The 11 Best Exercise Bikes for Cycling at Home
With indoor cycling studios closed while we continue to social distance, many people have hunted for the best exercise bikes to round out their home gyms and continue taking Spin classes from their living rooms.
If you’ve been an avid indoor cycler, you’re not alone: Cycling is one of the most popular forms of exercise in the U.S. According to a Nielsen report, 14% of Americans say they cycle regularly, a figure that grows to about one in three when looking specifically at the 25-to-34 and 35-to-49 age groups. One reason indoor cycling has gained so much love is that it’s a great form of exercise for beginners to get started with. It’s also a low-impact form of exercise that’s easy on the joints, and unlike biking, pedaling indoors allows you to sneak in a tough cardio workout without taking to the streets. Stationary bikes also allow a certain level of engagement that a road bike can’t give you, syncing up to fitness apps though Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity.
“Indoor cycling really is suitable for every level of fitness because you completely control your own resistance and speed,” says Natalie Qayed, NASM-certified personal trainer and master instructor at Cycle Haus Nashville. And as with just about any kind of exercise, “there really is no fitness level you need to achieve before getting started.”
The best exercise bikes and Spin bikes for using at home can come with a steep price tag, though. Many of the solid options will set you back anywhere from several hundred dollars to a few thousand, depending on features.
“You get what you pay for. As with most fitness machines, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is,” says Quayed. “Quality is so important if you plan to have it for the long run.”
Before you make the plunge, gather some intel first: Think about the bikes you liked at different studios and gyms, and jot down some pros and cons of each, Quayed says. Then consider which features are important to you and your fitness goals. You’ll probably want one with a console (a bike’s monitor display), so you can track your metrics and know how far you’ve gone in a set amount of time, she says; that’s key to monitoring your progress and setting goals. Maybe you want one with a padded seat for added comfort, ergonomic handles for an easier grip, an LCD screen for following guided workouts, or WiFi connectivity to sync up to your playlist of choice. Some bikes even offer racks and accessories for storing other exercise equipment.
And ask yourself how much support you’ll need too, says Emily Collins, a Los Angeles–based indoor cycling instructor at Verve Studios. “Can you self-motivate enough to have just a standalone bike, or do you need a full-service bike such as the Peloton?” (Full-service bikes like Peloton offer interactive live classes, though you can also use apps like CycleCast to supplement your ride.)
Need some inspiration? Here, we asked indoor cycling instructors for recommendations on the best exercise bikes to use at home, and added some of our own SELF-approved models, as well.
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