The exercise bike is a fairly reassuring fitness device. After all, 97.9% of French people have learned to ride a bicycle. You can therefore start alone, at home, which is not necessarily the case with other sports machines such as the treadmill or the rower. On the other hand, for the purchase to be useful, it is important to find a good exercise bike and it is to help you choose that we have created this buying guide.
We give you all the information to establish a comparison on the exercise bikes as well as the best devices of the moment. We argue all our choices. All you have to do is read on and choose what works best for you. Perhaps it will be the Ultrasport F-Bike 200B indoor bike that we prefer or maybe another model …
Best exercise bikes for 2021
Below you have not only the list of exercise bikes that we have chosen but critical presentations, that is to say, argued opinions on their strengths and the ideal audience (rather beginners or great sportsmen).
Ultrasport F-Bike 200B
Ultrasport is a brand of reference for people who want to buy fitness equipment for the first time. This is also the case on this orange and gray exercise bike. It is very suitable for getting back into shape and it even has a backrest. In addition, it is foldable to avoid taking up too much space.
As said above, it’s a fitness device, but it’s solid material. It has a 1.5 kg flywheel and it works with magnetic resistance. You can choose between 8 resistance levels and therefore train at your own pace. The saddle is very comfortable while the backrest is a little more ordinary. The saddle can be adjusted in height from 78 to 86cm and the bike is very suitable for people who are 1.55cm to 1.75cm tall and weigh less than 100kg.
An LCD screen is positioned in front of you when you pedal. It allows you to know your speed, the duration of the training, the calories expended, the distance covered, and even your pulse. Indeed there is a heart rate sensor on the handlebars. This remains a very basic screen, but Ultrasport also sells support that is fixed on the handlebars and which allows you to safely put a tablet or a book to occupy the mind while you pedal.
Finally, in terms of format, this bike measures 95x45x121 cm when it is unfolded. And it only measures 36x45x142cm when folded up thanks to its arched shape. And he weighs 18 kg.
✓ With backrest
✓ Adjustable saddle height
✓ 1.5 kg inertia
✓ Minimal space requirement
✓ 8 resistance levels
✓ Not for athletes
This ISE exercise bike is the reference F-BIKE and it supports a maximum weight of 100 kg. It is also available, almost identically, under the reference F-BIKE HEAVY and in this case, it supports a weight of up to 150 kg.
It is a model for beginners and those with a health goal in mind. It has an inertia of 1.6 kg, magnetic resistance, and 8 resistance levels for more or less hard training. There is no program, no-frills. The only possible adjustment is that of the saddle, which can be positioned from 80 to 90 cm high. It is also made of PU leather with good padding. You just have to take a seat and start pedalling. When you’re just starting out, that’s all you need.
Once seated, your hands are on the handlebars, naturally on the heart rate sensors. The LCD screen can therefore display the pulse, as well as the time spent pedalling, speed, calories burned and distance travelled. You may also prefer to position your smartphone in front of you and take the opportunity to watch a series or listen to a podcast or music. Even if it means riding a bike at home, as much as it is comfortable and pleasant.
The dimensions of this indoor bike are absolutely correct. It is 114 cm high (at the level of the handlebars), 59 cm long, and 41 cm wide. When folded correctly, it measures only 22 cm long and 130 cm high. It still weighs 23 kg. And while the feet are designed so as not to damage the floor, there are no casters to move it.
✓ Magnetic resistance
✓ Smartphone holder ✓
✓ 1.6 kg inertia
✓ Without wheels
✓ Maximum weight 100 kg
Care Fitness SV-314 STRIALE
The Care Fitness SV-314 STRIALE bike is a benchmark for beginners who want to engage in regular physical activity at home. Indeed, it is a simple electric bike, without connection, with a 4 kg flywheel. The other detail generally intended for beginners is the presence of a folder. This allows you to keep yourself upright or to rest if necessary. And the handlebars have a shape that allows you to hold it the way you prefer unless you want to know your pulse because the pulse sensors are in a specific place. The pedals are weighted and they have straps to prevent loosening.
