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The 6 best exercise bikes for indoor cycling in 2024

This list of the 6 best exercise bikes will be helpful to narrow down your options and make the right choice.

Stationary cycling is a powerful cardio workout that boosts your cardiorespiratory fitness, keeps you fit, and improves overall health. The diversity of workout options available across various exercise bike models ensures that your fitness routine remains varied and effective.

 

Every year brings a fresh wave of innovative indoor bikes tailored to varying fitness aspirations, budgets, and spatial requirements. In this comprehensive guide, we’ve curated a list of the 6 standout exercise bikes for 2023 that cater to an array of cycling preferences—from adrenaline-fueled cardio bursts to steady, meditative rides.

1. CAROL Bike

The smartest, most effective exercise bike backed by science.

 

Price: $2,595

Dimensions: 45.5” x 22”

Display: 11″

Workouts: 20+ science-backed workouts

 

CAROL Bike gives you the shortest, most effective workouts—backed by science. It’s the only bike fully optimized for Reduced Exertion HIIT (REHIT), which is proven to deliver superior health and fitness benefits in 90% less time compared to regular cardio. CAROL’s signature REHIT workout creates the most potent training stimulus with just 2×20-second sprints. It’s a moment of effort you can always master to build a habit that lasts.

 

CAROL has a library of over 20 science-backed workouts, focusing primarily on short, efficient and effective protocols. With it’s AI-personalization, CAROL Bike workouts are tailored to the individual, making it suitable for any age and fitness level.

 

According to research, in just 8 weeks you can achieve a 12% increase in cardiorespiratory fitness and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by 62%. You will also burn more calories on a 15-minute CAROL ride compared to a 30-minute run. 

 

In addition to the signature REHIT rides, CAROL Bike offers a number of other science-backed workouts. It has several variations of HIIT-based Fat Burn Ride, and a Zone-Based Free Ride that can be performed at your chosen pace.

 

CAROL Bike’s main focus is on providing a scientifically-backed training program, with emphasis on short, efficient workouts. This is quite a different experience than studio-style Peloton or Sunny Health & Fitness workouts – instead of following a trainer’s spin class, you will see a high quality display of your ride metrics including your ride progress, power, cadence, and heart rate on a smart 11-inch display. CAROL Bike also offers a number of motivational soundtracks to accompany the workouts.

 

Moreover, this exercise bike integrates with cycling apps like Zwift, Kinomap, Rouvy, BKool, and FulGaz, on-demand Peloton Digital, and Apple Fitness+ classes. You will have Netflix, Disney+, and YouTube among your entertainment options. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections are available.

 

CAROL Bike has a sleek futuristic design that blends well with its scienced-based training approach. A polished frame is sturdy enough to sustain supramaximal exercises. The bike has an adjustable seat and a five-grip position handlebar allowing you to lean deeper during the all-out sprints.

 

This exercise bike is a great investment if you are looking for the most efficient way to exercise, giving you greater benefits than steady state cardio workouts in a fraction of the time.

CAROL Bike is proven to deliver superior health and fitness benefits in 90% less time compared to regular cardio.

2. Peloton Bike+

The exercise bike that offers great live and on-demand classes.

 

Price: $2,495

Dimensions: 59” x 53” x 23

Display: 21.5″

Resistance: Magnetic, 100 levels

Workouts: Thousands of workouts in the Peloton app

 

Peloton Bike has been a bestseller for years for a reason. Peloton offers an amazing user experience that includes a durable exercise bike that will last for years, a variety of workouts for different fitness levels, and many customization options.

 

Peloton Bike has a recognizable ergonomic design in black and red colors. Magnetic resistance with 100 levels contributes to a smooth and quiet ride with granular control over training intensity.

 

The Peloton app gives you access to an abundant on-demand workout library for $44 a month. On-demand and live classes are streamed on a large 21.5-inch screen providing you with motivation via celebrity instructors. Peloton offers so much training content, that you can’t possibly run out of it. During your workouts, you will see all important workout indicators displayed on the screen: ride time, current speed, distance covered, cadence, resistance intensity, and calories burned. During the live classes, you will see your place in the group chart as well. The app is ideal for users who don’t want to limit their workout routine only to cycling. It gives you access to plenty of fitness classes and off-bike workouts such as strength training, conditioning exercise, running, stretching, yoga classes, and many other activities.

 

Peloton Bike comes with a Delta cleat system that requires special cycling shoes.

