Looking to get a killer workout from your living room? You’ve come to the right place. If you haven’t got room for a treadmill, an exercise bike is a great way to get all the aerobic and muscular benefits that complement your running, without the impact.
We've already rounded up the best workouts for runners to try on a stationary bike, but if you're looking to add a bike to your home gym set-up, we've found the best on the market here.
What to look for in an exercise bike 2021:
Interactive training: If you need the motivation to get you spinning, look for a bike with on-demand training options, which allow you to tune in to live spin classes from the comfort of your home with your favourite instructors. Often you'll have to pay a membership fee, but some bikes offer a year free when you sign up.
Resistance: Exercise bikes have four different types of resistance - brake-based systems resistance, direct contact resistance, magnetic resistance and fan-based resistance. A lot of the spin bikes on this list will work using a magnetic resistance, which is often quieter and smoother.
Storing and moving the bike: If you're not fortunate enough to have a home gym big enough to leave your bike out all the time, you might find yourself having to move it from room to room. Look for bikes with wheels to make this easier, as well as bikes that can be folded away for simpler storage.
The best exercise bikes on the market 2021:
Here, we've rounded up our top picks, from affordable bikes to use now and again, to more advanced options that will really revolutionise your training:
1. Opti Folding Magnetic Exercise Bike
Best for: Those looking for an affordable option
This is a really cheap and cheerful option, but if you're not looking to spend a fortune, it'll do the job. It folds away for storage, has variable tension control and the console gives you all the information you'd need - time, distance, speed, hand pulse, and your calories burned.
2. Echelon Smart Connect Bike EX-5S
Best for: Those with lots of space
This smart bike comes with a huge 22-inch screen, which allows you to interactively join live or on-demand workouts. You can split your payments, which is always handy, making the bike as cheap as £67 a month. There are wheels on the front for moving the bike, but it doesn't fold down, so you'll need to have space for it to be up all the time.
3. NordicTrack Commercial S10i Studio Bike
Best for: Tuning in to live workouts
If you're living in a flat, or you're hoping to fit in a spin session without waking the entire house up, the NordicTrack is designed with SMR (Silent Magnetic Resistance) that offers frictionless changes between the 24 digital levels. There's also a 10” full-colour screen, which allows you to tune in to on-demand and pre-recorded cycling sessions.
4. Decathlon Essential Exercise Bike
Best for: Those looking for a bike less than £100
Another super-affordable option, this exercise bike from Decathlon allows you to spin away, without breaking the bank. It's got eight levels of manual resistance and the small console tells you your calories, distance, duration and speed. It probably won't be high-tech enough for serious training, but if you're just looking to do some gentle recovery rides, it's a good choice.
5. Life Fitness IC5 Group Exercise Bike
Best for: A spin class experience
If you're a spin fanatic, there's a good chance you'll have already tried this bike, or one very similar to it. The bike has a real road bike feel and there's a fully integrated LCD screen, use the display to measure your watts, heart rate, RPM, exercise duration and resistance level. It comes fully assembled and has a three-year guarantee.
6. Decathlon Basic Exercise Bike
Best for: Those looking for an affordable bike to use a couple of times per week
This bike from Decathlon is more like the spinning bike you might be used to in the gym. It's designed to be used for an average of five hours per week, so won't suit serious cyclists, but if you're using it for cross-training, it'll do the trick. It's easy to move around thanks to the front wheels, it's super stable and the saddle and handlebars can be easily adjusted - handy if there's two of you sharing the bike.
7. JLL IC300 Indoor Exercise Bike
Best for: Those looking for a bike on Amazon
The JLL is a chain-driven exercise bike, giving you a similar experience to being on the road. The 18kg flywheel is designed to provide a smooth ride for beginners and experienced cyclists alike, there's also a small function monitor, that gives you live information on your time, speed, distance, calories, pulse and odometer.
8. JTX Cyclo-3 Indoor Racer Bike
Best for: Those looking for a spin class experience for less than £400
This JTX bike is designed to give you a spin-class experience from home, for less than £400. It's got a 17kg flywheel and infinity resistance for a smooth, balanced ride. The bike's resistance control knob allows you to easily up the resistance to simulate riding uphill, or reduce it when things get too tough. There's also toe clip pedals, meaning you can ride wearing your running shoes, and wheels that allow you to move the bike from room to room.
9. JTX Cyclo Studio: Indoor Training Bike
Best for: Those looking for all the bells and whistles
JTX have designed this bike for runners and cyclists who are serious about their indoor training. There's a 25kg perimeter-weighted Max Traction flywheel, which allows for smooth pedalling and greater efficiency during indoor training. The computer console tracks cadence, speed, pulse, time and distance, plus there's a tablet holder, which allows you to tune into live and pre-recorded workouts.
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