Written By Redis Caraj
Published Jan. 21, 2021

In-home spin bikes are experiencing a recent spike in popularity. As more and more people realize the health benefits, convenience, and safety of owning their own spin bikes, the market is rising to meet consumer demand. 

Gone are the cumbersome, loud, and uncomfortable stationary bikes that your mom or dad rode four times, and then used as a clunky laundry hanger for the next five years. Today’s spin bikes are high-tech, streamlined marvels of modern engineering. They’re designed to provide you with maximum health benefits without you having to leave the comfort of your home. Many of them even connect to online classes and platforms with instructors to guide you through targeted workouts.

Whether you’re an avid cycling enthusiast that’s looking to supplement your training during cold or rainy days, or if you’re brand new to the wonders of the spin bike, we’ve got you covered with our top recommendations of the best spin bikes on the market today. We’ve also put together a valuable buying guide that teaches you exactly what to look for to ensure you get the best spin bike to suit your needs.

The Best Spin Bikes

If you’re looking to make a healthy addition to your home, the Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycling Bike is a great way to go. It is designed to be easy to use yet offer a challenging cardio workout. The wheels offer a range of resistance settings, controlled by an accessible knob. The base of the bike meets the ground at a stable point, holding its balance while you’re using it (regardless of the intensity). Both the seat and the handlebars adjust over multiple settings, keeping you in full control of the workout. Since it can come to a halt promptly, and without getting damaged by the friction, it lets you get the exercise you need without struggling with equipment.

Key Features
  • Prevents tipping and wobbling
  • Seat adjusts over four settings
  • Comfortable-grip handles
  • Multiple riding options
Specification
  • Brand Sunny Health & Fitness
  • Model 97.2 pounds
  • Weight SF-8901
PROS

Comfortable and durable seat

All parts of the bike are adjustable

High-end ‘braking’ system

CONS

Stabilizers at the bottom can damage carpet

Learning curve to adjust parts

Pedals are relatively small

Those who are looking for a modern approach to home-exercise but also want to save should check out the Vigbody Stationary Exercise Bike. It comes with a high-end digital screen that monitors a wide range of metrics. The bike can assess your heart rate, speed, and the approximate amount of calories you burn during exercise. In addition to this, the handlebars and seat are both adjustable, letting you ride the bike without experiencing strain. Because the belt used to provide resistance is made out of leather, it offers a smooth riding experience. Though the leather is quieter, it can also wear down sooner if it incurs too much friction, so keep that in mind and avoid abrupt stops to extend the shelf-life. That said, for casual exercise, the affordability of this bike makes it an awesome value pick.

Key Features
  • Monitor to highlight heart rate, speed, and more
  • Comfortable and adjustable seat
  • The seat and handlebars are adjustable
  • Sweat-resistant seat
Specification
  • Brand Vigbody
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 62.8 pounds
PROS

Designed to remain stable

Can support up to 330 pounds

Digital monitor to assess exercise

CONS

The LCD screen is vulnerable to moisture

Can be heavy to move around

The leather belt can wear down with heat

Want a bike that can work with you throughout your exercise journey? Consider the Yosuke Indoor Cycling Bike for its unique balance of sturdiness and ease of use. While it comes at a slightly higher price point, the bike’s multiple features make it well worth the investment. It features a mount for a phone or tablet, along with a completely adjustable seat and handlebars. With a crisp monitor that tracks your progress while you ride, letting you adjust your exercise to a whole host of metrics. You can change the resistance to make it more or less challenging. Working reliably at all intensity settings, this indoor spin bike is a great way to add more exercise to your life.

Key Features
  • Includes mount for phone or tablet
  • Adjustable handlebars and seat
  • Lets you decide on resistance
  • LCD screen to track your status
Specification
  • Brand Yosuda
  • Model L-001A
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Supports up to 270 pounds

Easy to move around the bike

Made out of durable materials

CONS

Comes at a moderately higher price point

The seat is vulnerable to wear and tear

Handlebars lack any padding

If you are an avid bike enthusiast who lives in an area prone to extreme weather, the Vigbody Indoor Spin Bike can make a great addition to the home. Designed to work similarly to a regular bike, it lets you practice your strength and stamina when you can’t use your outdoor bike. It’s made to support up to 330 pounds of weight. Using friction as its tension mechanism, this bike lets you adjust the level of resistance to your needs. The bike features a clear LCD which tells you about your speed, calories burned, and the distance you would have traveled. With this feature, you can effectively imitate your regular route from the comfort of your home.