The small screen displays your choice (via the white button just below) the pulse, time, calories, distance, and speed. It remains very basic. About ten centimetres under the handlebars is the wheel which allows you to modify the resistance and therefore to make the training more or less intensive.
It is a suitable device for people measuring less than 1.80 m, although the height of the saddle is adjustable, and less than 100 kg. In place, the bike measures 93x53x113 cm. It is possible to fold it up completely and even to remove the pedals. In this case, it is only 44 cm long, 132 cm high and 46 cm wide. It weighs a total of 15 kg, which makes it relatively easy to move it for storage.
✓ 4 kg inertia
✓ Foldable well
✓ With backrest
✓ Multi-grip handlebar
✓ Magnetic braking
✓ For beginners
Skandika Foldaway X-1000 Plus
Skandika offers several indoor bikes with varying performances. Here it is a solid, reliable bicycle, but not expensive and therefore relatively simple. It is suitable for the fitness of former athletes or for beginners. The user must be less than 1.90 m and less than 110 kg.
The inertia is 4 kg and you can choose between 8 resistance levels. It is announced that this bike is compatible with Bluetooth to have programs and history via an application. However, you should know that the application no longer exists and that for the moment the bike does not seem compatible with other alternatives. It is therefore to be considered as a basic exercise bike, without connectivity … However, if it is interesting to take this model it is that there is suddenly support for a tablet just above the screen of based.
The Foldaway X-1000 Plus reference is a folding bike with a backrest. The seat and back are well padded and the seat is very comfortable. The pedals are non-slip and have adjustable straps. In total, the device is 104 cm long, 53 cm wide, 124 cm high, and 18.6 kg. It can be folded up and is then only 59 cm long and 145 cm high. By tilting it, we take advantage of the casters to move it without having to carry it. When purchasing, the bike is a spare part, but it is very easy to assemble it and in principle, it takes less than 45 minutes even when alone.
✓ With backrest
✓ 4 kg inertia
✓ Transport wheels
✓ Easy to assemble
✓ Tablet holder
✓ The application no longer exists
Here is a bike for people who are already sports enthusiasts and for those who want regular and fairly intense workouts. Thus the Sportstech ESX500 bike has an inertia of 12 kg and 16 levels of resistance. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg of all it allows.
We can use this bike strictly with what is included, that is to say with the multimedia console and its 5.5-inch screen. From there, you can choose between 12 pre-recorded programs and a manual mode. You can even opt for heart rate-based workouts with the HRC function. That is, the resistance level, controlled by the computer, varies according to your pulse. On the other hand, it is necessary to have a heart rate belt sold as an option.
The alternative is to use it with your tablet or smartphone after downloading Kinomap or the Sportstech app and then after connecting the app to the bike via Bluetooth. This gives access to durable data recording (the recordings on the bike are lost if the bike is unplugged), to training sessions, and to a community of athletes. It is therefore not essential, but it really changes the way of training and it is appreciable if you used these applications in a sports club beforehand.
Finally, it is a solid and discreet bike. It is fitted with a crankset with closed ball bearings, for smooth pedalling. The saddle is of good quality and comfortable. The user can weigh up to 120 kg and it is easy to change the distance between the saddle and the pedals. The bike weighs 30 kg and it has casters to be moved as needed.
✓ Up to 4 user profiles
✓ The inertia of 12 kg
✓ 12 programs
✓ Bluetooth compatible
✓ Very discreet
✓ Notice in bad French
BH Fitness Jet Bike H9158RF
Another possibility to have real room for improvement, the BH Fitness Jet Bike exercise bike is a good product. In fact, it is equipped with a 20 kg inertia wheel and a dial that allows the resistance to be varied freely. We can therefore start with a low level and gradually increase the difficulty of the exercises. It is also a good model for athletes, but not for people looking to have intensive practice. Indeed, the manufacturer advises using it only one hour per day.
