Best Stationary Bikes [Review] in 2021
written by Cycle expert Alex Bristol
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When it comes to getting fit, using a stationary bike is a great way to start, you can get in your cardio and build your endurance without putting strain on your joints. But have you been struggling to find a good stationary bike to get you started?
Let me tell you; you’re not alone.
I have spent 12 hours trekking through the wide web looking through 57 different stationary bikes. So if you’re looking for a way to get fit while working from home, doing something productive while watching TV, or just don’t have time for the gym, then stay tuned.
For someone new to the world of exercise biking, it can be quite daunting. There are thousands of different types of stationary bikes to choose from, from spinning bikes to upright bikes to recumbent bikes– it can be quite a challenge to know what to look for.
But it’s not all doom and gloom; I’m here to help.
To make things easier for you, I have hunted down the very best stationary bikes, focusing on the best bikes for different goals. I have even included an in-depth guide as to what stationary bike you should be looking for, as well as breaking down all the confusing bits.
Here’s a tip: when looking for a stationary bike, make sure you are choosing one that will not only fit in the space you’re working with but also suit your height and weight, as well as considering the type of workout you’d like to achieve.
But enough of me babbling on, you won’t want to miss this.
We’ve spent the time so you don’t have to:
The Best Stationary Bikes To Boost Your Cardio Fitness
NordicTrack Commercial Studio Cycle
Coming in hot and stealing the show at number one spot has to be The NordicTrack Commercial Studio Cycle. It allows you a great indoor cycling workout from the comfort of your own home!
One thing that caught my eye with NordicTrack was that you can stream live indoor cycling classes, spin classes, and even regular exercise classes with the NordicTrack iFit membership on their Smart HD Touchscreen. There are thousands of classes to choose from!
The NordicTrack features a rotating screen design that allows users to get off the bike and do strength training during a workout– you can stay in tune and keep motivated in your workout from start to finish.
Their streaming workouts even include live interactions, where world-class trainers can digitally adjust your incline, decline, and resistance to make sure you’re getting the very best out of your workout.
I’d go as far as to say that the NordicTrack is a worthy competitor to the almighty Peloton Bike.
Don’t we all hate boring old cycling workouts? Well, with NordicTrack, you can say goodbye to all that, with their intensive and fun cycle workouts or cross-training options like yoga and full body sculpting.
Customers have raved about how it’s top-tier like the Peloton Bike for a much cheaper price. Customers also said how convenient the set up– being ready to use in under 30 minutes!
To top it all off, the SMR Magentic Resistance is almost silent! No more noise complaints from family members, NordicTrack’s smooth and quiet resistance means you can work out day and night! Plus, this exercise bike even comes with two 3lb dumbbells for cross workouts.
The options are endless.
- Purchase includes 1-year NordicTrack iFit membership
- 22-inch Smart HD Touchscreen
- Thousands of workouts plus live stream interactive classes
- Can be used for cross-training
- Instructor/experience controls your settings during classes
Latest deal: NordicTrack Commercial Studio Cycle
VIGBODY Exercise Bike Indoor Cycling Bike
Now let’s go back to the basics– not everyone wants a fancy touch screen display to do their workouts, and that’s fine. The Vigbody is a brilliant way to get fit at a fraction of the price.
You don’t need a fancy screen to get the job done; you can watch on TV or read a book while exercising or list to music to pass the time– the options are endless. This bike is brilliant, from beginners to professionals needing to maintain their endurance.
You can switch up your workout with the convenient tension knob; one simple twist allows you to increase or decrease the intensity of your workout; you can set challenges and goals for yourself and work through the resistance levels.
The heavy plating flywheel offers great stability for riding; you can enjoy the feel of outdoor riding in the comfort of your own home, no need to worry about the weather or to ride at night with this bad boy.
But that’s not all.