Key Features
  • Includes LCD monitor
  • Well-structured handlebars
  • Easy-to-adjust resistance
  • Handles and seat are adjustable
Specification
  • Brand Vigbody
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 69.5 pounds
PROS

Lightweight and easy to move around

Holds up to 330 pounds

Designed to promote stability

CONS

Can be slightly noisy

Pedals sit low to the ground

Knobs require ongoing upkeep

A piece of exercise equipment with a lot of aesthetic value, the Ativafit Exercise Bike in no way foregoes utility benefits. It is made out of high-grade materials that ensure overall structural integrity. The black and white bike incorporates an adjustable seat and maneuverable handlebars. With a screen to keep you apprised of your progress, this bike makes exercise more accessible. Able to support substantial weight, the bike has a padded seat for support. By enabling you to adjust between different resistance levels you stay in full control of your routine. The sleek design helps you fit the bike pretty much anywhere, so you can get a workout anytime.

Key Features
  • Uses flywheel belt drive
  • Includes clear LCD monitor
  • Adjustable seat and handles
  • Lets you reach high speed
Specification
  • Brand Ativafit
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 84 pounds
PROS

Features a stylish design

Monitors calories and distance

Easy to adjust with accessible knobs

CONS

Material vulnerable to rust if scratched

The seat can wear down with friction

Slightly top-heavy design

If you are newer to exercise, or just new to exercising at home, the Relife Exercise Bike is a fantastic place to start. Featuring durable construction and intuitive design, this bike works well for those of all fitness levels. The resistance is easy to adjust, letting you work up to the setting you desire. Plus, since the seat and handlebars are both easy to shift over various positions, you can make the bike fit you. Both these parts are constructed with a view to ergonomic support. This is especially useful if you are newer to working out and want a way to stay comfortable as you practice. Since the bike is so long-lasting and powerful, it’s a great long-term solution that you can use as you start your exercise routine.

Key Features
  • Includes small LCD screen
  • Meant to promote comfort
  • Adjustable seat and handlebars
  • Cushioned seat and well-shaped handles
Specification
  • Brand Relife Rebuild Your Life
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 66 pounds
PROS

Can support up to 440 pounds

Made out of heavy-duty steel

Designed for an ergonomic grip

CONS

LCD screen vulnerable to moisture

Knobs can get rusted if in a humid area

Seat flattens over time

When you’re working with less space, it’s important to find exercise equipment that can fit in your home. The Mevem Exercise Bike, while easy to adjust and use, is quite compact. It touts a relatively lightweight structure that makes light work of moving it around. The magnetic system powers the resistance, letting you efficiently change settings. With an LCD screen, it keeps you apprised of everything from speed to caloric output. Designed to let air flow efficiently, it works quietly without compromising your ability to reach higher speeds. Manually adjustable parts include the seat and the handlebars so you can shift the structure to your specific needs. User-friendly and durable, this bike is a great way to go.

Key Features
  • Uses magnetic resistance mechanism
  • Customizable height of seat and handles
  • Able to support 35 pounds directly on the front wheel
  • Dissipates heat quickly and efficiently
Specification
  • Brand Mevem
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 66 pounds
PROS

Operates quietly while you bike

Long-lasting and well-padded seat

Crisp LCD progress monitor

CONS

Pedals at a somewhat tricky angle

Adjustment parts can get stuck

Magnetic resistance controls can be difficult to use

Especially if you are using the bike in a shared space or an apartment, getting it to work as silently as possible is important. The Vig Body Stationary Spin Bike’s key benefit is the fact that it works quietly. The bike itself is easy to set up, letting you adjust the handles and the seat height. Controlling the resistance through the tension applied to the wheels, this bike won’t cause a racket if you add resistance. Able to support up to 286 pounds, it is a strong and sturdy option that works in most settings. Plus, with the fast-acting brake function, you can always come to a quick stop. Though it doesn’t have a monitor, the bike includes a mount for your phone or smart-device so you can stay entertained while working out.

Key Features
  • Uses belt-driven resistance
  • Adjustable handlebars and seat
  • Padded and comfortable handlebars
  • Includes fast-braking mechanism
Specification
  • Brand Vig Body
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 53 pounds
PROS

Works extremely quietly

Lets you adjust the resistance

Comfortable and easy to control

CONS

Flywheel only supports 18 pounds

Polymer attachment for wheels vulnerable to the impact

Can scratch or damage carpet

Best Spin Bikes Buying Guide & FAQ

When you’re in the market for a spin bike, whether it’s your first piece of home exercise equipment or a replacement, there are a few things to keep in mind. Let’s face it, what good is another piece of home gym equipment that you’re not motivated to use and just sits around collecting dust and pet hair? The following buying guide will help you learn all the ins and outs of what constitutes a great spin bike and which ones aren’t worth your time or money. 

