Indoor cycling bikes have become very popular in recent years because unlike an upright bike, you can use them in both a seated and a standing position, which makes them suitable for indoor road training and for spinning workouts, for example. In addition, they can also be used by men and women who simply want to burn lots of calories because they generally offer a more intense workout than an upright stationary bike.
These machines are commonly referred to as spin bikes or spinning bikes, but these terms should only be used to refer to bikes specifically made by Mad Dogg Athletics because they are both trademarked terms. The correct term for these bikes is indoor cycling bikes, and it is this term that I shall use to describe them in the rest of this article.
So which ones are considered to be the best indoor cycling bikes right now in 2017? Well full reviews of all the top models are now available on this site, but here is a guide to some of the best ones that you can buy in each of the three main price categories:
Top-Of-The-Range Indoor Cycling Bikes
Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle
If you are looking to buy the best indoor exercise bike on the market and have no budgetary constraints, then the Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle has to be at the top of your list.
This particular bike is commonly used in many gyms and in many group cycling classes because it is strong enough to withstand regular use, and delivers an exceptionally smooth workout with a seamless transition when you adjust the resistance level. It is is also extremely quiet in operation, as you may well have discovered yourself if you have ever used it in your local gym.
This bike is suitable for people of all fitness levels because there are 24 magnetic resistance levels, and because there are fore/aft and up/down adjustments on both the seat and the handlebars, it is suitable for people of all shapes and sizes (up to a maximum of 300 lbs) and is easy enough to find a comfortable and realistic riding position.
With regards to extras, there is a backlit Bluetooth computer display that can connect to apps on your smartphone or tablet device, and will display key data, such as time, distance, RPM, pulse, etc.
Plus it also includes a water bottle holder, a tablet holder and some good quality Shimano pedals. However it is the solid construction and the overall feel of the workout that really sets this one apart from the rest.
(UPDATE: this bike is now available with $150 of free gifts, including stretch pads, a media tray, a Polar heart rate monitor, a floor mat and a 3-month trial to BKOOL to give you an interactive 3D cycling experience for more enjoyable workouts.)
Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue Belt Drive
The other top-of-the-range exercise bike that is also very highly rated is the Schwinn AC Performance Plus Indoor Cycling Bike.
Schwinn have produced some really good exercise bicycles over the years, but this is arguably the best one that they have produced so far because it has a lightweight aluminium frame that is deceptively strong, and unlike many cheaper models, it uses an advanced carbon blue belt drive that is exceptionally quiet and virtually maintenance-free.
In addition, it employs a frictionless magnetic resistance system, which basically means that the magnetic brake doesn’t come into contact with the flywheel. Therefore you don’t need to worry about wear and tear like you do on most other models.
The only drawback is that it doesn’t come with a computer display so you will have to buy this separately if required, but apart from this, it is similar in performance to the Keiser M3i because it delivers an exceptionally smooth and comfortable workout, which is why this machine is also used by a number of gym chains.
→ Schwinn AC Performance Plus (Chain Drive) – this is a cheaper version of this bike that uses a chain drive instead of a belt drive, but it is worth paying more for the belt drive version because it is a lot quieter and requires less maintenance.
Mid-Range Indoor Cycling Bikes
Sole Fitness SB700 Exercise Bike
If you cannot justify paying nearly $1500 – $2000 for a top-end machine, but still want to buy a quality machine, then the Sole Fitness SB700 Exercise Bike is a great alternative.
As many users have pointed out, this particular model is on a par with many of the bikes that you might find in your local gym because it has a heavy duty 48 lb flywheel that delivers a smooth and quiet workout, and has a very solid frame that can accommodate users up to 300 lbs, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
This particular model comes with a computer display that helps you track time, speed, distance, calories and RPM and is compatible with a wireless chest strap if you want to monitor your pulse. It also has fore/aft and up/down adjustments on both the seat and the handlebars to help you find a comfortable and realistic riding position.
So if you are looking for an exercise bike that is built to last and delivers a smooth, comfortable and realistic riding experience, this model from Sole Fitness is well worth considering.
→ Sole Fitness SB900 Exercise Bike – this one uses a slightly different magnetic resistance system which is said to be slightly quieter, and also gives you the option of using toe clips or clipless SPD pedals because it includes both.
Spinner Sprint Premium Authentic Indoor Cycle by Madd Dogg
Another mid-range indoor cycle that represents excellent value for money is the Spinner Sprint Premium Authentic Indoor Cycle.
This particular model is manufactured by Madd Dogg Athletics, so it can legally be referred to as a spinning bike, and is actually designed to be used for commercial use. Therefore if you buy this machine for your home, it is likely to last you a very long time.
It comes with a heavy-duty 43-pound flywheel and a smooth chain drive system, and you will find that it feels just like a conventional road bike.
So it is ideal if you are a cyclist who likes to train indoors, or if you enjoy performing spinning workouts, for example, particularly as it includes four spinning DVDs to get you started.
Spinner S3 Indoor Cycling Bike – this is a cheaper model from the same company that has a smaller 31-pound flywheel, but still delivers a smooth and comfortable workout and is adjustable enough to be used by anyone between 4’10 and 6’7 (read review).
Diamondback Fitness 510IC Indoor Cycle
One bike that has been available for a good few years now, but still remains very popular, is the Diamondback Fitness 510IC Indoor Cycle.
