The 9 Best Exercise Bikes of 2024

Why You Should Trust My Review of the Best Exercise Bikes of 2024

At, we bring you comprehensive reviews of exercise bikes so you can decide which one is right for you. Our staff thoroughly test all the exercise bikes we review. We install them, ride them, and try out all of the features. We get to know each and every exercise bike we review extremely well. Our reviewers log miles riding. We listen and record the sound of the motor, try out all aspects of the console and try the bike’s features, such as iFit.


Every exercise bike we review undergoes the same rigorous process. That way we can compare and contrast them and give you an honest review of what we think.


Our reviewers are exercise bike and fitness experts. Brian Boyce, the author of this review, is a licensed CPT, competitive bodybuilder, and is a 7-time national qualifier in both men’s bodybuilding and classic physique within the NPC competitions. He has coached and been coached on cardiovascular training, HIIT, and nutrition, particularly as it pertains to weight loss for competitions.

He is an expert at exercise bikes, has been on these bikes, and you can trust his opinion on all of the exercise bikes he reviews.



In Brief

Here are the best exercise bikes from several top brands. Also in the mix are a few popular products that might not score well in one category, but make up for it in another. We’ve broken down the list into three categories: recumbent, stationary upright, and indoor cycle trainer. Regardless of which style of bike you prefer, you will find nothing but the best of the best below.

Best Recumbent Bikes

Recumbent Exercise Bike

If you picture an exercise bike (or even a regular bike) in your mind, you’ll probably imagine a bike with a saddle and handlebars in an upright riding position. While this is how most bikes are designed, it’s not the only way. Say hello to the most popular alternative to upright cycles: recumbent bikes.

Recumbent bikes provide a strong alternative for those who find regular exercise bikes uncomfortable. The upright position of regular bikes forces most of your weight to be supported by your pelvis and your hands. While this is the standard cycling position, some users find it deeply uncomfortable. Regular bikes can also be tough on your ankles and knees. Long rides can lead to back, butt, and even wrist pain.

Most upright exercise bikes are fully adjustable, and you can usually change the saddle for comfort. Yet even then, some people simply cannot enjoy a regular exercise bike. If you’ve tried cycling and found it less than enjoyable, a recumbent exercise bike could be the perfect solution. Comfortable and easy to use, they are the ideal alternative for exercisers who don’t enjoy traditional exercise bikes.

Recumbent bikes are especially gentle on the body. Featuring high-backed seats, these bikes let riders lean back with support. The main advantages of recumbent bikes over traditional stationary bikes include the easy-to-access frame design and chair-like seat that allows for low-impact exercise. These advantages make recumbent bikes popular with both physical therapy patients and people in peak condition.

My three favorite recumbent exercise bikes are the NordicTrack Commercial VR25, the Sole LCR, and the NordicTrack Commercial VR21.

With the NordicTrack Commercial VR25, I’m particularly attracted to the feel of the automatic trainer control while using iFit. The iFit program comes with pretty much every NordicTrack or ProForm piece of equipment and is simply amazing. It’s the only workout app I’ve found thus far with live trainer-led workouts and automatic trainer control where either the trainer or program can adjust the machine’s resistance. I’ve used the iFit program on bikes, rowers, treadmills, and ellipticals, and never been failed. With thousands of on-demand videos, you can access programs which let you bike all over the Earth, as well as incorporate any other kind of workout into the mix as well. Other great points include:

  • 26 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Bluetooth-enabled
  • Wireless heart rate monitoring
  • 350-pound user weight maximum

With the Sole LCR, what we really attracted me is the 30-pound flywheel and 40 levels of magnetic resistance. As a rule, the heavier the flywheel, the more stable the ride. Silent magnetic resistance incorporates magnetic fields to control the resistance levels on the flywheel, as opposed to friction between moving parts. In addition to requiring less maintenance, I’ve found the magnetic resistance to be just as silent as advertised. It’s also incredibly smooth during transitions between levels. This also comes in handy when using any of the 10 built-in workouts. Other great points include:

  • Bluetooth heart rate monitoring
  • Terrific tablet holder
  • Great 350-pound user weight maximum
  • Nice 10.1″ touchscreen

With the NordicTrack VR21, like other NordicTrack products, I’m loving iFit all day long. A little smaller than other recumbent bikes, this unit fits easily into just about any room. But the big appeal is the fact that you can pedal all over the world on virtual bike races with iFit and let the machine control the resistance. When I’m using iFit, I’m able to better focus on the workout and less on the controls. It’s also easier to avoid cheating. Let’s face it, when you control the resistance, you’re prone to slack a bit. Other great points include:

  • 25 resistance levels of silent magnetic resistance
  • 20-pound flywheel
  • Comfortable mesh seat
  • Sturdy 350-pound user weight maximum
#1 - NordicTrack Commercial VR25

The combination of a tablet holder, touchscreen, built-in programs and iFit makes this unit engaging for almost anyone.

#2 - Sole LCR

The Sole LCR is a comfortable and reliable exercise bike for shared workout spaces and home gyms.