What is a Spin Bike?

A spin bike is a stand-alone stationary bike with four adjustable feet at the base and usually only one front wheel. It’s designed to mimic the feel of a regular outdoor bike. Unlike regular outdoor bikes, however, many of today’s modern spin bikes have the pedals directly connected to the front flywheel, which is weighted and allows you to adjust tension to mimic changing gears or going up or down hills.  The term “spin bike” is actually a term that was trademarked by Mad Dogg Athletics, which was the first company to introduce an indoor stationary bike that closely mimicked real outdoor bicycles. Prior to that, spin bikes were called stationary bikes and they were either upright or recumbent. They’re also known as indoor cycling bikes or just indoor bikes.

The Benefits of Owning a Spin Bike

A spin bike uses magnetism to control the level of resistance.
There are so many benefits to owning an indoor spin bike that you’ll wonder why you didn’t invest in one sooner. Of course, there’s the well-known physical benefits of having a spin bike, which is probably one of your primary reasons for wanting one in the first place. Improved cardiovascular health, increased muscular strength, and added endurance are just a few of the reasons to start riding a spin bike. Studies also show increased aerobic capacity, decreased blood pressure, lower blood lipid profiles, and improved body composition as further health benefits derived from spinning. Add to that the convenience of being able to just roll out of bed, throw on some clothes and your favorite playlist, and bust out a solid workout, and the list of benefits just keeps growing. You don’t even have to brush your teeth if you don’t feel like it. Not to mention the time savings of not having to drive to and from the gym each time you want to get a workout in. 
  • Having a spin bike at home might increase the frequency of your workouts.
  • Not having to drive to and from the gym means you can spin longer and glean greater results.
  • Owning your own spin bike can save you money on costly gym or spin studio memberships
  • An indoor spin bike is a great way to stay in top condition during colder or rainier days when you can’t or don’t want to ride outdoors. 
  • You can use your spin bike to track and monitor important metrics like calories burned, heart rate, distance traveled, pulse-ox levels, and more.

The Most Common Types of Spin Bikes

Though most spin bikes look similar, there are important differences between types. The main factor is the mechanism used to create resistance. Depending on what you want to get out of your exercise bike, you may want to opt for one type of resistance over another. The durability and performance value of the bike is largely predicated on what type of spin bike it is.

Magnetic Resistance 

This type of spin bike uses magnetism to control the level of resistance you face while biking. While it enables you to achieve more consistent resistance while you move, it does come at a higher price tag than other types of resistance. That said, since the magnets are so precise, you get a more fluid motion which can make it easier to maneuver the bike.

The magnetic resistance type of spin bike offers an improved ability to adjust the level of resistance you face. It works effectively and lets you emulate different riding environments without struggling with the transitions. It’s worth noting that, though these bikes require less upkeep, they are harder to maintain when it comes to the actual task. 

Flywheel Resistance 

The flywheel resistance type of spin bike is on the more affordable end of the pricing spectrum. This is the more traditional type of exercise bike, having proven its value on the market for a long time. Since it has this traction, it remains one of the more popular spin bike mechanisms. These spin bikes perform the same way as the other type, though use a physical belt to control the level of resistance. This is usually accessed through the knob.

A key draw of this type of bike is the easy maintenance. Not only are they more affordable, but this type of bike also uses more physical parts. As such, you can better maneuver any maintenance tasks which arise during long-term use. With this type, you can find a lot of parts needed with ease, with many standard pieces in a quality bicycle conversion kit

Belt vs. Chain Drive Spin Bikes

There are two types of drive mechanisms to choose from when selecting your ideal spin bike. These are either a belt-driven or a chain-driven mechanism. Both mechanisms are reliable, rugged, and will allow you to have the toughest workout you can handle, so what’s the big difference? How do they compare and why would you choose one over the other?

