they include delivery and professional assembly in the purchase price. You must clear a space, and the delivery team will assemble the bike. Both bikes have relatively average footprints compared to high-end models, but their large touchscreens make them somewhat tall and stand out in any room. At 140+ pounds each, these bikes are best left in a dedicated workout space, although they are fairly easy to move around on firm, flat surfaces thanks to their transport wheels.

exercise bike - the yosuda required some assembly, but it was much quicker and...
The Yosuda required some assembly, but it was much quicker and easier than the screen-equipped models.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

The Renpho AI Smart Bike, Schwinn Upright 130, and Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike scored well in this metric for their quick and easy assembly process and smaller dimensions. Unlike the heavier, higher-end bikes with more complicated assemblies, these models required fewer steps and time to complete the setup. With the smallest footprints of all the bikes tested, they also take up much less space in your home.

The Schwinn AD6, Bowflex VeloCore, and Echelon EX-5s weren't particularly difficult to assemble, but their heavier weight and the number of steps involved make them more time-consuming. You'll want to set aside 1-2 hours and enlist another person's help for several steps, particularly when connecting the wires and attaching the consoles on the Bowflex and Echelon bikes. Because it lacks a large screen, the AD6 is lighter and has a smaller footprint, while the VeloCore and EX-5s are a fair amount larger and heavier but comparable to other similar bikes with screens.

While the assembly was a bit more involved, the instructions were clear and all of the tools were provided.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

Conclusion


A quality exercise bike can be a great way to train fitness or meet new goals without ever leaving home. Are you starting your fitness journey or looking for more intense training? Either way, we have a recommendation for you. We've tested a variety of exercise equipment so you can build out your home gym. Adding a set of top-ranked dumbbells, the best exercise bands, or a top-rated yoga block can help you achieve total body fitness from the comfort of your own home. See our best portable home gym review for more advice on building out your home workout space.

Joshua Hutchens, Jeremy Benson