Skip the Gym and Pedal These at Home Instead

Person on stationary bike

Who’s ready to take a spin on a bike? Cycling is a great exercise, but if the weather is lousy or you only have time to ride at night, then a stationary, exercise bike is a good answer. Get your miles in without risking a fall or collision with fellow bikers. Here are a few great exercise bike options for your home.

If you think stationary bikes – that is, riding an exercise bike indoors – are a 20th-century phenomenon, here’s an interesting piece of trivia. It turns out the first patent for the indoor exercise machine dates back to 1794 when a British inventor named Francis Lowndes gave us the “Gymanasticon.”

The machine we know today as the “Lifecycle” even goes all the way back to 1968 when an American chemist – Keene Dimick – strapped some electronics to his stationary bike to track his progress. You don’t have to invent a new version of the stationary bike to enjoy a good workout today. Here are several models we recommend.

Quieter ride

YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike Stationary Bike
The belt-driving system and heavy-duty steel frame provide a smoother ride than chain-driven competitors. Amazon

This exercise bike from Yosuda is impressive, thanks to a belt drive that delivers a ride that’s nearly silent. (No more waking the rest of the house on your early-morning routines.) It comes with about every feature you can dream up including an adjustable handlebar, comfortable seat, LCD monitor, and a water bottle holder. Speaking of the monitor, it displays time, speed, distance, calories burned, and more. An included flat bracket allows you to position your tablet or smartphone so you can watch movies or listen to music during your ride. Or position the bike in front of your HDTV and enjoy a movie while you work out.


  • 35-pound flywheel and heavy-duty steel frame.
  • 2-way adjustable non-slip handlebar, 4-way padded seat
  • 270-pound weight capacity.
  • LCD monitor and adjustable cage pedals.

Buy: YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike Stationary Bike

Fully adjustable

JOROTO Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike with Magnetic Resistance
The seat and handlebar have four settings to adjust to any rider’s height. Amazon

A low-maintenance belt drive and solid steel flywheel create a whisper-quiet but stable ride. Nearly every part of the bike is adjustable, including the seat, handlebar, caged pedals, and resistance. An emergency stop brake is included for safety. A digital monitor displays real-time progress for your session, and two grooved holders can support water bottles, smartphones, hand weights, and more. Better yet, grab some wireless earbuds and listen to an audiobook while exercising, and the time will fly right by.


  • Weight capacity 300 pounds.
  • Magnetic resistance and belt drive system.
  • Steel toe-caged pedals with adjustable straps.
  • Emergency stop brake and handlebar-adjust tube bump for safety.
  • Battery powered.

Buy: JOROTO Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike with Magnetic Resistance

Designed for beginners to pros

Cyclace Exercise Bike Stationary 330 Lbs Weight Capacity
Works great for any height from 5-foot-1 to 6-foot-5. Amazon

This exercise bike from Cyclace can offer a customized ride experience for any family member – and in any room. (Wheels on the front support allow you to roll it from room to room with ease.) Better yet, it can safely accommodate riders up to 330 pounds. There are eight adjustable positions for the seat bracket and five settings for the handlebar. An LCD monitor tracks time, speed, distance, and calories burned. Find that Sony Walkman buried at the back of your closet, pop in some music and get riding.


  • Thickened steel, triangular frame, 36lbs flywheel and belt-driven system.
  • Supports up to 330 pounds.
  • 2-way adjustable non-slip handlebar and 4-way seat.
  • LCD monitor tracks your time, speed, distance, calories burned and includes odometer.

Buy: Cyclace Exercise Bike Stationary 330 Lbs Weight Capacity

Touchscreen display

NordicTrack Commercial Studio Cycle
This exercise bike streams on-demand workouts to your equipment and tracks your stats. Amazon

Despite its name, NordicTrack was actually founded in the U.S. in the 1970s when its Minnesota founders invented a ski machine in a garage. Fast forward a few decades when today NordicTrack is a leading name in home fitness gear. This exercise bike’s biggest asset is the interactive training features, powered by iFit. A one-year family membership is included, along with five individual exercise profiles. The 22-inch screen offers live, studio, and global workouts. Also included are two 3-pound dumbbells so you can cross-train as you ride. There are 24 digital resistance levels along with a -10 to 20 percent live incline technology. Oh, and it can accommodate users up to 350 pounds.


  • 30-Day iFIT family membership included.
  • Interactive HD touchscreen display with360-degree screen rotation
  • 24 digital resistance levels.
  • 350-pound user weight capacity.

Buy: NordicTrack Commercial Studio Cycle

A different angle

Schwinn Recumbent Bike Series
Sync your bike with a training app to track your fitness progress. Amazon

Recumbent bikes offer several advantages over traditional exercise bikes, including greater comfort – particularly for older or heavier riders. The downside is that they tend to take up more space. This bike from Schwinn offers plenty of features to make up for the added space requirements. You can sync with the free RideSocial App for virtual rides alongside friends. It includes 29 programs and 25 levels of resistance. We love the dual LCD displayers and in-console speakers that work with an MP3 input port. (The adjustable fan comes in handy, too.)


  • 50-plus global routes that auto-adjust.
  • Fully-loaded console with DualTrack blue backlit LCD.
  • 25 levels of resistance.
  • Ventilated and contoured seat.

Buy: Schwinn Recumbent Bike Series

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of exercise bikes are best for small spaces?

If space is at a premium, a folding bike may be your best bet. But these most often are basic and have low weight requirements. Better choices are small-format exercise bikes with wheels so they can be wheeled into their storage areas. Consider giving them a dedicated space like behind the couch, in the guest room, or on the patio or balcony.

How many calories do you burn with an exercise bike?

Depending on your size, fitness level, and the intensity of the ride, all these are factors in how many calories an exercise workout burns. A moderate person on a moderate ride burns about 500 calories. Speed the tempo up and burn 500 calories in 45 minutes. If you’re cycling in a spin class, that high-intensity workout can burn about 13 calories per minute.

Which muscles are targeted when using an exercise bike?

Bike riding uses mostly lower-body muscle groups from your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. Core and back muscles get a workout, too. Use your bicycle handles to incorporate some arm and shoulder work.

Do exercise bikes require much maintenance?

These long-lasting bikes need little, but regular maintenance. Every few weeks check that the hardware hasn’t loosened while in use. Double-check the pedals and gear assemblies and lubricate them if required.

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