Riding a stationary bike is brilliant for burning fat quickly, building core muscles, and strengthening the heart. Using the Vigbody will allow you to build your endurance and fitness ability without the risk of injuring yourself.
You can easily track your progress with the LCD monitor, such as exercise time, speed, distance, calories burned, and odometer. The height of this exercise bike is also ideal for tall people, with no more cramping over a small bike and no more uncomfortable exercises.
Now, the NordicTrack is the best of the best, but if you’re looking for a more basic, budget-friendly option to get the job done then, the VigBody is up to the job.
- 12-month warranty on Amazon
- Can control exact speed and intensity
- Very Stable
- Very Durable steel frame
- People have had issues with the pedals
Latest deal: VIGBODY Exercise Bike Indoor Cycling Bicycle
Sunny Health & Fitness Stationary Bike
Whether you’re looking to delve into the world of studio spin classes in the comfort of your own home or want to avoid the mania of city roads, or even want to keep riding in shape during the horrid winter months, let me introduce you to Sunny Health & Fitness.
This bike is everything you’re looking for to get fit and keep in shape.
You can turn up the heat with the 49lb flywheel and feel the adrenaline pumps of sprints and climbs without leaving the living room. But get this it runs as smooth as a baby’s bottom, no matter the intensity level. It’s almost silent too; no more interrupting people around you!
Talking about comfort, this stationary bike has a 4-way adjustable seat and 2-way adjustable handlebars, which will adjust to almost any user type. Plus the caged pedals and straps your feet to hold in place comfortably.
Staying hydrated during your workout is of utmost importance, and there’s nothing worse than having to get off the bike and grab the glass of water on the nearest table next to you. Luckily with this stationary bike, there’s a convenient bottle holder built into the frame!
But I’m not finished yet.
In comparison to a Peloton Bike or other high-end bikes that charge $250 for delivery alone, Sunny Health & Fitness have completely taken the world by storm with their sturdy and high-quality bike for only $300 (Some customers even use this cheaper option with the peloton app to get the most out of their workout).
The main thing I found that customers loved was the sturdiness and smoothness of the price. They also raved about how easy it was to set up and how from when it arrived, they were on the bike within the hour it was that easy.
You can take control and customize your whole home workout at a friendly price point– Sunny Health & Fitness is unbeatable.
- Simple Assembly
- Relatively cheaper
- Comfortable for all sizes
- Great for beginners
- Might develop an issue of noise
Latest deal: Sunny Health & Fitness Comfort Stationary Bike
Diamondback Fitness 1260sr Recumbent Bike
Want to exercise with ultimate comfort, luxury, and style? Well, Diamondback Fitness 1260Sr is perfect for those of all fitness levels and provides magnetic resistant workouts without putting strain on your joints or back.
Now, people often think that because you’re sitting back comfortably in a recumbent chair that you’re not burning any calories. While you may not burn as many calories as using a spin bike, recumbent bikes still have their major benefits.
Instead of being hunched over the handlebars like on an upright bike, a recumbent bike promotes spinal alignment and improves spinal posture by being in a comfortable seated position.
The 1260Sr is one of the best; it is a smart trainer that automatically varies the resistance to match the changing intensity levels of your workout program. So you can stay focused and not have to fiddle around changing the intensity levels mid-workout.
Diamondback Fitness offers the newest and most advanced recumbent bike to date.
The 1260Sr tracks everything you’d want out of an exercise bike and saves all essential workout data from WATT output, time cycled, distance cycled, calories burned, RPM, load, speed, and heart rate. It even comes with a built-in Polar wireless heart rate receiver.
You may be asking yourself, does it get better than this?
Yes! You can also connect to BLE FTMS apps on the console and link third-party apps such as Zwift, Rouvy, Myzone, and SPIVI to your Apple or Andorid.
Customers loved how sturdy and solid this recumbent bike was during workouts. It doesn’t vibrate nor wobble during use. The heavy flywheel also allows pedaling to be as smooth as silk.