 

Overall, the Peloton Bike offers a great riding experience for those looking for live classes and motivational cycling communities. However, it doesn’t have a REHIT protocol and is limited with its short, efficient workout options.

3. Schwinn IC4

A mid-priced exercise bike with a high level of functionality, versatility, and robust quality.

 

Price: $999

Dimensions: ‎54.6” x 30.7” x 51.8”

Display: LCD, 3″x 2″

Resistance: Magnetic, 100 levels

Workouts: JRNY, Zwift, Explore the World, and Peloton app compatible

 

Schwinn IC4 is a more affordable alternative to Peloton Bike that includes features usually available in more expensive exercise bikes.

 

This stationary bike has a robust steel frame, belt-driven flywheel, stabilizers, and magnetic resistance with 100 micro-adjustable resistance levels that provide a solid base for a comfortable ride without trembling. According to user reviews, Schwinn is extremely durable and low-maintenance. More adjustability options compared to Peloton Bike allow an easier and proper bike fit. You can adjust both the height and horizontal position of the bike seat and handlebars. In-home assembly comes with an extra cost of $129.

 

Schwinn’s LCD display is rather small (3″ x 2″) and shows the essential workout data: cadence (revolutions per minute), time, calories burned, speed, distance, resistance level from 1 to 100, and your heart rate. The exercise bike has Bluetooth connectivity allowing you to stream workouts from Peloton, Zwift, and a number of other apps.

 

The indoor bike has toe-cage pedals possible to use with non-cycling shoes. It comes with 3 lb. dumbbells for the off-the-bike workouts and a heart rate armband. Schwinn’s native Jrny app offers a mix of video and audio workouts, although there’s less variety than in the Peloton library. The first-year subscription is free, after that it costs $20 per month.

 

Although it doesn’t offer automated zone-based training and personalized workouts like CAROL Bike, Schwinn IC4 provides a high level of functionality, versatility, and robust quality for a mid-priced exercise bike.

4. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1805

The best budget exercise bike with solid functionality.

 

Price: $699

Dimensions: ‎48″x 23″x 45″

Display: No

Resistance: Magnetic, micro-adjustable

Workouts: 800+ workouts in the SunnyFit app

 

Sunny Health & Fitness designed a budget exercise bike that provides a satisfying basic indoor cycling experience.

 

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1805 exercise bike is very well-made. Its sturdy steel frame, heavy 44 lb flywheel, and micro-adjustable magnetic resistance ensure a stable and smooth ride even during intense workouts. It takes about 40 minutes to assemble this indoor bike. The bike has a 4-way adjustable seat and multi-grip handlebars. The seat is wide and soft-padded adding extra comfort to your ride. The pedals have toe cages that don’t require you to use cycling shoes.

 

The biggest disadvantage of this model is the lack of display. This makes it particularly hard to follow workouts that require a certain cadence since you are left guessing, however you can buy an extra cadence monitor to fix this issue. You also don’t have an insight into your workout metrics which makes it difficult to track progress. At the same time, the exercise bike doesn’t require a power outlet and you can get started right away.

 

The stationary bike has a device holder so you can use your tablet to stream live classes and workout videos. You can make the most of 800+ cycling classes available in the SunnyFit app. You can find a full variety of training sessions: speed-focused workouts, sprint interval workouts, Tabata-style HIIT workouts, hybrid workouts with dumbbells, hill climbing sessions, and more. The length varies from 5-45 minutes and there are all levels of intensity.

 

Sunny Health & Fitness is a well-designed sturdy spin bike at a very reasonable price. This is a great option for beginners to indoor cycling or those who prefer basic cycling workouts. At the same time, it lacks more advanced features offered by the CAROL Bike such as precise fitness tracking and AI-personalization.

CAROL Bike’s detailed performance metrics are a simple way to track how your fitness is improving. Making it easy to stay motivated—the key to forming a good habit.

5. Echelon GT+ Smart Connect

Peloton alternative at a more reasonable price.

 

Price: $1,000

Dimensions: 48.03″ x 23.62″ x 57.08″

Display: No

Resistance: Magnetic, 32 levels

Workouts: Echelon Fit App

 

Echelon Connect finds a perfect balance between a sleek, modern design, rich functionality, and durability. It has a small footprint so it easily fits even a modest home gym. The powder-coated steel frame is robust and ensures smooth exploitation for years. Magnetic resistance requires low maintenance. Echelon Connect comes with free delivery and assembly.