Belt-Driven

As the name implies, this type of bike uses a thick rubber or kevlar belt with equally spaced “teeth” that is used to transfer power from the pedals to your flywheel. A belt-driven bike can last a very long time without requiring any maintenance at all. The drawback is that it will eventually become stretched and loose, leading to a “bumpy” ride. When this happens, you’ll need to replace the belt altogether. Belt-driven spin bikes are also super quiet during operation, so they won’t detract from your favorite playlist, TV show, or online instructor screaming at you to push harder. Typically, belt-driven bikes are also a little more expensive on initial outset than chain-driven bikes. This is because they require more precise and stronger crankshafts and flywheel shafts to maintain proper tension than a chain-driven bike does. However, with their increasing popularity, there are many belt-driven bikes that are being offered at lower prices hitting the market all the time. If you’re looking for a precise, high-end spin bike that offers a super quiet, low maintenance, smooth ride, the belt-driven bike is the pick for you.

Chain-Driven

This is the same drive mechanism that your outdoor road or mountain bike uses and has used for generations. As you might expect, a chain-drive requires more maintenance and upkeep than a belt-drive. It requires regular oiling and periodic tightening, although not as often as you would need to on an outdoor bike. The upside is that a properly maintained chain-drive will last longer than a belt-drive. This is why chain-driven bikes are the most popular choice in gyms and studios where the bikes are ridden multiple times each day. Chain-driven bikes operate with the same noise factor that their outdoor counterparts have. You’ll hear the chain running over the sprocket during riding, but it’s usually not noisy enough to cause much distraction, unless the chain needs maintenance. Chain-driven bikes are more forgiving in their setup, and thus, they’re usually a little less expensive. If you want a ride that mimics the feel of being outdoors, is less of a financial investment to start out, and will give you years of reliable use with the proper maintenance, the chain-driven bike should be your top choice.

Important Spin Bike Features

Adjustable Components 

The key to a comfortable and enjoyable ride on the spin bike lies in the seat and the handles. This means that the seat needs a decent amount of cushion and the handles require some form of grip to ensure traction. Provided both of these things are there, you can use the spin bike more easily and for longer periods of time without getting sore joints In addition to being a requisite feature for fitting different heights, the handles and seat should also promote safety and support for your spine, hips, knees, and shoulders.  In most cases, these two components are adjustable over several different positions. Usually, you can change the height by loosening the knob, moving the pole, and re-tightening it. This works for both the seat and the handles. 

Pedals 

The next component of spin bikes is the pedal type. There are four basic types of pedals you can get for your spin bike:
  • Flat Pedal: This is the typical type of pedal that your bike had when you were a kid. You can use any type of shoe you want to ride with. All you have to do is put your foot on the pedals and start going. Easy peasy. The drawback is that this is one of the least efficient methods of spinning because unlike other types of pedals, you only derive power from the downstroke of the pedal’s motion, not the upstroke, making these pedals half as efficient as some other types.
  • Toe-Caged Pedal: This type of pedal features an adjustable basket on the topside of the pedal that your shoe fits into. It can be used with your regular trainers or running shoes. The cage prevents your foot from slipping off the pedal and can be tightened down to ensure stable and secure contact with the pedal at all times. With this type of pedal, you start to see energy transfer on the upswing of the pedal’s motion as well as on the downswing. 
  • Clipless Pedal: These pedals allow for the most efficient transfer of power from your legs to the flywheel. They’re called clipless pedals, which seems odd, considering they require a special kind of shoe that literally clips directly into a receptacle on the pedal. This securely locks your foot to the pedal at all times, ensuring that you have just as much power on the downswing as you do on the upswing. The drawback is that you’ll need to invest in a specific pair of shoes to ride with.
  • Dual-Sided Pedal: This type of pedal is the most popular type, and if you’ve ever taken a spin class at a gym or studio, this is likely what their bikes are equipped with. One side of the pedal is equipped with a toe-cage, while the other side is equipped with a clipless mechanism. This way, you can ride the bike with regular running shoes or with special cycling shoes. Sometimes it’s good to have options.

Metrics Tracking 

While not all exercise bikes have this feature, it does offer a lot of advantages. Modern bikes can register the speed at which you’re pedaling and the number of rotations. Factoring in the level of resistance, the bike then calculates things like distance traveled and approximates the calories you burned during exercise. Some also have sensors in the handlebars which let the bike read your heart rate.  If the bike doesn’t have these features, it will often include a mount. Sitting at the base of the handlebars, it lets you attach your phone or tablet. This can be used to track your time on the bike or to keep you entertained during your workout. 

Other Considerations

Spin bikes track your exercise metrics.

Varying Resistance

Being able to vary the resistance during your ride in order to make it easier or more challenging is key to mimicking outdoor riding and getting the most out of your training. Some spin bikes feature a circular knob that can be turned up or down to increase or decrease resistance. This knob usually has an emergency stop that can be activated by simply pressing down on it in the event you need to stop the flywheel quickly. Other spin bikes are equipped with a lever that adjusts the tension. What you choose is really just personal preference. They both work well. 