Recumbent bikes are often brushed under the carpet. Still, they offer so many benefits, not only for recovery but also to build up fitness levels and endurance– Diamondback Fitness’ 1260Sr is arguably the best recumbent bike on the market.
- Tracks and records all essential workout data
- Gentle on joints and back
- Smart trainer
- Works with third-party apps
Latest deal: Diamondback Fitness 1260sr Recumbent Bike
SCHWINN 170 Upright Bike
Now let’s talk about upright exercise bikes; Schwinn is one of the best. They offer the perfect combination of comfort, innovation, value and allow you to push the limits when it comes to a great workout.
The top thing about this product is the enhanced Bluetooth connectivity; these are the best exercise bikes for tracking and monitoring progress using apps like Explore The World, MyFitnessPal, and much more.
For under 600 bucks, this one is a definite winner.
With the 25 levels of resistance, two backlit LCDs, you’ll be ready for the Tour De France after a few weeks of working out on this boss of a heavy-duty machine.
Schwinn has everything you need while remaining on a friendly budget. From contact heart rate sensors to the included Explore The World app, you can immerse yourself in virtual courses, exotic locales, and stunning trails from around the globe.
Now here’s the best bit.
This exercise bike comes with a fully loaded console, with DualTrack blue backlit LCD screens display and 29 workout programs to choose from. But get this, while riding the exercise bike runs almost silently– no more disturbing family members while cycling at 2 am.
For all the tech you get and the price, this product is unbeatable.
- 25 levels of resistance
- Includes Explore The World App
- Quiet and smooth ride
- Takes up a lot of space
Latest deal: SCHWINN 170 Upright Bike
MYX Fitness Connected Fitness Bike
Now, this is another worthy competitor of the Peloton, and I’m super excited to tell you about this one. MYX Fitness is one of the newest players in the connected home exercise bike space, and it’s quickly surging in popularity.
MYX is one of the few bikes to truly bring you the Peloton Experience without the Peloton price tag. There are plenty of bikes out there to choose from, but they typically require you to use your own screen and find your own programming.
MYX fitness delivers a built-in 21.5″ interactive touch screen tablet and their own proprietary streaming training, just like Peloton, but at a much more accessible price. They also offer free shipping and assembly (which beats the $250 shipping cost of Peloton).
This exercise bike offers so much more than just boring ol’ cardio; you can swivel the screen for floor workouts, weight lifting, recovery practice, and access high-demand interactive workouts with the MYX membership.
The MYX takes the guesswork and the constant guessing on how to improve your workouts by making personalized recommendations to help you achieve your goals easily and efficiently. They offer interactive personal training sessions with renowned coaches to keep you engaged and motivated for your workouts.
Moving and challenging your body will give you the results you want. The MYX is of top quality; it is durable, rustproof, and hypoallergenic.
The MYX Fitness Bike is unbeatable; Peloton needs to watch out.
- 25 levels of resistance
- Includes Explore The World App
- Quiet and smooth ride
- Takes up a lot of space
Latest deal: MYX Fitness Connected Fitness Bike
Echelon Smart Connect Fitness Bikes
Echelon is another stationary bike brand that has hit the world by storm, despite being a slightly newer brand and has been rocketing sales since 2017. They offer heart-thumping rides and at-home experiences that are of a high standard similar to Peloton.
It has boomed since the pandemic, sales have gone up by 600%, it’s never easy to workout from home, all us gym junkies have been craving fun ways to workout at home, and Echelon has massively increased in popularity as a result.
They offer more affordable stationary bikes with tracking and interactive features like their higher-priced rivals. The company has 40 instructors and films over 2000 classes a month for their subscribers to use.
Echelon prioritize developing new and exciting classes for their users; they are here to entertain, motivate and engage their customers with their wide range of class offerings and options.