This exercise bicycle has a super quiet belt drive system that guarantees a smooth workout, and has a fully adjustable seat and handlebars to help you find a comfortable riding position. What I particularly like about this one is that it comes with 16 levels of magnetic resistance, and unlike most indoor cycles of this type, comes with 14 workout programs.
The frame itself is very strong and stable, and as well as having a good quality backlit LCD display, it has a few useful features, such as a built-in pulse monitor on the handlebars and computer-controlled resistance.
The only drawback is that the flywheel is a little lighter than some of the other bikes in this price range at just 32 pounds, but most users haven’t reported any problems, and overall this is still a very strong machine that does deliver a really good workout.
Low-Cost Indoor Cycles
Bladez Fitness Fusion GS II Indoor Cycle
If you are looking to buy a top quality machine but don’t necessarily have a large budget, you might want to consider purchasing the Bladez Fitness Fusion GS II Indoor Cycle because this represents excellent value for money.
This model first went on sale towards the end of 2015 and basically improves upon the original Fusion GS II Indoor Cycle with an enhanced frame design and a better designed seat and handlebars.
So in addition to having an exceptionally strong steel frame, this bike also has a fully adjustable seat and handlebars (with four-way adjustments), and is one of the few low-cost models to come with its own LCD console.
It also delivers a very smooth workout with its high performance 40-pound flywheel, and remains fairly quiet even at the highest levels of resistance, despite having a chain drive mechanism.
Fitleader FS1 Stationary Exercise Bike
Another relatively new model that has quickly established itself as one of the top indoor cycles for people on a budget is the Fitleader FS1 Exercise Bike.
This is quite a compact and lightweight training bike, but it is very strong and stable with a weight capacity of 293 pounds, and has an adjustable seat and handlebars that makes it suitable for anyone between 5’1 and 6’2.
Plus although it only has 8 magnetic resistance levels, it offers a serious workout for even the fittest of athletes because the higher resistance levels are said to be extremely challenging.
It is also worth mentioning that this is another entry-level bike that comes with its own LCD display so that you can track your performance, and is one of the few that comes with a holder for your tablet, phone or iPad device should you wish to follow along to an indoor cycling workout on YouTube, for example.
Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike
One final exercise bicycle that you might want to consider is the Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike because this is arguably one of the best in terms of value for money, and remains one of the most popular models.
This isn’t a fancy bike with lots of bells and whistles. Indeed it doesn’t even come with a computer display, which some people may find useful.
However it does provide you with pretty much everything you could possibly need from a low-cost indoor cycle because it is really strong and sturdy, has a good range of resistance levels, and although there is a little bit of noise, it is largely smooth and quiet in operation thanks to the 40 pound flywheel and the smooth chain drive mechanism.
So this is an ideal choice if you want a heavy duty bike that you can use for interval workouts or for indoor road training, for instance, because this will last you a long time and provide you with a challenging workout, and is one of the most affordable bikes on the market.
→ Sunny Health & Fitness Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike – this slightly more expensive model has a belt drive instead of a chain drive, so it is therefore a lot quieter and requires less maintenance, and it also comes with a larger 49-pound flywheel (read review).
Additional Product Reviews
The indoor cycling bikes listed above are the ones that we most recommend right now, but here are some of the other models that we have reviewed on this site (in order of price from high to low):
→ LifeCycle GX – this top-of-the-range indoor cycling bike is a favorite with gym owners and is commonly used in a lot of group cycling classes because of its strength and performance, and its stylish looks.
→ Asuna 4100 – this commercial-grade machine is Sunny Health & Fitness’ top indoor cycling bike, and benefits from having an exceptionally strong frame, a heavy duty 40-pound flywheel and a smooth chain drive transmission system.
→ IRONMAN 510 – this is a very strong well-made bicycle from Ironman Fitness that has a heavy-duty 44-pound flywheel, and comes with a basic LCD display and a free equipment mat.
→ Stamina CPS 9300 – this mid-range bike has a large 40-pound flywheel and a decent LCD display, and is powered by a smooth and quiet belt drive system as opposed to a chain drive mechanism, unlike some of the cheaper models.
→ Reebok 510 – this is a good quality mid-range model that has a large 48-pound flywheel and delivers a smooth and comfortable riding experience (DISCONTINUED).
→ Phoenix 98623 Revolution Cycle Pro II – this is one of the oldest models that we have reviewed on this site, but it is still a good quality entry-level machine because it is very well-made and is clearly built to last.
→ Exerpeutic LX905 – this is quite a new model that comes with its own computer display and pulse sensors, and has a 40-pound flywheel and a 3-piece crank system that provides a smooth and quiet workout experience.
→ Weslo Pro CTX – this is quite a basic low-cost bike, but it is still a well-made machine that delivers a decent workout (DISCONTINUED).
→ Sunny SF-B1001 – this is an entry-level model that has a 30-pound flywheel and a solid steel frame that can accommodate users up to 220 pounds.
→ XtremepowerUS Indoor Cycle – this is a strong and durable entry-level model that has a weight capacity of 440 pounds, and as well as having a fairly decent LCD display, it is also smooth and quiet in operation.
→ ProGear 100S – this entry-level bike has a quiet chain drive system and a durable steel frame that can accommodate users up to 250 pounds, and comes with an LCD display and hand grip pulse sensors.