Everything is done to adjust the bike to your liking. The handlebars are triathlon type and you can change the inclination. The saddle can be adjusted in height, but also moved from front to back and vice versa. The only flaw is that the saddle is not the most comfortable model there is and many users preferred to change it after a few sessions. It also depends on your body type of course since anyone can use this bike as long as you weigh less than 105 kg.
The LCD monitor displays classic tracking information (time, calories, and distance) as well as revolutions per minute (RPM). On the other hand, there is nothing for the heart rate. A bottle holder is positioned within easy reach. The small details are well thought out and despite everything, it only takes about 30 minutes to assemble this bike after receiving it. On the other hand, be careful, it still weighs 41 kg and even if it has transport wheels, it is better to install it directly in the right place.
✓ Up to 105 kg
✓ Silent transmission
✓ 20 kg inertia ✓ Bottle
✓ Revolutions per minute display
✓ No cleats on the pedals
✓ Saddle a little hard
How to choose an exercise bike?
Here we offer you the criteria for comparing exercise bikes with each other. These are devices that we use a bit like a city bike and which stand out from the spinning bike that looks like a racing bike on which you lean forward.
These criteria should allow you to know for sure which are the best indoor bikes to finally select only one.
Type of use
This is usually clearly announced by the manufacturer, but in case you have to check it yourself. For beginners, when you are not very athletic or want to do rehabilitation, a cheap exercise bike may be suitable. On the other hand, as soon as you are on a more sporty gait, you need more solid equipment.
The user’s profile is also to be taken into account. More details are given below, but here is a small table to guide you to a suitable model.
Saddle and the handlebars
The height of the saddle should be adjustable and it is preferable that it is comfortable.
On the other hand, on the first price, the handlebars are not adjustable. However, by going up in price range, it is possible to modify its height and sometimes even its inclination.
It is the weight of the flywheel that gives an idea of the physical strength required on the bike. The higher the weight, the more it will be possible to work the muscles in-depth or to progress. If you are already athletic, even if only a little, opt for the inertia of more than 5 kg. For an even sportier gait, you need at least 10 kg.
The magnetic resistance is the most pleasant because the adjustments are easier. But it is also possible to have mechanical resistance.
What is in front of you is called the console, that is to say, both the screen and the buttons all around and the possible holder for a water bottle or smartphone. It is therefore a matter of comparing the elements present, the readability of the screen, the data displayed, etc.
You can have a bike without any program. The user takes his place after having adjusted the intensity and he pedals. It is also possible to have programs that can be based on durations or fitness goals.
We talk about the level of inertia, resistance or intensity. It is the resistance that will oppose you with each turn of the pedal. In other words, it is the possibility of pedalling with the same physical effort as in a climb or of doing only the flat.
An exercise bike compatible with fitness applications like Kinomap means that you don’t have to pedal alone. Indeed, you can join a community, pedal in front of landscapes that pass at the real speed of your training and get advice from coaches or adapted programs.
All home sports equipment is bulky. It is still possible to limit the space occupied during storage. It is therefore a question of seeing if it is a foldable bicycle or if it “closes” and if it is easy to store in a cupboard.
Maximum authorized weight
We quickly reach the maximum weight supported by many bicycles. As soon as we exceed 100 kg when we are dressed, it is necessary to check this point. Overweight people need to choose their device more carefully to ensure that it is a long-lasting and secure purchase.
We add it as a very last point because the price of an indoor cycle is a personal and subjective element. Some will not be able to afford to spend more than 200 EUR and this constraint will serve as a starting point. Others will prioritize the number of programs and only look at the price at the very end of their comparisons.
When you buy new, you can find an exercise bike between 140 and over 1000 EUR. For the mid-range, it is necessary to envisage 150 to 450 € approximately.