#3 - NordicTrack Commercial VR21

The comfortable Commercial VR21 is an entry-level recumbent bike with a variety of features and iFit readiness.

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Best Stationary Bikes

Stationary Exercise Bike

Stationary bikes provide the perfect simulation of using an outdoor bike. While you can get fit and lose weight cycling outdoors, it’s not always the best option. After all, you’ll have to take your chances with the traffic and many drivers are far from considerate to cyclists. On top of that, your workout is constantly interrupted by having to stop and obey the rules of the road. If you simply want to put your head down and maintain an appropriate exercise heart rate, this constant start/stop can be very frustrating.

For these reasons and others, many cyclists turn to stationary exercise bikes. With no traffic or weather to contend with, you can disengage your brain and focus 100% on your workout. The built-in displays and pre-loaded workouts ensure your time on a stationary bike is as productive as it is enjoyable. You can even park your bike in front of the TV and watch your favorite shows while you work out.

The classic stationary bike is an upright exercise bike. Compared with recumbent bikes, upright exercise bikes let riders burn calories more quickly. Yet, they are still low-impact when compared to indoor cycle trainers or spin bikes. Classic stationary bikes are popular with shoppers aiming to lose weight, get cardio exercise, and tone the lower body. Some are helpful for intense strength training too.

My three favorite stationary bikes are the bulletproof Assault Fitness AirBike, the NordicTrack Commercial VU19, and the Sole LCB.

With the Assault Fitness Airbike, the first thing I liked was the great way air resistance was incorporated. We used to call these “fan bikes” back in the day, and it’s easy to see why. You’ll pump the arm handles with your hands while pedaling through the giant fan which generates resistance. The harder you pedal, the higher the resistance. There’s something beautiful about the simplicity of a fan bike, and I’ve found this unit to be particularly well-built. Other key points include:

  • 25″ fan wheel with 6 blades provide unlimited resistance
  • 7 preset workout programs
  • Polar heart rate monitor compatible

The NordicTrack Commercial VU19 is another great iFit-enabled bike with nearly unlimited programming in terms of on-demand and live programming. With iFit, in addition to automatic trainer control, users can access Google Earth Workouts and ride anywhere on the world. With silent magnetic resistance, users can access up to 24 resistance levels. I had no trouble earning the burn with this upright model, the design of which was really easy on my joints. Other key points include:

  • 7″ iFit-enabled touchscreen
  • Great device holder
  • Self-adjusting fan
  • Great 325-pound user weight capacity

With the Sole LCB, the first thing that struck me was how solid the 27-pound flywheel felt as I pedaled. Granted, the bike uses magnetic resistance, but the weight of the flywheel remains a key factor in overall stability. This bike also has a great 10.1″ touchscreen and 22 built-in programs. Whether you pedal hard or gentle, there’s no reason to outgrow this bike what with 40 levels of resistance. Sole makes great fitness machines and has one of the best warranty programs on the market as well.

  • Bluetooth-enabled for heart rate monitors
  • Compatible with the Sole+ app
  • 350-pound user weight maximum
  • 10.1″ touchscreen

#1 - Assault Fitness AirBike

The Assault Fitness AirBike is a best-in-class fan bike with excellent reviews from customers and personal trainers.

#2 - NordicTrack Commercial VU19

The iFit-ready Commercial VU19 Stationary Bike features 32 preset workouts and a 19-­pound drive which supports great cardio workouts.

#3 - Sole LCB

The Sole LCB Upright Bike is a great basic for shared workout spaces and adds a bit of luxury to home gyms.

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Best Indoor Cycles

Indoor Cycling Bike

Exercise bikes come in a variety of designs, and each design offers benefits and drawbacks. One of the biggest design variables is the system used for providing resistance or the braking system. Some exercise bikes use electromagnetic resistance, while others use large fans.

Indoor bikes, also called spin bikes, feature a heavy flywheel which provides arguably one of the most natural cycling experiences. This is the type of bike you find in spinning classes. This type of bike delivers a very smooth pedaling motion and most are set up so that you can adopt and maintain an aerodynamic cycling position. Usually fitted with narrow saddles and low handlebars, spin bikes offer the closest thing to an outdoor racing bike. This makes them ideal if you want to supplement outdoor workouts with indoor training (perhaps during the winter for example).

Indoor bikes are favored by serious bikers, but they are still suitable for beginners. The heavy flywheels on these fitness machines are engineered to reproduce the sense of inertia that cyclists feel outdoors. Compared with other stationary bikes, indoor bikes enable intense calorie burn. Plus, they make it possible to isolate different muscle groups. Riders can also stand up on the pedals, which they can’t do with ordinary stationary bikes.

My three favorite indoor cycles are the Keiser M3 Plus, the ProForm Studio Bike Pro, and the Sole SB900.

