Which Type of Indoor Exercise Bike is Best for You?

The best equipment is something you’ll actually want to use.

Woman stretching before riding stationary bike in home gym.
Get ready to break a sweat.Getty Images

At-home workouts can seem simple—all you need is some time and equipment, and you’re ready for a sweat session. But before you purchase pricey gear, like an exercise bike, it’s important to take stock of your exercise goals, your space and your budget. That can help guide you between types of exercise bikes and lead you to one that will help you crush your cardio routine.

YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike Stationary - Cycle Bike with Ipad Mount &Comfortable Seat Cushion (Gray)
A flywheel and steel frame give stability; digital device tracks speed and tablet holder makes it easy to stream workouts.YOSUDA

Flywheel bikes are frequently found in spin studios. The flywheel is the large wheel in front, which is weighted to mimic the feeling of riding on the road. A resistance knob lets you control challenge level, giving you the choice of an easy ride or a hard workout. A flywheel-style bike is also great for following along to on-screen cycling classes. You can either cast classes to a TV, or use a tablet mount.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rear Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike with RPM Cadence Sensor - SF-B1709, Black
Digital display lets you monitor your speed, distance, time and more.Sunny Health & Fitness

Serious riders may consider integrated systems that offer live workout sessions designed for the bike. An included display can also monitor data so you can track performance. Integrated bikes that provide a training program can be great for gym fans who like the direction and accountability provided by a class.

Schwinn Recumbent Bike Series
22 preset workouts and a goal track system allow you to comfortably work at your own pace.Schwinn

A recumbent bike can provide a great low-impact workout. The wider, lower seat and design of the bike may not strain your legs and back as much as an upright studio-quality bike, but it still works your muscles and provides an excellent cardio option. The added comfort makes this bike ideal if you’re ramping up an exercise program, or using it as an addition to intense cardio training, like running.

Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike with Pulse
This sleek design can be stowed when not in use. Can be adjusted to fit riders of all heights and comes with 8 level tension control and easy-to-read display.Exerpeutic

If you’re living in a small space, a piece of exercise equipment isn’t just a financial investment—it’s an investment in space as well. A folding option can be stowed away when not in use and still has many of the features—like resistance options—larger ones have. Make sure to double check any height or weight limits, since folding ones may be more limited in the riders they serve.

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