Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)
While we’ve written about lots of home-gym equipment before — including home-gym equipment on Amazon, big-ticket home-gym equipment, and treadmills — here, we’ve rounded up the best exercise bikes, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.
Best-rated exercise bike
One fourth of all five star reviews mention that this exercise bike is quiet—so quiet that one reviewer “didn’t even have to turn the volume up on the TV” while using it. And this skeptical guy, who wants everyone to know that he is “not the easiest customer to impress,” loved it: “I thought this might be more of a disposable bike, last a couple of years at best, be too wiggly, weak mechanics, that kind of thing, but quite the contrary, I am happily surprised by the quality of the entire product,” he says. And it’s comfortable, too, which many people mention — Including one with a “big-booty” (her words, we swear), who attributes that comfort to the pedals being further forward and the width of the seat.
Best-rated (less expensive) exercise bike
As with the Exerpeutic bike, reviewers like that the XTERRA is quiet. Many people also mention that it folds down small. One apartment-dweller says, “I can fold it and put it in a closet, it doesn’t need to permanently sit somewhere.” Another agrees that it “fits nicely in a small space,” but insists that that doesn’t mean it’s not sturdy. And it fits all sizes of people, too. One woman, who is five feet tall “on a good day,” says this bike fits her perfectly on the shortest settings and considers it her “favorite buy ever.” She likes that it’s so quiet that you “can’t even hear yourself ride it,” an attribute that she considers “perfect to keep you motivated.”
And now for some micro-picks for every type of exercise bike you might be looking for.
Best exercise bike for tall people
Tall customers had trouble finding bikes that were big enough to be comfortable. But not with this bike, which one reviewer — a 6’5”, 390-pound man who has been a “couch/gaming potato for years” — bought to help him lose weight. Not only does he fit the bike, but the bike holds up to his effort. “This thing is a beast in regards to weight, and the size of the frame, and the gauge of the steel,” he says. “It was rock solid. I did not wobble at all.” If you’re even taller than him, another reviewer is “quite sure that someone who is close to seven feet tall could use this product with ease because the seat can be raised so high.”
Best recumbent exercise bikes
Who doesn’t like answering their own like rhetorical questions? Not this reviewer: “Does this bike have all the bells and whistles of the ones you’d find at a gym?” he asks. “Of course not. Does it get the job done? You bet.” He warns that this “probably isn’t a bike for someone training to be in a triathlon” but if you just want to “sit in front of a TV and burn some calories,” this one is great. Soon after, he came back to update his review: “After a month of heavy use by a big guy (daily for around an hour) the bike is still holding up great. My original review stands.”
One benefit of recumbent bikes is that they take pressure off the knees, which many reviews of this bike mention. According to one woman with knee problems, this bike is sturdy. It’s also “very quiet due to magnetic resistance and has eight levels of resistance. So far we like it, really good piece of equipment for the price,” she says. Another reviewer confirms that the bike causes “no pressure on my knees when pedaling but I can feel the thigh muscles working. The bike is whisper quiet and can probably be ridden in the same room as someone sleeping (as long as they don’t mind your breathing).” And a reviewer who used this bike as part of her physical therapy finds that “the adjustable tension is easy to adjust to what I need at the moment.” Also, like everyone else: “What I really love about it is how quiet it is.”
Like the other bikes, people mention that this one is “sturdy and extremely quiet.” The very-specific sleeping-in-the-same room test pops up here, too: “I mean someone could be sleeping in the same room quiet, it’s crazy,” says one reviewer. “The bike has a very smooth ride on all resistances. No squick, no thump, just a smooth sound of a well-oil machine probably very close to those heavy duty commercial grade exercise bikes you see at the gym.” Although he doesn’t mention how many people sleep near him when he rides, one customer expects the bike to last a very lone time. “I had my last Schwinn recumbent bike for 11 years, this one seems to be even better quality,” he says.
Best semi-recumbent bike
Who can you trust about exercise bikes if not a personal trainer? One trainer/reviewer says that a semi-recumbent bike has “easier access.” He also likes that it gives you “clear vision straight out in front of you if you just want to do some leisurely riding and watch a nearby computer or TV. I think it’s a more comfortable reading position too than a fully recumbent bike.” He recommends semi-recumbent bikes for his clients, and this particular model impressed him in “both quality of construction and the incredible value for the price. It’s very quiet during use, no vibration, shaking or strange noises.” Another reviewer, who is probably not a personal trainer, but still seems lovely, bought this for his wife “to strengthen her lower extremities due to back problems.” After using it for a couple of weeks, she reports that the bike “gives you the same workout that you can get in physical therapy as the pedals are reversible giving you the ability to use a different muscle group.”
Best exercise bike with a desk
“I can’t believe how much I love this thing,” says one fantasy book author, who spends “many hours a day sitting and typing.” He tried a treadmill desk, but “was bouncing too much to be able to type very well.” That’s not an issue with this bike, he says. “I’m on this thing more than I’m on my couch.” A multi-tasking reviewer says, “I am on my desk-bike while I am writing this review; I think this product is incredible. This desk is so sturdy and fits my 17 inch computer, plus two cup holders, and there is a lip, so your computer can’t fall.” One unexpected benefit? It also serves as standard furniture. “This desk is so comfortable, you find yourself sitting in it, even after your workout is finished,” says a reviewer.
Best cycling-class exercise bike
If you want the Peleton experience but not the price, many reviewers suggest this bike. “With some third party add-ons, this bike is very close for a lot less money,” says one reviewer. It also gets the stamp of approval from a former cycling instructor, who says “Sunny has done an excellent job of bringing a quality product into the home market, and I look forward to many years riding my bike and enjoying a safe, fun and effective way to be fit and healthy.” A reviewer who has “been riding this bike for a couple of weeks now” says this bike “ranks high in my ‘best decisions ever made’ category of purchases. The ride is wonderful for me. I can stand, sit, and really pump in a standing position and it feels completely sturdy beneath me. I was worried about the pedals feeling rickety when under my weight but they don’t at all.”
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