What struck me about the Keiser M3 Plus is how smoothly the 24 levels of silent magnetic resistance moved one from the other. Like most spin bikes, the Keiser M3 Plus is upright and tight, ready to roll. This bike also has great SPD combo pedals which are standard on one side and fit cycling shoes on the other. Customers also have the choice of one of three consoles, which vary in the number of metrics they feature. Other features include:

  • Polar heart rate monitor compatible
  • Light 125-pound machine
  • Compact 25″ x 48″ frame
  • Fore and aft handlebars

The ProForm Studio Bike Pro is another iFit-enabled machine, and this one comes with a great 10″ high-definition touchscreen. As with the other iFit bikes, this one has a screen which automatically tabs up all of your workout data whether for live or on-demand workouts. Even better yet, the screen swivels. This bike also uses silent magnetic resistance and users can glide up and down that scale in silence. Other key points include:

  • Audio port with 2″ speakers
  • Adjustable handlebars
  • Choice of toe clips or straps for the pedals
  • Weight limit of 250 pounds

The Sole SB900 is another great bike with a 35.27-pound flywheel that provides a great, stable ride. This bike features 100 levels of silent magnetic resistance, which is just another way of saying “unlimited.” Frankly, I get a solid workout on this bike irrespective of the level. It’s a solid bike with lots of great built-in workouts and plenty of action. Other features include:

  • Bluetooth-enabled
  • Media rack plus backlit LCD screen
  • Compatible with the Sole+ app
  • Light 101-pound bike and easy to move

#1 - Keiser M3 Plus

The Keiser M3+ Indoor Cycle is built especially for spinners. It has light to powerful computerized tension and allows for a variety of handlebar grip positions.

#2 - ProForm Studio Bike Pro

Featuring a 10” HD screen with an iFit connection for pro coaching, the ProForm Studio Pro Exercise Bike is among the most motivating fitness machines on the market.

#3 - Sole SB900

The powerful Sole SB900 is engineered to support competitive training, body sculpting and weight loss. Its heart is a 48-pound flywheel that spins with quiet magnetic resistance.

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Why Cycle Indoors?

I’ve found cycling to be one of the best forms of exercise around. No matter how sore my knees are from lifting weights, that bike ride works them out. Biking is great for fitness, health, and toning the legs. Make no mistake, you can really work the quads on a bike. I can see the striation pop out every time I increase the resistance. And yet, there’s so little impact on my joints I just don’t worry about damage.

That said, riding a bike outdoors is not always convenient or desirable. I live on a farm, and bad weather, poorly maintained roads, and other hazards can really put a damper on your workout. You’ll also need to strap on a helmet and make sure your bike is road worthy. Plus you’ll also need to figure out how to fix punctures and make other minor on-the-road repairs.

If you prefer indoor cycling, you could join a gym and use their selection of exercise bikes. However, because exercise bikes are so popular, you’ll have to wait your turn and waste a lot of precious gym time.

Types of Indoor Cycling

Some gyms offer group cycling classes called spin classes, which can be a lot of fun. However, because these sessions are so popular you might not always be able to join the class. You’ll also have to follow your instructor and keep up with your classmates. That might trap you in a workout that simply isn’t appropriate for your level of fitness.

You can avoid all of these inconveniences if you have your own exercise bike at home. Irrespective of the app I’ve used, I’ve always been able to find a solid workout online. Not only will you be able to work out in the comfort of your personal space and at your own pace, you’ll also be able to exercise at any time. Simply pop your bike in front of the TV, pump up some music, and get to work. What’s more, the more convenient your workout is, the more likely you are to do it. For a workout to be effective, you need to do it consistently. And if you have an exercise bike within easy reach, maintaining a consistent workout schedule is much easier.

But how do you find the best exercise bike for you? Well, you’re here. That’s the first step. We will make your search easier. After writing hundreds of fitness reviews, we’ve found the world’s best exercise bikes and organized them by type: recumbent, upright stationary and indoor cycle trainer.

What makes a bike “the best” in our judgment? The best exercise bikes provide exceptional value. They offer consumer-friendly combinations of durability, comfort, features, and price. Our lists include exercise bikes at different price points, and machines for different types of trainees. We’ve found bikes for absolutely everyone. So start diving into our reviews and before you know it, you’ll find the right bike for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you lose belly fat by riding a stationary bike?

Stationary bikes are very useful tools for weight loss and muscle toning. When it comes to weight loss, an upright exercise bike or indoor cycle will be your best bet as these support high-intensity training. Unlike a road bike, a stationary bike allows you to focus 100% on your workout, so you can push yourself to the limit without traffic or weather to contend with.

What is the best exercise bike for beginners?

This depends on the type of training you want to do. If it’s a comfortable, less intense workout you want, opt for a recumbent bike. Many beginners choose a recumbent bike to start with. Indoor cycles are favored by serious bikers, but they are still suitable for beginners, so opt for one of these or an upright bike if you want an intense workout.

What should I look for when buying an exercise bike?

To pinpoint the type of exercise bike to buy, think about the type of workout you want. An upright bike will offer the classic indoor bike experience. A recumbent bike will be gentler on your joints. An indoor cycle will offer the closest experience of riding an outdoor bike. When you’ve pinpointed your bike type, compare the bikes’ flywheel weight, resistance, ergonomics and programming. Read our Shoppers Guide for more help.

1 Comment
  1. Ron Baughman March 9, 2019 at 7:39 pm From: Houston
    Where is the Peloton?

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