Either way, keep in mind that even for devices like an exercise bike, there are sales, temporary promos, or slashed prices for Black Friday. So wait a bit if you want to get a good deal and benefit from better value for money.
The different types of indoor cycling
It is the outfit on the bike that makes it possible to distinguish several series of models. This influences the price and the practice.
⇨ The inexpensive exercise bike is a model that looks like a classic bike and is suitable for fitness. It is intended for beginners in priority and it is designed for maximum use of 1 to 3 hours per week.
⇨ The indoor spinning bike reproduces the road bike, the one used by cyclists. It can be entry-level for beginners or top of the range for athletes. When it includes several programs, it can offer real intensive workouts.
⇨ The elliptical trainer does not generally have a saddle, but two large mobile bars to activate the upper body at the same time as the legs. It has a very specific format that allows it to work the whole body.
How does an exercise bike work?
On a real bike, it is the fact of advancing on a road that is not always flat that creates the effort and maintains the balance. Indoors, since the bike does not move, there is a flywheel to work the muscles. The resistance makes it possible to modify the effort to be provided.
This wheel and the resistance are the basic elements and technically you don’t need more. The rest contributes to the comfort of the practice. Thus the console allows (possibly) to evaluate its speed, the distance travelled, the heart rate, etc.
The advantages of using an exercise bike
With the development of teleworking, we can find ourselves without any reason to leave home for several days. Not to mention that sports clubs are not as easily accessible as they used to be.
Having an exercise bike can compensate for these elements. You can play sports without leaving home. So you clear your head and take care of your muscles and heart rate. No matter the time, the weather, or the light, the exercise bike is always available.
Here are some other benefits of such a fitness device:
- Develops endurance;
- Improves breath;
- Muscle the whole lower body;
- Promotes weight loss;
- Helps relieve stress;
- Can be used in front of the television;
- Can be used by several family members;
- Remains cheaper than a subscription to a gym.
What are the best brands of exercise bikes?
As with all products, there are famous brands whether for their quality or for their low price. Here is a quick overview of some of them.
This German company specializing in fitness and gym equipment has won several awards. It presents itself as a high-end brand even if in fact, it is often mid-range. Indeed, its equipment remains accessible and there is equipment for all users, from beginners to athletes. This is why you can choose a Sportstech bike for between 200 and 700 €.
It was in 1975 that this company was founded in the United States to sell the first cross-country ski simulator. Since then, she has never stopped innovating and she is committed to offering high-quality equipment with sometimes unique options. All connectivity is done with iFIT technology. NordicTrack bikes are top of the range and you need to plan on at least € 400 and up to several thousand euros to be well equipped.
It is the # 1 brand for sports and fitness on Amazon. Moreover, it is exclusively sold by this e-commerce giant.
Based in Germany, Ultrasport has a very large catalog to equip the whole family. The prices are quite low, including for indoor bikes. These are well suited for beginners and for occasional use.
This German brand is inspired by Scandinavia and nature to create its products. Its catalog is organized in three parts, one of them being fitness.
Skandika exercise bikes are mid-range products. You have to budget between 250 and 500 € to buy a new model.
This French start-up is young and dynamic. It was created in 2017 to offer sports and fitness equipment, including massagers and trampolines.
She stands out with really cheap products. It is possible to choose an ISE bike highly rated by consumers from 130 €.
Since we have made sure to present you with sometimes very contrasting models, which one will suit really depends on you.
So for fitness, to maintain physical activity while being confined or to meet the demands of your doctor, the Ultrasport F-Bike 200B indoor bike is a very good choice. It is not very expensive and it is easy to use, even when you are just starting out. In a slightly sportier approach, but still, for beginners, there is the Care Fitness exercise bike SV-314 STRIALE.
Finally, if you are already athletic, the question does not arise, you need at least the Sportstech ESX500 bike and its 12 kg of inertia. It really allows you to exercise and even progress.