If you’re tired of paying for bike classes at the gym and want an effective indoor cardio workout, you’re in luck! We’ve tested several new cycles for sale to find the best ones for you. Our team tried out twenty bikes for home fitness. We pedaled, we adjusted our seats, we set up our tablets and caught up on Game of Thrones as we spun. It’s hard work, but somebody has to do it! Instead of just one best indoor bike, we ended up with a list of the 10 best bikes for home use. To make it easy we include a premium home bike pick and a recommended budget option, right at the beginning.
Flywheel - The flywheel is a weighted front wheel that provides resistance, smoothness, stability, and a more natural “real bike” feel as you use the stationary bike. This is what differentiates bikes from stationary bikes. Thirty pounds is an ideal starting weight for a home bike. Heavier flywheel weights make it harder to get started, but they make the pedaling motion smoother and allow you to keep your speed steady.
Adjustable Seat - All of the home bikes on our list have two-axis adjustable seats. This means they can be adjusted up and down as well as forwards and backwards. Adjustability is crucial for getting the best workout from your bike, especially if you are particularly tall or short. A poorly fitted bike can feel rough and make your back hurt. Most of these bikes also have adjustable handlebars for additional comfort and versatility.
LCD Screen - Some home bike models have LCD screens that display your stats for your current ride: distance traveled, speed (usually in RPMs), and time. Most also incorporate a calorie count estimate, which isn’t always totally accurate but still helpful! Keep in mind that many of them slightly overestimate your energy expenditure, so plan accordingly. Some bikes also have heart rate monitors to help you stay in a certain pulse range.
User Weight Capacity - The weight capacity of a bike for home use is the maximum user weight that the bike can handle safely. This can range from 200 to 300 pounds and is an important consideration for people who weigh upwards of 200 pounds. For people who weigh under 200 pounds, the weight capacity is generally not an issue, because 220 pounds is the common minimum capacity of most bikes. A higher capacity can also mean a heavier, more stable indoor bike.
Dimensions - The dimensions of a home bike determine how easy it is to store and whether it will fit comfortably in a closet or can be tucked into a corner between uses. If you have to struggle to pull your bike out of your closet or clean piles of laundry off of it every time you want to use it, it’s probably not going to be used very often! So keep an eye on this when shopping.
Product Weight - The weight of a bike factors into its stability as you ride, but although heavier bikes are more stable, they are also harder to move around. You may prefer a lighter bike if you need to put it away between uses. If it’s going to remain in the same place for the most part, then the weight isn’t as big of an issue, but a heavier bike may be more likely to scuff the floor.
Right below are the top ten bike picks for your consideration. Most users agree that the best bikes for experienced riders have heavy flywheels, but beginners may prefer a lighter flywheel weight. You may want a basic setup to use occasionally or a more advanced one with a pulse monitor--we tried out those, too. A few of these bikes are even compatible with toe clips. Our picks span a range of prices, flywheel weights, and user weight capacities, so the odds are good that at least one of the bikes on our list will turn out to be the best bike for your home fitness regimen.