The Connect EX5 S includes a 22” HD rotating screen, making it the most versatile bike yet. It is engineered for maximum comfort, smooth functioning, and total immersion into workouts. You can choose from endurance, climbing HIIT, scenic rides, and live classes from world-class instructors.
With a whopping 32 levels of resistance, new indexing resistance adjustments, and easy to use resistance knob. Unfortunately, Echelon doesn’t offer incline or decline features like NordicTrack for extra resistance or challenge.
It is a worthy competitor of the Peloton bike and makes a brilliant at-home exercise bike at a cheaper price point.
- 32 levels of resistance
- Over 2000 classes a month with the membershop
- Motivates and creates fun workouts for everyone.
- Quiet and smooth ride
Latest deal: Echelon Smart Connect Fitness Bikes
Best Stationary Bikes Buyers Guide:
Whether you’re here looking for ways to get fit in the comfort of your own home or just want to keep riding during the horrid winter months and avoid all of the treacherous whether– exercise biking has some major benefits.
Stationary bikes/ exercise bikes provide an excellent cardio workout with so many fitness benefits such as toning your muscles, building muscle mass, strengthening your legs, burning calories, losing weight, and even major benefits on your overall health.
It’s not the easiest job to find a good quality stationary bike, there are 3 different types to choose from, and once you’ve chosen the type you’d like, then there are thousands of options to choose from. It’s an endless battle.
Luckily I have spent hours researching all the different types of stationary exercise bikes, the best workouts, and the benefits of using a stationary bike altogether. If you’re a beginner and find the world of exercise biking a tad bit daunting, then don’t worry; I’m here to break it all down.
Let’s jump in.
Benefits Of Using A Stationary Bike
Now there are many benefits of using exercise bikes, such as major benefits for your health and benefits for your body as a whole. I’m going to be talking about some of them in more detail below, but check out the full guides above for the full rundown.
Now, as you all well know, the heart is the most important muscle in our body; it pumps oxygen and blood around the body and has massive effects on how our muscles work as without the blood and oxygen being pumped to the muscle, it’s useless.
During a workout, our body’s heart rate rises, the benefit of regularly cycling will strengthen your heart and cause an overall lower, healthier resting heart rate. Your heart will feel less stressed, and there is less chance of cardiovascular diseases.
Muscles and Leg Strengthening:
The major benefit of using an exercise bike is that it tones your legs and works your upper body. A stationary bike will not only help you lose weight, but it gently strengthens your muscles in your body.
Indoor cycling is a brilliant way to build up muscle gently as it puts less strain on your legs and joints than an exercise like running would. You’re less likely to suffer from injury or pushing your body too much too quickly with using exercise bikes.
Exercising on a stationary bike is a brilliant way for toning your legs, thighs, and buttocks but also your arms, abdominal and back muscles.
I find particularly great about modern stationary bikes because they come with a built-in console, with thousands of classes to choose from. Some stationary bikes such as the Nordic Track, Echelon, Peloton Bike, and MYX offer interactive training where instructors can increase intensity for you. Hence, you get the most out of your workout.
As any instructor will tell you, no pain, no gain.
Stationary bikes majorly benefit leg, glute, thighs (pretty much all leg muscle) but upright exercise bikes and spin bikes, when standing up, also work abdominal and upper body muscles too for a full workout.
Another major benefit of stationary bikes is the weight loss benefits and calories you burn through using exercise bikes. Any exercise bike is brilliant for building muscle, cardio fitness, and burning calories, but it will also help you achieve your goals in terms of weight.
As you get fitter, you can turn up the intensity and build your endurance. As your muscles begin to strengthen, you will notice that you can workout for longer and at a higher intensity for longer– hence burning more calories.
The more calories you burn, the quicker you will start to lose weight and feel happier, not only in your body, but your mood will be more lifted, and you will have more energy.
Using a stationary bike, pedaling at a moderate intensity will burn 413kcal an hour; pedaling at a high intensity will burn 620kcal per hour. At a very high intensity, it will burn 738kcal. Even at a low intensity, that is still 206kcal for 30 minutes!