 

The Echelon Connect exercise bike has all the features necessary for a comfortable ride. Its oversized padded comfort seat and handlebars are 4-way adjustable. Handlebars can rotate 180 degrees to incorporate off-bike exercises. Dual-sided pedals can accommodate both cycling cleats and regular sports shoes.

 

What the Echelon Connect does lack, however, is an interactive display. Instead, it has a device holder so you can connect to Echelon Fit App via your Android or iPhone device. The app allows you to track distance, speed, calorie burn, and total output for every workout. It also has an interactive leaderboard where you can compete with other family members or friends.

 

Echelon Fit App costs $38 per month and gives you access to thousands of live and on-demand classes with world-class instructors. The library features a variety of workouts including endurance, climbing, HIIT, scenic rides, and many others.

 

Echelon Connect is a great alternative to Peloton Bike giving you almost the same set of features at a more reasonable price. However, the subscription price is steep compared to the CAROL Bike’s membership and doesn’t offer you personalized training experience.

6. MYX II Plus

Quality exercise bike with personalized workout experience.

 

Price: $1,599

Dimensions: 54″ x 21″ x 60″

Display: Touchscreen, 21.5”

Resistance: Friction

Workouts: OpenFit app

 

MYX II Plus has a reasonable price for a high-end exercise bike. While its design may be not as sleek as CAROL Bike, it is quite sturdy and stable. Friction resistance is usually less smooth than a magnetic one, but it allows this spin bike to have an infinite adjustment range. The bike’s seat post has 24 indexed positions and the handlebars have 11 indexed positions. The spin bike comes with a medium-cushioned seat and dual-sided pedals.

 

MYX II Plus is a great fit for people who prefer a personalized workout experience over on-demand indoor cycling classes. OpenFit app calculates your workouts based on your individual heart rate zones and perceived exertion. The exercise bike comes with Polar OH1 Heart Rate Monitor for more accurate tracking. This gives you a precise indicator of how hard you are working during aerobic exercise and how your cardio fitness improves over time. While OpenFit makes it handy to build your own personalized workouts, CAROL Bike makes your life even easier with AI-personalization and computer-controlled resistance that tailor the workout to you.

 

The app will also show you key workout metrics including speed, cadence, and distance. OpenFit app costs $39 per month and similar to other apps, it offers a variety of instructors and workouts to choose from.

 

MYX II Plus also includes a set of exercise equipment: 6 dumbbells, a kettlebell, a resistance band, an exercise mat, and a foam roller for effective off-the-bike workouts. The exercise bike has WiFi and Bluetooth connection.

 

MYX II Plus is not a budget exercise bike—but it does offer a manually personalized workout experience and rich functionality while still being cheaper than Peloton Bike.

The checklist for buying the best exercise bike

  • If you have any medical conditions or don’t feel comfortable during a standard cycling workout, consider opting for a recumbent or upright bike.
  • Check the exercise bike’s dimensions to make sure it fits your home gym and its height range, and weight capacity.
  • Check the type of resistance the exercise bike has. Magnetic resistance is usually more expensive, quieter, and low maintenance. Friction resistance has a larger adjustability range.
  • Check the adjustability of the seat and handlebars and the pedal type (clipless, toe cage, or flat).
  • Consider what type of training you are planning to perform. Budget-friendly stationary bikes work great for basic workouts. Serious cyclists will need additional features such as a cadence monitor and a heart rate monitor to perform cadence-based or heart rate zone-based workouts.
  • Decide whether you need a built-in screen or if you are happy to manage with your own device.
  • Check the bike’s fitness app, its subscription cost, and the variety of workouts.
  • Check the warranty conditions for your geographical region.
  • Read user reviews to manage your expectations.

Whether you’re in the market for an exercise bike that mimics real-world biking or prefer a virtual experience with instructor-led workouts, the above options will provide an indoor cycling experience that meets your needs. When it comes to a scientifically-backed, time-efficient training approach, CAROL Bike offers the best value for money. It gives you the most efficient workouts, delivering superior health and fitness benefits of regular cycling exercise, in 90% less time. AI-personalized workouts tailored to you are made simple to perform and suitable for any age and fitness level.

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All our experts have MSCs in Exercise Science, and they’re here to answer your questions. Whether it’s about the science behind CAROL Bike, or general fitness advice, whatever’s on your mind—we’re here for you.

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