Online Connectivity

If you’re looking to sign up for a subscription service that allows you access to online classes, tracking of metrics, challenges, and communities of other riders, consider purchasing a spin bike that’s already equipped with a screen or online viewing platform. This will be on the higher end of the cost range, but you’ll be able to easily and quickly connect to whatever class or community you want.

Accessories

Spin bikes also offer different accessory options that either come preinstalled on the bike or that you can purchase separately. Decide which are important to you. Do you need a water bottle holder or two? A phone mount? Free weight holders? A towel rest? You can really trick out your spin bike almost any way you want.

Available Space

Oftentimes, people might not consider what their available space is for their spin bike. Be sure to check the measurements of the base and the length of the bike overall. You’ll also want to allow plenty of room to get on and off the bike and to walk around it or perform necessary maintenance. 

Spin Bike Pricing

  • Under $200: This price range will get you a decent starter spin bike without a ton of confusing features. It’s a great range if you’re new to indoor cycling and are trying to see if it’s going to become a full-blown obsession or not without investing a ton of cash at the onset.
  • $200 to $500: Spin bikes in this range are still pretty basic and straightforward. They will be made with slightly stronger and more durable components and have less chance of breaking down or malfunctioning than their lower-priced counterparts. They may also feature extra accessories that cheaper bikes don’t come with.
  • $500 to $1,000: Now we’re starting to get into some serious spin bikes. If you’ve tried indoor cycling and know that it’s for you and want a solid, reliable, and high-performing bike, this is the price range to consider. You’ll see well-known and recognizable manufacturer names like Schwinn in this price range. These bikes come backed by good warranties and will often offer online connectivity options.
  • $1,000 and up: This is the price range for the die-hard indoor cyclist. Lightweight and top-of-the-line components and subscription service readiness live here. If you’re looking to ride almost daily, this is where you should look. These bikes also come with great warranties and superior customer service.

Best Spin Bikes Care and Maintenance 

When it comes to exercise equipment, it is especially important to consider maintenance both in terms of equipment lifespan and health and safety. Easy to address, the key is to wipe down the seat and handles every time you use the spin bike. This is particularly critical if you’re sharing equipment since it keeps the bike and your other exercise gear clean for everyone.

So long as you do this, it’s mostly a matter of checking the adjustment settings whenever you use it. Keep them dry and handle them carefully to limit the risk of damage. To prevent damage from use, try to slow to a stop and handle the machine with reasonable care. All things considered, it is pretty easy to care for a spin bike.

  • Don’t overdo it when riding to prevent overstressing the bike and causing heat or friction-related damage. 
  • Store indoors in an area with relatively low humidity to mitigate the risk of rust developing. 
  • Avoid impact when moving the bike around since it can get damaged if dropped. 
  • If the bike has an LCD screen, keep it dry and wipe it down occasionally with a microfiber cloth. 
  • Wipe down the whole bike occasionally and check that the knobs all work and don’t stale in place. 

Best Spin Bikes FAQ:

Spin bikes have been a popular piece of exercise equipment for some time, so naturally, there is quite a diversity of options. Both new users and experienced riders alike end up with questions about everything from new tech to bike quality. To lend a hand in your research, we’ve addressed some of the more common inquiries. 

Q: What is the best brand of spin bike?

There are a lot of popular brands that make high-quality spin bikes including Sunny Health & Fitness and Vigbody.

Q: Are spin bikes worth it?

Accessible exercise is always a good thing. Spin bikes let you engage in low-impact workouts from the comfort of home. 

Q: Should I buy a spin bike or exercise bike?

A spin bike is ultimately a type of exercise bike. It lets you engage a whole host of muscles, get cardio, and grow stamina without having to go outdoors. 

Our Top Pick

After careful consideration, we’ve named the Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycling Bike as our top pick. It’s easy to adjust, supports a lot of weight, and has a wide resistance range. The bike is compact enough to fit in any room and works well to make indoor workouts more accessible. Durable and comfortable, this spin bike is a solid pick overall. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what to expect in your pursuit of the best spin bikes, you can find the right fit. It could be the Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycling Bike or the affordability of the Vigbody Stationary Exercise Bike. There’s the perfect workout bike out there for everyone. Happy riding!

Sources:

  1. Indoor Cycling – Wikipedia

MORE TO READ

Load more...