Boost Cardio Fitness:
Cycling is a brilliant form of cardio, and cycling on an exercise bike is a brilliant way to improve cardio fitness as you can customize and design your whole workout.
Using exercise bikes can boost heart capacity, reduce cholesterol, increase energy and burn fat. Once we have completed our workout, we feel more refreshed, less stressed, and feel overall happier because endorphins rush through our body.
Even cycling for 30 minutes a day will massively improve your health, strengthen your muscles, improve lung capacity, allow you to lose weight, and overall improve fitness.
I’ve only covered a few benefits of using a stationary bike but check out my full guide of all the benefits here.
Types of stationary bikes:
There are most commonly known as three different stationary bikes to choose from, all have their benefits, and some burn more calories than others. Here’s the full rundown:
The most common exercise bike you will find for indoor cycling is an upright bike; it allows for a complete personalized workout session. Upright bikes are designed similar to a standard road bike, so you have to sit upright and hold onto the handlebars as you exercise.
You can design your own personalized workout plan that suits you and help you achieve your fitness goals. You will also find that an upright bike comes with a central console that allows you to follow training sessions and training programs.
Upright exercise bikes tend to be less expensive than recumbent bikes and take up less space. Check out my full guide going through what exercise bike gives the better workout here.
Now for a recumbent stationary bike, you will notice that you’re sitting in a reclined position with your back resting against a backrest. This provides a much more comfortable and natural reclined position to reduce body fatigue, relieve muscle soreness in your upper body, and provide back support.
It mainly focuses on working out your lower body.
The seat tends to be much more comfortable; it is even compared to the comfort of an office chair so you can remain comfortable in your workout for longer periods. The pedals are positioned in front of the body, and your body is well-positioned in the bike frame.
Recumbent bikes may not burn as many calories as spin bikes as you’re only really working out the leg muscles. However, they are convenient and comfortable and still have some major benefits on calorie burning and weight loss.
A spin bike will be your best friend in interval training and when it comes to a high-intensity workout. They allow you to stand up on the pedals or cycle sitting down; it allows for a more intensive workout and increases stamina.
Spinning sessions have taken the world by storm; they focus on HIIT workouts and interval training to majorly burn calories.
They mimic the feel of a real-life road bike; you can lead forward into a crouching position; they also offer different resistance levels to customize your workout. They’re brilliant at burning calories and improve cardiovascular fitness.
What to look for when buying a stationary bike:
Stationary bikes are generally much cheaper than most bikes and range between two hundred to two thousand dollars. On the higher end of these, you usually get additional features, more stability, comfort, and lesser issues such as noise.
However, it is important to buy these from reliable companies since some cheaper options may come up with many issues.
Even though we ride stationary bikes at home, it is preferable to have access to different levels of riding difficulty. These bikes in this guide generally give you access to change intensity or resistance levels extremely smoothly and realistically.
Quality also depends on the bike’s material since a stationary bike should be sturdy despite the force applied to it. Premium materials such as magnetic resistance also ensure lower noise so that you do not disturb others in your household.
Stationary bikes are often easy to advertise falsely, especially because not many professional cyclists review them. This is why user reviews are also critical in pointing out issues such as noise or stability.
However, the most important thing to check in the ratings is the customer service since it is very likely for stationary bikes to come up with some minor issues and good customer service means you will have to worry less about these.
Different exercise bikes use different mechanisms to create resistance on the pedals. There are usually a few options to choose from magnetic resistance, direct contact, and flywheel-based resistance.
A flywheel connects to the cycling pedals through either a chain or belt and often resembles a road bike. As you ride, the flywheel stores the momentum generated through your feet.
For direct contact resistance exercise, bike friction is mainly used. These exercise bikes use braking pads fitted along the flywheel to help create a braking effect and increase resistance.
Magnetic resistance uses the flywheel to operate two powerful magnets, and the flywheel acts as a magnetic conductor. The flywheel will continue to rotate as you cycle, interfering with the two magnets’ magnetic feel. This when creates a resistance force.
All have their pros and cons, and I’ve broken them all down in my guide here.
But despite what resistance type you choose, the level of resistance determines the intensity of your workout; most exercise bikes allow you to increase or decrease the intensity using a manual knob or keypad buttons.
Some exercise bikes like NordicTrack allow for interactive training sessions where the instructor can adjust your resistance for you; this ensures you get the most out of your workout.
Purchasing a durable and high-quality, sturdy exercise bike is so crucial when buying. You want the stationary bike to feel as sturdy as the ones you get down the gym– you want them to last for years to come.
The quality of construction, weight capacity, and price all contribute to the quality of the stationary bike; you want to go for a reputable brand that you can trust and know will last you for years to come.
Frequently asked Questions
Are stationary bikes effective at losing fat?
Yes, stationary bikes are also known as exercise bikes and can burn three hundred to seven hundred kcal per hour depending on how you work out as well as some other variants. Thus, they are very effective at losing belly fat.
As you burn more calories you will burn more fat and allow you to lose more weight.
How long should beginners spend riding a stationary bike?
One thing important is to keep up your diet the more you exercise. However, generally, beginners should start by riding around half an hour to an hour at a lower intensity and gradually work their way up.
Will a stationary bike help in toning my thighs?
There are two ways stationary bikes can tone your thighs. The first is that riding on high resistance will require muscle power and thus build up your muscles.
The second is that while it will not target weight loss in your thighs, you will burn calories all over which might help to tone your thighs as well. But working out on an exercise bike will not only tone your legs but also your upper body.
Check out my full guide of what muscles exercise bikes work here.
Do you really need an expensive stationary bike?
The price of a stationary bike varies with additional features, comfort, and the material of the bike. However, some of the reliable companies on this list are relatively cheaper and will help most people achieve the same goal as more expensive alternates.
Not everyone needs a flashy 22″ HD touchscreen to do their workout, most exercise bikes have phone holders (at a much cheaper price point). I have listed above some high-end options along with some high-quality, budget-friendly options to choose from.
Will a heavier wheel be more beneficial?
While a heavier wheel can provide higher levels of resistance or more inertia, most casual users will not need such a heavy wheel and can make do with a wheel around six to eight pounds.
Heavy flywheels will allow for higher intensity levels, which allow you to work more muscles and work more intensely during your workout.
How many calories do you burn on a stationary bike?
Using a stationary bike has major benefits on burning calories and losing weight. On average pedaling at a moderate intensity will burn around 413 calories an hour, pedaling at a high intensity will burn around 620 calories an hour. At a very high intensity, you’re looking at 734 calories burnt an hour.
Even at a low intensity, you’re still looking at 206 calories for 30 minutes. Here in this guide, I break down roughly how many calories you’ll burn for the speed you’re doing.
While stationary bikes will not help you travel, it does not mean they do not have plenty of other benefits. They are nearly risk free and at your convenience any time you want to ride.
You can even watch TV or call someone without any worries of safety, and at the same time receive the benefits of exercise which includes cardiovascular health and your improving your mood. Two features that are important in all the bikes above are stability, so you do not fall off, and smooth resistance levels which also do not make noise.
While they did fall out of trend for a while, stationary bikes have regained popularity especially among those with joint problems who still wish to remain fit and active. They are also a great introduction to exercise for those who are new to it since it helps you work hard yet still allows you to entertain yourself without risk or worry.
Content Manager at Pedallers
Alex is a cycling expert at and focuses on reviewing bikes, accessories, and general cycling. He searches for the most up to date products that match the needs of cyclists across the world. Whether it's recent news or the best bike set-ups, Alex is a trusted source for anything around cycling.